The pace of modern life is increasing, and along with it, the desire for convenient urban transportation. To satisfy such a desire, car sharing is an excellent service — a concept of short-term car rental. You can rent a car for a few hours or minutes simply using an application. The car sharing system is gaining popularity explosively due to modern technologies that are part of its functioning. They allow car sharing to become a personalized, accessible, and flexible solution for those who don’t have their own transportation.
User characteristics and satisfaction with the services of car sharing systems
To ensure the convenience and efficiency of car sharing services, special software is utilized. Such software comprises a set of functions that collectively allow customers to obtain the service and enable the company owner to monitor the business operations. The car sharing system consists of the following components:
- Core management – servers, databases, programs. They facilitate the management of all business operations, including user registration, car reservation, access control, payment, and service performance analysis.
- Mobile applications are a convenient way for customers to interact with the system. Through the mobile app, users can register, view and book available cars, and make payments for the service.
- Administrative panel is designed for company employees. It facilitates the management of car reservations, availability control, usage statistics monitoring, and user support.
- Automated systems for access control, navigation, and fleet management. These systems allow company staff to track the availability and location of cars, while users can find the nearest car on the map.
- Integrations with payment systems to provide customers with convenient and secure payment methods. Typically, this involves integration with banking payment gateways or electronic wallets.
A well-functioning corporate car sharing software is possible due to the presence of communication protocols that allow multiple computers to be connected into a single network. The client utilizes a mobile application that connects to the car sharing system’s servers via the Internet, and data transmission is carried out using HTTP or HTTPS protocols. To transmit vehicle location data, mobile networks such as 5G and a communication module installed in each car are used. This ensures connectivity between the cars and the car sharing system.
To store the records of the entire system, both cloud and local databases are utilized. The database contains information about clients, the vehicle fleet, transactions, payments, and other important details. Structuring and organizing the database is an efficient mechanism for processing and retrieving records for the car sharing program. However, this data needs to be stored somewhere. In such cases, both cloud and local storage solutions are employed.
The advantage of cloud storage is the ability to distribute and store data across different servers, ensuring high availability and reliability. Local storage is intended specifically for automotive information, such as the car’s status, location, and maintenance schedule. This type of storage is used when the vehicle is outside the coverage area of the system, such as in an underground parking lot.
User authentication and authorization
The security of car sharing is not only about providing the customer with a functioning vehicle. It starts with the user registration process in the system, thanks to the authentication procedure. This is the process of verifying the authenticity of a person, which is necessary before granting access to the service. The car sharing system uses three types of authentication mechanisms:
- Username and password: Initially, the user registers in the system, and each time they log in, they enter their unique username and password. This is the most common type of authentication.
- Social networks such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram simplify the login process and do not require creating a separate username for the system. The user simply uses their existing social media account to log into the car sharing program.
- Biometric mechanism: This involves the use of unique physical or behavioral characteristics of the user, such as fingerprint scanning, iris recognition, or facial recognition.
Authentication is often confused with authorization, considering them to be the same procedures. Authorization is the process of verifying and confirming the user’s identity, which is necessary to grant access to the system. The authorization process occurs as follows:
Step 2. Authentication. The user undergoes an authentication process using one of the three mechanisms described above – login and password, social networks, or biometrics. Authentication is considered successful when the system verifies the user’s permissions and determines which actions are accessible to them.
Step 3. Permission modification. While using the program, the user can request changes to their permissions, such as increasing the time limit. To do this, they contact the support service, and the car sharing system administrators process the requests, updating the permissions.
Step 4. Permission revocation. In case of rule violations or unpaid debts, the car sharing system can revoke the user’s permissions. After that, they will be unable to book a car or utilize specific program features.
Car registration and management
Thanks to special car sharing platforms, car owners have the opportunity to rent out their own car. The program allows setting rental prices and enables seasonal or temporary discounts. Using a special availability function, owners specify the date and time when the car is available and block the time period if they plan to use the car themselves. Corporate car sharing software provides the option to set reminders for maintenance. Sometimes, this feature is presented as recommendations for the maintenance schedule based on the brand, model of the car, and its period of use.
System monitoring and maintenance
Performance monitoring and system maintenance are an integral part of effective management. With their help, various car sharing system functions can be monitored, problems can be detected in a timely manner, and quick responses can be provided. Additionally, it is used to track car usage, charging status, and fuel consumption for maintenance planning. This helps reduce vehicle downtime due to technical issues or unforeseen circumstances.
There are instances when the system detects non-standard behavioral usage patterns of vehicles, such as unusual speed indicators. In such cases, measures are taken to investigate and address potential security issues. Therefore, monitoring the performance of the car sharing system is essential for easily detecting anomalies that indicate possible security problems. Swift resolution of exceptional situations contributes to enhancing the service’s reputation and gaining customer trust.
Ensuring the stable operation of corporate car sharing software, maintaining a high level of security, and meeting user needs can be achieved through timely system maintenance. All these processes are carried out by specialists, including developers, technical personnel, and support operators.
- Software updates are necessary processes for enhancing functionality, fixing errors, and ensuring security. The development team determines the required updates for the system, conducts special compatibility tests, and proceeds with installation if the results are positive.
- Error fixes are necessary if problems that jeopardize user safety and impact the entire workflow are detected in the system. During error analysis, developers attempt to reproduce the error and determine its impact on the system.
- Equipment maintenance is carried out to check its functionality and reliability. This includes regular inspections not only of server communications, computers, but also electric vehicles, charging stations, and GPS navigators.
To ensure top-level services, car sharing companies need a special system. With its help, they will be able to not only monitor the business operations but also provide quality services to customers. The corporate car sharing software should be secure, user-friendly, and functional. Adhering to these points will be facilitated by timely system updates and thorough error detection.