Google is making the move onto Uber’s turf with Waze, a community-based traffic and navigation and carpooling app.
With Waze, drivers in each other’s areas can share real-time traffic info and even share a car ride.
At this stage, Waze Carpool is only available by invite-only to a select group of employers and their commuters in the Bay Area, San Francisco.
While Uber is an online transportation network (glorified taxi service), Waze Carpool focuses solely on covering costs, not generating an income.
At most, Waze says drivers will receive 2 ride requests daily, located on their existing commute route at the time they’re driving on it.
However, riders should pitch in for gas, making it a great way for drivers to save on commute costs.
Another innovative feature of the app is its hands free option. There are voice-controlled settings to keep the users hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road.
The hands-free feature even allows drivers to *vocally* report any incidents that pop up along the way. Waze was acquired by Google in 2013 and its entry into ride-sharing space could pose a strong competition to Uber.
Even though Google reportedly invested $258m in Uber in 2013, it seems the two companies may come head to head. Uber had also been using Google’s mapping software for its driving service, but has recently started to develop its own maps.
In March of this year Google release Waze 4.0, with an updated look, faster access to destinations, easier reporting, improved alerts and an overall better driving experience.