[THE INVESTOR] Hyundai Motor is expanding its car-sharing business to tap into the promising industry through a collaboration with Korean ride-sharing startup Luxi announced on Dec. 5.
Hyundai Motor invested some 5 billion won ($4.6 million) in Luxi this August and plans to work together to develop a carpooling algorithm and platform in search of new business opportunities. This project is being undertaken by the firm’s research and development program called Project Ioniq.
Hyundai Motor and Luxi launch a pilot carpooling program for commuters in Seoul and Gyeonggi Province. Hyundai Motor.
Two years into business, Luxi has 200,000 registered cars and 780,000 members. It has made some 4 million trips.
Other global automakers such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, GM and Volkswagen have already started car-sharing services, eyeing a stake in the growing industry.
According to global consulting firm McKinsey, the number of new vehicles purchased worldwide will decrease 4 million units every year, while vehicles used for carpooling are expected to rise by 2 million units in 2030.
Korea’s ridesharing market will grow to be worth some 500 billion won in 2020 from 600 million won in 2011, according to Samjong KPMG Economic Research Institute.
Carmakers also benefit from running the service by receiving immediate feedback from customers about new cars and technologies.
With Luxi, Hyundai Motor has launched a pilot carpooling program for 100 customers who lease an Ioniq hybrid, the company said.
The platform is designed to match users based on Blue Link installed in Ioniq, which analyzes a driver’s commute pattern.
Hyundai Motor entered the ride-sharing business in April 2016 with local car-sharing service company Green Car. It had offered Ioniq hybrid electric vehicles to customers for test drives free of charge.
Hyundai also supplied 100 units of the Ioniq EV to a car-sharing service in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in October this year.
The Korean carmaker said it would speed up development in future technology such as the driverless taxi RobotCab and self-driving delivery vehicles.
By Kim Bo-gyung/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org)