Ride-sharing start-up Split has been acquired by a Volkswagen-affiliated mobility company, its co-founder said, the latest disbanded ride-booking app to find new life with an automaker’s investment.
Unprecedented changes are taking place in today’s auto industry. Companies old (e.g. Ford, Toyota) and new (e.g. Tesla, Waymo) are working overtime to make cars that run on battery power, drive themselves, and function as taxis. They’re doing all that to prepare for a future 10 or 20 years down the road, when electric, autonomous, shared vehicles will have changed the way we think about transportation. Only problem is, at least one new survey shows that the future may be closer than many had thought.
Harmen van Sprang and Pieter van de Glind co-founded the global Sharing Cities Alliance this May to continuously address the sharing economy and improve the lives of citizens. Last month, 22 cities from 13 countries and 4 continents convened in New York City for the second annual summit.
So you have a house to rent — or maybe just a room. Or perhaps you’d like to pick up passengers in your car working for Uber or Lyft. Pursuing these types of business activities can be great sources of additional income. But there are drawbacks too, including those involving taxes. There are several tricky tax rules to beware, especially if you want to lease your home or part of it: A guide prepared for Airbnb landlords by accounting firm Ernst & Young runs 28 pages.
In a model similar to that of Airbnb, Turo allows car owners to advertise for free on its website, and as soon as they rent out their cars, Turo’s insurance plan kicks in. That way, your personal car insurance isn’t affected by renting out your car, according to the company.
Need to charge your phone urgently to make an important call? Need a bike quickly? Forget to bring your umbrella on a rainy day? If you’re in a Chinese city then the chances are there’s no need to worry. That’s because there are now dozens of smartphone-based apps offering to rent almost anything you could imagine.
Nine drivers for the ride-hailing service Cabify had their vehicles torched at the start of May after pitching up in the Andalusian city to seek custom at its spring festival. Car2go, a car-sharing fleet in Madrid owned by Daimler AG, has suffered attacks on 70 of its cars over the last 18 months. And Spanish “taxistas” went on strike Tuesday in protest at competitors whom they say mimic their service without forking out for a cab license that in Madrid can cost as much as 130,000 euros ($145,496).
The smartphone-based ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft generally have been seen as bad news for taxi companies. But they seem to be endangering another industry as well: Rental cars.
Taxi drivers in Spain are protesting against ride-hailing apps Uber and Cabify today, holding strikes in multiple cities and a protest march in the capital. Early reports suggest 20,000 protestors took to the streets in Madrid. Meanwhile, both companies are continuing to recruit drivers — using another Spanish startup, Jobandtalent, to help them do so. For example, the below ad running on Facebook in Barcelona says the recruitment firm is looking for 140 private drivers in the city this month, with applications for the roles ending on June 2.
Be careful the next time you take a BMW ReachNow vehicle on a ferry. GeekWire has learned of multiple recent incidents with BMW ReachNow vehicles — part of the automaker’s car-sharing program in Seattle — getting stuck on Washington State Ferries, including two from this holiday weekend.