Uber, which recently began beta-testing low-cost rides in San Francisco, may have competition. The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is set to do the exact same thing — with Waze.
Specifically, sources claim the rides would be at “far cheaper rates” than Uber or Lyft currently offer. The going rate is $0.54 per mile, and Google isn’t (yet) taking a cut.
It will also be made available to all Waze users, according to the report. That means anyone, anywhere — at any time — can offer you a ride.
A troublesome part of this report is that Google has no plans to do background checks. Uber has come under fire for its own background checks (or lack thereof), but Google will let riders filter out bad actors via reviews.
Riders are limited to two rides per day, too. The concept seems to be carpooling rather than making a career as a Waze driver, which will help alleviate traffic.
Still, the entire concept seems a bit too head-in-the-clouds. We’ve seen Uber drivers do some terrible stuff, and that’s with background checks in place. Google probably has its heart in the right place on this, but it’s easy to foresee problems.