Google said it would merge its 500-person Waze mapping service team with the Google Maps team. Merger of processes will take effect from September 12
The process merger will take effect on December 9.
The decision to merge the two divisions appears to be a cost-cutting move by the company, as well as to eliminate duplication of maps between Waze and the Maps app.
Both apps provide navigation assistance, world maps, and places of interest. But Waze’s defining feature is community-based reporting of incidents like road hazards or speed traps.
Waze, a subsidiary of Google, provides satellite navigation software on GPS-enabled smartphones and computers.
“Google is committed to honoring Waze’s unique brand, which is loved by the community and volunteers,” Google said.
Despite Google’s pledge to keep Waze a standalone app, many believe the reorganization doesn’t bode well for Waze’s continued operation as a standalone company. Previously, the same thing happened to Nest.
In 2014, Google acquired Nest, and the app has since been run as a separate company. However, Nest lost its independence shortly after the company merged with Google’s hardware division. After this restructuring, Waze is likely to face the same fate.
Waze has been struggling inside Google, and according to former Waze executive Noam Bardin, the app could have grown faster and more efficiently had it been maintained independently.
“By bringing the Waze team into Google Geo’s portfolio of real-world maps, these teams will benefit from an evolving technical collaboration,” a Google spokesperson said.