SAN FRANCISCO — Having beaten my checked bag to the luggage carousel, I fired up my iPhone and did something illegal. Using an app called SideCar, I summoned a complete stranger to come pick me up from the airport.
Earlier in October, a California regulatory agency ordered SideCar to cease connecting passengers with ordinary drivers looking to make a few extra bucks by playing chauffeur. The company ignored the order, and the day before my arrival raised $10 million from Google’s venture capital arm and another investment firm. It took 18 minutes for my driver, Eddie, to show up at the airport. I hopped into his black Acura sedan, and we sped north toward the city.