Google-owned navigation app Waze now lets drivers pick up more than one passenger at a time when using the app’s carpooling feature. VentureBeat notes that Waze now supports picking up a maximum of four passengers, which you can do by tapping the “+” icon after confirming an initial ride. The new feature will allow drivers to make use of high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) 3+ lanes where available.
Despite the obvious parallels with Uber’s Pool service, the new feature stops short of turning Waze into a fully-fledged ride-sharing app. When the service was launched nationwide in October last year the company noted that drivers are limited to offering just two trips a day, and the feature is designed around matching you with other people who both live and work in similar locations. Unlike ride-sharing apps, which research suggests are actually contributing to traffic rather than reducing it, Waze’s service is designed to make existing car journeys more efficient, rather than encouraging more of them.
The differences between ride-sharing apps and Waze don’t stop drivers from earning a small amount of money from offering carpooling rides. However, even when taking multiple passengers prices are adjusted so that the total amount of money you earn doesn’t exceed the amount you spend on gas and wear and tear.
The increased capacity for Waze carpooling launched at the start of this week, and VetureBeat notes that it’s available everywhere the Carpool service is, which currently includes the United States, Brazil, Mexico, and Israel.