Oxfordshire County Council has become the first authority in the UK outside of London to join the Waze Connected Citizens Program (CCP), a free two-way data exchange that can help councils and road operators to manage their traffic network more effectively for the benefit of all users.
Oxfordshire becomes Waze’s second UK partner, following Transport for London (TfL) joining the Connected Citizen Program as its 100th member in October last year. The Waze CCP is designed as a free, two-way data exchange that empowers municipalities to harness real-time driver insights to improve congestion, make better-informed planning decisions, and reduce emergency response times.
The system is powered by the world’s largest community of drivers, who supply data through the free, real-time crowdsourced traffic and navigation app. The program’s mutually-beneficial data share has had a measurable impact since its inception in October 2014 with 10 city partners. The program has now expanded to more than 175 global partners.
The partnership is mutually beneficial, with Waze providing real-time, anonymous, incident, and congestion information directly from the source drivers themselves. The app includes a safety feature that prevents drivers from using it while on the move, although passengers or motorists who have parked can send information when they choose.
Oxfordshire CC will provide Waze with real-time and advance information on things such as roadworks, accidents, and road closures. In 2016 the county council’s automatic traffic counters recorded more than 1,000,000 vehicle movements during an average day’s peak periods. The figure provides an indication of the volume of vehicles making their way into, around, and out of the city of Oxford on a daily basis.
“We have been working hard to build a better transport system for Oxfordshire for many years, and will continue to build the infrastructure that is needed to support our thriving county. What Waze can do is link up the thousands of drivers to work with us to give a complete picture of what is happening on the roads at any moment in time,” explained David Nimmo Smith (below), Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for transport.
“This sets the scene for working in a different way and looking to different data sources to provide more accurate travel planning data, in turn reducing congestion. For instance, if a particular route is very busy, drivers can use a park and ride and avoid congestion, with one bus potentially taking up to 75 cars off the roads.”
Finlay Clark (right), head of Waze UK, commented, “We’re delighted to welcome Oxford into the Connected Citizens Program, meaning the council can now tap into our unprecedented knowledge base of traffic and real-time driver insights to improve congestion in the local area.
“Oxford is known throughout the world for innovation, and this partnership means the council will be not only following in the footsteps of cities like Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Mexico City (Mexico), and Boston (USA), but will also have direct contact with the leaders of those organizations to learn from them and share how Oxford is tackling urban mobility.”