The future of car ownership… is probably not owning one
For an invention that’s really only been around for about a century (okay, if you want to be pedantic, no longer than 132 years), cars are running out of time.
Production seems to tell a story of more cars being produced every year: except for minor drops in 2001, 2008 and 2009 (hint: global economic crises), we have made more cars every year since 1998, with about 1.3 billion cars available worldwide. Car ownership is also growing everywhere, as cars cost less as a percentage of income, and multiple financing options making it easier to buy a car.
But there’s an interesting trend that’s been developing since the turn of the millennium. Mass production and greater living standards since the 20th century may have led to the proliferation of cars (or automobiles), making them the number one mode of transport in the developed world, but it might be a surprising fact to learn that fewer people are using cars.
As the soon-to-be dominant generation, millennials have almost completely lost interest in using cars, much less owning one. Recent years have seen percentages drop drastically for new owners aged 18–34, while younger people in the largest cities around the world feel that space is running out, and time lost in traffic just isn’t good for their urban lifestyles.
Those who do own cars seem never to use them anyway, preferring public transport, ride-hailing and car sharing for daily use. According to studies, even in 2013, cars were parked 95% of the time. But cars are not going away for the time being and we still need them to be mobile. And this is why there’s been quite a bit of discussion in the transportation sector on how to improve the efficiency of car usage.
Helbiz Coin: decentralizing ride sharing for fair economic value
Our partner, Helbiz Coin, proposes to provide a real use application for a blockchain solution for the car sharing economy. The industry already has some players that use a peer-to-peer model to connect car owners with people who want to rent or use them — but these still act as the intermediary, resulting in the obvious downside of high fees charged for facilitating the transactions. Typically, car owners only receive 75% of rental income on current centralized platforms.
But what if people could connect directly to each other and still gain the benefits of a secure and trusted environment? Maintaining P2P, cryptographic security of blockchain technology provides the answer.
Through the Helbiz Mobility System platform based on the Ethereum blockchain, car owners, renters and service providers will be connected to each other, able to access tools such as:
– an explorer to browse and discover transport options and services;
– built-in wallet and exchange to store and convert major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum into the platform’s own native digital token, HelbizCoin (HBZ);
– smart contracts for owners to share assets, as well as to set rules and rewards for data owners.
The immediate benefit? Lower prices for renters, higher earnings for owners, and the monetizing of data for individuals.
“Browse, Book, Unlock, Drive”
Once a user explores and finds the desired rental option or service, the Helbiz Mobility System verifies the user’s and owner’s digital identities. Once verified, booking the option will require users to accept terms and conditions (fare, duration), and purchase an insurance policy — all bound through intelligent smart contracts.
Once all that is done, users will receive remote key access via smartphone, which they can then use to unlock the vehicle and drive. At the end of the rental duration, HBZ payment is executed directly from the user’s digital wallet and transferred to the owner.
Helbiz will first launch operations in New York within Q1 2018, before expanding to a second US city in Q3 2018 and four additional US cities by early 2019.
A crowdfunding campaign is about to be launched, with the pre-sale beginning January 26th, 2018 and the public token sale to take place on February 15th, 2018.
Curious about what AmaZix can do for you?
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