Next-Gen Mobility News, October 27th

Volume 17

Uber’s self-driving-car business has fallen behind Waymo and Cruise — here’s why the ride-hail giant might give up on ATG
Business Insider, October 15th
To former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, mastering self-driving-car technology was a matter of life or death for the ride-hailing firm. “If we are not tied for first, then the person who is in first, or the entity that’s in first, then rolls out a ride-sharing network that is far cheaper or far higher-quality than Uber‘s, then Uber is no longer a thing,” Kalanick said in a 2016 interview with Business Insider.
Carsharing platform Getaround closes $140 million
Pulse 2.0, October 18th
Getaround — a carsharing platform that empowers users to instantly access and drive cars nearby — announced that it has raised $140 million in Series E funding. Including this funding round, the company has raised a total of nearly $600 million. This funding round demonstrates the company’s strong backing from a global group of investors including lead investor PeopleFund along with new investors including Reinvent Capital (Reid Hoffman and Mark Pincus), AmRest founder Henry McGovern, Pennant Investors, and VectoIQ partners Steve Girsky, Mary Chan, and Julia Steyn, participating alongside a broad set of existing investors including SoftBank Vision Fund, Menlo Ventures, Braemar Energy Ventures, Triangle Peak Partners, Asset Plus Capital, Bpifrance, Cathay Innovation, and Via-ID.
Tesla’s Full Self-Driving beta is a reminder autonomous cars don’t yet exist
Road Show, October 27th
It’s incredibly easy to get sucked into hype. We love to see progress, technological advances and just cool things in general come to life. The idea of a car taking over the most tedious and boring parts of driving is highly appealing, but we need to always make sure we’re making progress with safety in mind.
Postmates is launching a new retail delivery feature as brick and mortar stores face 14% drop in sales
Tech Crunch, October 27th
Postmates is now rolling out what could be the biggest update to the company’s service in a long time — adding a retail option for users to shop local stores and for local merchants to set up a virtual on-demand storefront in the app. Starting in Los Angeles — and building on yesterday’s test run pop-up shop with the Los Angeles Rams — Postmates users will be able to shop local merchants listed in the company’s new retail tab in the Postmates  app called, appropriately, “shop”.
Lyft deal with Grubhub challenges Uber in food delivery
The Motley Fool, October 14th
Earlier this year, Uber Technologies (NYSE:UBER) pursued the acquisition of food delivery service Grubhub (NYSE:GRUB) to expand its Uber Eats business. When an agreement couldn’t be reached on that deal, Grubhub announced it was being acquired by European food delivery company Just (LSE:JET) for $7.3 billion. Now Uber rival Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT) has announced that it will be partnering with Grubhub, providing its Lyft Pink subscription members access to Grubhub+ for free food delivery and other perks. 
Column: In Proposition 22’s battle between the old economy and the new, taxi drivers look for hope
Los Angeles Times, October 19th
The state of California is locked in a $200-million battle with some of the largest companies in the world over a ballot measure that could not only drastically affect Uber and Lyft market share but also change the nature of employment in California. But Feliz Melkumyan, a taxi driver since 1999, is at peace. The former physicist and Armenian immigrant from Uzbekistan has long enjoyed protection of a higher power.
New Dearborn-based rideshare company, Zoom Ride, launches after COVID-19 related delays
Press & Guide, October 26th
As home to one of the world’s largest automakers, it is no surprise that a new ride-hailing company has established its headquarters in Dearborn. Zoom Ride, with offices and a call center in the Parklane Towers, will focus primarily on safety for its drivers and passengers by offering several distinct features on its app. The service was supposed to launch earlier this year, but was pushed back due to COVID-19 and traveling restrictions.
Plugging into the future: The electric vehicle market outlook
Forbes, October 26th
At Thursday’s presidential debate, former Vice President Joe Biden pledged to transition the U.S. economy “away from the oil industry.” This goal cannot be achieved without the electrification of road transport, which accounted for almost 70% of America’s oil consumption in 2019. Market forces and green government policies are accelerating this shift in the United States and around the world.
Volvo’s subscription program now lets you swap cars every four months
Motor Trend, October 26th
Some luxury automakers have started offering subscription services in very limited areas in recent years, but Volvo’s program stands out for being available in most states around the country. Now, the Care By Volvo program is getting an update so that customers can swap vehicles like they swap jackets. Now, Volvo will let you upgrade or return a subscription vehicle anytime after four months. The program is an alternative to a traditional lease, which locks you in for a longer, set period of time such as 36 months, and originally had a 24-month subscription period. Volvo handles factory scheduled maintenance and insurance costs, which are both included in the monthly payment. Drivers can travel up to 1,250 miles per month, according to the Care By Volvo website.
Amazing drone footage captures Tesla’s latest self-driving software
The Driven, October 27th
Tesla’s latest release of its “fully functioning” Full Self Driving (FSD) beta software has been recorded in captivating footage by a drone. Much like a gaming company might release bleeding edge versions of game updates to loyal fans, Tesla has rolled out its new software to a small number of selected customers starting last Wednesday. Reports of how the Tesla FSD handles started rolling in on social media as drivers reacted to the early release with surprise, elation and the occasional superlative.
TECH Uber and Lyft are pouring millions of dollars into Facebook ads to protect their business in California
CNBC, October 26th
With just over a week before the 2020 election, Uber and Lyft are sparing no expense trying to convince Facebook users in California to back them at the polls. Yes on Prop 22, a group that wants gig economy companies in their home state to be able to keep classifying drivers as contractors, spent $3.7 million on Facebook ads in California in the past month, more than any other campaign, including for president, spent in the state over that stretch. If successful, the proposition would make ride-sharing and delivery companies exempt from a new law in California that forces companies to reclassify gig workers as employees, and to offer them benefits like paid sick leave and unemployment protection.
Mercedes-Benz throws in the towel on self-driving efforts: ‘We can no longer win’
Teslarati, October 26th
Five years ago, Mercedes-Benz made headlines when it unveiled the F-015 Luxury in Motion research vehicle, a stunning, futuristic concept car that could navigate itself without a human driver. The excitement brought by the vehicle was palpable, and at the time, it appeared that a future populated by driverless, autonomous cars was at hand. But since it was passed around during its debut, the F-015 disappeared.