Speed through your travel with these unusual rides for hire

2018-06-28 21:00 - Ethan Van Diemen
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(Photo: iStock)

With the ride-hailing and ride-sharing market being saturated by a number of competitors seeking to assert themselves in this ever-growing sector of the transport industry, companies are having to resort to a variety of creative and, sometimes downright outrageous, ways to increase their market share.

Here are a few of the most unusual.  

One of the coolest ways this is being done can be seen with Uber in Croatia. Launched in the summer of 2017, the UberBOAT service will be making a return to the shores of Croatia for the summer of 2018. That's right, you'll be able to summon a speedboat.

Accessible through the Uber app, users will be able to connect with drivers and schedule boat trips connecting the major tourist hotspots along the Adriatic coast of the country.

The speedboats are capable of hauling up to 12 people at a time. If this sounds like your idea of a good time, then head on over to Croatia and explore in style.

SEE: Airbnb for cars? Rent out your car at the airport while you're away

Getting around Paris is made relatively easy with modern, efficient public transport options but what they make up for in efficiency and relative cost-effectiveness, they lose in flexibility and the ability to see things from a truly street level.

This is where US startup ‘Lime’ enters. Get off your two-feet or out of the archaic four-wheeled modes of transportation and get on a two-wheeled electric scooter.

Taking the world by storm, this new addition to the streets of Paris will see travellers zooming through the streets on two wheels, taking in the sights and smells of the glorious French capital. Lime, which already operates bike-sharing schemes in Berlin and Frankfurt, has big ambitions in Europe as it competes with other fast-expanding American rivals such as Bird.   

SEE: Beep beep! Electric scooters launch in Paris amid transport drama

In Asia, travellers have the option of calling a GoJek to get around while exploring.

The fast-expanding Indonesia ride-hailing app is increasing its presence in many Asian countries including Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore in a bid to outdo its regional competitor and rival, Grab.

Operating a fleet of motorcycles that operate as taxis, travellers used to being in the enclosed comfort of a car will find the feeling of the wind rushing up against their exposed bodies to be quite the unusual taxi experience.

If that wasn’t unusual enough, users of the GoJek app can also make use of various other services including house cleaning, massages, food delivery and grocery shopping services directly from their smartphones.

SEE: Indonesia ride-hailing app GoJek expands abroad

So you’ve seen that road-transport taxi options are varied around the world and that even speedboats are available at the tap of a screen but what about the sky? Surely that would be the next space for the on-demand transport industry to capitalise on.

Well, it’s happening and it will continue to happen in different ways in the future. At present, if you find yourself in Latin America, you can order a helicopter to take you around thanks to Voom.

Operating in São Paulo and Mexico City, the duo of Airbus and Audi has started trialling a helicopter ride-hailing service called ‘Voom’. Ground transport is provided by Audi while travellers take to the skies thanks to Airbus’s helicopters.

These trials are taking place in these cities that are noted as being some of the most congested in the world, making it an ideal testing ground to see how efficient ground-to-air transport can be in gridlock traffic and general mobility.

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In the future, travellers can look forward to hybrid modes of on-demand transport that will make getting around and spending time seeing the sights a breeze thanks to advances in technology and engineering.

The flying car, and flying taxi will revolutionise the way that travellers get around cities. Already trials for flying taxis are starting to take off all over the world with influential (and heavily capitalised) stakeholders making great strides toward making the future of transport happen today.

From autonomous drone taxis in Dubai to the Larry Page-backed flying taxis being tested in New Zealand, getting around is certainly going to be much more interesting very soon.  

WATCH: NASA and Uber team up to get flying taxis off the ground