SAE International has published its first shared, globally-developed mobility standard. J3163TM, “Taxonomy and Definitions for Terms Related to Shared Mobility and Enabling Technologies,” issued by the Shared and Digital Mobility Committee in September, addresses the lack of standardized terms and definitions of shared mobility services.

The lack of consensus on shared mobility terms and definitions often created ambiguity and confusion for policymakers, regulatory agencies, and the broader public. J3163TM brings together a taxonomy and definitions for this rapidly evolving area. The standard includes definitions for shared modes (e.g., carsharing, bikesharing, ridesourcing, etc.) and enabling technologies.

“A common set of definitions, which crosses business models and international boundaries, is needed,” said document co-sponsor Susan Shaheen, PhD, Co-Director, Transportation Sustainability Research Center and Adjunct Professor, UC Berkeley.

“Taxonomy and Definitions for Terms Related to Shared Mobility and Enabling Technologies” organizes taxonomy into six categories:

  • Travel modes (e.g. carsharing and bikesharing)
  • Mobility applications (e.g. mobility tracker apps)
  • Service models (e.g. peer-to-peer service model)
  • Operational models (e.g. station-based roundtrip)
  • Business models (e.g. business-to-business roundtrip)
  • Deprecated terms (e.g. ridesharing)

Responding to the immediate need for common definitions, this standard was developed in only ten months. From the members of the Shared and Digital Mobility Committee, an Expert Panel, consisting of a dozen global experts who represented different aspects of the shared mobility industry, was formed. That panel moved quickly to deliver the final draft of the standard to the full committee.

“As shared mobility continues to gain momentum and increase popularity, we need to be prepared for addressing common issues resulting from the growth of this new mobility segment,” said Jack Pokrzywa, Director of Ground Vehicle Standards at SAE. “We’re delighted to be leading this new standardization initiative, as shared mobility is an integral part of what we do.”

SAE J3163TM can be downloaded for free at content/j3163_201809/. For more information on SAE International’s Shared and Digital Mobility efforts, please visit

Other articles in this issue include:

  • New US DOT Publication Recognizes SAE’s Automation Standards
  • SAE Battery Technology Workshop Focuses on Electrification
  • SAE, ISO Technical Committee to Liaison on ITS
  • USDOT’s Federal Highway Administration Awards SAE International Contract to Develop Connected Vehicle and Automated Driving System Standard


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