Getaround brings car sharing service to Portland

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Getaround's technology allows car owners to rent out their idle car for cash.

Getaround's technology allows car owners to rent out their idle car for cash.

Peer-to-peer ride sharing service Getaround will announce Tuesday morning its official launch in Portland, funded in part by a $1.725 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration to study the impacts of car sharing.

In its first launch of the service outside of California, Getaround will begin in January in a partnership with Portland State University, offering its service to faculty, students and staff who will become eligible for preferred parking spaces on campus when they use Getaround to share their vehicles.

In February, the service will expand throughout the Portland area as part of a study in partnership with the city of Portland and the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium.

San Francisco-based Getaround offers peer-to-peer car sharing technology, providing a Web- and wireless-based platform to allow people to rent out their car directly to someone else when they’re not using it.

Jessica Scorpio, Getaround’s co-founder and director of marketing said the federally funded study that will take place in Portland will study how car sharing impacts driver behavior. It will also test the notion of pay-as-you drive car insurance, which Getaround offers through its partner Berkshire Hathaway.

Getaround is one of a small number of peer-to-peer car sharing services being tested in different areas of the country including Relay Rides, Spride Share and others. Like Airbnb, which allows people to rent out rooms to strangers and make some extra cash, the idea is that technology allows for more seamless sharing, pushing a concept that’s become known as collaborative consumption.

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