Shared rides shuttle comes to Europe07/09/17Science & Technology
On-demand shared rides technology developer, Via, and automotive company, Daimler, have set up a joint venture to bring on-demand shared rides to Europe.
Via and Daimler will establish a joint venture to launch on-demand shuttle services powered by Via’s technology across Europe, and to license Via’s on-demand shuttle operating system to European transit authorities and municipalities.
Adding to the strategic investment of Daimler Mobility Services, Mercedes-Benz Vans will invest $50m (~€41.8m) in the new joint venture with Via.
Via’s mission is to re-engineer public transit from a regulated system of rigid routes and schedules to a fully dynamic, on-demand network. Its mobile app connects multiple passengers who are heading in the same direction, allowing riders to share a premium vehicle.
London, UK, will be the first city to launch the new Via-Daimler on-demand shuttle service by the end of 2017, with expansion to additional European cities to follow soon after.
Via’s shared ride platform is currently available in New York City, Chicago, and Washington DC, US, providing over one million rides per month.
Oren Shoval, co-founder and CTO of Via, said: “Via’s world-class engineering team is perfecting the operating system that will power the future of mobility. We are excited to bring our proprietary technology and operational excellence to Europe through the new joint venture with Mercedes-Benz Vans.”
As part of their strategic partnership, Daimler and Via will also collaborate on the design of an optimised Mercedes-Benz Vans shuttle for on-demand shared ride use, and will develop systems for efficiently managing and optimising fleets of electric and autonomous shuttles.
Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, added: “On-demand ride-sharing offers many new ways of making city traffic efficient, needs-based and sustainable – especially when it involves the use of spacious, safe and comfortable vans.
“By deepening our co-operation with Via, we are thus taking the next logical step in the context of our strategy for the future and are expanding our range of new mobility services.”