You might remember the article that we wrote a month ago about the Danish startup, Spiri, that is looking to offer a new twist on carpooling services. Combining the ideas of car sharing networks, like car2go, and ride-sharing services, like UberPool, all into one business, Spiri will aim to be the first company to provide its own fleet of electric vehicles for passengers to drive for free in exchange for picking up riders going the same direction who will then pay a small fee similar to other forms of public transport except with the added benefit of driving you all the way to your end destination.

Yesterday at the Tech BBQ conference in Denmark, Spiri unveiled details on their “revolutionary carpooling idea that will, hopefully, begin operations in 2017. As their headline on the webpage, they state, “Introducing Spiri v0.1. Prototype today, your go-to urban vehicle tomorrow.”

As a reminder, Spiri will be offering two ways for the public to utilize their “urban vehicles:”

  • 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.

A summary of the newly released details along with a couple of photos are below:

  • 700 car parts as opposed to the 3000+ in a conventional vehicle
  • 750 kgs (~1650 lbs)
  • Entire carbon fiber bodywork
  • *Highest L-vehicle safety standards
    • Awaiting confirmation once it exits prototype and enters production phase
  • 36.5 kWh battery pack for ~320 km / 200 mile range
  • 40 minutes for a full recharge using their DC fast charging network
  • Accurate turn-by-turn navigation, even in dense urban environments
  • Remote start and lock/unlock functionality from your phone app
  • Live support and remote vehicle monitoring
  • Wide doors and “more legroom than a Mercedes S-Class
  • Large storage space and roomy seats for comfortable riding

 

 

Images: Prototype vehicle shown off by Spiri at the Tech BBQ in Denmark on Sep. 20th, 2016 

One important note to reiterate is that the company is looking to provide a vehicle that will get an individual or a group from point A to point B. While the design is an important aspect to many, Spiri is focusing on providing convenience, safety, and functionality to its customer base.

So how does it work? From their FAQ page:

If you are a driver:

  1. You’ll enter your destination in the app and they’ll show you where to pick up the nearest Spiri
  2. Then you’ll automatically be matched with people going the same way. Pickups and drop offs happen at designated spots along your route and will, supposedly, only adds a few minutes to your journey
  3. Once you’ve reached your destination, you’ll be directed to the nearest Spiri hub
    • These Spiri hubs are dotted around the city that offer dedicated parking spaces and charging pods. This means you’ll know exactly where the car is, and you’ll never have to worry about parking or charging
 If you’re a rider:
  1. You’ll set your pick up location and destination and ‘tap’ request in the app. Then you’ll be matched with a Spiri driver going the same way
  2. Your ride will then arrive within minutes on a nearby street, which is the virtual bus stop that Spiri creates as the meeting point between you and the driver, hopefully minimizing the duration of everyone’s ride
  3. Payment happens automatically (just like Uber or Lyft) with your credit card registered in the Spiri app

And that’s about all of the news. On top of the either free or relatively affordable fee associated with riding in a Spiri, this seems like an interesting idea that can also cut down on emissions and the massive congestion that most urban cities experience. One thing is still kind of up in the air though, once they integrate autonomous technology into their vehicles, how will their business model adapt? With companies like Uber experimenting with autonomous technology, and Tesla planning to have their own version of fleet sharing, it’ll be interesting to see how Spiri will modify their game plan.

Check out their launch video!

Lastly, you can request an invite to their pilot program in 2017 here.

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