As co-founders of a tech startup in Ames, Iowa State students Derick David, junior in computer science, and Colby Hawkins, senior in marketing, have created a social ride-sharing platform called Hikre for long distance travels.
The ride-sharing platform will be in its testing phase by Thanksgiving and will be available to all Iowa State students as early as the first week of December, said David and Hawkins.
Hikre is free to sign up as either a rider or driver. The cost per ride will vary depending on the destination, and the driver will be able to recommend a price. The app allows for multiple payment methods, including Venmo and PayPal.
“It is more interactive and contains more security with a profile and credibility of the driver, telling the rider how many routes they’ve done once they started with a background check,” Hawkins said.
The app also allows the rider to set their own pickup location and drop-off address.
David said he wants it to be close to an “Airbnb when it comes to privacy and safety and Uber when it comes simplicity and efficiency.”
The driver has the option to allow or reject the drop-off address, depending on how far away it is from their own destination. As a result, they may charge more.
“Since more people are carpooling in the Midwest than any other part of the United States, it would be beneficial to universities with limited transport,” David said.
David said it also helps the environment because it limits the amount of pollution put into the air.
The app is different from other rideshare apps in that it allows the rider to select the seat they wish to sit in and what they will be doing during the drive such as eating, sleeping, doing homework or listening to music.
David and Hawkins are working with the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship, which works directly with Iowa State students interested in launching their own companies.
David and Hawkins said Dave Biedenbach, the Iowa State regional director at the Small Business Development Center, has assisted them with their app.
David and Hawkins said it fits well into the social media culture on a college campus and described the app as credible, safe and usable.
Hawkins said he was first inspired to create a ride-sharing app while taking a semester off from college in Europe. He wondered why Germany and Switzerland had an app to move from one place to another and wanted to make one available in the U.S.
David said he became interested in the idea since he is an international student and wanted to find an easier way to get around. The two then teamed up to create the app and have been working and improving on it since September.