Car-Sharing Mobility Services Should Focus on Users

As automakers rush to enter the short-term car-sharing space, a focus on the consumer journey for top use cases will be the key to winning it over. A report from the Automotive Connected Mobility (ACM) service at Strategy Analytics, “Consumers Still Waiting for User-Centric Car-Sharing”, has reviewed short-term car-sharing models, the UX of current service offerings and the changes needed to improve these services. For all but a few key use cases such as shopping trips and moving large items, short-term car-sharing is in a continuous fight for users and revenue with ride-sharing services. This makes a focus on the user all the more critical.

Many automakers are in a rush to use short-term car-sharing as an early foray into the new mobility space. With a decrease in enthusiasm for car ownership, particularly among younger demographics in Europe and the US, this is a timely and wise strategy. Particularly true of automakers that can pair this service with others such as ride-sharing or larger-scale transport solutions, this is allowing OEMs to control the market and enhance their core business. However, from a consumer’s perspective, car-sharing is still a relatively fractured space. Different sharing models will inherently have different benefits to the consumer; and consequently, will also have different problems associated with them.

Derek Viita, Senior Analyst and report author commented, “Unfortunately many car-share services have not addressed their high-impact UX issues. Reserving a car should not be a 5 minute error-riddled process; finding appropriate parking should not be a confusing task which requires the user to reach for their smartphone in the car; and connectivity, vital for tasks such as unlocking a car from a mobile app, cannot be slow or unreliable under any circumstance. If usability problems continue to go unresolved and no significant changes such as lowering the per-minute cost or pairing with a widely-available ride-share or concierge service arises, short-term car-sharing will not remain a sustainable business.”

Chris Schreiner, Director of Syndicated Research, continued. “Simply throwing cars and an app at millennials will not win this space. OEMs must think about cost and usability for key consumer scenarios, and design their service outward from that viewpoint.”