Google parent Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has announced the launch of its ride-sharing service in San Francisco. The Waze service will now compete with other carpooling services such as Uber.
The Waze navigation app was originally launched in July last year in Israel which is where it was created. Google has made the next step and expanded it to the US with San Francisco as the first market where the company plans to test it out. The company has not revealed why it selected San Francisco as the first site, but the city seems to be the ideal place for such startups. Lyft and Uber have also been testing out the service the Bay Area.
Waze is, however, using a different strategy than that used by the ride-sharing rivals. The service targets techies who no longer want to use taxis. The carpooling service will start out with over 25,000 employees of various companies that will drive workers from the city to the bay area. Employees can download the Waze app and use it to hail rides. They can also use the app to pay the drivers.
The service will be available to select employers and employees by invitation. Additionally, two apps will be involved. One app will be used by employees to hail the rides and another the drivers will use to find riders. The service will connect drivers to riders that use the same route based on their homes and work places. Waze uses its advanced mapping service to connect riders from the same community, therefore making it easier for the service to offer a satisfying service where there is no conflict of direction.
Carpooling is turning out to be the norm, and it is becoming widely accepted. Companies like Uber and Alphabet want to take advantage of this by bringing in services that will make ride-sharing easier and more comfortable. Google’s entry into the carpooling business means the competition will be tighter.