Daimler launches car2go in London; Audi harnesses Big Data

December 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

car2go_londonDaimler’s car2go car-share scheme (in partnership with Europcar) has launched in London: the boroughs of Islington, Sutton and Newham will host fleets of Smart Fortwo mhd two-seaters (with stop-start; congestion-charge exempt). Registration is free until 31st December 2012, with 30 minutes of free driving; after that, it’s charged at 35p a minute all-in. Cars can be returned anywhere in the participating boroughs, with parking free in borough-operated bays or car parks. Access to the cars is via smartphone, tablet or Facebook apps, or the car2go London website, with no pre-booking necessary, and a swipe of an RFID membership card. More details at car2go.com/London, at the car2go shop at BOXPARK Shoreditch, or at Europcar stores in the city.

It’ll be interesting to see the outcome of the first studies of usage of the scheme: will there be take-up as an alternative to private or business car use, or will it be used as an alternative to public transport, walking or cycling (i.e. using the Boris bikes)? For regular commuting as well as for occasional or tourist travel?

  • Audi outlined its Urban Intelligent Assist tech at the LA Show last month: developed in collaboration with the University of Southern California and University of California at Berkeley and San Diego, AUIA is intended to make commuting and city driving less stressful and to enhance safety. It’s a suite of functions including predictive and location-based technologies, navigation and route guidance, parking guidance, onward journey information, lane-change assist and ‘attention guard’; more here. “Harnessing the power of Big Data” to meet “the challenges of navigating the chaotic roadways of the world’s megacities”, apparently.

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