Application built by university eases car-sharing hassles

By Wu Po-hsuan  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Jan 23, 2015 - Page 3

A mobile-phone application developed by National Taipei University of Technology offers a free platform for people looking for others with whom to share a taxi or car.

Department of Electronic Engineering associate professor Huang Shih-chia (黃士嘉) said the application, BlueNet-Ride, was officially launched in September last year, adding that his research team has been studying car-pooling for five years.

“Because not too many people in Taiwan like the idea of sharing a cab or a road trip with complete strangers, we encourage people to organize trips in collaboration with Facebook friends,” Huang said.

“They can use BlueNet-Ride to find people to share a ride when they want to go to a restaurant, KTV bar or a music concert,” Huang said.

“In the same was as on the Facebook and Line applications, people can send instant messages to each other via BlueNet-Ride,” Huang added.

The team said that BlueNet-Ride is different from application-based transport network Uber, whose operation has met with controversy and has been banned in some places.

Passengers using BlueNet-Ride simply share the cost of the cab fare and pay drivers as they would normally, the team said, adding that people do not need to pay to use the app, as it is free to download.

Meanwhile, the university signed a memorandum of understanding with the Changhua County Government to help the ease traffic congestion on New Year’s Eve through use of the app, adding that the system processed almost 1,000 car-sharing requests per day leading up to Dec. 31 last year.

Studies focused on BlueNet-Ride have been published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, the university said.

The technology has been patented in both Taiwan and the US, it added.