Waymo partners with Trov, which is only about five years old, to insure riders in self-driving cars.  The coverage includes protections for lost property, trip interruptions and medical expense reimbursement. LINK


Cheap self driving taxi fleets will take huge bites out of the global miles driven, but to keep an autonomous taxi fleet’s fares below $1 a mile demands maintenance and service similar to the aerospace industry. Ride-sharing today constitutes only 0.1 percent of all the miles driven in the U.S. It costs about $2-$3 a mile today to take a service like Uber or Lyft in a city like San Francisco. LINK


UBER SETBACKS:

  1. Europe’s highest court ruled Wednesday that Uber is a transportation company and must comply with the region’s tough transportation rules LINK
  2. Justice Department confirms that Uber is being investigated for criminal behavior.  A bombshell letter charges that Uber hacked into competitors’ networks and made unauthorized recordings of phone conversations, including at least one involving a sexual harassment complaint made by a former employee. LINK
  3. Uber Loses Bid to block Union and taxi drivers’ group from participating in its London License Appeal. Lawyers for the union said, Uber’s business model “encourages and incentivises drivers to work excessive hours, putting public safety at serious risk”  LINK
  4. Uber Investor Sues Over Self-Driving Car Firm Acquisition LINK

Interesting revelation, when Anthony Levandowski ankled Uber, he only got the $100,000 signing bonus that all Otto employees received. None of his 5.31 million Uber shares (45% of the Otto purchase price) vested. LINK


Ambulance usage rates are on the decline. A study has found that the implementation of ride-sharing service in US cities correlates with decreases in per-capita ambulance usage rate of at least 7%  LINK


In an acquisition deal in trade for stock, cab aggregator Ola will acquire Foodpanda India from Delivery Hero Group – a Germany-based global online food ordering and delivery marketplace. Ola will infuse $200 million in Foodpanda’s India operations. LINK

  • FLASHBACK: Ola shutters its food delivery business Ola Café, a year after launching it in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. LINK

In Tokyo only 10% of taxi rides are hailed via  a smartphone.  The main reason for this was that fewer than half of the taxis driver have smartphones. LINK


Meanwhile in the Big Apple

  • More taxi medallions going on the auction block, bidding starts at $150,000 LINK
  • Condominium offering residents a choice, buy a parking spot for $550,000 or pay 20 bucks an hour for a Mini Cooper.  Oh and if you choose parking, it comes with a $200+ per month fee LINK

A Salem taxi company will let homeless people stay in the cabs for 10 to 15 minutes at a time to warm up on chilly nights when the city’s warming centers are not open. LINK


Of course The World’s First Fully Solar Train is in an Australian beach town. LINK

  • FLASHBACK TWiM № 38 India’s new solar-powered train is the first in the world… to be pulled by a diesel locomotive. LINK

Alibaba has bought a 10% stake in electric car start-up Xiaopeng Motors in an attempt to diversify. Its part of its “new retail” policy, which involves merging both the online and offline. Alibaba plans to launch “car vending machine.” Users can browse car models on an app before picking them up for a test drive. LINK


An active Twitter-sphere this week:

  • Jarrett Walker, Public transit policy expert & author, calls out Elon Musk for making elitist comments about people not wanting to ride the subways with strangers & serial killers. Elon retaliated by calling him an “an idiot” LINK    (H/T ? to Jess Cook for immediately posting the drama on our Slack Group )
  • Chris Karnes, Chair of transit advisory board, live tweeting aboard the speeding Amtrak train that ultimately derails and lands on the highway killing 6. LINK

Tesla doesn’t want its Supercharging stations to be used by cabs and ride-hailing. The new policy also applies to cars used for commercial deliveries or government purposes worldwide. High-speed battery chargers are for private use. LINK


START-UPS

  • VIDEO: Thor, a Los Angeles-based startup, unveils electric semi-prototype, tries to beat Tesla to market. LINK
  • AImotive, a Hungarian startup, is developing self-driving car technology that relies on cameras, instead of Lidar laser sensors, to detect cars, obstacles, and signs. Its approach differs sharply from Waymo, Uber, and General Motors, all of which are focusing on cars that use more expensive Lidar technology. AImotive thinks using cameras could put autonomous cars on the road faster and at a much lower price than the competition, but some say cameras have big limitations and risks. LINK
  • The Future of Sports? Flying Car Races. Alauda is an Australian startup that’s planning the first flying car race for mid-2018. LINK

HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A SOBER-NIGHT!

  • Shared Santa Economy AKA Santa On-Demand Since 2004, Taxi Stockholm have offered a Santa Claus door service which allows Stockholmers to book a Father Christmas to visit their families and drop off their Christmas gifts direct to their homes. LINK
  • Santa ‘Arrests’ Abominable Snowman for Drunk Driving in Police Campaign LINK
Anthony Barba

About Anthony Barba

As the founder of mobility as a marketing consultancy pumpkin, Anthony helps brands utilize transportation to increase their competitive advantage & create new revenue streams. once gave TEDx talk on how the rise of the mafia in las vegas is connected to the future of mobility … then walked off stage to buy his daughter a Spider-Man action figure next door.

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