Someone Needs to Run with Waze’s April Fool’s Joke

Apr 01, 2014 • Apps, lolz, Technology, teh inetrwebz, web

kissing in cars

Today, the social mapping company Waze, which was acquired by Google last summer, announced it had acquired the dating and hook-up platform SingleSpotter, enabling them to offer their users a product called WazeDates, which gives drivers access to one another’s relationship status, so they can determine whether to send a private message or continue with road rage as usual.

This is, of course, an April Fool’s joke but to many Angelenos, who spend a large fraction of life commuting, this is actually something we’ve spent some time seriously thinking about. I’m not going to lie, I’ve actually flirted and been flirted with on Waze long before its acquisition. And that’s not the only thing — last Valentine’s Day, the L.A. Metro hosted speed dating sessions on its Red Line, which links North Hollywood and Downtown L.A. Interested afternoon commuters walked onto the cars devoted to this purpose, where they chatted up one another, and moved along every two minutes by a Metro staffer.

And we’re not the only ones who are trying to turn our commutes into a dating advantage. Across the pond there’s Platewave, a network that enables you to contact people you see on the road through their plate number — if they use Platewave, that is. The site puts a lot of emphasis on the car you drive, which probably shouldn’t be surprising, since founder Marc Ackerley brought the site to life after being repeatedly approached by women every time he entered or left his $284,000 Ferrari. Might he be missing the chance to connect with one of these ladies because they were on the road when they saw him? He decided to make an app for that.

The products out there aren’t perfect, but there’s something here that’s worth looking into. After all. the average American spends the equivalent of a work week stuck in traffic annually (for Angelenos, that’s 61 hours in traffic a year. Same as for San Franciscans). Surely someone can come up with a way to make these wasted hours work in our favor, dating-wise?

Header image by Malcolm Peacey.