The Google-owned Israeli online mapping company Waze, which was acquired by Google more than two years ago, is launching a carpooling pilot program in Israel where commuters pay fellow drivers a small fee for a ride to and from work.
The new application, RideWith, will use Waze’s navigation system to identify which routes cars take most often, and try to pair drivers with people looking to travel to the same destinations. Drivers will also be limited to two journeys each day, thus serving as a deterrent for those seeking to build a business out of it.
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According to a report in Reuters, the new app will launch as a pilot first in Tel Aviv, Israel, given that Waze first came to fruition in Israel back in 2006. It has long been rumored that Google to be launching a ride-hailing service, but it was expected to involve autonomous cars.
How it works
RideWith will be uploaded to the Google Play app store, for the Israeli users holding Android phones. On the passengers side – they will have to enter two locations from where they will take the ride, their destination, and the times they wish to travel.
Waze will send the relevant driver an alert asking whether he is willing to pick up passengers. The alert will be sent only to relevant drivers, whose route is known on Waze to overlap with the passenger’s. At the end of this process, the passenger will receive prior confirmation. In addition, the passenger will be able to look at the driver’s route in advance and in real time.
According to Israeli Haaretz, Google will publish a recommended price according to the distance of the shared ride, but it will also set a maximum price. The price for a ride from Tel Aviv to Herzliya will be 13 shekels ($3.46). Transfer of the money from the passenger to the driver will be done by means of the application. Google is expected to take a fee of 15 percent from the price of the ride and this in effect is the new income model for Waze.