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Optimized Location and social network aware incentivized carpooling system

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000239100D
Publication Date: 2014-Oct-10
Document File: 3 page(s) / 48K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a system designed to provide an incentive for regular carpooling while matching compatible car poolers based on social networks, taking into account each user's route.

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Optimized Location and social network aware incentivized carpooling system

One of the greatest contributors to traffic congestion in large cities worldwide is the commuter automobile , which quite often is not filled to capacity. A system that can help identify and encourage carpooling can not only greatly improve the traffic quality within a city, but also add convenience to the lives of the users of such a system.

Systems exist to help users coordinate and arrange carpooling. Many of these focus on single-use longer routes, such as drives to other cities. Although some of these systems do take into account social networking information to produce stronger matches , the systems do not determine compatibility based on the calculated routes of the users involved . At best, these systems provide information on start and end times and locations so the user can search for a potential carpooling opportunity .

The novel contribution is a system designed to provide an incentive for regular carpooling while matching compatible car poolers based on social networks, taking into account each user's route. This allows a potential car pooler that has a similar route, or a passenger that has a subset of the driver's route, to take advantage of the system.

The system combines location and user-provided destination data to determine in real time where the user is heading or needs to go. Furthermore, it uses existing social media data to determine if two users know each other so it can customize its suggestions to groups of users who already have some level of comfort with one another. The system also optimizes based on the users' time of commute and the start and end locations, to find better potential carpooling matches.

The system also handles a set of small monetary transactions benefitting the driver and vehicle owner in the carpooling arrangement. The passengers pay a small fee to the driver through the system, to offset the effort of driving, the expense of vehicle ownership, and any possible inconvenience. In addition, a small percentage of the transaction can be absorbed by the system for revenue and maintaining the system.

Basic flow of the system for a driver:

1. Driver logs into the system and enters departure and destination information. For example: Leaving home (Global Positioning System (GPS) location) at 8:30 am, heading to work (GPS location).

2. System obtains a set of users who are also logged in that have requested transportation and are within the social network of the driver

3. System analyzes the set of users to determine which have requested transportation to and from locations that are close to the driver's route and at similar times. It also presents potential passengers whose route is a closely matched subset of the

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route provided, since those people can be picked up along the way.

4. System presents the set of users and associated requested start locations and destinations to the driver , as well as a n...