Waze Carpool Service Eyes Bigger US, Latin America Expansion

It's no secret that Waze has a ride-sharing service but it is also no secret that it isn't aiming to compete with the likes of Uber and Lyft. At least not yet. Those two giants, however, should probably be a bit more wary regardless, especially in light of recent news. Speaking with the Wall Street Journal, Waze head Noam Bardin revealed plans to expand to more US cities beyond San Francisco, even reaching as far as Latin America. This could pretty much set the stage for a sudden change of direction should Waze decide to fully commercialize its Carpool service.

Unlike Uber and Lyft, which has become more like on-demand taxi services, Waze Carpool sticks true to its name. It connects drivers and riders that are really traveling on the same route. But more importantly, unlike either Uber and Lyft, Waze Carpool isn't a revenue-generating service. At least not yet.

In addition to limiting drivers to two rides a day, Waze's doesn't charge much per ride, only going just a little over public transit. That's pretty much the point to the service, which aims to get people on the same route to share a ride rather than take use their own cars. It was envisioned to help reduce the number of cars on the road. Uber and Lyft, in contrast, have actually increased that number because of potential income.

That's not to say, however, that Waze Carpool couldn't turn into something slightly similar. Expanding its territories could be a way for it to enter those cities without raising competitors' alarms. So far, however, it doesn't seem to be interested just yet in that prospect. It has been very slow in expanding its ability, which started in its home country of Israel before slowly making its way to San Francisco and the Bay Area. Bardin has not yet named which cities will get the carpooling service first nor when.