Google merges Maps and Waze teams but says apps will remain separate

As a part of latest cost-cutting measures, Google is planning to merge its Waze and Maps divisions, The Wall Road Journal has reported. The transfer is geared toward decreasing duplicated work throughout the merchandise, however Google stated it’s going to nonetheless maintain the Waze and Maps apps separate. 

“Google stays deeply dedicated to Waze’s distinctive model, its beloved app and its thriving group of volunteers and customers,” a spokesperson informed the WSJ. Waze CEO Neha Parikh will depart her function after a transition interval, however there’ll reportedly be no layoffs. Beginning this Friday, the 500-strong Waze crew will be part of Google’s Geo group answerable for Maps, Earth and Road View.

Waze and Maps have been sharing options ever since Google acquired Waze for $1.1 billion again in 2013. Waze’s visitors information began showing in Maps shortly after the acquisition, with pace limits, radar areas and different options arriving later. In return, Waze has benefited from Google’s know-how in search. The FTC launched an antitrust investigation shortly after the acquisition, and on the time, Google stated it was preserving Waze as a separate unit “for now.” 

It has been 9 years since then, however in accordance with former CEO Noam Bardin, Waze hasn’t loved full independence. “All of our progress at Waze publish acquisition was from work we did, not help from the mothership. Trying again, we might have most likely grown quicker and rather more effectively had we stayed unbiased,” he stated in a LinkedIn publish final 12 months. 

Waze has 151 million month-to-month lively customers, in comparison with one billion for Google Maps providers. Nonetheless, Waze is a extremely standard navigation app (significantly in Europe), because of its crowd-sourced nature. Particular person customers can simply report visitors, police, crashes, map issues, radar cameras and extra with the contact of a button. Google Maps added the flexibility to report driving incidents again in 2019, however is much less geared round crowdsourcing.

With advert income slowing down at Google, CEO Sundar Pichai stated in September that he hoped to make the corporate 20 p.c extra environment friendly. A part of that, he stated, might be achieved through layoffs and merging a number of merchandise. 

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