The Integration of Driverless Vehicles in Commercial Carsharing Schemes in Germany

The Integration of Driverless Vehicles in Commercial Carsharing Schemes in Germany

A Prefeasibility Study

eBook - 2014
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With an increasing world population and a steadily rising share of people living in urban areas, traffic density is on the rise, and has become a major issue of urban agglomerations all over the world. These trends are accompanied by the process of the motorization of the individual - with negative effects on both, the society and the individual. While millions of people get injured and die in traffic accidents each year, congestion causes mental stress and economic inefficiencies. Different solutions seek to tackle the problem like strengthening of public transport or encouraging residents to walk or make use of bicycles. However, they have yet failed to combine, for example, individual mobility needs and infrastructural conditions. In order to contribute to the debate of possible solutions, this study investigates the combination of two emerging concepts, carsharing and driverless vehicles. Germany was chosen as the basis of this study for its strong position in the car industry.   Auszug aus dem Text Text Sample: Chapter 1.4.3, Sustainability Concerns: Carsharing, traditional and commercial schemes, primarily responds to sustainability concerns in three ways. First, by reducing car ownership. Several studies, which cover traditional carsharing schemes if not mentioned otherwise, have shown that on average several dozens of users share one carsharing vehicle in Germany (Der Blaue Engel, 2010 [online]; Loose, 2011 [online]). Frost & Sullivan estimates 'that, on average, each shared vehicle replaced 15 personally owned vehicles" (Zhao, 2010 [online]). In a study among North American carsharing users, Elliot Martin, Susan A. Shaheen and Jeffrey Lidicker (2010, p. 15 [online]) from Berkeley University, California, calculated that each carsharing vehicle has removed 9 to 13 private vehicles and that 'the vehicle holding population exhibited a
dramatic shift towards a carless lifestyle." In an evaluation on the impact of carsharing on Swiss customers, the study has shown that car ownership among carsharing users has declined from 40% before joining to 24% after joining a carsharing programme (BFE, 2006 [online]). In Bremen, one of three city states in Germany, a study found that each carsharing vehicle of a traditional scheme substituted nine cars (Der Senator für Bau, Umwelt und Verkehr, 2005 [online]) and have led to a reduction of 1,000 vehicles up until now (Mobil.Punkt, n.d. [online]). In a rare study of commercial carsharing users, Firnkorn and Müller (2012 [online]) found that each car2go vehicle in Ulm had reduced car ownership by 2.3 to 10.3 cars, but has a potential to take 19.2 vehicles off the street in the long term. Second, carsharing responds to sustainability concerns because customers reduce travelled kilometres in cars and increase the usage of public transport. A car owner, for example, will make use of the own car as often as possible because first, he or she already pays high fixed costs and other transport modes will only cause additional variable costs, and second, because drivers tend to neglect other variable costs than those for petrol (Loose, 2011 [online]). In contrast, customers of carsharing schemes have a strong incentive to drive as little as possible because they have to pay directly for each single journey and kilometre (Rodt et al, 2010 [online]). Willi Loose (2011 [online]), CEO of the Bundesverband Carsharing (BCS, Federal Association of Carsharing), speaks of the learning curve of carsharing users which leads, after some experience with this transport mode, to the bundling of several trips into fewer because costs are seen as variable costs which can be reduced, for example, by using public transport. Carsharing providers have recognized this
connection and started offering discounts for customers of public transport (Daimler, 2012a [online]; DriveNow, 2012c [online]; Finanztest, 2012 [online]). In Switzerland, the above mentioned study has shown that the number of households taking part in traditional carsharing programmes and holding public transport passes, has increased by one quarter after one year (BFE, 2006 [online]). Michael Specht (2010 [online]) from Stern reminds, however, that carsharing can only be beneficial for the environment when customers sell their cars but not when carsharing is used instead of a bike or public transport. And indeed, studies have shown that the availability of carsharing has led to journeys that would not have been made otherwise (BFE, 2006 [online]). Martin and Shaheen (2011 [online]) found the same effect in their study among carless households but note, however, that this increase is relatively small. The average travelled distance among formerly carless households reached the same level to which other formerly car owner households reduced theirs, so that the annually driven kilometres were reduced on average by 1,740 kilometres or 8% per customer (U.S. Department of Transport, 2011 [online]). This reduction benefits the environment. Considering that the average German car drove 14,200 km in 2010 (Kuhnert & Radke, 2011 [online]) and emitted 144 g CO2 per kilometre (Rodt et al, 2010 [online]), the environmental CO2 emissions of each car are slightly more than 2 tonnes. Calculations of CO2 emission savings are rare, but in Switzerland a study concluded that each carsharing customer saved 290 kg of CO2 per year (BFE, 2006 [online]). Considering the Northern American and Swiss studies mentioned above, this would correspond to 8-14% CO2 savings in Germany or 1,140-2,013 kilometres travelled less per customer. Loose worries, however, that this effect
may not be achieved in commercial schemes because the price calculation which is based on time units, gives, from his point of view, an incentive to use cars even for small trips (Lamparter, 2010 [online]). The third way how carsharing responds to sustainability concerns is by providing cars that are more environmentally friendly than the average car in terms of their CO2 emissions. By emitting fewer CO2 emissions, carsharing can directly affect the climate positively and help to lower emission levels in German cities. The latter is a persistent problem (UBA, 2012 [online]) despite the fact that the general fuel consumption in Germany has decreased consistently, reaching 7.5 litres per 100 km in 2009 (BMVBS, 2011 [online]) and thus lowered the average CO2 emissions of a German car to 144g per kilometre (Rodt et al, 2010 [online]). Because carsharing programmes use small cars which they replace after as early as 18 months (Finanztest, 2012 [online]), the average car fleet of carsharing organisations emits only 132.4 g CO2/km (Loose, 2011 [online]). The fleet of Smarts in Daimler's car2go programme, however, tops this by emitting a mere 97 g CO2/km (car2go, n.d. [online]); BMW has not released official figures of its fleet. While Daimler's figures are certainly impressive, assessing the full CO2 impact of carsharing vehicles 'require a complex analysis using … lifecycle assessments … and well-to-wheels balances' (Firnkorn & Müller, 2012, p. 277 [online]), an assessment which has not been carried out yet (Firnkorn & Müller, 2012 [online]). There seems to be a consensus in the literature, though, that carsharing vehicles reduce CO2 emissions either by reducing the travelled kilometres or by increasing the usage of the even more environmentally-friendly public transport. Further reductions, moreover, can be achieved by using electric vehicles (EVs)
which use electricity produced from renewables, such as in Daimler's case (Daimler, 2012e [online]). Daimler's electric Smarts are offered at the same price as petrol Smarts despite that they cause increased costs for battery, charging times and maintenance (Daimler, 2012e [online]). One seventh of car2go's fleet is already electric (Daimler, 2012e [online]) and Frost & Sullivan estimates that 'EVs will be increasingly leveraged by … carsharing programs [so that] By 2016, one in five new shared vehicles … is expected to be an EV" (Zhao, 2010 [online]). Zhao (2010 [online]), among others, believes that this 'means huge business opportunities for EV manufacturers." Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, head of the CAR Center of the University Duisburg-Essen, expects that increased demand will not only come from carsharing programmes itself but that the use of electric vehicles in carsharing schemes may be a key factor to promote this new technology (Herz, 2011 [online]). In a study, where people tested electric vehicles and were asked about whether they liked the tested vehicles, 71% stated they would consider electric vehicles for their next purchase (Herz, 2011 [online]). And indeed, Johan Jansson (2011 [online]) from the Umeå School of Business, Sweden, supports this notion that the use of this new technology may subsequently lead to an increased demand. His study found that consumers in general become accustomed more easily to innovative products, when they can test them first and have a positive experience (Jansson, 2011 [online]). This effect is not only useful for introduction of electric vehicles, but as this study will suggest in part three, it could also be used for the introduction of driverless vehicle technologies as a way to benefit vehicle sales. Regarding the use of electric vehicles in carsharing schemes and its possible effects on sustainable
Publisher: Hamburg : Diplomica Verlag, 2014
Edition: 1st ed
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9783954896295
Branch Call Number: Electronic book
Characteristics: 1 online resource (127 pages)
Additional Contributors: ProQuest (Firm)


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