In the light of deliverable 6.4, Autodelen.net explored the possibilities of interoperability between car sharing operators. Through extensive desk research, consultation of various stakeholders and a learning network, Autodelen.net conducted research to understand how this interoperability can be achieved in the most successful way. Due to COVID19, a practical exploration in the form of a living lab could not be succeeded, but the research Autodelen.net did provides useful insights applicable to eHUBS.
The end result is an analysis report where the state of the art of interoperable carsharing is presented, as well as the business opportunities and possible bottlenecks for car sharing operators in Flanders, Belgium. The report describes how different stakeholders look at interoperable carsharing, what we can learn from interoperable carsharing in Belgium and abroad, and which areas of concern rise when diving into different interoperability spheres (such as technical, operational and legal).
Through our qualitative and quantitative research with different stakeholders, (potential) carsharing users, carsharing organisations and MaaS organisations, we distinguished the different views and attitudes towards interoperability. To (potential) carsharers, the ultimate added value of an interoperable service (at eHUBS) is the ability to use more cars in more locations. Moreover, the (potential) car sharers indicate they would promote car sharing more to their acquaintances as interoperable car sharing could be a better alternative for the private car. Car Sharing companies on the other hand, see opportunities to present carsharing as a trustworthy alternative for a privately owned car. If connecting to an interoperable service, they however want to hold on to their USP’s and are reluctant to be incorporated in a system where direct competitors are active as well.
Secondly, we looked at how interoperability is already in place in Flanders and abroad. In Flanders, intrinsic interoperability has already started as some organisations use the same software and share other services in an efficient way. In Germany and Italy, multiple services have emerged. Here, assimilation between implemented carsharing organisations seems vital in order to establish a well-functioning interoperable service. Issues around fair competition, pricing and organisational agreements are now raising and need to be addressed in the next months/years.
Thirdly, we analysed how an interoperable carsharing system is constructed by exploring the legal, organisational and technical aspects specific for interoperable carsharing. The main conclusion is that all these levels are closely linked: the technical set up depends on the legal and organisational agreements and vice versa. These organisational aspects, such as the agreements and the nature of the participating parties, however, seem to be the crucial and most difficult aspects to agree on. Therefore, these aspects should be handled first.
All these findings can not only have an impact on the creation of interoperability carsharing, but also on the set up and roll out of eHUBS.
The report is available in Dutch via the Autodelen.net-website here.