Monday, April 22, 2019

Waze Wants to Help All of Us Win at Carpooling | Wired

From a timely Waze reality check
"Today, Waze has 475 employees, 115 million monthly active users, and some 30,000 volunteer map editors. This “community,” as Waze likes to call it, throws itself into one common goal that's something between an objective and a crusade. “Traffic is a global evil,” Waze writes on its website. “Only we, the People, can get ourselves out of this mess.”

Lately, though, Waze's war on traffic has hit a roadblock. After years of pouring unexpected traffic onto local streets (to the frequent consternation of local governments and residents), the company is running out of empty roads and workarounds for users. In many cities, traffic has gotten worse. And autonomous vehicles—which Waze's sister company, Waymo, is reportedly spending more than a billion dollars to develop—will only make the problem worse. “With self-driving cars, people will drive longer distances and will care less,” Bardin says. Which means more traffic.

It turns out that savvy programming, algorithms, and enthusiastic bands of community mappers can take a crusade only so far. So Waze has committed to a more, well, behavioral fix. It wants to consolidate more people into fewer cars—to get them to, ugh, carpool."
Waze Wants to Help All of Us Win at Carpooling | Wired

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