Waze will expand its carpool service (a true “ride-sharing” service) through more of California in the coming week, according to recent reports. This expansion will see the Los Angeles metro area gain access to the potentially useful service.
To be more specific, beginning June 6th, Waze Carpool app users in California will be able to hitch rides (sharing costs) with drivers/commuters headed in the same direction as them — potentially allowing commuting costs to be notably cut for some people. Of course, this should also cut the number of vehicles on the road.
Previous to this rollout, Waze Carpool services have only been available to app users in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“Carpooling takes density and doing it on a limited capacity, you can only learn so much,” commented Josh Fried, head of Waze Carpool, in an interview with Reuters. “We wanted to expand to a Waze hub. It’s our first attempt to see if we can go big into a region.”
As we explained in some of our earlier coverage of the Waze Carpool service, users/riders pay less than they would through the use of Uber/Lyft-style on-demand taxi services — the idea being to simply cut fuel costs for the driver by picking up those headed in the same direction as them, not to work as a taxi driver. This ride rate is capped at the federal mileage rate of $.54 per mile, apparently.
It should probably be noted here that as of right now, Waze/Google doesn’t take a cut, as on-demand taxi services of course do. This will reportedly be changing at some point, Fried noted, after “the quality of the service is high enough to warrant this.”
Commenting on the company’s sister firm Waymo and its focus on self-driving vehicle tech, Fried stated: “We have two different roadmaps.” He then noted that it will probably be a decade or so before self-driving vehicles hit the market — an apparently different timeline than the one that Waymo is targeting.
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