InFlight Ride-Sharing App

At the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2016 Hackathon, a team demonstrated a new ride-sharing app called Last Mile Club aims to help travelers with the final leg of their trip – getting from the airport to the hotel. The Android application addresses this often overlooked – and expensive – part of travel planning, by connecting passengers on a flight who are headed to the same destination

The concept for Last Mile Club comes from developer Tommy Chan, who has spent a lot of time on airplanes himself.

Sharing cabs help to cut down on the costs involved with those rides – which appeal to budget travelers. Plus, it offers a social experience and an opportunity to meet new people, similar to the ride-sharing apps’ commuter services, like UberPOOL.

Last Mile Club, however, is designed to be integrated into the airline’s Android-based in-flight entertainment system.

When you launch the app, you would enter in your destination, then be shown who else on the plane is heading to your same hotel, or another nearby venue.

After passengers are matched, the app connects to ride-hailing service Uber to book the ride and split the fare.

The app also takes advantage of Panasonic Avionics’ API and MapQuest’s Android SDK. The former lets Last Mile Club access things like passenger name, flight information, and their seat number, among other things. This could allow the service to be integrated into the airlines’ own native, mobile applications, if that’s something they wanted to do.

However, the developers said they ran into issues because the Avionics API was returning static data – after all, they were only simulating a flight, not working with a live flight manifest. That made it difficult to create an application designed to match multiple passengers. Instead, the team ended up hard coding some of the passenger data for the purposes of the demo, they said.

Asked if they would continue to work on their project after the hackathon wrapped, Chan said they would be open to idea that if Panasonics would provide the data and the support. -TechCrunch

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