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How the daily commute is going to change: New services and technologies could make the ride to work very different

How the daily commute is going to change: New services and technologies could make the ride to work very different

The modern commute may be heading for a big upgrade, thanks to carpool ride-sharing services and advances in automotive electronics and smart transportation systems. Ride-sharing firms Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. are experimenting with carpooling services that are changing how people get to work. Both companies, best known for providing a fleet of private drivers that can be matched to individual passengers through their smartphones, have introduced technology that groups strangers as passengers—thus saving commuters money—by using algorithms that match distances and times of trips with other people going to similar places or in similar directions.

Early results have encouraged public-transit experts to start considering Uber and Lyft apps as potential means for reducing congestion. A recent study by the American Public Transportation Association suggests that ride-sharing trips using Uber and Lyft are replacing trips made with personal vehicles more than trips using public transport. The report recommended that public-transit officials start working on ways to make ride-sharing part of their services.

  • How IS the daily commute going to change – not just in the US? 
The D.C. start-up that’s crazy enough to take on Uber and Lyft

The D.C. start-up that’s crazy enough to take on Uber and Lyft

Split, the ride-sharing service based in D.C., finds itself in a battle of David and two Goliaths. The smartphone app offers cheap rides by putting commuters with similar routes in the same vehicle. But since Split launched its smartphone app in the nation’s capital a year ago, it’s watched heavyweights Uber and Lyft launch similar services in the D.C. area.

Those established players boast resources that dwarf what Split brings to the table. Uber has over 30,000 active drivers in the D.C. area. Split has just over 100. Uber has raised over $10 billion from investors. For Split, expanding outside the city to the nearby suburb of Arlington is financially problematic because of Virginia’s $100,000 licensing fee for app-based car services. For its first six months Split did not even have an Android version of its app. Only iPhone users could ride Split. Lyft operates in more than 200 U.S. cities. Split operates in one.

Amid challenging odds Split sees a chance to carve out a niche due to its focus on shared rides. And now with the D.C. subway going through a series of closures for repairs, Split sees another opportunity. It will be encouraging its drivers to position themselves near closed Metro stops to attract commuters. Drivers who follow Split’s recommendations receive a financial incentive. For consumers, Split never charges surge pricing. Read more….

  • Split focuses mainly on shared rides and applies no surge pricing. 
Volvo Cars pioneers two-hour in-car delivery service with Swedish start-up urb-it

Volvo Cars pioneers two-hour in-car delivery service with Swedish start-up urb-it

Volvo Cars, a leader in the field of connectivity in the automotive sector, is set to disrupt the delivery experience with the introduction a new service that promises In-car delivery of your online shopping in under two hours.

The ground-breaking collaboration with Swedish start-up urb-it will enable Volvo Cars to expand its tried and tested In-car Delivery Service and provide a foundation for a game-changing approach to delivery services, while reimagining how we use our cars.

“We understand the value of the In-car Delivery service we have developed. We’ve all had phone calls at work from delivery people trying to deliver packages to our homes that need to be signed for when there is no one home. With our In-car Delivery service we effectively turn your car into a delivery location and assign a one-time digital key to the delivery person, effectively eliminating delivery failure,” said Björn Annwall, Senior Vice President Marketing Sales and Service at Volvo Car Group.


urb-it’s real-time delivery service ensures you get the item you have ordered within two hours of clicking the buy button on your smartphone, radically changing the online shopping experience people are used to. The Swedish start-up employs students and other part-time workers who get paid per delivery and uses geo-location and availability to choose your personal urber, as the delivery people are known.

Each urber is strictly vetted by urb-it to ensure a high-class service and traceability. You always know the name of the individual urber that is delivering your shopping. Once the urber receives your order on their mobile device they collect the items at the shop by presenting the special order code. They then take your package and deliver it directly to your car in under two hours.

“It’s really quite simple, which is what makes it so effective. You shop online from an urb-it enabled store and simply choose to have the shopping delivered to your Volvo. This can be at a pre-determined time that suits you, or as quickly as possible. You can follow the collection and delivery process on your mobile device if you wish, or just wait for confirmation of delivery. If the package is not delivered in less than two hours, delivery is free,” said Björn Annwall.

Volvo Cars launched In-car Delivery commercially on Black Friday 2015 together with Sweden’s largest distribution company and an online food store. The premium car maker is now offering a range of connected car services to its customers in select markets utilising its digital key technology which allows Volvo owners to grant one-time access to their cars for In-car Delivery purposes. Volvo Cars is working toward expanding this range of services to its customers around the globe.

Volvo Cars is adding urb-it to its In-car Delivery services in Stockholm City for an initial trial period during 2016. Availability to Volvo owners will increase as the urb-it service expands to several European cities this year and over 200 cities worldwide by 2025.

  • Volvo Cars, a leader in the field of connectivity in the automotive sector, is set to disrupt the delivery experience.
Karhoo, new taxi/FHV comparison and booking app, launches in London

Karhoo, new taxi/FHV comparison and booking app, launches in London

Karhoo, a new cab comparison and booking app that has signed up hundreds of London’s licensed taxi and private hire fleets, launches in London today, Monday May 9, with more than 30,000 cabs, giving passengers more choice and offering local cab companies a lifeline for their businesses. It’s expected to be available in 30 cities around the globe before the end of the year.

The app, which gives customers the choice of more licensed cabs than any other in the UK, claims in a press release to have significant funding, a scalable model and a UK network of more than 80,000 cabs. Some of the biggest household names, including Addison Lee and ComCab, as well as a host of local firms such as KV Cars, Swiss Cottage Cars and Mornington Cars have signed up to Karhoo’s proprietary technology, giving them access to more customers across the centre of the capital as well as its suburbs.

The vendor-neutral platform allows passengers to compare cabs available to book in their area by price, proximity and vehicle style. The app then lets passengers book days, weeks or months in advance or choose immediate pickup with their preferred cab company, giving both local and national operators access to thousands more customers. Karhoo says that passengers can also make multiple bookings, and, with transparent pricing and no surge, Karhoo passengers know the price they book will be the price they pay, no matter what time of day or night they travel.

Nicholas Monteith, the owner of Mornington Cars in north London, said: “Without doubt, Karhoo is a lifesaver for the classic, licensed minicab driver. It will help protect the minicab industry and allow us to fight back, bringing us jobs that we would otherwise not have been able to access. It gives us the chance of more work while giving consumers more choice. It allows us to compete.”

Sean McDonagh, a Director at ComCab, said: “By downloading Karhoo, both customers and drivers will benefit. Passengers will have access to ComCab’s fleet of fully licensed and professional London Taxi drivers while Karhoo’s technology provides our fleet of drivers with more business and a greater exposure to the market. Karhoo is really levelling the playing field.”

“London’s trusted black cabs drivers are renowned for their superior service and knowledge of London’s roads. They can ensure that passengers are taken the shortest and quickest route to their destination.”

Karhoo, which has offices in London, New York, Los Angeles, Singapore and Mumbai, will have a million licensed cabs across the globe by the end of the year and be available in 30 cities.

Daniel Ishag, CEO and Founder of Karhoo, said: “There’s no better city than London in which to launch our game-changing cab comparison app. Finally, we are giving the generation the smartest way to choose and book a cab ride. Over the last 15 years, millions have been spent by industries educating consumers about comparison services. Hotels, airlines and insurance companies all use comparison sites but ground transportation was lagging behind, until now. By working with operators that only used licensed, professional drivers, Londoners are getting the service they deserve.”

“Karhoo gives passengers more choice and transparency when booking a cab and, with our ever-growing network of local operators, Karhoo will make it easier to book a ride outside central London than ever before”.

Research conducted by Karhoo found that almost half of Londoners want their local cab company to survive and take a dim view of aggressive measures from bigger companies. The poll of 2,000 Londoners also revealed that being able to pre-book a cab is essential for 71 per cent of people.

Passengers also worry about safety, with two-thirds maintaining that having a licensed cab driver when taking a ride with their children is very important to them. Almost three quarters of people said that having a driver that knows where they are going was a factor when booking their journey.

Through integrated technology that allows real-time data sharing, Karhoo will be able to advise local cab firms where passenger demand is at any given time, allowing them to direct their drivers to hot spots and fill more ‘dead miles’ than ever before. Working directly with established cab operators and their fleets, Karhoo can expand more quickly than the driver-by-driver model used by other app-based services.

Ishag added: “There are other players in the market but it is all very fragmented. Not only are we levelling the playing field for all established operators, we are bringing countless companies online and into the e-hail revolution with our proprietary technology that allows them to compete.”

• Karhoo launches in London and is available to download for iOS and Android now.

Via attracts financing, despite Silicon Valley’s nervousness about ride sharing

Via attracts financing, despite Silicon Valley’s nervousness about ride sharing

The start-up Via, a ride-sharing service that pools commuters, faced some headwinds as it sought new financing recently. Its primary competitors include two of Silicon Valley’s best-financed companies, Uber and Lyft. And it went looking for new financing at a time when venture capitalists have begun to tighten their purse strings amid concern that many of the start-ups that they have backed may not survive.

Yet Via appears to have done well: The company was to announce Thursday that it had closed on $70 million in a new round of financing, with an additional $30 million expected to close in the next several weeks.

The latest round was led by Pitango Growth, an investment firm based in Israel, and included C4 Ventures, Hearst Ventures and the investment firm of the billionaire Roman Abramovich, who may be better known as the owner of the London soccer team Chelsea. About 70 percent of the new round came from new investors, according to Isaac Hillel, a managing general partner of Pitango Growth.

Taxi & Mobility Update 2016: Smartly solving the Mobility Puzzle

Taxi & Mobility Update 2016: Smartly solving the Mobility Puzzle

Mobility is changing rapidly. Mobility solutions are getting more personalised. Apps and different providers are making the mobility landscape more individualised.

Tomorrow’s mobility will be more tailormade. Even before autonomous vehicles appear on our streets, Taxi and For Hire Vehicles, Transportation Network Companies (TNC’s), public transport operators, coach companies and bike and carsharing systems will each fill in part of the mobility puzzle.

Who’s going to do what? Which operator or company is going to take the lead? The two-day annual Taxi & Mobility Update – previously held in Amsterdam – gives an in-depth overview of the mobility industry and provides (smart) answers to solving the mobility puzzle.

In the heart of Europe, specialists from all over the world will provide our target-audience (taxi and FHV-operators, public transport specialists, TNC’s, regulators, mobility associations, academics, consultants, politicians and suppliers to the mobility industry) with answers to solving the Mobility Puzzle.

Join us in Brussels on June 23 and 24! Register for the newsletter and check this new sister-website to for regular information on Taxi & Mobility Update 2016!