CES 2015: BMW’s new car-sharing service allow drivers to access their hired car with a credit card.
A credit card that opens car doors? No it’s not Dynamo’s new magic trick, but a new service offered by German car maker, BMW. Announced at CES 2015, the luxury brand has created a BMW Group Mastercard that can be used to unlock the doors of vehicles in its new DriveNow car-sharing service.
DriveNow, launched by BMW in collaboration with Sixt car rental, gives customers access to a fleet of BMW 1 Series and electric i3s, hirable by the minute from locations across seven cities, including Berlin, San Francisco and London.
Like the Zipcar membership card, the BMW credit card uses near field communication (NFC) technology to tell the car that the customer is permitted to access the vehicle. The user simply places the card against the windscreen and a reciever box instructs the doors to open.
The BMW credit card also allows users to pay for their rental.
The credit card is only available in Germany at present but BMW expect to offer it to the global market in coming months.
When asked if this technology would be available for private cars, Lorenz Rein, Head of Product Management Car Sharing, suggested there would be a good chance for this technology to be adapted for private cars, though emphasised the initial focus would be on fleet services.
BMW is slowly shifting away from being a conventional car manufacturer and towards offering a broader portfolio of ‘BMW Mobility Services’. Updates to its innovative navigation system not only give routing recommendations using all modes of travel, including public transport, they now also sync with your digital calendar to suggest suitable routes between appointments based on your behaviour and make sure you arrive on time.