The world of mobility’s really heating up, especially now that we’re almost two weeks away from CoMotion MIAMI LIVE! The past week saw Uber lose out to Just Eat Takeaway in the battle for Grubhub, good news for mass transit, as French and Japanese studies find no coronavirus outbreak correlated with public transportation, a tie-up between auto giants Ford and Volkswagen that will bring both companies benefits as they push into AVs and EVs, and California authorities ramp up pressure on Uber and Lyft, making an official ruling regarding AB5. Plus, top micromobility executives weigh in on future scenarios for shared scooters and bikes.
Episode 70. Greg Lindsay sits down with Dr. Destiny Thomas, Founder and CEO of Thrivance Group, to discuss and challenge conventional (white) narratives about transportation planning. Greg Lindsay also chats with Jonah Bliss about a California agency fighting back against Uber and Lyft re AB5, the ACLU joining an Uber lawsuit against LA’s MDS, Tesla’s skyrocketing stock, and other happenings of the week. Listen here.
What comes next for micromobility? In a CoMotion>>NEWS exclusive, Patrick Sisson interviews top execs from companies like Bird, Perch, Blue Duck Scooters and Gogoro, to assess exactly how this once high-flying industry might rebound from the pandemic.
Antiseptic subways: transit commuters can breathe a (masked) sigh of relief. A new study – analyzing outbreak clusters from hospitals, offices and shelters in France and Japan – found no COVID-19 outbreaks tied to subways, buses, or trains.
CPUC vs. TNCs: the California Public Utilities Commission officially ruled that Uber and Lyft drivers are in fact employees, and not independent contractors. As such, the TNCs have until July 1st to begin treating their drivers as such, which includes offering workers’ compensation and a minimum wage — or risk losing their operating licenses.
Ford AVs meet VW EVs: Ford and Volkswagen have teamed up to advance their shared EV aspirations. VW will lend Ford its MEB EV platform and Ford will introduce VW to AV pioneer Argo AI, as well as provide the Ford Ranger’s chassis for VW’s upcoming Amarok pickup, slated for 2022.
ACLU and Uber, Unlikely Allies? The battle over MDS continues to heat up, with civil liberty groups (including the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation) filing a suit that claims the Mobility Data Specification, developed by LADOT in 2018, violates the 4th amendment.
Just desserts for Uber Eats? UK-based Just Eat Takeaway has acquired Grubhub in an all-share combination of the two meal delivery giants — at a healthy $7.3 billion valuation. Looks like we may be able to put fears of an Uber-Grubhub monopoly to rest.
From black gold to plain crude: as oil prices plunge below what supermajors need to make a profit, companies like BP, Chevron and Shell are forced to lay off staff and cut back dividends to make ends meet. Oilfield servicers, like Halliburton, are feeling even more pain, with more than 1 million oil workers now predicted to lose their jobs.
A new EV enters the game: Nikola’s Badger EV pickup opens for preorder on June 29th. Not only is the truck available with a 300 mile battery, there’s also, in a win for H2 enthusiasts, a 600 mile range hydrogen fuel-cell variant. Any EV company have dibs on Mr. Tesla’s middle name yet?
Digital wallets meet mobility: Uber recently partnered with Nigerian-founded, San Francisco-based Flutterwave to deploy Uber Cash, an e-wallet for Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, and other Sub-Saharan countries. The move will boost the region’s digital economy, while driving more riders and transactions to Uber.
Stock surge: shortly after Elon Musk urged Tesla to go all-in on Tesla Semi production, TSLA stock rose 7% to top $1,000/share. This makes Tesla the world’s most valuable automaker, surpassing Toyota — even though the Japanese giant produces approximately thirty times more vehicles per year.
You are now free to move about the planet: JetBlue’s CEO offers his thoughts on what flying will be like post-coronavirus and what he thinks the recovery of the aviation industry might look like as people begin to move around the world once more. Hint: hang on to your masks.
What may the future hold? The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the face of urban mobility as we know it… but for how long? ITS International News compiled what global experts predict will come next, including Maniv Mobility’s Olaf Sakkers and our own John Rossant’s thoughts from a recent episode of CoMotion LIVE.
No MRE for me, please: when Amtrak replaced custom-cooked meals with ready-to-eat airline style meals on long-distance trains, there was a major backlash. So much so that riders filed a whopping 125 pages of complaints in 2019 alone.
The sound of silence: with package and meal delivery booming across the globe, Barcelona-based Silence just announced a new sit-down e-scooter: the S02 LS. The new ride is aimed at restaurants looking for a sustainable way to make deliveries. Smart thinking.
Vroom boom: New York-based used car marketplace Vroom saw its share price skyrocket 83% above its IPO price only a day after its public offering — netting the company a cool $467.5 million. With its stock price still on the rise, it looks like the market is hungry for new mobility companies, despite general pandemic-related belt-tightening.
Wisco Weekly: Dennis Wisco of the Wisco Weekly podcast interviews our own Jonah Bliss about what Millennials want out of transportation, the latest in new mobility developments, and why he’s so excited about CoMotion MIAMI LIVE.
Bus to the future: five European cities commit to autonomous bus trials under the European Union’s FABULOS (Future Automated Bus Urban Level Operation System) program. Spanning from Helsinki, Finland to Lamia, Greece, the 50-day pilots will assess functionality, interoperability, and security. How FABULOS.
Up, up, and away: Scottish asset management firm Baillie Gifford, a large Tesla shareholder, just put $35M into Germany’s Lilium to help bring electric air taxis to life. After the UAM startup raised $240M in March, this additional infusion should help get its eVTOL off the ground.
European micromobility rebound? Post-lockdown Bird has seen a 120% month-over-month increase in utilization in Paris, aided by the city’s robust development of cycling infrastructure. In Northern Ireland, bike shops have reported a spike in e-bike demand as well.
Strength in bicycles: “Perhaps…the noblest invention,” the bicycle has continued to provide an incredibly valuable tool for empowering the masses — and the voices of dissent.
Mobility double-standard? As some U.S. police have been caught using bicycles against Black Lives Matter protesters, Fuji Bikes stopped sales to law enforcement agencies, and Trek was urged to do the same.
Race and bikes: in a shot across the bow of the cycling community, Tamika Butler shows why bike advocates need to address race and equity.
CityLab, explaining how America’s cities were systematically designed to oppress.
CitiesToday, sharing that COVID-19 has rocked cities aiming for healthier urban environments, but recovery plans offer hope.
The Atlantic, exploring how some cities have already remade themselves in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
CleanTechnica, dissecting GM CEO Mary Barra’s opinion that the US may take decades to transition to EVs.
SmartCitiesDive, offering ways that transit agencies and TNCs can collaborate to better serve the post-COVID world.
Startups & Corporate
Test Engineer, Manufacturing Systems | Argo AI | Palo Alto • Pittsburgh
Lead C++ Engineer in Machine Learning (Autonomous Driving Research Development Engineering) | TuSimple | Los Angeles, CA
Senior Product Manager, Hardware | Spin | San Francisco, CA
Sr. Mechanical Structures Engineer, Stationary Storage | Rivian | Irvine, CA
Senior Technical Writer, Infrastructure | Cruise | San Francisco, CA
Recovery Operations Engineer | SpaceX | Cape Canaveral, FL
Mechanical Engineer (Vehicles) | The Boring Company | Hawthorne, CA
Civic & Nonprofit
Transportation Manager | Escambia County Engineering Department | Pensacola, FL
Transportation Worker I | Dept of Transportation | Durham County, NC
Transportation Planner II | King County Mobility Division | Seattle, WA
Have a job listing that’s perfect for the CoMotion community? Please send it to Jim Manning.
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