Looking for the most controversial ride sharing app in America? Enter HopSkipDrive, a phone app that allows strangers to drive the children of busy parents around California (for now). Now before I give my thoughts, I do want to point this out from the Entrepreneur article:
HopSkipDrive says all drivers undergo a rigorous 15-point certification process. This includes everything from fingerprinting to checking their backgrounds, references and driving records, to interviewing them in person and beyond. Digging deeper, drivers are also vetted for sex offense and drunk driving convictions. In addition Caregivers (the strangers driving children around) are at least 23 years or older and have a minimum of five years of childcare experience from being a mom, teacher, nanny, etc. Children must be between the ages of 7 to 17 in order to use the app.
HopSkipDrive was created by 3 moms who needed help transporting their children from point A to point B. The application is an Uber like service which allows parents to schedule a pickup 8 hours in advanced. Caregivers are trained in many ways including how to deal with “misbehaving children”.
Now….I know what you’re thinking. This is one of those, “sounds better in your head” ideas, but I actually like it. There are major benefits to this for busy parents especially in today’s fast past society. The only issue that comes to mind (and it is a BBBBIIGGG ISSUE), is what happens when something goes wrong (and it will). Although the idea is good, HopSkipDrive is one car crash or child complaint, away from bellying up.
In my opinion, no matter how many background checks are done, it only takes one or two major incidents for a company like this to lose the trust of millions of parents. As long as things continue to go well, they will be fine, but if a kidnapping or any negative press comes out, they will be destroyed.