(Author : Darrell Etherington)
Lincoln is testing a new service for owners of its vehicles that supply a driver on demand. The service is like a very upscale Uber, in which you supply the car, and Lincoln supplies a professional driver – one who is actually a Lincoln employee, not a spot contractor – to ferry you around, return your car to your home, and basically make you feel like a VIP.
The service will launch first in Miami, reports Autoblog, and will let Lincoln owners order up a chauffeur via a smartphone app. The chauffeur will not only be able to drive you around, but will also return your car to your home in case others in the household need to use it, will fill it up if so required, and can even run light errands like picking up some groceries.
Costs, as you might expect, are not cheap: During the pilot program, Lincoln Chauffeur will run around $30 per hour, which is actually not terrible compared to Uber until you remember you have to supply the car as well. On the plus side for Lincoln owners, they’ll get eight hours free of Chauffeur service included in the purchase price of their vehicle.
This is only a limited test at the moment, but Lincoln tells Autoblog that it would like to expand the service to San Diego next, and then additional markets after that. It’s likely a decent challenge to scale, since Lincoln’s actually employing the drivers it’s using.
Lincoln Chauffeur may be a bit of a departure from other mobility service offerings automakers are exploring, which include on-demand vehicle rentals and even white glove delivery of said cars to a renter’s door, but it still sounds like an interesting way to add value while driving new revenue sources in the luxury segment.
Source : techcrunch.com