Ownership of cars is one of the most inefficient use of natural resources on the planet. It is a lot of material and resources tied up in something that most people only use 1-2% of the time. Supporting people to approach mobility as a service that does not require ownership of a car is not just important for the transport/mobility system, it can help in a broader shift away to the fetishism surrounding the ownership of key objects like cars.
Wheelz is interesting as it approach a group that traditionally led the way when it comes to changes in society, students. By allowing them to use a smart platform the app can help create a new generation of change agents that in action show how a 21st century person approach mobility.
This is how they describe the app:
“Wheelz is the first car sharing platform designed specifically to meet the needs of campus communities - connecting students with cars to students who need them. Offering instant sign up, easy set up for car owners and the largest and most diverse campus fleet on the market, Wheelz delivers the wheels you want, when you want them.
We believe the traditional model of car ownership is broken, and that advanced mobile computing technologies and social networks will transform almost every industry.”
Read more about the initiative here wheelz.com
The best with the app/supporting initiative
+ Helping people to move from an old society where car ownership is seen as a way of defining yourself to a smarter society when you rent things when you needs them
+ Approaching students, a group that is leading new trends
The weak parts of the app/supporting initiative
- No smart links to “teleworking” and how smart car use can be linked to a broader
- No good calculator that help users to see how much they help themselves and the planet when it comes to saving money and CO2.
What could accelerate this app/supporting initiative into a world changer?
➢ If the users could see how much they saved by using cars as a service and then be encouraged to use some of that to invest in solar panels, vegetarian fast food restaurants, videoconference equipment, etc that would help them and others to save more money and CO2. We need smart solutions that become part of low-carbon feedback loops.
➢ Support networks of change makers, as the users of this app could do a lot more especially after they leave university.
How direct is the delivery of the result the app tries to achieve
- Long shot
Everyday a car is not bought and a smart service is used is a good day for the planet.
How transformative is it
- A new world
- A major shift
- A bit of a shake-up
- A gentle rocking
Moving from car ownership to a service solution is a major shift in industrial/urban areas and is one of the most important.
How much does it encourage collaborations
How much are new networks supported
- Strong support for global networks?
- Currently encourages new forms of collaboration
- Provides interesting opportunities in the future
- Restricted to a small (expert) group
Getting people to approach transport as a service in the way this app does also supports and encourages new collaborations.
What synergies can be delivered
How well does it also solve other problems/generate solutions
- It solves everything
- Several important challenges
- Some important challenges
- Only one challenge
Moving from products to service is one of the most important shifts in order to ensure a sustainable development, and cars/transport/mobility is one of the major challenges. The network of early adopters that this app is generating could play important roles in many other areas.
Nine billion contribution
How global is it? Is it helping/will it help everyone on the planet
- Instant global equality
- Almost global
- Getting (incrementally) global
- Not applicable
While to focus is on US the kind of transport/mobility that this app is supporting is of the kind that nine billion people can use in the future.
Building on current trends
How well does it use current trends
- The app is setting new trends by itself
- Building on multiple trends
- Effectively building on one trend
- Not really building on any major trend
The connectivity and flexibility when it comes to solving problems is used in a smart way to address a major problem while providing the users with a better solution to their needs than old car ownership.
How fast can it deliver
- It's already happening
- In the coming weeks
- In a year or so
- In a distant future (hopefully)
Every car not bought and every person choosing a service approach is a contribution to a smarter infrastructure and a lifestyle for the 21st century.
Does it support transformative transparency
- Brave new transparency
- Transparency that is innovative (never seen before)
- Increased transparency, but nothing innovative
- No increase in transparency
It is not transformative transparency that is the strength of this app. However increased transparency could probably add a lot of value to this app as it could illustrate the benefits but also encourage action beyond the app.