Founded in 2007 by Sean O’Sullivan, Carma Technology Corporation is a real-time transportation company that matches nearby commuters with users, allowing them to share rides and the cost of the overall fare. The company is headquartered in Cork, Ireland and also has offices in Texas, Austin, California, and San Francisco with further plans to develop and expand globally and nationally. It was formerly known as Avego and operated as a development and research division for the company, Mapflow. However in 2009, the brand emerged as a separate entity, associated with the University College Cork. It was during this time, the brand released its first real-time carpooling service in the form of an iPhone app, in which seats were being priced by overall mileage.
- Real-time carpooling
Carma Carpooling isn't like the traditional carpool technology in which people would have to plan days or weeks ahead before their travel. Instead, the Carma Technology Corporation has created a type of real-time technology that allows users to hitch a ride whenever they need it (similar to Zimride). It does so through the use of the Carma app that enables users to search for other commuters going to the same destination and then create a real-time carpool.
Later, users can choose the make the return trip with a brand new real-time carpool with someone else or travel with same person. Consequently, this promotes friendship and socializing among commuters from different areas. It also allows people to travel to their destination faster, share the cost of driving, and have some fun by chit-chatting during rush-hours. Not to mention, by logging your trips, you can also reduce traffic and emissions in your community and contribute towards a greener environment.
The best part is: the cost of traveling is incredibly cheap. You are charged lesser than $1 per mile, which means that going CARMA is in most cases cheaper than getting the bus. Roughly 85% of all payments received go directly to the inter-city driver, only with 15% of the total amount going to Carma, which is used to keep the brand's carpooling business running and provide an efficient mode of transportation to daily commuters. The payment method for sharing rides is also incredibly easy.
All you have to do is: open the carpool app, click on your profile, and use your credit card to make secure payments. Therefore, not only does this new carpooling method give people the opportunity to travel and explore places they have never seen before in the most cost-effective way possible, but it also allows them to make new friends along the way (something that our world really needs at the moment to shift our attention from smartphones and focus on socializing). Usage includes the following steps:
- Download app
- Fill out personal profile
- Input credit card information
- Start carpooling
Consequently, Carma Technology's Carpooling service provides a number of benefits to users. It offers the ultimate solution to parking congestion by reducing the number of employee and student vehicles going to a destination. It also reduces traffic congestion in certain areas, driving stress and fatigue for users, and travel time and expenses.
- No room for lateness
- Stranger danger
- Fake accounts
Carma Carpooling has earned quite an amazing reputation in just a period of 6 years. However, where the brand claims to provide a carpooling service, it actually offers a ride-sharing platform for users. Consequently, it does have a few potential downsides as well. Firstly, if you create a daily real-time carpool to work or school, you will be required to be incredibly punctual. Since, the app links you with ordinary drivers with ordinary cars, getting late means you could actually lose your ride to work!
This is mainly because ordinary drivers are ordinary people and they care about their jobs too. Consequently, if you get late to catch your ride, chances are you will be walking to your next destination. So, familiarize yourself with the company's refund policy beforehand. Secondly, where Carma Carpool does provide you the opportunity to make new friends, it also exposes you to a number of people who are strangers to you. The only operating destinations include:
- Texas (Austin)
- Some of California
- San Francisco/Bay area
- Headquarters located in Cork, Ireland
Therefore, hitching a ride with unknown people can prove to be incredibly dangerous. Of course, you can get information about who you are traveling with and who's going to be your driver, but how much can a simple app tell? Consequently, the Carma Carpool service can only work best with those users who have a lot of mutual friends who travel to the same destination every day. Otherwise, if you travel with strangers, you risk yourself to theft and other dangers and safety concerns.
Thirdly, people can make many fake accounts on the Carma App. For this reason, it can sometimes become extremely difficult for users to differ fake from original ones. Saying so, people may socialize or think they are sharing a ride with a particular person, but end up sharing a ride with a complete stranger. Consequently, this could possibly lead to many negative experiences and raises many concerns for your personal safety.