Google is expanding it’s new carpool service it offers through it’s mapping app Waze.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google is planning to launch Waze carpooling in several cities in the U.S. and in Latin America in the coming months. The app, best know for it’s crowdsourcing traffic feature, has been testing a feature that lets users pick up and drop off other Waze on their route users for a small fee. This is a bit different than rivals Uber and Lyft in that it’s focused on carpooling and not exclusively ride hailing from a dedicated driver. Google has been testing this in Israel and San Francisco and has had positive results for the most part. The only issue is that requesting a ride didn’t always result in a driver accepting that pick up. This is to be expected due to the limited test and lack of participants in the small test.
Waze carpooling is an interesting take on ride sharing and could gain significant traction if opened up to a wider audience. The service has more of an intimate and community fell to it since anyone can decide to pick up a rider in need on the way to their destination. The small fee received is based on location and destination and several fees can be collected if you pick up more than one person on the way to the same location. Google is not taking a percentage of the fee at ths point but we’re sure they will once the carpooling service is expanded further. Google Maps also will help here because they just added a ride sharing section for Uber and Lyft pick ups so adding Waze, which is already integrated into Google Maps for it’s traffic alerts, is a clear next step. Google also plans to offer a ride sharing service through their self-driving car project Waymo so we’ll see how all of these services get integrated together.