Google Reportedly to Buy Driving App Waze

Jun 10, 2013 8:47am

Morning Business Memo:

In the battle for hot mobile apps, Google has reportedly reached an agreement to buy Waze, the popular social mapping system that gives drivers real-time information and alternative routes to help them avoid traffic jams. The price for the Israeli-based traffic, navigation and mapping firm is reported to be about $1.1 billion.

Waze had been in talks with Facebook. The crowd-sourced navigation device app passively tracks the routes of its users via GPS, something already done by Apple and Google traffic apps. But Waze goes further with many volunteers who improve its maps, similar to the way volunteers add content to Wikipedia.

Google is already the leader in online mapping, and its purchase of Waze might keep competitors from nipping at its heels.

Are you saving nearly enough money for a comfortable retirement? The answer in most cases appears to be “no.” The elderly are falling short in almost every state, a new analysis of Census Bureau data says. “Hawaii and Nevada are the only states where retirees are earning 70 percent of what the pre-retirement group is earning,” Mike Sante of interest.com says.

Most personal finance advisers tell retirees they need about 70 percent of the annual income that they earned during their working years to maintain their living standards. “What it means in today’s economy is that we’re just not saving enough for our retirement,” Sante says. The average Social Security monthly payment is about $1,200, he adds, “so we better have other options.”

Wall Street is set to open higher this morning after Friday’s surge. The mediocre jobs report was too weak to worry investors that the Federal Reserve will change course soon and end its policy of  low lending rates. Analysts say cheap money has been a major factor in the stock market’s rise this year. Japan’s Nikkei index jumped 4.9 percent overnight, its strongest one-day gain in more than two years.

The U.S. auto industry is about to go on a hiring spree. Car makers and parts suppliers need to find engineers, technicians and factory workers to build the next generation of vehicles. U.S. factories are operating at about 95 percent of capacity, and many are already running three shifts. As a result, some auto and parts companies are doing something they’ve been reluctant to consider since the recession: adding floor space and spending millions of dollars on new equipment. Car and truck sales have been rising since 2010.

Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesabc

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