Google, from lender to rival of Uber
There was a time when Google and Uber were more than friends. Big G, now part of the subsidiary Alphabet, was one of the first to believe in the startup that allows you to book cars via the app. We invested $ 258 million in 2013. Everything changed in three years: the two companies have become rivals with Google's growing interest in the automotive industry. The road is marked. In San Francisco this fall could debut a ride sharing service provided by Waze, an Israeli startup that Google has always bought in 2013. With sharing sharing we mean the possibility for the driver to collect along the way people who have to go in the same direction . Uber already does something similar to San Francisco with UberPool. Waze started with the pilot service in May with some companies, including Google, Wal-Mart and Adobe, for a total of 25 thousand employees. Earlier he did it in Israel. At a cost of 54 cents per mile, less than what Uber and Lyft ask, another Silicon Valley company active only in the United States. There are all the conditions to imagine a competitive front between Google and Uber. Also because it is recent the choice of the latter to switch from the use of Google Maps to the maps developed internally. And an Alphabet executive, David Drummon, has just stepped down from Uber's board. There are some elements of caution. The service will be different from Uber from the price: in essence what the driver will ask his travel companions is an amount of money only to pay for the fuel. In the case of Uber and Lyft, most drivers choose to do it as their first job. What Waze looks more like the future illustrated by Elon Musk for his Tesla, where the cars will repay their purchase. Musk is a provocateur, but that of Google / Waze is the further demonstration of how the fruition and business model of urban mobility is undergoing major changes.