As part of an ongoing joint venture, Daimler and BMW will aquire the mytaxi family of apps. This is in addition to their ongoing car2go and DriveNow merger. These will all now be all under the new name FREE NOW. This is one of five new brands, consolidated down from 14 services. Renting cars can be so complicated…and expensive. (Even though you can rack up a ton of bonus miles!)

What Does This All Mean?

If you live in or are traveling to one of over 100 EUROPEAN CITIES (and now a growing number in Latin America) your access to urban mobility just got a major upgrade.

Offering Ride Share, Taxi, Black Car (previously Beat, mytaxi, Clever Taxi and Chauffeur Privé), FREE NOW is one of five new transportation services being built through this merger. The others are:

REACH NOW – providing multimodal services such as booking and payment for public transit tickets and other mobility options such as car-sharing,
ride-hailing and bike rentals.

CHARGE NOW – making public charge points quick and easy to locate, use and pay for, both at home and abroad.

PARK NOW – helping cities and municipalities to reduce the number of cars seeking inner city parking spaces, making for a cleaner, healthier, more liveable environment.

SHARE NOW – free-floating car-sharing service providing access to Smart cars and most BMW and Mini models.

Improved Urban Mobility

Due to government regulation, in most European markets, mytaxi was the same cost as uber or just far less hassle. Why is that? Well, because they are taxi drivers who always take card and are typically driving Benz’s or Beamers to begin with. Uber is still contentious in many cities. With the exception of rare times I’m ordering Uber Black, I’ve never had a positive interaction with an UberX (peer-to-peer). No matter HOW many rewards they offer through their program.

Partnering together and investing €1 billion is the result of the two German auto giants realizing their future. Mostly from the threat posed by mobility upstarts like Uber and Waymo was way bigger than their 100-year-old rivalry.

“As pioneers in automotive engineering, we will not leave the task of shaping future urban mobility to others,” said Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche.

Better International Access

With these services merging into five new core businesses, customers now have easier access while traveling, in addition to when at home. Previously you’d need to have different car2go accounts based on where you were from vs. where you were looking to use the service. This would be overly time consuming for a short stay.

Now, whether in town for a few days or a few months, users access these services while traveling the world.

The post FREE NOW: Europe’s New (and better) Uber? was first published on Coworkaholic.

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