In heavily populated cities, there is often a problem with cars overcrowding and congesting the roads because the demand, usually, outweighs the supply. Many companies have presented their solutions for the dilemma, such as Uber, Lyft, and Tesla’s shared fleet idea. Now, a Danish startup, Spiri, seeks to provide their own twist on how to alleviate the strain in metropolitan areas.
The Denmark based company is looking to build upon and combine the ideas of car sharing networks, like car2go, and ride-sharing services, like UberPool, all into one business. Essentially what the Danish company would be offering is its own fleet of all-electric cars for the public to use in one of two ways:
- As a driver: driving is free as long as you were to pick up passengers going the same direction
- As a passenger: you would ride Spiri much like you would any other form of public transport with the added benefit of it being more convenient since it can potentially cover the last mile.
Spiri makes it sound like its service would give a driver access to a vehicle and charging for free as long as they spend a few extra minutes to drop off passengers that are already heading the same way. We’ll see how this part of their business model adapts once the implementation of their autonomous systems come into play.
Stefan Holm Nielsen, Spiri CEO and former Senior Development Engineer at Aston Martin, explains a little more about the intentions of the company:
“We consume too much energy on transport. Current electric vehicles are on the right path but they need to be lighter and shared between passengers. The Spiri vehicle consumes less than 50% energy compared to a normal car. Combined with our unique on-demand carpooling, the energy consumed per person is cut down dramatically. This lowers congestion, helps the environment, and makes travel incredibly affordable for passengers.”
While we do not know much about the car itself, there have been tidbits of information on what the finished vehicle will entail. Peter Carlsson, Board Member and former VP at Tesla, mentions that they’re trying to cut out unnecessary features that don’t add value to a commute, such as “no interior panels, no paint and only containing about 1/4 the parts of a traditional car.” Additionally, via Techcrunch, Mr. Carlsson stated in a press release that the vehicle will have “more legroom than a Mercedes S class limousine.” No other information about the battery size or technical details have been revealed.
A couple of sketches can be seen below:
The Spiri team is scheduled to showcase a small portion of the car at the TechBBQ conference on September 20th, 2016. Operations are expected to go live in 2017 with testing of autonomous systems later in the same year.