7 Nov 2016

How the car2go experience is made possible – part 2

How did the car2go idea and experience emerge and what have been the relevant steps and necessary developments on the IT part? A quick walk-through the car2go evolution.

In a first article some insights and background information about the car2go set up have been given. Now this is followed by a small glimpse into the development history.

Car sharing approaches in their infancy

When car2go started as a Daimler company internal pilot project in 2008 there was no established business known as free floating car sharing. The automotive industry was just discovering online businesses.   Few companies had businesses for connected cars.

Today it is a common understanding that online business and connected cars is instrumental for continuously development in the automotive industry.  The car transforms into a device or platform in the Internet of Things (IoT).

The evolution of mobility services

The valuable service is built and offered to the customer on this platform. Driving a car as a car2go member becomes one mobility service among many mobility services. Mobility develops into a utility. Similar to how other utilities like water supply, electricity or telecommunication today is taken for granted.

Invention of relevant IT key elements

Also, the IT infrastructure and operations has developed over the same period. No electronics and hardware existed for car sharing and all has been developed. Both the in-car electronics, the software, the server systems, app and web systems have been developed and customized for the car sharing business.

This was invented by car2go eight years ago. In the same period the IT systems, hardware and software has also changed dramatically and has been reengineered and upgraded several times. The development started using internal datacenter resources and methods.

Adaption to growth and expansion

As car2go grew and more regions and cities were added.  The need for flexibility, growth and geographically independence meant a migration to external cloud datacenters.

The vehicle communication infrastructure has seen three generations of hardware and software. Three generations from a wired first generation, to a card based solution into now a fully online app based setup.

Switch to DevOps setup

The operations also changed from a classical IT project and operations into DevOps setup. This means that application parts, middleware and basic infrastructure is defined as code and modifications and optimizations can be automatically deployed at a very high frequency up dozens per day. All being executed without interfering with the car2go user experience of now more than 2 million car2go members

Do you have any questions about the process and how the development sped up?