Car2Go is growing from Brooklyn into several areas in the borough of Queens to expand the car-sharing service's reach in the Big Apple. It's also adding 100 more Smart Fortwos to the fleet to cope with the additional users.
Car-sharing service Lyft has decided it's time to retire that big pink, fuzzy mustache its cars have worn since its founding in 2012. After working with design firm Ammunition, the company known for its work with Beats by Dre, the new "21st Century update of the taxi light" is a pink plastic banana-sized mustache that sits on the dashboard. It's called a "glowstache."
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.