Bosch is entering the ridesharing business following the acquisition of Splitting Fares Inc. (SPLT), a US start-up based in Detroit. SPLT operates a platform that allows companies, universities, and municipal authorities to offer their workforces ridesharing services. The B2B approach is designed especially for commuters.
SPLT uses an app to connect people who share the same route to their place of work or study. An algorithm finds the best composition for the ride-share, and computes the fastest route. The aim is to reduce congestion and make the daily commute more relaxed. SPLT was founded in 2015. Some 140,000 users in the United States, Mexico, and Germany currently take advantage of the service.
The price of the acquisition was not disclosed.
“With SPLT, we are extending our portfolio in the growth area of mobility services,” said Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the Bosch board of management. With connected mobility services, Bosch aims for growth well into double digits.
“With SPLT, we are extending our portfolio in the growth area of mobility services.”
“Increasingly, smartphones are becoming the most important means of travel.”
“Increasingly, smartphones are becoming the most important means of travel,” Heyn added.
Connecting road users and modes of transportation is making flexible, multimodal mobility possible: in a matter of seconds, everyone can decide how they want to travel, and make the necessary bookings. “With this sustainable and affordable mobility service, we want to fundamentally change the way people get from A to B,” said Anya Babbitt, the co-founder and CEO of SPLT.
‘Commuting without stress’
Companies, universities, or municipal authorities enable access to the SPLT platform for their employees, who then download the SPLT app, register, and look for or offer a rideshare. Bookings can be made on the spur of the moment or in advance. Arrival times are displayed in real time, and costs are shared among colleagues and charged online. The B2B service is intended for users who travel the same route each day. One advantage of this is that rides are shared by colleagues, which means users never have to get in the car with complete strangers, Bosch says.
As a side benefit, such rideshares encourage communication and offer a chance to network. Company buses can also be integrated into the app, and in this way be used more flexibly and efficiently. The result is a journey to work and back without stress, at low cost, and with little environmental impact, it is claimed.
Within Bosch itself, workers in Mexico are already using the app, and it is planned to extend its use to the entire company. “We believe we have a good chance of global growth together with Bosch,” Babbitt said. SPLT will remain an independent entity within the Bosch Group and be run as a wholly owned subsidiary.