Google’s Waze is shutting down its carpooling service

Google-owned navigation service Waze is shutting down its six-year-old carpooling service, citing shifting commuting patterns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting in September, the company will begin the process of winding down its carpooling service, which had been available in the US, Brazil, and Israel. Waze said it will explore other ways it can help serve the 150 million customers worldwide that use its navigation app.

First launched in the Bay Area in 2016, Waze Carpool eventually expanded to all 50 states in the US as well as Brazil and Waze’s country of origin, Israel. The service was different from carpooling services offered by Uber and Lyft insofar as it let nonprofessional drivers offer rides to people traveling on a similar route for a nominal fee. In 2018, the company launched its own standalone carpool app.