Hello again, CoMotionisti – let’s get you up to speed on the latest in transportation news. This past week, we learned about VW’s new (and extremely hard to pronounce) off-road EV: the Ruggdzz, Jaguar Land Rover introduced a futuristic pod-car with AV aspirations, and we discovered the Las Vegas to SoCal high-speed rail project isn’t dead after all. On top of that, the winners of our 2019 LA New Mobility Challenge spent a productive week in the UK as part of their prize package, and we have a spiffy new video series we think you’ll enjoy. We call it the Mobility Moment, a glimpse at the hottest recent mobility news. And we kick off the series with our own Jonah Bliss and Terenig Topjian taking a crack at the new Hummer EV and Paris’ big bike plans.
If you can’t pronounce it, will you buy it? As part of its plan to roll out 20 new EVs by 2025, VW just announced its off-road-ready Ruggdzz. And no, the name doesn’t sound any better in German…
Light at the end of the (high speed) tunnel: Virgin Trains USA’s high-speed rail project between Sin City and SoCal appears to be back on track, as the company just filed plans for its Vegas station, a few miles south of the Strip.
LANMC across the pond: as part of their grand prize, the winners of CoMotion LA and LACI’s 2019 LA New Mobility Challenge headed to the UK. They got to meet with the UK’s Department for Transport, London & Partners, UK Catapults and more, to learn how small companies can leverage UK investments and talent to grow their business.
Stay gassy, San Diego? A proposed San Diego ballot initiative would ban any gas car sales over $50k within city limits. As a first in the US, this ambitious measure has several hurdles to clear, including the need to gather 76,000 signatures to appear on the ballot, followed by a campaign that would surely see strong pushback from fossil-fuel interests and motorists. In the movement to break our dependency on fossil fuel, this idea is an interesting one… however unlikely it may be to pass.
Introducing the Mobility Moment: our take on the hottest mobility news of the week. In this inaugural edition, our own Jonah Bliss and Terenig Topjian take a look at Hummer going electric and Paris’ big bike makeover.
Porsche torched: A fresh off-the-line Porsche Taycan EV caught fire and burned to the ground, taking its Floridian garage with it. With a sticker price of up to a quarter-million dollars, we’re hoping the owner at least has decent homeowners insurance…
Indian Hyperloop – Round 2: a month after the Maharashtra state government scrapped a $10 billion proposed Pune-Mumbai Hyperloop, Richard Branson returned, hat in hand, and met with Indian officials to share a new proposal: a Hyperloop from New Delhi to Mumbai. A Branson personal appearance still might not be enough to sway the government, as it harbors doubts about the capsule technology — especially as Hyperloop has yet to actually launch an operational product.
Pop a woody: There are a few tricks to get ICE vehicle owners to embrace electricity: make the EV perform better, or just make it look cooler. The French-designed Newron EV-1 motorcycle is definitely the latter… if you’re into wood-paneled futuristic Tron bikes. Well why not, we ask.
If two’s company, is three a crowd… or a trend? With Jaguar Land Rover introducing its new “Project Vector” EV shuttle, it looks like the pod-car aesthetic pioneered by Cruise and Canoo is really taking off.
Tape tricks Teslas: Elon Musk has made his feelings about Lidar clear, often espousing that autonomous driving can safely, and most effectively, be accomplished by using only an all-camera system. We wonder if he’ll change his tune after hackers tricked Tesla cars into accelerating from 35 to 85 mph, just by sticking a two inch strip of tape on a speed limit sign.
Is a mysterious new UAM provider gearing up? Some interesting clues: it looks to run on hydrogen, the registration number appears tied to Toyota, and its unique design seems geared towards cargo hauling. Never a dull moment in the eVTOL space…
It’s like you’re really there: LA’s Metro has been expanding across the city for some time, to better serve traffic-choked communities, and in preparation for the upcoming 2028 Olympic Games. Take a look for yourself, with an immersive and interactive 360º tour of the under construction Purple Line extension.
Scooting is… safer? A new report suggests that contrary to conventional wisdom, electric scooters could increase urban mobility safety. The report found scooters no more dangerous than bikes, and much safer than cars or motorcycles in dense cities.
Uplifting bicycles: From allowing students to get to school, to helping farmers quickly get perishable produce to market, to increasing medical care access, the bicycle can be a vital tool in helping relieve poverty according to World Bicycle Relief.
LA 2 – 0: Uber lost its initial appeal against the City of Los Angeles over the granular data sharing of its electric scooter and bike data. Uber says they will again appeal the decision, during which its two wheelers will still be available to rent.
Does it bring you joy? Thanks to the joy of a bike ride or a brisk walk, most bicyclists and pedestrians would not choose to teleport to their destination (if the option existed) in stark contrast to motorists, most of whom would rather skip their traffic-laden commute, contrary to any car commercial.
Docks and displays: Swiftmile is adding digital displays to their micromobility parking/charging stations. The screens will show public transportation alerts, traffic information, and advertisements, providing useful information for riders and a monetization option for cash poor scooter providers.
Micromobility FOMO: Taiwanese EV manufacturer KYMCO invests $30 million in Grab’s micromobility arm, GrabWheels, suggesting that even electric car manufacturers recognize the efficiency and popularity of two-wheeled electric vehicles.
The Globe and Mail, investigating if owning a car actually hurts your health.
Mashable, covering car bans, and how your city could be next.
TechCrunch, stating that the debut of electric pickups signals a new EV era.
Wired, explaining that cities fighting climate woes are accidentally hastening ‘green gentrification.’
CityLab, sharing that if you’re injured on an e-scooter, a ‘Mobility Claims Board’ could help.
SmartCitiesWorld, reporting on Vienna piloting a virtual ‘culture token’ to reward greener travel.
GovTech, highlighting how autonomous shuttles are beginning to close real transit gaps.
Startups & Corporate
Mobility Partnerships Manager | Populus | San Francisco, CA
Director of Sales | Populus | San Francisco, CA
Director of Production and Maintenance | Volansi | Concord, CA
People Business Partner, Enterprise Sales | Lyft | San Francisco
Regional Operations Manager, Growth Marketing | Lime | San Francisco
Project Coordinator | SpaceX | Brownsville, TX
IT Support Specialist | Piaggio Fast Forward | Boston
Civic & Nonprofit
Traffic Signal Supervisor | City of Prescott | Prescott, AZ
Associate Engineer (Traffic) | City of Escondido | Escondido, CA
Civil Engineer I (Transportation Operations) | Public Works | Boulder, CO
Have a job listing that’s perfect for the CoMotion community? Please send it to Jim Manning.
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Header image courtesy Jaguar Land Rover