EAGER: Collaborative Proposal: Towards Dynamic Social Ride-sharing: An Essential Component in Envisioned Smart Communities

Investigators: Qing He

Funding Source: National Science Foundation

Abstract: Prior work has demonstrated the potential economic and environmental benefits of ride sharing; however, ride-sharing has not been adopted by the majority of travelers, since previous efforts aimed to maximize the number of participants but failed to take travelers social attributes into account. One of the major challenges in advocating ride-sharing is how to reduce social barriers. Taking advantage of advances in information technology and social media for building smart communities, and with emerging social attitudes regarding travel behavior, ride-sharing along with its social experience should be considered as a viable and possibly dominant mode of transportation in smart communities.

This Early-concept Grant for Exploratory Research (EAGER) project will address the current social barriers to ride-sharing and will provide more appealing ride matches leading to increased user participation. While a slight compromise in travel time may be tolerated by users in exchange of better social experience, the economy of scale in social ride-sharing would result in better performance of transportation systems in smart cities and communities. The project will support the realization of a social ride-sharing system that can serve in validating the long-term research goals of deploying Social Transportation.