For the first time, Mini is launching a new peer-to-peer car sharing service. Using a new Mini Sharing app, owners can grant friends, family members or colleagues permission to open and start their vehicle via their smartphone.
As part of a pilot project in the Spanish capital of Madrid, this personal form of car sharing is now being tested under everyday conditions. The sharing trial is designed for a fleet of up to 500 vehicles and owners of current models produced since March 2018 will be invited to participate. Their vehicle will subsequently be retrofitted with a Sharing Module that enables access and engine start via Bluetooth.
Sebastian Mackensen, senior vice president at Mini, said: “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 car with up to 10 people of their choice, 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 car makes it possible to open the vehicle doors and start the engine by pressing the start/stop toggle switch.Enquire Now on a new MINI
The owner can even mark specific individuals as VIP users in the app. This means individuals can book the vehicle spontaneously without having to wait for the owner's consent.
After the guest driver completes their journey, the Mini should be parked in an area agreed with the owner and locked via their smartphone. The app will then generate 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 app is based on a flat rate of €0.30 per kilometer driven.
In terms of cover, insurance 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 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.