Navigation app Waze today announced the nationwide rollout of Waze Carpool [Direct Link], a separate app that is specifically dedicated to allowing users to pick up rides with other passengers on the same route. Waze Carpool launched as a test in the Bay Area in 2016 and slowly expanded to additional states throughout the years, but this marks the first wide availability of the service (via The Verge).
Waze says it uses the original app's routing technology to help commuters find the fastest routes that they can carpool in, filling empty seats in a vehicle and reducing the amount of vehicles on the road. Waze Carpool offers the "best match" for riders and drivers, like those closest to a preferred route or a co-worker on the same shift.
These matches will be at the top of the app, as well as information on the driver or rider's rating, amount of rides, friends, and job information. Users can customize search preference for drivers or co-riders, including toggles for the same gender only or coworkers only.
The Verge explains that Waze Carpool differs from Uber and Lyft's own carpool apps because drivers are paired with riders "with nearly identical commutes based on home and work addresses." Drivers and riders are also limited to two rides per day, meaning that Waze Carpool is not a money-making service for drivers.
In an effort to grow the service, Waze is partnering with companies like Amazon and other businesses.
Now that it’s nationwide, Waze Carpool will be leaning on partnerships with other tech companies in order to scale rapidly. Starting on October 10th, Waze Carpool says it will be available at 50 Amazon Fulfillment Center sites, allowing Amazon employees to carpool to work together. The company is also partnering with cities, businesses, transit agencies, and civic organizations as it seeks to grow its presence.
Last month, Waze for iOS was updated with support for CarPlay on devices running iOS 12. With CarPlay support, iPhone users who prefer to use Waze for mapping purposes can do so through the CarPlay interface, something that was not possible with iOS 11.