Next-Gen Mobility News, Vol. 5

May 12th

Welcome to the 5th edition of our bi-weekly recap of the latest and greatest in connected and on-demand mobility. 

We hope you and your loved ones are staying safe. As we start to see some restrictions being lifted in some areas of the US, we are particularly focused on the long-term effects COVID-19 will have on the mobility industry. 

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Voyage Partners with FCA to Deliver Fully Driverless Cars
Voyage, May 11th
Voyage has teamed up with FCA to accelerate Voyage’s deployment of fully driverless cars. “We have integrated our self-driving technology into a purpose-built Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, developed specifically by FCA for the integration of automated technology.”
Uber leads $170 million investment in scooter company Lime
CNBC, May 7th
Uber is leading a $170 million investment round in Lime, the electric scooter and bike rental company announced Thursday. Under the deal, Uber will transfer its own electric bike and scooter division called Jump to Lime and the companies will further integrate their apps. Lime global head of operations and strategy Wayne Ting will become CEO of Lime while outgoing CEO Brad Bao will become chairman.
California DMV Finds “Care by Volvo” Subscription Service Violates State Law
Lexology, May 8th
The California Department of Motor Vehicles recently disclosed the results of its investigation of the “Care by Volvo” car subscription service that was challenged as unlawful competition by the California New Car Dealers Association. As detailed in its Report and Supplemental Report, the DMV found that CbV is effectively a leasing program, and as such, Volvo is competing against its franchised dealers in violation of California law.
SoftBank-backed Fair appoints new CEO: Bradley Stewart ex-CEO of XOJet
TechCrunch, May 11th
Another chapter is opening up for Fair.com, the car subscription startup backed by hundreds of millions of dollars from SoftBank and others: today the company announced that Bradley Stewart, who had been CEO of aviation startup XOJet from 2013 to 2018 (when it was acquired by Vista Global), is joining as CEO. At the same time, Stewart confirmed in an interview that Fair is working on raising another round of funding — size as yet unknown, but including both equity and debt — to push ahead on its business now focused squarely on car subscriptions for consumers.
Intel acquires transit data startup Moovit for $900 million
The Verge, May 4th
Intel moved deeper into the world of smart mobility and autonomous driving by announcing Monday its plan to acquire Israel-based urban transit data startup Moovit for $900 million. Moovit’s principle product is an urban mobility app with a particular focus on public transportation, which is used by hundreds of millions of customers. It uses public transit data to provide route planning in the vein of Google’s and Apple’s mapping apps, as well as scooter and bike-sharing services and ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft. But because it relies partly on crowd-sourced data, Moovit can also provide routing for areas where no publicly released data is available. The app is used by 800 million customers and services 3,100 cities across 102 countries, Intel said.
Navigating the post-pandemic world with mobility companies like Uber, Lime, and Bird
Fox 59, May 8th
As central Indiana begins to awake from its coronavirus slumber, mobile transportation companies are figuring out how to provide rides for people in the new norm. Bird scooters re-launched in Indy last week, while Lime re-deployed on Thursday. Bird sent out a small fleet, so they could keep up with routine cleanings throughout the day.
Future Volvo models to use roof-mounted LiDAR autonomous tech
Motor 1, May 8th
Volvo announces that it’s partnering with Luminar to introduce better autonomous driving technology in future Volvo cars. And yes, the industry-leading LiDAR, which stands for light detection and ranging, is the centre of this collaboration, which is bound to be equipped on next-generation Volvo vehicles. LiDAR uses laser tech to measure distances, illuminating oncoming and upcoming obstacles with laser light and using sensors to discern their proximity.
Automatic Labs shutting down its connected car services at the end of May
9TO5 Mac, May 1st
Automatic Labs quickly gained attention about seven years ago as it launched a smart connected car device that worked with iPhone. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the SiriusXM-owned company has announced today the surprise news that it’s closing its business and all services at the end of May.
California Readying Rules for Automated Vehicle Ride-Hailing
StreetsBlog Cal, May 4th
California’s first-ever Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Passenger Service Pilot Program (AV Pilot) is underway. This means that someone near you could potentially be hailing a ride from an automated vehicle rather than a taxi or ride-hail driven by a human being. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is in charge of creating regulations for AVs in fleet services (e.g., taxis and ride-hailing). The CPUC is currently managing a dialogue among dozens of parties weighing in on issues such as whether driverless AVs in pilot services should be allowed to collect fares for trips, whether they should be allowed to accept pooled or shared rides, and what types of data they should report. 
Ithaca CarShare providing guidance on keeping the fleet clean and safe
WHCU Radio, May 4th
Ithaca CarShare providing guidance on keeping the fleet clean and safe. The group sent the following news release with full details: Governor Cuomo’s executive orders 202.17 and 202.18 require the public to wear face masks any time 6’ social distancing is not possible and at all times when using public transportation or for-hire vehicles.
Data storage and AI are driving the evolution of autonomous cars
Venture Beat, May 4th
As vehicles become more connected and able to process data for AI-based decision making, automakers have an incredible opportunity to innovate the driver experience. According to OMDIA’s automotive research arm, Wards Intelligence, in 2019 there were approximately 150 million connected passenger vehicles, and this number is set to double by 2022.
L.A. Joins Lawsuit to Classify Ride-Hail Drivers as Employees
My News L.A., May 5th
The top attorneys for the state’s largest cities joined California Attorney General Xavier Becerra Tuesday to announce a lawsuit against Uber and Lyft, claiming the ride-hailing companies misclassified their drivers as independent contractors instead of employees. Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer joined Becerra and the city attorneys of San Diego and San Francisco in the lawsuit.