Urban Transport Community of Practice

Discussion » eDiscussion #4 - Ride sharing, car sharing and resource efficiency

eDiscussion #4 - Ride sharing, car sharing and resource efficiency

Dear UT CoP friends,


Since our eDiscussion on Big Data has been such an interesting one and many of you have shared with me that you feel like the opinions expressed during this conversation broadened your views on the topic, here is what I suggest: let's continue our discussion on Big Data - a very complex, multifaceted topic - with a "side-topic" (one of those featured in our Ideation Contest): Ride sharing, car sharing and resource efficiency.


The reason why I think it's interesting to connect the topics is because Big Data has a lot (if not everything!!!) to do with this topic. Handling Data (not only Big Data) has been critical to the rise of car sharing services. Car sharing services (or bike sharing services) use Data to keep track of large fleets of vehicles, monitoring their location etc in (almost) real time.


Moreover, if, by using Big Data, it becomes easier to arrange convenient and less expensive transportation on demand, it is foreseeable that more people will question the need for a personal car.


On another note, Data can help with traffic jams and parking issues and therefore increase resource efficiency for those who use personal cars. Two of the largest sources of pollution are traffic jams and parking. Smart phone apps are already helping drivers to see traffic bottlenecks before they leave home, delay their departure or find an alternate route before they are stuck in traffic. As for parking, I just read some interesting figures - it looks like cars looking for parking account for up to 45 percent of traffic in Manhattan. Therefore, current studies that are trying to develop systems to spot open parking spaces and send their locations to a central database from which drivers can see them, help both with traffic jams and pollution (not to mention frustration ;-).


Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the topic and to another extremely interesting conversation! Please jump in and share with us your input/opinion/suggestions.


Thank you,


  • eDiscussions
  • Indeed these are totally interrelated topics Rodica, it is great to continue the conversation. I do not want to sound like a fanboy, but services like Uber are definitely paving the way for a new way to think about mobility. It is thanks to the sharing of information that those services can work and provide more cost effective means of transport for their users. On demand services like these will hopefully have an impact on car ownership and thus contribute to more sustainable mobility in our cities.