Why is Shell applying for a private hire licence?

In recent years we have seen many different types of companies enter the UK’s flourishing private hire industry. Whilst some have become very successful, many have flopped. Even some big brand names have ailed to make ventures work. Bursting with tech innovators, is there really room for any more competition in the space?

This week, we were rather shocked to hear that petrol giant, Shell, was planning to enter the ride-hailing market. Many have confirmed that Shell applied for a private hire license in the incredibly overcrowded London. Submitted by TFL (Transport for London), Royal Dutch Shell will be looking to launch the aptly named; FarePilot app.

A joint venture

If the business goes the way that Shell and partners (Boston Consulting Group) intends, they will launch an innovative new app. This will signal drivers of areas where there is a high demand for taxis. Giving them the option to ‘accept’ the fair, many say there is no room for another app. There is however another layer to the business.

The next big taxi app

If successful, the app will expand to be a full taxi-booking service.

“Drivers often ask us if we could further help them by giving them optional supplementary driving jobs and this is something that we are investigating, but no decisions have been taken to go live with such a product,” a FarePilot spokesperson said.

The app will not be in direct competition with Uber, promoting a strapline that reads ‘We help Uber, Lyft and taxi drivers find more pings’. Focused more on the technology rather than the delivery of direct transport services, it is important to note that this is not a consumer-facing product.

FarePilot is already working to get drivers on the books and is tipped to be one of the biggest businesses working in the space over the next five years.

Share your thoughts

Let us know what you think; is there room for FarePilot? Leave your comments below.