Ridesharing news

Shuddle, a new ridesharing service launched late last year, is positioning itself as a “kid-friendly” ridesharing service.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick shared some revenue figures at a recent conference that indicate that ridesharing is more than replacing some of the taxi services. Kalanick stated that the taxi market in San Francisco is approximately $140 million per year and that Uber’s revenues in this city are running at $500 million per year.  Is ride sharing resulting in lower vehicle ownership? Lower usage of transit and taxi services?

In the US, it appears that parents are increasingly using Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing services to provide transportation for their kids. Shuddle, a new ridesharing service launched late last year, is positioning itself as a “kid-friendly” ridesharing service.

Uber, UberX, UberPool, Uber delivery services and now UberCopter: a helicopter service for the wealthy.

…And in Canada

Ontario Transportation Minister Del Duca says the “the province needs to get ready for new automotive technology that will mean jobs and changes to the way we get around”.

Ontario Transportation Minister Del Duca says the “the province needs to get ready for new automotive technology that will mean jobs and changes to the way we get around”. Join us at the Insurance-Canada Executive Forum in Toronto, on August 31st as the insurance industry will hear from Canadian technology and regulatory leaders regarding driverless vehicle technology and what to expect.
Photo: Yauhen_D / Shutterstock.com

News from around the world

Russia’s KAMAZ is reportedly creating an artificial city to act as an autonomous driving testing ground. And more…

Russia’s KAMAZ is reportedly creating an artificial city to act as an autonomous driving testing ground. The company stated it plans to develop approximately twenty prototypes of unmanned vehicles for a variety of purposes by 2020.

In Britain, the Commons Transport Committee indicated more needs to be done to make the country ready for the automotive revolution. International standards, clarification of liabilities and usage of data are among the elements that were raised by the Committee as pressing. Whatever is decided by Britain or another jurisdiction will set the stage for other countries around the world.

The British government is encouraged by studies indicating that self-driving technology will help generate 320,000 jobs in the country and boost the UK’s economy by £51 billion.

Germany, with more than 1 million car sharing members, is drafting new rules to promote car sharing. The country’s Transport Minister has stated that his ministry is “working on plans aimed at encouraging car sharing. The measures being considered include free and dedicated car parking places, among others.”

Driverless vehicle testing has been given the green light in Switzerland.

Brussels airport will be demonstrating automated buses as part of CityMobil2.

Adelaide is pushing to become Australia’s pilot city for driverless vehicles. Both state and federal governments are working to make it happen.

Driverless tech in off-road applications

Rio Tinto has been using driverless trucks in some of its mining operations.

Rio Tinto has been using driverless trucks in some of its mining operations.  The payback being extremely quick, the company is expanding usage of the technology. Here’s an interesting stat: Rio normally needed 60 drivers for 15 trucks, but with autonomous trucks this is reduced to eight operators and larger maintenance crews.

More affordable & better performing technology

Use of Lidar technology in driverless vehicles is becoming more affordable.

Use of Lidar technology in driverless vehicles is becoming more affordable. Quanergy, Velodyne and Valeo are all making progress in this area. Recently, Quanergy stated that its first solid-state Lidar units will cost only $250 to OEM carmakers. The tiny device that comes after that (postage-stamp sized) will be below $100.

Nvidia, graphics processing supplier, has developed a graphics card that teaches cars to see (machine learning).

Photo: Mark Doliner/Flickr

Nokia’s HERE is for sale …and it’s worth more than you might think

While Uber, Daimler and others are vying to acquire HERE, Apple concluded its purchase of precision mapping Coherent Navigation.

While there is no one view regarding the importance of maps in bringing autonomous vehicles to consumers, the bidding war over HERE is indicating the real value that maps represent to this technology. The acquisition price may exceed $6 billion.

While Uber, Daimler and others are vying to acquire HERE, Apple concluded its purchase of precision mapping Coherent Navigation.

The self-driving semi

Nevada has granted the first license for an autonomous commercial truck to operate on the state’s highways.

Nevada has granted the first license for an autonomous commercial truck to operate on the state’s highways.

Meet the Freightliner Inspiration Truck. Let’s but clear: a driver is still required, making the vehicle a NHTSA Level 3.

Many in the trucking industry are welcoming the technology. In 2012 in the US, “330,000 large trucks were involved in crashes that killed nearly 4,000 people, most of them in passenger cars. About 90% of those were caused by driver error.”

A project to create a driverless truck corridor from Mexico to Manitoba is being considered by the Central North American Trade Corridor Association.

Cnatca2

 

More states on the driverless route

In April, the Idaho Senate passed a bill allowing self-driving car testing in the state. Off to the House now for consideration.

Texas is also demonstrating interest in introducing self-driving regulations in an attempt to attract technology companies to undertake their testing in the state (Psst: it’s economic development).

Meanwhile, two US senators are urging NHTSA to give states greater freedom to set their own policies with respect to autonomous vehicle operations. We, at TEIET, are not certain that this is such a great idea and encourage Canadian provinces to learn from the experiences of our neighbours south of the border. It would be better for consistency in regulations.

Photo : f11photo/Shutterstock.com

 

Visionary politicians

any of the mobility options that are in place today require champions with vision to succeed.

Many of the mobility options that are in place today require champions with vision to succeed. Garcetti, Mayor of LA, is one of those visionary champions. He’s launching the city’s first-ever sustainability plan and hiring an advisor for ridesharing and robotic cars.

Photo: Flickr user Eric Garcetti

Auto OEMs and their foray into mobility services

Increasingly, auto manufacturers, cognizant of the fact that demographics, increasing urbanization and its effects as well as increased mobility options represent a threat to their business model, are vertically integrating forward into the mobility space.

Increasingly, auto manufacturers, cognizant of the fact that demographics, increasing urbanization and its effects as well as increased mobility options represent a threat to their business model, are vertically integrating forward into the mobility space. Ford’s 29 mobility projects launched earlier this year are a perfect example. One of these projects is Ford’s Dynamic Social Shuttle allowing users to order shuttle rides.

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Ford

 

Another Ford project that is getting publicity in recent weeks is its Go!Drive UK car sharing project where EVs and ICE vehicles are being provided to users.

Audi launched its on demand car sharing service in the US. This is a program offering daily rentals of Audi vehicles. The company has indicated that it will soon be launching its Audi at home program (available in select premium condo complexes).