Automakers are investing in a app for buses and trains, but why?
Transit is an app that helps pedestrians plan out trips across cities around the world. Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi’s Alliance Ventures and Jaguar Land Rover's InMotion Ventures have dished out a whopping $17.5 million investment in the app.
So, why are car makers interested?
Evolution is the keyword. Cities are not car friendly, London is clearly one of them with congestion charges and one-way streets, closing off roads to cars and even started to close car parks. This is to encourage people to use public transport, for some this is okay but for others - who live miles away - this isn't useful at all.
So, can car companies invest to help make transportation into city centres better? Yes, of course, it's already happening. A new round of fundraising for Transit had come from automotive companies so they can hopefully get a slice of the city action. Started by Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi’s joint investment arm Alliance Ventures, Jaguar Land Rover's InMotion Ventures joined in too, alongside other smaller investors - creating $17.5 million just from the two big boys.
This will mean the future of inner-city transport won't be just push bikes, tubes and buses - it will be car sharing on a larger scale, join the app and say where you are going, you may get 3 people join you on your journey into London that Monday morning. Imagine ordering your auto-taxi on Transit, it turns up on time and doesn't ask you how your day was, heaven!
Transit isn't just a van...
The app can be used in 175 cities across the globe and using more than just buses and trains now. You can also book your Uber/taxi, hire bikes and even set up scooter shares. The idea of combining many different types of transport for busy cities seem to come together nicely with Transit.
I did download the app to try it out, London was the closest city to me and I typed in a place I know well into it. The DriveTribe office. Zoomed out of London you get an idea of how many tube lines, bus routes and roads it knows, this is down to using data gathered from users of the years.
The Icons show the closest transport mode you can either use or hire, such as the bike icon shown on the map, the London bike hire scheme. which everyone can use. The bus, tube and train times change all the time, using real-time data from companies, giving you the best way of getting from Oxford street after a large shopping hunt to the office in time.
See how Transit helps you get into your city, you never know, you might just learn shortcuts and new routes from it. I'm going to use it next time I'm in London, see how quickly I can get to Fortnum and Mason's with it!