Free-floating carsharing (or one-way carsharing) is a model of car rental allowing users to book a car at any point or any time within a specific area charges often by minute or hour. Different from traditional carsharing platform, users don't need to return the car at the pick-up point and can terminate the service by leaving it at an authorised spot. Free-floating is a small branch of shared mobility. The demand for free-floating increased as a result of growing traffic congestion. It became more popular for customers who need to run daily errands or use the service in integration with the public transit systems.
Up till 2017, Free-floating carsharing is available in 55 cities and 20 countries worldwide, have 40,000 vehicles and serve 5.6 million users with Europe and North America represent the majority of the market. In Europe, free floating services took up more than 65 percent in carsharing membership. BMW (DriveNow) and Daimler (Car2go) - two major carmakers in the industry announced to join fleets and become a leading venture include free-floating service SHARENOW. Examples of smaller operators are Enjoy in Italy, GreenMobility in Denmark and Evo Car Share in Canada. Oher additional markets that also have free-floating carsharing services include Russia, China, New Zealand and Brazil.
The service is expected to reach 14.3 million users with more than 100,000 vehicles by the end of 2022. Free-floating carsharing service has high chance of becoming a more integral part of city transportation networks in the future. The increase in existing members' activity and new members' registration were proved through the increased use in proportion with the service’s duration. However, the growth patterns vary among cities and some have reached a saturation point where no increased fleet size or additional service needed. Most of them are expected to grow steadily or is ready to start.
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- "Berg Insight: Carsharing service membership reached 23.8 million worldwide in 2017 | the internet of things". www.theinternetofthings.eu. Retrieved 2019-04-01.
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