Public transit users in the Danish city of Copenhagen are being treated to the next iteration of ride-sharing thanks to the city’s new partnership with German ride sharing company DriveNow.
Commuters will be able to use their existing public transit cards in order to rent one of the newly purchased fleet of 400 BMW i3 electric sedans.
The new program will give users access to 600 charging ports across the city, which will be powered with renewable energy. If that wasn’t enough, it will soon be possible to book a connecting mode of transportation within the car.
DriveNow’s app is easy to subscribe to, only requiring a photo of both the user’s driver’s license and themselves to be submitted as well as a one-time fee. The app displays the nearest available vehicles on its map feature, and users are able to leave the vehicle in any public parking space in the city. Future plans will integrate DriveNow with the nation’s regional public transport system app known as Reiseplanen.
The company estimates that a car will be within 330 yards of any location at a cost of $0.52 per minute of use.
DriveNow also provides service in London, San Francisco, and various cities in Germany, where the company was founded. Although San Francisco’s 70 vehicle fleet was off to a slow start, its popularity has reached a level that may soon merit doubling that number, according to DriveNow CEO Rich Steinberg.
DriveNow’s worldwide fleet of vehicles is over 2,400, so it is not yet in direct competition with Uber or other rideshare companies. The requirement to drive the vehicle is also a distinguishing factor, but it is easy to envision a combination of the two company’s business models once the technology arrives. Once driverless cars become commonplace, consumers will be able to open their DriveNow or Uber app and simply order a car to show up at their doorstep.