In just a few years, on-demand ride services like Uber and Lyft have gone from practically nonexistent to a major presence in many cities around the world. While this change has caused consternation among governments and traditional taxi drivers, there's no doubt that the apps have had a huge effect on how many people get around. Now, researchers are trying to investigate what effect they might play on traffic congestion, and so far the results are bit cloudy.
The DriveNow carsharing service, which is a partnership between BMW and Sixt, is growing quite rapidly. "We've been surprised about the explosion of new subscriptions, which has helped boost revenue," says Sixt CEO Erich Sixt. The number of DriveNow users has increased from 215,000 at the end of last year to 300,000 today.
The ridesharing service Uber promises to connect people needing a lift with drivers offering one, and it appears to be pretty useful. After all, you can use it to summon Optimus Prime. For many cab drivers around the world, though, the app is basically the bane of their existence. The French passed a law mandating wait times before pickups in January, and 30,000 European cabbies staged a mass protest in June. The latest group hoping to ban Uber is the government of Seoul, South Korea.
Friday was supposed to be the launch of taxi-rivaling, ride-sharing service Lyft in one of the cab's most iconic cities – New York. But with just a few hours to go before kickoff, Lyft's launch in the Big Apple was put off after due to legal battles with the state and city.
Zipcar was one of the first major successes in carsharing in the US and is still a major player in the market around the world. The business now has offices in 26 American cities with about 10,000 vehicles and 860,000 members around the world. Rental car company Avis bought it for $491 million in January 2013, and the company has continued to expand.
Uber and authorities in France are heading for a bit of a fight following new laws in the country requiring that car services need to wait a minimum of 15 minutes after receiving a pickup request or reservation before they can actually pick up fares. The point of contention here, though, is that licensed cabs aren't subject to the same set of rules, which is striking some as an arbitrary ruling that favors traditional cab operations over car-sharing services.
The wacky, three-wheeled Toyota i-Road we saw in Geneva earlier this year will be heading to production. But before you run down to your local Toyota dealer looking for one of these all-electric "personal mobility" vehicles, chances are, you'll never actually see one unless you visit Japan.
Bolloré, the company behind the car-sharing service Autolib, is going to get to work alongside French automaker Renault on some of these newfangled mobility issues. The two companies have signed a letter of intent to collaborate on car-sharing operations and, possibly, to develop an all-electric three-seater. Renault says it may invest in Bolloré's Bluely and Bluecub services in Lyon and the Bordeaux regions, respectively. The two companies may also work together on a electric trik
Carsharing has been around since the 1990s, but, not surprisingly, it has seen rapid growth ever since the economy started to tank back in 2008. The increasingly popular short-term car rental solution is a great tool for people in large, urban cities, and according to a study from Colorado-based Navigant Research, the number of carshare participants will continue to climb from today's 2.3-million users to more than 12 million by the end of the decade.
Car service and taxi app Uber has inked a deal with the NFL Players' Association to provide players with a safe ride and prevent drunk driving. Players will be issued $200 in ride credits on a keychain card, and will also get promo cards for friends and family.
The "Peak Car" theory says U.S. citizens will buy fewer cars
Compared with the rest of the world, the U.S. has long been known as the gas guzzler country--the nation of the widest roads, largest vehicles and the least amount of reliable mass transit for the geography. That image could be changing, according to a new study that says driving in the U.S. has already peaked and will decline.
Time for some Rocky Mountain car sharing. Car2go on June 8 will add Denver to its list of cities where folks can share the classic white and blue Smart Fortwo vehicles. Denver will be the tenth North American city – and 20th worldwide – to have the service, which is owned by Mercedes-Benz and Smart parent Daimler AG.
Think of this as a rare occasion where a General Motors collaborator is providing Ford with a little cash. A GM partner, peer-to-peer car-sharing operator RelayRides, is buying competitor Wheelz for an undisclosed amount, GigaOM reports. It's a bit of a stretch, but Ford is connected to Wheelz.
In Europe, car rental and car sharing are getting tapped into by automakers to "move the metal." Electric vehicles may come equipped with cutting-edge technology, but when buyers balk, automakers are quick to dump them on fleets.
Passenger might one day go the way of landline telephones. Everyone was dependent upon them until, somehow, mobile phones became ubiquitous and landlines began fading away. Maurie Cohen, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Environment Science at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, says the analogy is a good one.
Combine a really fast electric vehicle, a really high per-hour rental charge and visions of Steve McQueen or Ken Block of Gymkhana fame racing through the City by the Bay, and you have a really bad combination. Or a really good one.
Carsharing venture DriveNow GmbH, owned by BMW and European rental company Sixt AG, is expected to be profitable this year, the first time that will happen since starting up two years ago. BMW hopes to overtake German rival Daimler (with Car2go) in this growing space as urban consumers become more interested in transportation alternatives like carsharing.
While some hipsters were bummed out by the idea of car rental giant Avis owning quirky car sharing innovator Zipcar, US regulators will probably approve the deal. That's what Reuters found out after conducting an informal poll of nine antitrust experts. While several of them feared loss of the lively upstart business, eight of the nine experts think that US regulators will approve the deal.