[Photo provided by Hyundai Motor Co.]
South Korean auto giant Hyundai Motor Co. has kicked off a ride-sharing service for electric scooters and bicycles at the country’s southern resort island of Jeju, taking a low-key approach in a segment that has been slow to pick up due to die-hard protests from the cab industry.
Korea’s largest auto conglomerate said Monday it has launched a last-mile mobility platform called ZET in partnership with local service operators in Jeju Island.
The new ride-sharing service would deploy 30 electric scooters and 80 electric bikes at two major tourist destinations in Jeju, the Iho Tewoo Beach and Songaksan Mountain, the company said.
Last-mile mobility refers to personal transportation solutions in heavily congested areas or areas where public transportation is not available.
Users simply need to download the ZET app on their smartphones to locate and rent a vehicle nearby. The scooters and bikes are equipped with telecommunication systems, allowing operators to remotely control the devices either on their smartphones or computers.
Rental fees would vary depending on the operator. Users that return the device at designated docking stations would receive points that can be used when renting other vehicles on ZET.
“We plan to open up the platform so that more companies can join the ZET ride-sharing service,” said Hyundai Motor. “We’re also considering expanding collaborations with existing operators to share our platforms.”
The launch of the ZET service is part of the automaker’s efforts to transform itself into a comprehensive mobility services provider. Earlier this year, it embarked on a project to test a scooter sharing service with Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. Last year, it invested in Mesh Korea, a local last-mile logistics firm, and Immotor, a Chinese maker of electric scooters and batteries.
To grow the future mobility business, where cars would primarily be shared and not owned, Hyundai Motor has been investing aggressively in overseas ventures due to the negative sentiment and heavy regulations at home.
By Lee Jong-hyuk and Kim Hyo-jin
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]