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Socialcar: An urban smart, social and green mobility approach to carpooling

The potential of conventional carpooling has been demonstrate in the CHUMS project, coordinated by Vectos, within the Intelligent Energy Europe programme. That project has shown the large potential for employers to reduce the number of cars at worksites through low cost measures. For city authorities, maximising the potential of carpooling is a cost effective way to cut congestion, if the barriers to sharing, matching and retaining poolers can be overcome.

Socialcar takes the achievements made in the CHUMS project to a new level, using the latest innovations in Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). The potential exists to elevate carpooling to a mainstream travel mode in cities; by fully integrating it with public transport networks and information and management systems. In this way, it can effectively extend public transport to areas of cities where it has proved impossible to operate services without prohibitively high public subsidy.

The system will be tested in 10 European cities which currently offer carpooling services at different levels of maturity. The aim is to develop a system that can work in all cities across Europe; with a clear cost benefit analysis and business model to warrant investing in it.

Vectos will be playing a leading role in the Socialcar project. In addition to work to identify the types of potential users for Socialcar, Vectos leads the project to define the stakeholders for Socialcar and a common European business strategy for its take-up. We will work with the 10 cities to apply and refine the model, before developing a medium to long term business strategy for commercialising Socialcar on European and World markets.