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Archive for the ‘Ride-Sharing’ Category

Magna, Lyft Pairing Up to Develop Self-Driving Technology

Magna takes $200 million equity stake in Lyft.

by on Mar.15, 2018

Lyft and Magna are partnering up to develop self-driving vehicle technologies.

Magna is purchasing a $200 million equity stake in ride-sharing behemoth Lyft as part of a multi-year plan to develop a self-driving vehicle platform together.

The collaboration calls for the two companies to jointly fund, develop and manufacture self-driving systems. The establishment of this partnership subject to regulatory approval. This partnership positions Magna and Lyft to enable the development and manufacturing of self-driving systems at scale.

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In addition to self-driving vehicles that will be deployed on Lyft’s own ride-sharing network in the coming years, Magna can deploy the technologies across a wide range of uses to benefit the entire global mobility ecosystem. (more…)

Uber Expanding Autonomous Truck Testing in Arizona

Company is looking to resolve a couple of problems with testing.

by on Mar.09, 2018

Uber Freight is testing autonomous trucks in Arizona to see what their capabilities are and what system may work best for them.

Uber has moved from testing its self-driving cars in select markets to now putting its autonomous trucks through their paces on delivery runs in Arizona.

According to the company, it began its program in November, including contracting with trucking companies to use its own autonomous Volvo big rigs to take over loads as they traverse the state.

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The program calls for a trucker to meet the self-driving truck at the Arizona state border, which then takes the load across the state before handing it off to a second conventional trucker for the short-haul trip. During the autonomous trip, an Uber employee rides in the driver seat of the autonomous truck to monitor the truck and would only need to drive in the event of an emergency. (more…)

Mercedes-Benz Bank Changes Business Model

Moves by automakers toward mobility forces bank to rethink operations.

by on Mar.09, 2018

Mercedes-Benz Bank is changing the way it does things to keep pace with the changes in auto financing needs.

Daimler Financial Services subsidiary, the Mercedes-Benz Bank in Germany, is revising its business model to accommodate the changes in mobility, such as subscription services, with which carmakers have begun to experiment.

The Mercedes-Benz Bank now finances one of every two vehicles sold by the automaker in Germany and the bank’s portfolio now totals around 970,000 cars, trucks, vans and buses on the books and grew by 12% in 2017 to 26.9 billion euros.

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“In future, we will also integrate mobility services such as car sharing into our vehicle financing, in addition to making offers specifically for electrically powered vehicles,” One in every two Daimler vehicles in Germany is on the road with a contract from Mercedes-Benz Bank, he added. (more…)

California Okays Testing of Completely Driverless Vehicles

“Lives will be at stake,” warns consumer group.

by on Feb.27, 2018

Waymo is already testing autonomous ride-sharing vehicles and will soon add fully driverless ones.

Barely a week after Arizona regulators authorized Waymo to begin a drive-sharing service that will depend on completely driverless vehicles, California has given the green light to companies like the Google spinoff to begin operating driverless vehicles on its roads, as well.

But, for the moment at least, the Golden State is only authorizing companies like Google, Uber and General Motors to simply test vehicles that have no backup drivers onboard. It is not clear if or when it will allow them to begin commercial operation.

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Proponents say such tests are critical to prove the technology can operate safely and seamlessly on the same roads as human drivers, but not everyone is convinced the time is right. “It will be just like playing a video game, except lives will be at stake, said John Simpson, director of California-based non-profit group Consumer Watchdog. (more…)

Autonomous EVs Will Drive Ride-Share Costs by 50 Percent

BP economist predicts vehicles will run twice as much, leading to price drops.

by on Feb.22, 2018

BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale predicts that the prices of ride-sharing companies will fall 50% with the arrival of autonomous vehicles.

With the first wave of self-driving cars expected to reach the streets in the early 2020, the price of ride-sharing trips offered by Uber and Lyft could drop by half, according an estimate from one of Great Britain’s leading energy experts.

BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale said at an International Petroleum Week conference in London that self-driving cars initially will be too expensive for normal people to buy and instead will be snapped up by commercial companies.

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“The vast majority of these will be purchased by commercial fleets offering mobility services, so think Uber or Lyft. The potential here — if you suddenly get an Uber or Lyft without paying for a driver — is that it leads to a significant fall in the cost. We estimate that could reduce the cost of that type of service by around 40% or 50%,” Dale said during his appearance at the conference. (more…)

Waymo Gets the Go to Launch 1st Driverless Ride-Sharing Program

Service set to begin within the year in Phoenix area, then expand to other markets.

by on Feb.19, 2018

Waymo has been testing its ride-sharing program in Phoenix but now has a permit to go fully driverless.

Waymo, the autonomous ride-sharing service spun off by Google, has gotten permission to launch a commercial ride-sharing service that will completely eliminate human drivers.

The company has confirmed receiving a permit from the Arizona Department of Transportation and is now expecting to launch service using a small fleet of modified Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans in the Phoenix area. It has been operating a pilot program in the Phoenix area for the past year using autonomous vehicles that still had a backup “operator” behind the wheel ready to take control in an emergency.

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“As we continue to test-drive our fleet of vehicles in greater Phoenix, we’re taking all the steps necessary to launch our commercial service this year,” a Waymo spokesman told (more…)

Maven Making Move to Toronto

Service expands into new country.

by on Feb.14, 2018

GM's car-sharing service, Maven, continues to grow. The on-demand access to vehicles is now in Canada's largest city, Toronto.

General Motors car-sharing service, Maven, which offers customers access to personalized, on-demand mobility services, has opened for business in Toronto, Canada’s largest city.

So far, GM has rolled out Maven in more than a dozen cities in North America, including New York and Los Angeles.

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“Toronto has a unique spirit. Residents are constantly on the go and want more sharing and mobility options,” said Julia Steyn, vice president, General Motors Urban Mobility and Maven. “Maven offers cars Torontonians want to drive to help them be there for the moments that matter.” (more…)

Uber Settles With Waymo for $245 Million

Company says it "regrets" the issue; promises to use only Uber technology.

by on Feb.09, 2018

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi continues to rehabilitate the company's image.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi continues to knock down the roadblocks to the ride-sharing company’s progress as the company settled a long-running dispute with rival Waymo over trade secrets.

The company paid $245 million of its own stock to Waymo, the spinoff of Google’s autonomous vehicle business, and an agreement to not use any Waymo-based technology in its development of self-driving vehicles, according to a Reuters report.

The Last Word!

The settlement came as the two sides were about to begin a fifth day in court over the dispute, which has been costing Uber time and money as it looks to rehabilitate its reputation on multiple fronts. (more…)

Taking Uber to Work Cheaper than Driving Yourself

Study shows in some markets ride-sharing costs less for daily commute.

by on Feb.05, 2018

A new study suggests that it's cheaper to Uber to and from work than to drive your own car.

A new study suggests that in some major metropolitan area, among them Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit, it’s cheaper to drive to work using Uber than it is to drive a personal automobile.

Aside from the cost of a trip on Uber or Uber Pool, which varies from region to region, insurance and parking are the key factors in driving up the cost of commuting driving 10.4 miles-one way to work, according to the study from NerdWallet.

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“NerdWallet examined data from a variety of sources to compare the cost of commuting each week via ridesharing service Uber vs. a personal vehicle in the 20 largest U.S. metropolitan areas by population, to see if owning a vehicle for work is cost-effective. (more…)

Ford Going Global as Chariot Minibus Service Launches in London

Also expanding U.S. service to a sixth city.

by on Feb.01, 2018

Chariot will run its 14-passenger, WiFi-enabled and air conditioned vehicles on four routes in London: Chariot's first foray into Europe.

While rivals including General Motors and Waymo are hoping to launch driverless ride-sharing services next year, Ford is moving in a slightly different direction with its own mobility services campaign, and it is ramping up the expansion of its Chariot minibus service.

The venture, which largely focuses on connecting transportation hubs and other public facilities, already operates in five U.S. cities. This week, Ford is adding London and planning to add a sixth U.S. city “very shortly.”

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“Chariot’s commuter ride-share service will complement the existing public transport system by offering in-app ride booking for first- and last-mile commuting solutions, and the potential to reach underserved areas,” the automaker said in a statement. (more…)