30 years of Invers, 30 years of automated car sharing
On 14 September 1993, company founder Uwe Latsch presented his invention to the press at the University of Siegen: an on-board computer for car sharing providers to automate their rental processes, from keyless vehicle handovers to detailed realtime vehicle data. Today marks the 30th anniversary of the birth of automated car sharing and of Invers, the Siegen-based start-up.
Siegen, September 14th, 2023 – For three decades, Invers has been shaping the way we share cars and experience mobility. The company was founded by Uwe Latsch, who completed his doctorate at the University of Siegen in 1993. Even as a student, he was an avid cyclist, but needed a car now and then. “The principle of car sharing already existed,” recalls engineer Uwe Latsch, now CTO of Invers. “But with personal handover of keys and a logbook, it was all very cumbersome.” He invented a system for keyless vehicle handovers, and since then the company has been developing solutions for car sharing worldwide. Today, Invers is the leading provider of automated car sharing technologies with a market share of around 60 per cent in Europe and more than 450 mobility projects in over 60 countries. “The success of our company stems from strong partnerships with our customers around the globe, and market-leading offerings based on our focus on car sharing technology. What sets us apart is that we deliver the entire technical solution for state-of-the-art rental processes. Also, our team brings the necessary expertise to the table: from telematics and microchip to the cloud and AI” says Alex Kirn, CEO of Invers. “Our 30th anniversary allows us to look back on an impressive history and at the same time is an incentive for us to push the industry forward with further offers and innovations to make mobility sustainable.” The teams from Siegen, Cologne and Vancouver are proud of what has been achieved so far and look forward to further improving the processes of shared mobility to make car sharing a convenient alternative to private cars and thus help shape the global mobility revolution.
The beginnings: Cocos and the breakthrough of automated car sharing
The first automated car sharing system in 1993 was called Carsharing Organization and Communication System, or Cocos for short. It allowed users to open vehicles with a chip card. The reservation process was centrally coordinated, and invoices were generated automatically. This innovation heralded a revolution in shared mobility.
International expansion and further successes
With the new solution, Invers quickly attracted interest, locally and internationally, and supported many car sharing operators in bringing their services to the market. The first international customer started using Invers technology from 1995 onwards when Greenwheels launched its carsharing service in Rotterdam. The sharing project with Car Club Singapore marked the beginning of intercontinental success in 1998. In 2001, Deutsche Bahn entered the carsharing market and launched Flinkster, supported by Invers. Together with Daimler AG and the carsharing service Car2Go (now Share Now), Invers revolutionized the carsharing market in 2008 by introducing free floating carsharing. In addition to classic car sharing, Invers also offered technology for moped sharing. The Berlin start-up emmy, the Spanish moped-sharing operator Cooltra and the Indian start-up Bounce started to use Invers technology for their sharing services.
A clear industry focus and customer needs drive innovation
In the company’s 30 year history, numerous new solutions have been developed as a result of Invers exchanging ideas with sharing operators and learning their challenges. Invers works closely with its customers to develop ideas for technical solutions that optimize their processes in a sustainable way and improve the operators’ mobility offers: from reliable availability of vehicles to detailed vehicle data provided in real time and AI-powered solutions. Current innovations include trip analysis, damage detection and the flexible sharing of vehicles between fleets of different operators. The goal is and remains to enable convenient and cost-effective car sharing services for mobility users, so that they can choose the right vehicle for every trip from among a wide range of sustainable transport options, as an alternative to owning a car.
You can find the video on the company history of Invers here.
Invers, inventor of automated vehicle sharing, enables mobility service providers to launch, operate and scale their offerings with integrated hardware and software solutions specifically designed for developers of shared mobility services. As the world’s first shared mobility technology company, Invers is developing and reliably maintaining the fundamental building blocks at scale to offer its customers cost-efficient and easily implementable tech solutions.
The company acts as an independent and reliable partner for operators of services such as car sharing, scooter sharing, ride pooling and car rental with the vision to make the use of shared vehicles more convenient and affordable than ownership. Customers include Share Now, Clevershuttle, Miles, imove, Carify, Getaround, imove, Flinkster, TIER and Emmy. The company was founded in 1993 and has locations in Siegen, Cologne and Vancouver. The development takes place entirely in Germany.