Hyundai Motor decided to invest in an Australian car sharing start-up. Hyundai will boost the convenience of sharing vehicles a great deal by investing in and developing technologies that can open and close car doors with mobile phones only.
Hyundai announced on July 4 that the carmaker would make strategic investment in Australia's Car Next Door and roll out a new-concept mobility service based on advanced information and communication technology (ICT) as early as 2020.
Car Next Door which began its car sharing business in Australia in 2013 launched a peer-to-peer (P2P) business model that allows individuals to rent cars to individuals on an hourly basis. Currently operating in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Newcastle and other major cities in Australia, the service has 62,000 members and records an average of 8,000 rental cases per month.
With this investment as momentum, Hyundai will move ahead with the car sharing business that utilizes Car Next Door and advanced internet of things (IoT) technology. To this end, Hyundai decided to develop Hyundai AutoLink Application that connects Car Next Door to customers’ cars and smartphones. So the application will load into new Hyundai cars in Australia and enable users to open the doors and start the cars via phone connectivity.
"This technology will create a convenient P2P vehicle sharing environment where car owners do not need to deliver their car keys to car renters," a Hyundai official said.
In the meantime, Hyundai Motor is preemptively responding to changes in a future market environment by presenting various mobility services such as car hailing, car sharing, and carpool in major global markets. The carmaker has already supplied hydrogen electric vehicles to Korean and German car sharing companies. In October of last year, Hyundai Motor launched a car sharing service in Amsterdam, the Netherlands with the Ioniq EV. In January of this year, the company invested in Grab, the largest car hauling company in Southeast Asia and is seeking strategic cooperation.