Watch out Uber and Lyft -- competition is intensifying even more in the ride-sharing industry.
Last month, BMW Group launched a car-sharing program in Seattle, with plans to expand to three more U.S. cities this year.
The "ReachNow" service allows users to rent out BMW vehicles with a smartphone app that tracks, books and unlocks the closest available car. After a one-time lifetime registration fee of $39, each minute a car is used costs $0.49, or $0.30 while parked. The service includes insurance and gas, and also caps pricing for different hours and $110 for a full day.
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But its use is not quite the same as popular ride apps like Uber, according to Tim Stevens, editor-in-chief of CNET's auto site, Roadshow.
"Something like Uber and Lyft, it's, 'I need to get to the airport, I have a meeting across town...' With these services it's more like, 'I need to run to IKEA, I need furniture, I need to load up my groceries, I need a car for a couple of hours,'" Stevens explained on "CBS This Morning" Monday.
Other automotive companies are also rolling up on the trend with their own ride sharing programs. General Motors plans to expand its car sharing program, "Maven," to Chicago this month. Daimler's "Car2Go" program is already available in nine states. Nissan has a program that rents its vehicles to students on college campuses.
This, Stevens said, is looking more like the future for the automotive industry, especially five or ten years from now, as people become less likely to buy and drive their own cars. With this also comes several benefits, including a reduction in demand for parking spaces and environmental damages, and even a fatter wallet.
"Your average car sits still for 95 percent of the time," Stevens explained. "If your car is just sitting there in a garage all night long costing you money, your car could be ushering people around and charging them money which goes back into your bank account in theory... It could be a money maker."
In fact, BMW already allows owners of BMW Mini models to add their cars to the ride sharing program.
"So let's say you're going away for the weekend or you know that [you're] working from between nine and five, you can actually check your car into the service and let other people borrow it and in theory, make a little money out of the deal," Stevens explained.