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July 6, 2015

Google trials ride-sharing app to rival Uber

Beta test coming to greater Tel Aviv area.

By Alexander Sword

Google’s online mapping company Waze is launching a carpooling pilot programme in Israel.

The application, RideWith, will use driver’s most common routes to work to match them with fellow commuters aiming to head in the same direction.

According to Reuters, drivers will be limited to two journeys a day and will be unable to earn a salary from RideWith.

This particular feature provides a clear differentiation with ride-sharing app Uber, which has courted controversy and unseated the traditional taxi industry by creating an alternative transport economy.

This beta test will take place in the greater Tel Aviv area. It will build on the Israeli start-up’s existing offering, which allows users to share real-time traffic information to optimise their journeys. It was bought by Google for $1 billion in 2013.

Google’s foray into the ride-sharing market comes as Uber attempts to wean off its reliance on Google Maps. In March, Uber acquired deCarta, giving it access to the deCarta DDS Geospatial Platform, which allows app developers to deploy location functionality using simple APIs.

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