We can’t call ReachNow a car-sharing service anymore. Why? Because everything changed this week.
BMW, with its massive investments into ReachNow, has now shifted the company to become a ride-hailing service. For those that don’t understand the distinction, please bear with me.
This move makes ReachNow a direct competitor to Uber and Lyft – at least in Seattle – for now.
The goal is to expand ride hailing across many more cities throughout the remainder of the year. This will happen slowly by making the app available to more locations.
Overall, BMW seems to be going all in on the “complete transportation” solution with ReachNow. For those that are loyal to the BMW name, this is a no-brainer. But what about those that don’t need such a luxury experience?
Through its car-sharing service, users can rent all types of BMW vehicles for multiple days at a time. On the other end of the spectrum, you can even rent a car for just one minute.
As part of the more inclusive service and app, a user could rent a car to get from Point A to Point B, leave the car and walk over to jump in the car they hailed. This creates a monopolized way to get around without the need of owning a car.
The ride-hailing service doesn’t function like Uber or Lyft does. Instead, ReachNow has a contract with a third party, which supplies the drivers. The company, which tested ride hailing in Seattle last year, is using data to determine the right mix of vehicles dedicated to car sharing and ride hailing throughout the day. So, the number of vehicles available for car sharing might shift to the ride-hailing network on a Saturday night, a time when more users might be more prone to not want to drive at all.
Pretty smart, huh?
As of today, ReachNow has 100,000 members in Seattle, Portland and New York. This is with a combined fleet of more than 1,000 BMW, BMW i and MINI vehicles. The company has partnered with residential buildings in New York to offer on-demand access to dedicated vehicles that are exclusively available to residents in the building.