Daimler will invest $50 million in a joint venture with Via to use the U.S. startup’s ride-sharing platform for on-demand shuttle services in Europe. The program will launch in London later this year, and eventually expand to other cities. All services operated under the joint venture will use Mercedes vans.
Via users hail a ride through a smartphone app, just like ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft. But the use of vans means multiple passengers going in the same direction can be placed in one vehicle. It’s similar in concept to the Chariot shuttle service operated by Ford in some U.S. cities.