The latest service from smart is “ smart ready to share”, which makes private car sharing as simple, safe and uncomplicated as using car2go. With the aid of a smartphone, authorised users can open and drive away a friend’s smart in a matter of seconds. “smart ready to share” will be presented at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and will be launched in select German cities at the beginning of 2017.
In 2008 car2go was launched as the world’s first free-floating car sharing system, and it is enjoying success around the world. Today smart vehicles can be hired at affordable prices at any time of day in 29 different cities. From January the mobility pioneer smart will be making another bold move that ties in with the sharing economy megatrend: “smart ready to share” introduces the possibility of private car sharing. The service is targeted not only at young people but also at freelancers and small business owners who will be able to use the system to manage their fleets efficiently.
Car sharing is already transforming the way we see vehicles: “In today’s society, many people have begun to make the switch from an I-centric to a we-centric mindset,” emphasises smart boss Dr Annette Winkler. “The new culture of sharing is resource-friendly, ecological and sustainable – and has already made inroads into the car world. The private ‘smart ready to share’ car sharing service is designed to enhance the quality of life in cities. What we are launching here is nothing less than the Airbnb of the car sector.”& amp; amp; amp; lt; /p>
Three factors make “smart ready to share” unique:
- the security of a solution provided by the manufacturer
- complete control by the vehicle owner as the sole administrator and decision maker
- simple and cost-effective use
“smart ready to share” will initially launch as an optional extra alongside “smart ready to drop”, the biggest in-car parcel delivery trial ever to take place in Germany. From early 2017 participants in this beta test will be able to try out “smart ready to share” and lend their smart to friends, colleagues and relatives. “smart ready to drop” already has several hundred participants in Stuttgart and Cologne. Berlin and Bonn are set to launch this month.
“smart ready to share” is another project to emerge from the corporate strategy CASE. The acronym CASE represents the strategic future fields for Mercedes Benz Cars: “Connected”, “Autonomous”, “Shared & Service” and “Electric drive”.
Simple, safe and straightforward usage via an app
“smart ready to share” is smartphone-based and uses the vehicle’s Keyless Entry function. The connectivity box behind the windscreen communicates with the “smart ready to” app for which “smart ready to drop” participants have already registered.
In the next step the smart owner can enter the times when the vehicle will be available and invite friends and colleagues to use it. The friends and colleagues will be sent an email, allowing them to register and create an account. The people defined by the smart driver can then book the vehicle via the app and open it with their smartphone. The app acts as a digital vehicle log, making car sharing straightforward, transparent and safe for all users.
The smart owner can also activate a “Home zone”, specifying where the vehicle should be returned to.
As a final step, the owner must ensure that a vehicle key is left inside the smart so that the activated users can drive it. At the end of the trip the vehicle is locked via the app and the booking is ended. The vehicle is then released again for all other users.
During the beta test, smart is taking on the cost of any additional insurance required. When the service is launched to the wider public, it is planned that vehicle owners will have the opportunity to share not only the vehicle with other users but its costs, too. The “smart ready to” app will, in future, make calculating costs a simple and straightforward process.