Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute

University of the Philippines - Diliman

Filipino students chat with Dror Cohen of Waze

Posted on August 17, 2016 by Andre DP Encarnacion in In the News (http://www.up.edu.ph/filipino-students-chat-with-dror-cohen-of-waze/)


UP Diliman (UPD) students joined students from at least 7 other universities as they conversed with Dror Cohen from the famous traffic application Waze on July 19, 2016 in a teleconference broadcast at the UP Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute (EEEI).

UPD was a partner university in the event hosted by the Embassy of Israel in Manila and the Ateneo Graduate School of Business.

The Israel-based Cohen began by giving a brief background on the history and founding story of Waze. He credited the contribution of “people who want to help their community” for the success of the traffic app, which features crowd-sourced and real time traffic alerts, incidents and navigation from “more than 100 million Wazers.”

Beginning with the use of computer algorithms to create maps by tracking the anonymized GPS trails left behind by users, Waze maps began to vastly develop in detail and accuracy with the contributions of users via the Waze Map Editor. “The community is what keeps Waze alive today,” Cohen noted.

Cohen then proceeded to detail new major projects of the Waze team to bring the application even closer to users and communities. One of these is the Connected Citizens Program, which allows governments to use Waze in managing functions such as garbage collection optimization and toll routes.  Recently, this program had Waze working with the city government of Rio de Janeiro to prepare for the 2016 Olympics.

Another ambitious project of the company is Waze Carpool, which aims to reduce the number of cars on the road by matching drivers with commuters heading the same way who are willing to share the cost of gasoline with them for the trip.

The session ended with Cohen taking questions from students on innovation and entrepreneurship.  He noted that the enabling environment in Israel helps start-ups similar to Waze to get off the ground.  He said that the vision among members of the Waze team to help people by building an application that addresses real needs was what he enjoys most about his job