Since private vehicles stand idle for an estimated 95 percent of the time, carsharing can increase the efficiency of automobile use. Carsharing provides members access to a fleet of autos for short-term use throughout the day, reducing the need for one or more personal vehicles. This report reviews key terms and definitions for carsharing, common carsharing business models, and existing impact studies. The paper also presents a discussion of the commodification and aggregation of mobility services and the role of Mobility on Demand (MOD) and Mobility as a Service (MaaS) on carsharing. Finally, the report concludes with a discussion of how the convergence of electrification and automation is changing carsharing, leading to shared automated and electric vehicle (SAEV) fleets.
The report suggests that flexible policymaking is needed to guide SAEV adoption dynamics and to foster sustainable outcomes including: curb management, user incentives, and a variety of pricing mechanisms. Specifically, cities will continue to face competition for access to their rights-of-way. The report argues that as carsharing evolves toward automation, policies that encourage transportation equity for underserved communities and vehicle sharing (both pooled and sequential) should be explored.