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Mercedes-Benz Sprinter buses tapped for new ride-sharing service

The Keoride trial will run in the Mount Barker and Barossa regions of South Australia for six months.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter buses are being trialled in South Australia as part of a new on-demand service called Keoride.

Similar to Uber in operation and execution, Keoride users can book a ride in the Mercedes-Benz vehicles via a smartphone application, but allows for up to 12 passengers.

With the service being run in Mount Barker and Barossa – the latter location chosen to likely take advantage of wine region tour groups – the trial will make use of eight vehicles and run for six months with support from the South Australian government.

Each of the Sprinter buses are long-wheelbase variants, which are also fitted with rear air-conditioning, an electric side-entrance step and rear side windows, as well as an extra fit-out of features from VQuip.

All buses come with autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, reversing camera and lane-keep assist.

Designed to ease congestion on roads and efficiently transport larger groups of people, the Keoride app can also match customers that are travelling in similar directions and optimise drive routes.

Mercedes-Benz Vans boss Diane Tarr said the trial is a perfect halfway point between ride-sharing and public transport.

“The Keoride on-demand ride-sharing service offers a way of making public transport needs-based, efficient and sustainable – especially when it involves the use of spacious, safe and comfortable Sprinter vans,” she said. “It’s the perfect collaboration.

“Through our involvement in this new mobility service, we are taking a logical step in the context of bringing our global mobility strategy to life locally.”