Waze is a popular navigation and crowd-sourced police avoidance tool, but most people probably don’t realize that the app has had a carpooling arm for the last six years. Waze’s business has expanded recently to the point that the Google-owned organization’s carpool arm is not as popular as it once was. As a result, the company is shutting down the service to focus on its other products.
Waze’s carpool services were available to people in Brazil, Israel, Mexico, and the United States. Though it is shuttering the feature in those countries, users can still use the app for traffic information and navigation tools. Waze’s data shows that people are driving up to 15% more than before the pandemic, so there are still plenty of opportunities for the company’s navigation and infotainment app.
A Waze spokesperson told TechCrunch that the company wants to focus on traffic and decongesting cities. Waze also focuses on reducing the costs of various mobility solutions and improving safety and availability.
When it started, Waze’s carpooling function offered a service that didn’t exist, but that quickly changed when Uber and Lyft showed up. Then, in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered offices and led to a significant shift in how and where people worked, reducing their reliance on taxis, ridesharing, and carpool services. People are back to driving and commuting now, and Uber, Lyft, and others have shown at least part of the market is moving in the opposite direction.