Watch out, Uber: Google's Waze Carpool service is expanding

You probably have a ride-sharing platform of choice already, but you may soon have one more to add to your repertoire: the Waze Carpool service is expanding.

Google-owned Waze has been running a pilot program for its spin on ride-sharing in the San Francisco Bay Area and Israel, but over the coming months Carpool will put rubber to the road in several more US cities and Latin America, reports the Wall Street Journal, which interviewed Waze boss Noam Bardin about the expansion plans.

Unlike Uber and Lyft - services that rely on paid drivers - the idea behind Waze Carpool is to match passengers with driving Wazers who are already making a trip. Drivers and passengers are paired by the similarity of their commutes based on their work and home addresses, according to Waze Carpool's FAQ

One big plus of Waze Carpool is that trips are less expensive than those with more established ride-sharing players because passengers are basically just splitting gas money; the Waze Carpool rate currently doesn't exceed the US federal mileage charge of 54 cents per mile, however the rate may tick up by 15 percent should Carpool finds its footing.

Some downsides of Waze Carpool are that it's not an on-demand service like Uber and Lyft, making it so passengers need to book rides well in advance and decreasing the chances they'll get a ride during non-commute times. Waze Carpool also only allows for one passenger per ride.

While introducing another option to get from Point A to Point B is a tantalizing prospect - especially one that aims to reduce traffic congestion - it's not clear when a wider Waze Carpool roll out will happen, or what cities it will come to.

TechRadar asked Waze for more information on the service expansion plans, and received this statement from Josh Fried, head of business development for Waze Carpool: 

"In early February, Waze announced the completed roll out of Waze Carpool in the San Francisco Bay Area, including in nine Bay Area counties and from Sacramento to Monterey," Fried said. "We look forward to potentially bringing Carpool to additional cities in the future but have no details to share at this time."

Via Engadget

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.