Every day, millions of people around the world drive to work alone. They prolong their commute, maximize its cost, and dramatically increase their carbon footprint. Cork based ridesharing company Carma provides a solution to this and recently announced a $2.5 million prize fund called the Carma Prize for developers who use their API to create breakthrough applications that make ridesharing the solution for eliminating commuting gridlock. Funds and seed investment will be awarded to developers whose innovation drives significant and sustained use of legitimate ridesharing anywhere in the world.
This problem has reached epidemic proportions, because people don’t realize they have a choice, according to Carma CEO, Irish American serial entrepreneur Sean O’Sullivan.
“We don’t need incremental improvements in our daily commutes, we need a revolution. The Carma Prize is an important symbol of our commitment to make legitimate ridesharing a critical and meaningful part of the sharing economy,”.
“It’s like the Nobel Prize, but instead of awards for chemistry or physics, we will be recognizing significant breakthroughs in sustainable commuting, which will affect the critical climate, energy and political issues we face today.”
Carma's mission is to enable people around the world to break free from the tyranny of the modern commute. Carma recently launched a pilot service in Austin, Texas, the fastest growing city in the United States.
Carma arrives in Austin
Highways nationwide are clogged with single occupancy cars. Often there is not a viable public transportation alternative. This adds significant time and frustration to the daily commute. Research at Umeå University in Sweden showed that commutes longer than 45 minutes are associated with increased divorce rates, greater incidence of neck and back problems and less sleep.
Ridesharing is more than the new generation of taxi services provided by companies like Uber and Lyft. Carma’s solution is an easy-to-use mobile app that enables users to find nearby commuters who want to share their empty car seats and the cost of the journey. Carma uses GPS matching and tracking capability which allows passengers to pay drivers for a portion of journey costs. Carma wants to rapidly grow this ridesharing market through the Carma Prize.
The $2.5 million Carma Prize Fund has three component parts.
The Carma Prize for 3rd Party Developers will award $1 million to the first developer using Carma’s real-time ridesharing API to build an application that results in 10,000 daily user trips over a 90-day period. Applications and more information can be found at www.carmacarpool.com/prize.
The Carma Prize for Internal Developers offers $1 million to a Carma employee who creates a feature that results in 1,000 additional daily trips in a single metropolitan area. This prize is open to current and future employees, mail to [email protected]
The Carma Accelerator is a $500,000 program that is oingffer $25,000 in cash to development teams with innovative ridesharing ideas and projects. In addition to the cash on offer successful applicants will receive office space and mentoring at Carma HQ in Cork, Ireland. Interested teams can find out more and apply at http://carma.axlr8r.com.
Carma was founded in 2007 and is a world leader in legitimate ridesharing, helping people team up to commute together. Carma’s customers include cities, governments, public and private transport operators and tens of thousands of consumers. A number of cities are using Carma to reduce traffic congestion including: Austin, Texas, the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington, D.C. Bergen, Norway and Cork, Ireland. Carma experienced an 8,000% increase in usage during the San Francisco BART strike in 2013 as commuters sought alternative commuting methods.
For more information about Carma, see www.carmacarpool.com or download the app from the iPhone App Store or Android's Google Play.