Mercedes-Benz Vans is parterning with an American startup to introduce an innovative new ride-sharing platform to Europe.

The car giant is collaborating with Via, an exciting young company from New York, which is using an intelligent algorithm to provide one million on-demand shuttle service rides a month in the US. London will be the first European location to harness it this year thanks to the new deal between Via and Mercedes-Benz Vans.

Passengers headed in the same direction are able to jump aboard one van, which is an efficient way to reduce the number of vehicles in built-up areas.

“On-demand ride-sharing offers many new ways of making city traffic efficient, needs-based and sustainable – especially when it involves the use of spacious, safe and comfortable vans,” explained Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. “Via is one of the most successful providers in the growing ride-sharing sector while Mercedes-Benz Vans has the perfect vehicles that are being continuously optimised for this job. By deepening our cooperation with Via, we are thus taking the next logical step in the context of our strategy for the future and are expanding our range of new mobility services.”

As part of the agreement Daimler Mobility Services will become a ‘strategic investor in Via’.

“We are delighted to have the Daimler Group on board as an investor and strategic partner. Combining Via’s technology with the exceptional design and engineering of Mercedes-Benz Vans is ideal for our vision of offering efficient, affordable, sustainable, and comfortable shared rides everywhere,” added Daniel Ramot, co-founder and CEO of Via.