We’ve had advertising supported free Internet access, ad-supported access to news websites and ad-supported free mobile games. That drive is about to get a whole lot more urban.
In a tie-up with WaiveCar, those in an active community can book a new Hyundai IONIQ electric car via their smartphone, or share a ride with others. For now they’ll need to go pick up the car, but there’s no reason why self-driving cars can’t come and pick them up in future. There’s no charge for the first two hours, the car has a taxi-style billboard on the roof that provides appropriate advertising as the passengers drive to their destination.
Ride for Free
Hitting Los Angeles first, the scheme will slowly roll out around the major metropolises of the States over next year. The deal is basically giving people the chance to test drive the new Hyundai IONIQ smart electric car. After two hours the scheme charges $5.99 an hour, which beats most taxis and rental firms.
The IONIQ is available to buy as a petrol, plug-in hybrid or electric model, with a 125 mile range in electric mode between charges. It can charge just as quickly as a smartphone, according to the company and has plenty of connected features.
WaiveCar uses an iOS or Android app to attract customers who can get the benefit of low-cost, eco-friendly trips without the need for their own vehicle. The companies plan to drop around 150 IONIQ models around LA for launch. Smart monitoring will keep an eye on the vehicles, and hopefully, most users will respect the cars and not abuse or soil them.
It is an interesting concept and one that could work as long as there are companies willing to lend fleets of cars to the operating companies. Otherwise, we suspect it would take some very expensive advertising to cover the fleet and operating costs.
YouTube: Purified Hybrid — IONIQ Design Film | Hyundai IONIQ
Photo credit: Hyundai Motor America
Source: Hyundai Motor America (press release)
I’ve been writing about technology. PCs and mobile for over 10 years, covering news, tutorials, reviews, comparisons and other pieces across magazines and websites.