Denso International America, Inc recently conducted an MDrive study which found that electric car sharing could shape the future of mobility. The renowned automotive supplier focused on the effect of car sharing for people who live, work or frequent one particular location.
The company joined hands with the University of Michigan-Dearborn and Detroit-based NextEnergy, an energy and technology accelerator, to focus on the effect electric vehicle car sharing might have on vehicle design, the future of mobility and personal transportation.
30 students of the University of Michigan-Dearborn students who lived at The Union at Dearborn shared three Ford Focus Electric vehicles for a six-month period as part of the study. The students used a specially developed app to reserve, access, share, and drive the vehicles anywhere within the United States, in return for giving their detailed feedback on the experience. The onboard diagnostics equipment installed on the vehicles gathered real-time data, and dashboard cameras captured videos of the user experience. Students were also asked to provide feedback and suggestions for technologies that are likely to be most needed in future car share vehicles through short surveys and online forums. The information thus obtained was used by DENSO researchers to identify common benefits and challenges experienced by users. This will help the company to come up with user oriented designs of future car sharing technologies.
Commenting on the results of the survey, Michael Bima, a lead engineer in the North American Research and Engineering Center at DENSO International America said that the study reinforced the idea that Electric Vehicle Car Sharing has become increasingly viable as a personal transportation alternative, and it is groups who share common interests who are likely to get the maximum benefit. He added, “For car sharing to reach its full potential, manufacturers and car share service providers need to address the efficiency and convenience for the end user– drivers should be able to quickly and easily access the vehicle, adjust their settings, and be on their way. Vehicle range and charging become areas of focus when you add electric vehicles, as well.”
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