NZ gets native ride-sharing app

NZ gets native ride-sharing app

A ‘beta’ test of a New Zealand- developed ride-sharing app has begun.

‘Chariot’ launched lats last week on iOS and Android platforms.

Wellington-based Chariot chief executive and co-founder Dr Thomas Kiefer says he’s excited to be launching the service with its positive spin-offs for commuters and the environment.

“For roughly the price of a bus fare, people who use Chariot will be able to get a ride from, or give a ride to someone going in the same direction. It is a convenient, affordable, fun and safe way to get to where you need to go,” he says.

The model works within a cost-sharing agreement, where Chariot users share the costs of a trip.

Users who are drivers require a full driver’s license, but don’t need to have a “P” endorsement, as they are not transporting passengers for reward or hire. They simply receive a contribution towards the cost of the trip, says Dr Kiefer.

Passengers can browse listings or create ride requests. Once a ride is confirmed, a price is set up front between the passenger and the driver. All payments are securely processed, cashless, through the app.

“The app has identity and vehicle registration functions, and users can share the details of any ride with a contact. Apart from pure ‘safety’ we’ve also looked at what makes users most comfortable. So we also have a rating and two way review system, and women can choose to travel only with other women,” says Dr Kiefer.

Meanwhile drivers can browse requests and create their own listings as a way to fill up empty seats.

Drivers can pick up and drop off one or more passengers heading in the same direction – thanks to Chariot’s ground-breaking ‘waypoint -matching’ algorithm.

“We are particularly proud of this feature, which will generate more matches, a higher uptake of seats and in return, less cars on the road,” says Dr Kiefer.

Kiwis love their cars, yet the flipside is we have growing congestion and a lack of parking spaces in our major city centres, he says.

Watch Chariot’s PledgeMe campaign, used to help fund the start-up, HERE.

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