The BMW Group has identified digital mobility services as one of its future areas of focus
Mini is trialling a car-sharing app that allows owners to grant friends, family members or colleagues permission to open and start their vehicle via a smartphone. It is part of a pilot project in the Spanish capital of Madrid and the service is being tested under everyday conditions.
The peer-to-peer sharing trial is designed for a fleet of up to 500 vehicles. Owners of current Mini models produced since March 2018 will be invited to participate, and their vehicle will be equipped or retrofitted with a Mini Sharing Module that enables access and engine start via smartphone.
The BMW Group has identified digital mobility services as one of its future areas of focus and the trial in Madrid will provide important insights for the global expansion of the Mini brand’s sharing economy activities as well as for other cities.
The vehicle owner can share their Mini with up to 10 people of their choosing, with the vehicle availability highlighted in the app’s in-built calendar function.
The guest drivers can use the app to make a reservation request from their smartphone with just a few taps. After the owner has granted their consent, the location of the vehicle and pedestrian directions are displayed on their phone.
The smartphone on which the Mini Sharing App is installed becomes the car key. A Bluetooth connection between the smartphone and the Mini makes it possible to open the vehicle doors and start the engine by pressing the start/stop toggle switch.
If desired, the Mini owner can mark specific individuals as VIP users in the Mini Sharing App. These individuals can book the vehicle spontaneously without having to wait for the owner’s consent. Insurance cover for each vehicle can be extended with a lump sum for each additional guest driver participating in the Mini Sharing trial.
After the guest driver completes their journey, the Mini will be parked in an area agreed with the owner and locked via smartphone. The Mini Sharing App generates a report with the travel data required for billing, and the guest driver is presented with the opportunity to transfer a payment to the owner via PayPal. The cost calculation for the Mini Sharing App is based on a flat rate of € 0.30 per kilometre driven.
"Mini drivers are always ahead of their time, just like their ground-breaking and modern vehicles," says Sebastian Mackensen, Mini senior vice president. "With Mini Sharing, we enable our customers in Spain to participate in the sharing economy. This new technology fits perfectly with our desirable cars and our innovative customer demographic. "
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