Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Follow up on My App Idea - App For Drivers


As a follow up to my idea yesterday for an App to keep trempistim safe by checking up on them every ten minutes, there could be a parallel database of registered drivers prepared to pick up trempistim.

Drivers would not be able register themselves, they would have to be registered by a recognized authority such as the Katzin Bitachon of a yishuv, a community Rabbi, or local police station.
Once registered, drivers receive an identification code.

When a driver stops to pick up a trempist, the trempist would ask the driver for his code, the App then sends the trempist a photo of the registered driver, and confirms that the driver's phone is adjacent to the trempist's phone and it is safe to travel together. The App would then no longer need to send a check-up message every ten minutes.
An added benefit would be that the trempist would have details of the person who gave him a ride, for example if he left something in the car it would be easy for the driver and trempist to contact each other.

Another possible option would be to allow drivers to enter their destination when they set out on a journey. The App could notify them of a trempist in the area looking for a ride in the same direction. This would save trempistim needing to hold signs with their destination written and would save drivers stopping at every trempiada to ask if anyone is heading their way.

You could easily gameify it by giving drivers points every time they pick up a trempist.

Another feature of the app could be do store travel data, similar to Ways and provide trempistim useful information for example, the average time waiting for a tremp at a particular tzomet at that time of day, suggested routs if they will need more than one tremp to get home, and even information about the location of a register driver heading to their destination.

This would make tremping quicker and safer for both drivers and trempistim.

So that's my idea - anyone see any potential problems with it or way to improve it?
Anyone have the knowledge or resources to get it developed?


Unknown said...


I think it needs to be simpler, or it won't get used. I think the model should be Uber for Hitchhikers. Hitchhikers could add their common addresses (home and school for example) and each time they start hitchhiking they load the app and on the front page they choose from their favorites, or add a specific address. In normal use this will be one button press to get started. Drivers in the area would then be notified of someone in the vicinity who is hitchhiking, and would be shown their current location and destination. They could then agree to take that person, whereupon the passenger would get notified with an estimate of how far away the car was from them.

For safety, you could also create a kind of social graph where you could see that the passenger is connected to you through your son's classmate, or something like that. This could be done using existing social graphs like FB, or for those not on FB, a new one for this app could be created.

Once a passenger initiates the session, the system should capture their location every minute, whether they have started a ride or not. You could allow friends and family to view the passenger's location in real time (like Waze allows you to share your location).

I like the idea of verifying drivers, but the same goes for passengers. I wouldn't make it a requirement, however. If you as a passenger only want verified drivers to see your call for a ride, then that should be your choice. Same for drivers, who should be able to choose only to see notifications of verified passengers. A driver could see something like 'Passenger verified by Yeshivat Har Etzion is looking for a ride from Alon Shvut entrance (10 minutes from you) to Modi'in'

Once there's a network of users, of course it can be used for other purposes as well, such as sending out notifications when there is a terror alert, a code red alert, etc.


Michael Sedley said...

Good thinking Philip, and I think that an App that helps registered (validated) drivers and hitchhikers finding each is the best way to go.

The question is still, if someone is abducted and has the phone left at the side of the road before he has a chance to hit a panic button - how long would it take for some one to notice that he's missing?

Possibly by your outline, he would still be noticed pretty quickly - if a driver is looking out for a trempist at a specific location, and there is no one there, yet the App reports that he is still waiting, he would hopefully investigate further and sound an alarm.

Jason H. Elbaum said...

Don't forget that phone batteries die.