Google moves into car-pooling

Travel News 02 Sep 2016

Google is launching its own ride-sharing service as it looks to directly compete with Uber in the fiercely competitive taxi market.

According to the Wall Street Journal Google began a pilot programme in May around its headquarters in California that enables workers to connect with other commuters and offer rides similar to carpooling but at a cost.

Google is using its Waze traffic app to operate this service – The Waze app offers real-time driving directions and updates on traffic jams in order to help drivers get to their destination as fast as possible.

Google plans to open the programme to all San Francisco Waze users this autumn.

The technology giant said it aims to make fares low enough to discourage drivers from operating as taxi drivers. Waze’s current pilot program charges riders at most 54 cents a mile—less than most Uber and Lyft rides—and, for now, Google doesn’t take a fee.

The service will be similar to UberPool, which connects riders with drivers who are heading in the same direction or destination.

In 2013, Google invested $258 million in Uber but more recently have become rivals. Alphabet, Google’s holding company, announced this week that its executive David Drummond had resigned from Uber’s board because of rising competition.