TECH TALK: Smart public transport is the future

VIA-VAN is working closely with regulators and transport specialists at BVG to design.

A man counts New Israeli Shekels. (photo credit: REUTERS)
A man counts New Israeli Shekels.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
VIA-VAN, a joint venture between AG’s van division Mercedes-Benz Vans and US-based shuttle-sharing company Via Transportation Inc., with plans to operate dynamic and smart public transport throughout Europe, announced a new partnership with the Berlin Public Transport Authority (BVG) to offer its ride-sharing services in the city.
The new service will be based on Via’s technological operating system, which will be used by artificial intelligence algorithms to route commercial Mercedes vehicles throughout the city. Passengers will be able to book a journey through a designated BVG application and will share the travel with other passengers in a convenient and efficient manner.
VIA-VAN is working closely with regulators and transport specialists at BVG to design, develop and operate the service, and will launch an on-demand shuttle service with a fleet of up to 300 vehicles, the world’s largest such operation, according to Via. It will be launched in Berlin in the spring of 2018, pending regulatory approval.
The collaboration with BVG will utilize a variety of Mercedes- Benz vans specially optimized for shared rides including the new, all-electric eVito Tourer, which will be the first emission-free minibus operating anywhere in the world.
“Via’s technology is redefining mobility across the globe.
We are thrilled to be partnering with BVG on this bold new project to introduce the Via model of dynamically routed on-demand shared rides to Berlin on a mass scale. The new service is a perfect complement to traditional public-transit solutions, offering a whole new way of getting around the city,” says Daniel Ramot, co-founder and CEO of Via.
“Our powerful passenger-matching and vehicle-routing algorithm enables our technology to seamlessly integrate into the existing public-transit infrastructure. ViaVan will work closely with cities and public-transit operators throughout Europe to power dynamic mobility,” says Oren Shoval, co-founder and CTO of Via.
“Berlin’s challenging traffic provides us with the perfect setting in which to test this new form of mobility,” Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, said. “We are confident that this new joint service will quickly become established, and that it represents the perfect complement to existing local public transport in the capital. Shared mobility in our vans makes a major contribution to reducing city traffic, while at the same time giving people access to a sustainable form of mobility.”
Asurion-Soluto’s first purchase in Israel
Soluto recently announced the acquisition of Drippler, its first Israeli acquisition since being purchased by Asurion, which acquired Soluto in 2013. Drippler’s employees will join the company’s operations in Israel and the United States.
Drippler, founded in 2011 by Matan Talmi, Dotan Galron and Ronen Yacobi, is developing a personalized application designed to help users get the most out of their devices. In recent years, Drippler has gained experience in providing content recommendations to millions of users based on device characteristics and personal preferences, and answering technical questions to help people maximize the use of their devices.
Soluto was founded in 2008 with a vision to help people enjoy their technology. Most people do not know how to utilize the various technologies around them, and encounter countless technical problems. Soluto helps users learn about their devices, realize their capabilities, and solve technical problems and extreme situations, such as repairing a broken screen at a customer’s home.
The app learns a user’s needs and habits in order to personally adapt to each user’s ideal experience. Users are then exposed to relevant content, explanations, tips and recommendations.
It’s also possible to receive assistance from human experts.
Asurion works with the largest cellular and retail operators in the world and serves more than 300 million users. Soluto continues to work as a start-up in everything – in a young environment that encourages innovation and creativity, with the possibility of working with the American parent company, servicing hundreds of millions of end customers around the world.
Since its acquisition, Soluto has been helping users benefit from their technological products. Soluto provides content, personal recommendations and human responses from technological experts for every problem or question.
In addition, Soluto recently launched a new service in stores that sell leading mobile products in the United States, which is available to any customer who buys a new smartphone. The service helps users get through the process of switching to a new smartphone, as well as connecting to advanced home appliances such as smart TVs and smart home controls.
If you run a young startup, have developed an interesting app or have a question, please feel free to contact
Translated by Hannah Hochner.