25
Aug

2015

Online Platform Designated Driver Transport

Post by Gondola Project

Here at the Gondola Project, we generally discuss cable transport issues but many of our long-time readers also know we’re really just transit nerds at heart. (And über-nerds will note we’ve used the word nerd two days in a row.) Sticking to one single solution isn’t our thing and we’re always looking for new and exciting transport ideas.

Last week I found myself traveling and eating with relatives in the city of Jinan in China’s Shandong province.

After taking in the many sights and sounds we naturally went out for dinner. As the food came in, the topic (naturally) flowed towards alcohol consumption. Being in one of China’s most famous provinces for beer (Tsingtao), I foolishly thought I could make it through a meal without a drink. Clearly that was not going to be the case and since Chinese is not my native tongue, it was difficult to say no to free beer in Mandarin (or any language for that matter).

Ai Dai Jia – substitute driver services. Image from Ai Dai Jia.

After throwing back a few pints with Uncle Bob, eating some really awesome local food and sharing a few laughs, it was time to bid farewell. Since he’d had a few drinks, Uncle Bob, decided to get home the safe, nouveau way. He pulled out his smartphone and clicked on Ai Dai Jia which I initially thought was China’s equivalent of Uber. Soon enough, a stylish young chap arrives on his foldable motorbike.

Being an ignorant foreigner, I assumed Uncle Bob would merely share a motorbike ride home while leaving his car at the restaurant. Instead, Uncle Bob popped opened his car’s trunk and the motorcyclist placed his motorbike there.

They explained that Ai Dai Jia was an online app providing substitute driving services. Among these was designated driver transportation to help people avoid the high penalties and dangers of drinking and driving.

It turns out that the young chap will drive Uncle Bob home, park his car, and then leave via his own folding motorbike.

It’s amazing that I’d never heard of this simple service. But equally mind-blowing is the fact that it’s not more prevalent around the world.

Truly, I thought to myself, designated-driver transport must be one of the greatest features of online platform transport services. In the US alone, 30 people die each day in alcohol-impaired crashes. If somehow this feature were integrated with major ride-sharing programs like, say, Uber, it could lessen the frequency of drunk driving. Now that would be a disruptive technology.

 



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