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Here’s What Jaguar Land Rover Is Doing to Stay Relevant

Jaguar Land Rover's XJ on the Yaxi ‘Skyroad’ Expressway in China.Jaguar Land Rover's XJ on the Yaxi ‘Skyroad’ Expressway in China.
Jaguar Land Rover's XJ on the Yaxi ‘Skyroad’ Expressway in China.Courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

Back in April, the British car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover launched a standalone technology business called InMotion, through which it said it would develop new mobility services for things like car-sharing.

InMotion has a lab that comes up with ideas and tests them, before bringing entrepreneurs on board to develop the most viable ones into new businesses. On Wednesday, it revealed the experiments it’s currently working on.

And in line with InMotion’s statements at launch, many of these ideas involve ride-sharing or car-sharing.

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In a family transportation experiment in the U.S., parents who need help getting their kids to school can use an app with chatbot functionality that “integrates with popular calendar and messaging applications to check their trusted circle’s availability.” If no-one they know is available, the service will offer professional drivers.

InMotion said this experiment is taking place in a U.S. city with a big suburban population and poor transport links.

A British car-sharing experiment involves a platform through which people can lend or borrow cars among friends, family and neighbors—something that obviously involves organizing insurance as well as people.

See also: Jaguar Land Rover Breaks Ground on $1.3 Billion Slovakia Factory

In a separate experiment in the Netherlands, people can get subscription access to cars, making it easier to switch to a car that suits lifestyles and seasons. Jaguar Land Rover’s own staff, at one of its West Midlands manufacturing facilities, are also testing out a new carpooling app.

The company’s U.K. staff are also testing out a “smart delivery” system whereby people can deliver packages to car trunks. And in a “smart parking” experiment, drivers drop off their cars with valets who park them somewhere secure.

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It’s worth noting that few of these ideas are original. Volvo (VOLVY) and Daimler (DDAIF) are both also experimenting with deliveries to trunks, and Daimler, BMW, GM (GM), and Volkswagen (VLKAY) are all investing in the ride-sharing space.

Indeed, it is now a widespread trend that, facing the likelihood of falling car ownership over the coming years, car manufacturers around the world are racing to find new ways to stay relevant and profitable.

The other big trend is, of course, that of developing autonomous vehicles. Jaguar Land Rover said in July that it would create a fleet of more than 100 self-driving cars to be tested on British roads over the next several years.