Daimler AG is expanding its mobility services in the U.S. as the German automaker aims to beat competitors in the emerging urban transportation market.
Best known for its car2go carsharing service, Daimler is merging two more mobility services in the U.S., RideScout and GlobeSherpa. Daimler bought RideScout in 2014; its app allows users to find the fastest route using public transit and sharing services. GlobeSherpa is a mobile transit ticketing service that RideScout acquired last year.
RideScout and GlobeSherpa join car2go operating under Daimler’s Moovel Group GmbH mobility services subsidiary. Moovel also owns taxi-haling app MyTaxi and other mobility services.
Moovel North America CEO Nat Parker said the merger is the latest move in the “arms race” between Daimler and other automakers including General Motors and BMW; and with technology companies moving into automotive such as Google and Apple. Parker, the co-founder and former CEO of GlobeSherpa, said mobility services have the potential to upend automakers’ business models if they remain complacent.
“We’re only a couple years into this complete rethink of urban transportation, one that could lead to a radically different future,” Parker said.
Moovel North America will be offering Moovel Transit, formerly known as TransitSherpa, a mobile ticketing app based on RideScout and GlobeSherpa’s technology. Public transit users in cities including Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles can pay on the go and also access carsharing and bikesharing services.
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Moovel will also offer RideTap, a software development kit offering users more options for getting around the city. Users of third-party apps can use RideTap to find the fastest route to a destination by using public transportation, hailing a Lyft vehicle, or reserving a Car2Go vehicle.
Daimler’s move comes not long after General Motors invested $500 million in the Lyft ridesharing service and launched a carsharing service, Maven. BMW relaunched its U.S. carsharing program earlier this month, which has been renamed ReachNow.