Audi is taking a shot at the on-demand ride business by offering a premium concept for their customers in Beijing. Users choose the Audi vehicle that they want to use, with vehicles such as high-performance cars to an upper-class sedan available to be selected from a mobile app and Audi says that the car will be delivered to wherever the customer wants it.
Customers will book these services on their smartphones and make payment through the app as well. Similar to what most users are familiar with when using similar ride-hailing services from Didi Chuxing. A concierge service will then bring the car to the customer by request. The only key difference is that the customer actually drives the car instead of being driven around. Once he is done driving around, he then informs the concierge and they will pick up the car again.
Booking periods can be as low as 4 hours and as long as 30 days, the booking time is flexible for the customer. Customers are charged by the hour of rental of the car. The all-inclusive rate contains a complete service package that includes unlimited driving mileage and insurance coverage. The unlimited mileage is key especially when it comes to the top performance models as most rental companies would set a daily mileage limit.
At the moment the service is available in Beijing and Audi says that they will cover up to a 150km square. Aside from having the concierge service bringing the car to the customer, Audi says that customers can also collect it from the central office, which in my opinion is really no different than a standard car rental company like Avis and Hertz. I would like to see those companies come up with an on-demand service such as this.
The smartphone app also makes paying for the service very convenient. Customers can choose from a number of options for fast, convenient digital payment, including WeChat, AliPay and UnionPay.