Dynamic Ridesharing Projects, Current, Past, and Proposed
Current and past projects are limited to those that produced at least field trials, and meet our criteria for "dynamic." The basic criterion is this: can matches be made via cell phone or mobile device?
See below for other systems that have been developed but not put into operation.
(Other ridesharing services –not dynamic – are here.)
Commutr. Launched January 15, 2015, this service in the San Francisco area attempts to replicate/improve the casual carpool phenomenon. It appears to be the only venture that has attempted to solve the "critical mass" issue by building ridership using taxis and shuttles to guarantee rides. News article.
Ville Fluide. French service launched in November 2011 aimed at companies wishing to provide dynamic ridesharing services to their employees. The system only suggests rides if a backup driver is available for the home-bound trip: "If an employee asks for a ride to work and a ride back home, the system will propose a ride only IF there is a driver for the the ride back home AND IF there is another driver available in case of cancellation of the first driver. The need for a backup solution is one of the main reasons why ridesharing does not attract lots of people in Europe and why standard dynamic ridesharing solutions fail." See "GéoCar is reinventing carpool commuting with employee clusters."
Flinc. Nationwide service in Germany, launched in July 2011. As of May 2012, 75,000 registered users (15,000 added in May alone). In Germany, every day, more than 7,500 rides are offered and close to 4,000 ride searches are posted. In March 2012, launched company program (flinc for commuters). First customer is BASF, the world's largest chemical company. Rollout for their employees in Germany starts June 1. Flinc has iPhone and Android apps as well as a web portal. Users can post rides on Facebook. Includes "integration with satellite navigation." More
Carriva/eNotions ,  (German). Translation provided by Carriva: Drivers and passengers can very easily and quickly form ride share opportunities "on the spur of the moment." Employees at Frankfurt Airport are testing the system. As of January 2009, there are slightly more than 1000 members; there are 25 to 30 successful matches per day. More
Covoiturage, Paris, France, 2008. One of the three major cellphone operators in France, SFR, has created a dynamic ride sharing service for 350,000 students from 28 campuses in the Paris region. The aim of the service is to provide the students with home-to-school trips and promote "sustainable mobility." The service is available through the website http://covoiturage-campus.com and from mobile phones. Students can find passengers or a driver at any time from their cellphones. Available via Vodafone Live! for SFR's mobile customers, the service will be fully accessible to all cellphone users starting mid-February 2008. For Vodafone/SFR customers, the system determines their location by trilaterating the cell-tower locations; other customers must specify their starting point.
Avego. Smartphone client for dynamic ridesharing (New York Times article) and dynamic ridesharing infrastructure. Drivers use a GPS navigation device (initial pilot tests used TomTom) or other mobile client (e.g., iPhone), which announces potential riders along their route. Drivers accept riders via touchscreen. Riders can make requests with any cell phone. more
Ridecell / Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta. Difficulty getting sufficient participation. See Implementing Real time_Ridesharing_in the San Francisco Bay Area.
In (rough) chronological order...
Los Angeles Smart Traveler, Los Angeles, California, USA, ~1993.
Bellevue Smart Traveler, Bellevue, Washington, USA, ~1993.
Seattle Smart Traveler, Seattle, Washington, USA, ~1993.
Sacramento-area Real-time Rideshare Matching, Sacramento, California, USA, 1995.
Easy Share, Sydney, Australia, ~1998.
M21, Stuttgart, Germany, 2001. Internet and automated telephone systems, operated to/from a suburban Daimler design center with approximately 6000 employees. Included a guaranteed ride home (a company car would be provided). In 2001 there were about 500 registered users. On average there were about 20-30 users on any given day (approximately 15 car pools). Project costs: approximately €10 M ($8.5 M in 2000). The project was expanded in 2002 to another site with approximately 800 users; usage remained at about 15 car pools per day. The project was discontinued in 2002 or 2003 [check]. more
TECAPSY, Alicante, Spain, ~2001.
Socialtraffic "Easy-Rider", Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2004-2005. A collaboration among government agencies and private companies (Alcatel, KLM, Volkswagen...) using the "Ecolane Dynamic Carpool" system, at one time available from Ecolane.com. One of the participants provides some information. [Excerpt: “...the project failed miserably. The key reasons for this were wrong business model (service expected passenger to pay money and driver to earn money) and bad marketing.”] A Flash demo of the application (still available on the wayback machine) indicates that each participating driver was given a GPS-enabled PDA (personal digital assistant) with a Java application user interface for ride matching. The pilot enrolled 300 [?] participants [riders? drivers?]. Incentives: none. Use/success: low.
Ride Now!, Alameda County, California, USA, 2005-6. Web and IVR interfaces to an "assigned match" system – users did not choose their rideshare partners – analogous to casual carpooling. Three efforts to implement, each focused on a single destination: (1) downtown San Francisco (parallel to existing casual carpool system); (2) a transit station (where participants could get a somewhat scarce parking space whether or not they were matched); and (3) a transit station (where participants would get half-price parking whether or not they were matched). Included a guaranteed ride home (by taxi) if a rider could not find a driver in the afternoon. An online ridematch simulation is available. more
Goose Express, Beta test, Seattle-Bellevue, Washington, September 2006-January 2007; Washington State Department of Transportation partnership, August 2007-August 2008. In the beta test, Microsoft employees living in the downtown Seattle area were eligible to use an SMS-based version of Goose Networks' ridematching service at no cost. Incentives – $10 credit upon registration, $10 upon first match, etc. – were offered. In the Washington State partnership, Goose Networks provided a free service to help commuters plan one-way, ad hoc carpools online or via SMS text message. more
Zypsy, Bay Area, 2006-7. "Mobile bulletin board" – SMS-based version of Craigslist. Did not get to critical mass ("Hard to get traction due to the classic chicken-and-egg problem: Ride sharers do not sign-up due to the lack of riders, and riders do not sign-up due to the lack of sharers"). This note from one of the founders is a good description of the project and their efforts to get to critical mass.
Goose Networks / Genentech, 2008. Focused on specific San Francisco neighborhoods in an effort to establish critical mass; included $4 per day commute incentive. "Genentech and Goose... could not sustain the level of customer service that the pilot project required." See Implementing Real time_Ridesharing_in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Carpool4Cash  Marin County, California. Proposal by Jim Fox, co-author of WordStar (of which those of a certain age will have fond memories).
Hoverport  Physically-based system (using park-and-ride lots), similar to casual carpooling. Matches are made in first-come order as riders and passengers arrive at the satellite lots. For the afternoon rides, an intermediate lot is proposed, where passengers would be able to change to vehicles heading to the lot that they used in the morning. A backup/guaranteed ride service is also proposed.
Aktalita  Guadalajara, Mexico. "Here in the developing world, we have terrible public transport in many places, few alternate routes, and tremendous need." Cellphone midlet – seamless operation between Web and lowest end cellphone with Java 2 mobile edition capability (~$50). "We also store all the public transit routes in an area and do compound matching... So a driver from an airport to home that crosses, say, a light train line going to the passenger's destination will compound match with a passenger's request." more
Piggyback  Cellphone application developed for Google's new "Android" platform (cell-phone operating system) – one of 20 second-round winners (August 2008) in Google's "Android Developer Challenge" contest for new cellphone-based applications. more
Dynamic Carpooling Project. A B.Sc. Thesis project "to develop a complete free/open Architecture to provide Dynamic Carpooling capabilities."
Texxi focuses on sharing taxis. Texxi had an unsuccessful trial in Liverpool (March-September 2006) and – contrary to expectations – a successful trial on the Isle of Wight (July-December 2008). "Our approach uses a Demand Responsive Transit Exchange to allow people who commute to buy multiple trips in a taxi far ahead of time." More
Cellphone4carpool. Voice-message system for dynamic ridesharing. Riders record short requests; drivers listen to requests based on location.
Covivo. Dynamic ridesharing system with iPhone and Android apps. "Projects in Luxembourg, Grenoble, and Nancy," according to a developer.