For ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft with tens of thousands of cars on the road, small optimizations can make rides shorter and shareholders richer. So, Lyft’s announcement today that it’s switching to Google-owned Waze is only a surprise because it’s taken so long.
Waze is rapidly becoming the number-one in-car navigation service, thanks to a combo of accurate crowdsourced information, and the fact you can set Neil Patrick Harris as your satnav voice. It also has an API that lets it integrate well with other apps, something that Lyft is taking advantage of. Drivers will receive real-time updates to routes, helping them be more efficient; there’s also a ‘Back to Lyft’ button that will better link the two apps.
It’s something of a win-win partnership for the two companies: Lyft gets better mapping, meaning faster journeys and happier customers; Waze gets more users, which feeds into its crowd-sourced traffic data.