It’s a hip, fast-growing sector of the economy, filled with headline-grabbing companies: Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Task Rabbit. But there’s a gnawing problem: People aren’t sure what to call it. Many critics dislike the term most commonly used, the “sharing economy,” because there often isn’t much actual sharing going on. Others prefer to call it the on-demand economy, peer-to-peer economy, crowd-based economy, gig economy or collaborative economy.
It’s become a well-trod refrain, but carmakers are looking at what comes after ownership, and car-sharing between individual owners and renters is one of those models. Mercedes-Benz has begun its own car-share service that adopts that approach – Croove, a platform that has now launched as a pilot in Munich, Germany.
Carmakers are building alternative models to vehicle ownership like it’s going out of style (it probably is). Two of those side bets on collaborative transportation might be coming together, according to a new report that says Daimler and BMW are considering merging their car-sharing services Car2Go and DriveNow.
Bloomberg Technology, December 22, 2016
TaskRabbit was founded in 2008 with a big idea. On the company’s website and app, people make money by assembling strangers’ Ikea furniture or cleaning their bathrooms…. Saif Benjaafar, who runs the Sharing Economy Initiative, a research project at the University of Minnesota, credits TaskRabbit with helping create a movement.
An AARP study explored how to make the sharing economy more accessible to everyone, regardless of their health and mobility. To gain insights, we held a series of in-depth conversations with 43 adults who either have a disability themselves — resulting in impaired mobility, vision, or hearing — or care for someone with a disability.
Not even a full day after Uber launched its self-driving service in San Francisco did California regulators tell the company to shut it down. The California Department of Motor Vehicles threatened legal action, telling the company that it must first obtain a special permit to test autonomous vehicles on the state’s roadways.
A sharp critic of the gig economy says a “portable safety net” would help today’s untethered workers.
Making a human connection is as important as making a living. There is a new economy emerging that combines the two.
Need gift ideas for the freelance life? We’ve got you covered with practical and unexpected suggestions.