An Irish peer-to-peer car hire firm has successfully tendered to provide Dublin City Council (DCC) with an app-based virtual vehicle pool for council staff to access transport at work.
The initiative is part of the “Smart Mobility Hub”, an SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) project seeking low-cost solutions to integrate transport and reduce congestion in Dublin.
“We’re very excited about the potential of working with county councils and businesses on this project,” says Fleet CEO Maurice Sheehy. “Over a million Irish people now drive to work, adding to the climate & congestion burden plaguing Dublin. Our new app gives people the option to ditch the car, cycle to the office instead, and share vehicles as needed for work. The model is highly scalable and we hope to roll it out to other councils and private companies with large workforces.”
Fleet App’s custom car-sharing service manages access to both council-owned electric cars and employees’ own personal vehicles which can be shared via on-demand insurance.
This means DCC employees can earn money from their own cars’ downtime while they work, giving colleagues easy access to transport and removing vehicles from already crowded urban areas. Market research suggests most workers would rather pay a fellow employee to use their vehicle than have the money go directly to a private company.
In turn, councils and other organizations joining the scheme expect significant cost savings from money otherwise spent on taxis and leasing work vehicles.
Discussions with several large organisations suggest strong demand for the service, which will be piloted with DCC before expansion to other workplaces.
Douglas Dowley, an advisor to Enterprise Ireland’s HPSU (High Potential Start Up), believes Fleet is key to answering Dublin’s mobility challenges. “The need for cities to manage the transportation needs of their citizens is one of the biggest topics for any municipality. With Fleet, councils have the ability to use it as one of the solutions towards solving urban congestion.”
The core Fleet App (www.jointhefleet.com) is an Irish car hire platform modelled on the success of Airbnb. Launched in 2017, it allows local owners to rent to tourists, businesses, and anyone seeking to get from A to B. It has seen rapid growth in its opening 12 months, with 16,000 accounts created, expansion to Northern Ireland, and 500 vehicle uploads.
Unlike other car-sharing services such as GoCar, Fleet App is designed to repurpose and efficiently share existing cars – helping to remove cars from the road and encourage sustainable transport. Justin Rowlatt, a BBC News journalist, made waves earlier this week when he made the bold claim that many motorists across the world have now likely already purchased their last car given current and future disruption to mobility.
Last month, Fleet successfully closed its opening crowdfunding campaign on Spark Crowdfunding. The round surged past its initial target of €275,000, reaching €384,000 in investment. Fleet intends to grow its team and scale to accommodate its new mobility app ventures as more companies sign up to its bespoke white label service for custom car-sharing solutions.