What's the Latest Development?

If you have a car, you could be earning money while you are not driving it. That is the idea behind a string of new start ups encouraging vehicle owners to share their cars in return for cash. In general, the owner receives two-thirds of the rental proceeds. "RelayRides says an owner of a midsize, late-model sedan who rents out a car for 10 hours a week could expect to clear about $3,000 a year." Currently, peer-to-peer car sharing is most widely available in San Francisco. Legal questions over insurance claims have slowed broader adoption. 

What's the Big Idea?

There was a time when registered drivers outnumbered registered vehicles. As environmental and financial resources become scarcer, we may be returning to that age, says Randall Stross, professor of business at San Jose State University. "Car sharing is just one form of 'collaborative consumption,' the clunky catchphrase that...is commonly used to suggest an ideological or moral imperative to share more things." Projects encouraging drivers to share their cars are further evidence of social networking's ability to improve resource efficiency.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com