Uber always calls its car-on-demand service “ridesharing,” mostly as a way to get around accusations of running an illegal taxi service. But what if an app that knew millions of people’s destinations started offering actual rideshares for cheap? Enter Google, via its insanely popular navigation app Waze.
Waze Carpool is brutally simple: anyone who wants a ride opens up the Waze Riders app (currently in an invite-only beta). They plug in their destination, and are then matched with any regular Waze user who is already going in that direction. Unlike Uber or Lyft, drivers don’t take requests — the app is the digital equivalent of carpooling to work with colleagues, not taking a taxi.