In recent months the buzz around renting and sharing and communities making the most of what they have is increasing. Rachel Botsman spoke about the phenomenon of the Rise of Collaborative Consumption in TEDxSydney in May 2010 (http://bit.ly/fhP79j) and went on to co-write a book on it. Last week an article from Wired speaks about “Rentalship is the new Ownership” (http://bit.ly/gf1aLI).
It is exciting to think about how the mobility project could help activate communities to share their mobility resources. Of course sharing cars in its various forms have been around for a while, from hitchhiking to Zipcars, but somehow it hasn’t yet reached mass appeal. Even if you live in a big city it is likely you’ve never experienced it yourself.
In the same way that NeighborGoods or Airbnb work, sharing vehicles has the advantage of increasing the use of something that has already been produced, without the need of wasting more resources than necessary. But in the case of vehicles, the side potential benefits are even higher, reducing waste both in production and operation, and as the movement achieves scale, being able to reduce congestion, that in itself improves the efficiency of our vehicles and the sanity of our minds.
As the article mentions, now we have the tools: building on top of the internet, smartphones and social networks give us both the technological infrastructure and the code of conduct to get communities organized and trustful so we can pass through the tipping point and put the virtuous cycle of smarter mobility in motion.
It would be useful to start the debate prior to our meeting in two weeks time!
Do you have inspiration, experience or a point of view on sharing, borrowing and lending? And on how to make it happen at scale?