Lyft is offering a new feature that’s designed to help riders save money on their fare. With “Shared Saver,” riders are able to save money by walking a few blocks,meeting the trajectory of the vehicle rather than the vehicle meeting them. This is only the latest of Lyft’s initiatives to try to promote its shared ride services.
Shared rides aren’t just more environmentally-friendly, they’re also more economically-friendly for the Lyft driver themselves. By managing multiple passengers, Lyft drivers can make more money (especially in tips) while using less gas.
In addition to this, the new “Shared Saver” feature shows some interesting ways in which algorithms can determine the most efficient routing in complex situations. The algorithms will need to determine the most optimal routes for both humans and drivers, which will bring the fewest people out of their way.
Both Uber and Lyft are heading towards IPOs in 2019. Neither company is officially making money: while they have large profits, they also have large expenses. It remains to be seen which company will triumph in the IPO battle: while Uber is still the company with the largest market, it’s also the company with the largest problems.
Lyft is positioning itself as the more ecologically-friendly, rider-friendly, and driver-friendly service, but it remains to be seen whether this will equate to dollars.