TFS Pilots Key-less Car-Sharing Technology | Auto Finance News

TFS Pilots Keyless Car-Sharing Technology Through Getaround Partnership

Car KeysToyota Financial Services launched a new mobility services platform that will partner with Getaround — and potentially other car-sharing service providers in the future — in order to help consumers safely and more efficiently rent out their vehicle in order to make lease payments, the company said in a press release.

The pilot program will begin January 2017 in San Francisco exclusively with the car-share company Getaround, before Toyota moves forward with other partners, the release said.

TFS intends to develop a new financial program in which the “lessee is able to use the income generated from car-sharing to pay for leasing charges,” the company stated. It added that the goal is to increase the number of vehicles in this fleet of car sharing and to attract new users to mobility services.

The captive announced a partnership with Uber back in May that allows lessees to use money generated from the rideshare service to pay monthly lease rates. However, that program requires the consumer to actively drive the vehicle for Uber. This GetAround partnership is different in that it allows the owner to generate money when they are not using the vehicle by renting it to others.

GetAround has been actively looking for a partner like TFS since April, and claims vehicle owners can generate an average of $500 per month towards a lease. There are also guaranteed monthly payment programs for certain areas that will ensure users are paid every month, but place a cap at around $200, depending on where you’re operating.

“Our goal at Getaround has always been to empower people to car-share everywhere,” said Sam Zaid, Getaround’s founder and chief executive. “Integrating our experience and purpose-built car-sharing technology with Toyota’s activities across mobility services opens up new opportunities to Toyota customers and the rapidly growing car-sharing market.”

The partnership specifically offers new technology from Toyota called a smart key box. The device attaches to any vehicle “without modification,” and allows the owner to lock the doors and start the engine remotely through a smartphone app, which the company said will provide a “safer and more secure way of lending and renting cars.”

By channeling all of this data and servicing through the company’s own mobility services platform, TFS said it hopes this will lay the groundwork for all of its future car share endeavors, no matter who they are partnering with.

“As a mobility service platform provider, by collaborating with various companies and services, we would like to help create a new mobility society in order to offer safer and more convenient mobility to our customers,” said Shigeki Tomoyama, president of Toyota’s in-house Connected Company.

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