Google Will Reportedly Expand Its Bay Area Carpooling Service

Law Enforcement Officials Unhappy With WAZE GPS Appp
Screen view of the WAZE app.
Photograph by The Washington Post/Getty Images

Google’s foray into carpooling could soon turn into more than just an experiment.

The company, which has been testing carpooling programs for users of Waze, a navigation app it acquired in 2013, is apparently planning to make its service available to all users in the San Francisco area this fall, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal citing anonymous sources. If successful, the service could expand to more areas.

After first testing a carpooling feature in Israel last year, Google expanded its pilot program to the Bay Area in May. Initially, it was only available to roughly 25,000 employees at select companies, including UCSF, Adobe, and Walmart Global eCommerce (WMT). Google (GOOG) had also been testing it among its own employees.

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The current Waze program is very much akin to real carpooling. To use the service, employees at participating companies request a ride via the special Waze Rider app based on their origin and destination. They’re then matched with a driver among Waze’s 700,000 Bay Area users—even those who aren’t part of the pilot. Drivers can accept or decline ride requests.

The program also only charges 54 cents per mile, per IRS guidelines, to let the passengers share in the ride’s expenses. It’s not designed, however, as a way for drivers to profit off the rides their provide, as ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft presumably do. Google didn’t take a cut from driver earnings in the Bay Area pilot, but it did take 15% in the Israel program.

Both Uber and Lyft have added carpooling services for commuters, though Lyft recently shut down its program amid a lacking participation from its drivers, according to Forbes.

The expansion of Google’s program will put it even more squarely in competition with companies like Uber and Lyft. Its relationship with Uber in particular has been delicate. GV (formerly Google Ventures), the venture capital arm of Google parent company Alphabet, has invested in Uber and partner David Krane is an observer on the ride-hailing company’s board.

Until recently, Alphabet senior vice president of corporate development David Drummond was on the company’s board, though he confirmed on Monday that he stepped down several weeks ago amid mounting conflicts of interest.

Uber also recently acquired Otto, a startup developing self-driving trucks founded by former Google employees, including one of the co-founders of Alphabet’s own self-driving car project.

Fortune has contacted Google and will update this story if we hear more.

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