During his presentation at the MC2012 conference, Wolfgang Gruel from NBD at Daimler already indicated a major new offering that shall move Daimler into the nexat area of automotive transportation. Last week, this service was finally announced: MOOVEL
It shal provide a more comnpelling answer on teh question: Why is it necessary that privately owned cars are often used in a really inefficient way, by either standing around most of the time or being driven by only one person where four or more passengers could be transported.
One solution to this could be more car pooling. The idea is not new at all and i being offered in most (if not all) major cities over here in Germany. However, it is kind of revolutionary that a major car company like Daimler starts a project aiming at getting people to do what is, by traditional means, not in a car manufacturer's interest in the slightest: Buy less "useless" automobiles by using an improved, automated car pooling model.
Daimler, though, aware of their social and ecological responsibility, has just launched a platform that does exactly that: moovel.
The concept is really simple. Moovel is availible either as a (free) iPhone app or via their website. Users can easily offer unused seat capacity availible during a car ride they are going to take, at a certain time and from one destination to another.
Likewise, travelers in need of transportation can enter the time and places they want to go to and are instantly shown information about not only availible seats in privately offered car pool vehicles but also details on commercial rides by buy or tram offered by local companies.
The best about it (especailly if you are used to the often tiresome information-websites of railway companies) is its ease of use. You literally do not have to invest more effort than it takes to alter one short sentense to your needs, by specifying when and where you want to go. The software does the rest, and beutifully so.
Since this is a pilot project by Daimler, the service is in German language and limited to the city of Stuttgart, Germany, for now. If it proves to be successful, though, it might be adopted and coming to a place near you sooner than you think.
So if you understand any German at all, I really recommend taking a quick look, its a concept that will be really interesting to watch evolve. More about moovel on their website.