Positioning for future mobility

The city of Los Angeles and Xerox announced a new pilot project that roles public and private transportation options into one custom mobile app for the city, Go LA. Users of the free app will be able first to select what kind of transportation options they’re interested in (Motorcycles? The ridesharing company du jour? Whatever’s around?), then sort the results by what’s fastest, cheapest or greenest. Xerox, which is footing the bill for the initial pilot, also hopes to roll out payment and scheduling capabilities.

GM announced the creation of product team for autonomous vehicles and technology.

A new report reveals that a driverless taxi program is already underway in Seoul, South Korea, and has been driving students in a campus for six months with absolutely no accidents.

Ford announced that it is tripling its fleet of autonomous vehicles in 2016, upping its total to 30 test vehicles on the road. It is also announcing a novel integration with Amazon: Ford’s in-car software will soon connect with connected-home devices, especially its Amazon Echo.

More collaborations have been announced. Here are some:

  • Volvo Cars and Ericsson are developing intelligent media streaming for self-driving cars.
  • Samsung is reportedly teaming up with BMW to develop the brains of the self-driving vehicle. In December 2015, Samsung announced that it set up a new team to target the car market. The company has been eyeing the fast-growing market for automotive components, software and services, estimated to be worth about $500 billion.
  • The Chinese company Baidu is reportedly ramping up efforts to develop its autonomous vehicle unit in a bid to compete with other tech giants. As part of its efforts, it is partnering with BYD, the Chinese vehicle manufacturer.
  • Ford announced a collaboration with QNX, hoping to create an industry standard for integrating smartphone apps into cars. The two companies will work together to help drivers stay connected while keeping their eyes on the road. Hmmm …doesn’t sound to safe to us. Despite the fact that Blackberry (through QNX) has been in the autonomous vehicle space for a number of years, it appears that this technology will become a greater focus of the company’s efforts.
  • And, by the way, the much-rumoured driverless partnership between Google and Ford never came to fruition.

In India, Tata plans to launch the country’s first indigenous driverless vehicle.

And with news that was to be expected, Google will reportedly be making its self-driving car unit an Alphabet Company in 2016.

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