Carma has a seminal 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 continuation applications protect Carma's inventions in the following areas.
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.
Carma's technology enables vehicle occupancy to be verified automatically by monitoring the continuous coordinated proximity of user devices. Carma uses this approach to automatically verify vehicle occupancy using smartphones and a GoCarma Pass 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.
The US,7849,427 patent specification describes several other inventions that are now being prosecuted as Continuation Applications. These include patent applications in the following areas:
Pooled point-to-point ride-hailing
Preferential Road Allowances for HOV Travel
Road User Charging
Trust Ratings in Ridesharing