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Daimler AG Launches car2gether Ride Sharing Pilot Project in Ulm

By Green Car Congress on 09/06/2010 – 8:55 am PDTLeave a Comment

Daimler AG is launching a new ride sharing pilot project in Ulm, Germany. The new car2gether service can serve as a complement to the car2go car sharing service. (Earlier post.)

car2gether is a web-based ride sharing community arranging incoming offers and requests for lifts. The system takes advantage of the increasing use and acceptance and the many different communication possibilities offered by mobile internet. Rides can be arranged via smartphones on the way or from a PC at home.

The idea for this concept was developed by the Business Innovation division at Daimler AG which identifies business areas with future potential. Futurologists expect that due to the living conditions in cities, an increasing number of people will not own a car at all in future (“zero-car households”), Daimler says.

There is still a need for flexible, convenient and inexpensive mobility. With car2gether, we exactly offer these advantages and also encourage the more efficient use of resources.

—Project Manager Michael Kuhn

Daimler is the first major car company to trial this form of mobility in a pilot project that tests intelligent and contemporary use of a ride sharing system especially for urban areas.

The official pilot phase will start in Ulm on 18 September and Daimler AG will test the car2gether concept in real-world conditions together with its partner Scientific Computers GmbH. All interested citizens of Ulm will be able to try out the ride sharing system. In addition, at the beginning of the winter semester car2gether will be presented to students at the universities of Ulm and Neu-Ulm.

The pilot phase serves to test specific individual functions of the system and the acceptance and use patterns of participants. Experience with the system will be gathered in close cooperation with the users. The findings will be incorporated in the further development and optimization of car2gether. In the 4th quarter of 2010 Daimler will extend the car2gether pilot project to a further city in Germany.

If users intend to offer or take advantage of a ride, they have first to register on the car2gether website and create a profile with their photo, mobile phone number and other personal information. There are no fees for registration or for the smartphone software required. Following registration, users can enter the desired starting time and the destination using their smartphone or PC. car2gether uses a complex algorithm to bring together rides offered and wanted and sends details of suitable drivers or passengers to the user.

Users can then confirm the journey via their mobile phone or PC. Once both parties have agreed to the journey, the journey details will be shown to both participants. Users can also receive text message or e-mail notifications.

The ride offers and searches are also displayed in the form of a live ticker on the car2gether web portal. This ticker, which is similar to Twitter, displays all offers and searches in a short form and is automatically updated every 15 seconds

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Tags: daimler ag, innovation division, michael kuhn

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