Flinc, Hi-tech Rides For 21st Century Hitch-hikers Via Smartphones
Car Rental services require reservations, sometimes days in advance and often you're required to go to the car versus the car coming to you. Flinc turns that process on its ear with its new service launched on April 8.
Flinc is the first 'dynamic' ride-sharing navigation system that connects Internet-enabled navigation systems with smartphones. Within seconds of 'flincing' a request, your cellphone's GPS will not only find the closest vehicle to you but it will make arrangements for your low-priced ride in that vehicle.
Carpooling or ride-sharing use to be a great way to save on gas, time and money but coordinating rides with people that are geographically close and traveling in the same direction can often take some juggling. Since flinc can turn around a request in real-time, a user opening a flinc application simply enters his current position, which is then matched to the closest networked car that has an open seat.
If the driver agrees to pick up the rider, payment is automatically transferred and the vehicles GPS navigation system updates the riders current position. As the above video indicated, the driver with the lowest bid set in his profile preference will most likely be selected.
Along with this system of finding people rides, co-founder Benjamin Kirschner says Flinc is working on a ratings system to help passengers find good drivers. Hitchhikers and drivers alike will be able to rate the experience, which Kirschner hopes will make first-time users more comfortable about getting into a stranger's car while weeding out bad apples, or 'not-so-safe' drivers.
The German-based company, founded in 2009 has to date received seed funding from friends and families, so this start-up is really a grass-root organization. Don't know how long it will take flinc to get to the US, but the company is presenting at the DEMO Spring 2010 event in the Silicon Valley in an attempt tp reach out to more investors.
While flinc takes hitch-hiking to another level, I don't think their goals are as far-reaching as Douglas Adams were when he wrote, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." But who knows, its still in its DEMO stage. Perhaps flinc 2.0 will feature interplanetary hitch-hiking as well!