FAQ | Piggyback


Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Why do we need a dynamic ride sharing system in our mobile phones?

Well, my inquisitive friend, there are hundreds of reasons but here are a few of the best:

  • A barrel of oil costs more than $130 today. Need we say more? Yeah, and you thought $100 was the unbreakable psychological barrier last year. ($200 a barrel anyone? No thanks,my car runs on Champagne).
  • We are convinced that improvement and rationalization are much needed in the way we use cars in our daily lives.
  • Have you noticed how it’s all about “going green” today?Well, here’s the catch: thereis a huge discrepancy between one’s “green” image and actual facts. Carbon emissions are still skyrocketting. Now is the time to act and reduce your carbon footprint painlessly.
  • Those carpool lanes look attractive, don’t they?

2.   What are the requirements to run Piggyback?

  • You obviously need a phone running Android. A GPS-enabled phone is required for drivers, not for passengers, although it helps (a lot). Touchscreens are not required either but recommended.
  • A car, if you intend to share your passenger seats.

3. How is Piggyback different from my favorite ride-sharing website?

  • Unlike ride-sharing websites, Piggyback lets users interact in real-time. This makes a huge difference. Piggyback also lets you plan your trips in advance. This is true for drivers and passengers.
  • Flexibility is not the only advantage over traditional websites. Piggyback also takes care of money transactions between users, user ratings, detailed profile etc.

4. What if Piggyback can’t find a car for me when I need it most?

  • If you can’t find a car, Piggyback will simply help you find a cab (to be implemented) or directions and connections with public transportation.

5. How are costs calculated and shared?

  • Our algorithm is constantly being fine-tuned at the moment. Many factors are taken into account, such as the cost of oil per mile, the annual maintenance cost of a car, a small transaction fee for us etc.
  • We feel that drivers should be motivated in using the Piggyback system, so we would like costs to be kept at a minimum for them because “No drivers, no ridesharing”… Since they will often have to make detours to pick up passengers, the cost of these detours will be attributed to passengers only. The rest of the trip will be evenly divided between the number of people in the car.
6. Do you intend to develop for other platforms?
  • We certainly do, with this hierarchy in mind:
  1. Finish the Android client to showcase the application
  2. Nokia / Symbian (still waiting for a nice map API)
  3. Blackberry
  4. Windows Mobile
  5. iPhone (currently impossible without support for background processes)
  6. Internet client / Facebook client etc.
7. Does Piggyback support multihop carpooling?
  • Not yet, but it is a long-term objective. Multihop refers to a realtime carpooling system in which a passenger could switch cars to get to the final destination of the trip.
8. Could Piggyback work in my country and across borders?
  • Sure, we’re not tied to any phone provider. You just need an internet access on your phone. We provide the service, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be allowed to cross borders while carpooling.
9. What payment platform is integrated in Piggyback?
  • Good question. We’re not quite satisfied with what’s available on the market right now and we are still thinking about it. 
  • Update (2009-02-16): Paypal has now been integrated and seems to be working just fine.