February 12, 2013
Carsharing innovators have developed web-based platforms that use real time location data to match up drivers with unutilized vehicles, allow riders/cargo to join trips-in-progress, or schedule trips for a future time. These developments, together with improved public transportation systems, traditional 2-way carsharing, biking and walking, are giving people more personal mobility choices and have decreased dependence on privately-owned vehicles.
The CarSharing Association (“CSA”) works to maximize the environmental and social impacts of carsharing. To this end, we’ve been involved in academic research to quantify reductions in greenhouse gas emissions attributable to carsharing. Our research also quantifies reductions in the total number of insured vehicles on the road as people give up individual car ownership and use shared cars. These environmental benefits are important to the carsharing industry. The CSA maintains that environmental claims should be accurate, verifiable and clear and claims should use recognized metrics backed up with solid scientific research methodology.
New forms of shared car mobility are built on a foundation of trust between sharers. The CSA believes it has a leading role in the development of trust through its Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. The objective of the Code of Ethics is to establish professional business standards that protect the image and credibility of carsharing. The CSA is presently gathering data from member organizations for further study and is looking for partners from the emerging peer-to-peer and ridesharing communities to collaborate on quantifying the environmental and social benefits of carsharing.