Using Waze Data to Improve Emergency Response

Sunday, August 6, 2023 | 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Minh Le, Texas A&M Transportation Institute and Christy L. Williams, NCT9-1-1

Minh Le led a presentation covering data derived from a study in the Dallas-Ft Worth area in the accuracy and efficacy of Waze data in reporting traffic incidents in the I-30 corridor in the DFW area.

The study covered how road hazards, disabled vehicles and traffic accidents are reported. What incidents were reported first via the Waze app and what were reported first by a call to the ECC? The data showed that in many road hazard situations the majority of these incidents were reported to Waze. In traffic accidents, the majority of these incidents were first reported to the ECC.

This data illustrated how earlier reporting of roadway hazards could lead to a quicker response to these hazards, potentially mitigating escalating traffic incidents in the area of the hazard. The data also showed how, while accidents were reported later in Waze, the report locations were usually more accurate than what was received at the ECC. Minh Le recommended, “[ECCs should] leverage Waze data to pinpoint crash locations which are much more efficient and accurate than reports from that may not be familiar with the area”.

Christy Williams informed attendees that NCT9-1-1 has partnered with their mapping service to make Waze traffic data available to the 40 ECCs served by their agency.

This discussion provided an innovative approach to utilizing crowd-sourced traffic data to accentuate information derived from calls to the ECC and other data sources to quickly identify and locate traffic hazards and incidents. This approach could reduce response times and accuracy when responding to these types of incidents.

Submitted by Michael P. Banks, CPE