Google is Getting Into Ride Sharing
Google is introducing a ride sharing service in San Francisco that will give Uber a run for its money.
The company, which has also made headway on self-driving cars and traffic alerts, will offer a cheaper option for carpooling commuters, according to the Wall Street Journal. Commuters will be able to connect with drivers headed in the same direction through its traffic alert app, Waze.
The pilot program, open to a few thousand people in the Bay Area, has charged riders about 54 cents a mile, according to WSJ, which is significantly cheaper than either Uber or Lyft.
And while the initial rollout is focused on carpooling, driverless cars are absolutely part of the equation: Google and Uber have both been working on driverless technology, with the latter testing driverless cars this month.
Although Uber made a name for itself with personal drivers, the company has more recently focused on carpool efforts. In New York City, for example, UberPool offers shared rides for most trips around Manhattan for a flat fee of $5.
While Waze's service is more technology-assisted carpool than taxi service, the successful expansion of the program would be a threat to Uber and Lyft.
San Francisco is the second location for Waze's program, after Israel, which now offers the ride sharing service around the clock in much of the country.