Shalom Life | July 14, 2015

Waze Launches Carpooling Program in Israel

The Google-owned navigation app is planning to take on the Uber market

By: Maya Yarowsky, NoCamels

Published: July 11th, 2015 in Business » Israel

Waze Launches Carpooling Program in Israel

It was only a matter of time before Google peaked its nose through the ride-sharing door.

Employing the superior travel-tech knowledge of its acquired Israeli company Waze, Google announced it will launch a pilot of its ride-sharing service in central Israel on Monday. The service will synchronize between Waze users and eager carpoolers, through a separate app called RideWith. But before you sigh at the birth of yet another ride-sharing application, like the super-popular, but controversial Uber and Lyft, Google has twerked its platform so that it uniquely serves carpoolers who live and work in the same location.

Launched in the central Israeli cities of Tel Aviv, Herzliya and Ra’anana on Monday, Waze integrated the option for drivers to take on two rides a day to and from work for a nominal fee that covers gas and wear and tear. Identifying users’ regular routes of travel, navigation app Waze and the separate Android application RideWith pair drivers and potential riders.

For instance, if Waze identifies that a certain user travels the same route from Tel Aviv to Herzliya every day, it will now suggest that the driver take on a carpooler who travels a similar route on a daily basis.

But Google and Waze are trying to avoid direct competition with Uber, the $50 billion company in which Google Ventures invested $258 million back in August 2013.“RideWith is an experiment in the Tel Aviv area that doesn’t compete with Uber,” a Google spokesperson emphasized in an email to the Wall Street Journal.

ridewithscreenshot

Stuck in a potentially sticky situation, Google has limited the number of rides to two a day and restricted how much drivers can get paid. Carpoolers can pay drivers for gas and other charges over the application, but Google will suggest a maximum amount to ensure that drivers aren’t reaping a profit. In addition, Google will take a percentage fee, finally giving Waze a source of profit.

This article was first published on NoCamels - Israeli Innovation News and was re-posted with permission. To continue reading this article on the site, click here.

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