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Incorporate ATM, wireless, and GPS technology into a shared community Utili-Car. A member/driver unlocks a parked Utili-Car with his ATM-type card ; a wireless start request is transmitted to Utili-Car command central along with the driver's identity and vehicle's location ; after authorization processing
a start-enable reply is transmitted from Utili-Car command ; the member/driver uses the car then parks it ; the vehicles new location and usage data is transmitted to Utili-Car command where the member/drivers account is updated ; each month a member/driver receives a bill for his use of Utili-Cars. A mobile force of Utili-Car maintenance staff use GPS to locate parked Utili-Cars and re-fuel and service them at curbside. Expect serious pushback from the automobile cartel/lobby which very much prefers each prospective driver to purchase their own, largely parked, vehicle rather than sharing Utili-Cars.
Not nearly as high-tech, but... [egnor, Jan 21 2001]
List of local co-ops (including Seattle's flexcar); business plan; how to open one yourself, etc. [jutta, Jan 21 2001]
||I just feel it needs to be said that before long some dullard will stain/tear the upholstery, transport manure, etc...and will top it off by being offended and yelling "prejudice" when their fees are greater, card revoked, etc.
||Add (cheap webcam type) cameras to inspect the inside of the car after use, and charge 'wear and tear' fees. Maybe add a direct phone or something so one can call and say 'This seat is badly stained', and point one of the cameras, thus getting the car at a lower rate for now and alerting the company that this one needs more service.
||Could also have cargo-type vehicles, so you could transport manure, etc. Part of the fee is to make sure the vehicle is clean when you leave it, or you get charged more. Of course, this would cheese off places like U-Haul...