Key ride-hailing companies who are changing the industry

January 4, 2016 byThe Associated Press

Ride-hailing company Lyft Inc. said Monday it's partnering with General Motors Co. on various projects, from hubs where Lyft drivers can rent GM vehicles to an on-demand, autonomous ride service. Even with the investment, Lyft is much smaller than Uber, the giant of the ride-hailing space.

Here are some of the major players who are changing the way we get from Point A to Point B.

UBER:

Locations: Based in San Francisco. Operates in more than 300 cities and 58 countries around the world.

Funding: More than $10 billion from traditional venture investors, institutional lenders and tech giants like Google, Microsoft and China's Baidu, which see value both in its fast-growing ride business and its accumulated data on traffic and rider habits. It's reportedly seeking additional investors at a valuation of $62.5 billion.

Technology: Has its own mapping software, working on autonomous driving systems; also has customer-loyalty partnerships with hotel chains.

Profile: The 800-pound gorilla of on-demand ride-hailing services, Uber has a reputation for treating local regulators and competing cab companies as minor potholes to steer around or roll over.

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LYFT:

Locations: Based in San Francisco. Operates in more than 190 U.S. cities but has forged partnerships with major ride-booking services like India's Ola, China's Didi Kuaidi and Southeast Asia's GrabTaxi. While they are separate companies, the partners let users hail rides from each other's apps.

Funding: About $2 billion from venture investors, including its new infusion of $500 million from General Motors, at a current valuation of $5.5 billion.

Technology: Like Uber, has a ride-booking app and has experimented with car-pooling service. Plans to work on self-driving technology with GM.

Profile: Known for the pink furry mustaches on its cars, Lyft is smaller than Uber but remains the second-largest ride-hailing service in the United States, while regional competitors like San Francisco-based Sidecar have left the business.

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Alphabet (Google):

Locations: Based in California's Silicon Valley, the Google parent company doesn't currently operate a ride-hailing service. But it's been a leader in developing autonomous cars and some reports suggest it might get into the ride business.

Funding: More than $14 billion in net income last year, thanks to Google's lucrative Internet advertising operation. Alphabet has a stock market value of $526 billion.

Technology: Google has its own industry-leading digital maps and navigation service, and it's already testing self-driving cars on public roads.

Profile: After investing in both Uber and Sidecar, Google has tested a car-pooling service in Israel and, by some accounts, has considered spinning off its self-driving car division as a unit that would also offer rides. Google hasn't publicly confirmed this, but the company has vast resources and an appetite for dabbling in a variety of businesses, from medical technology to broadband Internet networks.

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Car2Go:

Locations: Founded in Ulm, Germany, in 2008. It now operates in 29 European and North American cities.

Funding: Car2Go is a subsidiary of Daimler AG.

Technology: Car2Go offers Smart cars for one-way rentals by the hour or day. Drivers can reserve a car through a mobile app and park it anywhere when they're done.

Profile: Car2Go is one of several mobility models Daimler is experimenting with. In 2014 it bought RideScout, an Austin, Texas-based app that shows the fastest way to get somewhere using buses, bikes and other modes of transportation. It also operates Boost, a San Francisco Bay Area van service that picks up kids from school and brings them home or takes them to appointments.

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DriveNow:

Locations: Founded in Munich, Germany, in 2011, it now operates in nine European cities.

Funding: DriveNow is a partnership between BMW AG and Sixt, a rental car company.

Technology: Like Car2Go, DriveNow is a one-way car sharing that lets drivers pick up a car wherever it's parked and use it as long as they wish. DriveNow has a fleet of BMW and Mini cars.

Profile: BMW tested DriveNow in San Francisco with all-electric BMWs but suspended the program due to parking problems.

Explore further: General Motors invests $500m in Lyft, forms partnership

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