Goooood afternoon mobility enthusiasts! We’re fresh-eyed and caffeinated out here in Los Angeles, eager to share another exciting week of mobility news. Kicking things off with an electric bang, GM unveils the first EV built off its new Ultium platform: the Cadillac Lyriq, Lordstown Motors is looking at a reverse IPO, and The Boring Company’s Tesla-filled tunnel may yet cover even more Vegas casinos. Elsewhere, scooter sales are taking off in India, a potential reprieve is in the works for Caltrain, a tough quarter for Uber, and much more below…
Join us Wednesday 8/19 at 10 AM Pacific for CoMotion LIVE, Follow the Money: How AVs will Reshape Cities & Society
Most of the popular conversation around AVs touches on either technical capabilities or safety. But what are the second and third-order complications when autonomous vehicles become commonplace? How will inexpensive and continuous delivery change retail business models? How will autonomy change real estate patterns in urban cores and exurban peripheries? And how will investors choose to bet on these new possibilities? Led by Ghost Road author and AV expert Anthony Townsend, this conversation will seek to look beyond what AVs can do to what challenges and opportunities they will inspire.
Looks great, but why the two year wait? GM unveils its all-electric “Cadillac Lyriq” – the first vehicle to make use of the new Ultium battery platform. Unfortunately, would-be car buyers will need to wait at least two years to actually get theirs. If preorders do well, expect to hear more about GM’s rumored plan to spin off its EV operations into a standalone entity.
Amazon’s freshest initiative: Amazon is quietly testing a hybrid grocery store / fulfillment center in Southern California. Now, new filings suggest The Everything Store is going nationwide with this new model, with at least 15 “Amazon Fresh” stores set to open in CA, NJ, IL, and PA. Hungry for more food delivery insights? Check out our interview with HNGRY’s Matt Newberg on last week’s CoMotion podcast.
Deliveries up, ridership down: Uber’s Q2 earnings fell by a third year over year, as a more than doubling of its food delivery business was unable to make up for a staggering 73% decline in ride-hailing bookings. Ouch!
Pandemic’s Silver Line-ing: with the pandemic quieting streets across the country, public officials in Northern Virginia are accelerating construction of the hotly anticipated Silver Line extension to Dulles International Airport. “In one month we were able to do the amount of work that would have taken 15 to 16 weekend shutdowns,” said Charles Stark, head of the project.
SF rail saga continues: picking up from last week’s debacle, Bay Area officials reached a compromise, agreeing to place a sales tax measure on the November ballot to save the region’s troubled commuter rail system. Now, it’s up to the voters to decide Caltrain’s fate.
Air + water meets fire: showcasing the versatility of autonomous air vehicles, China’s EHang premiered an “Aerial Mobility Firefighting System” able to douse flames in high-rises up to 600 meters tall. As tower fires are particularly difficult to fight, expect fire departments across Asia to snatch this up.
Putting the fast in Belfast: the Irish Government just launched a “most significant” review of the island’s rail network, which may lead to construction of a €15 billion high speed rail system linking Dublin, Cork, and Limerick with Northern Ireland’s capital.
MaaSive scaling issues: didn’t catch enough of David Zipper’s insights at last week’s CoMotion LIVE? Dive into his latest look at Mobility as a Service’s struggle to scale; even in its hometown of Helsinki, MaaS apps only have around 10,000 users. And if you missed it, catch a replay of “Is Concrete the New Gold?”
More greenbacks for green energy: Campbell, CA-based ChargePoint raises $127M to expand its commercial and fleet charging network across the US and Europe. Investors certainly remain bullish on anything and everything EV related…
Parking with a side of fries: with restaurants across the country struggling to stay afloat, forward-thinking cities & businesses are reclaiming the street to better serve customers. The LA Times’ Laura Nelson takes a look at how the trend is playing out in SoCal.
SPAC attack: fresh off Karma’s similar announcement and riding Tesla’s stock market high, electric truck manufacturer Lordstown Motors Corporation announces it’s going public through a reverse merger.
Sky high expectations? The FAA released a preliminary summary of its 18-month review of the Boeing 737 Max, outlining the steps necessary to get the planes back in the air. Given how many aircraft are currently grounded due to the pandemic, consider us skeptical that these 737s will be plying the skies with any regularity in the near future.
Self-driving paddy wagon: ex-Google, Uber, and Otto exec Anthony Levandowski was sentenced to 18 months in prison for theft of trade secrets. This fierce battle isn’t over yet, as Levandowski just filed a $4 billion lawsuit against Uber, alleging the ride-hailing giant has failed to uphold an agreement to indemnify Levandowski against legal action. Stay tuned…
100 days, 13 countries, 13,000+ miles: sneak a peak of Rivian’s R1T all-electric pickup on a transcontinental journey from Patagonia to Los Angeles. (We want to see how they crossed the Darién Gap…)
A Boring jackpot: Elon Musk’s The Boring Company received permission to extend its inaugural Loop system, meant to whisk gamblers from Vegas’ myriad casinos to the city’s ever-expanding convention center.
Webinar s’il vous plaît: curious about the state of AVs & EVs in France? Join our friends at Choose Paris Region for a fireside chat featuring AutoTech Ventures, Phantom AI, GBatteries and more.
Spin scooters going carbon negative: Ford Mobility-owned Spin announces an aggressive plan to go carbon negative by 2025, relying on longer vehicle lifespans, electric rebalancing & maintenance vans, an all-employee workforce, greenhouse gas audits, and more. Hopefully this will quiet some of micromobility’s sustainability doubters.
Micromobility’s new business model? Oakland, CA-based Unagi Scooters launches “All Access” – a private subscription service similar to Brooklyness. As micromobility companies pivot and public transit use fluctuates, expect this new leased ownership model to spread like wildfire…
Scooting the distance: while micromobility operators across the world pulled their fleets in the pandemic’s initial stages, many have since returned to the roads. Now, new data points to a path towards profitability, as scooter users look to be using their two-wheelers for much longer (and more profitable) trips.
Good month for Mumbai mopeds: things are looking up for India’s moped makers, after pandemic-related sales declines. Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) is reporting a 53.5% month over month increase in sales, aided by clever initiatives like online bookings, a digital road safety initiative, and special training for COVID first responders.
Beantown cargo bikes: the City of Boston issues an RFI for vendors and delivery companies, looking to electric cargo bikes to help the city meet its climate goals and reduce delivery vehicle congestion.
Bloomberg CityLab, looking at the effects of the last recession as an ominous warning sign for the future of American public transit.
The Economist, analyzing how the pandemic is giving e-bike sales a leg up, and also exploring what a million-mile battery will mean for future EVs.
The Wall Street Journal, breaking down America’s ever-growing love affair with gargantuan pickup trucks.
Shareable, exploring how local communities can bounce back from the pandemic
Startups & Corporate
Senior Software Engineer | Stae | Remote (US)
Technical Operations Lead | curbFlow | Remote (US)
Community Engagement Manager | Helbiz | Santa Monica, CA
Senior Product Manager | Beam | Singapore
Mobility Partnerships Manager | Populus | San Francisco, CA
Director of Marketing | Hopps | Los Angeles, CA
Civic & Nonprofit
Lead Planner | Palm Beach TPA | Palm Beach, FL
Transportation Planner I | Palm Beach TPA | Palm Beach, FL
Manager, Transit Demand Analysis | MTA | New York, NY
Have a job listing that’s perfect for the CoMotion community? Please send it to Jim Manning.
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