Google Waze Expands Ride-Sharing Service

Alphabet Inc. ’s Google has quietly opened its Waze ride-sharing service to San Francisco-area users, expanding a pilot program and confirming the company’s interest in the lucrative ride-hailing industry.

Smartphone users in the San Francisco area now can download a mobile app called Waze Rider to request rides to and from work from drivers using Google’s popular Waze navigation app. Google in May launched a test of the carpool service for workers at several area employers, but the service has been gradually rolling out to San Francisco-area users for several weeks, Google confirmed Thursday.

The Wall Street Journal reported Google’s ride-sharing plans in August.

The Waze service puts Google in more direct competition with ride-hailing incumbents Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. But there are differences. Uber and Lyft drivers largely operate as taxi drivers, while Google wants the Waze service to match riders and drivers already headed in the same direction. Article published on WSJ

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