Mini is launching a new sharing app that will allow owners to grant friends, family members or colleagues permission to open and start their vehicle via a smartphone. The car sharing project is to be tested under everyday conditions in Madrid, Spain.
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 vehicle owner will be able 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.
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.
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 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 kilometre driven.
Insurance cover for each vehicle can be extended, 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 Sharing App – with the exception of instances where another passenger is traveling inside the vehicle.
BMW says that the trial in Madrid will provide important insights for the global expansion of the Mini brand’s sharing economy activities. The BMW Group has identified digital mobility services as one of the future fields to advance as part of its NUMBER ONE> NEXT strategy and it says that the increased commitment to the D-ACES (Design, Autonomous, Connected, Electrified and Services) topics shows it is playing a leading role in shaping mobility of the future.