Lyft beats Uber to integrating with Waze

Ronny Kerr · January 26, 2016 · Short URL:

Traffic and navigation app Waze confirmed to be default system for all new Lyft drivers

Lyft today announced that it is one of the launch partners for Waze's Transport SDK, a brand new software development kit allowing third-party developers to integrate Waze's offerings into their own apps and services.

Other launch partners include vehicular tracking software Genesis Pulse, parking spot booking service JustPark, grocery shop app (for Mexico City and Santiago, Chile) Cornershop, Spanish cab service Cabify, and Brazilian taxi app 99Taxis.

The Waze Transport SDK allows developers to open Waze for navigation directly from their own app. In addition, Waze will send data (including route begin and end points, duration of ride, and ETA) and turn-by-turn instructions to the other app. The SDK also allows developers to add a branded button in Waze to let users switch back to the original app.

As one of the first companies to access the SDK, Lyft has confirmed that Waze will now be the app’s default navigation system for all new drivers. For drivers, switching between the Lyft app and navigation within Waze will now be more seamless. The company also says this integration will make for more efficient Lyft Line routes.

Lyft says these integrations will be rolling out to both Android and iOS users in the “coming weeks.”

Completely absent from the announcement today is Lyft’s archrival Uber, who normally leads the way on these kinds of high-profile announcements. We reached out to Waze to see if an Uber integration is in the works, but they have "nothing to announce at this time." We're still waiting to hear back from Uber and will update when we hear back.

Interestingly, there’s a complicated bit of crossover between Google (the owner of Waze), Waze itself, Lyft, and Uber.

Google acquired Waze for nearly $1 billion in June 2013, but to all appearances the company has left Waze mostly to its own devices. So today we learn that Lyft has directly integrated Waze into its own app, but then there has always been a partnership between Uber and Google. Anyone who has ever looked up directions on Google Maps is probably familiar with the fact that, in addition to options for driving, biking, walking, and public transportation, the app also shows Uber—complete with a fare estimate.

Given the existing relationship between Uber and Google, in addition to Uber’s existing high-profile partnerships (like the most recent integration with Facebook Messenger), I expect the Waze integration to arrive on Uber sooner than later.

Uber also announced a technology update today, albeit an unrelated one. The company is running a pilot program using gyroscopes in each of its drivers’ smartphones to detect how often the vehicle starts and stops, as well as overall speed. The data will be used to verify complaints from riders about drivers whose rides were jerky (constantly going and stopping) or who sped too much.

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Lyft is a peer-to-peer transportation platform that connects passengers who need rides with drivers willing to provide rides using their own personal vehicles.



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Uber is a ridesharing service headquartered in San Francisco, United States, which operates in multiple international cities. The company uses a smartphone application to arrange rides between riders and drivers.