Oi! As countries start planning how to recover from the current crisis, the UK stands out as one place with particularly ambitious post-pandemic plans. In the past week, 10 Downing Street announced a fresh $305 million investment in bike infrastructure, UK-based food delivery startup Deliveroo has MPs breathing down its neck for not supporting sick workers enough, London looks to get the world’s largest car-free zone, and the transformative $22 billion Crossrail project inches closer to completion. Learn even more about the innovative ways in which the Brits are reimagining mobility at this Wednesday’s CoMotion LIVE.
In other news, the Indian food delivery market continues to slow down as Zomato becomes the latest local startup to axe staff, GM made cuts to Cruise, Uber is still in acquisition mode, particularly in the fast-moving food delivery space, and Tesla’s battle with California’s Alameda County only got stranger. Read on for more!
Join us this Wednesday for the latest edition of CoMotion LIVE: How Britain Gets Moving Again: Why the UK Is a Leader in New Mobility. You’ll hear from the key leaders driving Britain’s mobility revolution: Richard Bruce, Director of Energy, Technology and Innovation at the U.K. Department for Transport, Transport for London’s Head of Transport Strategy and Planning Christina Calderato, and Roger Atkins, Founder of Electric Vehicles Outlook and global expert on electric mobility. Register today.
Episode 66. Greg Lindsay sits down with Bronwen Thornton, CEO at Walk21 Foundation, to discuss the ways that the UK is investing in revamping its transportation across the country, focusing on walking and cycling, and reducing the demand on public transport during the pandemic. Greg also chats with Jonah Bliss about Elon Musk’s embattled attempt to reopen Tesla’s Northern California factory, GM’s canceled e-bike, Uber’s desire to buy Grubhub, and other happenings of the week. Listen here.
Crossrail continues: Greater London’s transformative suburban rail project, Crossrail, hit a major milestone with three new stations now open for testing. The testing of these new stops, at Liverpool Street, Whitechapel, and Woolwich, means the central section of the $22 billion dollar project is on track to open next year.
Tie-up of titans: Uber is exploring an acquisition of GrubHub, with the two companies now negotiating the price and merger terms. The combined company would control 48% of the U.S. meal delivery market, overtaking current leader DoorDash.
Peace brokered: it looks like all that tweeting paid off… officials in California’s Alameda County reached an agreement with Tesla to reopen its Fremont factory, as long as additional safety conditions are met. But could there not have been a smoother way?
Auto loans loom: car loans have been one of the fastest-growing sources of debt in the U.S. — more Americans owe car payments than have mortgages. Now, new research shows how subprime borrowing and predatory auto lending stand to hurt lower-income individuals and in turn possibly stall post-COVID economic recovery.
Parliament protects the people: Deliveroo, the UK food delivery giant, is being criticized for an inadequate response to protecting its employees and providing them with sufficient PPE. MPs from multiple parties have co-signed a letter that also calls for better income support for staff who contract COVID-19.
Record breaking: New York City has recorded 58 straight days without a single pedestrian death. This is the longest stretch of no fatalities since the Big Apple began tracking the data in 1983. We’d really, really like to believe that this can continue.
Free testing: while several ridesharing giants now require drivers wear face masks, Cabify is taking things a step further. The Madrid-based TNC will be testing 3,000 drivers in Bogotá, Colombia for COVID-19, at no charge, to assess how many have been affected and to support public health decision-making. That’s leadership.
Pre-owned Porsches: along its path towards “a seamless e-commerce ecosystem,” Germany’s Porsche just launched a new online platform: Porsche Finder, a used vehicle search engine. As the used car market is in the early stages of a pricing collapse, maybe you can finally score that Taycan on the cheap.
Bustling boneyards: since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of flights have been grounded. Long-haul airplanes are seeing little use, with essentially every A-380 in the world stuck on land. Great reportage from CNBC explaining exactly what happens to all those out-of-service aircraft.
Not good enough (for them): don’t expect to see an electric Ferrari anytime soon. The Italian luxury car company’s CCO said it won’t be making an EV until at least 2025, stating a belief that battery technology needs to improve before it can “meet the needs of a supercar.”
Corona cuts continue: COVID-19 is still reshaping India’s food delivery market. Following Uber Eats exiting the subcontinent and local player Swiggy making cuts, Zomato is the latest startup to announce layoffs: 13% of staff were let go and the rest are facing substantial pay cuts.
Funding flurry: Waymo’s first external fundraising round just grew to $3 billion. Alphabet’s AV arm thinks “COVID-19 has underscored how fully self-driving technology can provide safe and hygienic personal mobility and delivery services,” and with money like that, it looks like the market agrees.
COVID cuts: GM’s self-driving unit Cruise is the latest mobility company to see COVID-19 related staff cuts. The 1,800 strong workforce will be reduced by 8%, though those laid off will be offered severance and their healthcare benefits will be paid through year’s end.
New cycling normal: to avoid a surge of cars and to help commuters ride instead of taking transit, the UK announced $305 million in new bicycle infrastructure, as part of a $2.4 billion investment in post-COVID mobility.
Return of the scooter? Downloads for the Bird, Lime, and Spin apps have jumped more than threefold, growing from 4,000 per day during lockdown to over 18,000 in early May in the U.S., as e-scooters slowly return to city streets.
Biking boom: e-bikes are heating up across the globe as Cowboy reported a 230% spike in sales, German bike shops are seeing increased demand for electrified bicycles, and Amazon is looking for a Principal, Electric Bikes to rethink its last-mile deliveries. This is a trend we like.
Can I have one? Delfast’s high-performance 50 mph electric bikes are a hit with Brevard, North Carolina’s police department. Officers are reportedly lining up for bike training in order to patrol with the Delfast TopCop.
Uber Eaten: Grabbing market share from Uber in Eastern Europe and Africa, Estonia-based Bolt announced plans to launch electric scooter sharing in 45 additional countries.
The Wall Street Journal, explaining that transit workers hard hit by coronavirus are heading back to work despite still fearing exposure.
World Economic Forum, sharing how major cities are trying to keep people walking and cycling after the lockdown.
National Geographic, proclaiming your daily commute won’t ever be the same.
CityLab, wondering how Americans will commute after lockdowns end.
CleanTechnica, reporting that London is creating the world’s largest car-free zone.
SmartCitiesDive, polling readers and finding out that 40% of them want car-free streets to last.
Rocky Mountain Institute, making the case for using EVs to absorb spare energy utility capacity.
Startups & Corporate
R&D System Engineer | TuSimple | San Diego, CA
Product Manager, Rider Growth (Bikes & Scooters) | Lyft | San Francisco, CA
Senior Data Analyst | Dott | Amsterdam
Space Operations Engineer, Operations Automation | SpaceX | Hawthorne, CA
Engineering Manager – Release Management | Cruise | San Francisco, CA
Head of Customer Experience & Operations | Cabify | Mexico City
Regional Account Manager | Postmates | San Francisco, CA
Civic & Nonprofit
Transportation Maintenance | Department of Military and Veterans Affairs | Arapahoe County, CO
Transportation Manager | Seattle Public Schools | Seattle, WA
Transportation Planner | Iowa Department of Transportation | Ames, IA
Have a job listing that’s perfect for the CoMotion community? Please send it to Jim Manning.
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