• Kyodo

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Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday its newly developed smartphone car-sharing application will become available in Honolulu by the end of this year.

The application will support a car-sharing business in identifying and authenticating drivers, as well as taking payment and managing the fleet. Also, customers will be able to lock and unlock vehicles via the application installed on their smartphone.

Servco Pacific Inc., a distributor of Toyota vehicles in Hawaii, plans to launch a new Honolulu-based car-sharing business by the end of this year after concluding an employee-only pilot program.

“This new application demonstrates the power of combining Toyota’s unrivaled global manufacturing and technology capacity with dealers’ extensive local operations to provide consumers with more convenient options to move,” Shigeki Tomoyama, president of Toyota Connected Corp., said in a press release.

With car-sharing services proliferating worldwide, Toyota will also start working with other dealers and distributors on the application. The company expects the car-sharing business to help improve future earnings.

Toyota has some experience in similar operations having conducted car-sharing trials using electric vehicles in Japan and abroad.

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