Database to co-ordinate car-shares

Scientists are developing technology to create an online database of motorists willing to car-share.

The database could be accessed on a mobile phone by drivers who want to share their cars to give people lifts to work or by people looking for a lift.

It is hoped the technology could be used to reduce congestion on the roads and cut carbon emissions.

By uploading their details on to the central database, car-sharers can advertise when and where they travel so that other workers can find their nearest car-sharer.

GPS technology would enable their cars to be tracked on a map over the internet to locate where the closest car-share driver was. They could then contact the driver and arrange to be picked up.

Scientists at the University of Nottingham are developing the technology and hope in the future it could even be possible to specify to have a lift with someone who listens to the radio or travels in silence.

Dr Sarah Sharples, one of the researchers behind the project in Nottingham, said: "One of the most important things is to recognise if there are concerns about safety or privacy for users, and how people can be accurately informed about the way their information is being used."

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