Bosch dives into the ridesharing industry by helping co-workers carpool

bosch virtual cockpit drving

German supplier Bosch is strengthening the smartphone’s position as a mobility tool. Speaking at the ConnectedWorld forum in Berlin, the firm announced it is throwing its hat into the ridesharing ring by purchasing Detroit-based startup Splitting Fares.

Founded in 2015, Splitting Fares is a smartphone-based platform that lets companies, universities, and municipal authorities offer ridesharing services to their employees and/or students. Bosch points out the service was designed specifically for commuters, not for those who simply need a trip to the local mall or to pick up their kids at day care. It connects people who travel along the same route to the same destination. It’s like Uber Pool for co-workers and students.

After opening the app, users can either search for or offer a ride. The ones who need a lift can book one at the last minute or reserve it well in advance. The app displays the arrival time in real time, and payments are made online. The cost of each ride depends on the distance between the starting point and the destination and how long it takes to get there. Splitting Fares takes a small commission.

About 140,000 commuters currently use Splitting Fares in the United States, in Mexico, and in Germany. Bosch expects to see growth “well into the double digits,” according to Markus Heyn, a member of the company’s board of management. That sounds ambitious, but data suggests it’s a realistic prediction. The number of commuters who hit the road every morning continues to rise, creating traffic jams along busy corridors. Buying Splitting Fares is part of Bosch’s ongoing effort to make cities more livable and reduce pollution.

“By 2020, the number of people worldwide using [ridesharing services] is expected to rise 60 percent to 685 million,” Bosch wrote in a statement. Most — if not all — of them will start their commute by opening a smartphone application. Heyn declared “smartphones are becoming the most important means of travel.”

Bosch employees in Mexico began using Splitting Fares before the company considered making an acquisition. After several months, they reported commuting with co-workers has the added benefit of boosting productivity. It’s an opportunity to network and share ideas in an environment that’s more laid back than work space. You can also see if Stacy’s car is as disorganized as the blasting zone she calls her desk.

Splitting Fares puts a big focus on the made-for-businesses aspect of its platform but it’s already looking at how to expand.

“We are speaking to several airports and airlines about improving shared mobility to and from airports for their employees. This is certainly a direction that Splitting Fares plans to go in the future, especially including travelers, as we expand to cover new types of shared routes,” the company told Digital Trends in a statement.

Cars

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Cars

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.
Smart Home

Uber Eats is testing a system for cheaper meal delivery

You know how Uber Pool offers cheaper trips if riders share a car? Well, Uber Eats is currently testing the same idea for meal delivery, and it could mean cheaper orders for customers.
Cars

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Cars

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.
Cars

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.
Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.
Mobile

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.
Cars

Aston Martin’s 1,000-hp Valkyrie will boast the Mona Lisa of the engine world

Aston Martin has released new details about its F1-inspired Valkyrie hypercar. Co-developed with Red Bull Racing, the Valkyrie will be one of the most aerodynamic production cars ever made.
Cars

The redesigned 2020 Passat shows Volkswagen still believes in sedans

The sedan segment in America is shrinking, but Volkswagen still believes in it. The German firm has released a teaser sketch to preview the redesigned 2020 Passat it will introduce during the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
Cars

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti has released a teaser image to preview a concept it will unveil at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The yet-unnamed design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language.