Owning a car is an expensive luxury not everyone can afford. And not everyone needs a car all of the time. If you live in a large city or on a college campus, chances are you’ll only need a vehicle when you’re trying to leave (or return to) the city or campus. Well now Daimler AG, the company behind the Smart car2go service, has developed a web-based community to connect drivers with those looking for a ride called car2gether.
To participate in the community, users create profiles and share their current travel plans. car2gether then matches drivers and passengers who have similar routes planned, and users can agree to the journey online. The difference between car2gether and other carpooling communities, like the popular Zimride, is that passengers must pay to buy a seat and drivers get compensated for their services — the suggested rate is about 9.5 cents per minute based on the estimated travel time. The pilot program will be tested out in Ulm, Germany (Daimler’s base city) starting this month and will try to incorporate students from Ulm University and Neu-Ulm University in the winter semester.
This program seems like a great way to connect drivers and passengers so that less cars are on the road, less fuel is being used, and less pollution is going into the air. I’m curious to see, when the program becomes more established, if the driver’s fee will always be necessary — some drivers may be more than willing to provide a lift for free, or be open to bartering their services (perhaps a freshly baked pie for a ride?). Hopefully ridesharing programs like car2gether will become more popular and the end result will be less cars on the road.
Story via Wired
Image via darren131