Israeli ridesharing company Via Transportation, which develops and operates smart public transportation in the US and Australia, today announced a ridesharing pilot in Israel. According to the announcement, the pilot will be launched in early 2019 in cooperation with Dan Bus Company. Dan will operate a fleet of minibuses using Via's system to provide travel services on demand to business and leisure areas in the greater Tel Aviv region.
Users will be able to order the service through Via's special app. A Dan vehicle will collect them at a nearby collection point calculated in real time according to traffic conditions and demand. The app will enable passengers to monitor the vehicle's expected time of arrival time at the collection point and to the destination.
CEO Daniel Ramot and VP development Oren Shoval, both of whom served in the Israel air force, founded Via in June 2012. The company began offering ridesharing services in New York in 2013, and has since expanded its activity to other countries in which it supplies 30 million shared rides. The company currently operates systems for smart management of public transportation through partners in dozens of locations, including New York, Washington, Chicago, London, Sydney, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Tokyo.
Via has developed a system based on big data and machine learning that links up passengers to one vehicle. The system calculates routes for a journey in real time for thousands of passengers and hundreds of vehicles. The passengers order a trip via the app and select the travel destination. Via's algorithms connect a number of passengers to one vehicle that will be suitable for the routes and their travel times. Each passenger is referred to a stop near his pick up point, which is located in order to reduce the vehicle's travel in collecting its passengers.
The new service, to be launched in the first half of 2019, was initiated by the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Finance. It is aimed at improving public transportation services with advanced technologies. According to Via, the plan will be launched for the purpose of expanding ridesharing options for business areas and reducing the number of vehicles on the roads.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 27, 2018
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