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The Resource Based Economy Model: Peer-to-Peer Carsharing Services Revving Up.
By Admin (from 13/08/2011 @ 11:00:37, in en - Global Observatory, read 1320 times)

Around the world, there are more than one billion cars, and in the United States alone, over 250 million of those cars sit idle 93 percent of the time in driveways and parking lots.

Combing the peer-to-peer Samaritanism of couch surfing with the automotive green initiatives of Zipcar, some new startup carsharing companies are aiming to revolutionize how people view personal vehicles   through networks of idle cars readily availble for rent.


Photo: Anne Rippy/Getty Images

For companies such France's Buzzcar and San Fransisco's Getaround, the concept is simple. Car owners or renters sign up online, making available either their cars or their desire to rent one. Owners decide hourly rental rate and the companies cover the insurance. Members then browse available cars located in their area, arrange a key swap, and off you go. For Getaround cars equipped with their carkit-enable RFID systems, renters can download the Getaround app to their smartphone, allowing users to rent and unlock cars without owners needing to be physically present.

The business model looks to expand on traditional, fleet-based carsharing providers, such as Zipcar that still rely on a limited number of new vehicles in select locations. Getaround and Buzzcar hope to tap into the vast community of available vehicles, potentially turning all cars into shared vehicles.

"People who live in tiny towns or out in rural areas can add their cars into the network. Then, when a neighbor needs a pickup, or their adult children are visiting and they need another car, or their own car in out of commission, they can rent a neighbors car, Buzzcar founder, Robin Chase told Discovery News in an email. Chase is also co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar.

Source: DiscoveryNews