GreenRide — The new Horizon for Ride Sharing

Are you a commuter or are you using your car to get to work?

Do you take colleagues or people along with you heading to the
same destination?

If you do, congratulations! You are not only reducing your travelling costs of your trip, you are also helping to reduce CO2 emission through efficiently using your own car.

Recent studies show that the transportation sector was one of the two biggest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States in 2016. Of the transportation sector light duty vehicles made up 60% of emissions (source). Expressed in figures, greenhouse gas emission from transportation was about 25 metric tons and is expected to increase by 400% until 2050. The inefficient use of vehicles around the world which projected to reach the two billion by 2040 has an obvious negative impact on economic, environment, health, and social sectors (source).

Further studies have shown that in 2016, two thirds of German commuters used their car to get to work (source). The number has not changed significantly since the year 2000 despite multiple ongoing efforts by the German state to make public transport more attractive and accessible (source).

Using your own car is the most convenient way to commute from A to B. The problem is that cars as resource of mobility are hopelessly underutilized.

For every 100 vehicles commuting to work, about 6 carry a fellow commuter (source).

Ride sharing and GreenRide

Ride sharing is a great way to better utilize this resource and ride sharing apps are getting increasingly popular. When commuters get together to share a ride fewer cars are on the roads which leads to reduced CO2 emission. Time spent in the car is reduced because of shortened traffic jams. This leads to a lower level of stress of employees and could increase networking between employees of all hierarchies. Besides, drivers also earn something extra with every ride they offer so there’s of course an extrinsic motivation to carpooling.

Together with Green Tomorrow, a startup specialized in green and sustainable solutions, we are developing a new car sharing app called GreenRide. This mobile app rewards both drivers and passengers of a shared ride based on how much CO2 is being reduced on a trip.

Targeted users are mainly universities, organizations and corporates that want to motivate their employees to share a ride to their workplace and are eager to reduce their carbon footprint as one of their annual goals. Consequently, corporates would motivate their employees to share a ride to their workplace through using the GreenRide application. An organization can decide on how participating employees are going to be rewarded. This could be additional credit for in-house cafeterias or maybe even a day off, for instance. By default, the drivers and the passengers would get rewarded in GreenRide tokens (GRT) which they could spend outside of their offices as well.

There are multiple benefits for organizations participating in GreenRide. While offering a great way to organize carpools with the app, a company’s employees will be motivated to join a pool as often as possible to earn rewards. The more employees join, the more CO2 is saved by the company and the team spirit is strengthened. Gamification methods like local and global rankings between employees and organizations would further spur a positive competition between participants and in turn lead to an even greater environmental impact.

How GreenRide is being developed

GreenRide is being developed as a custom solution built on our mobile blockchain platform Ethereum Android.

The base of the app is an ERC-20 token wallet. This means we use blockchain technology for the incentive layer of the app.

As with our other projects, we don’t force blockchain technology or a decentralized architecture on every part of the product but rather employ it pragmatically in parts where it’s really needed. Users of the GreenRide app wouldn’t want to handle Ethereum accounts, sign messages externally, or alter the gas price to get a transaction mined quicker. First and foremost, users want to find or offer a carpool with other fellow employees, secondly, earn rewards, and thirdly, exchange those rewards at some point.

This means that we not only need to hide some of the complexity of blockchain technology from the user, we need to hide it completely and only use its advantages below the surface of the app. Moreover, we do not need to build a decentralized database from scratch but can rely on well established tools like Google’s Firebase for data storage.

It might seem as a centralized approach at first, but we go one step further: we use central components in a decentralized architecture. Every participating organization can have its own data storage. No user generated data can be accessed from someone outside of the company.

We, together with Green Tomorrow, are very excited to be a part of such an inspiring project which could actually help fight global warming. Currently we are working on the MVP of GreenRide and can pretty soon show you more. So stay tuned!