App of the Week: SideCar offers ‘spontaneous carpools’

This week’s App of the Week is SideCar, the community ridesharing service that connects people who need rides with drivers who have extra space in their cars. It works via apps on Android and iPhone/iPad.

SideCar recently expanded to Seattle from its original market of San Francisco. Andru Edwards of GearLive.com, our guest on this week’s GeekWire radio show and podcast, explained the app on the show. (Listen below.)

The company vets drivers using video interviews. They’re not professional licensed cab drivers, and they could very well be your neighbor. The company describes it as “spontaneous carpooling.” People who use the service pay what they want for the ride, using the app. The driver gets to keep 80 percent.

As my colleague John Cook mentioned during the show, it’s part of a trend of apps that create a market for excess capacity in people’s lives, whether it’s extra space to sit a dog for the weekend or an extra room in your house.

Andru also mentions RelayRides, which is another spin on car sharing, but it lets people use your car when you’re not there, like a crowdsourced ZipCar. John joked that he’s thinking about using RelayRides so someone will take his 1992 Honda Accord and never come back.

App of the Week is a regular feature of the GeekWire radio show and podcast, airing at 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. Saturdays; and 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sundays on 97.3 KIRO-FM in Seattle (when not preempted by live sports). The show runs every weekend on GeekWire.com. You can get every episode using this RSS feed, subscribe in iTunes. or search for the show on Stitcher.

Here’s the audio of this week’s segment.


Editor’s note: Sidecar is a sponsor of the upcoming GeekWire Gala.

  • Seattle

    While I like the idea (even if it may run in to regulatory roadblocks), I have not had any luck actually getting a ride on the app. I have checked it off and on for that last couple weeks and not once has there been a ride available in Seattle.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QBN24HMZO56NP2ATYAYVM2EYL4 Thomas

    In California, if you accept any money from passengers, whether it’s a contribution to defray expenses, bridge tolls or even parking, you are required to have a Chauffer’s License, and be registered with the CA Public Utilities Commission. If you accept money, then you are competing with bus, taxis and limousine services. I wonder if the app developers considered this when they had their “wonderful idea”. And what about insurance if there is an accident? Sounds to me like a lawsuit waiting to happen, plus the bust from the CPUC…