Going My Waze
Google is using it’s Waze app to link up riders with drivers who are headed the same way. In the San Francisco area users are able to use the app to get a ride with a driver that is going the same way they want to go. It is more of a car pooling thing than a taxi type app.
Until now the test was restricted to the employees of pre selected companies in the San Francisco area. But, reports confirm that starting this month the service will be open to everyone in the Bay Area.
The main difference between Waze and apps like Uber and lyft is in the “ride share” model. Uber is more like a taxi service and so is Lyft. Waze is basically just trying to fill empty seats on vehicles that are already going to a destination. Google has priced the Waze ride at 54 cents a mile at this time.
Waze is not new
Waze is already well-established as the commuter’s friend. It basically helps drivers avoid traffic back-ups and find alternative routes, using input from other users. Drivers like it, but some neighborhoods are experiencing increased cut-through traffic on residential streets.
The Waze experiment is unique to the U.S. The model has been in use in Israel for the last year or so. Waze was developed in Israel and purchased by Google in 2013.
In another departure from the Uber/Lyft model, Google will reportedly not be vetting its drivers, relying instead on reviews from consumers to weed out bad folks. Anyone with the Waze app can sign up to be a driver.
Search for a Ride with Waze
So much of the traffic data that is available in the Waze app is user generated. Meaning, that many of the users update the traffic conditions as they travel. That is the appeal. Because honestly, who likes to get caught in a traffic jam. The more user information that Google can collect the better they will be able to serve the users of the app.
Search engines work on the same principle. It is the feed back of users and user interaction the fuels the engine. I have no predictions at this time but, the more Google can get out of a map application the more influence they will have over the same users that are helping Google accumulate such mass amounts of data. For now lets just say the Waze app has the possibility of helping our planet and helping folks get around town. Oh, and the driver gets a little gas money.
If you are intrested in how search engines might affect your company, please give us a call. We get excited talking search engines and how they have helped so many of our clients move up and prosper.
Thank You, Joseph Baffy