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Archive for the ‘Ride-Sharing’ Category

All Grossed Out and Nowhere to Hide: Ride-Hailing Cars Nastiest

What's cleaner than a toilet? Not a rental car!

by on May.16, 2019

There were more than 6 million germs in the ride-hailing vehicles tested by NetQuote.com.

Rental cars are often considered almost throw away items. We’ve all heard the old axiom: People will do things in a rental car that they won’t do in their own. According to new testing, that’s not true: ride-hailing vehicles – typically owned by the driver – are the grossest thing on four wheels.

Insurance aggregator Netquote recently conducted tests to see just how nasty some modes of transport can be, specifically, taxi cabs, rental cars and ride-hailing cars. While many would have put money on the taxi being the most disgusting, those vehicles are subject to rules, including cleanliness.

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What vehicles aren’t? Yup. Ride-hailing vehicles. (more…)

Ride-Hailing Services Don’t Cut Traffic, They Add to It, Study Says

Many users would have simply taken mass transit or walked.

by on May.14, 2019

A new study suggests ride-hailing services, like Uber and Lyft, increased traffic delays in San Francisco by 62%.

Early in their growth, ride-hailing services, like Uber and Lyft, were seen as potential replacements for new vehicles; however, a new study suggests they only add to the number of vehicles on the road.

According to the new study, traffic delays in San Francisco – the test city in the study – during weekdays jumped 62% from 2010 to 2016, which is after transportation network companies, i.e. ride-hailing companies, began to offer services in the city.

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Researchers from the University of Kentucky and the San Francisco County Transportation Authority conducted the study using data from ride-hailing companies and Inrix Inc., a traffic-mapping and connected-car services supplier. (more…)

Uber Stock Keeps Falling After Stumbling Out of Gate

CEO Khoshorashi tells employees to hang tough.

by on May.13, 2019

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi asked employees in an email to hang in the as the stock price fluctuates.

Ride-hailing leader Uber saw its shares, which hit the market last week, continue to fall today into the $37 range after stumbling out of the gate.

Uber priced its initial public offering at the bottom end of the range at $45 per share after watching rival Lyft’s offering decline substantially after its debut earlier this year. The stock fell immediately when it debuted Friday, closing at $39.

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“Pricing a deal is an art not a science,” said CEO Dara Khosrowshahi while interviewed on CNBC.  (more…)

GM’s Cruise Unit Gets Additional $1.15B in New Funding

T. Rowe Price leads new round of funding.

by on May.07, 2019

GM's Cruise self-driving car unit received a new round of funding: $1.15 billion led by T. Rowe Price.

Producing self-driving vehicles requires a lot of money and, perhaps, even more faith. It would seem investors have both when it comes to this part of the automotive industry as General Motors’ Cruise outfit has secured $1.15 billion in new equity.

Cruise officials revealed Tuesday that T. Rowe Price and a group of existing investors put down $1.15 billion in new equity, pushing the self-driving vehicle unit’s value to $19 billion.

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As a result, GM’s shares jumped as much as 2.1% to $38.89 in morning trading on the heels of the announcement. The new funding includes GM, Japan’s SoftBank Vision Fund and Honda Motor Co Ltd., and should provide Cruise the cash it needs to launch vehicles by the end of 2019. (more…)

Product Launches Hammer FCA’s Q1 Earnings

But Ram pickup sales provide a cushion.

by on May.03, 2019

CEO Mike Manley needs to prove he can maintain the pace set by his former boss, Sergio Marchionne.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reported profits dropped 41% in the first quarter as a slump in sales in key markets cut the company’s revenues by 5 percent.

The automaker attributed the decline to the normal production challenges related to an array of new product launches in North America, as well as pricing pressure in China and South America.

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FCA CEO Mike Manley, however, reaffirmed the company’s guidance for the full year. “We expect earnings to grow in the following quarters,” he said as FCA completes the launch of the new Jeep Gladiator and the Ram Heavy Duty pickup truck.

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Drivers Warming to Arrival of Autonomous Vehicles

Good news for automakers investing billions into new technology.

by on Apr.30, 2019

Waymo's autonomous ride service, Waymo One, is already in service.

Automakers are investing billions of dollars into the research and development of autonomous vehicles with some already offering limited amounts of self-driving capability. However, is this what automobile owners really want?

There is new evidence they’re quickly warming to the idea of a self-driving vehicle.

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According to a survey of 1,146 automobile owners published by online car marketplace CarGurus, they’re both more enthusiastic and less worried about driverless cars than a year ago, and close to a third think they’ll own a self-driving car within the next decade. (more…)

Tesla CEO Musk Set to Announce “Full Self-Driving” Vehicle Today

But what that means remains unclear.

by on Apr.22, 2019

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company will have a fully autonomous vehicle on the road by the end of the year.

Today could prove to be a transformative day for Tesla and the auto industry at large, at least if Elon Musk delivers the “full self-driving” vehicle that the battery-carmaker’s CEO Elon Musk has promised to unveil.

Tesla has long been a proponent of autonomous driving, its Autopilot allowing limited hands-free operation on well-marked, limited-access roadways. Although the automaker has so far been faint with hard details, it has dropped plenty of hints that the updated Autopilot system could operate without direct driver involvement in most, if not all situations.

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If that proves to be the case, observers suggested, it could put Tesla in the forefront of an extremely competitive field, leapfrogging key players like Google spinoff Waymo and General Motors. But considering the problems the original Autopilot system has had, there remain plenty of skeptics. (more…)

GM Could Earn Close to $1B in Profit from Today’s Lyft IPO

Future for GM/Lyft alliance uncertain, however.

by on Mar.29, 2019

Lyft founders Logan Green, left, and John Zimmer, right, with GM President Dan Ammann after inking a $500M partnership, which jumped another $500M.

General Motors could turn a large investment into an even bigger profit if the IPO of the nation’s second-largest ride-sharing service goes off as planned today.

On Thursday, Lyft announced it was targeting $72 a share for its public debut. At that price, GM’s 18.6 million Class A shares would be worth more than $1.3 billion, a big increase over the $500 million it originally invested in Lyft back in January 2016.

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The question is whether the Detroit automaker will take the money and run or continue to work with Lyft. When it announced its investment more than three years ago, GM indicated it saw an opportunity to not just provide products to Lyft drivers but also to use the service as a test bed for the autonomous vehicles it was developing. But it now appears to be shifting focus to Maven, a service that could soon become a major Lyft competitor. (more…)

GM Declined Offer to Keep Lordstown Plant Open

Cleveland car dealer wanted Cruzes for ride-hailing business.

by on Mar.19, 2019

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra reportedly turned down a deal that would have kept the Lordstown plant open.

General Motors Co. could have avoided the latest round of flogging via Twitter from President Donald Trump about its Lordstown, Ohio plant if it had accepted an offer from one of its dealers.

Cleveland-based dealer Bernie Moreno reportedly met with GM officials last fall with an offer to buy as many as 180,000 Chevy Cruzes annually as part of a nationwide ride-hailing fleet to rival Uber and Lyft. The deal could have run as long as five years, according to a Detroit Free Press story.

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Moreno owns a dozen car dealerships across the country selling brands ranging from Lotus and Rolls Royce to Mercedes-Benz to Buick and GMC. However, GM officials studied the deal and then declined the offer apparently viewing it as not viable. The plant was idled last month as the last U.S.-built Cruze rolled off the line. (more…)

Over 70% of Americans “Afraid” to Ride in a Fully Autonomous Car

"The good, the bad and the ugly."

by on Mar.14, 2019

The fatal crash involving an Uber vehicle in Tempe, AZ has negatively shaped many peoples' view of autonomous vehicle technology, AAA found.

Almost exactly a year after an autonomous Uber prototype struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona, a new AAA study finds more than seven in ten Americans “afraid” of riding in a fully autonomous vehicle.

That’s despite the fact that 100s of self-driving prototypes are plying U.S. roads on a daily basis, a number that could soon climb into the tens of thousands if Congress moves to approve proposed legislation designed to help make the technology a part of everyday life. Already, the first self-driving vehicle ride-sharing program has gone into operation, launched last December by Google spin-off Waymo.

Out of this World!

“Automated vehicle technology is evolving on a very public stage and, as a result, it is affecting how consumers feel about it,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering.

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