The Kirchweidach, Germany and Mountain View, Calif based start-up called DriJo seems to be on the right track to help people offset their dependence on the high fuel prices by offering an auction-based ride sharing and car pooling matching service, making partial use of Google Maps technology.
Ride sharing & car pooling is a phenomena similar to a second-hand product market. In both cases a great majority of people are not doing it principally for environmental reasons but to save cost, use High Occupancy Vehicle lanes, etc.
It is first and foremost a social stigma and practicality/matching issue to find the right person to share a ride.
Regarding that dilemma eBay overcame three issues in the product market. To have value attributed to seemingly worthless second-hand stuff (which would be the empty seats in ride sharing). To make it socially acceptable to buy second-hand in many industrialized countries. In all cases it is socially accepted to save costs with eBay.
In a visually very attractive way, DriJo offers a simple method to overlay and compare routes of drivers and potential passengers. “Using an auction-based method similar to other popular auction sites should,” according to the CEO Walter, “animate more drivers to offer rides, especially on highly demanded routes”.
DriJo with its auction-based ride-sharing model assures that:
- supply and demand of routes based on the starting and arrival address are overlaid and compared automatically and shown on maps or satellite pictures, based on the Google Maps database, practically all addresses, even remote ones in the country-side, can be found – similarly to navigation devices,
- the cost of ride sharing between driver and passenger is determined by supply and demand via an auction, a registration of all users gives additional security, feedback after traveling by both driver and passenger increases the trustworthiness of both of them.
“Our matching also allows comparing longer routes with shorter requests,” according to the CTO Peter, “and the driver can even define an optional pick-up and drop-off zone along the route to be more attractive to potential passengers.”
Paid ride-sharing is popular in both the US and Europe. In the primary countries in Europe and US/Canada it is estimated to be well over 50.000/day.
On a general basis the market of ride sharing agencies is presently badly distributed between many small ad-based institutions. As a consequence it is very difficult to find regional and long-distance trips in one agency. Additionally these companies generate their own databases which in practically all cases do not include addresses or smaller towns.
DriJo is presently owner-financed and focuses via its patented technology and the innovative business model on the redefinition of the ride-sharing market.
Carsharing is a model of car rental where people rent cars for short periods of time, often by the hour. The organization renting the cars may be a commercial business or the users may be organized as a democratically-controlled company, public agency, cooperative, ad hoc grouping. Today there are more than six hundred cities in the world where people can carshare.
Carsharing is supported by the New Mobility Agenda, which combines Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategies and measures for containing, channeling and limiting private car traffic in cities, with support of a “bouquet” of alternative transportation arrangements. These include utility cycling, walking, Verde’s Green Program in Miami, and public space improvement, electronic substitutes for travel (such as telework, telecommuting or e-work) and a variety of shared and public transport strategies.
Here is a list of car sharing companies across the globe.
* Photo by Wikipedia (Carsharing vehicles in their reserved spots)
Story picked from EPR Network