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Daimler Becomes A Yenta For Carpoolers With Car2gether

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Zimride. eRideShare. Match.com. Every few months, it seems like someone new is trying to arrange hook-ups between carpoolers. Now, it's Daimler's turn.

Daimler has announced plans to launch a new social media service called Car2gether. Much like those other ride-sharing services, Car2gether relies on a closed social network: commuters sign up for an account, list their start and end points, and share a little info about themselves -- music tastes, hobbies, that sort of thing -- to ensure that everyone in the car gets along. Which is good because we've seen Lady Gaga fans go apecrap on the subject of Arcade Fire's brilliant new video, and no one wants to endure that for 45 minutes in the back of a VW Golf.

The Car2gether service is free, though carpoolers are expected to chip in to defray the cost for gas, maintenance, insurance, and so on. (Daimler suggests a rate of 9.5 cents per minute.) For now, those negotiations and payments will need to take place directly between drivers and passengers, but down the line, Daimler is considering a system of online payments that would allow riders to pre-pay for travel.

A German-only version of Car2gether is already up and running, and from what we see so far, we're intrigued. We especially like the Twitter-eqsue stream on the right-hand side, designed to get passengers on the road lickety-split.

The service is slated to launch on September 18 in the German city of Ulm. If all goes well, it could roll out in the U.S. soon -- possibly in Austin, where Daimler launched Car2gether's predecessor, the car2go rental program. We expect Car2gether will get an even warmer reception, since the rides won't be limited to Smart fortwos.

[Wired]

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