A group of young Vietnamese in Ho Chi Minh City have created an Uber-style application which allows drivers and hitchhikers to share a ride on the same route they travel.
PinBike is an app created by Huynh Phuong Duy and Le Van Tai, former students of the University of Science under the Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City, in collaboration with Nguyen Thanh An, a former student of the Ho Chi Minh City University of Foreign Languages – Information Technology.
The app which has been available on Google Play and App Store has been downloaded nearly 1,000 times. It is meant to help reduce the number of motorbikes traveling on streets.
With the PinBike app, users can register their daily routes and those who have motorbikes will log on as drivers while hitchhikers will sign in as passengers.
PinBike enables drivers and hitchhikers who travel the same route to connect with one another and share the ride.
Co-creator Nguyen Thanh An said the difference between his app and GrabBike and Uber is that PinBike passengers do not pay drivers, or they may pay a small amount of VND2,000 (US$0.09) per kilometer.
Besides, PinBike offers an immediate evaluation and verification system which helps passengers consider and then connect with drivers through the app’s chat function.
To make the app, the group surveyed more than 100 people to get what they thought about sharing a ride with strangers.
According to the makers, one thing that confused those people the most was how they could trust strangers to ask for a lift or to take them on their motorbike.
To solve the problem, the group continued talking to nearly 100 people to understand their behavior. They figured out that any doubt or caution would be cleared if users could talk to one another through the app.
The chat function was added subsequently and it has received positive responses from users.
According to the group, the app’s potential users are students and white-collar workers who often take the same routes on the way to school and work every day.
Many students have embraced PinBike and enthusiastically given feedback to help improve it.
Tran Bao Nguyet Quynh, a student from Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh City, said at first she was not interested in the app because she did not want to share any ride with strangers.
“However, after I downloaded the app, I see it is intended for students so users are cherry-picked and I feel it’s safer than taking a motorbike taxi,” Quynh said.
Meanwhile, Le Mai Tung from the University of Science under the Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City, has highly rated the app since it allows people to connect with one another in order to share a ride and therefore reduce traffic jams.
Le Van Tai, a member of the group that created the app, said their future plan is to continue building a community to share rides to halve the current number of vehicles on the street so as to save money for users, bringing more joy to them as well as protecting the environment.
“To ensure users will have the best experiences, our group always keeps working to improve the app’s function of searching for and matching passengers’ routes,” Tai said.