Jaguar Land Rover invests £20m in ride-sharing service Lyft
British car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has entered the market of smart transportation with a new £19m investment in ride-sharing service Lyft.
JLR’s mobility services arm InMotion Ventures yesterday (12 June) announced the funding will enable to firm to develop and test its mobility services, including driverless cars. It is also set to support Lyft’s expansion plans by supplying the US-based firm with a fleet of JLR vehicles.
“We are excited to collaborate with a leading platform like Lyft not only on developing premium mobility solutions but also devising innovative solutions to the transport problems JLR’s customers face,” said InMotion managing director Sebastian Peck.
“Personal mobility and smart transportation is evolving and this new collaborative venture will provide a real-world platform helping us develop our connected and autonomous services.”
Online platforms such as Lyft and Uber nudge people towards ‘access over ownership’, making more efficient use of existing vehicles in the city.
In terms of the environment, early research suggests that companies like Lyft and Uber have a positive impact, partly because people may take public transit more often if they are certain they can later use a ride service.
Commenting on the announcement, Lyft president John Zimmer said: “We’re excited to join forces with Jaguar Land Rover and InMotion. Lyft envisions a future where shared mobility will transform cities and improve people’s lives. This partnership will help us achieve that ambitious goal.”
Traditional automotive manufacturers have understood the threat to their core business model posed by online car sharing platforms. Earlier this year, Ford extended its Chariot ride-sharing services to eight cities. Already operating in San Francisco, Austin and Texas, the scheme will add an extra five cities to scheme, including at least one “global city”.
Japanese carmaker Nissan, meanwhile, has unveiled the world's first social network-powered shared car ownership scheme, which invoices individuals based on the monthly usage of a nearby fleet of Nissan Micra Acentas.
Uber’s public policy associate Alan Clarke recently told edie that the company is combining new EVs with ride sharing platforms as a means to “demystify” concerns over public EV use. Despite an increase in vehicle numbers, Uber’s use of EVs has highlighted issues related to London’s charging network infrastructure.