According to a new report emerging today, Google is taking its Waze service to the next level, a level which will see the app competing with the likes of Uber no less. The information comes from a new report from the Wall Street Journal and is based on information received by a "person familiar with the matter". According to those details, Waze is planning to start offering a new ride-sharing service through the app.
At the moment the information notes the service is only expected to go live in San Francisco initially and this is said to be beginning sometime in the fall. However, the person familiar with the matter does seem to be confirming that the San Francisco roll out is only a testing format and if it proves to be successful, the service is expected to expand to other cities and areas. Although there are no details provided on what sort of time-frame should be expected for such a wider rolling out. To be clear, this is a service which Google had already launched, although the original launching of the Waze carpooling service was a closed service and only accessible to a select number of companies within a select area of San Francisco. What seems to be the case now is that the service will become open to everyone in San Francisco.
The way the service works is that you download the Waze app and it allows those interested to find people nearby who are going in the same direction as you and therefore, arrange to go in the same direction together. This seems to be one of the key differentiating factors between Waze's new service and the likes of Uber, as instead of requesting drivers, the app unites people with drivers who are already going in a similar direction to them. A factor which is believed could also help to reduce the cost of the service and certainly make it lower than obtaining a ride through Uber, Lyft, or any of the other driver-for-hire services around. Of course, this does mean that the success of such a service will highly depend on how many drivers sign up to the service, as it seems financial rewards for driving someone is unlikely to be one of the main selling points to drivers – it will only be financially beneficial to drivers if they are going in that direction anyway.