Next-Gen Mobility News, August 18th


Welcome to the next edition of our bi-weekly recap of the latest and greatest in connected and on-demand mobility.  If you’re not already receiving this email, you should be: Subscribe
An Uber and Lyft shutdown in California looks inevitable -unless voters bail them out
The Verge, August 16th
No Uber and Lyft rides in California? After a judge rejected the companies’ effort to delay an order that they classify drivers as employees, it seems inevitable. Uber and Lyft have until August 20th to comply with the order. But the companies have said they will need to go dark in the Golden State in order to retool their business.
Chili’s parent company CEO says new virtual delivery-only restaurant first of other, similar concepts
Fox Business, August 16th
The future of restaurants may not be in the dining room. As restaurants look to move past the coronavirus pandemic, some are trying out new concepts. One of the concepts is a virtual restaurant that delivers food from its own menu cooked in other restaurants’ kitchens. Brinker International, parent company of Chili’s and Maggiano’s, discussed the concept behind It’s Just Wings during calls with investors and the media, Restaurant Business Online reports. According to him, the delivery-only restaurant is just the first of a developing portfolio of similar concepts that the company is developing.
Volocopter: shaping the future of urban air mobility
Intelligent Transport, August 17th
When talking about urban air mobility, the primary concern for potential passengers is safety. What kind of technologies, either physical or digital, are in place to ensure that flights are safe? The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is the administration that is defining the rules and the safety levels for Urban Air Mobility (UAM). Their highest priority is the safety of passengers.
MoceanLab car-share aids LA homeless
Its International, August 17th
MoceanLab is providing hybrid vehicles from its car-share service to help USC Keck School of Medicine’s street medicine team care for homeless people in Los Angeles. The mobility laboratory – developed by Hyundai Motor – says its Mocean Carshare service will help the team as they travel to people in homeless encampments and under freeway overpasses. 
Uber ridership has cratered and no one knows when it’ll come back
The Washington Post, August 10th
Mary Miltiades, 25, didn’t take an Uber ride for 3½ months after the pandemic began. But Georgia has largely reopened, and since June 27, the Atlanta resident has taken three or four trips — one of which involved a saran-wrap divider installed by the driver between the back and front seats. “At first, it was almost like Uber didn’t exist anymore,” she said. “Since then, I’m just desensitized. I’ll wear my mask, I’ll roll the windows down, I won’t touch anything, I’ll be good.” Miltiades is representative of the varied choices consumers are making around the country and the world amid the global coronavirus pandemic. Analysts say that the ride-hail industry may take months or even years to start to recover, but companies already are seeing ridership varyaccording to what cities are reopening, recovering or reimposing restrictions.
Sacramento to be test market for electric-car lease program
Biz Journals, August 4th
The Sacramento region will be the first test market for a new AAA car subscription service that offers users one of 55 Volkswagen e-Golf cars with insurance, maintenance and roadside assistance for about $11 a day. The program is being funded by Electrify America and run by AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah. “Some people might not be sure they can live with an electric vehicle,” said Rich Steinberg, senior director of marketing with Electrify America, in a phone interview.
Uber to operate food delivery even if rides business forced shut in California
NY Times, August 17th
Uber Technologies Inc on Monday said it would continue operating its revenue-generating food delivery business Uber Eats even if its ride-hail business should be forced shut in California at the end of this week following a court order. A company spokesman said Uber’s food delivery unit did not appear to be impacted by a lawsuit filed by California’s attorney general and a subsequent court order that would force Uber to treat its ride-hail drivers as employees.
Hyundai’s autonomous vehicle project with Aptiv will now be called Motional
The Verge, August 11th
Hyundai’s autonomous vehicle joint venture with Aptiv has a new name: Motional. The company, which plans to test fully driverless vehicles for ride-hailing services later this year, said the new name is meant to evoke the “motion” of transportation as well as the “emotion” of the decision to get somewhere safely.
DoorDash becomes the first-ever on-demand delivery platform of the NBA, WNBA and NBA 2K League
WNBA, August 17th
DoorDash, the nation’s leading last-mile logistics platform, and the National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced a multiyear marketing partnership that makes DoorDash the Official On-Demand Delivery Platform of the NBA, WNBA and NBA 2K League.
Car sales rise and car-share companies boom as pandemic upends transportation
The Guardian, August 12th
Like many people in recent months, AnnaLiisa Ariosa-Benston of Brooklyn has seen her primary sources of income transform in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. An arts event producer, she now is picking up odd jobs in renovation and design to make money. And to do so, she has found – for the first time in her 10 years of living in New York City – that she needs a car. Despite having used Uber and Lyft in the past, Ariosa-Benston now says she wouldn’t feel as comfortable sharing space with a stranger in a small vehicle. She recently tried to rent a car in New York City and found all the rental locations near her were booked out in advance or extremely expensive. In another attempt to find a car on a work trip in Atlanta, she checked at the desks of every single car company at the airport – all were sold out.
Why Isn’t Everyone Buying EVs Yet? It’s Not Just The Price
Forbes, August 15th
If you engage in a lot of conversations about electric vehicles on social media, you start to see common themes emerging. The national grid can’t cope; they catch fire spontaneously; they can only drive 50 miles, particularly in winter; they’re built using rare minerals mined by children in the Congo; all the electricity required to charge them comes from coal anyway – and so on. Rather than rebuffing each one of these in turn (perhaps a future article), there’s a deeper underlying reason for all this hate. It’s not the (admittedly high) price that is why people aren’t running with arms open and buying EVs in droves yet; there appears to be a concerted hate campaign against them. But why, and where is it coming from?
An Alphabet company is designing a road for autonomous cars in Michigan
Engadget, August 14th
The state of Michigan wants to build the autonomous roadway of the future. Normally that in itself would be interesting enough, but there’s also the company it’s partnering with to make the project a reality. The state will work with a firm called Cavnue. Cavnue’s parent company is Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners (SIP), which itself is a spinoff of Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs. If you’ve followed Engadget’s coverage of the recently canceled Toronto Smart City project, you’ll know all about Sidewalk Labs.
Thoughts, questions, or have something newsworthy to share? Aioi would love to hear from you! Visit our website or reply to this email. Thanks,
The Aioi Insurance Services USA team Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Services USA Corp. is full service insurtech agency focusing on the future of transportation, and the surrounding infrastructure. This is what we find fascinating and we hope you do too.