News
To promote trust and reliability, Carpooling launches new trusted profiles
On 11 December 2012 by Francesca Pick

After being in operation for over 10 years, Carpooling.com has launched new trusted profiles with features that improve trust and reliability on their platform.

As we’ve been hearing from collaborative consumption advocate Rachel Botsman as well as Forbes, Fastcompany and Shareable, trust between individuals is crucial for the functioning of peer-to-peer (p2p) marketplaces that enable people to share rides, items, space, skills and experiences with strangers. Without question that also goes for ridesharing, as Markus Barnikel, CEO Carpooling.com states:

Like any community, online or offline, ridesharing can only flourish if it is grounded in systems of trust and transparency.

Similar to Airbnb or eBay, Carpooling enables ridesharers to rate each other after their ride on the basis of three key indicators: punctuality, well-being and whether the other party stuck to the agreements made before the ride. Carpooling’s new user profile features place more emphasis on these ratings and adds user validation options.

More than security issues, the new user profile is also designed to improve the overall ridesharing experience. As Odile Beniflah, international Senior Product Manager explains, “now that ridesharing is starting to become more mainstream, people are asking for more information: what type of car are people driving, how reliable and pleasant are they, have they been certified with a photo-ID? That’s why we introduced online booking and simple user ratings a couple of years ago and are taking this to the next level now with richer profiles and multi-criteria ratings.”

“Ridesharing is about well-being and the social experience”

Will the new profiles convince more people to start ridesharing? Beniflah thinks so: “The more information is visible on users’s profiles, the more people will see that ridesharing is one of the most reliable, safe and fun transportation options out there. Some people still hesitate to rideshare because they have this mental image of old-fashioned carpooling or hitchhiking. They imagine themselves riding with strangers, being subject to delays or riding in an uncomfortable car. Rich user profiles reveal more about the other person and make it easier to choose somebody you may really enjoy sharing a ride with. Of course, punctuality and comfort come first, but in the long run ridesharing is about well-being and the social experience.”

The ridesharing platform, which has been known in Germany for many years as Mitfahrgelegenheit.de, is the largest global ridesharing network with over 4 million members in 40 countries. It moves 1 million people from A to B every month. At the beginning, the site’s user profiles were very basic, containing only name and contact information. User ratings were added only recently. Due to its large self-regulating community though, the platform has allegedly been able to operate for eleven years without a single serious incident reported.

This new move shows the ridesharing platform’s dedication to keeping it so.

Read this article in German or check out the full press release.


Photo credit: CC Argonne National Laboratory

Francesca Pick Ouishare Fest Co-Chair and Germany Connector. I am passionate about the sharing economy, sustainable business models and finding a way to build trust on the Web. Profile →

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