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Social navigation app Waze unlocks commuter data

Di-Ann Eisnor, head of global partnerships at Waze, joins the "CBS This Morning" co-hosts to make a special announcement
Di-Ann Eisnor, head of global partnerships at... 04:11

If you're a commuter in America, traffic might be the one thing that puts you over the edge.

As CBS News reported in June, the trip to work is no joke. While the average commute in the U.S. is 25 minutes, making the trek in a metropolitan area can cost an extra 30.

One social navigation app is hoping to help reduce the stress.

Waze main menu
Waze main menu
Waze - ways and maze - connects 50 million drivers worldwide to provide free traffic and navigation in real time and all crowd-sourced.

Six years after the app's initial launch, Waze's head of the global partnerships Di-Ann Eisnor announced their new Connected Citizens Program.

"This is, for the first time, taking all the information we get from those drivers and we're connecting it with information that's been locked up inside your local departments of transportation around the world," Eisnor said Wednesday on "CBS This Morning."

They're working with cities all over the globe, from Los Angeles to London and Johannesburg to Jakarta.

Even though each country's transportation department manages varying infrastructure, Waze has a way to aggregate it all.

"Everything they know about the construction, what's going to be closed," Eisnor said. "In some cases it's about flooding or weather and that's happening in real time, and they're literally contacting us immediately."

Maybe even more exciting for consumers, the app saves drivers time, money and even knows where cops are hiding.

Police alert
Police alert

No matter if you're driving on a highway or a country road, if Waze has the info, it will alert and redirect.

More importantly, most of the information the app gathers is passive - that means no texting and driving.

"We're anonymously collecting your speeds as you drive," Eisnor said. "You're getting your voice-guided navigation and everything else we're doing for you. You can also, by voice, tell us -- report accident, report hazard."

The app won't even work if you're at the wheel.

"We'll literally block your screen if you're the driver," Eisnor assured. "You have to pick 'passenger' to enter any more information than that."

"CBS This Morning" co-anchor Gayle King is most excited about the ability to share trip data with friends.

"For instance if I was going to see Charlie [Rose] in his country home, I could email him my [he] could have the dinner ready," King said.

"Or leave," Rose laughed.

The app has even helped the public in a time of disaster.

They got a call from the White House after Hurricane Sandy asking for information to effectively deliver fuel.

"No one knew what gas stations were open," Eisnor recalled. "There were three-hour-long lines and they contacted us and said how can you reach out to your users and let us know."

It was the first time they sent a message to their users asking for help.

"We got 10,000 responses and that's what FEMA used to figure out where to send the fuel trucks," Eisnor said.

The Waze app takes a path less traveled. It connects more than 50 million drivers worldwide with real time traffic updates.

Waze can find cheaper gas, share your arrival time and connect with your calendar.

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