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Key technology and social innovation drivers for car sharing

Authors Esti Sanvincente
Daniele Kielmanowicz
Johannes Rodenbach
Andrea Chicco
Érika Martins Silva Ramos
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Psychology
Language en
Subject categories Environmental psychology, Psychology, Transport Systems and Logistics


Car sharing has huge potential to improve quality of life and traffic conditions in cities. It offers a car at your disposal without the need of ownership and has the potential to reduce the number of cars in cities without reducing individual mobility. The wide spread of information and communication devices (smartphones in particular) and of social media and web platforms, together with the sharing economy that is growing into a cultural consumption approach, are at the basis of this development. Moreover, smart technology has helped to improve the experience of using car sharing, making booking, accessing and using shared transport easier. While car sharing in recent years has witnessed double-digit growth, particularly in bigger cities where the costs of owning a car can be more easily offset, only a small percentage of people actually use it when compared to other urban modes. This leaves a gap, meaning that cities are unable to reap the full benefits of car sharing. With this in mind, the STARS partners set out to better capture the underlying forces that affect car sharing. In fact, D2.2 of the STARS project focuses on a number of aspects to understand how mobility sharing practices are influenced by the arrival of digital technologies, automotive advances, the emergence of social innovation patterns and mobility behaviour and choices. The first chapter of the present report explores the three types of underlying forces that are essential to understanding the new era of mobility and particularly the future of car sharing. These include technology enablers, such as ICT based innovations and automotive advances; societal changes such as the emergence of new forms of sharing economy practices and Mobility as a Service; and attitudinal and motivational characteristics of citizens with regards to emerging urban transport opportunities. The second part aims to advance understanding of how car sharing adoption trends are influenced by the evolution of sociodemographic characteristics (population characteristics, education level, income), car ownership rate and mobility split, and the use of web 2.0 services (participation in social networks, internet banking and the use of internet for travelling purposes). To do so, we undertook a complementary approach in which we analysed aggregated statistics for a time series in a given area, or the same statistics in different countries and cities. Car sharing data was gathered through different sources, including car sharing operators’ websites, newspaper, annual surveys for the different car sharing systems, and statistical data at national and city level. Finally, a specific analysis of three use cases was carried out with the objective of studying the main drivers and barriers to deploy car sharing in urban areas. Autolib in Paris, Cambio in Bremen and Drivy in Barcelona, were the selected use cases. The methodology undertaken to conduct the three case studies combined data from literature analysis and expert interviews. A multi-level perspective was then used to help analyse both the internal (business model and business performance) and external (city/local related) factors shaping the car sharing deployment in these urban areas. Key technology and social innovation drivers for car sharing GA n°769513 Page 8 of 106 The analysis showed that both digital technologies and transport innovations hold a great promise for the development of car sharing services, in terms of enhancing fleet management and maintenance and improving user’s experience. Moreover, while the arrival of driverless autonomous vehicles represents a unique opportunity for fundamental change in urban mobility, it will only help to reduce the number of cars (reduce car ownership, car traffic and parking needs) and drastically improve mobility options, if they come as shared fleets integrated with public transport. As automotive advances are reshaping the driving experience - turning drivers into passengers and pulling users at the centre of the mobility ecosystem – people’s values, norms and attitudes towards shared mobility are shown to change significantly with the rapid spread of smartphones and new practices of sharing economy. Therefore, new predictors of travel mode choice, including technological and social innovations, are highlighted in the present study to explore the attitudebehaviour gap related to mobility choices. Finally, it is worth stressing that this study has shed light on the drivers and challenges that car sharing operators face, both from a business model and city level perspective. Indeed, based on the operator’s strategy, different impact levels have been highlighted.

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