Car2Go EcoScore Sucks.

So, yeah. I’ve tried and I am using Car2Go. I’ve tried to resist the tentation of dropping my expensive month-to-month car rental at entreprise but I’ve failed. I got approved by Car2Go with some extra steps as I am a foreigner and I’ve got started. The first thing I’ve done is send a text to my strong eco-activist friend to piss him off. Disclaimer: I am strongly for the destruction of the environment, so it’s kind of ironical, that I am the one who get a Car2Go.

Obviously, a service like Car2Go which is really green oriented cannot come without some green bullshit nonsense. This time, the bullshit nonsense has a name, EcoScore. Basically, EcoScore monitor you driving style to give you an environment rating. You loose points when you are accelerating or breaking too strongly. You gain points when you do this softly. You have 3 beautiful trees (accelerating, cruising and braking) who get sad when you are driving normally (unless you are shadowing a snail). You are noting the eco-mentality non-sense, a tree should be happier when you are producing more CO2. But, Okay, that’s allright, we don’t ask them for any scientific accuracy.

I first encounter Car2Go EcoScore when I was driving very poorly. Yeah, I confess, I wasn’t really considering neither the environment nor the Car2Go golf carts. And I got this:

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I was scared. Shit, I screw up so much that the aliens spot me? I documented myself online and learn about the EcoScore system.  No one (Yeah…!) has ever posted this red warning stating that their Car2Go membership may be cancelled because of the Car2Go EcoScore. The more close warning I’ve found is a yellow vegan pussy one:

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So I’ve learned what’s the EcoScore is and what are the 3 tree real-time scores. After this event, I was caught into the game. Trying to reach the best score possible ever. I am a game addict and trying to score 100 for cruise, break and accelerating was kind of fun. Since then, each time I take a Car2Go, I display it in full screen the score board and watch the changes while I was driving.

Here what I found out. This system is bullshit. I’ve made an almost perfect score and to archive this, I had to drive really, but really poorly. Burning lights to not have to break. Accelerate very slowly. I think several people on their bikes were able to pass me, they seem not to care about their own EcoScore. It was not perfect drive because I slow down to fast when I’ve spotted a child walking on the side walk. Damn me, I should have know better that the environment cause is far more important than a life of child. With the butterfly effect maybe this single brake will trigger the new ice age. I am deeply sorry if this is the case.

Technically, the system is more than inaccurate  Braking when you go up a hill will gave you a perfect score in only one single break. But breaking while you are going down a hill will destroy your score. Basically, saving the whales consist on accelerating when you are going down an hill and breaking when you are going up. Progress. Moreover, and I think it’s the biggest flaw, it doesn’t take account of the importance of the trip. I think we need another parameter with this, maybe by prompting the user for the reason of the trip. We can rank then with something like: Going to the Hospital > Going to see your Mum > Going for Groceries > Going to Work > Going to Party > Driving around purposeless… A perfect trip will be then to go the hospital while driving very slowly, avoiding lights and with a hill built near the arrival to slow down.  I guess I will submit this idea to Car2Go. Seriously (They might be serious with this idea though!) and eventually, whereas spending money, engineering and marketing tricks to find better ways to spy on their customers, they should spend a little of this money to improve their mobile app. Seriously, it’s shitty.

Here a trip where I’ve saved 3 trees, 5 birds and 2 squirrels. I am good person.

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Ironically, I am okay with a private company spying my driving and making business decisions based on that. Ie. if they decide to cancel my membership because they think I am driving poorly whatever metrics they want to use, it’s their call. What piss me off is that they try to make you believe that this system is for saving the environment or something, They are not saying we are spying on your driving style but they are saying “We try to give you advices to adjust your eco-driving style.” Thanks mama. It will be also okay if it was a real private company, but it’s not. In Austin, Car2Go has private parking spots, free street parking and subsidiaries from the city. They got all of that because of the hypocrite eco-friendly attitude they display.

Now, like Cartman would sang: “I don’t give a crap ‘about ****** Whales, So Go and Hug a Tree.”

Needs vs Usefulness

I’ve just finished Atlas Shrugged from Ayn Rand, great book by the way. This reading leds me to think a lot about needs. From Ayn Rand works, she despises the link made between needs and the obligation of the state to try to give satisfaction to them. She despises the fact that you will bring productions of other men at an end of a gun, the looters behind the gun defining who is the state. I think we can go further into her thoughts and challenging the mere use of the word “needs” to analyze human behavior.

We use the word need plenty of times when we try to have an insight about how human works, thinks, acts, lives and loves. Of course, we can think about communism, which try and fail to address everyone’s needs in an attempt to guess what every people want. But, we use the word “need” also in more capitalism ends, notably in marketing services. The customer needs whether it’s a company or a person is then the basis of how marketing staff thinks. The last but not the least, we use needs in sociology to analyze how one man or woman interact with other men and women. Thus, it have been identified that each one of us has a fair amount of physiological needs, safety needs, stability needs but also fun needs, spiritual needs, social needs, emotional needs, and even love needs.

I think this way to analyze human behavior simply doesn’t work and doesn’t make sense. When you go out to eat a burger, you don’t say: “hum.. I feel hungry, maybe it means that I have to fulfill my food needs. I ought to buy a sandwich and eat it.” No, you directly go eat it without even thinking it is one of your say-so physiological needs. When you feel unsafe, you buy a gun. You are not fulfilling a safety need, you are just trying to do your best to stay alive! When you fall in love, you don’t even think about that it can be a need, you just feel it, Moreover, the absence of it doesn’t mean you now want to seek it. The human analysis by his needs is a way that makes companies loose their money and politicians keep their jobs. As a matter of fact, it may be obvious that something that is good for politicians cannot be profitable!

Men act towards what is the most useful for their own survival and for their self-happiness. When we feel hungry, we don’t buy a burger to own it, we buy it because we know how we can make it useful for us, how we can eat it and how this help to not suffer for starvation and death. We don’t want things because of our needs. We want things because of their usefulness. Our mind tell us that this hammer must be bought giving that it can be useful to make this nails right, not giving that it will fill a part of our do-it-yourself needs. When you buy a gun, you know well that by itself, it will not raise your level of safety, but you know also well in case of someone trying to break into your house, it can be very useful to make him runaway.

We value things according to the usefulness we find on them, either for our very own survival or for our seek of happiness. The reason why something material can be worthless for someone and invaluable for another one is that our mind differs in what we have learnt and so what we think will be useful. Oil was more than worthless a few centuries ago because it was simply useless. Human minds managed to build useful machinery to take advantage of the oil nature and now oil is valued more than gold. It is valued more than gold because it has become a lot more useful thanks to a series of complex inventions. We feel love as a good thing because it is pure happiness. No needs for our mind to make an extra step to judge its usefulness for our self-happiness, indeed, It’s already it.

Companies also must not think about what clients need or want but what’s the most useful for them. To get it straight, when clients express theirs desires, it must be taken of course in account because the odds are high that this IS what is useful. But, as a company, we must challenge ourselves to find for them new ways that no one has dreamt of. It’s not by studying market needs, that Steve Jobs invented the Mac and the whole personal IT market, but by guessing, what will be useful for other people and, by convincing them that it will be. The study of needs is useless and drive us to collectivism, bad ideas and a lost of money, therefore, we must avoid it and focus on what really matters, determining what will be the most useful thing we can create and how we can efficiently bring it to the customer.

As human beings, we have to seek what’s, material or not, the most useful things we can find to leverage our existence by, first of all, keeping it and after that, by driving towards happiness. And, we have to remember, that every man and woman, consciously or not, has the same behavior, they follow what’s they think is the most useful for their own survival and for their self-happiness.