Research by the Transportation Sustainability Research Center | August 4, 2012
Published by the Research in Transportation Business & Management.
Over the past three decades, carsharing has grown from a collection of local grassroots organizations into a worldwide industry. Traditional carsharing, though expanding, has a limited network of vehicles and locations. The next generation of shared-use vehicle services could overcome such expansion barriers as capital costs and land use by incorporating new concepts like personal vehicle sharing.
Personal vehicle sharing provides short-term access to privately-owned vehicles. As of May 2012, there were 33 personal vehicle sharing operators worldwide, with 10 active or in pilot phase, three planned, and four defunct in North America. Due to operator non-disclosure, personal vehicle sharing member numbers are currently unknown. The authors investigated personal vehicle sharing in North America by conducting 34 expert interviews. This research explores the development of personal vehicle sharing including business models, market opportunities, and service barriers to assess its early viability as a sustainable transportation mode and to provide a foundation for future research on the topic. Personal vehicle sharing has the potential to impact the transportation sector by increasing the availability and interconnectivity among modes and providing greater alternatives to vehicle ownership in more geographic locations.