Waze has begun a limited trial run of its new carpooling service called RideWith. The app aims to match people on similar routes and make it easier to find a carpool to and from work. It is currently only available in Waze’s home country of Israel, but it should be expanding to the rest of the world over time.
RideWith allows individuals to upload their commute info, and then it will be the matched with drivers who share a similar route. Of course, the transport itself won’t be free; although RideWith will not be designed to allow drivers to draw a salary from it. Instead, the app will calculate an amount that the rider will have to reimburse to the driver based on mileage and car value depreciation. Waze will still charge users a small administrative fee, but any payment should otherwise be more along the lines of contributing money for petrol.
This is a small, but important, difference when compared to popular ridesharing service Uber. Uber drivers use the service to make a profit, either full time or as extra income. The lack of regulations to deal with this sort of service has caused the company to face numerous legal challenges, as well as fierce opposition from existing taxi associations and unions.
It would make sense for Waze to avoid all these problems with RideWith. Simply carpooling is not illegal, and it appears that the company is looking to simply match people who have similar routes to work. Waze admits that there might be limited number of drivers available for any given route during the limited test, and will open up more areas for carpooling once more drivers sign up with the app.
[Source: Waze Blog]