Via’s mission is to re-engineer public transit, from a regulated system of rigid routes into a dynamic, on-demand network
On-demand shared rides technology developer and provider, Via, and automotive company, Daimler, have set up joint venture to bring on-demand shared rides to Europe.
Building on a partnership that began in 2015, 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 $50 million 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 headed the same way, allowing riders to seamlessly share a premium vehicle.
London 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, providing over 1 million rides per month. The company’s smart routing algorithms allow passengers to be picked up and dropped off in an endless stream without taking riders out of their way.
“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," says Oren Shoval, co-founder and CTO of Via.
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.
"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," says Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. "Via is one of the most successful providers in the growing ride-sharing sector while Mercedes-Benz Vans has the perfect vehicles that are being continuously optimised for this job.
“By deepening our cooperation 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."
The cooperation is another milestone of the adVANce strategy of Mercedes-Benz Vans focusing on the transformation from a vehicle manufacturer to a provider of holistic van system solutions.
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