Toyota Financial Services backs car sharing technology

By Wright Communications

Toyota Financial Services Managing Director, Brent Knight, says the investment in Wellington-based Mindkin is a small part of a worldwide mobility evolution.

"Globally, rapid urbanisation, pollution and congestion have prompted a wave of innovation in transport and new mobility services," he says.

"Space on roads and in carparks is becoming scarce and expensive, and current inefficient transport options carry high costs."

Mr Knight says car sharing is one of a number of new mobility services being pursued around the world to allow for more convenient, efficient and flexible travel. Others include ride hailing, ride sharing, carpooling, car rental and shared autonomous vehicles.

Mindkin's core technology product, Hourfleet, allows more efficient sharing of pool cars with a simplified booking service and vehicle access.

The Mindkin platform gives users of the service the ability to unlock and start vehicles simply using their mobile phones.  User's access to vehicles will be determined based on the vehicle they have booked, and their booking time.  It's expected this functionality will make the process of lending, renting cars safer, more secure and more convenient.

Mr Knight says these types of innovative mobility services could reduce car ownership for people who do not use a private vehicle as their main mode of transport.

"By partnering with existing businesses innovating in the mobility space, like Mindkin, we are able to start market testing earlier, while combining knowledge and experience in the automotive space. It also allows for Toyota to be in a position to respond to changing trends and customer expectations."

Opportunities stemming from the rise of new mobility services include partnerships with new mobility and technology firms, investments in mobility start-ups, research and development on mobility solutions, fleet sales to mobility providers and new vehicle financing models.

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