Calling it a "youth transportation service," Boost is one of the projects being worked on by the tinkerers at Mercedes-Benz Research and Design North America. "It can be very tough for parents to get their kids from place to place - safely and on time. Our goal at Boost is to make parents' lives easier, while enabling children to participate in more activities," said Regan Long, Business Innovation Manager and Boost Program Lead at MBRDNA.
The service promises "white glove" custom transportation, along with licensed and well-trained drivers. It's unclear if that licensure is simply a driver's license or extends to child care.
Parents can sign up by heading to the Boost site, but must select pick-up and drop-off sites 48 hours in advance. A simple smartphone app allow parents to keep tabs on when their kids are picked up or dropped off, and a text message service will also be available for monitoring.
The program is being tested in Palo Alto, and there's no word on whether Mercedes will expand it to other cities. Have a look below at the official press release from Mercedes-Benz, which further explains the Boost program.
Mercedes-Benz revs up youth transportation market: Youngsters on the road with Boost by Mercedes-Benz
Busy schedules and the stress of scheduling for today's youths seem to be part of the daily family life. The recently launched pilot program, "Boost by Mercedes-Benz" in Palo Alto, California, addresses that challenge. This youth transportation service is designed to transport children safely and reliably to and from the educational and recreational activities that fill their day. The initiative is a project of Business Innovation at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc. which looks at future trends and develops solutions such as "Boost by Mercedes-Benz".
"Boost by Mercedes-Benz" uses environmentally friendly Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans, and provides high-level, 'white glove' custom transportation for children by virtue of well-trained and fully licensed drivers and concierges.
"We know how important it is for children to balance school and extracurricular activities," says Regan Long, Business Innovation Manager and Boost Program Lead at MBRDNA, "it can be very tough for parents to get their kids from place to place -- safely and on time. Our goal at Boost is to make parents' lives easier, while enabling children to participate in more activities."
After a simple registration, parents can reserves rides for their kids online at www.boostbybenz.com . The service covers Palo Alto; one-way rides can be purchased individually or in discounted bundles.
At least 48 hours in advance, the parents select the pick-up and drop-off location for their kids along with a time window for each stop. The Boost app and text message service can then notify parents when their children are picked up and show them where their children are en route. "Boost by Mercedes-Benz" utilizes GPS-enabled tablets on board the vehicles that makes all this possible. "Innovative technology is the backbone of our white-glove service," says Long. "We've created a seamless system that handles route planning, notifications, and updates. This allows the staff to focus on what is most important, our children."
"One of our goals in Business Innovation is to change the way people think about transportation," says Rasheq Zarif, Senior Manager of the Business Innovation Team. "With Boost, we already see this shift taking place, and we're excited to see how this mobility service evolves."
About Business Innovation
Business Innovation initiated in 2007 is Daimler's 'think tank' for innovative solutions beyond the core business of car manufacturing. The team deals with future trends and technological, social and cultural developments to create profitable business models. Tested and evaluated on a pilot basis, success stories like car2go and Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy started here as proof-of-concept projects and have subsequently become prosperous businesses. Business Innovation teams are also located at the headquarters in Stuttgart, in Beijing, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires and Sunnyvale, CA. Business Innovation at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc. started in 2012.