• Waze Logo

Waze Logo (Photo : Facebook )

Google is now operating its own ride-sharing service in San Francisco via a mobile app that competes directly with Uber. The Alphabet company's new offering that launched as a pilot program in May uses its Waze app to connect commuters for carpooling to work. This move follows Alphabet executive David Drummond recently leaving Uber's board of directors.

Like Us on Facebook

The Wall Street Journal reported Google's new business going live. Its plan is reportedly to offer the program this fall to all San Francisco residents. If the project is successful it will expand to other areas.

Google's taxi service is a little different from Uber's ride-sharing service since it connects riders and drivers who are traversing public roads in the same direction.  

Google's fees will also be lower than Uber. The tech company's goal is to keep the service a peer-to-peer system instead of one that includes professional drivers like Uber and Lyft.

In fact, Waze Carpool is not designed as a money-maker but instead as a ride-sharing platform to provide cheap commutes. The maximum fare is 54 cents per mile, which is the most the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recommends companies repay their workers for business travel, according to Quartz

In the past Waze used crowdsourced navigation to report roadway news including traffic jams, accidents, and storms. Google bought Waze in 2013. The crowdsourced data was then included in the Google Maps app, according to Tech Crunch.

Google's pilot program originally included about 25,000 Bay Area employees of big tech companies, and up to two rides per day. However, the new expansion will include all riders and drivers who use the Waze app.    

Google and Uber could be developing ride-sharing programs to launch robot taxis later. Recent changes to the tech titan's unit suggest it is planning to bring its autonomous vehicles (AVs) to market.

This seems to be a change from Google making big investments in the transportation company during the past. The search giant even added Uber to its Google Maps app. However, Uber now seems to be interested in becoming totally free from Google Maps.     

Uber has recently spent a lot of money on mass-market services. That includes UberCommute in Chicago that has similar services and pricing as Waze Carpool.

Here's how to use the Waze app: