Mercedes-Benz is reported to be working on what’s called an “Airbnb for cars”, a scheme that will enable owners of vehicles not in use to rent them to others.
Autocrat reports that Mercedes and Smart owners can sign up to a car sharing scheme online in which they enter dates when their car is not in use, for example when they’re on holiday, allowing other users to book time to use the car.
“Your car will be equipped with a box that connects it to an online platform,” it quotes Dr Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, addressing an audience at the Paris Motor Show. “Then you create your car’s [online] platform. It’s like Airbnb for cars. You enter your free dates and give thousands of members the ability to rent, unlock and drive your car, all with their smartphone.”
The report says the idea is currently being trialled in San Francisco in collaboration with start-up firm Getaround. Mercedes is also developing its own programme in Germany that will launch later this year.
It adds that the venture is part of a new strategy at Mercedes that is looking to the future of electric mobility. The company has created a new subdivision called CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electric), which focuses on combining future technologies including connectivity, autonomous driving, car sharing and electrification.