Wow, what a week! For once, it feels like there really is some news to be cheery about, starting with California Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement that the state will ban the sale of ICE-powered cars by 2035. More clean mobility news abounds, including a new “electric road” in Israel, transit expansion in Mexico, and New York State getting its act together on EVs. On the flip side of the coin, Tesla’s new batteries are delayed, and Amazon’s released some products that have privacy advocates worried. But now on to the really good news – CoMotion’s podcast is back! Check out the first new episode of Fast Forward, featuring Gabriella Gómez-Mont, founder of Mexico City’s urbanism think-tank Laboratorio para la Ciudad.
15 long years… in a move that’s progressive for the U.S., but par for the course in many European countries, California Governor Newsom decrees that the sale of gas-powered cars will be banned come 2035, followed by medium and heavy-duty trucks 10 years later. A nice start, but can we push this up to, say, next week?
Charged up! Tel Aviv to pilot an “electric road” that uses copper coils under the roadway bed to recharge public buses along 2 km of route to Tel Aviv University.
From laggard to leader? New York State is not normally known as an electric vehicle powerhouse, but political leaders are working to solve that with “EVolve NY.” They just cut the ribbon on the first of hundreds of 350kW fast-chargers which will soon blanket the Empire State – largely powered by hydroelectricity.
Good news in Guadalajara: the Mexican city inaugurates Line 3 of its metro network. While technically “light rail”, the new line is fully grade separated, offering speedier and more reliable commutes than most equivalent LRT systems in the U.S.
Formalizing informal transit: across the world, millions of commuters rely on informal transit networks that are unmapped and offline. Now South Africa-based WhereIsMyTransport is setting out to map the world’s 30 largest cities, building off earlier work in Bangkok and Mexico City.
That’s one way to cut traffic! In California, the Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission is considering mandating that large employers have 60% of their workforce telecommute. Not so much for COVID safety: the plan is intended to cut congestion and greenhouse emissions in a notoriously traffic-clogged region.
“Battery Day” more like battery delay: Tesla’s “high volume” battery is delayed until 2022. As the EV vanguard’s upcoming Semi, Roadster and Cybertruck were expected to make use of this new battery tech, these highly anticipated models may now see some changes to their range and/or price.
All aboard: Denver’s Regional Transportation District inaugurates the N Line, running to the northern suburbs. While technically “commuter rail,” RTD runs some of the nation’s most advanced operations, featuring low fares and frequent service similar to a full-fledged metro.
Show us the goods: VW-backed QuantumScape claims to have created a new type of battery that blows past the performance of existing competitors. The new tech supposedly relies on pure metallic lithium, a breakthrough which has vexed scientists for decades now. With QuantumScape’s public offering set for Q4, we’d like to see some outside verification before any new investors plunk down their cash…
Commuting conundrum: in our latest Mobility Perspective, MoceanLab’s VP Dave Gallon argues that ride-hailing companies’ threatened retreat exposes LA’s fraying mobility safety net.
Grab a Dumpling? With Uber and Lyft fighting it out in California courts (and ballot boxes) over worker classification, some drivers may be looking for new alternatives. Enter Dumpling, a new app that for a flat monthly fee lets would-be cabbies set their own prices, choose their passengers, and keep 97% of the fare.
From Tokyo to Texas? The U.S. Federal government gives the green light to Texas Central Railroad, a planned high-speed rail route that would span from Dallas to Houston, using Japanese Shinkansen technology.
Better yet, from Vegas to LA: in a late Friday news drop, Brightline announces it’s moving ahead with a $3.2 billion tax-exempt bond offering to build its high speed train from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. If all goes to plan, the 200 mph desert corridor will break ground by year’s end.
Putting the H in flight: ZeroAvia successfully conducts the world’s first hydrogen-electric flight of a commercial scale aircraft. The London and California-based aviation startup flew a converted Piper Malibu for over 250 miles out of an UK airfield. We’ll be sure to ask company CEO Val Miftakhov for all the juicy details when he joins us Wednesday on CoMotion LIVE.
$2.4 billion charge: Campbell, California-based ChargePoint is set to go public at a $2.4 billion valuation. The electric-vehicle charging network, one of the country’s oldest and largest, is accessing the public markets via the IPO-style dujour: a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC.)
Talk about international collaboration: China’s Geely and Israel’s Mobileye team up to bring level 2+ ADAS (advanced driver-assistance systems) into “high volume” production come 2021. The “SuperVision” setup relies purely on cameras, bringing down prices for the competitive Chinese market.
Dystopia now! Amazon’s Ring introduces a slew of new products, many with a mobility theme. Among them: an autonomous drone-mounted security camera that roams users’ homes, a prosaically named “Car Alarm” and a “Car Cam” for securing autos, and a new city-wide mesh network called “Amazon Sidewalk.” Consider us a tad skeptical…
Numero quatro: Zoox becomes the fourth company to get permission to test fully driverless operations in California. With this coveted permit secured, expect to see the Amazon unit’s AVs rolling around the Bay Area’s Foster City, but keeping to 45 MPH or less.
Organizing the world’s batteries: Teleport Mobility, out of Sweden, aims to bring order to the chaotic space of micromobility batteries, announcing a new open sourced swapping system while looking to improve a major source of fragility and carbon in e-bikes and e-scooters.
Dude, where’s my scooter? E-scooter maker ACTON and high-precision location company Navmatic enter into a global partnership to improve scooter locating down to 1-meter accuracy in urban environments, in order to improve fleet operation.
Too slow, too ponderous: Active Transportation Alliance sounds the alarm at the lack of progress of Chicago’s bike infrastructure as people on two wheels continue getting killed, and further calls on the city to increase investment in more protected lanes.
Mobility diversification: The pickup truck is getting disrupted by the humble bicycle as Madison, Wisconsin pilots electric cargo bikes capable of a 660 pound payload (rider not included). The personal mobility space gets even funkier as design studio OneBot shows off a four-wheeled, solar & foot powered treadmill that aims to be summoned on demand.
Bike OnStar: Belgium’s Cowboy is back with a sleek third generation e-bike with a long list of feature: puncture-resistant tires, theft detection, and even crash detection (which sends alerts to emergency contacts in the event of a collision.)
Lighter than air: Scooter provider Bird continues exploring the ownership space with the all-new Air, an affordable, foldable, lighter weight model for short urban trips. Meanwhile, LeMond Bicycles, founded by the eponymous American three-time Tour De France winner, gets into the consumer e-bike game by announcing two carbon fiber models.
Welcome, welcome: Portland Department of Transportation greenlights making its scooter pilot permanent, Alexandria, VA looks to extend a scooter pilot, Slough, UK set to start a yearlong scooter trial in October, and Tembici launches Latin America’s biggest electric bike program in Rio de Janeiro.
Bloomberg CityLab looking at Beijing’s classic hutong houses and their relationships to the street.
All Things Urban taking a look a what Coliving means to young urbanists.
The Verge leaking some of the internal turmoil inside of Facebook.
Urbanize LA analyzing Los Angeles’ upcoming DTLA 2040 plan.
Startups & Corporate
Civic & Nonprofit
Director Governance & Assurance | Transport for NSW| Sydney, AU
Director of Transportation | Houston-Galveston Area Council | Fredericksburg, VA
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