Next-Gen Mobility News – Vol. 3

April 14, 2020

Welcome to the 3rd edition of our bi-weekly recap of the latest and greatest in connected and on-demand mobility.

We will continue to navigate the impact of COVID-19 on the mobility industry, and hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and well.

Coronavirus turns Uber into gig platform for all work

Forbes, April 7th

Coronavirus has crippled the gig economy. But while ride-sharing has plummeted in the wake of national lockdowns, Uber has found a novel way to adapt to our brave new world. It has launched a new Work Hub that enables its drivers to find alternative gig work, in such areas as customer service, food production, and logistics.

CA Shop Owner Creates Rideshare Collision Network

Auto Body News, April 10th

Dan Dewater, owner of Hangtown Body Shop and A1 Collision & Bumper Center in Placerville, CA, isn’t afraid to operate a little outside of the box.. Last year, Dewater started RCN to provide special collision repair services to rideshare drivers, including those driving for companies like Uber, Lyft and DoorDash, among others.

Rideshare startups for schoolchildren change lanes to survive COVID-19

EdSurge, April 8th

In response to significant reduction in the volume of rides, rideshare for children companies have tested and implemented new ways to deploy their drivers. The companies have offered to deliver food and learning materials like laptops and textbooks to students’ homes. “Instead of kids going to schools, things have to come to them,” says Zūm CEO Ritu Narayan.

Austin rideshare firm Hitch adds routes during outbreak

Statesmen, April 8th

Austin-based Hitch, a rideshare company focused on travel between Texas cities, is adding new routes and lowering the price on rides for passengers who still need to travel between cities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Starship Technologies is sending its autonomous robots to more cities as demand for contactless delivery rises

Tech Crunch, April 9th

Starship Technologies  has launched a robot food delivery service in Tempe, Ariz., as part of the autonomous delivery startup’s expansion plans following a $40 million funding round announced last August.

Alphabet’s nascent drone delivery service is booming

The Verge, April 9th

Alphabet’s drone delivery company Wing has seen a “significant” increase in demand in recent weeks as people adhere to social distancing rules during the COVID-19 pandemic. Business Insider reports that in the last two weeks the company’s drones have made over 1,000 deliveries, while Bloomberg reports a doubling of deliveries in the US and Australia.

Nuro will start self-driving delivery vehicle services in California

Road Show by CNET, April 9th

Californians will soon see an odd, new vehicle motoring around local roads after the state cleared Nuro to test its self-driving delivery car in the state, the company announced on Tuesday. The small driverless vehicles could help deliver goods amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Zipcar expands options amid pandemic, auto rental agencies cut prices

The Truth About Cars, April 10th

With ride-hailing services and taxi cabs being viewed by many as mobile germ carriages, you wouldn’t expect shared vehicles to be in demand. Zipcar is making a few changes in a bid to make it all the more appetizing. Rather than relying on its typical hourly (or daily) price rates, it has expanded its Dedicated Zipcar vehicle program for weekly rentals.

A transit system in crisis, Miami-Dade buying Uber, Lyft rides on overnight bus routes

Miami Herald, April 7th

Left with no fares and plunging ridership, Miami-Dade’s transit system is ready to cancel overnight routes and outsource public transportation to Uber and Lyft during those hours.

Self-Driving NAVYA, Beep shuttles used to tranport COVID-19 tests to Mayo Clinic in Florida

Forbes, April 7th

A pilot program has begun in Jacksonville, Florida, that uses autonomous shuttles supplied by Beep and NAVYA to transport medical supplies and COVID-19 tests to a nearby Mayo Clinic.

San Francisco mayor caps Uber, Postmates, DoorDash delivery commissions

SF Chronicle, April 10th

As struggling San Francisco restaurants pin their hopes of staying open on delivery and takeout orders, city officials have stepped in to lower the commissions charged by the makers of apps like Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash, Caviar and Postmates.

VW dealers to run pickup and delivery services for needed medical supplies and food

Reuters, April 13th

Volkswagen AG said on Monday it would give financial assistance to its U.S. dealers who wish to use their loaner fleet to pickup and deliver essential supplies in areas affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.