Hui, a round-trip, station-based car share service, was recognized as a finalist in Pacific Business News‘ inaugural 2019 Titans of Technology Awards honoring Hawaii’s most outstanding technology professionals and businesses. In particular, the awards celebrate individuals and businesses that have helped to elevate Hawaii’s technology sector. Peter Fukunaga, director of Hui, sat down with PBN to talk about Hui:
Interview with Peter Fukunaga, Director of Hui
From: Titans of Tech Companies Finalists
Hui Car Share is a station-based service that allows users to rent vehicles by the hour or day. The entire rental service can be executed on the Hui app, which allows users to locate and reserve vehicles, and manage payments. The app generates a digital key for users to lock, unlock and start vehicles via their smart phones.
Aside from capital and resources, what do you think gives large companies an edge over startups?
Hui Car Share launched in July 2018 as a partnership between Servco Pacific Inc. and Toyota Connected, Toyota’s global technology strategy business. This initiative is the global pilot for Toyota’s Global Mobility Services Platform, utilizing Smart Key Box technology in each of our vehicles. This distinction is very important as the world moves towards autonomous vehicles. The HUI system eliminates physical keys and turns the users’ smartphone into the key fob. Today you walk up to the vehicle and retrieve it; perhaps in the future the vehicle comes to your device and picks you up.
Hui benefits from Servco’s 100 years of experience. We have always followed the customers’ needs and will continue to do so. Our focus is on giving our customers the best service and experience possible. We are very grateful to all our customers and supporters in the community. Without their support, the
Hui program would have never even started.
What was your biggest success as a company, and how did you achieve it?
Servco continues to innovate and look for new ways to support our customers. Car share was another opportunity to provide a service that our customers have been requesting.
In early 2018, we conducted pilot testing with Servco employees and local tech and mobility enthusiasts. Thanks to feedback from these groups, we launched Hui with 25 stations in urban Honolulu. Our successes have always come from listening to our customers and community. The opportunity we have is to give customers another choice on how they choose to access vehicles.
What problem are you still trying to solve?
Traffic and parking congestion in Honolulu is a big issue. We often rank as the worst traffic in the U.S. Based on the Mainland, Australia, and Europe, each car share can take nine-13 vehicles off the road. In Sydney, after the introduction of on-street car share stations, an estimated 34 miles of parking (if you stacked the stalls in a line) was freed up. Car share members consume 38 percent less fuel due to changes in behavior, and 48 percent of them commute to work via public transportation. When a customer has access to a vehicle at work, they are much more likely to commute via public transportation. We see ourselves as one part of a larger ecosystem of bike sharing, ride sharing and public transportation options.
If you could sum up your company’s biggest goal for 2019, what would that be?
Growth is our primary goal for 2019. In the next year, we will be expanding our vehicle fleet in size and model availability. New models may include the Toyota Highlander, Lexus NX, Lexus UX, Mirai (hydrogen car), and Sienna van. We will continue to build relationships with other local businesses. We’ve partnered with hospitals, schools, landowners, developers, banks, hotels, shopping centers, grocery stores, and other parking providers.
App you can’t live without:
The Audible app. I enjoy listening to books on many different subjects.