SYDNEY, AAP – Uber has announced it will take over an Australian car sharing platform, in a move it hopes will cement the service as a viable alternative to owning a car.
The global rideshare company on Thursday revealed it had acquired the Australia-based company Car Next Door, which launched in 2012.
Car Next Door allows owners in all major Australian cities to rent their car out to users – easily turning any vehicle into a shared one.
The company will fill a gap for rideshare users wanting to take mid-range and longer-distance trips, Uber Australia and New Zealand General Manager Dom Taylor said.
After the takeover, Car Next Door will report to Uber Australia but will “otherwise operate independently”, the two companies said in a joint statement.
The Australian team will focus on building the platform’s offerings in more cities.
“This year marks 10 years since both Uber and Car Next Door launched in Australia,” Mr Taylor said.
“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.
“This deal will … mean that the Uber platform can be a reliable and convenient alternative to the choice to own a car.”
Chief executive and co-founder of Car Next Door Will Davies said the move helps the company on its way to achieving its mission of “freeing people and the planet from the one person one car mentality”.
“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.