Friday, March 31, 2017

Waze's Latest Feature Enables Users to Order Food in the App

Technological innovations in this day and age are often about making day to day tasks easier or more convenient. They help people to save time and money on mundane tasks like ordering food or obtaining transportation. This week, according to an L.A. Times article by the Associated Press, the navigation app Waze has started to team up with fast-food restaurants like Dunkin' Donuts in order to combine the services offered by the two companies and make ordering coffee and other foods on the way to work a seamless process.

Waze is a popular navigation app for smartphones and tablets, which relies mainly on information input by users. It provides turn-by-turn directions and can even tell drivers in real time which route will have the least traffic. While Waze has teamed up with fast-food restaurants like Taco Bell and Dunkin' Donuts in the past, it was mainly an advertising partnership, where the restaurants paid Waze a fee each month to help remind drivers of the different food options on their route. Now, their business strategy has changed, and become more direct.

Instead of just advertising with Waze, and hoping that the ads will make a few drivers visit their restaurant, Waze has now integrated a method for drivers to order from Dunkin' Donuts and pick it up on their route, all without opening up another app. If the trial run with Dunkin' Donuts goes well, Waze could relatively easily update the system to work for any number of merchants and restaurants. One day, people could be able to order food, reserve parking spots, and even get prescriptions filled, all on the way, without the inherent distractions involved with working from several apps at once.

Users of Waze's new system will have to have Dunkin' Donuts' app on their phone, but as long as they are logged in, Waze will be connected and will be able to access their account at the push of a button. Additionally, users of Waze's system have to be registered with Dunkin' Donuts' customer loyalty program, at least until the chain has determined whether the concept works well enough to offer to all of its customers. Waze has been growing in leaps and bounds lately. Recently, they integrated a feature similar to Uber or Lyft where drivers are paid to pick up and drive with other Waze users looking to Carpool. All of these updates seem to be going well for Waze, but it will take a bit of time to see just how well.

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