Charlotte-based company connects riders with personal drivers - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

What's Next

Charlotte-based company connects riders with personal drivers

Posted: Updated:
Autopilot is an app that connects rider and drivers in minutes, offering black car service at a cab's price. Autopilot is an app that connects rider and drivers in minutes, offering black car service at a cab's price.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

A Charlotte company is offering an alternative to other app-based services that match people in need of a ride with drivers.

Entrepreneur Ben Lee says he came up with the idea for Autopilot following a night of dinner and drinks with friends that left him in need of a designated driver.

"I came up with the idea: What if you could push a button and see someone come to you in real time?" Lee explained.

Autopilot is an app that connects rider and drivers in minutes, offering black car service at a cab's price. The user simply clicks a button in the app to request a ride, and a few minutes later the driver arrives.

"When you call a taxi, you have to Google to find the right number," explained Beck Kasimov, who is a driver with Autopilot.

Beck said the service is not only convenient for those looking for a ride, it is also safer for drivers because Autopilot requires a cashless transaction. The credit card payment for the ride and tip is handled through the app.

"I come to the location, pick up the customer, take them to their destination," Kasimov said. "No money is exchanged."

With background checks required for drivers, Kasimov said the service is a win-win for the driver and rider.

"You know what kind of driver you are going to get because it shows you the name of the driver and what kind of rating the driver has," he said.

One of the most popular features, Lee said, is the app's ride sharing feature, which allows riders to call the private, black car service or a car pool-type service.

"An everyday driver who is already going from home [or] to work can now make some extra money to cover gas or save some money for a family vacation," Lee said. "They can open their app … to see if there is a fellow commuter looking to go from A to B."

He said, "Our motto to drivers is, 'You drive everyday anyway, why not start getting paid for it?'"

After arriving at their destination, the customer has the opportunity to rate the driver and ride on a scale of "Amazing" to "Horrible." Lee explained the company looks into any rating that is below "Amazing."

"At Autopilot, we're really about safety and convenience, and delivering that wherever people live, work and play," Lee said.

Like the private car service, the car pool drivers are also screened and rated, Lee said.

Lee launched the service in Charlotte a year ago, and in February Autopilot had a soft launch in Raleigh.

Last month, ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft both also launched in Raleigh. Like Autopilot, the services connect independent drivers in their personal vehicles with people who need a ride.

Because the services are not considered taxi companies, they do not have to follow the City of Raleigh's regulations on taxis.

RELATED STORIES

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

Melanie Sanders

Melanie anchors the 6 PM news. Her "What's Next" series features an engaging approach to storytelling and highlights the leaders in innovation who are shaping our future. Check it out HERE! More>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • WEATHER: Waterspout Spotted Off the Coast of Tybee Island

    WEATHER: Waterspout Spotted Off the Coast of Tybee Island

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:51 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:51:17 GMT
    The National Weather Service confirms that a water spout was spotted off the coast of Tybee Island on Friday morning. The Chatham Count Emergency Management agency says the island did activate its outdoor warning system and cleared the beach.At this time, weather reports do not indicated the waterspout will make landfall, but it is recommended to avoid the beach until the storm has passed.
    The National Weather Service confirms that a water spout was spotted off the coast of Tybee Island on Friday morning. The Chatham Count Emergency Management agency says the island did activate its outdoor warning system and cleared the beach.At this time, weather reports do not indicated the waterspout will make landfall, but it is recommended to avoid the beach until the storm has passed.
  • Screams, panic caught on video as shark charges at swimmers near beach

    Screams, panic caught on video as shark charges at swimmers near beach

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:48:04 GMT
    Facebook image from Dan FlynnFacebook image from Dan Flynn
    A Florida beach cleared out – with the exception of a woman and lifeguard who tried to save her – when a shark was spotted heading straight toward swimmers on Tuesday afternoon. The panic of the 10-foot shark and people screaming from the pier was caught on tape.
    A Florida beach cleared out – with the exception of a woman and lifeguard who tried to save her – when a shark was spotted heading straight toward swimmers on Tuesday afternoon. The panic of the 10-foot shark and people screaming from the pier was caught on tape.
  • Bikini-clad mom of 5 writes viral letter to bullies who mocked her stretch marks

    Bikini-clad mom of 5 writes viral letter to bullies who mocked her stretch marks

    Friday, August 1 2014 4:17 PM EDT2014-08-01 20:17:45 GMT
    Tanis Jex-Blake Facebook page photoTanis Jex-Blake Facebook page photo
    A mother of five who was mocked for her stretch marks while sunbathing at the beach has written an open letter to the trio who bullied her. That letter has now gone viral with more than a million likes and 218,000 shares.
    A mother of five who was mocked for her stretch marks while sunbathing at the beach has written an open letter to the trio who bullied her. That letter has now gone viral with more than a million likes and 218,000 shares.
Powered by WorldNow

1430 East Victory Drive
Savannah, GA 31404

Telephone: 912.651.0300
Fax: 912.651.0320
Email: newsemailalert@wsav.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.