Car Industry

BMW's car-sharing service is off to a surprisingly good start

Since it launched about a month ago, ReachNow already counts some 13,000 subscribers in the Seattle area.

I hope BMW includes some air fresheners.

BMW

Automakers don't often react on short time scales. Vehicle development takes almost half a decade, refreshes come once every few years, and very little changes in the short term. BMW's already excited, however, about its new ReachNow car sharing service, and for good reason.

In just one month's time, more than 13,000 people have signed up to ReachNow, which provides car-sharing services to Seattle residents. You can register on your smartphone, and members have access to some 370 vehicles parked around town, including the BMW i3 electric city car. BMW also wants Mini owners to get in on the action and include their own vehicles for sharing.

"The rapid adoption of ReachNow in Seattle is proof-positive of the demand for a premium car sharing alternative that provides an experience as convenient as owning a car," said Marcus Krieg, BMW's head of car sharing, in a statement. ReachNow plans to expand to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, followed by rollouts in other urban centers.

Truly, dense urban areas are where this service is needed most. Public transportation doesn't make getting home from Ikea any easier, and hailing a ride-sharing service isn't always the most efficient option. Between limited parking options and high costs for said parking, sharing cars could help solve a bunch of problems at once.