Unlike Canadians, I think carsharing is a cool concept. Getting a critical mass is key. Not sure how exactly you get there, but maybe you go Facebook style and start on a college campus and take it from there. I am also not sure if this will only be possible in large cities with lots of people traveling.
SOON you may no longer need to stick out your thumb to catch a ride. Instead, you may get one by tapping your fingers on your iPhone.
Avego, based in Kinsale, Ireland (www.avego.com), is demonstrating an iPhone application intended to let drivers and prospective passengers connect and share rides.
When the program is available, drivers who want to offer rides will first download the app, then record their preferred route, said Sean O’Sullivan, managing director of Avego and executive chairman of Mapflow, Avego’s parent company, based in Dublin.
“You put the iPhone on the dashboard, and it records the entire trip and sends the route to our network,” he said. The system stores the route, adding it to its menu of paths and pick-up points and offering them automatically to interested riders.
Drivers must have an iPhone in order to use the service, but if passengers don’t, they will be able to look for a ride on the Avego Web site or call or send a text message, Mr. O’Sullivan said. Drivers and riders can identify one another by photographs displayed on their iPhones, as well as by PINs that verify identities and authorize the transaction.
Avego will charge 30 cents a mile, he said, with 85 percent going to the driver to recover some of the commuting costs and 15 percent to the company. All payments will be handled by automated online accounting.It will take a while to establish a critical mass of drivers and passengers, Mr. O’Sullivan acknowledged. But he hopes that the chance to defray expenses will change the entrenched habits of many drivers who treasure their solitude. “It will require behavior changes on the part of drivers and riders,” he said.