DENSO’s MDrive car share study reveals promise for electric car sharing

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SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — Electric vehicle car sharing could be the future of transportation for some: today, DENSO International America, Inc., a global automotive supplier, announced the results of MDrive, the first study to focus on car sharing for people who live, work or frequent one location. In partnership with the University of Michigan-Dearborn and Detroit-based NextEnergy, an energy and technology accelerator, the study identified the potential impact electric vehicle car sharing could have on the future of mobility, personal transportation, and vehicle design.

The study involved 30 University of Michigan-Dearborn students living at The Union at Dearborn, who shared three Ford Focus Electric vehicles for a six-month period. The students used a custom app to reserve, access, share, and drive the vehicles anywhere within the continental United States, in exchange for their detailed feedback on the experience. Onboard diagnostics equipment gathered real-time data, while dashboard cameras captured video of the user experience. Students also provided feedback and suggestions for technologies most needed in future car share vehicles via short surveys and online forums. DENSO researchers then identified common benefits and challenges experienced by users to inform design of future car sharing technologies.

Thirty University of Michigan-Dearborn students shared three Ford Focus Electric vehicles for a six-month period.

“Our study reinforced the idea that Electric Vehicle Car Sharing is an increasingly viable personal transportation alternative, and groups who share common interests stand to benefit the most,” said Michael Bima, a lead engineer in the North American Research and Engineering Center at DENSO International America. “For car sharing to reach its full potential, manufacturers and car share service providers need to address the efficiency and convenience for the end user– drivers should be able to quickly and easily access the vehicle, adjust their settings, and be on their way. Vehicle range and charging become areas of focus when you add electric vehicles, as well.”

DENSO will present the study results at the Society of Automotive Engineers’ World Congress Experience 17. In addition to showcasing one of the study’s cars in DENSO’s booth (#3002), participants including Matt Felice – a new DENSO employee who drove to his interview using the shared vehicle – will be on-hand to discuss the experience.

“Mobility continues to change and reshape the automotive industry,” said Pat Bassett, vice president of engineering and research at DENSO International America. “While there’s a lot of excitement about new technology in the space, we recognize the importance of getting it right in addition to getting it done quickly. To DENSO, that means hiring the best engineers, and sharing knowledge with other leaders in the space. MDrive is exactly the type of research we need to bring us into a new era of mobility in a safe, smart way.”



More info about the DENSO Student Car Share Survey (Photo by Jason Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)

About DENSO in North America
DENSO is a leading global automotive supplier of advanced technology, systems and components in the areas of thermal, powertrain control, electronics and information and safety. With its North American headquarters located in Southfield, Michigan, DENSO employs more than 23,000 people at 30 consolidated companies and affiliates across the North American region. Of these, 28 are manufacturing facilities located in the United States, Canada and Mexico. In the United States alone, DENSO employs more than 15,000 people in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Iowa, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. DENSO’s North American consolidated sales totaled US$9.9 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016. For more information, go to Connect with DENSO on Facebook at

DENSO Worldwide
DENSO Corp., headquartered in Kariya, Aichi prefecture, Japan has more than 200 subsidiaries and affiliates in 38 countries and regions (including Japan) and employs more than 150,000 people worldwide. Consolidated global sales for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016, totaled US$40.2 billion. Last fiscal year, DENSO spent 8.8 percent of its global consolidated sales on research and development. DENSO common stock is traded on the Tokyo and Nagoya stock exchanges. For more information, go to, or visit our media website at

Source: DENSO Corporation

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