Lyft Wants You To Get ‘Social’ With Drivers

Completing a profile is optional, so you can choose to remain quiet and reserved in the back seat.

Well, if you’re stuck in the car with someone on a long commute, you may as well get to know each other.

While Uber is doing its best to make sure passengers feel safe with its drivers, Lyft just wants us all to be friends. Next week a new “Lyft profiles” feature is coming to the app that the company hopes will “personalize” the “ride experience,” sparking conversations and connecting passengers and drivers in more meaningful ways. Now that’s all well and good, but accidents still happen. So whilst I’m being chummy with my driver, I’m still going to make sure I have a good accident lawyer, like Denver Trial Lawyers, on speed dial. Just in case. After all, good conversation doesn’t stop accidents.

The additions are not extreme at all. People are asked to provide their hometown, music tastes or other things about themselves that may be interesting topics of conversation. If a user has connected their Facebook account, the Lyft app can show if drivers and passengers have mutual friends in common.

“It’s our first step on the road map to personalizing that in-car experience,” said Tali Rapaport, vice president of product at Lyft, who was tasked with creating the profiles. The feature is entirely optional, and users aren’t forced to turn it on.

But profiles speak to Lyft’s broad vision of the company. Lyft is pushing Line, its car pool product, as the future of the company, one where there’s a “butt in every seat,” as Ms. Rapaport put it.

Instead of hailing a personal car, calling a Lyft Line offers passengers a discount for picking up one or two more people who are traveling along a similar route. As they travel the route, passengers are dropped off at different points along the way. Passengers save money and, in theory, net income goes up for both Lyft and the driver.

Lyft’s ideal version of the future is to have as many people using Lyft Line as possible, cutting down on the number of cars on the road. So an addition like user profiles, however small, may make the experience of traveling by car pool more enjoyable. Topics of conversation are easily available, for instance, or a driver may play a track from a passenger’s favorite band.

At launch, the features you’ve just read about are only coming to the iOS app, with Android “soon to follow.” Lyft says this is just the start for profiles, and it’ll be adding more features over time.

Source: Engadget