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Suggested Donations Are Here

suggdonationWe’re always looking for ways to improve the SideCar experience for our community of riders and drivers. With today’s latest update (v1.544) you’ll see that we’ve modified our donations model from the floating “community average” to the more stable “suggested donation.”

We’re doing this in response to SideCar riders telling us that they’d like to donate more to great drivers without driving up the community average donation for all.  So as of today, the donations displayed will no longer be the true floating average, as it has been.  Instead, they will be stable and reasonable for both riders and drivers.  If you’ve had a great ride, moving forward you should feel free to donate as much as you want to your awesome driver.  They’ll certainly appreciate it!

With over 100,000 rides under our belt, we know the average donation for rides all over San Francisco and Seattle. We’ll put this information to good use by generating a suggested donation based on the average for your ride. As always, donations are completely voluntary with SideCar.

SideCar Gets a Fresh Paint Job

We’re proud to announce that our latest update (released last night) includes a brand new look and feel.  Take it for a spin today and let us know what you think!

In addition to the fresh paint, the new update also includes:

  • Performance, stability and battery improvements
  • Auto-donate that kicks in 24 hours after a ride
  • Streamlined promo code flow
  • Apply to be a driver right from the app

Huge props to our design and dev teams for continuing to make the SideCar experience as beautiful as possible.  And even bigger props to all the drivers and riders that make up the SideCar community.  The real beauty happens out there, with you.

New Feature: Auto-Donate is Here!

We’re very excited to announce a new feature that both drivers and riders alike have been requesting for quite a while:  auto-donate.

It works like this:

  • Grab a ride, just like normal
  • Once your ride has started, you’ll have the option to make a donation to your driver.  You can still donate any amount.
  • If you don’t make a specific donation (including $0) within 24 hours of your ride, SideCar will automatically process a donation in the amount of the community average for your ride.
  • Your ride just got even more hassle-free, and your driver just got happier.  Win-win.

Thanks for your continuing feedback on this and other features!  It’s the community’s input that keeps making SideCar better and better.

SideCar is Awesome on iOS 6

We are proud to announce that SideCar 1.48 is compatible with, and uses the full capabilities of, Apple’s iOS 6.  The transportation innovations in iOS 6 are a perfect fit with the SideCar app.  Here’s how:

  • When a user who has SideCar installed gets directions through iOS 6, they are automatically served up the option to use SideCar as a rideshare option to get from here to there.
  • If SideCar is not installed, iOS 6 gives them an option to download the app right from the mapping app.
  • Passbook integration:  when a rider has a driver on the way, the trip information is in the Passbook and is easily available at the touch of a button.

SideCar 1.48 will be available as soon as iOS 6 is released to the public for download.  While SideCar is only available in the Bay Area for now, it will be coming to the rest of the country – and the world – soon.

SideCar is committed to innovation, convenience and ease-of-use.  As such, we thrilled to be the first on-demand rideshare application to fully integrate with iOS 6 and Apple Maps.

Traffic and Community Averages

This is Nick, SideCar’s number-crunching CFO. What a wild ride (pun intended) the last few months! Thanks to all of you for being awesome contributors to the community, both as drivers and riders. I’m writing here today to shed a little light on how we calculate the “Community Average” donations that we display in the app and to explain a change we are making to more accurately reflect those Community Averages.

As you all know, SideCar is a donation-based rideshare platform that connects riders who need a ride with drivers willing to give a ride. Payment is voluntary and drivers use the extra cash to help offset the costs of their vehicles. It’s a win-win for all. We help drivers and riders make informed decisions about the voluntary payment by displaying the average payment others have made for similar past trips. Many factors are taken into account, but we predominantly average the donations paid by others on trips of similar distances and expected durations.

After combing through our data we discovered that recently, in times of heavy traffic congestion, we’ve been underestimating trip times by 30% and sometimes more. What that means is that in many cases we have been under reporting the averages because we’ve been underestimating travel times and thus using the wrong data to calculate the averages. I’m sure many of you have noticed. I know those who drive have. In all fairness, we are making some changes to our algorithm that will more accurately take into account trip time and in turn more accurately display the average donations.  Typical commute times and busy weekend hours will see some impact.

Thanks for reading and for understanding this change is all about improving accuracy and fairness. Expect continued tweaks and improvements as we work to better the experience for drivers and passengers alike. We will always keep you posted.

If you have any questions at all, post them in the comments or send me an email at nick at side dot cr.

Thanks,

Nick

Driver, Rider, CFO

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