Havn is a new app-based ride-hailing service that has launched in London, and promises a more upscale experience than Uber, Lyft, or the city’s characteristic black cabs. Havn is backed financially by Jaguar Land Rover, and it exclusively uses Jaguar I-Pace electric SUVs, which are definitely a step up from the Camrys and Accords that seem so popular over here.
Havn calls itself a chauffeur service, but it functions similarly to an app-based ride-hailing service. One difference is that you need to request a ride at least 30 minutes in advance. When scheduling a ride, customers are able to specify a music playlist, cabin temperature, and — most compelling of all — your preferred level of “chauffeur interaction.”
Those chauffeurs, interestingly, are all full-time employees, not gig workers.
Havn pricing is based on time plus distance, with a 20 GBP (~$25) minimum charge. Hourly rates also are available, while airport runs have a fixed pricing schedule. Heathrow airport to central London is 74 GBP (~$95), for instance, and Gatwick to West London is 108 GBP (~$140). Airport pickups include an hour of wait time, while other scheduled pickups include 30 minutes waiting at no extra charge.
It will be interesting to see whether this service succeeds in London, and whether it makes the leap to our side of the Atlantic. Whether it’s Havn or some other startup, a trend toward a better ride-hailing experience, both for passengers and for drivers, would be a positive for an industry that has suffered its share of negatives even while quickly becoming part of the fabric of the modern transportation system.