Car rental company Enterprise will launch its own car subscription service. It’s the company’s first attempt to get in on the Mobility-as-a-Service action. The company announced that customers will be able to pay a monthly fee to rent from six vehicle categories — full-size and premium sedans, small and mid-sized SUVs, and small and mid-sized trucks with more than 20 models. The rental fee will include all expenses like insurance, maintenance, registration, and road-side assistance. The service will be launched within the coming weeks.
Various companies working in the automotive industry, including OEMs, have been trying to keep up with the new servicization trend. Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Jaguar, and Porche all have different versions of the same model in the US. However, moving from ownership to rental model encounters some obstacles from the existing players in the US. For example, last month, car and truck dealership association in California filed a petition to stop Volvo from launching its subscription service.
Getaround acquires Drivy for $300m
Peer-to-peer car sharing startup Getaround has acquired Paris-based Drivy for $300 million. Getaround was launched in 2011 in the US and has financial backers like SoftBank, while Drive operates in more than 170 European cities. Drivy has raised $50 million since its foundation, while Getaround has hit the $400 million mark last summer. Getaround also has tried partnerships with various companies, including displaying its vehicles within Uber app, a project that was subsequently shut down. The company still works with Uber to provide vehicles to ride-hailing giant’s drivers.
The two companies will have a total of five million users and will operate in 300 cities.
Sony launches taxi-hailing in Japan
Sony has launched its taxi-hailing service in Japan after an official announcement was made last year. The service is called S.Ride and it was launched in cooperation with five licensed taxi companies. Ride-hailing with civilian cars is illegal in Japan. One of the main benefits S.Ride promises to offer its customers is better matching of supply and demand through its AI, as well as, its cashless payment system. The service will have over 10,000 taxis in Tokyo.
The main competitor of S.Ride is JapanTaxi, a venture backed by Toyota with 50,000 cars across the country. Chat app Line, as well as, Didi Chuxing are also offering taxi hailing in Japan. S.Ride will operate in Japan only and there are no plans to expand it outside the country.