Waze Brazil Is Helping Drivers Avoid High Crime Neighborhoods With Safer Routes

Waze Brazil Is Helping Drivers Avoid High Crime Neighborhoods With Safer Routes

The navigation app introduced a new protective feature that analyzes real-time data to steer clear of risky areas

Yi Chen
  • 9 august 2016

Waze, the community-based mobile navigation app, recently rolled out a new safety feature in Rio just in time for the Olympics. The app aims to help drivers who may not be familiar with the city to avoid dangerous neighborhoods. Brazil is expected to receive more than half a million foreign tourists for the 2016 Olympic Games. A concern for a lot of the visitors is unknowingly passing through high crime areas. In 2015, an elderly woman in Brazil was murdered and her husband severely injured after she was routed into the Caramujo favela, a neighborhood known for gang violence. Julie Mossler, Head of Brand and Global Marketing at Waze, explained that the company is working with the government and local community groups to identify which neighborhoods have safety issues. Waze uses data from Disque Denuncia, a phone service that receives and logs crime information from anonymous callers, in addition to data collected from local universities, researchers and drivers.

There is controversy surrounding the new feature as it could further stigmatize those who live in poverty-stricken areas with high crime rates, or hurt local businesses as drivers might be hesitant to visit them after discovering that they’re located in an unsafe part of the city. Overall, the initiative is hoped to provide a safer and more secure way to travel for tourists visiting Rio during and after the Olympic games. Waze

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