Google announces new carpool service using Waze

Google starts beta testing on its carpooling service to select users

Google-owned satnav app Waze has created a carpooling feature now available to invite only Bay Area users.

Currently, the service requires the use of two different apps to fully function, Waze and Waze Carpool. Drivers will use the Waze app to find riders and riders will use the Waze Carpool app to find a driver.

"Waze Carpool connects riders and drivers with nearly identical commutes based on their home and work addresses," said Waze in a blog post.

The app handles direct payment between the rider and the driver. The cost of the trip will be set in advance for the rider so that the cost of gas is fully covered for the duration of the commute. 

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Waze Carpool is setup to match riders for a one-way ride to and from work, barring users from requesting more than two rides per day. The pilot strives to decrease traffic and meet the needs of those who work in Silicon Valley.

"This employer pilot was developed to meet the needs along the Silicon Valley corridor. We're focused on reducing traffic when it's at its worst - which is rush hour - so Carpool is restricted to morning and evening commute hours," Waze said.

This carpooling pilot places Waze into the same market that Uber and Lyft have begun experimenting in with their own like-minded apps that are also designed to tackle the difficulties of coordinating carpools.

"We're starting on commute routes in the Bay Area with a limited group of employers. We plan to expand as we grow our user base," Waze said.

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