For example, public transport provider Västtrafik in western Sweden provides the position of each of their vehicles (busses, trams, boats, trains) every 4 seconds for maximum customer experience. This means the smart travel planner can adjust in close to real-time and IoT will improve the user experience.

Private Car Sharing – what is stopping us?

As we know, a private car is on average used less than 5% of its lifetime which is of course not sustainable in the long run. Sharing is a way to increase utilization and reduce the need to parking spaces etc. – and a connected car is enabling the business model from a technical perspective. A connected car can for example be opened/closed remotely in a secure way with IoT and utilization can be measured and monitored to calculate sharing price. So why has it not taken off?

One challenging area is the financial incentives to share your own assets. Another Drive Sweden project has been looking into the tax system for private car sharing as that is perceived, as one of the main challenges for making car sharing happen. The tax administration is identified as a problem – it is perceived as very complex and time consuming for car sharing, as it is for all types of private sharing. The project concluded the following suggestions to increase financial incentives:

• Use the opportunity with the new tax transparency rules for digital platforms (DAC7-directive). The new rules introduce a reporting obligation for digital platforms located both inside and outside the EU and an automatic exchange of information between Member States’ tax administrations on revenues generated by sellers on these platforms as of 1 January 2023. These revenues could be automatically pre-booked on the tax form in a similar way as bank account balances and transactions to make is easy for the car owner to fulfil tax obligations

• Adjust Swedish VAT-regulations in line with other countries for private sharing services.

Another challenge is user acceptance and adoption. In the project Sharing Economics Smart Mobility Acceptance (SESMA), actors from business, academia and the public sector develop knowledge about technical, societal, and sustainable aspects of transport habits, autonomous and electric vehicles, and services for the sharing economy – with the inhabitants in the center. The focus has been on a semi-small city where public transport is not as developed as in a larger city.

Here are the main findings (market research by RISE):

• Car sharing subscribers tend to be wealthier, more highly educated, live in car-free households, and use a greater variety of transportation options than the average driving population
• Current users usually come from a household with low car usage and good public transit access in high-density neighborhoods
• The main issue around private car sharing identified as uncertainty

– Availability might not match the need – will I be able to get to place A at time B?
– In what condition is the car left, charging/fuel level etc.?

What can be improved in the service? One major step would be to reduce uncertainty by:

• Pre-booking – as availability is deciding on when an activity can be done, pre-booking will be essential for some use cases which are fixed in time. Same value as for example pre-booking a taxi to the airport.
• Communication possibilities and sharing of information among the users – even providing real-time information of the vehicle condition. If the car owner agrees to share relevant vehicle data, it might be more attractive to book.

There are a few examples on how our industry, IoT, can contribute in creative ways. GoMore Sverige has launched a keyless alternative where a connected device in the car shares relevant data such as fuel/battery charging level, meter reading, etc. with potential customers before and after booking. This removes, in a data-driven way, some of the uncertainty of the vehicle condition.

Connectivity continues to add value in seamless, multimodal, sustainable mobility solutions

After listening to an inspiring day with Drive Sweden I conclude that there are a lot of great initiatives heading in the right direction, but perhaps things could move even faster. But, I’m happy to understand that our IoT industry can continue to contribute to even more customer-oriented solutions for both Mobility as a Service solutions, as well as Private Car Sharing solutions. It is great to be not only the user, but also part of the solution for seamless, multimodal, sustainable solutions!

Linda Ekener-Mägi
Business Development Manager