The B2B service is intended for users who travel the same route each day
Bosch has announced it is entering the ride-sharing business through the acquisition of Splitting Fares (SPLT) for an undisclosed sum.
The US start-up based in Detroit operates a platform that allows companies, universities, and municipal authorities to offer their workforces ride-sharing services. The B2B approach is designed especially for commuters.
Ride-sharing, in which digital services and apps are used to form carpools and to organise vehicle sharing and taxis, is a growth market in the connected mobility sector.
By 2020, the number of people worldwide using ride-shares is expected to rise 60 per cent to 685 million (Statista). Until now, the services available have usually directly targeted people who happen to be travelling in the same direction, and who want to book a ride on the spur of the moment.
They have not focused so much on companies and commuters. According to SPLT this is where its solution comes in.
SPLT uses an app to connect people who share the same route to their place of work or study. An algorithm finds the best composition for the ride-share and computes the fastest route. The aim is to reduce congestion and make the daily commute more relaxed, the company said.
“With this sustainable and affordable mobility service, we want to fundamentally change the way people get from A to B,” said Anya Babbitt, the co-founder and CEO of SPLT.
Companies, universities, or municipal authorities enable access to the SPLT platform for their employees, who then download the SPLT app, register, and look for or offer a ride-share.
Bookings can be made on the spur of the moment or in advance. Arrival times are displayed in real time, and costs are shared among colleagues and charged online. The B2B service is intended for users who travel the same route each day.
One advantage of this is that rides are shared by colleagues, which means users never have to get in the car with complete strangers. As a side benefit, such ride-shares encourage communication and offer a chance to network. Company buses can also be integrated into the app, and in this way be used more flexibly and efficiently.
With SPLT, we are extending our portfolio in the growth area of mobility services,” added Dr Markus Heyn, member of the Bosch board of management. “Increasingly, smartphones are becoming the most important means of travel.”
With connected mobility services, Bosch said it is seeking growth “well into double digits”.
SPLT was founded in 2015 and some 140,000 users in the US, Mexico, and Germany currently use the service.
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