The race to create a decentralized Uber now has perhaps its most bona fide competitor. It comes with Cell 411’s decentralized ridesharing app, just launched in Austin, Texas.
CEO: Users ‘Have Freedom Unlike Uber and Lyft’
Cell 411 is a disruptor social network originally aimed at letting users provide each other with assistance in emergencies. The startup then branched out into ridesharing at the end of October.
“We are excited to add another feature to our platform that is making our users’ lives better,” founder Virgil Vaduva said in a press release.
“Since drivers and riders are not our contractors or employees and we are not involved in the payment process, we are able to give the users the freedom they do not have with Uber and Lyft.”
The rapid rise of Uber and its ilk has created a desire in global markets to produce a less centralized equivalent.
Cell 411’s offering takes the idea further than ever: rides can be paid in bitcoin, monero or even silver. Users also have the option of paying in kind via a bartering system.
“We don’t control who signs up to use our platform, how they use it and when,” Vaduva explained.
Ridesharing App Shuns ‘Burdensome Regulations’
Austin is something of a hub for upcoming transport solutions, and already has its fair share of competitors. Previously, however, only Arcade City operated along decentralized principles with cryptocurrency payments.
Due in part to its rapid growth, the regulatory hurdles surrounding this market are intensive, requiring operators to even fingerprint every driver they ‘hire’ in any form.
Vaduva stated that Cell 411 had “no plans to and we lack the ability to comply with Austin’s burdensome regulations.”
“We are not going to fingerprint every single person downloading our app,” he added.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the latest newcomer is causing a stir among the establishment.
“[A]t the end of the day, Cell 411 does not have the proper legal authority to operate as a ridesharing service in Austin, according to the Austin Transportation Department,” an article in the local Austin Business Journal stated Wednesday. Cell 411 subsequently appeared to criticize the viewpoint.
Austin Business Journal claims Cell 411 is not authorized to function within Austin city limits. But is that… https://t.co/BsyWdZh7nD
— Cell 411 (@GetCell411) November 9, 2016
Barriers to widespread use could remain, however. The lack of security could put off many potential users. Additionally, an unforeseen mishap could instantly ruin Cell 411’s plans.
Nonetheless, the startup reports that a New Hampshire Sheriff has already given his vote to a wider rollout.
In New Hampshire, Cell 411 got a vote for the local Sheriff. We love our users and their dedication to our app!… https://t.co/aiCnDwwRwL
— Cell 411 (@GetCell411) November 8, 2016
“Our platform has been used for over a year by users all over the world to respond to emergency situations and make communities safer,” Vaduva added.
What do you think about Cell 411’s app? Do you think regulatory hurdles can be overcome this way? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Images via: Shutterstock, Pixabay