Rouder, a motor ecosystem already operational in Russia, is looking to get a jump on self-drive legislation in Europe targeting the second-hand automotive market. It is gunning for $1 billion revenue in just five years which is a fraction, just 0.6%, of the overall automotive market.
The original automotive ecosystem, Remontista, was set up to provide lower overall motoring costs for car owners. Regardless of the purchase price of the motor, average yearly running costs are in the region of $1,200. In fact, older cars can often cost more with higher taxes and repair costs. The Remontista platform enables its customers to reduce their car ownership costs by lowering the costs of maintenance and repair services in a chain of mechanic shops and by offering rewards in a loyalty program, cash back for purchases at gas stations, and discounts for insurance products. On average the platform claims to reduce costs of ownership by a whopping 40%.
The platform is already available in Russia with more than 200,000 members on board. Now Remontista — renamed Rouder — is being rolled out across Europe, beginning with Germany, then France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and other countries following shortly afterwards. In addition to the loyalty programme, Ronder is tackling the holy grail of automobiles — self driving cars. However, the platform is not aimed at new cars and manufacturers but second hand cars already on the road.
“If you want to buy a car that is autonomous-drive ready from the manufacturers then you are going to pay at least $50,000 more for your new car. That is fine if you have budget. What about people driving their own cars — how can they make the jump?” asks Denis Gusev, venture investor, CEO of Remontista, and now CEO of Rouder. “We are gearing up to be ready to switch over cars once the relevant legislation is ready in each country. We think it will happen within three to four years.”
Rouder has the switching technology in beta phase. The cost to convert each car will be in the region of $2,600 . Anton Volodin, CTO of Remontista and now Rouder, explains the process to have the cars auto ready.
“There are three parts to our project,” he explains. “The first is the software. We have developed software that will not only collect HD maps of the roads you travel but also personal data on your driving patterns. This will be invaluable when personalising your self-driving experience. The second is physical sensors on the sides of the car and the roof. Until projected sensors planned by manufacturers looking like aircraft carriers in their physical dimensions, these sensors will be neat and uncluttered.”
Finally Rouder has developed a controller which is unique to each brand of car.
Currently the fate of autonomous driving cars is tied up uncertain legislation and the high cost of manufacturer product. Rouder already has access to an ecosystem of car owners and now it will be ready to hit the switch once the law is in place.
Founder Vytas Celiesius is very upbeat about the project: “We are going to disrupt the transportation industry — one second hand car at a time.”
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