experimentation

Thought Leadership

Ride-Sharing, Marketing, and AI

by Steven Dunston

I recently hailed a Lyft in downtown Seattle. The ferry terminal, ten blocks away, was my destination. I was planning to board the westbound ferry. As the driver picked me up, the app changed the navigation route, trying to send us on a three-hour, 120-mile drive around the Puget Sound, and back to Seattle on the eastbound ferry.

It was immediately obvious both to the driver and me that the correct route was 10 blocks long, not 120 miles! But we couldn’t get the app to see it our way. So we ignored the directions from the Lyft app, and the driver dropped me off a few minutes later, in time for me to catch the ferry. I gave the driver 5 stars and a nice tip for agreeing with me to ignore the machine.

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