Friday October 19, 2018
Home Lead Story Google Launch...

Google Launches A Car-Pooling Application ‘Waze’

The carpooling fees are supposed to be similar to what it would cost to take a train or type of public transportation to work.

0
//
13
google
The Waze application is displayed on a smartphone in San Francisco. VOA
Republish
Reprint

Google will begin offering its pay-to-carpool service throughout the U.S., an effort to reduce the commute-time congestion that its popular Waze navigation app is designed to avoid.

The expansion announced Wednesday builds upon a carpooling system that Waze began testing two years ago in northern California and Israel before gradually extending it into Brazil and parts of 12 other states.

Now it will be available to anyone in the U.S.

Drivers willing to give someone a ride for a small fee to cover some of their costs for gas and other expenses need only Waze’s app on their phone. Anyone willing to pay a few bucks to hitch a ride will need to install a different Waze app focused on carpooling.

Google
A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company’s offices in Toronto. VOA

About 1.3 million drivers and passengers have signed up for Waze’s carpooling service, the company says. About 30 million people in the U.S. currently rely on the Waze app for directions; it has 110 million users worldwide.

Waze’s carpooling effort has been viewed as a potential first step for Google to mount a challenge to the two top ride-hailing services, Uber and Lyft.

But Waze founder and CEO Noam Bardin rejected that notion in an interview with The Associated Press, insisting that the carpooling service is purely an attempt to ease traffic congestion.

“We don’t want to be a professional driving network,” Bardin said. “We see ride sharing as something that needs to become part of the daily commute. If we can’t get people out of their cars, it won’t be solving anything.”

Google
Anyone willing to pay a few bucks to hitch a ride will need to install a different Waze app focused on carpooling. Flickr

Gartner analyst Mike Ramsey also sees Waze’s service as a bigger threat to other carpooling apps such as Scoop and Carpool Buddy than to Uber and Lyft. “Carpooling is a much different animal,” he said.

It’s a form of transportation that Bardin said Waze had difficulty figuring out. Early on, Waze tried to get more drivers to sign up by emphasizing the economic benefits of having someone help cover gas costs for a trip that they were going to make anyway.

But earlier this year, Waze realized it needed a better formula for connecting strangers willing to ride together in a car. Many women, for instance, only want to ride with other women, Bardin said, while other people enjoy commuting with others who work for the same employer or live in the same neighborhood.

“Carpooling is a more social experience,” Bardin said. “A lot of time those of us working in the digital world forget that social connections are often the most important thing in the real world.”

Google
Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during a news conference in New Delhi. VOA

Waze’s app still sets a price for each carpooling trip and transfers payments without charging a commission. That’s something Waze can afford to do because Google makes so much money from selling digital ads on Waze and its many other services.

Also Read: In India, Carpooling and Ride-Sharing Can Actually Improve Urban Mobility: Uber

The carpooling fees are supposed to be similar to what it would cost to take a train or type of public transportation to work, Bardin said. Drivers and riders can agree to adjust the price upward or downward, but the fees can never exceed the rate the Internal Revenue Service allows for business-related mileage — currently 54.5 cents per mile.

Even though Waze’s carpooling service doesn’t appear to be driven by profit motive, Ramsey isn’t convinced that will always be the case. “I do think Google is realizing that it can’t just keep making all its money from selling ads,” he said. (VOA)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2018 NewsGram

Next Story

Samsung Launches Galaxy S4 Tab

Samsung also announced several offers for those who want to buy the flagship tablet.

0
Samsung, galaxy
Samsung India set to launch Galaxy Tab S4 this week for Rs 60,000. Flickr

Samsung on Thursday launched in India its flagship tablet, Galaxy Tab S4, a new two-in-one Android tablet that comes equipped with Samsung Dex and S Pen for Rs 57,900.

Galaxy Tab S4 sports narrower bezels to fit a 10.5-inch display with Super AMOLED technology, as well as a 16:10 screen ratio.

Powered by a 7,300mAh battery, Galaxy Tab S4 also comes with four speakers tuned by AKG and Dolby Atmos immersive sound technology.

 

galaxy
The redesigned S Pen offers an authentic handwriting experience – suitable for drawing, taking notes, and messaging.

 

“Paired with Samsung Dex and S Pen, Galaxy Tab S4 is designed for those who need something portable like a tablet yet capable like a PC,” Aditya Babbar, General Manager, Mobile Business, Samsung India, told reporters here.

Samsung DeX optimises the user experience for work situations and gives what they want from a PC experience — a big screen, a full-size keyboard and a mouse.

In Standalone mode, one can enjoy a PC-like interface even without a monitor or the “Book Cover” Keyboard, Samsung India said.

In Dual mode, users can connect the tablet to a bigger monitor with an HDMI adapter.

The redesigned S Pen offers an authentic handwriting experience – suitable for drawing, taking notes, and messaging.

galaxy samsung
Powered by a 7,300mAh battery, Galaxy Tab S4 also comes with four speakers tuned by AKG and Dolby Atmos immersive sound technology.

Galaxy Tab S4 will be available from Thursday onwards in black and grey colours on Samsung Online Shop and leading offline retail stores, the South Korean tech giant said, adding that it will also be available on Amazon from October 20 onwards.

Samsung also announced several offers for those who want to buy the flagship tablet.

Those with HDFC Bank credit cards will be able to avail an introductory offer that lets consumers get Rs 5,000 cashback on purchase of Galaxy Tab S4.

Also Read: Honor 8X Launches In India

Moreover, Galaxy Tab S4 customers on Jio 4G, would be entitled to get instant cashback of Rs 2,750 on recharging with Rs 198 or Rs 299 plan.

They would also get double data benefits on every recharge for the next four recharges, Samsung India said. (IANS)