Google’s Waze is making a big, nationwide bet on carpooling

For many drivers, Waze is a mobile app that spoils annoying traffic congestion. Now the alphabet-owned company is making a dangerous move to the riding – or more specifically, the carpool. Wednesday Waze announced that it will launch Waze Carpool nationwide. Waze Carpool is a dedicated app that gives rides to people traveling along a similar path.

Waze Carpool, first launched in the Bay Area in 2016, has since expanded to five states in Israel, the country of origin of Waze. The company says commuters want to use "superior routing technology" to fill vacancies and help reduce the number of cars on the road. With more than 100 million monthly active user communities around the world, Waze Carpool has a major focus on the impact on daily traffic habits.

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Waze Carpool allows riders and drivers to choose a carpool friend. The company says that the "best match" (closest to the preferred route or colleague in the same shift) appears at the top of the list and payment will be processed within the app. Connecting the driver and rider at Waze Carpool is more efficient when more drivers and riders sign it.

What Waze offers is very different from Uber and Lyft's respective carpool services. The driver is paired with almost the same commuter depending on the home and work address. In California, Waze Carpool Riders are charged a maximum of 54 cents per mile. This is the current IRS refund rate for business trips by car. And driver and rider are limited to two rides a day. This is not a service to make money. Rather, Google's attempt to test water in a growing passenger car market

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Waze Carpool is now partnering with other technology companies to expand rapidly throughout the country. Beginning October 10, Waze Carpool says Amazon employees will be able to access 50 Amazon Fulfillment Center sites via capillary flex. The company is also working with cities, businesses, transit agencies and civic organizations to build up their presence.

Waze will hold an event on Wednesday about the service in New York City.

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