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Archive for the ‘Uber’ Category

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.

Autonomous News!

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…)

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…)

Toaster-Shaped Nuro R1 Could Soon Pop Up as Driverless Delivery Van

Silicon Valley start-up aims to launch driverless delivery service this year.

by on Jan.31, 2018

The R1 is about as long and tall as a Toyota Highlander, but barely half as wide.

It looks like a four-wheeled toaster, but when the Nuro R1 starts popping up later this year it will be bringing packages from online and local retail shops, according to the company’s founders.

The race to put self-driving vehicles on the road is rapidly heating up, and it’s a question of which will come first: robot taxis or automated delivery vans. If Nuro has its way, it will get a head start on companies like Waymo and General Motors, which hope to launch the first driverless ride-sharing services sometime in 2019.

Tech Power!

Considering the tens of billions of dollars in goods that roll across the nation’s highways each year, experts see a potentially lucrative market for driverless long-haul trucks. Several companies have already demonstrated prototypes, including Uber subsidiary Otto. But Nuro is targeting the final leg of the journey.


Uber Working to Fight Human Trafficking

Drivers being informed about how to spot victims and what to do to help.

by on Jan.29, 2018

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

Ride-hailing service Uber’s been in the headlines for the last 18 months for a variety reasons, none of them good. However, new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is looking to change that, especially when it comes to the company’s drivers.

He’s made a massive effort to make the company’s 750,000 drivers in the U.S. feel more appreciated, including matching Lyft in allowing for tips and providing a hotline for drivers to call when they have questions.

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Now, the recently appointed CEO is giving them a new responsibility … an altruistic purpose. He’s working with them to make an impact on human trafficking. The company’s always encouraged drivers to play a role in the end of the scourge, but the new initiative is a formalized program. (more…)

More Americans Willing to Trust Self-Driving Vehicles, Finds AAA Study

But “deep divides” still exist.

by on Jan.24, 2018

General Motors petitioned NHTSA to begin testing as many as 2,500 autonomous Chevy Bolts annually on public roads.

Waymo, Uber and Lyft have all begun testing autonomous ride-sharing vehicles and the Google spinoff plans to field a small number of completely driverless models this year. General Motors, meanwhile, plans to start building a version of its Chevrolet Bolt EV, sans steering wheel and pedals, next year that could be used by Maven, its own sharing service.

While the development of self-driving technology is moving faster than many proponents predicted just a few years ago, the auto and ride-sharing industries face several potential roadblocks, including state and federal restrictions as well as the uncertainty of how consumers will respond. But a new survey by AAA released Wednesday finds that Americans are rapidly becoming more comfortable with the ideas of not only taking their hands off the wheel, but also having no wheel in the car at all.

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“Americans are starting to feel more comfortable with the idea of self-driving vehicles,” said AAA Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations Director Greg Brannon. “Compared to just a year ago, AAA found that 20 million more U.S. drivers would trust a self-driving vehicle to take them for a ride.” (more…)

GM Asks Feds to OK 2019 Launch of Driverless Robo-Cabs

Automaker aims to put as many as 2,500 on the road annually during test program.

by on Jan.12, 2018

GM will use an updated version of this Chevrolet Bolt EV - sans steering wheel and pedals - for the robo-cab test program.

General Motors wants permission from federal regulators to begin testing driverless robo-cabs on public roads, starting in 2019, a move that could position the Detroit automaker as one of the leaders in the development of autonomous vehicle technology.

Company officials said they would roll out as many as 25 vehicles annually under the pilot project, if given approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. GM ultimately hopes to provide the vehicles to ride-sharing services such as Lyft – in which it is a major investor – as well as its own service, Maven.

Breaking News!

Unlike the autonomous prototypes GM and many competitors are currently testing, the vehicles would be completely driverless and not even be equipped with pedals or a steering wheel. That is something the automaker’s President Dan Ammann called “a major milestone, adding that, “this technology will have a huge impact on the world.”


Uber’s Competition Gets Tougher as New Investors Join Company

Kalanick selling shares for $1.4B to SoftBank.

by on Jan.08, 2018

Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is selling $1.4 billion in Uber stock to Japan's SoftBank.

Didi Chuxing Technology Co., China’s dominant ride-hailing company, which recently raised more than $4 billion in fresh capital, is increasing its presence in South America with the acquisition of Brazil’s top ride-sharing service, increasing the pressure on its principle rival, Uber, which continues to face legal challenges on all sides.

Meanwhile, reports indicated that Travis Kalanick, Uber’s founder and former CEO, is preparing to sell 29% of his stake as part of deal with Japan’s SoftBank. The deal could net Kalanick, who was forced to leave his post as CEO last year, an estimated $1.4 billion from the deal. Kalanick still owns 10% of Uber’s stock.

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Also selling Uber shares is Benchmark, a venture capital firm, which is reportedly moving 15% of its holdings worth about $900 million. Both Kalanick and Benchmark will retain seats on the Uber board, according to reports. (more…)

Uber Taking More Lumps Over Evasive Tactics

Company's problems expanding in Europe, Asia

by on Dec.27, 2017

Uber continues to face problems in London and now that's expanded to Vietnam.

Uber, even though it has promised to clean up its odious management culture, is still getting into trouble of trying to evade laws and regulations in various countries where it operates.

Taxi drivers in London, in one case that his gotten an enormous amount of attention, want to charge Uber’s top management in the United Kingdom with perjury after Transport for London accused ride-sharing company of lying to the High Court.

Legal News!

In a 21-page letter to Uber seen by The Sunday Times, TfL says it refused to renew the company’s operating license in September because Uber had given it “materially false and misleading” information many times. (more…)

Uber Buying Up to 24,000 Autonomous Volvo XC90s

Uber’s technology could allow fully driverless operation.

by on Nov.20, 2017

An autonomous Volvo XC90 used by Uber in San Francisco. The original test was cut short when Uber refused to get a state permit.

Uber will purchase as many as 24,000 XC90 sport-utility vehicles from Volvo as part of its push to become an autonomous and, eventually, a fully driverless ride-sharing service.

The Swedish automaker previously provided a small number of XC90 s for autonomous pilot programs Uber operated in several cities, including San Francisco and Phoenix. The non-exclusive and non-binding deal would take things a giant step forward and allow Uber to launch autonomous operations on a commercial level starting in 2019.

Tech News!

“This new agreement puts us on a path towards mass produced self-driving vehicles at scale,” said Jeff Miller, Uber’s head of auto alliances, adding that he was “thrilled” to expand the ride-sharing service’s alliance with Chinese-owned Volvo.