Car Industry

Google to bring Waze-based ridesharing to San Francisco

It's not exactly an Uber competitor. In fact, Google hopes that its users *won't* end up turning into taxi drivers.

Screenshot by Daniel Van Boom/CNET
waze-iphone.jpg

54 cents per mile is significantly cheaper than what Uber or Lyft charges, but again, there are large fundamental differences between what they do and what Google's doing.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

The ridesharing horse isn't dead, but goodness, tech companies sure are beating it like it is. There's yet another ridesharing outfit opening up in the San Francisco area, but unlike many others, it's not a startup. In fact, it's the opposite -- it's Google.

That's right, The Big G is getting into the ridesharing game, although I suppose a more appropriate name for its service would be commutesharing. The company is set to expand a small pilot program where users can hail a ride through the Waze app, The Wall Street Journal reports, the idea being that you can connect with regular folks who happen to share the same commute.

That's the big difference from Uber or Lyft right there. Its pilot program currently chargers riders 54 cents a mile, and Google doesn't get a cut. That's not enough to turn it into a job, which is fine, because Google doesn't want to turn it into a job. That wouldn't improve commutes -- it would put more cars on the road in the hunt for cash money. As the program currently stands, the money you'd make from offering up a seat would cover some gas or maybe a quick lunch.

Its pilot program allows folks to sign up as riders or drivers. Right now, riders are limited to two rides per day, because it's only supposed to be used for commuting. Drivers are not considered employees of Google, and the WSJ's source told the outlet that drivers would be vetted based on user reviews.

This actually isn't the first Waze-related foray into ridesharing. Google operates a similar carpooling scheme in Israel, and it was popular enough to expand to a full-time service, operating all around the country.

Now Playing: Watch this: AutoComplete: GM teases its Army-spec Colorado fuel cell...
1:21