Marco Diana, STARS Project Coordinator, was interviewed by the Transport Research and Innovation Monitoring and Information System (TRIMIS) team in its November newsletter.
1. What is the objective of the STARS project?
STARS aims to close the gap between the potential benefits of shared vehicle services such as car sharing. If focuses on innovative forms of transport enabled by recent develops in technology, which cater for individual preferences. Benefits of shared vehicles include reduced congestion, lower environmental impacts and greater social inclusion.
2. Which organisations and Member States are involved in STARS?
We are a consortium of nine academic institutions, consultants, industrial organisations and associations. Three universities bring different skills to the STARS project:
- Politecnico di Torino (Italy) focuses on transport engineering and planning and ensuring the project coordination;
- Gothenburg University (Sweden) deals with environmental psychology;
- Cardiff University (UK) undertakes automotive market research.
AUTON (Belgium) and the German CarSharing Association (bcs) are two national car sharing associations. The Italian branch of General Motors addresses industrial perspectives, while the city of Bremen (Germany) addresses those of decision makers. LGI Consulting deals with dissemination activities and Local Government for Sustainability (ICLEI, Germany) ensures outreach to a larger number of cities.
3. What are the key research activities of the STARS project?
Knowledge and research methods from transport engineering, environmental psychology and economics will be exploited to:
- compare and benchmark existing business models and social innovation patterns related to car sharing;
- assess the implications of car sharing schemes for local communities and industry.
The key research activities and outputs are:
- analysis of the actual status and trends of car sharing in European cities;
- an inventory of existing business models for car sharing services, and review of impacts on the automobility market and automotive industry;
- assessment of factors that influence an individual’s willingness to participate in a shared mobility service;
- analysis of car sharing scenarios and benefits through co-modality and development of an integrated decision-support tool for policy makers;
- analysis of projected impacts on the automotive sector and identification of new business models.
4. What is the main contribution of STARS to promoting shared mobility in Europe?
STARS will examine the implications and impacts of different forms of car sharing, rather than focus on the implementation of the service itself. The goal is not to promote car sharing, but to contribute to the spread of those shared transport services that maximise benefits for citizens and service providers. The impacts on other transport modes (such as private car, cycling, walking and public transport) and the car industry will be assessed, along with the impacts of different forms of car sharing in terms of the use of public space, congestion, greenhouse gases emissions, accessibility and social cohesion.
5. What do you hope the EU will learn from your project?
Thanks to the knowledge gained in the project, a policy toolkit that includes guidelines and recommendations will be designed. It will help European mobility stakeholders and policymakers to implement car sharing services that maximise environmental and social benefits.
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