|Type||Privately held company|
|Industry||Carpooling, Real-time ridesharing, Software, Geographic Information Systems|
Carma is a real-time transportation technology company headquartered in Cork, Ireland. It also has offices in Dublin (Ireland), China and the United States.
Formerly known as Avego, the company was founded in 2007 by Sean O'Sullivan as a research and development division of the company Mapflow. In April 2009, Avego became a separate entity associated with University College Cork. Its real-time carpooling service first served the University community in the form of an iPhone application, with seats priced by mileage.
In January 2011, Avego and the Washington State Department of Transportation launched a pilot real-time ridesharing program, called "go520," serving the Washington State Route 520 corridor outside Seattle. Financial subsidies of $30 monthly were available to both drivers and riders for the duration of the pilot.
In mid-2012, Avego implemented the largest real-time ridesharing project to date in Santa Barbara, Sonoma County, Contra Costa County, and Marin County, California. It was administered by Caltrans and the MTC.
In August 2013, the company changed its name to Carma, unveiling a new corporate identity in the process.
In February 2014, Carma introduced the world's first automated tolling discount program for carpoolers in Austin, Texas, in conjunction with the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA). After unprecedented success, the tolling initiative then expanded to Austin's Manor Expressway in May 2014.
In June 2014, Carma opened up its API to third-party developers and unveiled the Carma Prize Fund - a $2.5m stimulus program aimed at boosting ridesharing activity around the world.
Carma produces real-time information and management systems that use GPS, GSM, Geographic Information Systems, Internet and iPhone technologies to facilitate a shift from single-occupancy vehicles to sustainable transport.
Carma's flagship product is a real-time ridesharing app that matches drivers and riders, enabling people to make car transportation more efficient and more affordable. Unlike other transportation apps (for example, Lyft and Uber) that are focused on competing with the taxi industry, Carma is focused entirely on the sustainability of commuting. As stated on its website, Carma's mission is "to enable people around the world to break free from the tyranny of the modern commute".
The company introduced its 'Shared Transport' app at the DEMOfall 2008 conference in September 2008. It was the first smartphone application to enable on-demand real-time 'ridesharing' (recently defined by the US Government (MAP-21 bill) as offering the use of seats in privately owned vehicles to other passengers on a cost-reimbursement basis only). It works by automatically matching a driver's spare seat capacity with a passenger's desire to travel the same route at the same time. Drivers are provided with a price incentive in the form of electronic micropayments from riders at the end of each journey. In December 2008, the iPhone app was released as a free download at Apple's iPhone App Store and was featured prominently in the New York Times and other major media outlets.
At the time of the 2013 company rebrand, the phrase 'Carmapooling' was also coined in order to differentiate the product from regular (or 'casual') carpooling and draw attention to its additional benefits.
- Transportation For America » Smarter transportation case study #10: Dynamic Ridesharing in Cork, Ireland
- Eisenberg, Anne (21 December 2008). "Need a Ride? Check Your iPhone". The New York Times.
- Seattle Launches First Real-Time Rideshare Program
- In Seattle, real-time ride-sharing with rewards for participants | Springwise
- "Avego Relaunches as Carma, Empowering Stranded Commuters to 'Get There Together'". Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
- "Irish Carpooling Company Launches in Austin". Austin Business Journal. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- "Carma Carpooling Expands In Austin". PR Newswire. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- "Carpooling Startup Carma Launches API, Offers $2.5M For Developers To Drive Ride-Sharing Adoption". TechCrunch. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- "Best of shows: Top 10 from DemoFall, TechCrunch5 – CNET News". 2008. Retrieved 16 February 2009.
- "DEMO 08 Goes Mobile – Fortune / CNNMoney.com article". 2008. Retrieved 16 February 2009.
- "San Jose Mercury News article on DEMOFall 08". 2008. Retrieved 17 February 2009.[dead link]
- "H.R. 4348 (112th): MAP-21". 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
- "High-Tech Carpooling to Ease Congestion". The Irish Times. 10 October 2008. Retrieved 16 February 2009.
- "Around the Web in 2008 – ABC News". 2008. Retrieved 16 February 2009.
- Eisenberg, Anne (21 December 2008). "The Ride Board, Reborn on the iPhone – The New York Times". Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Retrieved 16 February 2009.
- "iTransport - Could iPhone apps change the way we travel? - Slate.com". 2009. Archived from the original on 12 June 2010. Retrieved 3 June 2010.
- "ITS America Press Release". 2010. Archived from the original on 5 June 2010. Retrieved 3 June 2010.