Back in September, Mercedes-Benz announced the fruits of a two-year partnership with US-based startup ride-sharing firm “Via Transportation” to provide on-demand service shuttles around London (Yes, the one in England). They confirmed at that time that a roll out to more European cities would begin shortly. Their plan involves specially-equipped versions of their Vito and V-class vans, and will cooperate with public transportation authorities. This service connects multiple passengers who are headed the same direction. Luxury ride sharing is a quickly growing segment of the market.
Now, Porsche has announced plans to enter the same arena
In May of 2016, Volkswagen AG dumped 300 million dollars into the taxi-hailing/ride-sharing app company Gett, presumably in response to the Mercedes program. At the time VAG said it was looking to create a “special chauffeur service” featuring “premium brands, such as Audi and Porsche” as part of the partnership. Just last week, Porsche announced that “Porsche On Demand” is finally here. If you are in London’s Zone 1, you could schedule a pickup from one of 100 Panamera, Macan, and Cayenne models prowling the streets. Porsche’s hope, we assume, is to help associate their cars with quality and comfort for wealthy riders in major centers of commerce. With other programs like Porsche’s Passport month-to-month ownership already launched in Atlanta, we could soon be heading for a future where you don’t ever actually own your Porsche.
By now we’ve likely all experienced an Uber or Lyft drive, right (Porsche actually foreshadowed this concept in a video earlier this year)? You never know what kind of car you’re going to get, it could be a shoddy subcompact or a van that’s been destroyed by passengers twelve times over. On occasion you’ll get a nice one, or if you pony up for Uber Black, I suppose. With this service, soon to expand to other markets, you can get from one end of the city to the other in quiet and comfort that you won’t find in standard public transport.
What is your thought on this? If you’re in London, will you try out the Gett app and get picked up in a Porsche?