Google has been preparing to expand a carpooling program of San Francisco and this bold move by Google can possibly result in showdown with its one time ally, one of the most popular rides hailing service, Uber. The plans are ready to build upon a test service that Google’s navigation app Waze which was launched 3 months ago in the Bay area of San Francisco. The program is made to allow anyone using the Waze app from Google to offer a ride to a limited pool of people who are trying to get to home or work.
Now, only people working at six companies, including Google, Wall Mart Stores and Adobe Systems, can request rides. The tests have worked well enough to encourage Waze to move into the next phase and allow anyone in the Bay Area with its app to request a ride by the end of this year, spokeswoman Julie Mossler said. Inviting more people to hitch rides could undercut Uber, which allows people to request drivers who provide a taxi service using their own cars. Unlike Uber, Waze isn’t trying to make money for itself or the drivers offering to share a ride. Instead, Waze sets a variable fee of up to 54 cents per mile to reimburse the drivers for gasoline and maintenance on their vehicles. The riders pay that fee.
Google has previously gone to battle with its former allies. In the most prominent instance, then-CEO Eric Schmidt served on Apple’s board for three years, but stepped down in 2009 as Google’s Android operating system for smartphones began undercut sales of Apple’s iPhone. Before he died in 2011, Apple CEO Steve Jobs told his biographer that he believed Google had stolen ideas conceived for the iPhone’s software to create Android. Comment below and let us know if Waze is going to be the next big thing.