Three weeks after the start of the car2gether pilot project in Ulm Daimler AG is announcing the second pilot project of the new mobility concept: on 8 October 2010 car2gether will be launched in the Aachen region.
car2gether is a web-based ride sharing community arranging incoming offers and requests for lifts. Rides can be arranged via smartphones on the way or from a PC at home – almost in real time.
“As a university and science city Aachen offers an ideal environment for pioneering new mobility solutions”, says Marcel Philipp, Mayor of the City of Aachen, welcoming the commitment of Daimler AG. “We look forward to working with Daimler and hope that car2gether can make a successful contribution to networking various mobility provi-ders.”
The first car2gether pilot project started successfully in Ulm in mid September. “We are registering lively interest in Ulm in the first few weeks and across all age groups”, says Project Manager Michael Kuhn. “Lots of users are testing the system and trying out the different functions. We are in dialogue with them and are evaluating their experience.”
Aachen as a second pilot city
Aachen is the second region where Daimler AG will test the system in real-world everyday conditions together with its Partner Scientific Computers GmbH. All citizens there 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 Aachen University. 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 optimi-sation of car2gether.
car2gether in detail
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 brings to-gether 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 displays all offers and searches in a short form and is automatically updated every 15 seconds. If interested, users can get further details of the ride from the live ticker and directly opt for it.
Potentials for the future
car2gether is an ideal addition to car ownership and other means of transport. For example, a taxi symbol takes the user straight to the central taxi switchboard in Aachen. For the future there are also plans to include information on public transport stops and departure times on car2gether. This integration is an additional focus of the pilot pro-ject in Aachen.
Furthermore, with its own fan page on facebook and its own Twitter account car2gether is firmly integrated in the virtual world of online communities and in this way promotes communication between its users.