Victor Haydin
Blog post

Car Sharing and Autonomous Driving

Get insights into the rapidly developing car sharing industry and the impact of autonomous driving technology on the market

8 mins read

Let’s be honest: the rapid development of self-driving technology will sooner or later eliminate traditional patterns of car ownership. People will no longer need their own cars to make trips feasible, safe, and comfortable. The growing car sharing autonomous driving segment will result in substantial economic benefits for the average person. But riders aren’t the only ones who may prosper from the car rental sharing economy 

The ride-sharing industry opens a wide range of opportunities for businesses that are able to cope with the rapid pace of automotive technological development. Car sharing has already proclaimed itself a profitable and high-potential field. Self-driving reinforces the popularity of car sharing, and advanced car-as-a-service solutions are in demand among manufacturers, retailers, and other businesses. If you want to find your place in the growing ride-sharing market, you need to be re-orienting your business in the car-as-a-service direction.

Self-driving reinforces the popularity of car sharing, and advanced car-as-a-service solutions are in demand among manufacturers, retailers, and other businesses.

Recent studies show that the number of users registered with car sharing providers in Europe, North America, and the Asia-Pacific region will reach 35 million by 2021. What if you could offer these people a car sharing business solution that met their most sophisticated expectations and desires?  

The number of users registered with a car sharing provider in Europe, North America, and the Asia-Pacific region will reach 35 million by 2021.

We know where autonomous driving is heading and what business models are the most promising to benefit from the autonomous revolution and car sharing in particular. 

Car sharing is gaining tremendous momentum

The extensive development of the car rental share economy is a global trend. Still, three markets appear most promising for car-sharing companies: the European, North American, and Asia-Pacific.

By 2021, the urban population of Europe is expected to be around 81 million; 14 million will be registered with a car-sharing service, with about 1.4 million being active users who make multiple trips per month.

Urban population correlated to licensed drivers determines car-sharing services popularity

Car Sharing and Autonomous Driving

In North America, by 2021 there’s predicted to be 6 million people registered with car sharing services, with around 600,000 making multiple trips per month. In Asia-Pacific countries, the number of registered users is expected to reach 15 million by that time, 1.5 million of whom will use car-sharing services regularly.

How does autonomous driving impact car sharing services? 

Make no mistake: the rapid increase in the ride-sharing market is a decisive trend underlying the development of car technologies and related businesses. Recent polls demonstrate that the number of people willing to share a ride in both fully and partially autonomous cars continues to increase globally.   

Customers who are open to trying a self-driving car 

Car Sharing and Autonomous Driving

But car sharing and ride sharing are not the same. They differ primarily in terms of costs and revenues. In Berlin, a 7.5kilometer trip in a shared car costs about €4.95 while the same distance driven with Uber or Lyft counts for about €19. Imagine what would happen if ride-sharing Uber or another taxi service joined with a car sharing autonomous driving provider. That’s right, the resulting cheap and accessible service would meet the highest expectations of users, leaving rivals far behind.

In Berlin, a 7.5-kilometer trip in a shared car costs about €4.95 while the same distance driven with Uber or Lyft counts for about €19.

In February 2017, Uber introduced the Volvo XC90 SUV introduced the Volvo XC90 SUV as its first self-driving car available for the ride-sharing platform’s users. The majority of autonomous Uber vehicles have been accompanied by the companys engineers as safety drivers since then. Yet even such measures aren’t always enough to make autonomous driving genuinely safe. 

The recent accident involving a self-driving Uber car that resulted in the death of a pedestrian is more than enough to understand that self-driving technology still requires substantial technical improvements. Yet unabated interest in car sharing services and autonomous vehicles proves that car sharing selfdriving cars will soon become an integral part of the urban landscape. 

Read more: Check out our blog article on how manufacturers and software developers are resolving the issues challenging self-driving technology

The partnership of manufacturers and developers brings benefits

Global car rental market revenue is expected to reach almost $125 billion by 2022. As car sharing services continue to develop extensively, manufacturers need to decide whether they should partner with existing ride-sharing services or build their own car-sharing apps

Global car rental market, 2016-2022 (USD Billion) 

Car Sharing and Autonomous Driving

For sure, developing your own corporate car sharing software will mean that you’ll be able to remain self-sufficient, making your own business decisions and acting independently in the ridesharing market. Yet only big players like GM can launch their own car sharing app and possess enough capacity to build a self-sufficient car sharing business model.  

It would be unwise to disregard the option of partnering with existing car-sharing companies. The rapidly developing ride-sharing industry can surely offer some car-sharing business solution that will fit your business model. The number of players sharing the market underscores the relevance of partnerships. 

Besides Uber and Lyft, which has each presented its own car sharing business model, there’s a plethora of smaller companies and services working with their own open-source car sharing software. These business models include both business-to-consumer as well as peer-to-peer car sharing solutions. 

Contact us and take a step ahead of your rivals toward innovative, secure, and feasible car sharing solutions.
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It’s time to invest in car sharing 

The main A to B car sharing companies in Europe include:

  • Car2Go 
  • DriveNow 
  • Flinkster 
  • Autolib 
  • Tamyca  
  • CarUnity

Some of these car-sharing companiessuch as Car2Go, operate globally, while others are available only in one country – for example, Tamyca in Germany. By 2020, the number of car sharing users in Europe is expected to reach almost 16 million.  

Car-sharing market development for Europe 

Car Sharing and Autonomous Driving

The P2P car sharing market in the US is divided primarily between DriveNow, Zipcar, and Turo while Orix, Park24, PPzuche, and EVCard dominate in the AsiaPacific regionNone of these car sharing companies are manufacturing cars or equipment on their own. The partnership between car makers, ride-sharing companies, and peertopeer car sharing software developers brings benefits to all.

What does the sharing model bring to the economy? 

The fundamental principle of the sharing economy is simple: products and services are all shareable for a certain price. This means that both buyers and sellers receive clear pricing benefits without substantial risks. The sharing economy model is built on the following principles

  • Value should be flexible and realistic. In the case of car sharing, the customer pays the vehicle’s value based on the requested time or distance.
  • Coverage means the physical accessibility of a particular service or item. Today, broadening the geographical availability of car sharing services is one of the major trends characterizing the industry.
  • Trust is indispensable, as customers and service providers are more interdependent than in other economic models. 

You can hardly overestimate the impact of car sharing on a city’s healthRide-sharing market growth means that the number of cars on city streets will decrease, making urban environments friendlier for pedestrians and cyclists. This also means that the environment will be protected as fewer contaminants are emitted. The point is clear: investing in car sharing means making your business more sustainable.  

Ride sharing has a positive impact on the environment and urban landscape as the number of cars in cities decreases and fewer contaminants are emitted.

Advanced software makes the boldest ideas real

You’re probably wondering what can give you an upper hand in the competition and win customer loyalty. The answer is simple: end users, equipment manufacturers, and car sharing companies are all eager for an advanced software solution that will take their services to a new level of quality and feasibility.

For years, Intellias has been working continuously on developing components of the ecosystem required for car sharing businesses. Over-the-air map updates is an illustrative example of how navigation problems can be solved with the help of unconventional software solutions. Namely, cloud-based over-the-air updates for maps and third-party software providers can be used to bring nontypical formats in line with the Navigation Data Standard.

For car sharing companies, over-the-air map updates help customers access the precise location of available cars and get the most feasible path to reach their destination.

Learn more: Read our case study on how over-the-air solutions can help to overcome digital navigation challenges

Intellias also has experience developing real-time traffic services, enabling automotive vendors to effectively aggregate vehicle sensor data into traffic feeds, process and transmit up-to-the-minute traffic information, and render traffic layers and highlight congestion. This type of solution can facilitate shared car navigation in cities and help customers find the most efficient route to a point of interest. 

We also bring expertise in building complex E2E predictive maintenance software, specifically experience helping a vendor build an innovative car diagnostic system. This system also lets drivers receive real-time notifications on a vehicle’s malfunctioning and potential breakdowns. Predictive maintenance software lets car sharing companies detect technical problems early and keep their car fleets in good running condition.

Security challenges are another great issue faced by peer-to-peer car sharing software developers. Needless to say, those businesses that are the first to present complex protection for connected cars and guarantee security of in-car data will become trendsetters.


Car sharing is one of the most rapidly growing markets and is being reinforced by recent developments in autonomous driving. The junction between automotive T1 vendors, car sharing services, and software developers brings benefits to both businesses and end users. To become a trendsetter, you must be fast and always have joker in your handAdvanced peertopeer car sharing software is what it’s all aboutNavigation technology, as well as connected cars and in-car data security, can give your business an upper hand in the race for market leadership.  


Intellias experts know how to bring your ideas to life. Contact us and take a step ahead of your rivals toward innovative, secure, and feasible car sharing solutions. 

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