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German Mapping Company Here Launches Social Mobility App

The German mapping company believes people like their solo driving time but will choose to band together for a shared goal or need

Meir Orbach 12:1808.01.19
German mapping company HERE Technologies is launching a new integrated mobility app described by the head of its Israeli mobility division Liad Yitshak as “the opposite of carpooling.”

 

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People do not want to share their car time with strangers—they want to have private conversations, listen to a podcast, Yitshak told Calcalist in an interview ahead of the CES 2019 show in Las Vegas. Taking strangers for a ride, he said, just doesn’t offer the right kind of motivation to foster carpooling.

 

Liad Yitshak, head of Here’s mobility division. Photo: Daniel Shtern Liad Yitshak, head of Here’s mobility division. Photo: Daniel Shtern

 

 

HERE’s mobility division was formed around two years ago out of an Israeli unit of British startup Karhoo Inc. Today, it employs around 250 people, mostly in Israel. Yitshak himself, who has headed the unit since its formation, was formerly head of data at Waze, the Israeli navigation app now owned by Alphabet. In October, Waze announced the availability of it carpooling service across the U.S.

 

 

The new stand-alone app by HERE lets users offer shared rides within different groups, like family and friends or coworkers, or among people with a shared objective, like parents of children attending the same school. It supports multiple pickup points, and the app automatically plans the shared ride and facilitates real-time communication, also providing real-time navigation services a la Waze or Google Maps.

 

 

“We believe people want to drive one another when there’s a shared goal or need, for example when going to a wedding, or to an after-school activity,” Yitshak explained.

 

The app is also intended to function as an aggregated mobility offering, letting users order a taxi or any other mode of public transportation. It also connects users to car or bike rental services. HERE takes a commission from the service providers contacted through the app, but not from the users, Yitshak said.
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