Uber is under investigation for spying on Lyft drivers, but they’re also mandating all drivers go electric by 2020. AMD is gaining on Intel FAR faster than analysts thought, and as a father of a toddler, I’m VERY interested in kids clothes that unfold like origami. My favorite tech stories for the first week of September 2017!
Services like Lyft and Uber have been disrupting the market for traditional taxi and town car service in a number of cities, thanks to lower prices and timely notifications through apps.
Today Waze took the wraps off of their solution for ride sharing named “RideWith”. Focused on reducing business commuter traffic, RideWith seeks to pair up drivers and riders who are already traveling in the same direction at the same times. It’s a 21st century version of the bulletin board a company might use for coordinating an employee carpool.
This is not a spur of the moment service, as Waze recommends passengers book a trip at least a day in advance, and the app will help calculate and pay drivers for fuel costs per ride. As Google now owns Waze, it’s no surprise that the service is launching first on Android, with iOS “coming soon”.
If you were hoping to try this out, you might have a bit of a wait. RideWith is currently in very limited BETA, only servicing Israel at the time this article was posted. You can pull up more info and an FAQ by heading to the RideWith website.
Is this the solution for alleviating traffic congestion during rush hour? Leave a comment below.
So here’s the deal. If for some reason you find yourself without a car, or need to find a ride in LA, it used to be a somewhat miserable experience. It’s hard to rely on buses, the Metro only has a limited route, and cabs are slow to arrive and expensive.
When ride-sharing services started filtering into the city, it was a refreshing and high tech change of pace. Looking for a nicer “Town Car” service, you could fire up Uber, and for those short trips I might’ve called a cab for in the past, Lyft consistently proved faster and nicer. Especially from those ride-sharing folks who really got into it, offering beverages and snacks.
Of course Taxi companies, being somewhat old school, have to follow myriad rules and regulations that their app based counterparts weren’t subject to. Understandably, this has led to friction as established companies feel this gives newer services an unfair advantage. Plus many have brought up safety issues as things like vehicle maintenance and driver background checks aren’t executed in the same fashion as they might be with cabs and divers.
Well now ride-sharing services will be brought under the regulatory control of the Public Utilities Commission which unanimously voted to allow these services to operate. Creating a new classification, “Transportation Network Services”, now drivers will be required to pass background checks, pass training courses, and carry a minimum $1 million liability insurance policy.
This vote by the state government will probably serve as an end-run around cities and smaller communities which were exploring outright bans on ride-sharing. I’m personally glad to see this move, as we can always use a little more competition, and maybe we’ll see traditional taxi services step up their game too. Hopefully this encourages a little more open-mindedness around alternative forms of transportation all around.