Most cars today are designed for personal ownership. Increasingly, though, they’ll be designed for ride-hailing and car-sharing services, which are growing in popularity. That will affect what the vehicles we see on the road look like. On this front, Beijing-based Didi Chuxing, which defeated Uber in China before going global, looks to be leading the way.
A company offering free, short-term rental cars has partnered with a developer as part of its push into the New York City market. WaiveCar’s business model is based on revenue from digital ads that are broadcast from a screen mounted atop electric cars. Income generated by the mini billboards is supposed to pay for buying and maintaining a fleet of vehicles and the electricity needed to power them. The driver, on the other hand, pays nothing for the first few hours and is charged an hourly rate thereafter.
Have you ever made a trip to a big-box store only to buy more stuff than you can haul home in your own car? Renault is giving French Ikea shoppers a way around that problem. The automaker is setting up a car-sharing service that allows customers to rent vehicles directly from the Ikea parking lot.
Studies also show millennials are into access, not ownership; experiences are often more important than material goods—driven largely by skyrocketing student debt. As millennials gravitate toward experiences, and as the sharing economy makes ownership less of a necessity, a new Chicago startup wants to capitalize on millennials’ growing desire to do more and own less.
Car companies now do more than just sell cars. General Motors’ Maven division takes on the likes of Zipcar with car-sharing services using GM vehicles, and even rents cars to Uber and Lyft drivers through its Maven Gig program. So, what’s it like for an automaker to go from selling cars to renting them?
Could owning a car go the way of paying for cable television or having a home phone? If this Uber executive is any indication, the answer is a resounding yes. During a forum for Latin American business leaders, Uber’s CEO for Latin America, George Gordon, remarked that he hasn’t owned a car in nearly a decade. Others have made the same choice. Around 9% of people who sold or traded in a vehicle over the past year decided to forego getting a new car in favor of using services like Uber and Lyft, a poll conducted by Reuters and Ipsos found last May.
Companies including Bird Rides, LimeBike, Spin and Waybots this spring flooded a half-dozen cities with the motorized two-wheelers. Then came a wave of scooters behaving badly. And in some cities, the era of start-ups disrupting first and seeking forgiveness later seems to have worn out its welcome.
Sometime this August, Minneapolis riders will begin seeing the first evidence of something becoming common in other large American cities: dockless bike sharing. But the city, Nice Ride, the nonprofit that oversees the city’s bike-sharing program, and biking advocates have also been working to head off complaints common in those other cities where dockless bikes have been introduced: bikes run amok.
If you live in a US city, car-sharing services like Lyft and Uber might seem omnipresent. However, the ride-sharing economy still has a ways to go, at least according to consumer sentiment. In a recent survey of more than 2,000 US adults, Statista found that 28.5% of people surveyed had booked a ride-sharing service within the past year. But perhaps most surprisingly, of all the shared-transport options available — including public transportation and bike-sharing — nearly 50% of people said they hadn’t used any type of shared mobility service within the past year at all.
The Australian company has the goal of becoming the “Amazon of the sharing economy,” enabling users to lease “assets” from a broad range of categories through a single smartphone app. They would be connected to individuals nearby who have items they are willing to share, while rental companies would be able to develop their own “mini” app within ShareRing to reach greater numbers of prospective customers. ShareRing is already exploring deals with big brands, and the latest partnerships will be announced on its website.