Top 10 Hottest Startups In Transport Right Now
There’s a transportation revolution underway, and the startups we’re featuring this week are nailing it. From car sharing companies that cut down on Earth damaging motor vehicle emissions, to apps that make catching public transportation easier than ordering lunch, these startups are in the process of redefining how we get around.
Chicago-based startup SpotHero has arrived in San Francisco, and drivers are now able to use their on-demand parking app when looking for a parking spot in town. SpotHero helps drivers find parking anywhere in the city, and whether it’s self-park or valet, drivers can reserve a spot in advance using the app. On top of that, they can get discounted rates that can be up to $50 off of the drive-up price.
Unlike apps like Luxe Valet, Zirx, Vatler, and the unlaunched Caarbon, which dispatch a valet to meet you wherever you’d like and wisk your car away from your care, SpotHero simply helps you find available parking in private garages and lots, book one (often for a discounted price), and pay for it right through the app.
Buses don’t always run on time, and our subway system won’t get you everywhere you need, so these alternative car services are a welcome new option. But what if we rethought private car services, giving them the things we like about public transportation, like predictable routes and lower prices? That’s exactly what a San Francisco startup named Loup is doing.
Loup is a bit of cross between a private car service and mass transit. Just like with Uber, Lyft, and so on, passengers can book a ride from a car through a mobile app. And just like buses and trains, Loup runs predetermined routes and does so frequently. Although Loup’s model offers a lot of flexibility around the vehicles it can use, the company is first starting with black town cars through local limousine companies it has partnered with. It will take a 20 percent cut from each ride.
It is also designed to be flexible when it comes to the cars in its system, as mentioned. While it’s starting with the standard black cars which can seat up to three passengers, it can easily contract larger or additional vehicles based on demand.
In some areas of San Francisco, a good parking spot is often hard to find. But what if a valet met you at a chosen destination, parked your car nearby, and brought it back as soon as you were ready to leave? A new app did just. The startup behind this on-demand valet service is called Luxe.
How it works: Drivers use the Luxe app to request a valet to meet them at a location where they will need to park their car. The Luxe valets, who need about 10 minutes advance notice, show up on foot, skateboard or scooter. The driver goes about his business while the valet parks the car in one of the several garages around town where Luxe has leased dozens of spaces. Cars are never parked on the street.
The driver notifies the valet through the app what time and where he wants his car back, and the valet will deliver it. The user can track their car’s location and the location of the valet in real-time through the smartphone app.
As of right now, this service is only available in San Francisco.
We all know renting a car at the airport can be a pain, and Texas-based company Silvercar has been working to fix that.
Silvercar chief executive Luke Schneider has quite a bit of experience in car-rental technology — he was previously the chief technology executive of Zipcar, a rental company known for its tech-based check-in approach. So naturally, Silvercar uses mobile apps, Bluetooth low-energy signal, and other technology it has built in-house to handle the entire customer onboarding process, from reservation, all the way to the drop-off at the airport.
Moreover, Silvercar only provides one kind of car, an Audi A4 in silver, to avoid the mess that too many options can bring. That way, customers can skip the stress of picking out a car, finding the type of car they want unavailable, inventory mishaps, variable pricing due to car types, and so on. It’s also keeping it simple for the company itself in terms of management and maintenance of its fleets.
RelayRides started as a service for people to rent their idle cars by the hour to those in need of wheels. The company has since shifted its focus to long-term rentals, a more lucrative business than the hourly rentals it was advertising before. Included in their rental offerings are airport rentals akin to more established players like Avis, Hertz, and Dollar.
RelayRides currently offers cars at 300 airports across the country, but its setup at San Francisco International Airport serves as a blueprint for where RelayRides hopes to go. At SFO, the startup has its own off-site parking lot, and users can drop off their car for free in exchange for allowing visitors to drive it while they’re out of town. The car owners also get $0.10 per mile in addition to a car wash, and of course, free parking.
Although Sidecar is similar to Lyft and Uber, there are key differences. Sidecar pioneered a new category within an emerging market where drivers can set own prices and showcase what they’re capable of while competing for the best price. Meanwhile, riders get to choose the driver they want. The result is an ultra-competitive pricing model where The Wall Street Journal compared the company against Uber X, Lyft, and local taxis and declared Sidecar the winner.
Sidecar’s business model also creates price transparency. Riders know the price before they take the trip and drivers can choose the rates they set. Unlike Uber, Sidecar also doesn’t employ a surge pricing system allowing even more control for the customer booking the ride.
JustPark is transforming the stressful, inefficient process of parking. Using the website and app, drivers can book convenient parking spaces in advance or on-the-spot, choosing from over 100,000 across the UK.
The average space costs less than half the price of its nearest on-street equivalent and all of them are 100% traffic warden-free.
JustPark is the only parking app and website that brings parking spaces at residential homes, commercial and council car parks, churches, schools, hotels, pubs and more together onto one simple platform. With JustPark, drivers can book parking for as little as 5 minutes and as long as a year, either on-the-spot or in advance. Where other parking apps specialise in certain types of bookings, JustPark has it all, giving our drivers the widest choice and most competitive prices.
Uber and Lyft have become so popular so quickly in large part because they’ve filled a big gap in the urban transportation market. The smartphone-enabled ride services have offered more predictability than cabs, faster travel than transit, and fewer hassles — no parking, for one — than personal cars.
The company’s mobile-phone application facilitates peer-to-peer ridesharing by connecting passengers who need a ride to drivers who have a car. Lyft’s tagline is “your friend with a car”. Lyft currently operates in around 65 U.S. cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City, with plans to expand both domestically and internationally.
Lyft has just trimmed off it’s signature fuzzy pink mustache, and traded it in for a glowstache. The revamped pink staches are small, plastic and attach to drivers’ dashboards. At night, they glow.
Uber just can’t seem to stay out of the news these days, but nevertheless, people are still using Uber to get around. It’s just so convenient and easy to use.
Passengers choose which kind of car service they’d like to request on the app, then plug in their location and in some cases, destination addresses. The app then alerts the customer when a car has been confirmed, and shows the driver’s name and license plate number while also displaying the driver’s route and estimated time of arrival. Riders then tell the driver where to go if that info isn’t already in the system, and then a receipt is emailed to the customer after the trip has completed. Passengers and drivers rate each other, as an incentive to be both good customers and provide feedback on drivers.
Uber sets the fares for each service in each city based on its own formula calculated using either a per mile rate or a per minute rate, on top of a base fare of a few dollars. Passengers don’t need to tip, as the gratuity is included in the entire fare.
Ride-sharing platform Carpooling has been helping connect drivers and passenger together for more than a decade in Europe. Now the company is ready to bring its service to the U.S., providing a platform for sharing long-distance rides together.
The platform works just as you would probably expect: Drivers enter starting address and their final destination, and Carpooling matches them up with passengers who are heading in the same general direction. The goal is mainly to offset the cost of travel for everyone involved, so Carpooling determines how much passengers should contribute based on the number of miles driven and reimburses drivers accordingly.
Carpooling has created mobile apps that enable users to not only book a ride (on the part of a passenger) or accept a passenger (on the part of the driver), but also to let them see where each are on a love map. Since Carpooling relies on all parties to connect at certain meeting points, doing so gives a bit of transparency.
In order to make it as easy as possible for both parties to connect, Carpooling has integrated with Uber to help passengers get to meeting spots that the service suggests. Once a passenger has agreed to a ride, she will be able to launch Uber in order to reach a mutually convenient spot for pickup.
Tripod started in Brazil, the service has now become very popular in Colombia, Chile, Argentina, and Mexico. Tripda is a fun, economical, social and super convenient way for people planning long trips, which is also different from Uber and Lyft. According to their website, “Tripda is a marketplace that connects people who need a ride to drivers who have empty seats, so that they can meet new people and save money by sharing their travel costs. Travel more and spend less!”
Ride-sharing made simple. People looking to get from one place to another often have limited options. Some are extremely inconvenient, some are time consuming, and some are very expensive. Many of these people choose to drive but end up alone in their car just like 80% of all cars driven on US highways.
Tripda solves all of these problems. Tripda lets travellers:
-Find or offer a ride quickly and on one convenient platform, via web or mobile app
-Reduce travel expenses by sharing/splitting costs with travel buddies
-Support the environment by maximizing the use of existing resources and reducing the number of cars on the road