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Witkar: Amsterdam's self-drive hire city car

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A small electrically powered city car has been developed for self-drive hire in the centre of Amsterdam; 35 of these cars are now available to hire from 5 stations in the city centre. The. system has been designed for fully automatic control, including direct debit of hirers' accounts at the Amsterdam Savings Bank. The system, which was conceived in 1969 by an industrial designer and former city councillor to reduce traffic in central Amsterdam, failed to win the support of the City Council and has since been developed by a specially formed co-operative society. The co-operative managed to raise loans of US$ 250,000 for the first phase which has now been completed. This included the design and construction of the vehicles, the purchase of a mini-computer for the central control system, development of the control software and construction of the first five stations. A further 10 stations are scheduled for operation by the end of 1976, by which time the fleet should be extended to 100 vehicles. The ultimate target is 150 stations and 1000 vehicles.

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Bendixson, T., Richards, M.G. Witkar: Amsterdam's self-drive hire city car. Transportation 5, 63–72 (1976).

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