Carpooling is a well-known activity for sharing one’s car for commuting. The reasons for carpooling? In order to save money on one hand and to reduce the impact of pollution on the environment on the other. This mode of exchange has existed for years and grows regularly without really changing our travel habits.
It must be said that beyond the idea that carpooling is commendable or even necessary in the medium term for our planet, the reality of a generalized carpooling seems far away.
Among the many obstacles, there is the need to plan the commute in advance and also to share it with a minimum number of constraints, so as to reduce the possibility of unsuitable conditions for ourselves and others.
The software available for carpooling are numerous and offer a way to register (as a social network) and to provide or request a journey, and then to connect the supply and demand. Two methods of carpooling are offered: occasional and recurring trips.
Registration is important because it’s the way to give to each participant sufficient information on fellow travelers and their vehicles. It also allows one to share the opinion of users, this last point especially useful for the issue of security.
When you make the same daily trip at more or less the same time, you realize that people around you are largely doing the same as you. This is true for those in other vehicles and the pedestrians using bus lanes.
I’ve often thought that I could suggest to some of these commuters that they could travel in my car, either every day or from time to time. In contrast, I don’t want to open my car to everyone and I don’t want to travel with people who could oblige me to change my normal travelling habits. (No journey on certain days or simply some schedule changes). Hence the idea that follows:
The combination of geo-location and carpool’s social network can create a different operation, while maintaining the principle of making the link between a user and a supplier of trip, but getting rid of the difficulty of a prior agreement for a given journey to a fixed schedule agreed in advance. This mode is particularly suitable for small scale commuting, travelling in the same way as the current bus. Hence, the idea of regular carpool in real-time is created.
In this new mode of carpooling, each user (applicant or supplier) must be registered and decline a minimum of information as is the case today.
The provider has to report and register one or more usual journeys and his/her transport capacity (passengers and luggage). When the journey begins, he has the option to propose sharing or not. If the sharing option is activated, the geo-location helps to deduce travel opportunities for potential applicants and estimated transit schedules. The applicants say that they want to make a trip and they have to give their starting position and their place final destination. It is then the system that indicates if a vehicle is approaching and can allow them to do all or part of their journey. If the applicant accepts the offer, the offeror is immediately notified of both the request and the geographical position of the applicant.
It is able to confirm availability or not. At the moment of his passage, he/she will be warned of the presence of the applicant, who will then get into the vehicle.
An NFC reader in the vehicle can supplement the device to make it easier and safer to validate the applicant’s identity before the meeting. On the other hand, a subscription to a journey can be used to facilitate access to this journey for seekers and providers who have a regular relationship. This allows the offeror to simply check the “opening” of the trip and the applicant to know the time of passage of the offeror on a given day.
In this way and with some other improvements, carpooling could develop and help fill empty vehicles, thus facilitating common transport. This mode can also replace hitchhiking: rather than the thumb stretched and the hope that a car will stop (each not knowing whether to go in the car or whether to take the Hitchhiker) just look on one’s mobile to see if a vehicle “shared” is approaching, and what is the identity of the hitchhiker.
Note : Before publishing this article, I decided to identify the companies carpool to send it to them. Among the companies that I found, I identified Covivo (http://www.covivo.eu ) that offers exactly carpooling in real time … I had a dream, Covivo has realised it !