Car pooling: Data science or social science?

 

Leading mobility Apps Uber and Waze both have found car pooling a tricky product to master, mainly because it is such a hard market to pin down. The two companies now appear to be heading off in slightly different directions in terms of strategy rather than sharing the same ride.

Uber POOL was launched in 2014 and operates globally in about 40 cities completing around one billion trips so far.

”Local

Uber has conceded that there was a lot to learn and found that riders liked 'the affordability of POOL'; they were less excited about the unpredictability that sharing can bring.

'Using this feedback, we built the next generation of shared rides from the ground up. The result is Express POOL, where riders wait a few minutes before their trips begin, and then walk a short distance to a nearby spot for pick up and drop off. Walking and waiting help us make more optimal matches and provide better, straighter, faster routes with fewer detours, delivering an even more affordable and consistent option than POOL to consumers.'

Express POOL is available in a host of cities in America and is due in London shortly.

Fred Jones, director for Uber UK, says: ‘It’s been a constant iteration because frankly getting this product right is incredibly hard. We have recently rolled out a new version, which will arrive soon in London, where what we do is called waiting and walking.

'There is a little bit of a wait before we match you with a car – it takes a bit more time to find the best vehicle to match you with, which is most likely to be going closest to your destination and most likely to be able to pick up another passenger. We also ask if you could walk about 200 metres up to the corner of the street that means it’s an easier pick up for the driver.'

This Wait and Walk service is based on better data science. However, rival Waze has found the trick is less about the data and more about the people.

UK country manager, Finlay Clarke, says: 'Car pooling has been around since the end of the second world war. We initially started by thinking it’s about all the routes, but it’s not about routes it’s about who you would get in a car with.

'We are learning a lot, making a lot of mistakes. Its all about people. Waze carpool looks a little like Tinder and the reason for that is you would not car pool with certain people.

‘We had to redesign the project to make it more about people. The reason car pooling has never taken off is it’s a lot of hassle for not much reward. If you can do the job of removing the hassle – connecting the people, arranging the payments – you have a chance.’

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Definitive Map Manager

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
This role is based within the Highways Service at Cambridgeshire County Council and provides an unusual and... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Bridge Park Operations Manager

Brent Council
£38,799 - £41,706 p.a. inc.
This is an exciting opportunity to play a key role in managing the operations and contributing towards the... Brentford (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Assistant Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,074 - £30,756
A great opportunity for someone looking to start or develop a career in Highways Engineering including the... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Head of Strategic Transport

Cheshire East Council
£64,000 - £75,000 + benefits
We’re committed to “working for a brighter future together” – and we expect you to be too! Cheshire
Recuriter: Cheshire East Council

Regeneration Manager

Mole Valley District Council
£52,895 - £57,143 FTE
This is a great career opportunity to specialise in town centre regeneration and repositioning. Dorking, Surrey
Recuriter: Mole Valley District Council

Technical Services Officer (Mechanical)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£36,876 - £38,813
This is an exciting and challenging time for Kirklees and we want to expand our team to manage and deliver construction... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Road and Footway Asset Engineer

Kent County Council
£28,925 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the Road and Footway Asset Team as an Asset Engineer. Kent
Recuriter: Kent County Council

Head of Waste

Lincolnshire County Council
£65,651 - £70,725
As Head of Waste, you will be commercially focussed and forward-thinking. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Assistant Director

Reading Borough Council
Up to £92k
It’s the ideal time to take the lead on our modernisation agenda, and deliver growth in the trading of our front line services. Reading, Berkshire
Recuriter: Reading Borough Council

Assistant Director – Highways

Lincolnshire County Council
£82,264 - £107,878
Come and lead the future agenda for our highways services. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

County Highways Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£55,503 - £60,578
Seeking a highly motivated leader and an excellent communicator, who has a proven ability to build relationships and trust, leading by example. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Local Highways Manager (East) - Lincolnshire County Council

Lincolnshire County Council
G12 £43,662 - £50,430
Seeking someone who combines excellent technical knowledge with a dedication to the customer. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council