Google has decided to merge the teams that develop its mapping services Google Maps and Waze. However, at least for now, their apps will remain separate, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The Geo unit will merge more than 500 employees at Waze, which has been independent from Google since its acquisition in 2013 and has maintained a separate culture. The Waze app has also been developed separately from the parent company, but integrates with its developments such as Android Auto and, more recently, Android Automotive, which will be more widely available next year. In addition, Google services such as YouTube Music integrate with Waze to manage audio in the app.
As a result of the team merger, one organization will control Google Maps, Street View, Earth and Waze to reduce duplication related to cartography.
No layoffs are planned, although Waze will no longer have its own CEO. This comes as technology companies look for ways to improve efficiency in the current economic environment.
Google told the WSJ that the company “Google remains deeply committed to Waze’s unique brand, its beloved app and its thriving community of volunteers and users,” and that the app will remain separate from Google Maps.