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The 2.3 update from Waze offers real-time gas quotes, navigation routes with multiple stops
Waze, a navigation app that offers real-time traffic data collected by app users, is expanding its offerings to tips on where the best gas prices are.
With more than 19 million users already using the system for navigation and live traffic data there is a lot of cash to be saved at the pump, if only people knew what else the prices were like just a few blocks down.
Users can now bring up a map or list of all the stations along their route and see current prices. The fuel price data comes from OPIS, but if you arrive at a station and see a price discrepancy, you can update the numbers right from your app.
As a kick-off, Waze is offering discounts at participating gas stations, including Kum & Go, Hess, Mid-Atlantic Convenience Stores (BP and Exxon stations) and Vintners Distributers (Shell).
The discounts are available through the app using codes found for the corresponding station.
And since Waze is aware that getting gas is often a necessary part of your trip, it has updated its navigation function to allow you to pick the gas station with the prices you desire and insert that scheduled stop into your route without interruption.
This feature can also be used for more than just fuel detours, you can add the dry cleaner or the grocery store into your route and will receive estimated arrival times for each stop to assure you get to places before they close or with enough time to beat the traffic.
This Waze update comes just after Apple announced that the iOS6 update will include turn-by-turn directions (some of the data is actually supplied by Waze).
It appears that Waze is starting its expansion into the fuel partnership and reporting business but there are opportunities for the company to add other new verticles in the future -- such as tire companies, stores providing oil changes and other car maintenence sectors.
Back in October, the Palo Alto-based company raised $30 million in growth funding, led by Horizons Ventures Hong Kong, which manages the private venture investments of Li Ka Shing in the technology sector, the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) Digital Growth Fund and iFund.
That brought the company's total funding raised to $67 million.
That is an exceptional amount for a system devoted to data collected by its users and it looks like its expansion plans are starting to roll out now that smartphones are doing a lot of the navigation heavy lifting for drivers.
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