Waze’s main hook is its crowdsourced navigation offerings, but lately, we’ve also been seeing it build out a carpooling service. Over the past year, Waze Carpool has slowly spread across California and Texas, and today, the dedicated app that handles its carpool pairings is getting a pretty significant update. In fact, this update is so large that we could almost call this a relaunch.
Indeed, to hear the company describe it over on the Waze Blog, it seems there’s little that has been left untouched. Waze says that it has “totally redesigned” the app with the requests of users in mind, noting that while Waze Carpool might look a lot different, the goal of connecting people and cutting down on traffic is staying the same.
Perhaps the biggest change is that the new Waze Carpool app gets rid of blind matching. Waze Carpool will now show you riders and drivers who are going in your direction, and each person has a “detailed profile,” that shows things like star ratings given by other users and connections you may share with mutual friends or coworkers. The app will surface these best matches in order of who is closest to your route at the top of your match results.
Also new are additional controls that allow you to customize your carpooling experience. This includes new filters that allow you to limit your search to coworkers or to people of the same gender. This is a feature that’s going to evolve over time, as Waze says that more options are coming soon. Finally, the app will now allow you to send multiple ride and drive requests at once, which will hopefully improve your chances of finding a match.
This, as Waze explains, is just the beginning. The company will be adding new features to the Waze Carpool app based on requests and feedback from its users, so we could still see it change dramatically from here. Perhaps this also means we’ll soon see Waze Carpool expand to other regions outside of California and Texas? Time will tell, so stay tuned.