Car sharing is regarded by many as the next logical step in the evolution of how we use our mobility solutions. Sharing cars between a number of people definitely seems like a cost-effective solution but implementing it does come with certain hiccups. MINI is now joining the field, launching a trial peer-to-peer program in Spain. At first, it will be available only in the Madrid metropolitan area and it will allow customers to share their cars with family and friends.
With the new MINI Sharing app, MINI owners can grant friends, family members or colleagues permission to open and start their vehicle via a smartphone. As part of the pilot project in the Spanish capital, this personal form of car sharing is now 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.
“MINI drivers are always ahead of their time, just like their groundbreaking 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.” MINI Sharing allows the vehicle owner to share their MINI with up to ten people of their choosing, with the vehicle availability highlighted in the app’s inbuilt 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. Upon arrival at the vehicle, 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. 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 MINI owner via PayPal.
The cost calculation for the MINI Sharing App is based on a flat rate of €0.30 per kilometer driven. Insurance cover for each vehicle can be extended easily, with a lump sum for each additional guest driver participating in the MINI Sharing trial. For data protection reasons, the MINI owner can view the location of their vehicle at any time via the MINI Sharing App – with the exception of instances where another passenger is traveling inside the vehicle.