NORFOLK, Va., January 4, 2022 (Newswire.com) - RISE joins climate tech startup FloodMapp to announce the launch and integration of FloodMapp's forecast flooding technology with the navigation app Waze. Funded as a winner of the RISE Urban Mobility Resilience Challenge, FloodMapp's innovative solution allows Waze to offer drivers real-time, street-level alerts of flooded roads. FloodMapp is piloting the program in Norfolk, Virginia, where Waze users will be the first to test the new feature.
FloodMapp's groundbreaking forecast technology mixes tidal, riverine and rainfall data to create a rapid, real-time flood inundation model. The information is automatically layered with Norfolk's citywide road network in a geographic information system and sent to Waze in real time. Drivers using Waze receive pop-up icons and audio alerts to warn them about flooded streets along their route and help them avoid property and life-threatening hazards. Drivers can confirm flooding in the app, which helps validate FloodMapp's technology and makes future Waze alerts more accurate. The information will also be used for an automatic rerouting feature, which is currently under development.
"We are really excited to work with RISE and the City of Norfolk to roll out our product, and to help drivers navigate flood-affected areas,'' said FloodMapp CEO and co-founder Juliette Murphy. "We started FloodMapp because we have seen firsthand the devastation flooding causes and we wanted to be part of a solution that helps people around the world."
As the winner of the RISE Urban Mobility Resilience Challenge, FloodMapp received funding, business mentorship and access to the living laboratory of Hampton Roads, Virginia, to develop and validate its novel solution. RISE, a Norfolk-based nonprofit funded through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, accelerates innovation and business growth around solutions to coastal communities' critical resilience challenges.
"FloodMapp created a live flood modeling system that has the potential to save property and lives," said RISE Executive Director Paul Robinson. "It is only through working with partners like the City of Norfolk who are committed to building flood resilience strategies that we can advance innovative tools and help coastal communities worldwide adapt to the threats from climate change."
"As our streets flood more often due to climate change, we need to find a sustainable way to alert community members about the risks they face," said Kyle Spencer, deputy resilience officer for the City of Norfolk. "FloodMapp's technology provides affordable, citywide situational awareness that current solutions, such as sensor networks alone, don't offer."
According to the National Weather Service, flooding and flash flooding are a leading cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S., and 58% of the 997 fatalities blamed on flooding from 2011 to 2020 have happened in vehicles. In Hurricane Harvey alone, one million cars were destroyed by flooding, resulting in up to $4.9 billion in auto insurance losses.
FloodMapp is on a mission to improve safety and prevent damage on a global scale. Its vision is to ultimately offer products in all countries that suffer from flooding, to help governments and businesses everywhere become more resilient to flooding and adapt to a changing climate.
FloodMapp's products ForeCast, NowCast and PostCast are designed to support the emergency response before, during and after a flood event by providing street-level, property-specific flood intelligence at a national scale. This intelligence allows emergency managers to take targeted action to coordinate evacuations, prevent damage to assets, re-route traffic, and deploy recovery resources and funding effectively.
RISE is a U.S.-based nonprofit with a mission to accelerate innovation and business growth by identifying and scaling solutions to climate resilience challenges in coastal communities. Since 2018, RISE has deployed more than $5 million in financial support and services to 35 businesses with products designed to help coastal communities adapt to flooding, storm surge, and climate change impacts.
Waze is where people and technology meet to solve transportation challenges. It's a platform that empowers communities to contribute road data, edit Waze maps, and carpool to improve the way we move about the world. Thanks to Wazers everywhere, Waze is able to partner with municipalities and transit authorities to reduce traffic and congestion — leveraging current infrastructure while impacting city planning. A world with better transportation doesn't have to be in the distant future. By harnessing the power of community to reverse negative trends in transportation, Waze can create a world where traffic is history. For more information or to download the Waze app, please visit www.waze.com.