Next-Gen Mobility News, December 8th

Volume 20

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

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AAA’s GIG car-sharing service expands in Seattle, filling void left by ReachNow, car2go, Lime
Geek Wire, December 3rd
Car-sharing is slowly making a comeback in Seattle. AAA’s GIG Car Share service launched this summer, filling a void left by ReachNow, car2go, and Lime — which all shut down in recent years after struggling to build a profitable business.
Tesla’s ride-hailing potential has ARK investors watching closely
ETF Trends, December 3rd
The ARK Innovation ETF (NYSEArca: ARKK) is already ascending to legendary status amongst actively managed exchange traded funds. The same is true of Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), ARKK’s top holding. Elon Musk’s company is clearly disrupting the automotive industry, and it has continues to do so, with ride-hailing one of its next autonomous vehicle ambitions.
Uber asks US CDC to consider ride-hail drivers essential for COVID-19 vaccine distribution
Fox Business, December 3rd
Uber Technologies Inc on Thursday asked the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to designate its ride-hail and delivery drivers as non-health essential workers entitled to early COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
DoorDash is now letting restaurants use their own delivery drivers for orders made in the app
Delish, December 8th
Up until now, DoorDash hired their own delivery drivers to get orders from restaurants to customers. In an effort to continue supporting restaurants during these unprecedented times of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, self-delivery will help establishments increase their takeout sales while using their own staff members, a DoorDash blog post explained.
First glimpse of Amazon’s new robotaxi: Zoox autonomous vehicle spotted during video shoot
GeekWire, December 7th
Isn’t it always the urban video shoot that spoils the big car reveal? Zoox, the self-driving taxi company acquired by Amazon earlier this year for more than $1 billion, has been teasing an unveiling of its vehicle next week, on Dec. 14, as you can see in the video above.
Uber reportedly in talks to sell flying taxi division
New York Post, December 2nd
Uber shares spiked more than 6 percent Wednesday after reports emerged that the company was looking into selling its flying taxi business. The ride-hail giant is in advanced talks to sell Uber Elevate to aerospace firm Job Aviation, Axios reported, with news of the talks coming as Uber is already looking to cut back on cash burn as the COVID-19 pandemic has pummeled its core business.
Lexus teases electric SUV powered by new drivetrain technology
Electrek, December 7th
Lexus is teasing an upcoming new electric SUV powered by the automaker’s new “DIRECT4” drivetrain technology.
Uber and Lyft can pay drivers more without raising rates for riders, report says
CNET, December 8th
In 2018, New York became the first city in the US to require Uber and Lyft to pay their drivers a minimum wage. After studying the effects of the mandate, economists released a report Tuesday that says the policy ended up raising driver pay without significant fare increases going to riders.
The pandemic boosted food delivery companies. Soon they may face a reality check
CNN, December 6th
At the start of 2020, it looked like the food delivery sector was about to face a reckoning after years of raising and losing billions of dollars. One of the original food delivery businesses, Grubhub, was considering putting itself up for sale after losing its foothold on the market. Its competitors, DoorDash, Postmates, and Uber Eats, had also reportedly been in talks about mergers. Meanwhile, Uber’s CEO signaled a fundamental shift for its meal delivery service: focusing on profitable growth.
Ford’s self-driving vehicles deliver food, school supplies to families in need
The Detroit News, December 7th
As Ford Motor Co. prepares to launch a commercial fleet of self-driving vehicles, it’s learning from recent experiences using autonomous vehicles to deliver food and school supplies to families in need amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aptera announces first “never charge” electric vehicle
Clean Technica, December 4th
Today, Aptera announced a solar electric vehicle that will not need to be plugged in for most regular uses, and it sports a 1,000 mile range on a full charge.
Uber sells self-driving unit to startup competitor
The Hill, December 8th
Uber on Monday announced it is selling its self-driving unit to an autonomous vehicles startup and investing $400 million in the company. Aurora, which is acquiring Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group (ATG), said it’s planning to first focus on trucking, rather than a self-driving taxi in line with Uber’s ride-hailing service. But the company added it is in a “unique position” to be a leading player in passenger mobility based on the deal with Uber.