This morning Howard has invited me along to his 11am appointment at The iPR Group. All I really know about it is that it has something to do with Waze, a popular app for those who commute by car.
Acquired by Google in 2013 and now feeding data into Google Maps, Waze continues to roll along as a standalone app with some unique features. The biggest differentiator is the social aspect—Wazers are encouraged to share real-time traffic info with the app and each other.
And on the subject of sharing, I may have just unlocked the secret to this morning’s mystery meeting. According to a new post on Phandroid, Waze is about to get into the ridesharing racket.
The company has already trialled their new service, branded as RideWith, in their home market of Israel. And earlier this month Google filed a trademark for the name Waze Rider. But don’t expect an exact copy of existing services. As Phandroid writes:
Waze Rider is not an Uber or Lyft competitor, at least not right now. You fill out your profile with information about your commute. To get a ride, you simply send a request by sharing your pick-up and drop-off location, pick-up time, and an amount of money to pitch in. The app will connect you with fellow drivers who are already using the Waze app. Once a driver is selected, you can view their information and track their whereabouts while they come to pick you up.
If today’s event does not turn out to be a demo of Waze Rider, I’ll post a reply and let you all know. But if it is, and both Howard and I end up having to sign an non-disclosure agreement (as we often do), then you’ll know by my silence that yet another ridesharing service is on the way…