Have Google & Waze copied LiftO?

Have Google & Waze copied LiftO?

You might have read of Google, through its subsidiary Waze, is experimenting with carpooling in Bay Area, San Francisco (http://www.wsj.com/articles/google-takes-on-uber-with-new-ride-share-service-1472584235).
The key highlights of this experiment are:
– Enrolling car owners of Google, Adobe, Walmart
– A person heading in the same direction as that of car owner can send him lift request, which he can accept or decline
– Car owner recovers fuel cost @ 54 cents/mile (equivalent to fuel cost per mile in SF and less than cost of UberPool)
– Car owners can offer lift only during Home-Office-Home commute, i.e. twice a day
We at LiftO have been doing exactly same thing in Powai & nearby areas for last one year. More than 5,000 car owners have agreed to offer lift in their car using LiftO.
Our app also enables
a) 1:1 sharing (i.e. one person offering lift to only one person) for convenience of both parties
b) a car owner is paid @ Rs 5/km (equivalent to fuel cost considering petrol cost of Rs 65/litre and car mileage of 12-13 Kms/litre)
c) car owner picks/drops rider on his way without taking any detour
d) all our car owners are mid-high level executives in corporate offices of Mumbai
We are operating on the same model for last one year, while Google Waze experiment started in May 2016. (refer video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6FJ1Xnc9Ms)
Can we say that Google has copied the concept of LiftO. We don’t know, but there are high level of similarities in what we have been doing for a year and what Google Waze is doing for last 3 months.
We are happy that the potential in this space has been recognized by someone as big as Google. We strongly believe that while the first wave of revolution was aggregation of taxi cars which led to formation of giants like Uber, Didi and Ola, the next wave of revolution would be in aggregation of private (white number plate) cars by normal office going people (not professional drivers).
Happy Ride sharing!!
Team LiftO

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