car2go announced on Dec. 20 the completion of its two-year car2go North America Pilot Program with the city of Austin, Texas. Under a newly signed agreement with the city's car-sharing program, car2go will continue operations in Austin.
car2go, developed by Daimler as a free-floating network for one-way car sharing, launched its first North American Pilot Program with Austin and city employees in November 2009. In May 2010, car2go opened its services to the public in Austin and, in less than two years, has grown to include more than 21,000 registered members.
"The city of Austin is committed to bringing the best transportation options to its residents, and our new car-sharing program will be a tremendous addition to our transportation system in Austin," Mayor Lee Leffingwell said. "The residents and businesses in Austin now have more transportation options, with the overall goal of reducing downtown congestion and improving the overall quality of life in Austin."
“car2go has received a remarkable reception from the residents and businesses of this forward-thinking city since we first launched here in Austin two years ago,” said Nicholas Cole, president and CEO of car2go North America. “We look forward to continuing to work closely with the city of Austin and the Car-Share Austin Program.”
Cole continued, “As the first North American car2go city, Austin will continue to be the home of our corporate headquarters and a showcase city for building on the success of the car2go car-sharing model, which has redefined traditional carsharing with a truly flexible point-to-point transportation solution."
Introducing the Latest in Carsharing Technology
In January 2012, car2go will begin to introduce several electric vehicles in Austin as part of its commitment to providing the most innovative and environmentally friendly car-sharing options to its members. The car2go smart fortwo electric drive vehicles will be marked with “Electric Drive” on the side, and information about the vehicles and how to recharge them will be shared with members via email and social media.
Beginning this month, car2go members in Austin will see an updated version of the “telematic” touch screen inside the vehicle. A zoom-in and zoom-out function will now be available on the GPS navigation, and the map will now include indicators for each car2go designated parking space, so that members can easily find parking.