Challenge / Goal
The Municipality of Padua has a large population of younger people, as well as others in the population who do not own private vehicles. With increasing frequency, it is more convenient and also more sustainable for individuals to choose not to buy a car but to rely on sharing services or share the vehicles they privately own.
The shared mobility service volvero has been implemented as a solution in Padua to address this challenge. Volvero aims to become a leading, sustainable, and user-centric mobility solution that significantly reduces the environmental impact of transportation while providing convenient and cost-effective options for users. This goal involves expanding the service to various cities and regions, including the city and region around Padua, as well as fostering strong partnerships with car dealerships and rentals and continually enhancing the user experience. It also includes emphasizing environmental benefits, cost savings, and safety features. Additionally, part of the goal may involve adapting to evolving technologies and regulations in the mobility sector.
Ultimately, volvero's vision includes becoming a trusted and integrated part of urban and rural transportation systems, contributing to a reduction in private vehicle ownership, alleviating traffic congestion, and promoting eco-friendly and sustainable mobility options.
By providing a marketplace, volvero connects owners and drivers to effectively bring to use underutilized vehicles and provide an extensive range of efficient mobility possibilities to drivers. Through the volvero app one can rent from a vast variety of vehicles such as cars, campers, e-bikes and scooters and/or make their own vehicle available for rent. Thanks to the use of smart contracts, a unique insurance is activated for each rent and covers drivers and all types of vehicles during the entire sharing period. Moreover, the system keeps track of users’ driving style, vehicle performance and owner ratings, so that each user can decide from and to whom to rent their vehicle.
Having this access to transportation enhances people’s well-being by giving them freedom to move and more possibilities, thereby reducing social inequalities related to access to transport. At the same time, both private and commercial owners can significantly reduce their vehicles’ costs and therefore make ownership more feasible. Car rentals and dealers can switch from the outworn business model to a profitable modern one.
With volvero, fewer vehicles enter cities, as each individual vehicle is utilized more, raising the actual average use of the vehicles and favouring a faster turnover of older cars instead to newer, less-polluting vehicles. These factors entail a reduction in pollution and traffic jams, reducing the need for urban space for parking areas, and thus converting these spaces into more useful and productive facilities. The volvero service tries to respond to different needs, with a view to promote mobility of everyone and for everyone.
Citizen involvement in the creation of volvero is crucial, particularly when considering initiatives focused on inclusivity and community engagement. The process involves several key steps and was also implemented in Padua:
- Needs Assessment: volvero starts by conducting thorough surveys, focus groups, and town-hall meetings to understand the specific mobility needs and challenges of local communities. This information is gathered directly from the citizens.
- Co-Design Workshops: volvero hosts co-design workshops where citizens, local residents, and potential users can actively participate in shaping the service. Their input helps design the user interface, features, and policies to ensure they align with local requirements.
- Feedback Loops: Continuous feedback loops are established, allowing users to provide input on their experiences with the service. Their comments, suggestions, and concerns are invaluable for improvements.
- Local Community Integration: volvero collaborates with local influencers, community leaders, and institutions to build trust and raise awareness of the service. These local connections play a pivotal role in ensuring that volvero becomes an integrated part of the community.
- Public Demonstrations: volvero organizes public demonstrations and awareness campaigns to showcase the service, engaging citizens directly and allowing them to interact with the platform.
Citizens are not just end-users; they are active co-creators of volvero, contributing to its development and helping tailor the service to local needs. This inclusive approach aligns with the New European Bauhaus principles, ensuring the service is not only innovative but also socially and culturally relevant.
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