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Mercedes’ Uber-rivalling ride-hailing service goes live in London

Mercedes-Benz Vans and US technology start-up Via have launched their on-demand ridesharing ViaVan joint venture in London as part of its ongoing roll-out in Europe.

The service is powered by Via's dynamic ride-pooling technology, which was developed initially for New York City

The service is powered by Via’s dynamic ride-pooling technology, which was developed initially for New York City.

Introduced just a few weeks after the scheme marked its European debut in Amsterdam, the service provides a fleet of Mercedes-Benz vans to offer shared rides that can be booked via an app, covering zones 1 and 2 in central London, for an introductory price of £3.

Drivers are then guided to a nearby, virtual stop where they are then picked up by a professional driver, using intelligent route planning to ensure an efficient service with minimum delays. Riders and drivers will also benefit from 24/7 real-time support.

“Londoners deserve innovative transportation solutions that are safe, convenient, and affordable,” said Chris Snyder, CEO of ViaVan. “ViaVan is a different kind of company: we have social responsibility built into our DNA. Our mission is to power truly dynamic mass transit systems, which reduce congestion in our cities while offering drivers the opportunity to earn a decent living. We are delighted to launch in London and to finally give Londoners an alternative to expensive and inefficient private car services.”

Other cities, including Berlin, will follow as soon as the required permits are obtained.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.