I was thrilled to see that peer-to-peer carsharing was called out as a major milestone on Tesla’s next 10-year roadmap in Elon Musk’s announcement last week of his “Master Plan, Part Deux”, (“enabling your car to make money for you when you aren’t using it”). This is extremely validating to us here at Turo, but it certainly isn’t novel.
Turo’s mission is to put the world’s one billion cars to better use. Cars are an incredibly valuable, yet incredibly underutilized asset that people own. At Turo, we obsess about enabling car owners to transform their cars from idle assets into earning engines. Tens of thousands of cars have already been shared on Turo and tens of millions of dollars have already been earned by car owners across the US and Canada.
We don’t need to wait for Tesla or other car manufacturers to perfect autonomous vehicles to reap the benefits of peer-to-peer carsharing. People are already sharing their cars and earning money with them now, on Turo (Turo actually has Teslas available for rent in every major city we’re in). Indeed, the average car owner renting out his or her car on Turo earned $599.93 a month in the first half of 2016. With this level of earning power, many are able to afford the cars they already own, while many others are able to “car up” and buy the car of their dreams.
With tens of thousands of cars shared on Turo, travelers from around the world have access to an incredible selection of cars and enjoy a unique, authentic experience renting a car from a local. And while Tesla is a personal favorite of mine (you can rent my Tesla X next time you’re in SF), the beauty of Turo is that car enthusiasts of all stripes can drive the car of their dreams, whatever that may be — from a sleek, black Aston Martin to a glistening, champagne-colored classic Corvette. At Turo, you can rent anything, from an A3 to a Z4!
I firmly believe that the power of an open marketplace — a marketplace unrestricted by car manufacturers or geography, and where everyone can participate — is what makes peer-to-peer carsharing work. People who work together, cooperatively, unfettered by a corporate monopoly, are what gives a marketplace its creativity, its energy, its verve.
Tesla’s plans to enable peer-to-peer carsharing with its autonomous vehicles is a meaningful step towards the future ubiquity of the sharing economy, and it’s a sign of exciting innovations to come. But why wait 10 years for part deux?