Waze to extend its service with carpooling
Traffic guiding system, Waze, will offer carpooling services in all of America. The Israeli start-up, acquired by Google in 2013, with almost 110 million users worldwide, wants to be present in all kind of mobility aspects. After being tested in five American states, Waze Carpool was first launched in Israel, before it was introduced all over the United States on Wednesday evening.
Reducing car traffic
“The carpooling service will certainly be offered in France as well”, says Fej Shmuelevitz, vice-president of Waze and responsible for operations. It will probably become a serious competitor for French BlaBlaCar, that is active in 22 countries and claims to serve 35 million members today. In August 2017, Blablacar announced an integration with Google Maps to include its car pool service as one of the options proposed by the app.
Waze sees its service also as a kind of preparation on the advent of the self-driving car. “When the autonomous car will actually be there, it has to be able to finds its way… and people have to be able to find their car”, says Fej Shmuelevitz. Carpooling is a way of reducing car traffic and improving traffic flow as well, especially in large urban centres.
Waze also counts on profound relations with local groups to fine-tune the quality of its services. “Cities can have free access to all our traffic data”, explains Fej Shmuelevitz. “It can help them to improve their traffic signs.” Users of Waze can provide information about traffic incidents or condition of the roads.
Waze, however, is still considered a ‘disturbing element’, guiding people to streets and zones where traffic is not wanted, like residential areas and school zones, although it would be perfectly possible to warn drivers which zones might be forbidden for them according to the type of engine of their car.