Google-owned Waze is uber-serious about cultivating its own carpooling network. With the pilot light lit in Israel already, Waze has expanded its ride-sharing network to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Known as Waze Carpool, the service has been expanded to a limited number of Bay Area employers and their commuting employees. Waze Carpool covers two apps, with driver tools built into the core Waze app and rider utilities offered in Waze Rider.

It's by invite only and acceptance into the program requires registration with a corporate email address, though those hopeful their employers will be included soon can register to receive notifications about Waze Carpool's expansion.

Waze is touting a number of benefits to its carpooling service, some of which include an overall decrease in congestion around campuses during peak hours and a lower strain on available parking spaces. This "automated and sustainable transportation solution" also offers companies "a relaxed opportunity for coworkers to socialize and network."

To match up commuters, Waze Carpool analyzes users' work and home addresses to find commuters with similar routes.

"Thanks to Waze advanced mapping capabilities, the platform connects carpool partners from the same local community, making it easy to carpool with neighbors and colleagues you know or haven't met yet," says Waze.

As this is definitely a pilot program, there's still some flesh missing from the bones of Waze Carpool. Beyond being limited to the Silicon Valley corridor, the service will only be available during morning and evening commutes, and Waze will only match one driver to one rider.

Waze is recommending that users of the carpool service request rides a day in advance in order to maximize their chances of finding a matching motorist. Waze with tools for drivers is available now on Android and is scheduled to arrive soon on iOS. Meanwhile, Waze Rider is available now on both iOS and Android.

Waze's carpool pilot was started last year when the company launched RideWith in Tel Aviv, Israel before rebranding it to Waze Rider.

With Google on the leading edge of the driverless car industry, a ride-sharing network like Waze Carpool offers the company the foundation for one day facilitating the ride hailing of its autonomous vehicles. And going by some of Apple's latest moves, Google isn't the only tech company that would like to link its driverless car ambitions to a ride-hailing network.

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