Ride sharing, driven by the rise of Uber and Lyft, has completely changed the taxi market, but this is a strange entry to the mobility market. Meet the Fortum Singalong Shuttle, an electric Helsinki taxi that accepts only singing as payment. This is an odd story, we realise.
Passengers in the BMW i3 need to keep singing to keep the car moving – stop making noise, and the car stops moving until you start belting out another tune. There's an iPad on board for karaoke lyrics, and an electric car has been chosen so there's no engine noise drowning out the passengers.
Beyond the 'fun value' of having people sing for their supper, there's another reason for the Helsinki taxi project: encouraging people to get behind electric cars.
"With Singalong Shuttle we want to show people in a joyful way how comfortable and easy it is to drive an electric car,” explained Fortum brand manager, Jussi Mälkiä.
"The silent electric cars make it possible to enjoy singing without background noise and emissions."