Carma has the pre-eminent patent family in the ridesharing space, deriving from a comprehensive patent application (US 7,840,427) filed on 2007-02-12 and granted on 2010-11-23. This application and a series of divisional and continuing applications protect Carma's inventions in the following areas.

RIDE-MATCHING AT STOP LOCATIONS

Priority: 2007-02-12

In 2008, we launched the first ridesharing smartphone app. This was a peer-to-peer real-time ride-matching system, which dynamically matched drivers with passengers along the path of their journey at stop locations. By dynamically ride-matching at stop locations, ridesharing is made more convenient for the driver (who doesn't have to drive out of their way) and passengers simply walk a short distance to a convenient and safe pick-up location. This idea is founded on the convenience and accessibility of public transit. In the years since the patent was filed and our app was launched, a number of other ridesharing and ride-hailing apps have successfully emerged and, over time, adopted this same approach.  


Ride Verification

Priority: 2008-02-12

Carma's Verified Ride™ technology enables vehicle occupancy to be verified automatically by monitoring the continuous coordinated proximity of an in-car device to a an occupant device. Described in the US,7849,427 patent disclosure and granted in a divisional application, Carma uses this approach to automatically verify vehicle occupancy using smartphones and beacons for enabling high-occupancy toll discounts, as well as verifying occupancy for ridesharing services and payments. Automatically determining a user's presence in a vehicle is becoming more essential as the world advances rapidly towards shared autonomous mobility. 


Trusted SECURITY

Priority: 2008-02-12

Described in the US,7849,427 patent specification and forthcoming in several Continuing Applications, Carma pioneered a number of trusted security measures for ridesharing services, including trust rating systems, identity verification technology, trusted networks, secure rider-driver proxy messaging, and vehicle identification signage. Many of these innovations have since been introduced by other ridesharing companies that emerged in recent years.


Traffic information

Priority: 2008-02-12

Described in the US,7849,427 patent specification and forthcoming in several Continuing Applications, Carma pioneered a number of innovations related to automatically capturing and displaying real-time and aggregated traffic information. This included determining traffic flow conditions on road segments by using mobile devices in vehicles as "traffic probes", as well as describing optimal transportation options across different modes of transport based on dynamic availability of transportation services, including real-time ridesharing capacity.