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Google Ventures Into Ride-sharing Service

  • VOA News

FILE - The Google logo is seen at Google headquarters in Brussels, March 23, 2010.

Ride-sharing giant Uber is getting some stiff competition from a former ally, Google.

The search giant is reportedly adding a ride-sharing component to its popular Waze navigation application, according to The Wall Street Journal.

However, unlike Uber and Lyft, Google "wants to persuade regular drivers using its navigation app to pick up people who are heading in the same direction," according to the report.

According to the report, the new service will be rolled out in several U.S. and Latin American cities in the coming months. The company reportedly had successful trial runs of the service in San Francisco and Israel.

"Can we get the average person on his way to work to pick someone up and drop them off once in a while? That’s the biggest challenge,” Waze CEO Noam Bardin told the newspaper.

Waze rides are going to reportedly cost less than Uber and Lyft, the Journal reports, saying a ride from downtown Oakland to downtown San Francisco would be $4.50. That compares to $10.57 for UberPool and $12.40 for Lyft Line.

The Journal reports Waze driver will also not be like Uber or Lyft, which has many drivers who work full time or more. With Waze, riders will pay only $0.54 per mile, which is the Internal Revenue Service’s reimbursement rates for business drivers.

At least to start, Waze will not charge drivers, but could charge 15 percent later if the service catches on, the Journal reported.

In 2013, Google’s venture capital arm invested $258 million in Uber.

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