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[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]

N. American usage of car2go one-way carshare up 40% in 1H 2017 year-on-year to >4.5M trips

August 08, 2017

car2go N.A., North America’s largest flexible one-way carsharing service, saw a significant increase in use of its service during the first six months of 2017. Usage of car2go increased by 40% year-over-year in the first half of 2017 compared to the first half of 2016 across all 11 of the service’s North American locations, with more than 4.5 million trips taken so far this year.

car2go members have also spent 33% more time traveling in car2gos in the first half of 2017 versus the first half of 2016, indicating that one-way carshare is gaining popularity as a convenient, affordable way to travel over varying distances.

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California legislature exploring linking autonomy and electrification

June 15, 2017

California legislators are exploring linking autonomy and electrification. At the end of May, Senate Bill 802, authored by State Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), received bipartisan support and passed the Senate floor with a vote of 26-11. It now goes to the Assembly for consideration.

SB 802 would direct the Office of Planning and Research to convene an Emerging Vehicle Advisory Study Group on or before 1 April 2018, to review policies regarding new types of motor vehicles, including, but not limited to, autonomous vehicles and shared-use vehicles. The bill would require the study group to provide recommendations to the Legislature on or before 1 April 2019 “regarding policies and incentives to maximize the social benefits, minimize the social costs, and encourage the electrification and hybridization of new types of motor vehicles operating in California, including, but not limited to, autonomous vehicles and shared-use vehicles.”

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New LA electric car sharing program for disadvantaged communities; Bolloré BlueLA

June 11, 2017

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti launched the BlueLA Electric Car Sharing Program alongside California State Senate Leader Kevin de León, Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, the California Air Resources Board, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, and representatives from Blue Solutions—a division of the Bolloré Group—which has invested more than $10 million to bring its EV car share program to Los Angeles.

The program is funded in part by a $1.7-million grant through California Climate Investments (CCI), a statewide program designed to spend billions of cap-and-trade dollars to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen the economy, and improve public health—particularly in disadvantaged communities.

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Lyft and nuTonomy form strategic R&D partnership to optimize passenger experience in self-driving cars

June 06, 2017

Autonomous vehicle software developer nuTonomy and Lyft have formed a strategic R&D partnership focused on understanding and optimizing the end-to-end experience of autonomous vehicle (AV) passengers.

Under the partnership, nuTonomy and Lyft will align their respective technology platforms to gather valuable research and insights into all aspects of ensuring a passenger’s comfort and safety during an AV ride—from routing and booking to the performance of the driving system and how it interacts and communicates with the rider.

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UC Davis, ITDP report finds shared mobility essential for realizing full benefits of electrification and automation

May 05, 2017

A new report from a team at the University of California, Davis, and the New York-based nonprofit Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP) has concluded that shared mobility is a critical enabler for realizing the benefits of electrification and autonomous driving.

The report examines three urban travel scenarios surrounding three transportation “revolutions:” vehicle electrification, automation, and widespread shared mobility. The scenarios include: (a) Business as usual (BAU): a future without widespread electrification or automation; (b) “2 Revolutions (2R):” electrification and automation are embraced but shared mobility is not; and (c) “3 Revolutions (3R):” electrification, automation and shared mobility are all widespread.

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DOT to award up to $60M for advanced transportation and congestion management projects; V2X, ITS and mobility services

April 13, 2017

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Highway Administration will award (693JJ317NF0001) up to $60 million to projects to develop model deployment sites for large scale installation and operation of advanced transportation technologies to improve safety, efficiency, system performance, and infrastructure return on investment. DOT is requiring a minimum cost share of 50%; i.e., the maximum Federal share is 50%. Total project values will thus be a combined minimum $120 million.

These model deployments are expected to provide benefits in the form of: reduced traffic-related fatalities and injuries; reduced traffic congestion and improved travel time reliability; reduced transportation-related emissions; optimized multimodal system performance; improved access to transportation alternatives, including for underserved populations; public access to real time integrated traffic, transit, and multimodal transportation information to make informed travel decisions; cost savings to transportation agencies, businesses, and the traveling public; or other benefits to transportation users and the general public.

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California ARB to award $6M to Car Sharing and Mobility Options Pilot Project

April 05, 2017

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has opened a grant solicitation for applicants to implement the Car Sharing and Mobility Options Pilot Project for Fiscal Year 2016-17.

The overarching goal of this project is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and also achieve criteria pollutant emission reductions and other co-benefits through the introduction of advanced clean car sharing fleets and other mobility options into the State’s most disadvantaged communities.

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Goodyear shows two concept tires targeting autonomous and shared vehicles; smart tires

March 12, 2017

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company showcased several new and emerging technologies in its latest concept tires at the Geneva International Motor Show. In the evolving mobility ecosystem, defined by the transition to driverless vehicles and shared mobility in urban centers, Goodyear aims to revolutionize the interaction between tires, vehicles and their surroundings.

The new concepts—an evolution of the the spherical-shaped Eagle 360 Urban (earlier post) and the IntelliGrip Urban smart tire—apply emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) connectivity.

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Ride-sharer Grab to invest $700M in “Grab 4 Indonesia” 2020 master plan

February 03, 2017

Grab, the leading ride-hailing platform in Southeast Asia, launched its “Grab 4 Indonesia” 2020 master plan, endorsed by Badan Koordinasi Penanaman Modal (BKPM), the Government of Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board. Under the plan, Grab will invest US$700 million in Indonesia over the next four years to support Indonesia’s goal of becoming Southeast Asia’s largest digital economy by 2020.

“Grab 4 Indonesia” covers a range of programs that aim to provide all Indonesians an opportunity to move into the digital economy, including opening a Grab R&D center in Jakarta to develop technology innovations for the Indonesian market; launching a social impact fund to invest in companies focused on deepening financial inclusion; and increasing access to mobile payments and financing opportunities across the country.

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KPMG Survey: execs say connected car generates 10x revenue than a conventional vehicle; market share based on units “outdated”; BEVs #1 trend

January 24, 2017

Advancements such as connectivity, big data, autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence are driving new economic models for automakers, and most see tremendous revenue potential and consumer value in leveraging driver and vehicle data to offer mobility services, according to the 2017 KPMG Global Automotive Executive Study.

The KPMG research, which polled nearly 1,000 executives with the world’s leading automotive companies, found that 76% say one connected car generates more revenue streams than 10 conventional cars. In fact, expectations for data-driven revenue are so great that 71% say measuring OEM market share based on units sold is outdated.

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Volvo Cars to establish new shared mobility business unit

January 06, 2017

Volvo Cars will establish a new shared mobility business unit as part of a broad expansion of its car sharing and mobility services strategy.

The new business unit will be based around Sunfleet, one of the world’s first car sharing companies that has been operated by Volvo since 1998. Based in Sweden, Sunfleet has around 50,000 subscribers generating approximately 250,000 transactions in more than 50 Swedish cities.

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Volkswagen Group launches standalone mobility services company MOIA; initial focus on ride-hailing

December 05, 2016

The Volkswagen Group officially launched its new mobility services company MOIA. Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Müller previewed the formation of the new business unit during a presentation of the Group’s new strategic plan—TOGETHER - Strategy 2025—in Wolfsburg in June. (Earlier post.)

“MOIA will help us gain a deeper understanding of new forms of mobility and how to make them even more attractive in future, to offer a much broader scope than at present and to tailor these services to suit very wide-ranging needs,” Müller said at the launch event in London. “Even though not everyone will still own a car in future, MOIA can help make everyone a customer of our company in some way or another.”

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RideCell introduces white-label global carsharing and ridesharing platform for automakers; used by BMW ReachNow

November 16, 2016

RideCell, Inc., the developer of a Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) platform for leading automakers and transit providers globally, unveiled today at AutoMobility LA the worldwide release of its white-label multiservice platform that allows car manufacturers to provide on-demand mobility when and where it’s needed. (A white-label product or service is produced by one company and rebranded by its customers.)

By integrating ridesharing and carsharing into a single platform, RideCell makes it easy for car manufacturers to create and launch a premium mobility service in a matter of months. The RideCell platform is being used by the BMW Group to power the ReachNow carsharing service. (Earlier post.) First introduced in April 2016, RideCell powers the service which has more than 370 BMW and MINI vehicles.

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BMW’s ReachNow car sharing expands to Brooklyn, launches pilot programs for new mobility services

During a press conference at AutoMobility LA, ReachNow, BMW Group’s free-floating premium car sharing service, announced its expansion into its third city: Brooklyn, NY. The service also introduced four new mobility services: Ride, Reserve, Share, and Fleet Solutions for residential buildings. The expansion to Brooklyn marks the company’s first expansion beyond the West Coast of the United States; the service currently operates in Seattle and Portland.

ReachNow is building on its premium experience by offering members greater versatility through a suite of convenient and easy-to-use transportation solutions, available in a single app for the first time. The four mobility services that will launch as pilots in select cities over the next month include:

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Mercedes-Benz launches new private car-sharing scheme: Croove

November 10, 2016

A new car-sharing platform from Mercedes-Benz will go online at the start of December. App-based Croove pairs up private vehicle owners and hirers. The Croove scheme will be launched in Munich to begin with and is open to any brand of vehicle.

The peer-to-peer car-sharing platform is another example of a CASE strategy project that has advanced from idea to implementation. The acronym CASE is the name given to the specific area of strategy at Mercedes‑Benz Cars that focuses on the future-oriented issues of “connectivity”, “ autonomous driving”, “sharing” and “electric drive systems”. (Earlier post.)

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Test deployment of new on-demand hub & shuttle mobility system at U Michigan; connected & automated vehicles & big data

November 01, 2016

A test deployment of a new hub-and-shuttle urban mobility system will take place on the University of Michigan’s North Campus. Its creators say the proposed system could deliver riders to their destinations in as little as half the time of the existing bus system at a lower cost, eventually using a fleet of autonomous shared vehicles. The limited test deployment would likely mark the world’s first on-the-ground implementation of such a system.

Called Reinventing Public Urban Transportation and Mobility (RITMO), the proposed system combines aspects of Uber-style ridesharing, fixed-route buses and light rail into the hub-and-shuttle system. It would combine high-frequency buses serving the busiest transportation hubs with a fleet of about 50 on-demand shared shuttles to get riders to and from those hubs.

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Toyota to establish car-sharing and other mobility services platform; collaboration with and investment in Getaround; smart key box

October 31, 2016

Toyota Motor Corporation will establish a Mobility Services Platform (MSPF) to collaborate with various service providers, as well as telematics insurance. Given on the proliferation and popularity of mobility services, such as car-sharing, the MSPF will have various functions to support these mobility services, and to leverage the Toyota Smart Center (TSC), the Toyota Big Data Center, and financial services.

Toyota also announced an investment in, and pilot car-sharing program with, US car-sharing company Getaround.

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GM makes strategic investment in car-sharing technology company Yi Wei Xing in China

October 11, 2016

GM has made a strategic investment in Yi Wei Xing (Beijing) Technology Co., Ltd. (Yi Wei Xing), a leading car-sharing technology solution provider in China, as another move in exploring personal mobility in China.

Yi Wei Xing’s product, Feezu, is based on mobile technology. It merges hardware and software to provide a convenient car-rental and car-sharing experience. It also offers car-rental companies a customized cloud-based car-sharing platform.

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Ford acquiring SF-based crowd-sourced shuttle service, launching Ford GoBike

September 09, 2016

Ford is acquiring Chariot, a San Francisco-based crowd-sourced shuttle service, and is collaborating with bike-sharing provider Motivate to launch Ford GoBike, expanding its transportation solutions in city centers. Ford also is establishing a new City Solutions team to work with cities around the world on their transportation needs.

Ford’s acquisition of Chariot, subject to normal customary closing conditions, will serve as the cornerstone for its new global shuttle services business. The shuttle service is expected to be expanded beyond San Francisco to at least five additional markets in the next 18 months.

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