Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rent Your Neighbor's Car

If Zipcar and Airbnb made a baby it would be named Getaround. The San Francisco startup
takes the distributed rental model to another level completely, allowing car owners to rent their cars on an hourly basis to other locals. It's an efficient use of resources that otherwise sit idle, it reduces strain on parking and the environment, and it's yet one more example of the collective benefit of a platform that enables individuals to lend resources.

Zipcar got a lot of attention for creating a useful iPhone app that added to the value of their already solid offering, but now Getaround is setting a new standard for bringing the on demand convenience of an online experience into the urban environment via mobile technology. Renters can locate and request cars using their iPhone and a carkit which a vehicle's owner can easily install allowing renters to unlock their car and drive it off. Getaround insures the car and the owner can make money on an asset that would usually take up parking space. I signed up for the beta and eagerly await what's to come.