SEOUL, Apr. 9 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s IT firms are tapping deeper into the car-sharing industry, market watchers said Sunday, as demand for such services is expected to grow sharply over the upcoming years.
According to the data compiled by Navigant Research, the global market for car-sharing services is expected to grow 21.8 percent annually, eventually to reach US$6.5 billion in 2024.
The Korea Insurance Research Institute also estimated that local car-sharing firms counted 4.8 million people as members in 2016, rising sharply from only 68,000 posted in 2012.
Samjong KPMG expects the South Korean market for car-sharing services will reach 500 billion won (US$467 million) in 2020, compared with 100 billion won posted in 2016.
Car-sharing services are different from car rentals, as they normally charge users for every 10 minutes of use and are booked through smartphone applications.
As the service is expected to connect deeper into the artificial intelligence and self-driving technologies in the future, local IT and communications companies are also forging deeper ties with service providers.
South Korea’s No. 2 mobile carrier KT Corp. forged ties with South Korea’s No. 2 car-sharing service provider Green Car last month. Under the agreement, KT plans to allow users to reserve cars through its AI speaker.
SK Telecom Co., the top mobile carrier, also joined forces with No. 1 player Socar, applying its remote advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) solutions to some 200 vehicles.
SK Telecom plans to apply the solution eventually on self-driving cars.
Kakao Corp., the operator of South Korea’s most popular mobile messenger KakaoTalk, also acquired car pool startup Luxi, taking its first step into the car-sharing industry.