BMW has added 40,000 drivers to ReachNow, the company’s car-sharing service currently available in Seattle, Portland, Oregon, and Brooklyn.
The platform is built for drivers in urban areas, where car prices and lack of parking space has made it difficult to own a car. The driver pays a small amount for each ride, and is able to choose from BMW’s electric cars, the BMW 3 Series, and the MINI Cooper range.
BMW also offers a chauffeur service for customers that don’t want to deal with driving either, but this is a rather expensive option, when compared to Uber and Lyft prices.
In the near future, BMW has said it will start to offer self-driving rides as part of the ReachNow program, which will be available to all 40,000 participants. We assume it will start self-driving rides in Seattle, where it already tests some autonomous vehicles.
“The benefit to having ReachNow in your region, is that you are going to be the first people to try autonomous cars from BMW,” Banfield said at the Economic Development Council of Seattle & King County annual Economic Forecast Conference. “We are going to bring them here and we are going to be able to use them and test them.”
Also coming to Munich
For Europeans interested, BMW will also bring the self-driving vehicles to Munich.
BMW partnered with Intel and Mobileye last year, eager to build a self-driving alliance that could provide hardware, software, and services. Mobileye has since partnered with Delphi, the largest automotive parts supplier in the world, to build a self-driving car by 2019.
The German car manufacturer is in a powerful spot in the self-driving race, with a bunch of big name collaborators and a large autonomous program. Its subsidiary, MINI, has also unveiled an autonomous vehicle concept that has facial recognition and personalization.