Car sharing is growing in Italy, thanks to the integration of digital technologies. The services and comfort they offer can really help make the decisive leap to this sector, which finds it difficult to advance and that can be an important way to decrease city pollution and traffic. Like in the most advanced large cities of Europe and the rest of the world.
Large global companies have started to operate in the major Italian cities, alongside the initiatives of local governments. For example, Germany-based Car2go, of the Daimler-Mercedes group, has just brought 500 Smart vehicles to Rome, the second Italian city to use them, after Milan (where Enjoy is also present, together with Fiat).
Car sharing companies offer next-generation new services:
- users register online and receive electronic cards
- through a mobile app, which is connected to satellite control, users find the closest cars and book them
- cars are booked by touching the windscreen with the card and putting it close to a reader on the dashboard: the door opens and the key unblocks
- once arrived to destination, the card is read again so the car closes
- the cost is directly withdrawn from the credit card
- roman customers can also use their cards in Milan and vice versa.
As an additional contribution to environmental protection, car sharing companies have started to use electric car fleets in a number of cities.
Obviously, technological innovation is not enough: political will is also needed. And local governments seem to follow the trend: for instance, car sharing vehicles can park for free also on spaces with a fee and they have access to the limited traffic areas (such as Milan’s C Area).