Welcome back to another edition of CoMotion>>NEWS, your weekly roundup of all things mobility. The planet may remain under lockdown, but the world of mobility continues to advance: Miami-Dade partnered with Uber & Lyft to provide late-night transit service, U.S. automakers are seeing fewer new car sales than since WWII, and on-demand food delivery services (and the robots that serve them) are surging across the globe.
CoMotion LIVE: CoMotion LIVE teams up with NewCities’ The Big Rethink this week for a deep dive into the future of public transport, with Miami-Dade’s Alice N. Bravo, UITP’s Mohamed Mezghani, Jacobs’ John Siraut and NewCities’ and CoMotion’s own Greg Lindsay this coming Tuesday, April 14th at 9am PDT/12pm EDT: “How Public Transit Bounces Back.” Thanks to Jacobs for their support. Sign up here if you haven’t already – you don’t want to miss this.
Episode 61. Greg Lindsay sits down with Tiffany Chu, CEO and Co-Founder at Remix, to learn what sorts of trends she’s seeing in urban mobility these days, including how some transit providers are using this downturn to reevaluate service. Plus, Greg and Jonah discuss fare-free transit, micromobility’s current struggles, and more. Listen here.
Delivery’s still hot: as the world stays at home to fight COVID-19, delivery services are surging. Indian food delivery startup Swiggy recently took in an additional $43 million to expand its business, bringing its total valuation to a breathtaking $3.6 billion — as India’s 1.3 billion hungry mouths are in a three week lockdown.
Trouble in Detroit: as more Americans hunker down, domestic carmakers are in “survival mode.” New sales are set to drop a record 50%, with fewer vehicles leaving the lot than at any point since WWII.
Tesla takes a time out: Tesla has finally joined the rest of the automaking world in suspending production at its U.S. factories, until at least May 4th. On top of that, salaried employees are seeing pay cuts between 10-30% and workers are being furloughed. There is a slight silver lining, however, as Tesla’s sales in China hit a record high in March. The California EV carmaker delivered over 88,000 cars in Q1, claiming an impressive 25% market share of all EV’s sold in China.
TNCs in the Magic City: Miami-Dade Transit is partnering with Uber and Lyft on a new on-demand ride service called Go Nightly, after suspending overnight Metrobus service in response to the pandemic. The new service will provide essential workers late night trips… fare free!
A step forward for future fuel: European consortium H2-Share just launched its first hydrogen-powered delivery truck, in the Netherlands. The trial is a big step for the zero emission heavy-duty vehicle industry in Northwest Europe, meant to show proof of readiness for H2 use in real-world conditions.
Team up time: LatAm-based iFood and Domicilios, two food delivery companies, are merging to stay competitive in the booming on-demand delivery market. The partnership allows them to take on Colombia’s top dog Rappi, while speeding up growth across the continent.
As COVID-19 spreads, Uber accelerates: Uber for Business is expanding its corporate Eats delivery service to over 20 countries this year, as a response to rising demand due to the pandemic. The expansion will first hit Brazil, Canada, France and the UK.
Auto giants eye EVs: GM and Honda have teamed up on development of two new EVs, slated for 2024. Honda will design the vehicles, while GM will lend its EV architecture and new battery technology. This isn’t their first tie-up, as the two firms are already working together on the Cruise Origin autonomous vehicle.
A longer road til launch: looks like coronavirus-fueled factory shutdowns have pushed back Rivian’s much-anticipated release. Originally set to deliver its first trucks later this year, the R1T and R1S are now both launching in 2021.
Well, that was fast! NYC mayor pulls back on COVID-related open streets, claiming not enough usage to justify the staffing costs. Maybe it’s time to learn a thing or two from Denver, or Bogota?
Mobility Moment: In our latest Mobility Moment, we’re joined by Streets For All’s Bubba Fish in taking a look at how COVID-19 is emptying streets and what cities are doing in response. Thanks to our partner Velvioo.
Some step back, others step up: While many self-driving companies are scaling back operations due to stay-at-home orders, several autonomous vehicle startups — especially those in the freight and delivery spaces — are active and out in the world, reducing the need for person-to-person contact during this time of pandemic.
UAM without the eVTOLs: The first all-electric air-taxi service is set to launch in LA next year. Quantum Air will use fully-electric traditional airplanes to shuttle passengers between area airports. Not as cool as giant drones, but hopefully much quieter…
Robots roll out: Robotic food delivery service Starship Technologies is expanding into new cities as demand increases for contactless delivery. Its autonomous bots can carry up to 20 pounds, allowing users to get groceries and food delivered with zero human interaction.
Data dive: We polled the CoMotion audience of experts to see how they think the pandemic will affect the mobility ecosystem. The community is most worried about impacts to public transit and micromobility, and least worried about UAM. That latter part’s a bit surprising, given how capital intensive, and how long the road map to commercial viability is, for that sector. Read on for even more unexpected results.
Bikes are better: Paramount World Bicycle Industry Association, along with its member associations worldwide, call on global governments to deem bicycle repair as essential since bikes provide a corona-safe way to access vital goods and services.
Streets for everyone: Oakland Mayor announces a stunning 74 miles, 10% of all city streets, restricted to cars to allow residents safe mobility and space to exercise, while keeping safe social distance. We like.
Of their own making? While Bird and Lime pulled their scooters and laid off staff, many smaller providers continued operating, proving that COVID-19 was not the main reason for the downsizing.
Micro-resiliency: from mobility for health care workers to a safe alternative to public transport, micromobility provides “flexible and human-scale transportation options [for] access to needed services and goods when cars or mass transit systems are inaccessible.”
Go fund thee: manufacturer of the German electric scooter Kumpan Electric, e-bility, gets a €3 million investment from InnoEnergy for continued product development, increasing service area, and zippier market launches.
Next City, looking at how COVID-19 reveals how micromobility can build resilient cities.
CityLab, reporting that as coronavirus quiets streets, some cities speed road and transit fixes.
CitiesSpeak, offering a look at how city transportation has changed as the pandemic continues.
The Wall Street Journal, exploring how less travel means cleaner air and how environmentalists plan to leverage that.
CleanTechnica, sharing that due to the pandemic, EV sales predictions are all over the place.
The New York Times, shining a light on just how hard hit transit is going to be, losing not just fare revenue but state tax dollars as well.
Startups & Corporate
Head Marketing & Growth | Yolo Bus India | Gurugram, India
Lead Software Engineer | Spin | San Francisco, CA
UX/UI Designer | Swoop | Los Angeles, CA
Industrial Designer | Exa Mobility | Pune, India
Software Engineer Team Lead, Micromobility | Passport | Charlotte, NC
Senior Site Reliability Engineer | Cruise | San Francisco, CA
Senior Information Security Engineer (Endpoint Tools) | SpaceX | Hawthorne, CA
Civic & Nonprofit
Transportation Planning Specialist 3 (In-Training) | Dept. of Transportation | Spokane, WA
Transportation Manager | City of Santa Clara | Santa Clara, CA
Community Organizer, Everyone In Campaign (South LA) | United Way of Greater Los Angeles | Los Angeles, CA
Have a job listing that’s perfect for the CoMotion community? Please send it to Jim Manning.
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