It’s widely known that a MINI offers drivers a go-kart feel, transforming even the most mundane journey into something much more fun. For the first time, MINI is launching a new service to enable MINI owners to share this unmistakable experience with friends, acquaintances and family. With the new MINI Sharing app, MINI owners can grant friends, family members or colleagues permission to open and start their vehicle via a 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 trial in Madrid will provide important insights for the global expansion of the MINI brand’s sharing-economy activities.
The peer-to-peer sharing trial is designed for a fleet of up to 500 cars. 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.
MINI Sharing allows the vehicle owner to share their MINI with up to 10 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 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 MINI makes it possible to open the vehicle doors and start the engine by pressing the start/stop toggle switch.
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 his/her journey, the MINI will be parked in an area agreed with the owner and locked via smartphone. The MINI Sharing 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 easily, 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 MINI Sharing App, with the exception of instances where another passenger is travelling inside the vehicle.
MINI Sharing creates new opportunities to share the MINI experience with friends and family. Once again, MINI is taking on a pioneering and innovative role in further advancing urban mobility. Based on the trial information gathered from the MINI Sharing Community in Madrid, this innovation could go on to be applied to additional cities worldwide.