FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Auto parts supplier Robert Bosch [ROBG.UL] has launched an electric scooter sharing service in Berlin, moving into a transport-on-demand market that has attracted companies ranging from technology firms and rental agencies to car manufacturers.
Stuttgart-based Bosch said on Wednesday Berlin residents could now locate and book one of 200 scooters using a smartphone application called Coup.
"Mobility requirements and demands are changing. Bosch wants to shape this change with their own mobility and service solutions," management board member Markus Heyn said in a statement.
By launching Coup, Bosch is entering a market that puts it into competition with its established customer base of car manufacturers including Daimler General Motors and BMW, which are also expanding into on-demand services accessed via smartphones.
The move is part of Bosch's drive to expand beyond its traditional business of providing components such as spark plugs for combustion engines and into areas such as software, services and Internet-connected devices.
Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Mark Potter