Not quite yet, but Google and its parent company Waze are flush with cash and with the acquisition of the traffic and navigation app Waze it certainly has a platform do build a ride-sharing service on when Google chooses to pull the trigger.
Uber spent over a billion in the first half of the year
It was reported last week that Uber lost over $1.2 billion in the first half of the year essentially looking to expand worldwide while also going after its competition, namely Lyft.
It won’t make Uber any happy that a company worth far more than Lyft and Uber itself is looking at getting into the ride-share market. To start, Google is simply looking at San Francisco and rides will be quite limited to begin. Users will only be allowed to hail a car to work or home and will be limited to two rides per day. Additionally, at the onset, only employees of six companies including Google and Adobe systems will be able to hail a ride and again only to or from work and home.
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However, this is set to change with the calendar and Google hopes to allow anyone in San Francisco using the Waze app to work out their own carpool by year’s end or early 2017.
Unlike Google, Waze drivers will not be in it as a job, but rather will simply be reimbursed for their willingness to share with another and know that they’ve done their part to alleviate traffic and help the environment.
Uber is much different
Uber touts itself as a 24-hour service and its drivers are in it for the money. Uber is far from profitable and is valued at over $60 billion ahead of an expected IPO next year. Additionally, Google has a near $260 million invested in the success of Uber and got in earlier than most investors that have propped up the unicorn.
All that said, it seems Google wants a piece of Uber’s business and let’s not forget that the company has been working on self-driving cars for over seven years now that would feature no driver. Uber launched self-driving cars in Pittsburgh recently but they will still have both someone behind the wheel and another observer.
Alphabet’s senior vice president of corporate development, David Drummond, recently left the board of Uber with most believing it was due to a potential conflict of interest in the future.