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Brief Published: 18 Mar 2016

Splt: Convenient Commuting


Detroit-based start-up Splt has launched an app that encourages employees to 'rideshare' their daily commute with colleagues.

It's a similar concept to carpooling with services such as Uber, but rather than sharing with strangers going in the same direction, users are co-workers heading to their office. The app identifies riders in an area, and matches them according to mutually convenient arrival and departure times.

Splt also consults with employers to help them "re-imagine the value of the commute" – for instance, using it for mentoring sessions or connecting workers from different departments to share ideas.

The company is targeting large organisations with a minimum of 250 employees, but ideally a thousand or more. It is easy to see how this market could expand to include other large institutions in academia, government and healthcare.

Employees can save on commuting costs, while organisations are likely to be attracted by the potential for meeting carbon emission reduction targets – the app even helps record the amount of CO2 saved.

Splt originally launched as part of Detroit's Techstars Mobility programme, a start-up accelerator searching for transport innovations, with support from Ford, Honda and other corporations. The carmakers' support is part of their gradual rebranding into 'mobility companies' that do more than sell private vehicles to individuals.

For more on how ubiquitous connectivity and the booming sharing economy are dramatically shifting the way people live, work and move, see The Streamlined Self: DLD 2016.