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As AirBnB approaches it’s 10th anniversary, and Uber has been around nearly as long, the sharing economy that has become so commonplace continues to improve and advance. The latest and greatest development hails from the UK and combines elements of the two aforementioned drastically different popular companies. Octo Telematics subsidiary Omoove, Europe’s leading shared mobile technology provider has developed a platform known as Sharemine that allows car owners to rent out their vehicles when not in use. While this may appeal to individuals stuck in the office all day, allowing them to earn some extra income while their unused personal vehicle would otherwise be sitting in a potentially expensive parking lot, the platform is better suited for small to medium fleet owners, businesses, and communities.
Although no app has been developed as of yet (that should arrive in 2018), Sharemine was able to launch October 19th with a full customizable web-based platform. The user-friendly website allows individuals and companies to offer members vehicles for hire, a chance to share rides with each other, and the option to share their own personal vehicles. In much the same way AirBnB has a rating system for both the providers and consumers, so will Sharemine operate in order to maintain quality and safety. The fleet vehicles will be rated based on cleanliness, condition, and ease of pick-up. Drivers will likewise be monitored using black box technology, so repeat offenders of reckless behavior and bad drivers will no longer be able to utilize the service.
One of Sharemine’s goals is to create community with small businesses, so instead of individuals personally handing over their keys, vehicle owners can leave their car and keys with community managers who will be tasked with doling them out to the renters as needed. They also hope this will facilitate themed communities where people can organize group transport to out of the area sporting events or parents arranging carpool for school drop-off/pick-up of their children. Finally, increasing the availability of ridesharing services and making it more accessible for everyone should have a hugely positive environmental impact. It is anticipated that for every one car that is shared, anywhere from 10-15 traditionally owned vehicles will be removed from the rotation. This could have a worldwide impact of 5.3 million cars taken out of the global fleet. The reduced carbon emissions, lesser need for traffic solutions, and lower congestion in city centers in a benefit for everyone, not just those directly participating in Sharemine.
With insurance costs on the rise, more populated cities leading to severe traffic issues, and increased congestion, consumers are seeking out alternatives to private car ownership. While public transportation is still a viable option for some where the public transport system is widespread, far reaching, and convenient, ridesharing services are an even more appealing solution for these day to day problems. In addition, revenue generated by these carsharing applications has been on a steady incline, and is only expected to increase by anywhere from 19% to 25% of where it stands in the next eight years. The most well-known rideshare facilitators such as Uber and Lyft have the resources to offer their services globally, whereas smaller and even medium enterprises do not have the same opportunities. Sharemine is offering an affordable option for those who cannot compete with the top dogs. Although Sharemine is currently only available in the UK, depending on the platform’s success, it very well could spread around the world, giving equal opportunities to individuals and small businesses alike who want to break into the rideshare market, while positively affecting the environment and helping to solve some of the problems inherent in private car ownership.