Waze, Google-owned mapping company, is testing a ride-sharing initiative that will help users share rides with fellow commuters going in the same direction.
The new app, named RideWith, is now in its testing phase in Tel Aviv, Israel, which is the home city of Waze. The app allows users to find people who are traveling to the same direction they wish to go to. The drivers are compensated for the cost of traveling through the app.
This is just beta testing of RideWith, which began on July 6. The company expects to have thousands of beta testers for the app but it is not confirmed by the company if the test will be available in other countries, too. According to Haaretz, there are around 200,000 employees in Israel who use carpool services daily.
The app is not introduced as an Uber competitor, though. To avoid regulatory issues, the company has decided to run the facility only during rush hours, and one driver is allowed to accept only such rides during the day.
Uber is still experiencing huge growth even after five years of launch, and the international market for ride-sharing is strong enough to sustain growth. Waze is an unlikely competitor in this context but owing to the increasing demand of tech-savvy users, the service may eventually become a successful one.
Julie Mossler, a spokesperson for Waze, tells WIRED, “We are conducting a small, private beta test in Tel Aviv for a carpool concept.” She added, “Waze regularly experiments with new ideas in our backyard, and we have nothing specific to announce at this time.”
Waze is a company based in Israel that was acquired by Google in 2013 for $1 billion. The company has experimented a lot with the mapping system. Currently, RideWith is in no competition with other taxi service companies such as Uber, Lyft and Gett but if it rolls out to other countries, it can be a competition as far as morning commute is concerned.