A new rideshare craze could soon hit the streets in the form of two-seater cars you locate on a cellphone app, hire by the minute, then leave at the nearest carpark once you are done.
LimePods are the latest venture from Lime, the company behind the hugely popular e-scooters which have appeared throughout Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
The company plans to seek a licence from the Auckland Council to park the pods in council-controlled spaces, sparking fears parking spots in the congested city might be even more difficult to find.
In an exclusive interview with the Weekend Herald, Lime founder Toby Sun unveiled his hopes to extend the company’s new service to cars.
Pods — which were launched in Seattle late last year — would come to Auckland first before the company looked at introducing them to regional towns.
The compact vehicle, by Italian car-maker Fiat, can be unlocked using a smartphone app and QR-Code; the same way its scooters are unlocked.
The first time you use a LimePod, you have to supply your driver’s licence details and pay a fee, which is US$15 ($21.15) in the US. Once applications are completed online, users receive credit to their Lime Wallet. Unlocking the vehicle costs US$1 ($1.44) and the per minute price is up to US40c (60c).
A non-removable key is in the ignition. Once you finish your trip, the vehicle auto-locks itself. Rides can also be paused, so you won’t lose your Pod if you nip into the dairy for some milk.