Ford, the car company, wants to become Ford, the bus company. In London, at least, where it's been granted approval to start operating trials of a limited, pre-book, communal, minibus-version-of-Uber kind of thing.
It's called Ford Chariot, and it's been tested in other parts of the world already. It's more like a bus-pooling version of Addison Lee than a Routemaster rival, as the service runs are pre-booked only to avoid angering taxi purists, with this first test of four London routes placing an emphasis on non-central parts of the city where there are perceived gaps in current bus services.
It's all app-based, with the app letting passengers search for a route, reserve a seat and pay without the need for physical money or a stressed interaction with a potentially grumpy driver who hasn't got any change and has ideas about where you shouldn't sit, with runs now operating in Battersea, Nuxley, Shooters Hill and Wandsworth. The app's here if you are anywhere near there. [Chariot via Reuters]