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Google targets Uber and Lyft with new ride-sharing service

ABR Staff Writer Published 31 August 2016

Google is reportedly planning to launch a ride sharing service in San Francisco, California later this year in order to compete with Uber and Lyft.

If this pilot project is successful, Google could expand it further.

In May this year, the search engine giant started a pilot carpooling service at its California headquarters.

Powered by navigation app Waze, the service helped commuters to connect to fellow commuters for carpooling.

The service is priced at 54 cents per mile and it was less than what Uber and Lyft charge. But, the service was mainly focused on carpooling services rather than on-demand taxi services.

This plan can be availed by anyone in San Francisco using the Waze app. Google acquired Waze in 2013 and the app offers real-time driving directions based on information from other drivers.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the aim of the carpooling service is to connect riders with drivers who are heading in the same direction. It also said that by keeping the fares low, it can discourage drivers from turning into taxi drivers.

Due to concerns over conflict of interest, Alphabet executive David Drummond resigned from the board of directors of Uber.

At least, in the beginning, Google is not charging any commission or fee for the services. The pilot ride-sharing program is built upon Waze’s past ride-sharing ambitions.

It could provide Google with enough experience on handling a real ride-sharing business, if at all its ambitious self-driving car project comes through in flying colors.

Image: Google starts ride-sharing as a pilot project in San Francisco. Photo: Courtesy of Blackzheep/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.