Waze’s Incident Reporting Feature is Now Available on Google Maps
Google stealthily added the feature recently.
Google acquired traffic-information app Waze five years ago and integrated it with Google Maps, but users are just now getting one of Waze's most popular features: incident reporting.
Waze's incident reporting tool lets users flag road work, crashes, and stopped vehicles, giving drivers real-time information on traffic issues. Android Police spotted the feature in Google Maps about two weeks ago, and more recently users reported it being active on their phones. Google subsequently told The Verge that incident reporting has been live for several months on Android.
Although they are both owned by Google, Waze and Google Maps remain separate apps. Waze has proven popular with drivers because it shows traffic conditions in real time and helps drivers navigate around slowdowns (but blindly following its directions isn't always a good idea). But that doesn't mean the app Google bought is siphoning users away from the app it developed itself.
As The Verge points out, the two apps don't have to compete for users. Waze's features make it a better choice for drivers, but Google Maps is more of an all-purpose navigation app. It can be used for walking, bicycling, and public transit directions, as well as finding information on location businesses. Waze is much more narrowly focused on driving and traffic conditions.
Waze has also experimented with services beyond navigation. It launched Waze Carpool in 2017 to connect people in need of a ride with drivers willing to carry passengers. Unlike ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft, Waze doesn't make any money off the rides; it just charges riders what the app calculates is fair to cover gas. But Waze Carpool is only available in a limited number of markets.