(Credit: Waze)

Waze announced on Monday that it's teaming up with the Allianz Group to provide roadside assistance in the United Kingdom, France, and "soon many more countries across Europe." According to the Allianz Automotive website, the subdivision offers three types of roadside assistance: bCall, which will send a tow truck to your location; eCall to connect you to emergency services; and iCall, a concierge service to provide general information.

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How big is Waze in Europe?

According to third-party Waze tracking website Wazestats, the app has a booming business in Paris, averaging roughly 50,000 users per million each week, spiking up to 65,000 during peak transit hours. With an urban population of over 10 million, France's capital city is far and away the most popular overseas hub for the navigation app, which Google purchased for over a billion dollars in 2013 when adjusted for inflation. According to Wazestats, London averages less than 4,000 users per million.

As of May this year, Waze claimed 100 million monthly active users (MAUs)of its app. While this is one-tenth of the MAUs that Google Maps handles, the Israel-based Waze is still one of the most popular navigation apps in the world. Its momentum is partly fueled by local user communities that alert fellow "Wazers" of traffic collisions, speed traps, and other road hazards that haven't yet been reported through official channels.

Google has also been largely hands-off with the company since its acquisition, choosing to develop its own navigation app on a separate track. However, Google Maps did recently add the Waze-like ability for users to update info about nearby road closures and construction zones.

Waze originally announced its intent to partner with Allianz in November 2017, when it previewed a redesign of the roadside assistance function.

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At the time, the company said, "Wazers that select Allianz Partners from their Roadside Help Alert will get around-the-clock service from a digital platform or call center to help with their vehicle's maladies. From a flat tire to a dead battery, Allianz Partners will come directly to the spot to help."

You can also choose the Fellow Wazers assistance option, which will let you contact specific Waze users to get help. And conveniently, you won't need a pre-existing relationship with Allianz to get their roadside assistance.

The takeaways

  1. The Munich-based Allianz is one of the largest insurance and asset management companies in the world, employing over 140,000 people. Its Allianz Automotive subdivision provides insurance and mobility services in over 30 countries. In short, it definitely has the resources to help Waze users.
  2. Waze already offers this service to U.S. customers, partnering with Allstate Insurance for "towing, lockout, fuel-delivery...tire change and jump starting needs."

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Tom is the senior editor covering Windows at Download.com.