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E. An Intelligent Car Sharing Program

Narrator: This is Science Today. An automated car-sharing system using electric powered vehicles for short trips is being used and tested by researchers at the University of California, Riverside. Electrical engineer Matt Barth says one of the issues they're looking into is keeping the IntelliShare Community Vehicle Project in balance.

Barth: That we don't have too many vehicles at one station and not enough at another. And these system management techniques we've developed does indeed keep our system in a well-distributed fashion where it continues to function properly throughout the day.

Narrator: Each vehicle has a small microcomputer on board that makes it easy to keep track of its whereabouts and system status.

Barth: Probably the reason it hasn't been so popular as of yet is it adds an extra burden to the user to try to use these types of systems. When there is an added amount of convenience with this technology, then people are going to be able to embrace that and use it much more often.

Narrator: For Science Today, Larissa Branin.