Based on its recent analysis of the carsharing market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Getaround with the 2011 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for Enabling Technology.
Peer-to-peer carsharing allows consumers to rent out their personal vehicles at a rate and period of time they set themselves, As it gains momentum, companies in the space are trying to gain first mover advantage. However, only those vendors that are able to retain consumers within their network possess a competitive edge.
Getaround has been able to successfully target consumers through a mobile iPhone application, which enables them to rent and lend vehicles easily. This enabling technology has resulted in Getaround acquiring nearly 30 thousand members, having registered nearly eight thousand vehicles for rent since its official launch in the US in May 2011, tremendous results for a service that is currently live in just three markets. In terms of members, this is almost eight times the size of its direct competitors.
"Frost & Sullivan's independent end user research confirms that Generation Y — those born between the late '70s and mid '90s — will account for 40 percent of the car buying population by 2012, becoming an important customer segment for the carsharing market," said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Ratika Garg. "Generation Y is more Internet savvy and uses high-tech gadgets, such as iPads and iPhones, and prefers more digitized processes to scan through information and make decisions on demand."
Getaround is the first company with a smartphone application for carsharing. Members who sign up for the Getaround service get a small Wi-Fi and GPS enabled device called the Getaround Carkit, which they can install in their vehicles. The Getaround Carkit can be installed by consumers themselves or installed professionally in less than five minutes.
Through use of the iPhone application, members are able to book a vehicle for use, and use their smartphones as the key to access vehicles they are renting, without having to physically swap keys or use a smartcard as is the case with competitive offerings. Getaround's patent-pending technology enables on-demand peer-to-peer carsharing anywhere the company currently operates including the San Francisco Bay, San Diego, and Portland metropolitan areas.
Another product enhancement is Getaround's patent pending request approval process, which enables lenders to decide whether or not they want to rent their vehicles to someone. This approach is very unique. In competitors' models, personal cars become part of a fleet and owners do not control or approve reservations. For early adopters, this control element promotes confidence and comfort with such a new experience.
"Getaround has patented its in-car technology, the Getaround Carkit, making it possible for the company to venture into new applications if an opportunity arises," noted Garg. " In fact, its solution is unlike any competing model, whereby the kit installed inside the vehicle, as well as middleware technology, is manufactured and owned by Getaround, not a third party. In the future, there are possibilities of Getaround's business model being adapted to meet needs of commercial vehicle fleets by allowing carriers to rent out unused vehicles."
Getaround uses various forms of social media in order to make consumers more aware of its service offering and their technology that enables effective service delivery. The potential for market acceptance is quite high as well because peer-to-peer carsharing builds on the concept of collaborative consumption, which is one of the most popular trends influencing consumer behavior today.
Based on the aforementioned best practices and performance drivers as measured through Frost & Sullivan's competitive benchmarking, Getaround is the recipient of the 2011 Frost & Sullivan Enabling Technology Award. Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to a company that has developed a pioneering technology that not only enhances current products but also enables the development of newer products and applications. The award recognizes the high market acceptance potential of the recipient's technology.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.
Getaround empowers people everywhere to safely share cars by the hour, day, or week through a secure online marketplace. Getaround provides patent-pending smartphone and in-car technology to create a seamless sharing experience, and each rental includes complete insurance up to $1,000, 000 backed by Berkshire Hathaway. Getaround (getaround.com) is free to join and for as little as $3 an hour, members can conveniently rent nearby cars by the hour, day, or week, and save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on auto payments, insurance and maintenance. Owners share cars ranging from a Toyota Prius to a Tesla Roadster, offsetting the high cost of ownership while making a positive impact on the environment.
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