Waze has pretty much established its presence as a GPS Navigation app that also features some social media/community features. Through the app, users can interact and give insights about routes in order to help or alert other people. The app made so much success, that attracted Google’s interest. The search giant bought Waze but kept the app’s regular operations. It just implemented some of its features in its own Google Maps. Back in 2016, Waze decided to kickstart a carpooling service through the Waze Carpool app. The pilot project was launched in Israel and rolled out to other countries including the US and Brazil. Today, however, Google decided to shut down the Waze Carpool.
There is no demand to justify Waze Carpool’s existence anymore
According to the report, the Waze Carpool service has diminished in popularity. Although Waze keeps its usual popularity, carpooling lost its appeal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This isn’t a big surprise, since the pandemic has greatly impacted services and other stuff that were marked by people’s agglomeration. Waze Carpool was basically a service that allowed people to share the car for a particular route. A service like this could withstand COVID-19 and its effects on society. So, the company announced the ending of the Waze Carpool service for September.
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You may be wondering, why the decision comes now that COVID-19 is basically under control thanks to the vaccines. Well, according to the company the way people travel in the present days is much different from the pre-pandemic times. In a statement made to The Verge, Waze says it will keep offering real-time insights and serve people who rely on the app for accurate traffic-related information during their journey. The shutdown of Waze Carpool will impact users in the US, Mexico, Brazil, and Israel, where the company has its roots.
According to a spokesperson, Waze wants to focus on decongesting traffic in cities and solve other “mobility problems”. These involve cost, sustainability, and safety. The company also shares data on people’s driving habits post-COVID. The amount of miles on the road is finally increasing after a decrease in the COVID-19 times.
Worth noting that are still some alternatives for ride-sharing such as Lifty. Apparently, Google just does not see a reason for investing its resources in Waze Carpool when the niche of users is quite limited.