updated 06:50 am EDT, Thu March 24, 2011
DriveNow set to revolutionize car sharing
BMW has teamed with rental car company SIXT to develop a car sharing service that works in conjunction with a BMW-developed iPhone app. The scheme and app are both called DriveNow, and will come online in April. It will initially roll-out in Munich, then Berlin and will give drivers the opportunity to locate, book and hire BMW 1-series and MINI cars.
The service works by attaching a sticker embedded with a chip to the user's driver licence so that both the rental company and the user don't have to worry about losing car keys. Using the service website, or the iPhone app the driver can choose days and times when they will need the vehicle. When inside the car, which unlocks by swiping the driver licence past a sensor, the driver enters a PIN into a dash-mounted Dell Streak to get going.
A highlight of the service is that its users can leave their car share car anywhere within the city, with the added bonus of free parking. The fleet in Munich will be 300 vehicles, while Berlin will have a fleet 500 strong. The hope is that with fleets of the right size for each city, anyone wanting to use the service may not be much more than 500 meters from a nearby car. A MINI Cooper will cost the equivalent of only $21 per hour.
BMW adds that the DriveNow iPhone app will be followed by other apps for BMW users that are currently in development and set for release in the near future. [via Auto Express]