From Facebook to public Wi-Fi, we’re used to getting free stuff in exchange for being exposed to advertising. A car-sharing service called WaiveCar launched earlier this year with a fleet of Chevy Spark EVs and limited availability in Los Angeles and allows participants to drive for free for the first two hours, after which the cost is $5.99 per hour.
The service is subsidized by advertising via vehicle wraps and a roof-mounted digital display, highlighting t the unique “win-win”car-sharing arrangement. At AutomobilityLA this week, Hyundai announced a partnership with WaiveCar to provide the automaker’s new Ioniq all-electric vehicle in what both companies hope will be a win-win by expanding the service and exposing the new EV to car shoppers.
WaiveCar plans to add 150 of the Hyundai EVs throughout Los Angeles in the first half of 2017. “The way the system works is you can pick up the vehicle and drop it off anywhere within their service area,” Mark Dipko, director of corporate planning and strategy at Hyundai Motor America, told me at the automaker’s stand at AutomobilityLA. “You schedule pickup on the app, it unlocks the car when you get within 15 feet of it and then you can drop it off anywhere in that service area.
Hyundai said in a press release that “WaiveCar’s digital displays are 4G connected enabling dynamic, geotargeted advertising tailored to ones driving location and time of day. For example, while sitting in morning traffic on the 405 freeway, the ad could read, ‘This commute would be a lot more comfortable in a Hyundai Ioniq.’”
“Their business model gets revenue from the advertising so as someone is driving it they are getting exposure for the advertiser,” said Dipko. “It’s a very innovative solution.”
WaiveCar cofounder and CEO Isaac Deutsch said that the company “fits into the mix” of ride-sharing and car-sharing operations by providing a low-cost alternative. “People who use our service may take an Uber to pick up one of our cars because they need to pick up groceries and they don’t want to have an Uber for the next two hours,” he said. “So they’ll take an Uber or Lyft to one of our cars for two to three hours and pay $5.99 rather than $150.”
Originally posted by Forbes.com