Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) subsidiary Google plans to expand its ride-sharing service in a bid to challenge Uber and Lyft, according to a new report.
After a successful trial run in Israel and San Francisco, the tech giant has decided to launch its Waze navigation application in more U.S. cities and in Latin America, the Wall Street Journal (via Fortune) reported.
The company will start rolling out the service in new markets over the next few months.
Waze is a GPS-based navigation application that was first developed by the Israeli company Waze Mobile. In 2013, Google bought Waze Mobile in a deal valued at $1.1 billion. As of June 2013, there were nearly 50 million Waze users, reported by Yahoo.
Waze is different from Uber and Lyft. It does not work as an on-demand taxi service. Rather, the Waze app is designed to “persuade regular drivers using its navigation app to pick up people who are heading in the same direction,” the WJS reported.
“Can we get the average person on his way to work to pick someone up and drop them off once in a while? That’s the biggest challenge,” Waze CEO Noam Bardin was quoted as saying by the Journal.
Moreover, Waze’s prices are different from Uber and Lyft.
A ride from downtown Oakland, Calif. to downtown San Francisco costs $4.50, where the same trip using either UberPool or Lyft Line is $10.57 and $12.40, respectively, according to the Journal.