Volkswagen is getting serious about building ride-hailing and autonomous vehicles as the German auto giant announced the launch of a spinoff company that focuses on “new mobility solutions.” The new standalone company, Moia, is based in Berlin and will soon start testing some of Volkswagen’s ride-sharing and car-sharing programs there. The company says it aims to generate “a significant share” of its sale revenue from the Moia services by 2025.
Why Brands Should Care
Besides Volkswagen, major automakers like Ford and General Motors have also been launching car-sharing services or partnering with Uber or Lyft to restructure its revenue streams, cash in on the rise of on-demand car services, and prepare for a not-too-distant future where consumers choose on-demand ride-sharing and carsharing services over private car ownerships. As development in this area ramps up, more and more consumers will soon become addressable as they ditch the steering wheels for the backseats, and brands will have to explore new partnerships and ad opportunities, such as Uber’s Trip Experiences, to capitalize on the consumer attention freed from driving.
Uber has launched another business-friendly feature to help companies better leverage its car-hailing service to reach customers. Dubbed UberCENTRAL, the new service allows companies to book and pay for rides for their customers and manage multiple rides from a single account via its dashboard. Businesses can also send links to a live map via SMS message to tell users that their free rides are on the way. In May, Uber started testing a similar feature named Uber Offers that allows brands to provide customers who click on in-app ads with credits for free rides.
What Brands Need To Do
With this new feature, Uber is making it easier for brands to use its service to provide extra value to their customers as loyalty rewards, incentives for visiting a store, or simply as a logistics tool to get VIP members to an event. Better yet, brands can consider combining this service with the Trip Experience feature that Uber launched in January to offer customers a branded experience while they are enjoying the free rides that brands pay for.
Header image courtesy of Uber’s YouTube Video
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Following the steps of fellow automakers BMW and Audi, Ford announced on Tuesday morning that its car-sharing service “go!drive” is out of beta and now open for public testing in London with 50 vehicles available at 20 locations across the city. The new service employs a pay-by-the-minute approach to pricing, including the fee for fuel and insurance. As more and more auto brands start to imitate Uber and start testing their own on-demand car rental services, it seems reasonable to envision a future in which car companies won’t just sell cars, but also rides, one trip at a time.
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Ford CEO Mark Field revealed in a recent interview with BuzzFeed that the company has been developing its own ridesharing service named Dynamic Shuttle. Earlier this year at CES, Ford unveiled a series of experiments in developing the connected car, and this announcement marks Ford’s first entry into building its own platform. As on-demand ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft radically alter the landscape of personal transportation, it makes sense that a legacy auto manufacturer like Ford would be eager to acclimate to the ongoing market shift from car-ownership towards car-sharing.
Image taken from Ford’s website
Uber, the popular on demand ride service app, announced that the hackathon-founded feature of split ride payments is coming to life in the app. The feature is now live in the iOS store, and will be coming to Google Play in the near future. Uber says that you can now split fares by inviting friends from the contact list, or by entering their phone numbers during your trip. Once confirmed, Uber automatically divides the cost by however many riders are added.