21 Okt 2016

How the car2go experience is made possible – part 1

“A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.” That is what Winnie the Pooh says in the famous books written by A.A. Milne.  By writing this it is thoughts for others sharing some details on how the car2go experience is made possible.

It is consideration and explanation of some of the elements, systems processes and ideas behind the IT systems that makes all the difference for the car2go members.


The Basics

With the car2go app members communicate with the car2go cloud datacenter. The app is used to find a car, select options, reserve a car and finally to start a rental.

“A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference. Winnie the Pooh”

The car also communicates with the cloud datacenter.  Commands are sent to unlock the doors and disable the immobilizer to allow the car to start.

The time and the location when the rental begins and when and where it ends is also sent.

In the datacenter all information about the vehicles and the drivers is maintained in order to share the car among all car2go members.

It is a global online business across all time zones of the world. 24 hours per day.  7 days per week. The members can drive a car2go anytime.


The three key elements

There are three key elements for the car2go business:

  • The car2go member with the app
  • the car
  • and the software running in the cloud datacenter.


Any interruption or reduced response time will reduce the experience for the car2go member.


Set Up

To make these three elements able to communicate smoothly car2go cloud operations go to extremes. Three datacenters in three different regions of the world are used.

All cars are redundantly attached to the datacenter via the GSM network. All individual systems are at least doubled in all datacenters in order to ensure availability of each system.


Relevant prerequisites

Still there are more prerequisites in order to drive a car2go. The car needs a parking spot, it must be fueled or charged, it must be cleaned and washed, serviced and maintained.

It must be insured, damages repaired and the vehicles must periodically pass motor tests and fulfill all requirements in the respective countries.  For this additional communication with partner companies, organizations and authorities is necessary.

The datacenter will also provide interfaces and data to these car2go partners. All in all a very complex infrastructure in order to make driving a car simple and easy for the car2go member.


Read more in part 2! How is your personal car2go experience?