Google's new ride sharing app is an early attempt to grab a piece of the lucrative market.
(CCM) — Google has launched an opening offensive in its inevitable battle with Uber for the ride hailing market with the introduction of its Waze Rider service in the San Francisco area, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Waze Rider differs from Uber in that it is designed to bring drivers and passengers who are heading in approximately the same direction together, making it more of a ride sharing or carpooling app than a true cab hailing service. For the moment, drivers and passengers can only use the app twice a day, suggesting that it is designed to help users get to work and back. Waze Rider's fares are lower than Uber's and are designed to help cover the cost of gas in exchange for a ride.
Ventures, Google's start-up project arm, has been one of Uber's key financial backers, pumping $258 million into the company back in 2013. But the two companies' activities are increasingly overlapping in fields like self-driving vehicle development, mapping, and ride hailing. Uber has been valued at as much as $50 billion, and it appears that Google is determined to grab a slice of the lucrative ride-sharing market as it prepares to launch self-driving cars.
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