Waze rolls out railroad crossing alerts globally

Tyrone Stewart

Waze has introduced a feature that will provide drivers with alerts when they are approaching a railroad crossing, adding a new layer of safety to the app.

The Google-owned navigation app decided to add the alerts after recommendations from both the US Senate and the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urging navigation platforms to help to reduce the number of railroad crossing fatalities.

Waze’s railroad crossing feature uses the US Federal Railroad Administration’s publicly available database, and has received backing from organisations including MTA Long Island Rail Road, Amtrak, SEPTA, Brightline, Operation Lifesaver Canada, the Railway Association of Canada, CN, and SNCF to input the necessary data – alongside Waze’s volunteer community of map editors – into the app in the US, Canada, France, and Belgium. In the UK, Italy, Israel, Brazil, Mexico, and other countries, local Waze map editors have been responsible for incorporating crossings into Waze’s map.

“The Railroad Crossing feature is a result of a cross-industry, cross-sector collaboration, both internally within Waze and the community, working together to help fellow drivers map out all highway-railroad intersections,” said Dani Simons, Head of Public Sector Partnerships at Waze. “This feature exemplifies Waze’s commitment to building for its Driving app, being the first to implement features and emphasises our focus on safety.”

The feature will automatically alert drivers using the latest version of Waze on Android or iOS via a banner providing a notification about the crossing and encouraging the driver to be cautious.