Car Culture

Waze Carpool expands nationwide

Waze is trying to prevent humanity from being eaten by a traffic beast of its own creation.

Instead of being paired with some rando, it's up to the driver to choose who they want in their car.

Waze

Does it feel like traffic gets worse every time you go outside, like a boa constrictor slowly squeezing every inch of joy and life out of you? Well, there's something you can do about it, and Waze Carpool is it.

The GPS app announced Wednesday that its Waze Carpool service has launched nationwide, after operating in a limited number of cities up till now. The premise is pretty simple: If you're a Waze user heading somewhere and you have an extra seat, you can offer up an empty seat in the car to somebody going the same way. You get paid, they get a ride, Bob's your uncle.

Waze Carpool lets you be as picky as you want when it comes to selecting someone to sit shotgun. You're never force-matched with somebody -- it's up to the driver to determine the passenger, which can be done using filters that let you focus your search on coworkers, classmates or people with whom you share mutual friends. When it comes time to pay, that's handled through the app, too.

As for the navigation side of things, it's the same ol' Waze we've all come to know and appreciate. It'll know when you're carpooling and offer up routing that includes HOV lanes to help save a bit of time on the commute. And if you and some riders commit to the same route every day, rides can be scheduled up to a week in advance and the app allows for customizable groups, making it easier to connect with riders you already know.

If you plan on doing both driving and riding, you'll need two apps. The traditional Waze app, available for both iPhone and Android, will handle the driver's side of things, while the Waze Carpool app (also available for iPhone and Android) will be what riders use. Waze is offering riders $2 in credit and $20 referrals -- cash for drivers, credits for riders -- for a limited time to help get as many people on the app as quickly as possible.