SEOUL, Dec. 9 (Korea Bizwire) — SoCar, a South Korean car-sharing company, said Thursday it aims to launch an integrated mobility services that connects all transit options in one app next year.
The envisioned “super app” will allow users to find multiple modes of transit, such as car-sharing, buses, trains, and electric bikes, to reach their destinations in the fastest and most effective manner, the company said in a statement.
“The super app users can book an electric bike to reach a SoCar zone, a SoCar vehicle to reach a train station, and another SoCar vehicle to reach their destinations from the train station. Many other combinations are possible depending on the users’ demands,” it said.
SoCar said it will partner with parking lots and lodging facilities to help its users find and book the nearest place to park their cars and accommodations through the app.
In other “streaming mobility” services, SoCar plans to start delivering reserved vehicles to customers in Seoul and neighboring Gyeonggi Province. Users can then return the vehicles to designated areas adjacent to their destinations.
The car-sharing app company said it will begin to provide autonomous driving services on South Korea’s southern resort island of Jeju on Monday and expand the services to the central administrative hub of Sejong and other cities.
Industrywide, self-driving vehicles are expected to be available for customers’ daily use in six to seven years, Park said.
“Future mobility platform companies will be market leaders as the key words of the future mobility market are electric vehicle and autonomous driving,” SoCar Chief Executive Park Jae-uk said in the statement.
SoCar users currently pick up a car in a designated area and return it to the same place but the new app lets users return borrowed vehicles to a different spot near their destinations.
The company began the car-sharing business with 100 vehicles in Jeju Island in 2011 and increased the number of vehicles to 18,000 this year. The number of users soared to 7 million from 30 during the same period.
It aims to increase the vehicle fleet to 50,000 by 2027 and replace all of SoCar vehicles with all-electric, hydrogen-powered and other environment-friendly ones by 2030.
Currently, there are 24.35 million registered vehicles in the country and 92 percent of them are owned by individuals.
Some of the vehicles will be gradually replaced with SoCar vehicles if the company’s streaming mobility services satisfy customer demand, SoCar said.
“We will continue to make investments in improving our combined mobility services to ‘disrupt’ market demand for new vehicles and their ownerships,” the CEO said.