The idea of a white bike, free for all to ride in the city of Amsterdam, dates from 1965. The white bike plan was an action by Provo, and it was meant as a provocation to the general public and the Dutch authorities. Robert Jasper Grootveld was the man behind this plan. He painted the first free bike white while announcing his plan in the center of Amsterdam. The police immediately confiscated the white bike as an illegal object.
Now cities all over the world are adopting free bicycle plans, much in the spirit of the white bicycle plans of Amsterdam, which have been tried multiple times. It took less than 50 years for the idea of Robert Jasper Grootveld to become mainstream and essentially conquer the world. Obviously Robert Jasper would see the whole idea that is currently implemented as a mockery of his original “free-for-all” white bike plan. Especially since in most current systems you need to have a credit card to enter the system.
The idea seems to expand quite easily into the electric car area, which can be rented, much in the same hassle-free way as the bikes.