Company looking to reinvent rideshare experiences comes to San D - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Company looking to reinvent rideshare experiences comes to San Diego next month

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — The next time you use Lyft or Uber you may notice something different: mounted tablets in the cars will offer the same type of entertainment you would find on an airplane.

The company providing those tablets is called Surf and it will be coming to San Diego next month.

While many use their phone during rideshare trips, Surf’s tablets take in-ride entertainment one step further with a tablet offering different sorts of entertainment options.

With rideshare services growing in popularity over the years, and the internet available on the go, entrepreneur Eli Chmouni decided to combine the two to create Surf.

"Surf is basically taking in the concept of in-flight entertainment and applying it to the back of a Lyft or rideshare vehicle,” said Chmouni who started the company last year.

Since then, it's been launched in eight cities nationwide including Phoenix, Miami and Los Angeles. Next up will be Las Vegas followed by San Diego on April 15.

“All the content is controlled within our system and it's geo-targeted so if you're in San Diego, you're going to see more San Diego content,” said Chmouni.

Here's how he says it works: Surf provides the tablets, as well as the data service free of charge to top-performing Lyft and Uber drivers - ones with 100 or more rides a month. In return, those drivers get paid and customers can do things like choose the music they want to listen to or watch viral videos.

"You get prompted to choose a variety of different content,” said Chmouni. “You can choose anything from different videos to watch to cute cat videos all the way to local deals to eat or drink and different events happening in town."

When asked why people can't just pull that up on their own phones, he said:

"We basically focus on content exploration so what's on your phone is already on your phone you kinda know the social media feed that you have. We want to basically entertain you in other short form content in two to four minutes.”

Both Lyft and Uber are on board and Chmouni says drivers with the tablets have reported better tips and reviews.

"Because you know the passengers are having a better experience,” he said. “Watching a cute cat video makes it a better ride."

Chmouni says he’s currently looking for San Diego drivers interested in the service and any local business wanting to advertise. He said to reach out via RideWithSurf.com while promising not to inundate riders with ads.

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