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September 17, 2012 2:45 PM   Subscribe

RidePost is a trusted ridesharing community where travelers meet and share rides across the U.S. It’s a friendlier way to travel—one that’s good for the environment, good for your wallet, and great for getting to know new people. It's a peer-to-peer ridesharing platform connecting those who need a ride with drivers who have extra space in their car. They are partnered with TrustCloud, another startup that assigns a “Trust Score” to individuals, to help increase security for both drivers and passengers.
posted by netbros (15 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
I like the idea - I suspect that Americans are unfairly averse to hitchhiking, so a more formal ride sharing system like this could work.

The biggest problem may be insurance. I'm fairly sure that every auto insurance policy I've had has indicated that the policy is NOT valid for rental, hire, or other commercial activities of my car. If this was a bit more underground, that might not be a problem. But this system is plugged right in to Facebook's identity system, and you can bet that every major insurance company is too. Even if the public Facebook API doesn't allow you to find out who is using someone else's app, Facebook offers a wide array of service for advertisers with big budgets. So they will know. And lying to your insurance company is fraud anyway.
posted by b1tr0t at 2:55 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I appreciate that the system is there to reduce the likelihood of spree killers in my car, but for me that's really a six nines kind of situation, and I'm not convinced they can deliver.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:02 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I appreciate that the system is there to reduce the likelihood of spree killers in my car, but for me that's really a six nines kind of situation, and I'm not convinced they can deliver.
I'm far less worried about spree killers than door-to-door proselytizers realizing that this is a way to guarantee a captive audience.
posted by b1tr0t at 3:06 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


mitfahrgelegenheit.de (literally: opportunity to share a ride . de) has done this for around 10 years in Germany - sans the facebook integration, of course. According to their own blurb, they are nowadays part of carpooling.com who arranges rides for around a million people each month. It's very normal to share rides like that around here.

I wouldn't be surprised if it's killed off by litigation in the US.
posted by brokkr at 3:14 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


But this system is plugged right in to Facebook's identity system, and you can bet that every major insurance company is too.
Are you saying that insurers have a backdoor into Facebook data? That's quite a strong claim; you should probably offer some evidence.

If you're saying that insurers are scraping publicly-available Facebook data to build actuarial tables, that seems more plausible; I'm not sure that something like RidePost would show up in that feed (probably depends on some Byzantine and ever-changing privacy setting).
posted by bbuda at 3:25 PM on September 17, 2012


Are you saying that insurers have a backdoor into Facebook data? That's quite a strong claim; you should probably offer some evidence.
I'm saying you should assume they do. I've seen a few presentations about the top-shelf advertising tools that Facebook offers to advertisers. I'm not familiar with the details of exactly what you can get if you pay Facebook enough money, but it is clear that you can get more than what a random developer who signs up for the Facebook API has access to.

Even with the plain API access, you may be able to discover the majority of users, if RidePost makes posts on your timeline, and you have given them access to post publicly.
posted by b1tr0t at 3:35 PM on September 17, 2012


Are they making the facebook tie-in required because they want to offload the registration stuff?
That might be OK.
but this seems more like forcing you to advertise for them.

I still avoid things that MAKE me use Facebook , but it seems like that is the sad , shitty price of admission for more and more services.
posted by das_2099 at 3:46 PM on September 17, 2012


"Are you saying that insurers have a backdoor into Facebook data?"

No, they use the front door. They pay for the data. It's what Facebook does. For a price.
posted by Xoebe at 3:50 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is this a situation where I'd have to like people to understand the appeal?

I'm kidding, settle down. It seems like a really interesting proposition.
posted by cooker girl at 3:50 PM on September 17, 2012


I've hitched while in Yellowstone National Park as an employee without a car that needed to get to/from trailheads. By holding up our employee ID card it usually was a piece of cake to get a ride from another employee heading in the same direction.

Out of all the people that picked us up (that weren't other park employees) a good portion were German/European. Go figure, but that seems to fit in with the above statements that this is an alive and well habit in Germany.

The few times we didn't get picked up at all it was a long, long walk to the trailhead.

Thanks for the post, much like couchsurfing this is one of those pay it forward/awesome things that I can't help but get excited about.

I've had good luck couchsurfing too, but that's not to say that it's all sunshine and lollipops either.
posted by RolandOfEld at 3:54 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Co-founder Robert Pearce is seeking a one-way ride from Earth to Mars.
posted by beryllium at 4:14 PM on September 17, 2012


I heard about TrustCloud last week from selenized. This is the first practical application of it that I've seen.
posted by asnider at 5:31 PM on September 17, 2012


There's a pretty interesting Freakanomics Radio program that talks about the decline of hitchhiking in the US.
posted by orme at 5:32 PM on September 17, 2012


If TrustCloud doesn't use the "Wuffie" to score people, they have missed out.
posted by clvrmnky at 8:45 PM on September 17, 2012


I have been providing rides through Craigslist for 3 years. I have my own screening process that in the end, is my gut instinct about a person. I have never had a problem rider. Having a group of strangers accessing my FB page would not work for me.

I can see how having a more structured program in place might get more people involved though. Most of my friends my age are pretty horrified by the idea of ridesharing and give a mixed response of admiration that I do it combined with "OMG...I could never do that" kinda thing. I think they are missing out on a very good thing.
posted by cairnoflore at 2:45 PM on September 18, 2012


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