The Waze Carpool app now allows users to pick up more than just one passenger.
The carpool function of the social navigation app launched in the U.S. in October, but at the time it would only pair one rider with one driver.
Now, according to a Monday report from VentureBeat, drivers can be paired with up to four passengers in the Waze Carpool network. The added functionality will allow drivers to use high-occupancy vehicle-plus lanes where applicable. The report also said the support for multiple passengers rolled out this week nationwide in the U.S.
Waze’s carpooling feature isn’t a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft, Instead, Waze calculates individuals in its network to pick up that live and work close by. This creates carpools that can minimize traffic and increase transportation efficiencies. Users can decide on a driver or passenger match based on several criteria, including proximity to a route, star rating, profile, mutual Facebook, friends, gender, and if they are coworkers or classmates.
Drivers who use Waze Carpool even receive a small monetary bonus, but it never exceeds the $0.54 per mile allowed by the IRS to reimburse for the cost of fuel and vehicle maintenance. Drivers shouldn’t expect to start earning vast amounts of cash, but they can earn some money and help reduce traffic while driving to and from work, like they would do anyway. Passengers can book their rides at rates that are cheaper than Lyft or Uber.
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Waze began as an independent company from Israel and was bought by Google in 2013, The crowd-sourced navigation app has been a popular platform for smartphone users. Until recently, Waze was the only navigation app that allowed users to report incidents such as police activity, potholes, or heavy traffic. Ford has also allowed Waze to work directly with its Sync 3 systems and iPhones. It also now works with Apple CarPlay, which was updated last year to include compatibility with third-party navigation apps. Prior, iOS users were stuck using Apple Maps.
—Senior Editor Kirk Bell contributed to this report.