Google Maps update: Waze integration will inform drivers of traffic and accidents on their route

Jason Gilbert
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This image made available by google, shows the new Google Maps application, on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012. The world's most popular online mapping system returned late Wednesday with the release of the Google Maps iPhone app. The release comes nearly three months after Apple Inc. replaced Google Maps as the device's built-in navigation system and inserted its own map software into the latest version of its mobile operating system. (AP Photo/Google)

In June, Google spent almost $1 billion to acquire a competing mapping app called Waze. Now, in August, it's starting to put that billion dollars to good use. 

On Tuesday morning Google announced on its Lat-Long blog that it will integrate traffic data from Waze into its Google Maps app on iOS and Android. Starting immediately, Google Maps users will be informed of heavy traffic, accidents and road closures along their planned routes, all culled from the Waze app.

The big draw of Waze, you might know, is that it allows drivers and passengers to report traffic incidents, speed traps and other obstructions so that other drivers behind them on the road would know to avoid certain routes. Google acquired Waze to make its maps smarter and to better inform drivers in real-time of emerging traffic, and with this update, that process has begun.

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Waze users will also benefit, as Google's Street View has been added to Waze's open map editor. Waze relies on trusted users to keep its maps up-to-date.

Interestingly, Google's acquisition of Waze is still being reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission, which Google confirmed in June, shortly after it announced the deal. We're still waiting on the results of that investigation, but it would appear that Google is going forward with integrating Waze into its own Maps regardless.

You can read more about Google's new Maps feature on Google Maps blogspot.