Our immediate mission at Tribal Rides is to reinvent ridesharing in a way that enables drivers to grow their own profitable businesses in whatever way they see fit, and in turn provide exceptional service and build trusted, ongoing relationships with their riders.
On our Trusted Rides network, drivers can connect with riders for repeat business—in effect creating their own preferred clientele—and are also free to set their own rates. And because the costs to drivers for using the Trusted Rides network are much lower than the fees charged by legacy rideshare companies, drivers will earn far more money than they would elsewhere.
Riders, in turn, will have the opportunity to connect with one or more drivers that they enjoy receiving rides from and then schedule future rides with the same drivers. This will lead, over time, to strong trust between riders and their drivers. Riders will feel confident that their drivers will be there when they say they will, such as for an early morning trip to the airport. They may also come to rely on their drivers for sensitive assignments, like picking up young children from school or taking an elderly parent to a medical appointment, that they would never entrust with a driver that they haven’t worked with before. Finally, riders won’t be hit with surprise “surge prices” by their trusted drivers.
Over the longer term, the Trusted Rides network will expand to accommodate self-driving cars (SDCs) as this technology matures and achieves greater market penetration. Within the Trusted Rides network, any SDC owners—a family, a small business, a non-profit, or a larger firm—can make their assets available to provide rides on the Trusted Rides network when they would otherwise be idle (a small business, for instance, may need their SDCs during weekdays but not on weekends). This helps defray the cost of investments in SDCs, in turn making this technology more available to all.
The Trusted Rides network will also feature social networks—essentially an expansion of the preferred driver and rider relationships—that allow SDC asset owners to provide preferential pricing or access to riders or groups within their networks. For example, a family that owns an SDC could make that asset available at a reduced price to any other families in their neighborhood or church, or at a higher market rate to other users who are not within those groups. Similarly, someone who starts out as a driver on the Trusted Rides network could acquire one or more SDCs and then use those assets to provide rides at preferential prices to their existing clientele—essentially creating a pathway for today’s drivers to evolve their
business in future years as SDCs become more prevalent.
The theme connecting our near-term mission with our longer-term vision is a commitment to making sure that the benefits of technological advance are broadly shared. While past advances in transportation technology have brought many social benefits, all too often the flow of these benefits has been extremely uneven. With ridesharing, for example, many drivers have been raked by the legacy ridesharing companies. In the interest of near-term shareholder returns, these firms place significant restrictions on drivers and keep a hefty share of the cost of each fare, leaving gig drivers to make very little money. And riders hit with surprisingly hefty surge prices are feeling the same pinch.
That’s why we are starting with a new approach to ridesharing. We aim to treat drivers with dignity and provide them with the tools and technology to develop their own businesses and attract their own clientele, setting their own prices and choosing when and where they want to provide service. And we will even have a driver loyalty program with stock ownership opportunities that enables drivers to share in the profits of Tribal Rides. Riders, in turn, will gain exceptional, trusted service from their preferred drivers that they can use again and again.
But we’re not stopping there. As we expand the Trusted Rides platform to accommodate sharing of SDCs, we will ensure that individuals and small organizations—not just big tech monopolies—will have the chance not only to own SDC assets but also to earn money whenever they make those assets available to serve rides on the Trusted Rides network. And this in turn will increase overall asset availability (and often with preferred pricing via social networks) for riders who need to make use of SDCs on an occasional basis.
Don’t get us wrong, Tribal Rides is still a for-profit business. It’s our philosophy, though, that if we start by creating a system that treats drivers with respect and allows them to build profitable businesses while at the same time delighting their riders with trusted, reliable service, both drivers and riders will happily switch to the Trusted Rides network and stay with us for the long haul. And that creates a win-win-win scenario that we can all be happy with.