Daimler AG is investing in the ridesharing network, carpooling.com GmbH, according to a joint announcement in late July. The capital investment will serve primarily the development and expansion of carpooling.com’s mobility solutions.

According to carpooling.com, the ridesharing network transports 1 million people a month across Europe. The platform is available on the Internet, on smartphone apps and Facebook. The website provides profile reviews and ratings so users know who they are traveling with. In addition to rides, the company’s platform also offers bus, rail and airline tickets.

The goal of the partnership is to further expand carpooling.com’s platforms and intelligently integrate the offerings within Daimler’s mobility solutions. Daimler’s short-term car rental company, car2go, has more than 130,000 customers, according to the announcement. Since early 2012, Daimler has also held a share in MyTaxi, and in July 2012 Daimler launched the mobility platform “moovel.”

“We view ridesharing as an important element of intelligently networked mobility. Our engagement in carpooling.com is a logical step in offering our customers an even wider range for getting from Point A to Point B,” notes Wilfried Steffen, who heads up business innovation at Daimler AG. “We are pleased that this strategic partnership will enable us to support carpooling.com’s growth and further development.”

“The partnership gives us an unprecedented opportunity to grow the carpooling.com marketplace,” said carpooling.com CEO Markus Barnikel. “As a leading automotive player, Daimler will serve as a strong partner in further establishing the role of modern carpooling in Europe and overseas. We will be utilizing the new capital to further improve our offerings, broaden our customer service and make carpooling available to even more users worldwide.”

Moovel – Integrating Mobility

In mid-July 2012, both companies announced a technical cooperation for the pilot project moovel, which brings together entirely different means of travel, including bus and rail, ridesharing options, as well as taxis, and presents the options so that they can be seen at a glance and on an equal footing, according to a Daimler statement July 11. The recommendations are based on the offers of the mobility service providers.

The travel options are displayed on the "moovel" app or mobile website. Along with provider-independent information about prices and traveling time, "moovel" features a user guidance program.

moovel will start off as a pilot project in Stuttgart in Germany. A second pilot project is planned for the second half of 2012 in Berlin, according to Daimler.

"With the 'moovel' pilot project in Stuttgart we focus entirely on the intelligent linkage of different mobility offerings,” Steffan said. Daimler gained experience in the ride sharing market with its ad hoc ride sharing system car2gether in two Germany pilot tests in Ulm and Aachen. Moreover, in Ulm the linking of car2gether with car2go was tested, while in Aachen, the connection with a public transit operator was tested.

The free moovel app is available in the Apple Store, or via the mobile website, moovel can be used on most smartphones at www.moovel.com.