Sharing cars and opening doors

There’s no question that today’s sharing economy has proven to be a disrupter to the traditional business-to-consumer economy. But what is driving the changes, and are they here to stay?

Sharing cars and opening doors

In this ongoing blog series, our Chief Operating Officer, North America, Sy Fahimi shares his thoughts on everything from carsharing and the sharing economy to the mobility industry, and, of course, Getaround. Sy has more than 25 years of experience transforming concepts into reality, embracing innovation and creativity along the way.

Sy Fahimi, COO Getaround North America

Offsetting costs & creating opportunities

Peer-to-peer-based sharing is a system built around the sharing of resources. Typically, online platforms facilitate interactions between hosts (owners) and guests (users).

Also known as collaborative consumption or the sharing economy, this system has created new opportunities for people to earn money. Sharing business models that allow you to share your car, your RV, your home, and even your swimming pool have opened doors for some to offset the cost of ownership and have created opportunities for everyone to become an entrepreneur and generate new sources of income.

There’s no question that today’s sharing economy has proven to be a disrupter to the traditional business-to-consumer economy. But what is driving the changes, and are they here to stay?

The birth of these brands has created a convenience factor that is now ingrained into our culture. Thanks to the internet and sharing platforms, you can instantly find goods and services right in the palm of your hand. The landscape of business is changing, and the sharing economy is growing with it.

Millennials leading the way

One of the largest generations in history, the 80-million-strong Millennial generation (born between 1980 and 2000) plays a major role in dictating how all of us consume. Those behaviors include the use of peer-to-peer marketplaces, which seem to be sparked most by the need to be mobile.  

In fact, according to Forbes, millennials have been dubbed the “Uber” generation and prompted headlines about “the end of car culture.” While generations before them couldn’t wait to get their licenses and drive their own cars, the Millennial generation doesn’t seem pressed because they see a plethora of options available through carsharing, micromobility options (scooters, bikes, etc.), and ridesharing.

The growing sharing economy extends far beyond transportation to many other activities, including shopping, learning something new, or finding a unique place to stay when traveling.

What fuels the new sharing economy?

A shift in consumer mindset
The consumer opinion on owning vs. renting or borrowing has changed over the years. While the “American Dream” of owning a home with two cars parked in the driveway still exists for many people, it has evolved with the growth of our sharing economy.

Some, especially millennials as well as members of Gen Z, are carrying student debt and have less purchasing power, making it harder to save a big down payment for a home. They aren’t the only people who see the benefits of renting — flexibility, ease of relocation, lower maintenance costs — as potential homeowners across generations ask, “Why make the commitment to buy when you can rent on demand?”

And, the concept of renting has expanded beyond the real estate market: You can rent someone else’s car, a bicycle, tools, almost anything.

Technology enablement
Technology has never been more ingrained in our culture or accessible than it is today. You can attend a meeting, order groceries, order a rideshare, hire a handyman — all from your handheld device.

App-driven technology and mobile devices have helped create an expectation of instant gratification.

Efficient use of resources
With a focus on preserving the Earth and minimizing waste, environmentally-conscious consumers are leading the way to the sharing economy. The option to share resources that may otherwise sit idle or empty while helping other people and generating income is an ideal scenario for these committed consumers.

The Getaround sharing model

The Getaround carsharing business model was developed with these trends in mind. That's why we created the world's first connected carsharing marketplace, leveraging our proprietary cloud and in-car Getaround Connect® technology to make sharing cars and trucks simple.

At the core, Getaround is about making the consumer experience frictionless and easy.

Our customers do not have to meet with someone in person to book or pick up a car. They simply sign up in the app, search, book, unlock, and drive away.

Our proprietary Getaround Connect® technology not only allows guests to unlock the car with the app, but our tracking functions give the host peace of mind in knowing what is happening with their vehicle at all times.

Whether the cars are used for a weekend getaway, to run errands for a few hours, or for commuting, guests can enjoy the convenience of booking vehicles for exactly however long they need — hourly or full days — a unique functionality of the Getaround solution.

Have you taken advantage of the flexibility and convenience offered by renting something rather than buying it? Called a rideshare? Booked someone else’s vehicle? Stayed at someone’s home instead of a hotel? Chances are you have, but we are still at the infancy of this industry and I believe we will see continued innovation and growth of this sector.