A Proposition

Jesse Mallen
In terms of case study, the closest to what I’m about to describe is the business BlaBlaCar (Europe, India and Brazil). The idea is a hitchiking/ride sharing/carpooling service that connects people who want a lift, with people already driving in that direction. The drive for this is that almost every driver on the road is in their car by themselves, and Melbourne’s public transport is terrible – you need a car to get around. I also note that almost without exception most drivers blindly follow their google maps gps, which is so ubiquitous on the roads that it’s concentration of usage is what predicts traffic density! Therefore, it would be so simple for Google to simply augment their existing app with such a service, that riders could ping for a lift much like an uber (I developed this idea after hearing the business model of Uber proposed to me, and thinking that they were doing this. they were doing something so much worse). The drivers in the area already going that way can recieve a popup notification asking if they’d like to accept. If they do, the two are paired. It can be a free lift service, but I think it would be nice to encourage riders to offer their drivers something in return for fuel and whatnot. For drivers, this can be free revenue for going no further off their way. For passengers, this is better than uber since the car’s already on the road, and they’re real people heading to real things. For the roads, it moves more people and directly reduces the number of cars on the road. It’s a win/win/win/win. A quadwin!


This is very similar to the service BlaBlaCar operates, except they focus on the long distance hitchiking market. They have a userbase of 160 million users, which is great, but it’s not close to the 4 billion using google maps, or the millions who daily carpool a similar route to each other! This idea could really change the world and I’m really hoping someone with the market share like Google adopts it.