PLANO, TX (Nov. 13, 2018) – Carma Technology Corporation and Toyota Motors North America are successfully concluding a pilot demonstration of traffic-busting technology that provided shared transportation services for team members at Toyota’s North American headquarters in Plano. The pilot focuses on measuring and growing car occupancy rates, thereby reducing impact on local traffic congestion, air pollution and parking demand.
As featured in OmniAir's most recent newsletter, Carma Technology Corporation and Toyota Motors North America launched Carma Share, an innovative high-occupancy mobility service for team members at its headquarters in Plano, Texas. The program aims to fight road congestion and reduce carbon emissions.
Team members at Toyota Motors North America are the first in the world to benefit from an integrated campus transportation solution that makes available a fleet of premium hybrid cars for shared commute and private use. Provided by Carma, the technology includes a smartphone app that issues automatic driver approval, instant bookings and Bluetooth-enabled vehicle access.
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At Carma, we believe in rewarding high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) travel. Increasing the number of people in a car is the most effective way to fight traffic congestion, local air pollution and climate change. All over the world, government agencies are experimenting in rewards for high-occupancy vehicles, including dedicated HOV lanes, HOV toll discounts, preferential parking access and road user charging.
However, until now with Carma's VeriRide technology, verifying vehicle occupancy has been impossible. Most agencies deploy roadside law-enforcement for periodic spot checks, but it's not easy to count people in a car that's moving quickly in traffic, in varying weather conditions. It's also dangerous for the police officers, and degrades traffic flow. Other agencies use automated digital imaging systems for peering inside cars - but these fail for the same reasons.
Carma's patented system, VeriRide, takes a different approach. Our smartphone app automatically verifies your occupancy in a vehicle. It does this by using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) communications to detect its proximity to a small in-car device - a Car Beacon - that simply transmits a Bluetooth identifier. In this way, vehicle occupancy is reported to the agency and you qualify for preferential HOV treatment.
One of the great features of the VeriRide solution is that it requires no user interaction at all. You can keep the phone in your pocket and the app will automatically verify your occupancy. Our product design process focuses on completely remove all barriers to someone adopting behavior change. This is one of the reasons why Carma's VeriRide solution is ideal for government agencies wishing to verify vehicle occupancy for enabling toll discounts. As you drive through a toll gantry, agencies can simply query for the number of people in your car and apply a reduced rate for carpools.
In this way, Carma is building the future of personal mobility - connected, hassle-free and rewarding.
Emmett Murphy is Chief Product Officer at Carma.
Your daily commute is probably automatic behavior. Subconsciously, you've probably worked out the very latest moment you can leave to arrive on time and you have a routine for how you get there. Unfortunately, for most people, that automatic behavior involves commuting in a single-occupancy vehicle.
At Carma, we know that our transportation products will only inspire behavior change if they're completely hassle-free to use. Our product design process is deeply rooted in BJ Fogg's theory that behavior change requires 3 fundamental elements to converge: motivation, ability and triggers.
Even if someone is highly motivated to share a vehicle (e.g. to save time in a carpool lane) and even if they are triggered every morning (e.g. watching cars fly past in the carpool lane), they still need a very simple way to adopt the new behavior. For this reason, our product teams continuously strive to reduce the number of taps required to use our products.
A great example of this is our newest Carma Share feature, enabling team members at Toyota's North American headquarters to book a commute vehicle for private carshare trips during the day with a single tap. Unlike other carshare products that typically include taps for car selection, time selection, insurance waivers, etc, our users can book a car with a single tap.
Even better - Carma Share users can also access the vehicle with just a single tap of an Unlock button in the app. The car is unlocked (or locked) using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology. This means that a new user can sign up, get approved to drive, book and access a car all within a few minutes. These same cars can be booked for shared high-occupancy commute trips each morning and evening, removing all ability barriers to adopting real, impactful behavior change.
Emmett Murphy is Chief Product Officer at Carma.