I'm interested in the concept of a rideshare app like lyft or uber that replaces the centralized entity with a distributed network.
Please forgive my limited knowledge, I am not a coder and only have basic understandings of cryptographic concepts. As I understand it, transactions would of course be processed by the blockchain. GPS information could be distributed as data packs like bittorrent between customers and service providers (drivers). It seem like the network required to route data would not be too intensive, should easily be able to be run over laptop or desktop computers. Is there any technical limitations that would prevent devices like smartphones or tablets with an internet connection from being able to support the network on their own?
My thoughts are drivers could ideally run the network from their phone, routing data between nodes. If phones are not able to effectively run the network then there would need to be a network of computers maintained to keep the network alive which would be more complicated, though likely still workable. It seems most traffic would be routed fairly directly as a customer would be sending their GPS into to the nearest available driver and vise versa and should not be too intensive.
When a driver receives a request, ideally for their safety there should be a function to give the driver the ability to assess the risk of accepting the request though some kind of reputation system, it wouldn't necessarily have to be tied to anyone personal identity, in fact I would think ideally not, but should have a ranking system, possibly reviews/comments in the style of lyft or yelp. Customers should also have a similar interface, which would also include the drive's rates/fees, and any additional information they share like make and model of vehicle, number of seats, acceptable range of service, cancellation fees ect.
Each transaction would generate a smart contract that would work essentially as: (rate * milage), with the transaction automatically automatically charging per mile or other unit of measurement. Funds for the transaction would be put upfront into escrow based on an estimate on the distance to the final destination. If service is terminated early for any reason change is returned to the customer.
In theory a transaction should go as follows.
Driver runs application on their device and begins routing data.
Driver sets status to 'in service'
Customer requests a ride
Customer's request is routed to nearest available driver
Driver and Customer receive each other's profile information.
Each Customer and Driver must accept to initiate the transaction,
Customer enters their destination and a new smart contract is generated,
Customer signs contract by putting the estimate into escrow.
Driver receives customers GPS location
Driver picks up Customer
Customer is delivered to destination
Customer's change is returned.
Customer and Driver may review the transaction.
I would like to think there is a way to design the core function of the application to be able to integrate with technology like self driving cars in the future and possible finding a way to integrate the application use in shipping goods. This service seems like it could be extremely powerful in building up the ecosystem, by empowering anyone with a vehicle to employ themselves at what ever rate is marketable globally almost instantly. Seeing as rideshare services are already disrupting the transportation industry and making it more open, wouldn't it be great to make a fully decentralized rideshare service. I would really appreciate any input on this concept. I am not a Developer, but I've had this idea for a while, but I'd love to hear anyones thought or any insight from someone more knowledgeable about how this service might actually be able to work as right now I can only really try to promote the idea and hope someone else wants to do something with it.