RideWith uses technology developed by Waze, an Israeli start-up bought by Google in 2013 for about $1bn.
Its navigation system, which uses data from users’ smartphones to give live traffic information, learns the routes drivers most frequently take to work and matches them up with people wanting to travel in the same direction.
It is aimed at people who work for the same company and live reasonably close to each other.
An estimated 200,000 people participate in carpooling in Israel already.
Thus Waze knows exactly where we live and work, as well as our preferred routes for getting between the two. Moreover, they know precisely the time that we leave these locations, even if we have not activated the app on our devices.
It is clear to see how Google is tip toeing around now, so as not to broadcast a clear and present threat to the local cabbies, and avoid confrontations with regulators who in turn could cause a legal fuss for their users. Google is calling this a “ride sharing service”, saying that it is a “green and social way to get to work”. They have even gone so far as to euphamize the payment system, saying that users are “pitching in”, just like people have done for years with a few bucks for gas when their friend gives them a ride.