RideWith will match commuters up with drivers headed in the same direction. RideWith will match commuters up with drivers headed in the same direction. RideWith will match commuters up with drivers headed in the same direction. (Photo: Paul Vasarhelyi/Shutterstock)

Google enters the rideshare business

The tech company is launching a carpooling pilot program with help from its Waze app.

Google is gradually making moves to enter the rideshare market, announcing plans to launch a carpooling pilot program that will allow commuters to pay fellow drivers for a ride to and from work.

The new app, called RideWith, will utilize Google's Waze – an Israel-based navigation app that uses crowdsourced information shared by users to offer real-time traffic data – to learn the routes drivers most frequently take to work. RideWith will then match them up with people looking for a ride going in the same general direction.

The pilot program will launch in three Israeli cities initially: Tel Aviv, Ra’anana and Herzliya.

Cars in trafficRideWith joins a growing list of apps billed as being "people powered."(Photo: Nebojsa Markovic/Shutterstock)

RideWith will be entering a market that already features the likes of Via and BlaBlaCar. It's also expected to compete with services such as Uber, Lyft and Gett – at least during rush hour – though Google is making sure to differentiate its service from those car-hailing apps.

RideWith will not allow drivers to earn a salary. Instead they will be limited to just two journeys a day and will receive a small payment from passengers based on distance traveled and a car maintenance fee.

RideWith joins a growing list of Israeli apps billed as being "people powered"; other apps include BillGuard, Nexar and Moovit, all of which use crowdsourcing to obtain intel for their users.

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