Waze is expanding its carpooling service nationwide, and as part of the plan the Google-owned traffic and navigation app will offer rides to and from 50 Amazon distribution centers.
Waze Carpool helps users find, connect, and ride with each other to save time and money. The app, updated earlier this year, matches drivers already going somewhere with riders who have similar commutes and personal preferences. Waze drivers make $0.54 per mile — the maximum IRS mileage reimbursement rate, to avoid commercial tax and insurance requirements while keeping rates low for riders.
In addition to the Amazon tie-in, Waze is partnering with cities, businesses, transit agencies, and civic organizations to integrate its carpooling service.
Waze said there will be roughly 247 million cars on U.S. roads by 2020. The service aims to cut traffic, which Waze says is at an all-time high, with 75 percent of people driving by themselves.
The service launched in California last year, and expanded to Washington state in March, marking the its first statewide rollout. At the time, Waze CEO Noam Bardin said the Washington rollout would be a testing ground for expanding the service going forward.
Prior to the launch, Waze Carpool was available in 13 U.S. states as well as Israel and Brazil.
Waze joins a growing number of carpooling apps, including services from ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft, that provide shared transportation options. Bardin, who foreshadowed the Amazon tie-in earlier this year, has said Waze’s service targets people with longer commutes, who might otherwise spend an hour in traffic by themselves.
“If you think about Amazon, it’s not about the engineer,” Bardin said at the Washington launch event. “It’s about the person working at the warehouse. That’s where I think we can make the biggest impact.”
Google acquired Waze for $1.15 billion in 2014. The company has operated as a standalone business. Waze eventually plans on monetizing by taking a cut of each transaction.