Traffic Apps in Kenya: Ma3Route vs Waze

Today Safaricom partnered with Google to launch  Waze, an interactive phone app that provides motorists with real-time traffic information crowd-sourced data from other road users.

Waze, which originated in Israel, was bought by Google for $1.3 billion in 2013. But while Waze has 3 million global users, its maps are sparsely used in Nairobi. There’s been a bit of discussion about why Safaricom is partnering with Waze when they have Ma3Route on Safari com

In Kenya, another platform, Ma3Route, has become the de-facto central point for traffic information which many people check before they start their car engines, both to see how clear the roads are and which routes are best. Ma3Route’s 300,000 daily users largely tweet or read about traffic conditions  and shares stories and traffic frustrations across its mobile apps, website, facebook and twitter.

Data Direction: Authoritative local tech blog TechMoran links the Safaricom-Waze partnership to Google using Safaricom to increase downloads and uptake of Waze. big data means a lot to both Google and Safaricom.

In contrast, Ma3Route bills itself as the twitter for traffic, taking simple text and placing it on maps with one of their objectives being to be light on battery and data bundle consumption.

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