French Tech Hub alumnus OpenDataSoft recently announced a partnership with Waze, the Google-owned crowdsourced routing app. The partnership consists in a data sharing agreement to deliver real-time data to drivers and city planners.
OpenDataSoft is is a cloud-based turnkey platform for data publishing and API management. Its Smart Cities solution allows organizations to collect data from numerous sources, break data silos, share the enriched data with business partners and valorize the data. Waze is the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app. This partnership allows both companies to exchange real-time information on traffic conditions and other data affecting commutes. It aims at providing Waze users with direct information from localities about road construction, closures, accidents, traffic flow and parking, while providing local officials with anonymized traffic data and alerts from Waze.
“The idea is to have everything in one single platform to be able to break the silos and to be able to map traffic data, plus public transportation, plus bike sharing and foot traffic — to be able to understand the situation citywide and make decisions,” said Franck Carassus, OpenDataSoft’s CEO and co-founder. “Having a way to understand the 360 view of transportation for major cities like Bristol, England, or Paris, France, makes a lot of sense. So that’s why we started this partnership with Waze, to give our customers a real-time view of what is happening in their cities and territories.”
The data exchange works through Waze’s Connected Citizens program, launched in 2014 to make the company’s transportation data accessible to cities and states. Partnerships were signed with several large citites like Boston, Rio de Janeiro or New York City, but the program faced some issues with smaller cities because of a lack of IT staff or technical knowledge to integrate Waze’s traffic data into operations.
OpenDataSoft should be the missing link in technical expertise to make the process simpler, more comprehensive and affordable for small- and mid-sized cities.
“If you’re a large city, you can probably afford to build those tools, but for smaller cities, it’s nice to have something you can use right out of the box,” Franck Carassus said. “Mid-sized cities will now have access to a very simple tool and they don’t need to be data scientists to understand that.”
OpenDataSoft has today more than 70 government customers in the U.S. and internationally, and the European Metropolis of Lille, France, with its 1.2 million inhabitants, will be the first local government to take advantage of this data sharing initiative.
“Through the Connected Citizens Program, we empower our partners to harness real-time driver insights to make better informed planning decisions and ultimately reduce congestion,” said Adam Fried, head of global partnerships at Waze. “Working with OpenDataSoft allows us to reach even more local governments around the world and enables our current partners to use the tools they’re already using to launch smart transportation initiatives through Waze.”