Google will shut down ride-sharing service Waze in September

Google’s ride-sharing service, Waze, has announced its closure. Put into service for 6 years, it explains its closure by the evolution of everyone’s travel habits following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Available in the United States, Brazil and Israel, this carpooling service will be discontinued from September, Google said. However, the company mentions that it is looking for a solution in order to serve the 150 million customers in the world who have used the service.

Waze - Credits: Waze
Waze – Credits: Waze

The Waze Story

Waze, a pre-Covid transportation app, has reached its limits. But that only shows the opportunity to find even more impactful ways to bring together a global community. The important thing is to share real-time information and help each other outsmart traffic, the company said in a statement provided to The Verge. First launched in the Bay Area in 2016, Waze Carpool eventually expanded to all 50 states in the United States, Brazil and its home country of Israel. The standalone ridesharing app was launched in 2018. The service allowed non-professional drivers to offer rides for a moderate fee to people traveling on a similar route.

The original goal was to encourage more people to carpool with the aim of reducing the number of vehicles with a single passenger on the road. Waze insisted the company was not looking to make money. But even so, it relied on partnerships with large employers who could then encourage workers to use the service. For example, the company sent teams to WeWork sites, carrying tacos and other freebies, to persuade young professionals to download the app.

The reasons for the closure of the service

Carpooling has been in decline for several years. But if he started to pick up, the Covid-19 pandemic essentially stopped him in his tracks. Now, with case numbers falling and vaccines widely available, ridesharing is coming back, especially in response to rising fares. But Waze decided to stop.

Waze’s service relied on a steady stream of people coming into the office every day, and that has changed a lot in the wake of the pandemic. According to a recent survey, 35% of users said they could work from home full-time. Another 23% can work from home between 1 and 4 days a week. The use of the service is then reduced. However, the company said it would continue to work with cities to address their mobility issues.



Leave a Comment