UC Riverside and Honda 'Plug In' with IntelliShare Program

6/1/1999 9:18:56 PM

More than 200 University of California, Riverside (UCR) student and faculty members of IntelliShare can now check out a vehicle nearly as easily as they can check out a book from the library.

IntelliShare is part of Honda's international Intelligent Community Vehicle System (ICVS) concept, and is a joint research project between the UCR's College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) and American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

"As a student I use the IntelliShare program almost every day for school and work, which saves me money and additional mileage on my personal car," said Laurie Castillo, a freshman psychology major at UC Riverside. "It's great because parking is such a hassle on campus, and by using the EV PLUS I have a reserved spot closer to school."

IntelliShare membership and vehicle use for up to one hour daily is free. A five-dollar charge is applied for each additional half-hour. Each IntelliShare member receives a smart card, which gives them access to an EV PLUS at one of three ports: University Village, the College of Engineering and at CE-CERT. After entering information about estimated trip time and distance into the computer kiosk located at each port, the system assigns a vehicle to the IntelliShare user. The smart card also unlocks the car and turns it on; the system is keyless. When not in use, the electric vehicles are charged at the port.

Before the IntelliShare demonstration began, computer simulations were developed and researched for several years in the U.S. and Japan. Now, in a real-world setting, the information collected from the IntelliShare program will allow researchers to further refine the car-sharing concept.

"Electric vehicles are well-suited for shared-vehicle systems that emphasize short range trips and provide many opportunities for recharging car batteries," said Matt Barth, director of the project and manager of transportation systems research at CE-CERT. "The computerized simulations have shown that IntelliShare can be viable. Now we need to see how people actually use the system."

Honda R&D is working closely with UCR to research the logistics, management and technology of car sharing. Honda's participation includes research assistance, funding, vehicle maintenance and insurance, in addition to providing 15 EV PLUS vehicles.

IntelliShare is the latest Honda ICVS project in the U.S. The first, in the San Francisco Bay Area, allows residents and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory workers to share the use of 12 natural gas-powered Civic GX sedans as part of CarLink, a research project by Honda, the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), California Department of Transportation and others. Honda also has an ICVS system that it is demonstrating at its Twin Ring Motegi motorsports complex in Tochigi, Japan. Users check out small electric cars and electric bicycles as needed to commute around the 1,600-acre facility.

Using a smart card, an IntelliShare member at the University of California, Riverside opens the door to one of 15 Honda EV PLUS electric vehicles in the car-sharing program.