Google announces integration of Waze and Google Maps teams into one

Google bought the Israeli-owned navigation app Waze back in 2013, but over time it has operated as a separate app from the rest of its services. Google Maps has continued to operate, and the two services have developed in parallel, each offering their own benefits for customers. But it looks like those times will fade, with the company planning a combination of teams working on similar services.

Google Maps and Waze will now be developed under one team

According to the Wall Street Journal, Google plans to combine the Google Maps and Waze teams into one in an attempt to reduce operational costs for the segment. This doesn’t mean that either Google Maps or Waze will remain Google’s only navigation service, just that the teams will work more closely together in the future.

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Basically, Waze will be integrated into the Google Geo division, the one that covers Maps, Earth and Street View. This also means that Waze will no longer operate as an independent company within Google, so it won’t need a CEO. As a result, Waze’s current CEO Neha Prikh will leave the company.

Google says it will keep Waze an independent service and that the company’s employees are safe, as no restructuring or layoffs are planned. However, those plans could change from moment to moment if redundancies are discovered between Google and Waze teams.

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At the moment, users won’t see any differences from the way the Google apps operate. In the future, however, we may see more and more common features between Waze and Google Maps. However, Maps remains focused on providing information about places to visit, restaurants or real-time traffic data collected from other users automatically. Waze will instead continue to rely on users’ manual traffic reports, such as various road hazards, police presence or blocked streets.

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