Despite several apps with plenty of options for mobility and transportation, very few try to take on carpooling. Plenty of startup companies are attempting their own approaches to mobility, but it took an established app to help push carpooling as an option. Waze, the traffic information and navigation app, wants more consumers to carpool and help reduce traffic overall.
Waze states that most carpool headaches are due to the enormity of the task it had set for itself. “Getting people to carpool is HARD,” Waze spokesperson Terry Wei replied when emailed about it. “It's asking people to change their routine and behavior.” It's also, in a funny way, an attempt to recapture some of Waze's initial success.
When Waze launched in 2009, what distinguished the Tel Aviv startup from its peers was that it aimed to crowdsource its digital maps rather than simply buy them. The company made a prediction that CEO Noam Bardin says got his team “laughed out the door by every industry expert”: It wagered that every smartphone would soon have a GPS chip and that every car would have a smartphone-toting person inside. And the people in those cars, Waze believed, would be eager to use those new tools to collaborate and do great things for the world—for free!
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