With almost 80% of New Zealanders driving to work solo this means a lot of empty seats on our roads.
Essentially a pairing tool Chariot, launching in July, will pull together a driver and passenger looking to take the same journey. The pair will then agree on a price that covers specifically only the “running costs” of the journey (the only way NZ legislation allows the system to work) and pay through the app’s secure system.
The pairing means one more car off the road and a more social, hopefully more enjoyable ride for both parties.
For Milan Reinartz, chief of product at Wellington-based Chariot, the fact the app brings people together in real life is a social element that will be good for users.
“Chariot is like Tinder for ridesharing,” he says.
While carpooling apps are not a new phenomenon, Chariot is just more proof the budding “share economy” of New Zealand is on the up and up.
While other ride sharing apps such as Uber have had legal problems with current New Zealand legislation, Chariot’s founder Thomas Kiefer says his product is legal because it enters the market through a “grey area”.
Because Chariot operates under a “cost-sharing”, rather than a “payment for services” model, it is exempt from the NZ Transport Agency rules which have caused grief for other companies.
“Chariot drivers do the trip anyway, other apps like Uber are contracted – they are doing it to make money.
“The law is old, and it is not designed for new technology changes,” Kiefer says.
The NZTA is being lobbied by Chariot, Uber and other transport app companies to review the legislation.
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