Thousands of Yerushalayim-bound drivers were “misled” Wednesday morning by navigation app Waze, when it incorrectly warned them that Road 1, the main highway into the city, had been shut down. The app directed drivers to alternative routes, primarily Road 443 – and into a monstrous traffic jam that delayed drivers by as much as an hour.
Those who did not take Waze’s advice – or were coming from the direction of Beit Shemesh, where access to Road 443 is impractical – were relieved to discover that traffic on the highway was flowing smoothly, indeed even more than usual, as many of the regulars who take the highway had chosen the alternative route. Angry e-mails and social media posts began to mount, forcing Waze management to intervene and issue an apology.
“This morning, Waze showed that Road 1 was closed, and redirected drivers to Road 443,” Waze said in a statement. “This was a result of human error, caused by faulty data supplied by official sources. We fixed the issue as soon as we found out about it. We apologize to all those who were misled. We will work to streamline our procedures, and take steps to ensure that this will not be repeated.”
Ironically, Road 1 was indeed closed in the direction of Yerushalayim, about an hour after the apology was issued. A minibus that caught fire shut down the highway for about a half hour. No injuries were reported in the incident, and firefighters managed to get control of the fire before flames could reach nearby forested areas.