There's one problem with many car and bike sharing programs: By the time you've decided where to go, you're already locked into a transportation mode. You're either waiting for a cab to pick you up, making your way to a kiosk of bikes, or unlocking a nearby ZipCar. What if you could tell an app what you needed to do and let the app provide you with the best method to get there?
As the transportation startup funded by the Downtown Project in Las Vegas, Project 100 has gotten plenty of press for stocking up on Teslas as part of their as-yet-unannounced car-sharing program. Now they've finally released their business model for a new app called SHIFT, which is launching in early 2015. Give the app information about your journey—where you're going, when, with how many people—and it uses an algorithm to tell you which of their transportation solutions you should use to get there. The options range from bike-sharing, to rentable electric vehicles, to a car service (with professional drivers). And according to Co.Exist, SHIFT founder Zach Ware claims the app can have you on your way within five minutes.
In addition to its attention-snagging Teslas, SHIFT includes a fleet of tiny Renault Twizys and Chevy Volts, as well as electric bikes that will be docked around the city. So if you tell the app you need to run several errands, you might be directed to a Volt parked near you. For a night out on the Strip, SHIFT might send a Tesla with a driver. If traffic is particularly horrific, the app might tell you to hop on an electric bike instead. Conversely, if it's 120 degrees outside, it might not recommend taking a bike at all.
Instead of charging by ride, SHIFT will sell memberships, as low as $25/month for bike-only access. They also have plans to add commuter shuttles based on demand, as well as party buses for rent. This is Vegas, after all. [Co.Exist]