Now you can have a celebrity give you driving directions.
Waze is partnering with Universal Pictures to roll out a celebrity voice navigation feature. The first celebrity to guide you from point A to point B is comedian and actor Kevin Hart.
Waze is a popular app that crowdsources traffic and navigation data. Friends and travelers around you post updates to create an accurate, real-time picture of road conditions. Its community grew like crazy and Waze sold to Google for a rumored $1.3 billion earlier this year. It was the largest payout to employees in the history of Israeli high tech.
Hart acted on Real Husbands of Hollywood, a comedy-improv parody show on BET and is in an upcoming movie with Ice Cube called Ride Along, which opens in January. Providing voice navigation commands is a way to promote Ride Along to Waze’s community of 50 million users.
Waze first started as an open source project called FreeMap Israel. Unlike other GPS navigation software, Waze combines map data with information from people on the road. They can report traffic jams, speed and police traps, hazards, accidents; update maps with roads and landmarks; and contribute driving routes.
The app also navigates drivers to the cheapest gas stations and shows you where your friends are on the road if you are caravanning somewhere together.
Waze is free and already has advertising opportunities available for businesses, who could pay to have their business shown to drivers approaching their location or searching nearby. This feature provides another money-making channel for Waze (and now for Google).
To have Hart as your co-pilot on the app, go to Settings > Sound, and select “English – Ride Along” as your language.
By Rebecca Grant