This week, Lyft introduced its new Dispatch Developer Program. The program allows developers to use Lyft APIs to integrate with third party apps in a manner that no longer requires riders to sign up for a Lyft account. Instead, Lyft account management is handled between the third party app and Lyft directly, while the rider need only manage the relationship with the third party business.
"Dispatch reduces signup friction and enables a developer to completely own the passenger experience," the Lyft team mentioned in a blog post announcement. "Partners can set up their own billing and notification systems tailored to their user experience."
Many might wonder why it is difficult to sign up for a Lyft account. For many accustomed to the mobile app world, it's not. But, consider senior citizens who might not have a mobile phone and need a ride to the medical appointment. In that scenario, a healthcare provider could offer Lyft ride services directly to the patient without requiring the patient to set up a Lyft account. Building on the Lyft team's comments above, the healthcare provider would completely "own the [patient] experience," including the ride to and from the healthcare facility.
Dispatch leverages the Lyft developer platform and APIs that Lyft announced last year. The goal of such developer tools is to extend Lyft's on-demand transportation network beyond the Lyft app alone. Since the API launch, Lyft has "seen great examples of integrations" with apps like Facebook and Google Maps. Lyft will continue to build out and improve its suite of SDKs and APIs to enhance the developer experience and expand integration opportunities.
Lyft has published a Dispatch Developer page that includes many examples of use case scenarios for the Dispatch Developer Program. Beyond the healthcare example listed above, Lyft suggests event planners, hospitality services, and courtesy rides are all ripe with integration potential. Also at the site, interested parties will find support information and API/SDK docs.