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Mercedes-Benz Vans Invests $50 Mln In New JV With Via

Mercedes-Benz Vans, a division of Daimler AG (DDAIF.PK), is setting up a joint venture with the US startup company Via. Daimler Mobility Services additionally joins in as a strategic investor in Via. The intelligent Via algorithm supports smart public transport, enabling a dynamic mass transit system that reduces traffic volume in urban areas. The fusion of Via's technology with the engineering of Mercedes-Benz Vans creates the perfect match for efficient, affordable and sustainable ride-sharing.

As part of the cooperation, Mercedes-Benz Vans is investing $50 million in the new joint venture. For Daimler Mobility Services, Volker Mornhinweg will be joining Via's board of directors.

Mercedes-Benz Vans and Via said they aim to introduce on-demand shared rides in Europe.With Via's intelligent shared rides, passengers headed in the same direction are matched with a single van, increasing vehicle utilization while relieving the strain on inner-city roads. London will be the first city to launch the new joint service this year. Other European metropolises will soon follow.

Mercedes-Benz Vans and Via will in the future cooperate on the further development of intelligent mobility, including optimizing the design of Mercedes-Benz Vans vehicles for shared ride use. The models mainly used will be the Vito Tourer (up to nine seats) and the V-Class (up to eight seats) being continuously adapted for this intended use. Beyond developing advanced software and sensors, another focus of the long term strategic partnership lies on the use of the locally emission-free electric-drive Mercedes-Benz Vito and autonomous driving.

by RTT Staff Writer

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