Unlike existing ride-share services, which pool vehicles among an entire population, Audi Unite provides a way for up to five people to share driving time for a single vehicle under a common lease.
Owners can coordinate their driving schedules and reserve the car via a smartphone app, which also provides a way to check the remaining fuel level. Audi takes care of the remaining details, including maintenance, insurance, a monthly car wash and winter tires, according to a profile in Fast Company.
The German automaker will help match owners or pairs of friends to help maximize cost sharing, which splits the payment each month based on how much time each driver spent behind the wheel.
The pilot program is initially limited to Stockholm, Sweden, a city chosen for the existing culture that is said to be open to sharing. Residents are also appreciative of luxury vehicles.
“They don’t want a dirty Mini that’s just been used by 50 people,” said Clemens Weisshaar, co-founder of a design firm, Kram/Weisshaar, that worked alongside Audi for the trial. “They also don’t want something with a sticker on the side that says ‘car sharing.’”
Audi estimates that four people sharing an A3 Sportback will pay an average of $277 U.S. per month. The Unite fleet also includes the A3 Sedan, A3 Cabriolet, S3 Sedan and S3 Sportback.
The program will expand to other Swedish cities before potentially reaching other countries.
Photo Credit: Audi