Google and Waze are launching RideWith in Israel, a ride-sharing app to compete with Uber

PictureWaze, the social online mapping app acquired by Google two years ago for $1 billion, is launching a beta version of a carpooling service called RideWith this week in Tel Aviv, Israel. 

Google and Waze will release the app for one week only as a pilot project to collect data and analyze results to further tweak the app for a much larger and more elaborate launch across Israel and cities abroad.

Waze, the Israeli navigation company, told Reuters,
“We’re conducting a small, private beta test in the greater Tel Aviv area for a carpool concept, but we have nothing further to announce at this time,”
PictureThe goal of RideWith is to connect passengers to their workplaces with drivers making a similar trip. Unlike Uber, drivers will have strict limitations on how many trips they can make in a day. RideWith drivers will be limited to two trips a day, and only to and from their neighborhoods and workplaces.

The passenger will pay the driver a nominal fee determined by the distance of the commute. The rate suggested by Google for a trip from Tel Aviv to Herzliya will be 13 shekels ($3.46, or £2.21). The new ride sharing service is designed in such a way that drivers will not be able to transform it into a business, but will only be reimbursed for the time and the gas they provided during the commute. RideWith’s concept is an eco-friendly service designed to mitigate some of the fierce criticism Uber generates and they do not expect to face any of the regulatory issues Uber often does.

Google currently owns five percent of Uber, which functions from their Google Maps products. This gives Google plenty of insight into the data and patterns of the ride-sharing market. This will undoubtedly create a strain in the relationship between Google and Uber, which could potentially cause Uber to migrate away from Google Maps and their software. 

Haaretz describes how RideWith is different from others but expected to be competive:
The RideWith model is different from the GetTaxi, Uber and Lyft services but it is expected to compete with them. The three taxi services are encountering significant regulatory barriers, as in many countries training and licensing are required for providers of transportation services. Uber X is arousing the most opposition, as it enables owners of private cars to provide cab services, even on a causal basis.Picture

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