Two more major automobile manufacturers are venturing into the on-demand transportation industry through partnerships with two carpooling mobile app companies.
BMW i Ventures announced its plan to partner with Scoop, while Toyota Motor Corp. recently announced its intention to partner with Uber. Volkswagen Group announced its plans to partner with Gett earlier this week.
Scoop, Uber and Gett offer people an alternative way to get to and from work or their destinations instead of using traditional taxis or shuttle services. Users request rides through the various companies using their smartphones. The companies in turn pair the requests with approved drivers.
BMW officials indicated that they want to enter a financial partnership with Scoop to help with traffic issues many cities face.
“Scoop’s carpooling offer is a great help for urban traffic and parking problems in cities, but it also enables employers in finding and supporting sustainable transportation solutions for their employees,” said Ulrich Quay, Head of BMW i Ventures. “Through this investment, BMW Mobility Services and Scoop together could offer a practical carpooling solution to a problem facing cities, starting here in the U.S.”
Toyota and Uber are also entering into a financial partnership, but Toyota officials indicated that the partnership would extend to new leasing options. Under those options, buyers who lease their vehicles from Toyota Financial Services can cover their payments by being an Uber driver.
“Ridesharing has huge potential in terms of shaping the future of mobility,” said Shigeki Tomoyama, senior managing officer of Toyota Motor Corporation and president of the Connected Company, one of Toyota Motor Corporation’s recently created in-house companies. “Through this collaboration with Uber, we would like to explore new ways of delivering secure, convenient and attractive mobility services to customer.”
Both Scoop and Uber work similarly. Those who need a ride access their mobile app to request the service. An approved driver picks up the passengers at a prearranged place such as the passenger’s home. No cash is exchanged between driver and passenger, and instead the respective companies charge a person’s credit card.
Scoop’s main focus is offering rides for people commuting to and from work, while Uber offers rides for daily commuters, people who want to run errands and those attending after-hour events. Both companies have said that safety is their number one priority, and do background checks on their drivers.
Since its inception, Uber has faced criticisms regarding its background checks, incidents with drivers and comments made by Uber upper level executives. Uber also recently agreed to settle two lawsuits brought against it concerning employment status and tips. Drivers will continue to be classified as independent contractors but can now post signs in their vehicles saying tips for their services are appreciated.
Check out this TFLcar video review of the 2016 BMW 750i: