Car sharing to trigger reduction in car sales

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Continued growth in car sharing, particularly in Asia, more car sharing company mergers, while others will leave the business, the development of deliveries by aircraft drones, more technology companies becoming involved in automotive manufacturing and even autonomous Formula 1 racing were all part of the developments that research and consulting company, Frost and Sullivan, expects to see in the coming years.

The company’s Intelligent Mobility Forum, staged in London in June considered future business models in connected and automated mobility, with presentations from a wide range of speakers.

Developments in mobility were the focus of a number of presentations including those from BMW, GM’s Maven division, Daimler’s Moovel division and Toyota’s new Yuko project. The united theme for all these is car sharing, expected to be a popular choice in growing urban areas. Frost and Sullivan’s analysis suggests that 12.5 cars could be removed from the road for every car share vehicle. That could represent the removal of 7 million cars from the road per year by 2025. Calculations from Frost and Sullivan suggest that could result in a reduction of 107 billion km plus reductions in emissions from both manufacturing and driving those vehicles, based on 46 million car share members by then, using 570,000 vehicles.

This could be in addition to a projected reduction of 8.7 million vehicles by 2020 as a result of car drivers giving up ownership in urban areas to use ride-hailing services such as Uber.

 

Mobility developments

BMW Mobility Services recently launched Reach Now in the US, starting with 370 cars in Seattle. Reach Now is effectively a North American version of Drive Now, BMW’s premium car sharing scheme in Europe. Reach Now attracted

13,000 customers in the first four days, according to Tony Douglas, head of strategy, marketing and communication at BMW Mobility Services.

Reach Now will offer new services beyond those traditionally associated with car sharing. This includes a vehicle delivery service, vehicles available for longerterm use, car sharing for closed user groups, initial registration via smartphone, a chauffeur service and the opportunity to rent out your own car through the service. Drive Now, a joint venture between

BMW and Sixt is available in selected cities in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and the UK, with Brussels the latest city to offer the service. In Copenhagen, Arriva is BMW’s partner, operating a fleet of 400 electric-only i3s, currently the biggest Drive Now fleet. In total, there are over 800 i3s on the Drive Now fleet and 20% of the total fleet is electric.

BMW launched its Park Now service in March, in Austria and Germany in cooperation with Parkmobile. The service provides on and off-street parking and BMW says it will be integrated in cars from November.

“The car no longer means freedom,” Julia Steyn, GM vice president of Mobility and Maven told the conference. GM launched Maven in the US in January and the service provides car sharing in Ann Arbor, Boston, Chicago and Washington. The smartphone is key, providing booking and entry to the vehicles. Among the functions available are starting, cooling and heating the vehicle remotely. On Star features in the cars used.

Insurance and fuel is integrated in the pricing, as it is with BMW’s Drive Now.

GM already had a car sharing service in New York – Let’s Drive NYC, which has been incorporated in Maven in partnership with Stonehenge Partners. This provides on-demand access to vehicles for users and preferred parking options.

 

Smartphone integration

“There are around 7bn phones and 2.5bn smartphones on Earth, more than there are cars”, observed Dr Bernd Schmaul, CMO of Daimler’s Moovel division.

Moovel is effectively a smartphone app that provides access to a range of mobility services including Daimler’s car2go car sharing scheme as well as a range of ride-hailing and sharing options including mytaxi, Flinkster and in Germany, rail services through Deutsche Bahn (DB). Schmaul describes Moovel as a “Swiss Army Knife, with digital ticketing and connecting other apps to bring it all together.”

Toyota launched its Yuko scheme in Dublin, Ireland in June. Yuko, translated as “let’s go”, is being launched in co-operation with Co-Wheels, a small UK-based company with extensive ride-sharing experience. The scheme is being run with a private pay-as-you-go scheme as well as a corporate car-sharing model.

Toyota offers its Yaris, Auris and Prius hybrid models with prices starting from €8 per hour or €60 per day for a Yaris.

The scheme provides 50km of free fuel, free on-street parking in any public parking space, satellite navigation, a rear view camera and connectivity in every vehicle as well as free insurance. There is also a €50 sign-up fee and €6 per month subscription. Members can book in advance or on-the-spot and must return the car to the place it was collected from.

Three multi-national corporate partners, with headquarters in Dublin are planned for the Dublin scheme as well as two 5-star hotels. Cars will be activated using a card, supplied when customers sign up.

As Mark Adams, vice president, New Mobility at Toyota Motor Europe told the conference, Toyota plans to roll out the next location in Italy, once the scheme in Ireland has been established. Adams says that Italy was chosen because it was a mature car-share market, with an established permit process. Despite this,

Toyota has found that the process has involved political red tape, cultural challenges, complex expectations and extended time frames.

Adams described car-share insurance as a “nightmare”, and told the conference that a simple model is needed.

 

Congestion reduction

Congestion and ageing vehicles pose big air quality challenges around the world and International Transport Forum (ITF) secretary-general José Viegas told the conference about a research project and planned trial for a system designed to reduce both. The challenge is to persuade people to leave their cars at home in urban areas and use an alternative form of transport, based on transport data gathered for the project.

The results produced some surprising findings. The study considered using three modes of transport: shared taxis, taxi buses and a metro system, removing traditional buses. The combination of taxis and taxi-buses would be designed to replace private cars and buses city travel. The taxis would have a maximum capacity of six, offering a door-to-door service with similar journey times to a car. The taxi-buses would offer a street corner to street corner service offering users a maximum walk of 400m, using vehicles with eight to 16 places. There would be no need for transfers and no standing places. In both cases, the operation would be accessed via smartphone app and price would be no higher than today.

Research shows that with an average of two aboard the taxis (2.6 people in peak traffic) and between five and 14.6 aboard the taxi-buses in peak traffic, daily vehicle distances could be reduced to 77% and 63% of the current levels in peak hours, with CO2 emissions reduced to 66%. This freed up around 95% of parking spaces and removed congestion. It also made access to work far easier. Without subsidy, the prices for users would be around 30% of current prices in Lisbon. The key is to use a single dispatch centre but with a number of operators of the taxis and taxi-buses. In addition to Lisbon, tests are now under way in Auckland, Helsinki and Dublin.

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