The thought behind the carpooling service Spiri is as easy as it is genius; you drive their special built eco-friendly car for free, as long as you pick up commuters going in the same direction as you along the way. The commuters on the other hand only pay the equivalent to public transport. That way they are using customers for driving in exchange for free rides. The goal? Making car ownership redundant and fuss-free.
'We consume too much energy and money on transport while congesting our cities. Most cars sit unused 95% of the time and come with high ownership costs. Whereas, traditional car-sharing doesn’t reduce the number of people on the roads,' says Søren Halskov Nissen, co-founder and board member of Spiri.
The on-demand carpooling service is going to be powered by the people, and that is, according to the founders, taking transportation to the next necessary level. The Spiri cars will be specially built for the task and the idea of provided vehicles is maybe the aspect that makes Spiri stand out from other similar services.
According to their website, their cars will be stripped of features that don’t come with a value to commuters, meaning no interior panels, no paint and roughly one-fourth of the parts of a traditional car. A to-the- point vehicle that does just what it is designed to do. Exactly how it will end up looking, they don’t want to reveal yet.
'Spiri is based on a model where the driver doesn’t make money, which makes it stand out. Passengers cover the cost of the operation, which resembles the price of mass transit. And no one has to actually own a car.'
According to the co-founder, the Spiri being launched in 2017, is just one step towards the ultimate goal; autonomous driving. In fact, Halskov Nissen thinks Spiri is the primary choice for transportation in urban areas in ten years.
'We see Spiri as a self-driving vehicle that is the primary transportation choice for people living in cities. By this time, people have completely abandoned car ownership and rely on Spiri to go to work, take their kids to school, run errands, and go out to the movies.'
Best of all, Spiris are buzzing around so many cities across the world that even when coming to a new city, Spiri users can connect to the on-demand carpooling service from one app. While the dream of robotic cars might still seem far away, your chance to see the Spiri car live is just around the corner. And it might even be on your turf.
'The first city will be launched in 2017 and it will be one of the capital cities of Germany, UK, Sweden, Denmark, or Norway. We are not ready to reveal exactly which city it will be yet,' says Nissen.