Waze to sunset its carpooling service amid changing commuting habits

Waze Redesign
(Image credit: Waze)

What you need to know

  • Waze is set to sunset its carpooling service in September.
  • The reason comes as a result of the COVID pandemic and the fact that more people are working from home full time.
  • Waze says it wants to explore ways to adjust to shifting commuting habits.

Waze, the commuting service owned by Google, is sunsetting its carpooling services next month due to commuting changes.

In a statement provided to The Verge, Waze will end its carpooling service in September. The company noted that it was predominantly a commuting app before the COVID-19 pandemic struck but highlights changes in commuting habits, saying that "today the proportion of errands and travel drives have surpassed commutes."

"This means we have an opportunity to find even more impactful ways to bring together a global community to share real-time insights and help each other outsmart traffic — this is what has always made Waze truly special."

COVID has affected a lot of businesses, and Waze isn't impervious as nobody's going to be interested in sharing rides with multiple strangers during a pandemic. The Verge does state that carpooling is making a "modest return" on other apps like Lyft and Uber since vaccines are available and infected cases have come down. However, the return doesn't seem to be enough for Waze to consider keeping the service, given its service is predominantly focused on sharing rides. Furthermore, the pandemic has shifted how many businesses function, with many employees working from home throughout the week.

Waze has always been this navigation service, first and foremost, similar to Google Maps. However, when it introduced Waze Carpool in 2016, its mentality was quite different from the likes of Uber or Lyft. Those services feel more like a service a person can call for a quick lift, whereas Waze Carpool was all about getting multiple people to share a car. Not only was this great for the environment, but it is the very essence of carpooling.

It'll be interesting to see how Waze looks to take advantage of shifting commuting habits after its carpool service shuts down in September. Ideally, you'd still be able to use Waze on Android Auto or on your phone as the company looks to continue its navigational prowess.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.