Google Pilots Carpooling Program That Could Challenge Uber
If there is any company that can challenge Uber, it’s probably Google.
While it’s too soon to tell whether Google will go full force against the ridesharing service, the tech giant is piloting a carpooling technology that, if rolled out globally, could be a roadblock to Uber in its quest for world domination.
Called RideWith, the Android-only pilot program of the carpooling app is being rolled out by the Israel-based, Google-owned social traffic app Waze. The pilot program is operating in the heavily trafficked Gush Dan region in Israel, according to a blog post published by Waze today.
The target customer for the RideWith app is neighbors heading the same direction for work. The app is only available in typical rush hours and carpoolers only pay drivers for gas and wear and tear on the car. The app makes a suggestion on what the fare should be based on mileage and the driver and rider decide to either accept or reject the estimate.
Waze is not committing to the program long term just yet.
“We are conducting a small, private beta test in Tel Aviv for a carpool concept. Waze regularly experiments with new ideas in our backyard, and we have nothing specific to announce at this time,” said Julie Mossler, Head of Global Communications at Waze, in an emailed statement.
Catherine Clifford is senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC. She was formerly a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com, the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Clifford attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.