My rideshare riders play Octopus

This week I added a new way of entertaining my passengers called Octopus. If you haven’t heard of them they are a rideshare entertainment company that allows your passengers to play games, answer trivia questions and will even get payout $25 for top scores on their games. Their business model is to provide the driver with a cellular-connected Android tablet, include a mount for the headrest where the tablet will be installed and a power cord to connect it to your car for power. They even include a 2 port USB adapter to plug into your car charger. It takes seconds to install and works quite well!

What’s inside the box?

How does it work?

Once you have done all that you turn it on and start driving. During the journey, the device will detect when you stop to pick up passengers. It uses GPS and motion detection to do this.

Their docs read like this:

Earn cash while you drive! Every 250 points earns you $25. Estimated rides are worth 1 point and games (played by passengers) are worth ½ point. To properly accrue points, tablet must be properly mounted and be in use within the boundaries of an active Octopus market.

Why should I use it?

Last night was my second night driving with it and for both nights my passengers loved it. I had 3 people in the back seat and one in the front all yelling out the answer while we were driving. I even got into the action too!

By the end of each of the rides, my riders said thank you and stated they enjoyed the experience. For me, that’s a win because I’m someone that has had a 5.0 review status this entire year so whatever I can do to keep that going is a plus for me. I did see an increase in tips, I get a few tips here and there but all but 1 of my 12 riders tipped me. That’s never happened!

How do they make money so they can pay me?

So you may be thinking.. how is this company making money? Ads. They play an ad in between rounds of games. These ads are market-specific since it’s using a cellular internet connection it can stream videos to the tablet so they are hyper-focused on the area the advertiser wants to be presented in. Think Prada ads in Beverly Hills, sports team ads near the arenas and Sprint ads all over because the tablet is running on the Sprint network. The tablet can be muted unless the rider turns up the volume and if the passenger is really annoyed by the screen shining in their face there is a “nap” button on the display they can tap to dim it until the tablet detects the ride has ended and a new rider is in the car.

All this still sounds good, right? I’m looking forward to making $100 a month extra while I’m driving and it’s also keeping my riders entertained which is a good thing. A happy rider makes for a happy ride!

I’m in, how do I get one?

So how can you get an Octopus tablet in your car? It’s easy. As with most things on the internet, Octopus provides its drivers with a referral program. If you use this link I’ll be given $25 once you receive your tablet and begin using it.  We as drivers are always looking to get more for the amount of work we’re already doing in our cars. If you want to make more, this may be a good solution.

Who else does this?

This isn’t the only game in town, earlier this year I tried out a company called Ivee which provided an iPad Pro with internet access on it configured with a few games and no ads but with them not making any money and only providing my riders with a few games to play I didn’t see how they would be around that long. Their games aren’t as interactive but were my first foray in passenger entertainment.

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Jason Tucker

I'm Jason Tucker, by day I work as an IT director for a non-profit and on the weekends I drive for Lyft in the LA / OC markets here in California. I started writing about #gigeconomy stuff on Facebook and later on my personal website but found that this rideshare / gigeconomy content needed its own website. I started driving for 16 months now. Connect with me on any of these websites: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | WPwatercooler

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