Google’s latest update to Maps left us in awe. It seems the Search Giant is now ready to make its next big step. Google is rumored to be interested in acquiring popular navigation app Waze, going against Facebook on a bidding match. It won’t be cheap at at least $1 billion, but the startup could bring some great improvements to Google Maps.
The GPS Naviation app does more than simply take you from point A to point B. Waze is a community-driven Navigation app. It takes information from your routes and users can even contribute to the cause by inputing valuable information. One can report accidents, traffic jams, speed traps, police and more. It is even possible to update roads and landmarks. My favorite feature, by far, is the ability to navigate to the gas station with the cheapest prices in, or around your route. In short – it is a smarter navigation app powered by people.
Google Maps is already allowing users to include photosphere in Google Street View, so it wouldn’t surprise us if they decided to use services like Waze’s. People close to the matter can affirm that a deal is nowhere close to being finalized, though. In fact, Waze may decide to stay independent and find more income to improve its own services.
Other big companies like Apple and Microsoft don’t seem to be interested, so it seems like the war will be between Google and Facebook. This brings a much more interesting question – Why would Facebook even be interested in this? Food for thought.