Three young Americans have launched in the Chinese capital a "green" initiative to combat pollution and excessive traffic with an online and iPhone service whereby people can share their vehicles at no cost with others, a daily reported.
The service, called "wodache" ("I take a car" in Mandarin), offers a technological platform connecting drivers with potential passengers, with the former posting the route they intend to follow and the latter indicating whether or not they want to ride along, thus reducing traffic in the capital, South China Morning Post reported.
The service only provides the information, and it's up to users to select which vehicle they want to ride in or whether they are willing to transport more passengers, and the driver retains the right to choose whether to accept a certain passenger or not.
The platform also offers the possibility to rate the "quality" of drivers and passengers and to downgrade those who are late.
The trio behind the initiative consists of three young Americans of Chinese ancestry - Eric Wang, James Hu and Jeff Hsu - and they said that their main aim is to help reduce traffic problems and pollution, although they hope that over time, as the service gains users, they will be able to glean a profit from it.
"Wodache" will also offer long-distance services, for instance around the Chinese New Year when many people return to their homes in other provinces.