Drew Olanoff was The Next Web's West Coast Editor. He coined the phrase "Social Good" and invented the "donation by action" model for onlin Drew Olanoff was The Next Web's West Coast Editor. He coined the phrase "Social Good" and invented the "donation by action" model for online charitable movements. He founded #BlameDrewsCancer. You can follow him on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, or email [email protected]
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to drive a taxi or become a fancy Uber driver, you might actually get the chance to. A new app called SideCar aims to become a community of people looking to give each other rides to and from their destination.
The interesting thing about SideCar is that payment is optional and the price is completely decided on by the passenger. Using the same rating system that Uber uses, this “pay what you want” model could take off, considering you’ll get low ratings as a passenger for being a cheapskate.
The service is only available in San Francisco right now and its iOS app is strikingly similar to that of Uber’s. All you have to do is create an account and associate your credit card with it and wait for a ride.
Like the Uber app, you’re shown how close available vehicles are and how long it will take for them to get to you. Once you set your location and request a pickup, SideCar drivers get to choose whether to pick you up or not.
As long as you have a valid California driver’s license, insurance, and a car you can become an Sidecar driver. Thinking like a passenger this scared me a bit at first, but according to the company, it does background checks before approving drivers:
SideCar goes through tremendous measures to ensure that drivers are safe. Not only must SideCar Drivers have a valid driver’s license, insurance and a good car in working order, but we also run background checks, conduct interviews and extensively test them with secret shoppers. We also use GPS technology to track their locations to make sure everything runs smoothly.
There’s no word on when the service plans to expand to other cities, but if its a success in San Francisco, it will surely hit other popular cities like Seattle, New York, and Los Angeles.
If you do live in San Francisco and are looking for a few ways to make an extra buck, SideCar is a great way to do that.
Get the TNW newsletter
Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.