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BMW, Jaguar and Porsche invest in roadside assistance startup Urgent.ly

Urgent.ly’s platform uses artificial intelligence and geo-location to connect drivers, service providers, services providers and automotive manufacturers in order to provide fast help during a breakdown.

The venture arms of BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and Porsche have invested a combined $21mn in Urgent.ly, a US-based startup that offers roadside assistance.

Urgent.ly’s platform uses artificial intelligence and geo-location to connect drivers, service providers, services providers and automotive manufacturers in order to provide fast help during a breakdown.

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The platform is similar to Uber and Lyft, whereby users can request help - whether that’s a jump start, a tow, or a tyre change, for example - via the app, which connects them with available services nearby.

Instead of using humans to pair drivers to service providers, Urgent.ly provides its service using algorithms built into the platform.

"The old model of roadside assistance must make way for a modern, more digital approach," said Kasper Sage, a partner at BMW i Ventures, in a statement.

"Urgent.ly will allow OEMs around the world to provide their customers the kind of real-time and connected digital experience they now expect in everything from food delivery to ride-sharing."

BMW has also signed Urgent.ly as a vendor partner for its own roadside assistance platform, BMW Assist.

This will allow owners of BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce vehicles in the US to use Urgent.ly’s  roadside assistance and mobility services.

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