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Survive 'Carmageddon' with technology

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App helps drivers avoid congestion
  • Interstate 405 in Los Angeles is closing this weekend
  • Locals have dubbed the event Carmageddon
  • Apps, websites and Twitter feeds are here to help

(CNN) -- The closing of a freeway in Los Angeles has incited a citizen uproar that's reverberating around the Web's social channels.

Aid for the second-largest U.S. city can be found at its neighbor to the north and beamed directly to a smartphone.

A Silicon Valley startup called Waze is hoping to ease frustrations resulting from L.A. temporarily closing its always-traffic-heavy Interstate 405.

During this period known as "carmageddon," a 10-mile stretch of the 405, a crucial artery, will be shut down for construction.

Waze, a GPS navigation application for the iPhone and Android, can come in handy because it leverages users' location information to inform traffic conditions and driving routes.

"All you have to do to contribute to this community is drive," Noam Bardin, the CEO of the 3-year-old Waze. "Just turn it on when you're driving; it will find a better route for you."

Several GPS software providers are updating their systems to inform L.A. drivers.

For example, TomTom plans to route drivers using its units away from the 405, according to a report in PC Magazine. Another app, MobileNavigator, has updated a feature called Traffic Live, which is designed to alert users about street closures, according to the report.

Alerts are also coming from Hollywood stars, who the Los Angeles Police Department asked to update their Twitter feeds with the news. Ashton Kutcher, Kim Kardashian and William Shatner, among others, sent tweets about the closure.

For L.A. natives fretting over the idea of having to leave their cars in the garage this weekend, director Kevin Smith offered these words of encouragement on Twitter: "The end is nigh! Carmageddon is upon us!"


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