One of the most direct solutions to this problem has always been right in front of our eyes. However, it was not organized and curated. We are talking about the practice of carpooling.
There are a few rigid attributes that define carpooling. The person who offers the ride will not change the destination according to the request of the passenger. As a corollary, the passenger cannot demand the driver to drop them at the destination of their choice. The driver does not get any profit out of offering this ride but they only get to share the cost of the fuel involved in the ride. It is a perfect example of how the sharing economy needs to work. Launching a carpooling app is one of the best ideas of this decade for entrepreneurs.
The Attenuating Forces
On paper, carpooling looks like a brilliant idea. On one side, passengers get to experience a very comfortable ride to their destination at a very discounted cost. On the other hand, the drivers also get to benefit from the fuel cost that they save by sharing with a co-passenger. In addition to the obvious benefits, the driver also gets the company of a good passenger who might make the entire drive less boring.
However, not everything is a bed of Roses when it comes to carpool. There are chances that the driver or the passenger might not be a pleasant person. This might result in the entire experience of carpooling getting damaged.
The solution to this problem lies in eliminating the uncertainties involved. To an adequate extent, this problem has been effectively addressed by the French carpooling company BlaBlaCar. BlaBlaCar has marketed its presence in over 22 countries and exerts dominance over Europe. It cannot be forgotten that the success of BlaBlaCar can only be attributed to the volcanic eruption that grounded all the flights over Europe. The list of countries in which BlaBlaCar operates includes Brazil, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Italy, the Netherlands Poland, Hungary, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovakia, Russia, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
BlaBlaCar has always featured in the top 10 transportation apps on both the Apple App Store and Google play store.
What Advantages do Apps like BlaBlaCar bring?
In most cases, an application solves a real-world problem by organizing it and making the process streamlined. Given the fact that there are not many competitors for BlaBlaCar, it would be a great idea to start your own carpooling business by creating an app with the features that made BlaBlaCar successful in the first place.
- BlaBlaCar automates the entire process of carpooling by bringing in intelligent algorithms that connect the passenger with the right driver. It also helps in keeping a complete track record of all the users in all the ways possible. The driver can maintain a list of all the rights that they have offered. The passenger, on the other hand, can also keep a list of all the rights that they have taken.
- By integrating a payment gateway, these applications eliminate the hassles involved in transactions. Most of the mainstream payment gateways are flexible enough to accommodate multiple methods of payments including but not limited to credit cards, debit card internet banking, wallets, and even cash.
- The driver should be offered incentives that will encourage them to carpool. One of the examples can be the provision of roadside assistance. Drivers often travel with the fear of breakdowns and troubles. If the carpooling platform can assure roadside assistance available for the drivers, it is quite likely that they will involve themselves in the process of carpooling.
Creating a Ride-Sharing App
One of the most straightforward methods to develop a ridesharing application is to create the app all by yourself. You can either choose to partner with a reputed app development company, or higher your team of developers. Some companies offer dedicated developers – resulting in some cost savings in recruitment. It also helps jettison the worry of attrition.
It has to be understood that all the ride-hailing applications are, in essence, similar to Uber. You can make use of an Uber clone app to jump-start the process of creating a new carpooling app. These Uber-like apps help you save a lot of time and money. All you need to do is customize the apps in a way that fits your requirement and your brand language. Uber clothes can be rightly modified to become carpooling apps.
Lessons to Succeed in the Carpooling Business
Life is too short to make all the mistakes by ourselves. We can learn from the success of BlaBlaCar to find out the best practices that you will need to uncompromisingly follow to ensure success in your carpooling business.
Make the algorithm intelligent
It cannot be denied that it is the intelligence of the algorithm that spells the difference between a mediocre and an excellent carpooling application. There are a few real-world lessons that need to be considered when you create the algorithm. If the algorithm can take into consideration, the movement of the drivers between cities and certain repetitive patterns, it is possible to connect the driver to the right passengers, especially in the case of intercity transportation.
Integrate with pre-existing transportation systems
This integration does not have to be confined to public transport but it is the territory where this integration works best. You can consider partnering with bus services in providing last-mile connectivity for users, especially when they have to travel from the bus terminus to a distant place on the outskirts of the city. You can also bring in features like the in-app purchases of tickets and luggage space.
Make your app versatile with features
In essence, ridesharing is all about transporting people from one place to another. However, there are a lot of parameters that might change the dynamics of cost. If you have a luxury car, it might not be the same in terms of fuel. You can bring in features like adding specific models and even adding preferred drivers. This can result in your app being perceived as one of the most secure and user-friendly.
The market for ridesharing applications is quite wide and open. BlaBlaCar is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to riding sharing. It could be the untapped segment in the world of sharing economy. If you would like to create a business in the transportation sector, and specifically in ridesharing, the time is right now!
The latest fad in the world of transportation is, without question, the phenomenon of providing transportation services on demand. We have seen the launch of taxi app companies spin up left, right, and center. It has to be accepted that the market is quite wide open. Although it might seem that the market is saturated with a lot of players, the coexistence of all these brands only goes on to prove that new brands can enter into the market and still be successful and profitable.
In all of this, there are instances when people fail to understand that the transportation market does not stay confined to a unidirectional pattern of operation. We often look at a linear ecosystem where drivers provide services to passengers. The balance might be skewed during festival seasons and long weekends. It is the time when public transport fails to address the magnitude of demand. Even the entry of on-demand app-based transportation ecosystems is not sufficient to meet the demand of that time.