Next-Gen Mobility News, January 5th

Volume 21

Happy New Year!

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
The electric car’s future starts this year, research report says
CNET, January 4th
It’s a new year and predictions for the auto industry are rolling in. At least one prominent research firm says this year will mark the end of the beginning for electric cars. ABI Research issued its 2021 Trend Report this past Wednesday and its conclusion is EVs will start trickling into the mainstream this year.
Meet the startup that acquired Uber’s self-driving car technology
Post Gazette, January 3rd
Aurora Innovation is a company that likes to break barriers in Pittsburgh. In 2007, one of its founders was part of a winning team for a competition that had autonomous vehicles navigating urban roads. In 2018, Aurora was the first startup to receive authorization from the state’s Department of Transportation to operate autonomous vehicles on public roads.
Waymo CEO: Launching a self-driving car is harder than launching a rocket
The Next Web, January 4th
What’s harder than getting a rocket into space? Getting self-driving cars to actually work… at least according to the boss of Waymo, Google’s self-driving vehicle spinoff. In an interview with the Financial Times, Waymo’s Chief Executive John Krafcik said the process of developing autonomous vehicles is an “extraordinary grind.”
What does the year 2021 hold for electric cars?
Electrek, January 1st
It’s a new year, and we’re taking a look at what 2021 might hold for electric pickup trucks, electric cars, higher volumes, and more.
This year, autonomous trucks will take to the road with no one on board
IEEE Spectrum, January 4th
Companies like TeslaUberCruise, and Waymo promise a future where cars are essentially mobile robots that can take us anywhere with a few taps on a smartphone. But a new category of vehicles is about to overtake self-driving cars in that leap into the future. Autonomous trucks have been quietly making just as much, if not more, progress toward commercial deployment, and their impact on the transportation of goods will no doubt be profound.
Toyota eases into EVs with an ultra-compact two-seater for Japan
Car and Driver, December 28th
Toyota has long had the technology for battery electric vehicles. In addition to its highly successful hybrid vehicles, the automaker built and sold two generations of the very limited edition RAV4 EV back in 1997. Still, the company has been slow to adopt EVs for the masses. Even the automaker’s president, Akio Toyoda, believes that electric vehicles are overhyped and has warned against countries banning gas-powered automobiles.
Uber riders in City of Seattle to pay 25% more following new minimum wage law
Komo News, January 1st
Starting New Year’s Day, if you take an Uber ride in Seattle, you will have to shell out 25% more. The rideshare company is increasing its prices — because of a new minimum wage law in the Emerald City.
Apple targets autonomous car for consumers by 2024, Reuters says
Bloomberg, December 21st
Apple Inc. plans to build a self-driving car for consumers and is targeting 2024 to produce the vehicle, Reuters reported on Monday. The company is developing its own battery technology that could reduce the cost of power packs and extend the vehicle’s range, Reuters said, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.
Which vehicle brands offer all-in car subscriptions?, December 20th
Technology and new business models have upended whole swaths of our economy, changing consumer habits at warp speed. No business wants to be caught flat-footed in that swirl, and that includes the auto industry. Automakers have placed big bets on what fickle customers will want in vehicles, and they’re also trying to anticipate new options that customers might want to acquire those vehicles.
Automotive connectivity set for a period of significant expansion
Automotive World, January 4th
Research from McKinsey suggests that automakers and suppliers are readying themselves for a period of connected vehicle deployment. This is because investment in component technologies has stalled in recent years: “Our analysis for the first time reveals a flattening, especially for e-hailing and infotainment solutions,” the consultancy wrote in December
FAA issues new drone rules, moving US closer to aerial package delivery
New York Post, December 28th
The Federal Aviation Administration on Monday said it is issuing long-awaited rules to allow for small drones to fly over people and at night, a significant step toward their use for widespread commercial deliveries.
Here’s why Google has driverless cars on the road and Tesla does not
Inside Hook, January 4th
Some people argue that being first is best when developing new technology (hello Mark Zuckerberg), others argue that being best is best (think Vine vs. TikTok). In the realm of driverless cars, that debate is playing out before our eyes.