WASHINGTON and AUSTIN, Texas, March 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- car2go NA, North America's largest one-way carsharing service with over 800,000 members in 14 cities in the U.S. and Canada, today pledged support for "Vision Zero," a road safety initiative championed by cities around the world with the goal of totally eliminating road fatalities and serious injuries. car2go announced its support for Vision Zero during the Washington Regional Vision Zero Summit taking place today at George Washington University's Milken School of Public Health in Washington, D.C.
"car2go is deeply committed to road safety and can play a major role in helping to achieve Vision Zero's objective of eliminating road fatalities," said Paul DeLong, CEO of car2go NA. "We will increase road safety education with our members to empower them to be a part of the road safety solution. Carsharing itself promotes road safety by reducing the overall number of vehicles sharing the roads with bicyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. The car2go vehicle network our members use features new Mercedes-Benz and smart vehicles with a variety of advanced road safety features. We will also continue to work with city transportation agencies and third party road safety advocacy organizations across North America to help people move from point A to point B easily, affordably and safely in ways that advance Vision Zero initiatives."
Vision Zero, founded in Sweden in 1997, is a road traffic safety initiative widely adopted by cities in Europe, North America and the Caribbean. Washington, D.C. launched its Vision Zero action plan in 2015, with the goal of eliminating fatalities and serious injuries throughout the District's transportation system by the year 2024.
"Reaching the goal of Vision Zero will take meaningful commitment and action from all stakeholders, including the private sector," said Leah Shahum, Director of the Vision Zero Network, a nonprofit project advancing Vision Zero nationwide. "We are encouraged to see car2go step up as an industry leader in publicly committing to Vision Zero's goal of ensuring safe mobility for all road users."
"With the launch of the Vision Zero Action Plan in 2015, we solidified our commitment to eliminate traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries in the District by 2024," said District Department of Transportation Deputy Director Jeffrey Marootian. "We are engineering, educating, and enforcing our way to safer streets throughout all eight wards, and we are thrilled to have car2go's support in doing so. Achieving zero will be a challenge, but one we fully embrace. No loss of life is acceptable. car2go's support is another great step toward achieving that goal and making zero a reality."
"As transportation advocates, we are thrilled to see the mobility tech industry taking Vision Zero seriously with car2go leading the way," said Greg Billing, Executive Director of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, an advocacy and education nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. "We're proud to work with car2go to put an end to all traffic fatalities in our community."
car2go's carsharing network of Mercedes-Benz and smart vehicles feature innovative safety technology that has helped Mercedes-Benz build a strong reputation as a producer of safe, innovative and comfortable vehicles.
In addition to multiple air bags and anti-lock braking, car2go's Mercedes-Benz vehicles have safety features like a 180-degree rearview camera, blind spot assist, electronic stability, and adaptive braking, a radar-based technology that can autonomously brake at speeds of up to 65 mph/104 km/h and alert drivers when approaching a vehicle ahead – including some stationary objects – at a speed and distance that suggest a collision is likely.
car2go's smart fortwo vehicles are also remarkably crashworthy cars for their small size, using a rigid Tridion safety shell made of ultra-high strength steel to protect occupants. New generation car2go smart fortwo vehicles are also are equipped with a crosswind assist feature that automatically compensates for strong gusts of wind to keep drivers on-course, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability (known as ESP® in most cars), and airbags for drivers and passengers.
car2go already does a number of things to promote road safety, including:
- Road safety education: car2go leverages its social media channels and the car2go app messaging system to warn of hazardous driving conditions and share road safety best practices, like reminding car2go members about the "three foot law" to protect cyclists as well as encouraging car2go members to use their opposite hand when exiting a car2go after parking in an on-street spot. These techniques are effective to help protect passing cyclists and encourages sharing the road.
- Using data for safety: car2go analyzes incident data and member feedback from over 8.75 million trips and 59 million miles U.S. and Canadian car2go members traveled in 2016 to help inform decisions on improving the service, and effective member education to help make car2go members some of the safest drivers on the road.
- One-way carsharing itself: recent research revealed that one-way carsharing helps to reduce overall traffic congestion. U.C. Berkeley conducted the first ever impact study of one-way carsharing in North American cities, finding that each car2go vehicle removed up to 11 other vehicles from the road as well as up to 14 metric tons of greenhouse gases per car.
- Zero tolerance for impaired driving: From the beginning, car2go has had a firm zero-tolerance policy against impaired driving. Any car2go member found to be driving impaired will have their membership permanently revoked, and car2go will assist local police in prosecuting for impaired driving.
- Working with cities: car2go continues to collaborate with city transportation agencies and third party road safety advocacy organizations to advance Vision Zero initiatives.
In addition to Washington, D.C., car2go's flexible, one-way carsharing service operates in the following cities with active Vision Zero programs: Austin; Calgary; Denver; Montreal; New York City; Portland; Seattle; Toronto; and Vancouver.
In 2016, car2go grew its global customer base by 43-percent to 2.2 million members. Every 1.4 seconds, a car2go member takes a trip in a car2go vehicle in one of the service's 26 car2go cities spread across North America, Europe, and Asia.
In 2016, car2go's global network of nearly 14,000 vehicles were rented more than 22 million times, a 21-percent increase compared to 2015. In January, car2go introduced Mercedes-Benz CLA and GLA four door vehicles to extend the accessibility of the service to families and groups of friends seeking to travel more places with more cargo.
Utilization of car2go vehicles increased by approximately 40-percent between Q4 2015 and Q4 2016. As a general rule, the more frequently shared vehicles, like car2gos, are moving people around a city, the better carsharing fulfills its purpose to help people easily and affordably get from point A to point B while helping to reduce their city's overall road congestion.
About car2go N.A., LLC
car2go N.A., LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler North America Corporation, offers an innovative mobility solution in rapidly growing urban areas via a carsharing network of affordable, eco-friendly Mercedes-Benz and smart vehicles. A flexible and "on demand" mode of transportation, car2go complements existing public transportation by bridging the gaps between the "first and last mile" of a member's commute. Today, car2go's global operation is the largest, fastest-growing carsharing program in the world with more than 2,200,000 registered members and a fleet of nearly 14,000 vehicles in 26 locations in North America, Europe and Asia.
The innovation and environmental sustainability of car2go have earned international acclaim, including TripAdvisor's 2015 "Travelers' Choice" award, "Best Carshare" from the Vancouver Courier, "2015 Best CarSharing Service" from Best of D.C., "2014 Best CarSharing App" from Best of D.C., recognition from the Austin Chamber of Commerce with the "Greater Austin Business Award" for its positive impact on the city's traffic, and the prestigious "2010 EPA Clean Air Excellence Award" from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Further information on car2go is available at car2go.com/NA/en/press/.
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SOURCE car2go N.A. LLC