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Posts Tagged ‘car sharing’

Virtual Keys Looming on the Horizon

New technology pivotal to expansion of car sharing.

by on Aug.31, 2016

A Continental joint venture, OTA keys SA, is developing a virtual key that could make car sharing a reality.

Carmakers are moving closer to using “virtual keys” that can be embedded in smart phones, according to a leading auto supplier.

Representatives from Continental, a leading supplier of a variety of automotive technology, said this week that the virtual keys that can unlock the vehicle and start the engine are developing quickly and will begin showing up on some cars next year.

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“With the variety of solutions Continental offers in its portfolio, the customer has the freedom to decide what technology they want and can choose the key they feel most secure and comfortable with,” said Michael Crane, vice president business Unit Body & Security for the Americas. (more…)

Google Heats Up Car-Sharing Battle

High-tech firm could challenge Uber as it ramps up carpooling project.

by on Aug.31, 2016

Commuters in the San Francisco Bay Area will now be able to use Waze to carpool.

Everyone, it seems, wants to get into the car-sharing business, even as Uber, the emerging industry’s leader, reportedly lost more than $1 billion for the first half of the year.

Google is the latest player to toss its car keys into the ring. The high-tech firm began a limited test in May of a carpooling project in its home base in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is expanding that venture, which relies on Google’s Waze smartphone app.

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While not a direct competitor to Uber or its smaller rival Lyft, the carpooling project could create a future outlet for Google as it pushes forward with its aggressive autonomous vehicle development program, some observers suggest.

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GM Reportedly Wants to Buy Lyft

Ride service tells automaker to take a hike.

by on Aug.15, 2016

GM CEO Dan Ammann (c), recently took a seat on the Lyft board of directors.

Ride-sharing service Lyft has rejected a takeover bid from General Motors, according to Silicon Valley news site The Information.

The move would have turned the country’s biggest automaker into an even bigger player in the fast-growing field of alternative mobility. GM already holds a 9% stake in Lyft and also owns San Francisco based competitor Sidecar. It has also dipped its toes into the world of car-sharing, as well.

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Neither GM nor Lyft will comment on the report by The Information and a second Silicon Valley news service. But sources reportedly include a “person briefed on the situation,” and comes a year after Lyft went looking for a possible buyer.

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Mini Fast-Forwards to the Future with Vision Next 100 Concept

“A completely individualised, permanently available form of urban mobility.”

by on Jun.16, 2016

Mini's vision of the future suggests we'll be more dependent upon car and ride-sharing.

Mini has made a specialty out of squeezing big things into little packages. But how might it take this “clever use of space” philosophy even further?

The British maker is offering up a hint in the form of the Mini Vision Next 100, one of three futuristic concept vehicles unveiled as part of the celebration of parent BMW’s 100th anniversary. The Mini prototype offers up some intriguing ways to enhance ingress and egress while also focusing on the connected car technologies that are rapidly becoming a part of mobile life.

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With the Vision 100, “Mini looks to offer smart and bespoke mobility in cities that engages all the senses. And in the future, you might not actually have to own a vehicle to enjoy the benefits,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, the global director of BMW Group Design.

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Automakers Expanding Car-Sharing Programs – with Emphasis on Green Cars

Jaguar goes InMotion; Hyundai shares hydrogen cars in Germany.

by on Apr.11, 2016

The fuel-cell version of the Hyundai Tucson will be offered through the new BeeZero car-sharing program in Munich.

Wondering what it’s like to drive a fuel-cell vehicle? For now, only a handful of qualified buyers living in a handful of communities in Southern California, Japan and Europe can find out, due to the limited availability of hydrogen and the low number of vehicles capable of using that super-clean fuel.

But if a new venture starting up in Munich, Germany is any indication, lots more motorists will get the chance to test drive hydrogen cars in the near future. And similar car-sharing programs opening up everywhere from Beijing to Indianapolis are offering motorists the opportunity to try out battery-cars like the Smart Electric Drive.

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While only a small percentage of motorists have yet signed up to participate in car-sharing programs like ZipCar, Car2Go, BlueIndy or BeeZero – the latter offering Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell vehicles in Munich, industry analysts anticipate rapid growth in the coming years. And a growing number of automakers are looking to participate in a potentially industry-transformative shift.

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Nissan and Renault Set to Launch 10 Autonomous Vehicles by 2020

“The future is not clear,” says CEO Ghosn.

by on Mar.24, 2016

“This is not a time to be conservative or cautious,” said Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn in NY.

Already the world’s number one producer of battery-electric vehicles, Japan’s Nissan and its French alliance partner Renault intend to become the leader in autonomous driving, as well – CEO Carlos Ghosn telling a New York International Auto Show audience the partners intend to offer 10 vehicles with “significant autonomous drive functionality” by 2020.

According to Ghosn, the Renault-Nissan Alliance will begin to roll out increasingly advanced version of its technology over the next four years, starting with cars capable of operating hands-free in a single lane on limited-access highways. The next step will allow vehicles to pass and change lanes, with the alliance’s first, fully autonomous car set to go into production by 2020.

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“This is not a time to be conservative or cautious” about changing technology, said Ghosn, who added that traditional automakers face a series of potential challenges, some posed by an assortment of outside tech companies like Google and Apple.

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Car, Ride-Sharing Services Won’t Crimp New Car Sales

Americans still see vehicle ownership as safer, more reliable.

by on Mar.11, 2016

Ride-sharing services require a customer to call for service using a smartphon app.

Despite offering motorists an alternative to traditional vehicle ownership, a new study contends that ride- and car-sharing services such as Uber, Lyft and Turo won’t hurt new car sales.

That has become a critical worry for automakers around the world, with some analysts predicting a sharp increase in the number of people who will rely on those services to get around on a day-to-day basis. Nearly 6 million people worldwide already use car- and ride-sharing, a figure predicted to more than quintuple over the next five years.

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But despite that growth, these services will have “limited impact on current or future vehicle ownership,” according to a new study by Kelley Blue Box.

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Car-Sharing Services Likely to Erode Auto Sales, Revenues

New study forecasts 35 million people will use car-sharing services.

by on Feb.23, 2016

A Smart car in Berlin, part of Daimler's car2go car-sharing service.

The auto industry could take a big hit to sales and revenues as car-sharing services take hold around the world, warns a new study.

As many as 35 million people will use car-sharing services each month by the beginning of the next decade, forecasts the Boston Consulting Group. That will reduce global car sales by at least 550,000 vehicles by 2021, automakers taking a revenue hit of 7.4 billion euros, or $8.14 billion at the current exchange rate.

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But the situation could get even more challenging later in the coming decade. As self-driving cars start to come to market in large numbers. “Autonomous vehicles will have a much greater impact on new-car sales than car-sharing will,” the study concludes.

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GM Launches New Car-Sharing Service Maven

Move follows big investments in ride-sharing firms Lyft, Sidecar.

by on Jan.21, 2016

A motorist uses a smartphone to line-up a short-term rental from the new Maven service.

General Motors apparently hopes to become an industry maven when it comes to alternative mobility programs. After investing in two ride-sharing services, Lyft and Sidecar, this month, the Detroit automaker says it will start a new car-sharing company called Maven – a Yiddish word for “expert.”

GM is just one of a growing number of automakers who are looking for alternative ways to appeal to potential customers at a time when younger consumers seem less interested in owning a vehicle. Both Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz brand and Ford Motor Co. are making similar forays, Ford CEO Mark Fields saying his goal is to transform the smaller Detroit maker into a “mobility” company.

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“With the launch of our car-sharing service through Maven, the strategic alliance with ride-sharing company Lyft, and building on our decades of leadership in vehicle connectivity through OnStar, we are uniquely positioned to provide the personalized mobility services our customers expect today and in the future,” GM President Dan Ammann said.

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Ford Pursues Carsharing, Other “Multi-Modal” Alternatives

But will they cut into core car sales?

by on Dec.11, 2015

One of the new Ford GoRide vans.

When workers at the sprawling Ford Motor Co. campus in Dearborn, Michigan need to run from building to building for meetings they normally have to drive. But Ford is firing up a new program that should make it simpler and quicker to get around.

As part of the Dynamic Shuttle Project, the maker is fielding a fleet of 21 modified Ford Transit vans. They’re operating like a cross between a bus system and the increasingly popular Uber ride-share service, helping 100s of employees schedule rides through a smartphone app.

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Last January, Ford announced it was studying 25 different alternative mobility projects. It has now narrowed that down to a handful that are going into operation in places as diverse as Dearborn, London, Mumbai and even The Gambia, one of the smallest and poorest countries in Africa.

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