Uber takes control of shared car service

Uber has acquired Car Next Door, an Australian company it has announced.

First launched in Sydney in 2012, Car Next Door is a peer-to-peer car-sharing platform that offers convenient access to cars for renters, that in turn can provide revenue to car owners, making it easy to turn any car into a shared car.

The service operates Australia-wide, with vehicles listed in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns, Perth, Canberra, Adelaide, Hobart, Launceston, and Newcastle.

In a statement Uber said it was focused on offering Australians an easy, affordable, and convenient alternative to private car ownership.

The addition of Car Next Door to the Uber suite of products is anticipated to bolster its ability to offer Uber riders a reliable option for trips that are less suited to rideshare, such as running errands and day trips.

The deal, according to the media statement, builds on Uber’s ongoing investments in electric vehicles, micromobility, and public transport to reduce over-reliance on the private vehicle and help achieve greener, more liveable cities.

Post-acquisition, Car Next Door will report into Uber’s Australian team, but will otherwise operate independently, with its existing leadership team remaining focused on building and scaling their technology in more cities across Australia.

“This year marks ten years since both Uber and Car Next Door launched in Australia. A lot has changed in that time but one thing has stayed constant: a shared vision that we need to make transport not just safe, convenient, and affordable – but also sustainable,” said Dom Taylor, Uber Australia and New Zealand General Manager.

“Over the last decade, Uber has created shared rides options like Uber Pool, invested $800 million globally to drive electric vehicle uptake, and integrated micromobility, and public transport options into the Uber app,” he said.

“What our app users haven’t had though, is the option for those mid-range and longer-distance trips. This deal will change that, and mean that the Uber platform can be a reliable and convenient alternative to the choice to own a car.”

According to Will Davies, Car Next Door CEO and Co-Founder the sale represents an opportunity for the business to achieve its mission of “freeing people and the planet from the one person one car mentality” years before the company otherwise could have.

“By working with Uber we can scale up our ambitions and look to move Australians away from the over-reliance on the private car which is damaging our planet and making our cities less liveable,” he said.

“We know that many of our members are already combining carshare and rideshare with shared bikes and scooters, walking and public transport for a mobility mix that suits their lifestyle. We’re hearing from more and more people that they no longer feel the need to own a car, because getting transport on demand saves them money and hassle,” said Davies.

“In the ten years since Uber and we launched in Australia, attitudes to car ownership have really started to shift. We see this deal as a big step towards making car-free or car-light living accessible to more people in more places and freeing up space for people, not parking.”

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