London will see the launch of its latest ride-sharing app on Wednesday 4, when Mercedes backed app, Via, officially hits it's streets. It's taken London regulator Transport for London nearly a year to approve a private hire licence to the New York start up firm, but with a licence finally granted, the service which allows passengers to travel with others who are going the same way, similar to Uber's, UberPool service. Passengers can order a ViaVan through the app and then pick others up along the way. The service will not always be able to pick every passenger up at their exact desired location, so they may have to walk a short distance to hop in the Van. Car giants Mercedes invested over £30 million in the New York start-up last year, which is aiming to offer a cheaper alternative to ride-hailing firm Uber who have launched an appeal against TfL's decision to not issue them a licence.
Several thousand drivers have already signed up to the new app, which believes the future of transportation has to involve "sharing".
CEO of ViaVan Chris Snyder said:
"Londoners deserve innovative transportation solutions that are safe, convenient, and affordable.
"ViaVan is a different kind of company: we have social responsibility built into our DNA. "Our mission is to power truly dynamic mass transit systems, which reduce congestion in our cities while offering drivers the opportunity to earn a decent living.