Toyota is expanding its presence in the car sharing arena by announcing a new partnership with its Hawaiian distributor Servco Pacific.
Under the terms of the deal, the two companies will test and develop a car sharing service in Honolulu.
During the initial testing phase, the service will be limited to employees. However, once testing is complete, Servco plans to launch a consumer-focused car sharing business by the end of 2017.
According to Toyota, users will download a smartphone application which provides driver identification and authentication as well as a Smart Key Box that allows them to lock and unlock vehicles with their phone. The app, which was designed in-house, will also provide payment services as well as fleet management tools.
In a statement, Toyota Connected North America CEO Zack Hicks said "This successful launch of the MSPF [Toyota Mobility Services Platform] represents the next generation in car-sharing platforms and is Toyota's global foundation for fleet management, car-sharing, and the future of mobility." He went on to hint at further expansions by noting the "API-based platform allows us to quickly adapt to new market opportunities and support deployment of locally-tailored mobility services."
Toyota declined to name future cities but confirmed it will work with dealers and other distributors to bring car-sharing technologies to their markets.