Car-sharing is a service that revolutionises urban transport and communication. According to experts, a short-term rental of vehicles is the key to mobility of the future, but to be able to function, it is necessary to have appropriate technology related to the location of the rented cars. Car sharing became popular at the beginning of the 21st century when smart urban solutions began to be implemented on a larger scale. Short-term car rental is not a fad, which is also demonstrated by projects of automotive concerns such as BMW (DriveNow), Daimler AG (car2go) or Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (Enjoy). Also smaller entities implement their own solutions, trying to convince Poles to the idea of using cars for minutes / hours. Car-sharing systems already exist in Warsaw, Wroclaw and Krakow.
“Car-sharing is an alternative to having your own car, and the amount of cars is increasing in Warsaw – according to some data there are even over a million of vehicles, ie 600 per 1000 inhabitants.” – says the city of Warsaw. This causes many problems including parking problems (the number of issued subscriptions in the paid unguarded parking area has already exceeded the number of parking spaces), air pollution (many of them are old vehicles that do not meet emission standards) and traffic jams.
Most ‘sharable’ vehicles cars can be rented from specific points, such as for city bikes, with a special application and account in the operator’s system of a given solution. As part of the launch of the service, a user must share his/her family name, first name, email address, telephone number, credit card number, and proof of a driver’s license with the provider. This makes it possible to rent a vehicle for a few minutes, an hour or a day. Car sharing companies – in order to efficiently manage the rental system and at the same time secure their property – obviously apply the right solutions. “Most of them use the simplest GPS / GSM modules to monitor cars,” notes Dariusz Kwakszys from Gannet Guard Systems. “These types of devices allow you to check your vehicle’s location either on demand, at the time the module is called remotely as well as throughout the entire time the car is used. Thus, they can control where the car is moving, and in connection with renting by a particular logged person also say that in the last two days, a given person rented the car three times and went through certain routes, “- adds Dariusz Kwakszys.
Owners of short-term rental companies in Warsaw emphasize that they do not monitor the routes driven by car users on a current basis. Indeed, on board vehicles, they install modules using GPS / GSM technology, but they are only a tool to indicate where the vehicle has been “dropped off” and to help in the event of any irregularities in fulfilling the contract with the hirers.
Vehicle monitoring modules allow for permanent communication with alarm central responsible for positioning. Because they use technology known from mobile phones, they are able to determine the position up to a few meters. They also allow the owner to recover the car when it is not returned in time or stolen. “Locating modules are today the most effective tool for recovering stolen cars. However, tracking by GPS / GSM is not the most perfect method. The much more successive positioning offers radio technology and its GPS / GSM connectivity not only gives you a 98 percent chance of recovering your vehicle, but also the ability to constantly monitor certain car parameters” explains Gannet Guard Systems expert.
The key to the development of car-sharing services in Poland is not only convincing users that it is a much cheaper and more convenient way of communication, which is an alternative for private cars. It is also important for consumers to be aware that they are not being tracked while using their rented car. Devices mounted on board vehicles that are able to indicate where the vehicle is currently moving are only the guarantor of the asset recovery and the system management component.