Waze has received a pretty significant update that brings a number of new important features to the carpooling app.
Most important of them all is a new option that lets riders be selective about who they carpool with. Previously, Waze paired carpool sessions blindy, meaning anyone could end up with anyone. But not anymore, as riders can now choose fellow carpoolers based on ratings, mutual friends, and other parameters.
There are also new filters that allow a user to select a driver based on gender. Plus, the app contains a roster of improvements in the matching algorithm.
All the new features were based on customer feedback, according to Waze, as TechCrunch reports.
Making Waze Rides Safer
Previously, riders and drivers were matched by virtue of an algorithm that looked at pickup and dropoff locations. Theoretically, this shouldn't be a problem. But compared with ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft, the drivers are thoroughly vetted before they can hit the road. On Waze, the drivers are just regular commuters.
Many Waze users have been complaining about sketchy drivers who often flake out and don't even show up to the pickup location. Letting users ride with drivers with high ratings may help ease that problem.
The expanded options, including the ability to select custom fellow carpoolers, aim to make Waze rides feel much safer, which is crucial to a service where the drivers aren't properly vetted by the company.
"Waze Carpool will help you make the most of your commute. It's often the most affordable commuting choice for riders, and an easy way to earn gas money if you're behind the wheel," said Waze in a blog post.
Another feature lets users improve their chances of getting matched with a driver by sending multiple requests at once. However, it appears the implementation hasn't been fully sorted out yet, as others have been complaining that since the update rolled out, they haven't been able to get matches. Waze has officially addressed such complaints, saying it was going to "correct this issue."
The updated Waze app is now available for iOS and Android, and the company says it plans on releasing more customization options down the line. The app is currently available in California, Texas, and Israel. Hopefully it reaches more places soon, because the underlying concept is highly clever.
Thoughts about Waze? What do you think about the new customization options? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!