What is Peer-to-Peer Carsharing?

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Carsharing

Summary

Peer-to-peer carsharing is evolving as a way to get people to share their personal vehicles with others. Instead of handing over keys in person, this type of shared mobility can be automated and accomplished more conveniently with the right technology.

The advancement of technology has turned traditional assets into shareable services, changing the way people view ownership and more specifically, mobility. No longer do you have to own a bike to enjoy a quick ride around downtown, nor do you have to own a vehicle to take a weekend getaway. Instead, you can easily find a shared mobility service that meets your needs, paying only for the time you use the service.
 
There is no doubt that the shared mobility industry is growing. One week we hear about the launch of dockless bikeshares, and another week we hear about an OEM acquiring or investing in a mobility start-up. All this media coverage is great for the industry, as there are still biases and minimal understanding on what shared mobility means for consumers.
p2p car key handover
One growing area of shared mobility is peer to peer carsharing, which relies on privately owned vehicles to be shared with others. An owner would decide when he doesn’t need the car, and list it on an app or website to let users know when and how much his vehicle could be used for. In addition, peer to peer services are great for people who do not always need a vehicle, but do not want to forego vehicle ownership. In a way, peer to peer helps people with vehicles contribute to shared mobility, as it offers a platform that helps vehicle owners share their vehicle while helping others not have to own a car themselves.
 
Studies have shown that private vehicles sit idle for 95% of the time (Reinventing Parking), so having the vehicle available during those off hours makes the most of the asset while earning supplemental income for the owner. On the flip side, end users are able to conveniently access vehicles at a lower cost compared to renting one. Similar to Airbnb, trust is built between vehicle owners and users through a rating system, giving both parties the opportunity to share their experience with others.
 
As with any business, peer to peer operators have needed to grow with changing consumer demands. The typical process of driver and user meeting up to exchange keys were seen as inconvenient by some, especially if time didn’t permit. Fortunately, technology has developed in this realm to create a seamless peer to peer experience for both the vehicle owner and driver.
 

For example, Drivy, a peer to peer service operating in Europe, understood the need for additional convenience and worked to identify the opportunity to create a better key exchange process. As a result, Drivy created a premium option in their peer to peer service Drivy Open. By installing in-car hardware, vehicle keys can be kept securely in the vehicle. Users who have the vehicle booked can access it through an app, removing the need for a physical exchange of keys. For the driver, they know when the vehicle gets picked up and returned. All this is able to happen seamlessly via the Drivy app.

Technology has enabled a wealth of shared mobility options, including peer to peer services. Growth in this industry is just beginning, and there is still opportunities to expand to new markets or add features to existing services.

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