Earlier this year, on-demand car service Lyft announced its plans to integrate with Waze's software, allowing its drivers to automatically receive updated routes for more efficient and faster fare completions. Now, that integration has gone live – according to the Lyft mobile application's update text, the Waze integration has arrived and is "rolling out nationwide."
The integration is part of Waze's larger move to offer on-demand and transportation businesses access to its data for use in their own applications for the purpose of routing and guidance. Through the launch of a new "Waze Transport SDK," these companies are able to tap into a variety of Waze features, including travel time date, routing information, ETA calculations, and more.
The partners can choose which Waze features they want to take advantage of, in order to customize their integrations to their own needs, explained the company at the time.
Besides Lyft, Waze's new SDK is also being used by others including Genesis Group (U.K. emergency dispatch technology company), JustPark Parking (parking company in the U.K.), Cabify (ride-sharing in Spain, Chile, Peru, Mexico, and Colombia), 99Taxis (ride-sharing in Brazil), and Cornershop (food-delivery service in Mexico and Chile.)
However, in terms of the U.S. market, Lyft is Waze's biggest-name partner.
According to the companies, Lyft is using Waze software to update routes in real-time in Waze and make it easier for drivers to move between applications; Waze is also becoming the default navigation app for drivers.
As Lyft previously explained, this integration means that Lyft will be able to update a driver's route in real-time in Waze. This will allow for more efficient Lyft Line matches, as the app will be able to add a passenger pickup while the driver is en route to their next stop. The end result is shortened ride wait times for customers, and fewer detours.
In addition, when navigating with Waze, Lyft drivers will be able to press on a "Return to Lyft" button that will immediately re-launch the Lyft app. This seamless switching between the two applications addresses a pain point for drivers who, in the past, have had to fumble between the apps on their phone, making it more difficult to concentrate on the road.
While Waze benefits from getting big partners onto its platform and then feeding it more data on traffic conditions, Lyft's use of the Waze software could also potentially boost its bottom line. Drivers with more efficient routes can complete fares more quickly, passengers get to their destinations faster, and drivers can handle more fares during their shifts.
This article by Sarah Perez originally ran on TechCrunch, a leading technology media property, dedicated to obsessively profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products, and breaking tech news.