HYUNDAI Motor Company Australia (HMCA) has announced its investment in and collaboration with Australian peer-to-peer car-sharing company Car Next Door, which will see privately-owned Hyundai vehicles rented out when they are not being used.
Set to launch by the end of next year, this service will be delivered through new versions of Hyundai’s AutoLink in-car unit and smartphone application that are currently under development, which will allow owners to list their vehicles for rent by the hour or day to vetted Car Next Door users.
According to Car Next Door, on average, a mid-size car listed for rent earns just over $3000 a year for owners, while vans make more than $7500 during the same period.
Users will be able to access Hyundai vehicles via the Car Next Door smartphone application, eliminating the need for a traditional key fob, which can continue to be carried by owners.
The existing iteration of AutoLink is currently only available on the small i30 car and Kona SUV, but it will soon be offered in the Santa Fe large SUV and Ioniq electric vehicle, too.
Aside from its incoming capabilities, AutoLink allows i30 and Kona owners to connect to their vehicles via Bluetooth and receive relevant information while providing guidance on how to drive more efficiently.
HMCA chief operating officer Scott Grant explained that Hyundai owners who take advantage of Car Next Door’s service stand to reap the financial rewards.
“By the end of 2019, Australians will be able to buy a Hyundai car with the built-in ability to seamlessly and easily rent it out and earn extra money,” he said.
“This capability will be pre-installed and integrated into a new version of Hyundai’s Auto Link unit, making it a simple matter to earn extra funds via Car Next Door’s innovative car-sharing platform.
“We think it will be a great extra option for Hyundai owners, and we are proud to partner with Car Next Door in this fantastic innovation.”
Car Next Door co-founder and chief executive officer Will Davies echoed this sentiment, citing that participating in car-sharing will enable owners to use their additional income to help pay their bills.
“Fuel prices, economic pressures and rapid changes in vehicle technology are all supporting the development of connected cars and the sharing economy,” he said.
“So, you can have a car when you need one, but when you’re not using it, the vehicle is out there making you money. Owners can then factor this income into their regular repayments.”
Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor Group has entered a strategic partnership with Israeli automotive technology company Autotalks, which aims to accelerate the development of Vehicle to Everything (V2X) communication chipsets for the next generation of connected vehicles.
V2X communication chipsets are viewed by Hyundai Motor Group as vital to autonomous driving, particularly safety-wise, and can lead to the exploration of new business opportunities within smart city infrastructure, such as what Car Next Door has begun to do.
By Justin Hilliard