Luxe launched Drive Home six months ago, when Lee realized few of their users were using the service for anything other than commuter parking. That's why Lee decided to replicate a similar service he encountered in Korea and created what is essentially a designated driver service.
"We looked at our consumer base and saw that our average customer was using us anywhere from ... two times per week to multiple times a day, every single day," Lee told Recode. "So we really saw an opportunity to extend beyond parking for commuting purposes. How do we help the person who has their car, had some drinks, and can't decide if they want to take an Uber home, which would especially be an issue the next day for the commute?"
So Luxe quietly launched Drive Home in markets like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Austin. Unlike Uber and Lyft, Luxe drivers aren't subject to the same commercial transportation regulations that can often require things like a commercial license or fingerprint background checks.
According to the company, that's because of a distinction that seems trivial by all other measures: These drivers aren't driving their own cars for money.
Internally, Lee said, valets-turned-drivers have to receive extra training and a special company certification in addition to passing "extensive background checks" which the company puts all their valets through.
The background checks are so extensive, the company said, that Luxe only hires fewer than five percent of applicants. (Lyft and Uber made similar claims about their background checks when pushing back against requiring fingerprints.)