While on-demand, crowdsourced taxi services such as Uber and Lyft are often referred to as being “ride-sharing” services, the truth is they have practically next to nothing to do with “true” ride-sharing in most circumstances. (Yes, I’m aware that there are some markets where Uber is now offering actual ride-sharing, whereby riders get a lower fare if they share the trip with others.)
Sensing an opportunity, it seems that Google will be rectifying the situation and launching a “true” ride-sharing (carpool) service in the Bay Area based on Waze this fall, according to recent reports.
Rather than simply being an on-demand taxi service utilizing crowdsourced drivers, the Google service will reportedly “connect drivers and potential passengers going along the same route via the navigation app.”
Engadget provides more: “The new Waze Commute will launch this fall and unlike Lyft and Uber, won’t act like an on-demand hailing platform for trips around town. Instead it’ll be similar to the ad-hoc casual carpool system where someone gets a ride from another person based on their commute route. The service is already available in Israel. In the Bay Area, the pilot is currently limited to select employers that have signed up for the service. While drivers would use the same app they currently employ to get directions, potential passengers would use the Waze Rider app. According to the WSJ, the drivers will only make about $.54 a mile. Not exactly the kind of money you would make driving for Uber or Lyft. Instead, Google is hoping to grant commuters a way to make giving strangers a ride a bit more formal.”
An interesting thing to do. I wonder if enough people will be interested in making use of the service to make it a success?
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