In the world of corporate charity and advocacy, there are generally three types of companies. First, you have the companies that donate money to causes, sometimes looking for a cushy tax write-off. Next, there are companies that apply their know-how and resources toward advancing causes they believe in.
And then there’s Toyota, who really are in a league of their own.
Regular ABILITY readers know already that Toyota has been at the forefront of advancing mobility tech for quite some time. Robotics programs, mobility research funding, ambitious global challenges… even the most ardent skeptic of capitalism would look at the work Toyota is doing and agree that this is a company that truly wants to help people dealing with mobility issues.
The latest move in Toyota’s efforts to bring mobility to the masses? A groundbreaking car share program, which is currently being rolled out in Hawaii, bringing mobility to people with and without disabilities in fun, creative, and altogether innovative ways.
Toyota’s Latest Contribution to Mobility Services: Hui
Hui is a car share program in Hawaii powered by an impressive mobile app that utilizes a fleet of Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Registered users can reserve a car, pick it up, use it, and drop it off when they’re done, all through the convenience of their Android or iOS device.
How does it work? Users can reserve one of the seventy available cars through the Hui mobile app, choosing anything from a sensible Toyota Prius to a bonkers Lexus sports car. They then pick up their temporary ride at one of the twenty-five accessible locations in Honolulu. When they’re done, they simply drop off the car at one of those locations, and that’s that.
The impressive Hui app is oozing with features, from the basics — driver identification, handling payments, etc. — to more advanced features like starting up vehicles and locking them remotely through a smartphone.
The new service was developed by Toyota’s Mobility Service Platform (MSPF) and Toyota Connected North America (TCNA). The program is being administered by Servco Pacific.
“We’re really excited about Hui because it’s a game changing way to offer car sharing,” said Zack Hicks, chief executive officer and president of TCNA, and chief digital officer of Toyota Motor North America. “The program is simple to use and more convenient than a traditional car rental service – plus typical add-ons like gas and insurance are included in the reservation cost. And thanks to Servco’s strong relationships with consumers and extensive knowledge of this market, Hui will be the most accessible car share service in Honolulu by far.”
“Hui is the most innovative car share service to hit the Hawaii market and marks a significant milestone for both Servco and Toyota,” said Mark Fukunaga, chief executive officer of Servco. “Hui provides a new option for Honolulu residents and visitors looking for vehicle access while complementing other existing mobility services such as bike share, ride share and public transportation, and we are excited for consumers to utilize the technology.”
As cool as the Hui platform is, it’s really just a cog in Toyota’s overall strategy to tackle mobility issues head-on: the service is adaptable and can be utilized by fleet operators to develop and launch their own local car share programs. This could lead to some truly visionary applications in the realm of disability advocacy and solving mobility challenges.