Today Zipcar unveiled their latest venture: FastFleet, a new service that employs Zipcar’s carsharing system for public sector vehicle fleets. Instead of letting their cars sit idle, public agencies can use FastFleet’s network and system for car pick up and drop off, so a smaller number of vehicles can be used as and when needed, across employees. Unlike Zipcar, FastFleet doesn’t provide any cars – just the infrastructure (and accompanying technology) for carsharing across the network. Washington DC was the first city to try out the system, and in its four month pilot, has saved a reported $300,000 through smarter use of off-duty vehicles. As the Boston Globe explains:
Nationally, approximately 4 million vehicles currently are deployed across thousands of fleets within local, state and federal governments. Typically, fleets are sized to meet peak demand, which means on a daily basis thousands of these cars and trucks sit idle. ZipCar will be marketing FastFleet as a way to enable fleet administrators to easily transition from inefficient, dedicated vehicles, to high efficiency shared vehicles with no reduction in availability for drivers. Additionally, FastFleet-equipped vehicles can be located in a distributed network of locations, instead of a centralized “depot”. Employees use an reservation system over the web, phone or mobile device, to select and reserve vehicles. A swipe of a wallet size access card unlocks the doors of a reserved vehicle, courtesy of an integrated card reader mounted under the windshield.
Zipcar plans to continue rolling out the system in cities across the U.S. throughout 2009.
[via Boston Globe]