UN rideshare app unveiled at Asia-Pacific Clean Air Week

A new UN rideshare app is making its debut at the Asia-Pacific Clean Air Week, which opened on Monday in Bangkok. The app is currently in beta testing phase and will likely be available in App stores in April.

The rideshare app is designed to help UN staff leave their vehicles at home and pool their travel to and from work, though its developers say it can be applied to other communities and international organizations.

“It is aligned with climate change and sustainable development goals in reducing emissions and resource use,” said Lee Hwayun, a project associate at the UN Office of Information and Communication Technology. “It is also good for community bonding as it offers people an opportunity to meet others in the UN and in the community.”

Riast Ullah, also of the UN Office of Information and Communication Technology, said that the issue of safety was factored in designing the app. “We centred the design around communities because if you know the person is from the same organization or community, you feel safe taking a ride with him or her.”

According to Ullah, the application is designed to make it easy for vehicle owners and passengers to use. People with vehicles add their vehicle license, number they can carry, destination and route they are taking, including stop points. Passengers select the time they want to go and the system sends them a notice. Vehicle owners can also send notes.

Clean Air Week, which is currently underway in Bangkok until 23 March, features a series of events, including the Asia-Pacific Clean Air Partnership Joint Forum, which will have side events on how to advance air quality monitoring with emerging technologies. The UN rideshare app is among a number of breakthrough innovations that will be featured over the course of the week, including bicycles from Mobike, pollution sensors from Clarity Movement and a virtual reality experience with air and plastic pollution.

Focused on solutions, Clean Air Week brings together leaders from governments and the private sector, experts, civil society, top influencers and celebrities to discuss the latest science and best approaches to tackling pollution at the national and local levels.

Image credit: Chris Parker via Flickr

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