What is real-time ridesharing? Is that different from regular ridesharing?
The Guru Take
It's basically GPS/Smartphone Equipped Ridesharing
The term "real-time ridesharing" refers to ridesharing that is equipped with technology such as GPS, smartphones, and apps, that enable the users to be in contact on a more real-time basis. So, it basically refers to modern ridehail services like Uber and Lyft.
Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia:
Real-time ridesharing (also known as instant ridesharing, dynamic ridesharing, ad-hoc ridesharing, on-demand ridesharing, and dynamic carpooling) is a service that arranges one-time shared rides on very short notice. This type of carpooling generally makes use of three recent technological advances:
- GPS navigation devices to determine a driver's route and arrange the shared ride
- Smartphones for a traveler to request a ride from wherever they happen to be
- Social networks to establish trust and accountability between drivers and passengers
These elements are coordinated through a network service, which can instantaneously handle the driver payments and match rides using an optimization algorithm.
There is an argument for whether Uber and Lyft actual provide "ridesharing" services. Some prefer to identify them as "ridehailing", which categorize them closer to a traditional taxis and limos, where the companies operate the service and users simply use the app to "hail" and have the service dispatched. This is in contract to the traditional "ridehsaring" or "carpooling."
Wikipedia defines "ridesharing" as:
Like carpooling, real-time ridesharing is promoted as a way to better utilize the empty seats in most passenger cars, thus lowering fuel usage and transport costs. It can serve areas not covered by a public transit system and act as a transit feeder service. Ridesharing is also capable of serving one-time trips, not only recurrent commute trips or scheduled trips.
For more discussion on ridehail vs. rideshare, please refer to this article: https://ride.guru/content/resources/ridehail-101