As we have previously reported, an increasing number of startups are exploring cooperative business models where workers (and sometimes users) are owners in the company. Driver’s Seat, which participated in the first batch of the Start.coop accelerator, is one such example. 

Driver’s Seat is designed to help gig workers own and use their data so they can maximize their income. It works by first requiring ride-hail drivers to install an app that educates them about how the co-op collects and uses their data. In exchange, the app gives them insights about their real hourly wages after expenses and how those wages relate to different driving strategies.

For example, Driver’s Seat helps drivers determine when and where they should drive when it’s slow and can calculate the odds of making driver bonuses via Uber, Lyft and other ride-hail platforms. Driver’s Seat then aggregates all of the data to market it to cities, municipalities and state governments that require this information for planning purposes. 

“These folks are hungry to support ride-hail drivers and make ride-hailing work better in their cities,” Driver’s Seat founder and CEO Hays Witt tells TechCrunch.

City agencies can use this data to make better decisions about transportation planning as it relates to congestion, pollution, curb allocation and affordable transit. The proceeds from those contracts then go back to the drivers via dividends.