SHARE NOW Revolutionizes Urban
Car-sharing with MongoDB Atlas and AWS

INDUSTRY

Travel-Transportation-Logistics

PRODUCT

MongoDB Atlas
MongoDB Atlas Charts

USE CASES

IoT
Single View

CUSTOMER SINCE

2015
INTRODUCTION

Disrupting the automotive industry with a new car rental strategy

Beyond property, cars are probably the most expensive purchase a person will make in their lifetime. Yet, they sit unused 95% of the time — especially in the city. When they are used, cars emit noxious fumes, require constant maintenance, and depreciate in value all too quickly. Factor in the costs of road tax, parking, and insurance and it becomes clear why more people are moving to car sharing as an affordable and sustainable approach to urban transport.

SHARE NOW, a car-sharing joint venture that resulted from the merger between car2go and DriveNow, is disrupting the industry with a new way of car rental in Europe. With more than 11,000 vehicles across eight countries, SHARE NOW makes it possible to drive in the city without breaking the bank – or the environment. SHARE NOW believes in sharing more and owning less to make cities more livable and with just one mobile app, it puts thousands of iconic and electric cars from BMW and Mercedes within easy reach.

With a growing fleet spread across those eight countries, SHARE NOW uses data and the Internet of Things (IoT) to carry out centralized management of its vehicles. Every car is equipped with a series of sensors that constantly exchange data with the core business platform in real time. It means SHARE NOW can better track, manage, and maintain its cars no matter where they are. Managing 11,000 vehicles across 16 different cities is, however, no easy task. The company needed to evolve its technology stack to keep pace as its services expanded.

A new era of car-sharing

THE CHALLENGE

IoT makes it possible — but also creates a massive volume and variety of data

Every single one of SHARE NOW’s vehicles acts as an IoT device on wheels. Every time a door is unlocked or an engine starts, these events are sent back to the core data platform to be constantly monitored. Key system information, such as battery or fuel levels, is also tracked. This lets SHARE NOW know the status and availability of every vehicle — and it also generates vast streams of data.

As the company grew, massive volumes and huge varieties of this IoT data were putting new demands on SHARE NOW’s entire technology stack, especially on its self-managed database environment.

“We were self-hosting instances on-premise but quickly realized we couldn’t manage on our own. The team could only stretch so far,” explained Stephan Kaufmann, Chapter Lead DevOps, SHARE NOW.

In its self-managed environment, SHARE NOW’s team of application developers were having to manually scale data models as new customer information, standards, and use cases came in. The team was also stretched with database administration tasks such as configuration, infrastructure provisioning, patches, scaling events, and backups. All of this manual database maintenance and scaling was slowing the team down and meant they were spending too much of their time managing infrastructure rather than developing app features.

The team also had ambitions to capture and store all of the IoT data in a more manageable single view environment. Yet creating a single view manually was also proving complicated and arduous. It too required hours of input — time the team didn’t have.

SHARE NOW required a fundamentally different approach that could cope with these constantly changing data sets and manage the back-end infrastructure.

“We needed new versatile, automated database environments that could handle all of our microservices and database clusters without breaking a sweat. This would help us efficiently and accurately process incoming data,” explained Kaufmann.

“Unlock with just the app”

THE SOLUTION

Approximately 200 microservices, each with its own database

With the challenges it faced, SHARE NOW evaluated the market for a managed database service with the versatility and functionality it required. After a rigorous process of trialling and testing, the team chose MongoDB Atlas - the global cloud database service - to run its non-relational workloads.

“We deployed MongoDB Atlas exclusively for our non-relational workloads as it had the most functionality and performed much better than any other database in that field. At SHARE NOW, each team has the mantra of build it, run it, own it, and with MongoDB Atlas, we could finally realise that vision in these workloads,” added Kaufmann.

"At SHARE NOW, each team has the mantra of build it, run it, own it, and with MongoDB Atlas, we could finally realise that vision in these workloads."

Stephan Kaufmann, Chapter Lead DevOps, SHARE NOW

As a fully managed service, MongoDB Atlas enforces best practices across each team, freeing them up to concentrate on their applications and customers, safe in the knowledge that their databases are always up, safe, and secure.

Today, SHARE NOW has more than 100 deployments and approximately 200 microservices, each with its own database, on MongoDB Atlas.

The microservices architecture helps break down SHARE NOW’s application into small autonomous services for better management. They are all decoupled along business domains and data boundaries and are each focused on specific app functions like geofencing or billing. It all allows the development team to evolve functions independently without being constrained by interdependencies.

Using MongoDB Atlas, SHARE NOW’s developers no longer need to worry about scaling, provisioning, writing, and configuring its 200 microservice document databases. Instead, the team can focus on building new application features and improving services much faster for its customers — wherever they may be on their travels.

Meanwhile, 11,000 vehicles continue to send a stream of highly complex data, consisting of millions of events (equivalent to 2TB) per day, back to the central IoT hub where it is all routed to the appropriate domain.

On top of its microservices environment, the SHARE NOW developer team has also been able to build its long-desired single view and create one holistic data snapshot. MongoDB’s flexible data model means developers can incorporate any type of data, no matter what it looks like or where it comes from. This means SHARE NOW’s single view can house all data types you’d expect (e.g., numbers, strings, binary data, arrays) without requiring the team to predefine a schema. It leaves each microservice to evolve as needed, without breaking the schema and disrupting the business.

By integrating millions upon millions of IoT data points on one platform, the team can now view, query, and analyze them all in real-time. It helps them improve and develop new services across its business and enables the platform to share booking and maintenance information with drivers in real-time. All of which helps SHARE NOW deliver an improved driving experience.

“Deploying MongoDB Atlas was a seamless and pain-free project for us. Now we have a scalable, reliable database platform for our non-relational workloads that simply gets on with the business without any of us needing to manage it,” added Kaufmann.

"Deploying MongoDB Atlas was a seamless and pain-free project for us."

Stephan Kaufmann, Chapter Lead DevOps, SHARE NOW

“The integrity and high availability of data is vital for us. Our customers need to access our vehicles 24/7. Imagine not being able to get into a car you have booked at 3am in the pouring rain. We can’t let that happen and MongoDB Atlas ensures that it doesn’t.”

"Our customers need to access our vehicles 24/7. Imagine not being able to get into a car you have booked at 3am in the pouring rain. We can’t let that happen and MongoDB Atlas ensures that it doesn’t."

Stephan Kaufmann, Chapter Lead DevOps, SHARE NOW

“The integrity and high availability of data is vital for us”

THE RESULTS

Staying at the forefront of the shared vehicle market — with a solution that delivers industry-best ROI

“MongoDB Atlas helps us innovate through integrating our data sets and back-end management while delivering better ROI than any other solution on the market,” said Kaufmann. “And, because it’s a managed service on AWS, we don’t need to develop the core competencies in-house to maintain it, freeing us to focus on strategically advancing the business for our customers.”

SHARE NOW is also using other tools within the MongoDB data platform, including MongoDB Charts to create visual representations to help map trends and drive insights all in real-time. As the company continues to evolve, it expects MongoDB to continue playing a vital role at the heart of its IT environment.

“We are at the forefront of the shared vehicle market and rely on technology to deliver a seamless, enjoyable customer experience. Moving from on-premise to cloud-based managed services with MongoDB enables us to maintain that leadership,” added Kaufmann.

Kaufmann concluded, “MongoDB Atlas simply gets on with the job, allowing us to focus on growing the company and enabling our customers. As part of that growth, we are always expanding the business and are actively looking for the best talent to join our teams; having MongoDB onboard makes that a very attractive proposition for developers.”

For more information on the opportunities at SHARE NOW, visit its careers page here.

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