Google-owned navigation company Waze is expanding into a new area, metaphorically and physically. Last year Wave began testing a carpooling app called RideWith, which was only available in Israel. Ten months later, the company is ready to test out the experience in the US.
A name change is accompanying the move. The app Americans will install goes by the name of Waze Rider, while the service itself is called Waze Carpool.
Waze is starting on the West Coast. Specifically, it's kicking things off in San Francisco. There people can use the app to ask for a ride and receive a notification when someone running Waze is willing to pick them up.
Carpooling isn't quite the same as what you experience through Uber and Lyft, which essentially compete with taxis (okay, technically Lyft and Waze have already worked together to produce something similar to this). Nonetheless, money does change hands.
Users have the option to show how much money they're willing to cough up for a ride. This can help compensate for someone's time and gas. It can also encourage a person or two to try to make pocket change driving people around without having to deal with any registration.
Right now Waze Carpool isn't merely limited to people in the Bay Area — it's reserved for a select group of companies and their employees. Employers include Adobe, UCSF, and Walmart Global eCommerce. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that these were chosen in part due to their proximity to Google offices.
Interested users must sign up to join the pilot.