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Waze Testing Carpooling Service in San Francisco

Tim Maytom

waze.jpgGoogle-owned mapping firm Waze has begun testing a dedicated carpooling app in San Francisco that will be trialled by 250,000 workers around the Bay Area as the company perfects its software.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, businesses including Adobe, Walmart eCommerce and the University of California, San Francisco will all be involved in the trials, which will see workers encouraged to download the new Waze Rider app, which can be used to flag rides.

Users are encouraged to pay drivers for travelling with them, with Waze suggesting a rate of 15c (10p) a mile. In the pilot program, Waze will not take a cut of the payments, although in a similar pilot last year in its native Tel Aviv, the company took a 15 per cent commission of driver fees.

"This is kind of an extension of what we do at Waze, to build this trusted community," said Josh Fired, head of partner development for Waze's carpooling project.

Waze was bought by Google in 2013 for $1.3bn (£897m). The firm's core app enables drivers to notify each other of heavy traffic, accidents, police speed traps and other obstructions on the road, and boasts over 50m monthly active users. The company also offers a traffic reporting service for broadcasters, providing them with real-time travel data.