ViaVan Launches a Revolutionary Ride-Sharing Service in London
【Summary】ViaVan, the joint venture between Via and Mercedes-Benz Vans, announced today the launch of its shared ride service in London as an alternative to Uber.
LONDON — ViaVan, the joint venture between Via and Mercedes-Benz Vans, announced today the launch of its shared ride service in London as an alternative to Uber.
Through the ViaVan app, passengers will be seamlessly matched in real time with other riders headed their way, sharing their trip in a professionally-chauffeured vehicle.
The service will provide Londoners a much needed alternative to Uber, offering the lowest fares, better treatment of drivers and riders, and a corporate ethos that puts safety first. To mark the launch, riders are receiving a discount. For a limited time, all ViaVan rides to or from London's city center zone will cost just £3 ($4.20).
"Londoners deserve innovative transportation solutions that are safe, convenient, and affordable," said Chris Snyder, CEO of ViaVan. "ViaVan is a different kind of company: we have social responsibility built into our DNA. Our mission is to power truly dynamic mass transit systems, which reduce congestion in our cities while offering drivers the opportunity to earn a decent living. We are delighted to launch in London and to finally give Londoners an alternative to expensive and inefficient private car services."
Via's technology was initially developed for New York City
The service will be powered by Via's world-renowned dynamic ride-pooling technology, which was developed initially for New York City, and which has provided more than 30 million shared rides globally, from Australia to California. This is the second city launch for ViaVan, following on the heels of its launch in Amsterdam last month.
By grouping multiple passengers into a single shared vehicle, ViaVan reduces congestion and emissions, providing an inexpensive, eco-friendly, and convenient transportation alternative.
ViaVan aims to "close the gap," serving as an affordable extension of the public transit system by offering the lowest prices in the city. Riders and drivers will benefit from 24/7 real-time support and drivers will take home more from every trip as ViaVan offers the lowest commission in London.
"Londoners are amongst the savviest of consumers, always looking for the right mix of quality, cost, convenience, and social impact," said Luca Parducci, general manager of ViaVan London. "Unlike competitors' pooling solutions, we're confident that ViaVan will be a huge hit - a comfortable and convenient way to get around that you can feel good about."
Using the ViaVan app, passengers select their pick up and drop off location and confirm their ride. ViaVan's smart algorithm enables multiple riders to seamlessly share a single vehicle. The technology directs passengers to a nearby corner, which acts as a ‘virtual bus stop' for pick up and drop off of riders.
This model allows for quick and efficient shared trips without lengthy detours that take riders out of their way. This enables ViaVan's system to transport a high volume of passengers while using a fraction of the number of vehicles utilized by taxis or on-demand car services such as Uber. By ViaVan utilizing efficient ride sharing, ViaVan's service can potentially reduce traffic and carbon emissions in London.
ViaVan was founded in 2017 as a joint venture between Via, the world's most sophisticated developer of dynamic shared rides technology, and Mercedes-Benz Vans, a leading manufacturer of passenger and cargo vans.
The company has been working closely with cities and public transit operators so the ViaVan's powered dynamic shared mobility services complement existing transportation infrastructure.
ViaVan currently operates in London and Amsterdam and plans to launch in Berlin later this year.
Through their partnership, Mercedes-Benz Vans and Via are also collaborating on the development of advanced mobility solutions, from sensor technology, to electric vehicle fleet management and autonomous driving.
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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