The Rise Of Car Sharing Programs

from the thanks-to-technology dept

Car sharing programs aren’t all that new, but it appears that new technology is making them much easier to manage. It’s not just about being able to reserve a car online, but in how users can unlock and use a car. There are a few different systems, but they use things like an RFID-enabled card to unlock the car doors (only if that cardholder reserved the car, obviously) and then unlocking the ignition as well. The car also monitors when it’s on and where it is, so it knows whether or not to charge you for going over your reserved time. Of course, it’s not hard to see how this could be taken even further with mobile technology. Instead of having to reserve a car via a computer, it shouldn’t be that hard to use a GPS system in a phone to locate the nearest available car, get directions to that car, and then be able to unlock the car via the phone itself.

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Comments on “The Rise Of Car Sharing Programs”

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Jim Harper says:

Shared Cars Work!

It took me a long time to decide to try a shared car, but now that I have, I am quite happy with the experience.

Like the author of this article, I have several shared cars (FlexCar) within walking distance of my home on Capitol Hill in D.C. Online reservations are fairly simple, there is almost always a car available within an hour or so of when I would like to have one, and accessing the car is easy (now that I remember to remember my passcode . . .).

I use the service for big grocery shopping excursions and Home Depot runs. On average, once a month for a couple of hours does the trick – way cheaper than using a cab or traditional rental car for those purposes, and way WAY cheaper than owning a car.

I’m a new-business-model fan in theory and have found one that I think is pretty darn good in practice too. Anyone who has the shared-car option: try it, use it. It’s good.

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