Watch out Uber, Lyft, and all of the other ridesharing companies out there. Google just began to test a new carpooling service through their maps app, Waze.
Currently, Waze Carpool is invite only for people that work at specific companies in the Bay Area, including Google. Waze Carpool is designed to automatically match people based on their home/work address and departure time. On the Waze Carpool website, they state:
“For years, Waze has established a trusted community of drivers, with millions of Wazers helping each other beat traffic on the fastest routes. Since so many people are already using Waze to get to work, why not help a fellow commuter heading in the same direction?”
Though the Waze Carpool service looks a lot like Uber and Lyft’s apps, the aim is not for each driver to make a profit. Rather, they will only exchange $0.54 a mile, which happens to be the IRS reimbursement rate for business travel. This is important from a regulatory standpoint because car insurance policies in states including California covers “not for profit, share-the-expense carpooling.” This may help Waze Carpool avoid the insurance issues that have plagued Uber and Lyft.
For those who are interested, you can watch a Waze Carpool video that Google has released.
What are your thoughts on Waze Carpool’s future?