Getting strangers to subsidise your commuting costs

Getting strangers to subsidise your commuting costs

While Avego's driver-passenger matching service sounds like tree-hugger heaven, there are some serious buts …

As a driver, advertising the fact that you have three empty seats on a certain route at a certain time of day tells everyone not only that you're alone in your car, but exactly where and when.

Although users can rate drivers and passengers in order to restrict future matches, they have to travel with them at least once in order to rate them. Thus, at least once, users will have to travel with a total stranger.

And there's an insurance issue. The system calculates each person's share of the commute cost. Any private vehicle driver who carries paying passengers is now driving a commercial vehicle, and his insurer needs to know this and adjust his insurance premium accordingly.

However, it's not too much of an issue just yet.In order for the system to have any impact on the number of single-occupant cars clogging up the roads, Avego needs a lot more than the current 64 worldwide users who have signed up since the service was launched this month.

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