Over the last year or so, we’ve seen no end of manufacturers announcing their plans to create fleets of autonomous/electric cars that can be easily car shared. In a bid to become one of the first to actually create a fleet like this, SEAT has now started a car sharing pilot project.
Whilst the SEAT eMii prototypes that make up the fleet may not be autonomous, they are all-electric and aim to offer more than 1,000 employees at the SEAT Metropolis:Lab Barcelona the chance to easily car share with zero emissions and no need for a physical key, thanks to a new SEAT phone app.
The app allows individuals to easily reserve a car for a certain day and time with little more than a single click. The simple and intuitive system then generates a special digital key that is sent to the individual; this key can be used to unlock the car with one click. It’s a very elegant system that allows all of the testers within the facility at Pier 01 Barcelona Tech City to access the cars whenever needed.
The all-electric SEAT eMii prototypes are capable of covering 160km on a full charge; making them perfect for a car sharing scheme such as this. Taking just 8 hours to charge at a slow charging point and 35 minutes at a fast charge point, one of the key benefits of SEAT’s car sharing service is that they’re always on charge when they’re not in use.
This innovative new scheme from SEAT comes shortly after expert estimations that over 36 million people will be using car sharing services by 2025. These studies show that a sudden uptake in ride-sharing companies - such as ‘car2go’ - have seen cars being hired every 1.4 seconds across the world’s cities.
With this number only set to increase as more-and-more car sharing and subscription services appear over the next few years, it certainly looks as if SEAT may now be leading the pack when it comes to manufacturer led initiatives. What do you think of car sharing schemes such as this one? Would you find them useful? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin.