European ride-sharing app Carpooling is trying to tackle the US marketplace - and hopes an integration with Uber will help.
The Germany-based company, which in the past has received backing to the tune of $10 million from car manufacturers such as Daimler, says in its announcement it is the first brand in the US market to have long-distance ride-sharing "at affordable rates".
Presumably its competitors in the US - Zimride, RideJoy, RideBuzz et al - will inevitably have something to say about Carpooling's boasting over price, but the company is banking on its use of the Uber API to create something different.
In another US "first", Carpooling says it will offer door-to-door ride-sharing across the country by ordering an Uber to pick a traveller up from a location to transfer them to the beginning of the their ride-share, then drop them off at the end of their particular trip via another Uber pick-up.
Carpooling CEO Markus Barnikel admits:
"We recognize there won’t be an abundance of passengers and drivers connected with each other at launch, but we’re confident from more than a decade of experience in Europe that supply and demand will grow rapidly."
The company says the average trip on its service is currently more than 125 miles per person.
Barnikel says the Uber integration will eventually be rolled out to other regions and countries, although it may rest with other providers (in Uber is not allowed to operate in certain countries) to step in.
"Our US users will be the first to experience the seamless door-to-door long distance ridesharing experience. Carpooling brings door-to-door long distance ridesharing first time to market as we launch our app in the US.
"Later we will roll out door-to-door services also in Europe and other markets. We are open to cooperate with Uber and/or other inner city services to fully cover all relevant destinations."
Uber and rival service Lyft already have local car-sharing facilities on their apps, but are generally used for shorter distances.
Yet it may not be plain sailing for Carpooling - the state of California, for example, ruled app-based car-pooling was illegal in September this year.