Waze App and Los Angeles Announce Partnership

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Waze is a popular application that provides information to drivers about the best route to take, and utilizes user-generated information to alert drivers to where cops are located. Because of this feature, Waze has encountered criticism from various police forces and the government; however, that same technology is now enabling Waze to partner with the city of Los Angeles for the greater good.

Instead of just providing drivers with the fastest way to get from point A to point B or warning them to slow down because of speed traps, Waze will now also provide alerts to users about hit-and-run incidences as well as kidnappings, in order to try to crowd source aid. The app may also be used to provide other information to Los Angeles users, such as notifications about road closures or other delays. Additionally, Waze could create a way for users to interact with the city, such as features that allow reporting downed lights or other things that need to be taken care of by the government.

This partnership was announced by Mayor Eric Garcetti in his recent State of the City speech, and spokespeople working for Waze have said that they’re happy to be working with the city of Los Angeles. The company was purchased by Google in 2013 and has continued to grow rapidly. While Waze is working with other cities as well, such as Boston and Washington D.C., this new move to partner with L.A. seems to be very extensive, and is a big get for Waze. De-Ann Eisnor stated about the new partnership, “We are very, very excited that Los Angeles is doing this. It’s huge for us.”

It’s also a good move for the city. Overall, some ten percent of its residents use the application. Los Angeles actually has the highest population of Waze users in the United States, at around 13.1 million, and the second highest population in the world, after Sao Paolo. It’s important to keep in mind however, that Los Angles and Sao Paolo are very big cities–the city with the highest proportion of Waze users is Tel Aviv, where Waze was founded. Adding more public safety features to the app in L.A. may up the user count there even more.

This new partnership probably won’t go all the way toward assuaging concerns that police officers, or governments, have over the app. The fact that it can provide information about the whereabouts of police officers certainly can be viewed as concerning. That being said, with all the potential for public benefit, Waze seems like it can end up doing a lot more good than harm.


Anneliese Mahoney
Anneliese Mahoney is Managing Editor at Law Street and a Connecticut transplant to Washington D.C. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from the George Washington University, and a passion for law, politics, and social issues. Contact Anneliese at



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