|M.Sc Student||Gal Oded|
|Subject||Perception & Usage of Ridesharing, and the Role of Trust|
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Plaut Pnina|
|Full Thesis text|
Over the last decade, we have witnessed a global and wide-ranging trend: the rise of the sharing economy. With numerous applications in various aspects of life, this broad collaborative change is also reflected in urban mobility and has led to the growth of shared mobility. This new mobility brought with it tremendous potential to mitigate urban transportation challenges such as fuel consumption, air pollution, car ownership, equitable access for low-income populations, etc. One of the oldest and most developed means in this field is ridesharing - a shared trip, in a private car, of two or more unrelated individuals with similar itineraries and schedules.
Nonetheless, to date, modern ICT-based ridesharing services have not functioned as an everyday mean of transportation for the general public and are yet to be perceived as trustworthy and reliable enough. The current study focuses on the trust factor and its impact on how people perceive and use ridesharing systems.
The study aimed to better understand how people use and perceive ICT-based ridesharing, distinguishing between 3 types of modern ridesharing services, 2 cultures (Israel and US), and different scales of urban areas. In addition, the study focused on examining the effects of the trust factor - distinguishing between three different aspects: trust, reliability and confidence. For that purpose, this study combined mix methods including qualitative methods of focus group discussions and quantitative surveys which were distributed among Israelis and American metropolitan dwellers. The study revealed differences in familiarity and membership in ridesharing services between Israel and the US. However, in both countries, trust is perceived as a primary factor in deciding whether to use or avoid ridesharing and which service is preferred. Moreover, the research identified that the current solution of embedding trustworthy social networks within dynamic ridesharing applications does not lead to an improved perception of trust. Accordingly, we recommend exploring an approach of integrated model, in which social networks will function as trustworthy ground platforms for ridesharing with dynamic real-time features embedded in them.
Future work is necessary to develop, characterize, and examine the actual potential of the new model proposed above.