The idea of sharing a car has become a reality thanks to connectivity, cheap sensors, and platforms to foster trust.
A highly influential and tested stat notes that private cars sit idle 95% of the time. It makes sense to figure out a way to efficiently shuttle cars between users and there’s a wide consensus that most people will someday participate in car sharing as opposed to owning their own vehicle.
Sharing cars changes a lot of things about the car industry, such as the car buying model. It also affects infrastructure including where people build garages.
But how will the sharing programs themselves measure success? If they are private companies, then profits will matter, but what are the metrics that matter when it comes to generating profits? Is it the cost-per-ride? Wait time? The member-to-vehicle ratio offered above? Right now, we’re not sure. Even Uber apparently doesn’t turn a profit, since it has those pesky humans in the mix.
What if governments decide that car sharing is a public good or service that should be taken over as part of a city’s infrastructure? On-demand cars become a public resource much like public transit is today. In that situation making money to cover the system’s costs matter, but a better measurement of success might be wait time or the ratio of cars to riders.
Deloitte has written a report covering the future of mobility as a service that questions the right models for this looming future and how cities are thinking about their role in this shift. So read past the egregious use of the phrase “user-centered mobility paradigm” and dig into the meat of this report.