How to Unjam Traffic

Two months ago, Google paid an estimated $1 billion for a company it said will revolutionize the way people get around. The company Google bought doesn’t make electric cars. It doesn’t make solar-powered airplanes. It doesn’t make any vehicle at all.  Waze, the Israeli startup for which Google paid an Instagram-size bounty, is an app that aims to help drivers avoid traffic jams. Drivers use the software to report road congestion to one another—and thus, they hope, reduce their commute times, fuel consumption, and greenhouse-gas emissions, all without ever changing the vehicles they drive.