Buffer Vehicles as Commons in a Carpooling System

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Anybody has explored the idea of "buffer vehicules" in a carpooling system ?

Some thoughts :

  • the system provides "buffer" vehicles to improve availability (especially for the trip back home)
  • there are meeting points (carpooling stations) with "buffer" vehicles
  • "buffer vehicles" are used to carpool when a "personal/individual/private" vehicle is not available soon enough
  • the system can balance the number of "buffer" vehicles available at meeting points (example : if some "buffer" vehicules are needed at a meeting point then the system may send "buffer" vehicules at the meeting point rather than "personal/individual/private" vehicles) (self-driving vehicles could also be used to improve the availability of the system, for example at places other than meeting-points)
  • "buffer vehicles" are more flexible to be used as they can be parked at any "meeting point" (carpooling station)
  • one can imagine that "buffer vehicles" may take more flexible itineraries than "personal/individual/private" vehicles as the owner of a "personal/individual/private" vehicle may have more right to chose his own itinerary than users of "buffer" vehicles. This is useful to increase the number of users per "buffer" vehicle and also to accept more carpooling requests when needed
  • "buffer vehicles" are more useful if they can take more users, for example a more modern version of the fiat multipla ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_600#The_Multipla_.281956.E2.80.931965.29 ) (or the dymaxion car : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dymaxion_car ) , that could take 6-9 persons in a compact form could be useful

... I had this idea because we have plenty of cheap-to-rent "autolibs" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autolib%27 ) everywhere now in Paris ...

Using the system as a delivery system

You can note that the system could be even more optimized if it would also combine the delivery of objects.

Objects could be delivered at meeting points for example.

More Information

Version française : http://movilab.org/index.php?title=Biens_communs_:_des_v%C3%A9hicules_tampons_pour_un_syst%C3%A8me_de_covoiturage_plus_efficace

see also

  1. Original post : https://plus.google.com/u/0/105098929432606249636/posts/MBaxP4yVdqS
  2. facebook group : https://www.facebook.com/groups/carpoolingthinktank/ (Français : https://www.facebook.com/groups/512177068796806/ )
  3. a system like zipcar could be used for "buffer vehicles"