Seem all rumors have been true as Google has acquired crowdsourced-mapping company Waze in a $1.1bn deal, according to insiders familiar with the negotiations, with the well-rumored agreement potentially being confirmed sometime today.
Assuming it does, indeed, pan out, the deal would see Google pay dearly to keep Waze out of the hands of Facebook. The social network was believed to be weighing a $1bn offer for Waze back in early May, but chatter later in the month suggested that talks halted.
Waze’s technology puts traffic data in the hands of the crowd, using iOS and Android app users to feed into real-time information about jams, potentially delaying road works, speed cameras, and other issues. That knowledge can be used to create dynamically-adjusted navigation routes, bypassing possible problems.
But Google already has Maps
Exactly how Google might integrate it remains an outstanding question. One possibility is that Google will leave it as a standalone app, a source tells the WSJ, cherry-picking the most interesting data to be folded into Google Maps. Similarly, Google Maps data could be funneled into future iterations of the Waze app.