ekar says the addition of 1,000 new vehicles to its growing fleet is a direct response to an increase in demand for personal mobility in the face of a “global car shortage and consistent surge pricing from chauffeur-driven mobility options”.

The firm added that the new 2021 Kia, Hyundai and Mazda cars from its car rental partners range from economical, compact sedans, sports cars, sporty mini SUVs, and family-sized vehicles.

With rates starting as low as 0.70 AED per minute, ekar now “boasts the widest range of self-drive mobility vehicle options” in the Middle East, with 77 car models across seven cities in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

“Car rental companies are in awe of what’s going on at ekar. We are delivering unprecedented returns for the car rental industry via our revenue share programs, while providing data insights and analytics that the car rental industry has never since experienced,” said Vilhelm Hedberg, founder, ekar.

ekar’s has recently introduced dynamic pricing and predictive AI-driven fleet optimisation and rebalancing.

A recent survey conducted of one thousand ekar users asked, ‘what could ekar add or change to the current pay-per-minute service,’ with 68% of users requesting acomprehensive range of pricing options and a wider range of cars added to the App.

Using proprietary algorithms, the ekar data and tech teams have been able to improve the company’s booking percentages over 30% by recognizing latent demand, says the firm. Carsharing cars are positioned in optimal areas in the cities in which ekar operates, ensuring a car is within walking distance.

Hedberg added: “ekar is becoming increasingly data-rich. The more cars we add, the easier for users to book a vehicle, the more efficient our service becomes, which leads to decision automation. This flywheel effect is a testament to a solid product market fit and a compliment to an in-house team of superstars that keep me awe-inspired.

“The recently added Kia, Hyundai, and Mazda vehicles have been met with great enthusiasm from our Dubai users. These new cars are experiencing exceptionally high demand levels, and we fully expect utilization levels to surpass 2019 numbers, when ekar Dubai was the highest utilized carshare service in the world.

“The continued influx of EXPO visitors, tourists, and residents seeking cost-effective mobility solutions is a testament to how self-drive has a seat at the mobility table in the Middle East, and ekar is the clear market-leader in the space. We are extremely bullish for the future.”