Google could be looking to jump into the ride share game themselves. The company has started trialing an Uber-like service through Waze, the crowd-sourced map app that Google bought a while back. The Pilot began in Tel Aviv, Israel earlier today.
It isn’t totally like Uber, though, in that it doesn’t act like a taxi service. Instead, Google’s ride sharing partners will only accept riders whose destinations are on the drivers’ route to and from work. What’s more is that Google will only allow drivers to accept two passengers per day (presumably one going to work and one going home).
This setup doesn’t make room for the sort of flexibility that Uber provides, but it also means Google will dodge the tricky hurdles that come with alternate taxi services. Uber knows all about those hurdles as the company has faced numerous fines in the past for unlicensed taxiing.
The drivers will get paid, mind you, but the fare is automatically calculated based on gasoline usage and an arbitrary charge for “wear and tear” on the car. This means drivers can still make money as the gas they’re using isn’t much more than the gas they’d use to get to work anyway, and riders won’t have to deal with price gouging.
We’re not sure how the trials will go, but we assume Google would look to spread to more markets if things run smoothly. Would you look to use Google’s ride sharing service if it ever makes it out of trial?
[via Wall Street Journal]