Ride-sharing services like Uber have made the drive home after a night out a safer experience but there is something that we could do without: surge pricing. A new ride-sharing service, called inDriver, that’s just launched in South Africa, reckons it might have the answer to that — haggling. More or less.
inDriver, a service that was pioneered thanks to a reaction to surge pricing on Russian social media, offers something that it calls Real Time Deals or RTD. Basically, those looking for a ride will set their own price for a trip and drivers nearby will see that price. They can either accept it, or they can send through a counter-offer — setting off a spot of negotiation.
Would you settle for… half?
You’d think that this might devolve into a free-for-all of folks looking for rides for free, but inDriver does offer pricing guidelines in-app. Nonetheless, those guidelines aren’t firm. The final cost is set when the driver and passenger come to an agreement via the app.
inDriver’s Lerato Moroe says, “The model, built to counter price surging, has proven adaptable and profitable for a variety of markets across Eastern Europe, Latin America and in Tanzania, where it launched last year.”
“Drivers on the app have full freedom to choose any ride request they like. They can see the fare offered, from point A to point B, and then decide if they want to accept the request. Passengers on inDriver pay on average 20%-30% less than with other services. They are able to share the details of their ride with a friend, providing added security.”
Want to get started? Hopefully you’re in the Cape Town area, as the service is limited to there for the moment. If you are, you can find inDriver on Google Play and Apple’s App Store. Other South African cities will be added in March this year.