In the past two decades, technological advances have transformed various sectors across different industries. Additionally, the negative effects of climate change and global warming has increased the urgency to reduce carbon emission. Technologies have been adopted in global efforts to reduce carbon emission and combat climate change leading to the emergence of revolutionary products and services such as car-sharing applications.
According to research by Science Direct, car-sharing programs are already reducing traffic congestion in major cities leading to a reduction in carbon emission with each shared car expected to replace up to 23 vehicles. Additionally, the way products and services are consumed, shifting as eco-conscious consumers increasingly adopt models that preserve scarce resources. This shift has catalyzed an increase in demand for sharing models, while consumers pursuing maximum consumption through ownership gradually decrease. The increasing demand for car-sharing applications is driven by the fact that sharing a resource is more profitable than owning the resource as an individual. Even though this philosophy has existed for centuries, such as communal farms, widespread adoption and implementation were impeded by a lack of effective technologies to connect owners to the market until now. Advances in the ICT sector witnessed in the recent past have effectively connected owners and the demand. The wide range of benefits offered by car-sharing programs coupled with advances in technology has increased the number of car-sharing operators and the popularity of this model among consumers.
Design Features to be taken into Considerations when Building Car-sharing Application
- Registration: Software engineers should ensure that the registration process of the car-sharing app is fast and easy. Consumers can be dissuaded from signing onto platforms that request full information during registration. Therefore, a useful car-sharing app should be designed to allow first-time users to register without all information but request additional details when they update their profiles. This also means that user-profile features should be included in the design of car-sharing apps.
- Sign-in: Complicated sign-in procedure can force some users to switch to alternative applications. You need to ensure the software engineer designs a fast and easy sign-in feature for your car-sharing app. The extensive use of social media implies that your app should allow users to sign in using their social accounts.
- In-app payments: Fast and easy cashless payment for products and services is one of the main benefits that attract consumers to mobile apps. Software engineers should consider integrating Tridens Monetization and Tridens Payment Gateway into the car-sharing app to allow for fast, cashless payments from customers.
- Smart lock: Software engineers can increase the security of the car and the customer by integrating smart lock feature when building car-sharing apps. This feature will enable only the customer with reservations to unlock the vehicle using the app, eliminating the need for operators to deliver car keys to customers. Smart lock feature also allows for keyless locking once a customer gets out of the care at the end of the trip when their reservation lapses. Keyless unlocking and locking offer the highest level of security to the customers and peace of mind to the car owner. For example, Turo Go technology allows riders and car-owners to lock and unlock shared vehicles using the Turo car-sharing app,
- Bookings: The ever-increasing popularity of the car-sharing app is attributed to the ease of reserving a car for a short period. To this end, the car-sharing app should be designed to allow users to reserve or request a car very quickly. Additional, booking features enabling customers to book a car for a later date should be included in the design of a car-sharing application.
- Support: When building a car-sharing app, software engineers should consider a wide range of scenarios such as accidents, damaged cars, and so on, where the users of the app would require assistance. Additionally, customers’ health or other difficulties unrelated to car-sharing programs but occurs during the trip should be taken into consideration in the app design. Built-in support features such as chatbots, live chat, or direct calls with speed dials to the operator or first responders should be included in the car-sharing app design. According to Medium, applications that offer support in more languages or multilingual support are more likely to be successful in a highly diversified society and marketplace of the 21st century. The built-in feature offering support in most of the languages of different communities in the target market should be included in the app design.
- Rating system: Using customers’ reviews to assess areas for improvement and as a testimonial is an effective strategy to improve the quality of service and increase brand awareness and registration. To make this possible, rating feature should be integrated into a car-sharing app to allow customers to rate, review, comment, and share their ride experience.
- Push notifications: During the development of car-sharing apps, software engineers should incorporate features that enable car-share operators to use push notifications to inform and advertise directly to users.
- Maps and GPS tracking: In the current digital age society, software developers should integrate geo-location maps and GPS to pinpoint the exact location of a vehicle in real-time in car-sharing apps to offer the highest level of security to the car owner and customers.
- Management features: Just like any other business, practical and extensive management is crucial for the profitability and long-term sustainability of car-sharing businesses. To be successful, car-share operators should insist on the integration of the most effective and advanced management features in the design of their car-sharing apps. The most important management feature for car-sharing apps is an administration dashboard connecting the car’s built-in hardware and the app to enable administrators to store data and manage all activities in the app from a single panel.
Features to be included in the admin dashboard when building a car-sharing app?
- User management feature to access the profiles of registered users, analyze users’ booking history, and accept or reject users’ registration requests.
- Payment management feature enables administrators to set rates, issue refunds, increase prices, or charge fines based on clients’ reservation, distance and duration, and condition of the car at the end of the reservation. Charge & Drive offered by Tridens Technology is one of the most compelling features for payment management and should be incorporated into car-sharing apps.
- Fleet management features to enable the operators’ administrator to track the location of each shared-car and access various elements of the cars such as in-built metrics, fuel or battery level, and so on.
- Reports and analytics management feature allows administrators to access and analyze statistics and performance of various aspects such as new registration, average, reserved duration or distance, car damage cases, and so on across the car-sharing program directly from the dashboard.
It is important to note that software engineers should consider the most features to be incorporated into car-sharing apps based on the client’s car-sharing program.
The Different Categories of Car-Sharing Programs to Consider before App Development
Before commencing the development of a car-sharing app, software engineers should take into account the type of car-sharing program chosen by the client. The most popular car-sharing programs can be categorized as;
- Peer-to-peer (P2P) car-sharing: This program is preferred by car owners who seek to rent out their cars only when they are not using them, for example, Drivy. Software engineers building P2P car-sharing apps should incorporate features that will enable car owners to rent their cars to customers for short periods only.
- B2C car-sharing: Private car-sharing companies using this model such as ZipCar, Car2Go, and DriveNow by a fleet of cars and rent out directly to drivers. The increasing popularity of this model is threatening traditional car-rental agency.
- Airport car-sharing programs: Members of this program are avid travelers and rent out their cars to other travelers when they are away instead of parking at the airport. Car-sharing apps used by companies operating using this model have features that analyze travel plans of car-owners and users to sync and schedule reservations effectively.
- Nonprofit car-sharing programs: Operators using this model offer car-share for environmental and social purposes such as eGo CarShare. Features incorporated into car-sharing apps for this model should focus on connecting operators and eco-conscious consumers.
- Co-op car-sharing model: This model includes corporate and residential car-sharing programs that allow members to co-own vehicles. Software engineer building co-op car-sharing app should consist of features that enable users to share repair, refueling, and other costs associated with owning cars.
Monetization Consideration during Development of Car-Sharing App
The digital revolution and increasing adoption of eco-friendly lifestyles have led to the emergence and rapid growth of many forms of shared mobility, threatening not only the sustainability of traditional car rental models but also its existence. To succeed in a technologically competitive marketplace, you need to adopt emerging technologies or start a technology-driven business such as car-sharing. Using the most effective technology is particularly essential in the monetization model, you will adapt, regardless of whether you are using a commission or subscription model. Monetization using the commission model is highly recommended if you are seeking to build your car-sharing app as an application aggregator. If you use Tridens Monetization to build your car-sharing app as an application aggregator, your app will have the capacity to handle many offers from companies and individuals. Additionally, the components and gateways of Tridens such as Monetization, Payment Gateway, and Taxation Gateway will enable you to effectively manage the percentage of the amount you will be receiving when users rent cars using your app. If you are building your car-sharing based on a subscription model, Tridens’ cloud billing monetization and gateways for payment, taxation, and CRM offers you the most effective and reliable option for billing and charging customers who use your cars all the time. Tridens Monetization will offer you the option to either include or separate the costs of fuel and insurance in your subscription price.
Are you planning to start your own car-sharing business? We will develop a viable and user-friendly application with the use of Tridens building blocks components and gateways such as Monetization, Charge & Drive, Payment Gateway, Taxation Gateway, CRM Gateway, and many more to seamlessly integrate these vital features with your solution.