In recent years, we have seen many big-name vehicle manufacturers trying their hand at the rental and private-hire market, coming up with all sorts of ideas on how they can get a slice of the ride-hailing and ride-sharing economy. Whilst Uber has arguably monopolised the UK, Mercedes have found a gap in the London market. This week, the German car-makers announced that they were introducing on-demand ridesharing vans to London; a city that boasts a strong demand for ride-sharing solutions.
ViaVan is the name of the new service; a joint venture between Mercedes and American ridesharing service; Via. Together, the businesses will allow commuters of Zones 1 and 2 to access vans with vacant seats in real-time, allowing them to jump in and share ride fairs with those heading in the same direction as them.
Having already tested the model in Amsterdam, ViaVan has been dubbed a mobility force to be reckoned with, claiming to be ’empowering Europe’s mobility needs’ for now and in the coming years. Seeming to be excelling where Uber very much fell flat, this venture is centred on safety and reliability, with ViaVan displaying a mission to offer the residents and visitors of the capital city an honest, easy way to travel.
“Londoners deserve innovative transportation solutions that are safe, convenient, and affordable,” said Chris Snyder, the 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 finally give Londoners an alternative to expensive and inefficient private car services.”
What does this mean for Uber?
What are your thoughts on this new business, will it set Uber back with its plans to get their London licence back?