Date of Original Version
Abstract or Description
This paper describes a system that extends concepts of social networking application to create a physical social network, with the extra advantage of also working to save energy. TravelRole is a system that helps people choose to use their commute time to fulfill work, educational and recreational goals. The system matches people to rides that allow them to link carpooling with a personal goal such as practicing their French, talking about rebuilding an engine, discussing religion, and so on.
TravelRole’s interface encourages people to focus on reasons they would like to get together with other people to see how these connections could happen in their otherwise solitary commute time. Commitment is designed to be progressive, starting with exploring and finding suitable rides, before actually registering and committing to the systems.
The scenario was tested with a group of people that work in the same place but have very different schedules. People made more selections when they were given a chance to define reasons to ride as well as times and places to go. We expect that in addition to personal value, the energy savings will improve peoples’ perceptions of carpooling and their willingness to participate.