Published: 28 October 2016
Audi of America is piloting a new service, Audi shared fleet, at a technology incubator in Durham ahead of a national rollout of the corporate car-sharing service in 2017.
The test fleet will be housed at American Underground, a 115,000 square-foot technology incubator created on the former American Tobacco Co. complex. Three fully accessorized, 2017 Audi A4 sedans will be available on demand and ready for use. Users will be backed by a 24/7 customer service call center.
Program participants will be able to book the vehicle and unlock it using the Audi shared fleet app. Feedback from users will help refine the process in advance of its debut next year.
Audi, as part of the Volkswagen Group, aims to evolve to a major provider for premium mobility solutions. Exclusive mobility concepts such as Audi on demand and Audi at home, Audi shared fleet services and partnerships such as VW Group’s investments in Gett, a European ride-hailing service, and Silvercar, a next-generation rental-car company based in Austin, Texas, are milestones on the road to providing integrated mobility solutions that spotlight our customers and their mobility needs.
“American Underground is a technology hub occupied with an ideal user group which helps us shape the service and perfect a unique user experience,” said Thiemo Rusch, senior director, vehicle sales and operation, Audi of America. “Piloting the service here gives us the necessary affirmation as we launch this new service nationally next year.”
The more-than 200 companies, housed at American Underground, including developers of smartphone apps and other technology entrepreneurs, have raised a combined $29.8 million in start-up capital. More than 700 workers use the facility on a daily basis.
“In our urban ecosystem, this program will alleviate two major pain points for our entrepreneurs: a need for easy, face-to-face collaboration across all points of the Research Triangle and a desire to utilize public transportation in their commute to avoid parking restraints,” says Adam Klein, chief strategist, American Underground. “The fact that our entrepreneurs can now accomplish these needs in the style and performance of an Audi is a very pleasant bonus.”