The ultimate car sharing system has arrived!

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toyota ha_mo electric vehicle car sharingWhile I might occasionally get wistful for the slower and simpler (not necessarily easier) pace of life my Grandparents lived through, I am a girl that loves modern technology and ‘progress’.

You won’t be dragging me away from my smartphone any time soon, and although I loved walking miles around record fairs looking for that elusive piece of vinyl, it’s kind of awesome that you can instantly download your favourite track…

But some of the ‘old ways’ are infinitely better than the lifestyle we live now. I find the loss of community and the extended family particularly difficult to deal with.

When Mr Green left his last home – which he had lived in for five years – he didn’t even know the name of his neighbours. They just each jumped into their separate cars and went off to work in the morning.

So when technology AND good values combine, well, that really captures my interest.

Some of the good and simple human gestures like sharing go a long way to making the world a better place.

Think about the last time you were stuck in a traffic jam. We found that taking a simple trip into our nearest town this week. A trip that used to take me 20 minutes when I was working in the city 20 years ago, now takes 45 minutes.

What’s changed? There are now three lanes instead of two, so traffic flow should be better, right?

Unfortunately not.

The only conclusion I can come to is that there are more cars on the road.

And what really struck me on that boring journey the other day was how many people were single occupants. The irony is; they were probably all driving to work within a couple of miles radius of each other!

I was excited to hear that Toyota – who want to create a new city transportation system for the next generation – have launched their Ha:mo project in Grenoble, France.

toyota ha_mo electric vehicle car sharing system

Their aim is to decrease traffic gridlock by mixing their ultra micro i-ROAD with public transportation. They say this should improve traffic flow and minimise emissions.The system comprises a combination of electric vehicle car sharing and traffic routing information –ensuring city dwellers use the most appropriate form of transportation.

Find out more about the project here.

The i-ROAD puts the fun back into driving. It’s essentially an ultra compact, three wheel electric vehicle which carries two passengers – a cross between a smart car and motorbike if you like – that leans into the corners like a motorcycle; making it perfect for sharing with your neighbour. With a range of 50 kilometers and with the ability to be charged by solar, the i-Road is ideal for the daily commute. It’s a bit like having a self-drive taxi.

Using a smartphone app, you can check the availability, find the location of and book one of these car sharing vehicles. Once you’re in the driving seat you’ll get live information on the most efficient route into work. You can pick a vehicle up in one location and drop it off at another; so you don’t have to stress about getting the vehicle back to the original drop off point. And with restricted and limited parking in many city environments, the Ha’mo system would reduce the need for some city dwellers to own their own car altogether.

What do you think? Is this the future of urban driving?

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