Waze kicks off ride-sharing service as Google’s alternative to Uber image

The navigation app has quickly become one the most useful driver aids out there, and now the Google-owned company is looking to further enhance its functionality.

The Internet giant seems ready to take on ride-sharing powerhouses like Uber and Lyft by announcing the ride-share service component through Waze. The technology company has initiated a pilot program around its headquarters in California since May and it has been connecting area workers with fellow commuters using the Waze app. The service is focused on approximately 25,000 workers from several important firms in the region – Adobe, Wal-Mart, and of course, Google.

Uber and Lyft – which are more akin to on-demand taxi services – are a bit different from what Google offers through Waze. The latter’s intention is to connect people with drivers going in the same general direction – and it’s very close to a carpool service. The program is also costing up to 54 cents per mile, less than Uber or Lyft and because Google is not taking any fees it also wants to discourage people from working as taxi drivers. Now it appears the company wants to expand the program to the major San Francisco area and could also implement the autonomous rides through the new service.

Via WSJ.com