Waze has added relevant COVID-19 information to its app, including testing site and food pantry locations. The app is working with nonprofits No Kid Hungry and Why Hunger to show the locations of more than 30,000 food pantries. Waze will also notify drivers of new restricted driving areas by working with its thousands of volunteer map editors who continuously update road closures. Waze will also list which restaurants are offering takeout and include icons signifying which locations have curbside pickup or drive-thru available during the pandemic. Additionally, the brand is displaying a banner on its app reminding users to only drive when necessary, though driving has already decreased by 60% since February.
Waze is rolling out its new features across the 58 countries it currently operates in. By including locations for 450 COVID-19 testing sites around the world, the brand integrates in-demand information that could help it grow its user retention rates, according to a Gartner report on the topic. Google, which owns Waze, is reproducing some of the features in Google Maps, such as directions to nearby testing sites and takeout and delivery filters for restaurants. To help keep app information up to date, Waze included a page on its site dedicated to COVID-19 responses where government organizations can submit food distribution and medical sites to be added to the maps. Not all countries have sites for medical testing, such as Italy, but Waze has included government phone numbers so citizens can call for medical help wherever they are.
By tapping into a new range of digital features, Waze could continue to guide people across the globe—this time, in matters of health.