Booking Holdings invests US$500M in DiDi Chuxing; DiDi partners with Continental

China-based Didi Chuxing, the world’s leading one-stop mobile transportation platform, and Booking Holdings, a global leader in online accommodations and travel e-commerce, have entered into a strategic partnership. Booking Holdings has invested US$500 million in DiDi, recognizing DiDi as a leader in the mobile transportation industry. Under the partnership, DiDi... Read more →


The City of Paris and Groupe Renault announced their intention to share their expertise and skills to develop electric mobility for Parisians, Île-de-France residents and visitors. The partnership will result in short-, medium- and long-term actions in favor of the development of connected and autonomous electric vehicles. As a first... Read more →


Volvo Car Mobility launches mobility brand M; market debut in 2019

Volvo Car Mobility—a wholly-owned and stand-alone entity within Volvo Car Group that aspires to deliver a better alternative to car ownership for urban and metro consumers—launched M, a new brand that will expand the company’s global mobility operations by providing dependable, on-demand access to cars and services through an intuitive... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation has concluded an agreement with Grab Holdings Inc. (Grab) to strengthen their existing partnership and expand the collaboration between Toyota and Grab in Southeast Asia to drive further advances in Mobility as a Service (MaaS) across the region. As part of this agreement, Toyota will invest US$1... Read more →


Both air travel and the use of ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft are on the rise in cities around the world. Global demand for air travel is expected to double by 2035, and new airport infrastructure investments and modernization upgrades—costing tens of billions of dollars—are anticipated. In a... Read more →


Stuttgarter Straßenbahnen AG (SSB), the principal public transport operating company in Stuttgart, will launch the SSB Flex mobility service on 1 June 2018. (Earlier post.) SSB Flex will pool similar journey requests in three areas to provide additional, more flexible journey options in certain high-traffic areas or at specific times... Read more →


Alan Turing Institute and Toyota Mobility Foundation collaborate to modernize city planning and traffic management

The Alan Turing Institute—the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence—and the Toyota Mobility Foundation are collaborating on a project to transform the way cities are planned and managed. The objective of this new project, Optimizing flow within mobility systems with AI, part of the Turing’s new AI... Read more →


NASA has signed a second space act agreement with Uber Technologies, Inc. (earlier post), further to explore concepts and technologies related to urban air mobility (UAM) to ensure a safe and efficient system for future air transportation in populated areas. NASA defines UAM as a safe and efficient system for... Read more →


US Army, Uber to partner on vertical lift research; stacked co-rotating rotors; Launchpoint for motors

Ride-sharing company Uber and US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, Army Research Laboratory, have entered a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to advance technologies supporting Future Vertical Lift. As part of this agreement, Uber and RDECOM ARL also signed their first joint work statement jointly to fund and... Read more →


DOE to award $68.5M for advanced vehicle technologies research

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award up to $68.5 million for early-stage research of advanced vehicle technologies. (DE-FOA-0001919) This new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) seeks research projects to address priorities in the following areas: batteries and electrification; materials; technology integration and energy efficient mobility systems; energy-efficient commercial off-road... Read more →


On the eve of the 2018 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, Volkswagen Group announced that it its joint-venture partners will invest around €15 billion ($18.3 billion) through 2022 in China on e-mobility, autonomous driving, digitalization and new mobility services. Volkswagen sold almost 3.2 million vehicles in China in 2017—the most successful... Read more →


India-based Ola, one of the world’s largest ride-hailing companies, launched “Mission: Electric”, with a commitment to place 10,000 E-rickshaws and Electric auto-rickshaws in its service in the next 12 months. The company will develop “Mission: Electric” as a platform to bring one million electric vehicles on the road by 2021.... Read more →


The Volkswagen Group is readying autonomous parking functionality for deployment in series production vehicles in 2020. Group brands Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche are currently testing autonomous parking at Hamburg Airport. In the test scenario, users can book a parking space at Hamburg Airport from home using an app and simply... Read more →


Porsche invests in Israeli AI start-up Anagog; on-device mobility status detection

Porsche Digital GmbH has purchased a minority stake in Israeli start-up Anagog as a strategic expansion to its digital innovation portfolio. Founded in 2010, the Tel Aviv-based start-up currently has around 30 employees and specializes in developing artificial intelligence (AI) in the context of mobility. Daimler also recently took a... Read more →


The BMW Group and Daimler AG have signed an agreement to merge their mobility services business units. Subject to examination and approval by the responsible competition authorities, the BMW Group and Daimler AG plan to combine and strategically expand their existing on-demand mobility offering in the areas of CarSharing, Ride-Hailing,... Read more →


Daimler is pursuing strategic research partnerships in the field of quantum computing, and has signed a cooperation agreement with Google in this area. The design of Google’s recent 72‑qubit Bristlecone chip features the highest number of quantum bits yet used in a quantum computer. Qubits are the smallest possible unit... Read more →


Magna to invest $200M in Lyft, partner on self-driving systems

Magna, a mobility technology company and one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, and Lyft announced a multi-year collaboration in which the companies will jointly fund, develop, and manufacture self-driving systems. In addition, Magna will invest $200 million in Lyft equity. The establishment of this partnership is subject to regulatory... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation and JapanTaxi Co., Ltd., jointly with KDDI Corporation and Accenture, have developed a taxi dispatch support system that predicts demand for taxi services, combining data from taxi service logs with predictions of demographics made by location-based big data from smartphones as well as event information. The companies... Read more →


At the Geneva Motor Show, Renault introduced EZ-GO, an electric, autonomous, shared robo-vehicle concept—both a vehicle and a service—that allows people to hail a ride either from a fixed or mobile location. Renault believes vehicle-service integration combined with connection to city infrastructure—leveraging sensors, data analytics, connected services, multimodal systems and... Read more →


Maven is now offering its first all-electric fleet of cars for use in the gig economy; 20 Chevrolet Bolt EVs are available for freelance drivers in Austin, Texas to earn money on their own schedules. Maven is working with Austin Energy, the Austin Transportation Department, and Rocky Mountain Institute to... Read more →


Daimler AG is intensifying its cooperation with the Israeli start-up Anagog Ltd. Daimler has participated in a financing round together with MizMaa Ventures, a venture capital company located in California. Based in Tel Aviv, Anagog has developed software which provides on-device mobility status detection, with cloud-based processing power, deep learning... Read more →


Bosch is entering the ridesharing business with its acquisition of Splitting Fares Inc. (SPLT), a US start-up based in Detroit. SPLT operates a platform that allows companies, universities, and municipal authorities to offer their workforces ridesharing services. The B2B approach is designed especially for commuters. Bosch aims for growth well... Read more →


Didi Chuxing, the world’s leading mobile transportation platform, and SoftBank Corp. have established a partnership to provide platform services for the taxi industry. The partnership will utilize DiDi’s advanced AI technologies to build ride-hailing platforms to enhance efficiency for both taxi operators and drivers. DiDi and SoftBank aim to commence... Read more →


On the heels of an quarterly report marked by an underwhelming profit, and amid a general “lack of fitness” according to CFO Bob Shanks, Ford Motor announced that it is accelerating and expanding its activities in 2018 to deliver a broad suite of mobility products and services to personal vehicle... Read more →


Volkswagen founds mobility services company in Rwanda; to begin local assembly of Polo and Passat

The Volkswagen brand has founded “Volkswagen Mobility Solutions Rwanda”, a company based in Rwanda. The objective is to provide modern integrated mobility services in Africa in future. As part of its worldwide regionalization strategy, Volkswagen is planning to expand its business presence significantly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Going forward, the brand... Read more →


DiDi expands GAIA initiative worldwide to facilitate data-driven research in transportation

Didi Chuxing, the world’s leading mobile transportation platform, will make aggregated, anonymized data from its vehicle network available to facilitate transportation AI research worldwide. Every day, DiDi receives more than 25 million orders, collects more than 70TB of new route data, processes more than 4500TB of data, and obtains more... Read more →


Kia Motors presented its new “Boundless for All” future mobility vision at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Kia is also demonstrating a range of new technologies as part of its new “ACE” strategy to make its cars more Autonomous, Connected and Eco/Electric.Kia’s ACE strategy is based... Read more →


At CES in Las Vegas, Toyota Motor introduced the autonomous electric e-Palette Concept Vehicle, which is designed to meet the demands of future multi-mode transportation and business applications. Toyota President Akio Toyoda also announced the e-Palette Alliance, which will leverage Toyota’s Global Mobility Services Platform (MSPF) to develop advanced vehicle... Read more →


Daimler’s moovel Group and the Stuttgarter Strassenbahnen AG (SSB) are launching a new mobility service in Stuttgart. Named “Flex Pilot”, the service allows customers to book flexibly and on demand. The new on-demand service will be tested on selected days from 14 December 2017. The service will then start with... Read more →


BYTON, a China-headquartered automotive brand owned by Future Mobility Corporation, inaugurated its North American headquarters in Santa Clara, California last week, marking further progress in the company’s strategic effort to establish a global presence. BYTON aspires to build “affordable” premium intelligent EVs—smart devices on wheels—for the future. The company is... Read more →


Volkswagen Group to spend >$40B over next 5 years to develop electric mobility, autonomous driving, new mobility services and digitalization

The Volkswagen Group will spend more than €34 billion (US$40 billion) by the end of 2022 on the development of electric mobility, autonomous driving, new mobility services and digitalization. Most of this investment will go into the electrification and hybridization of all Group models. This marks another move to advance... Read more →


NEVS and DiDi partner up for future mobility; EV optimized for DiDi services

NEVS AB and DiDi Chuxing, the world’s leading mobile transportation platform, have formed strategic partnership and finalized a number of steps towards an extensive cooperation. One of the common goals is to develop an electric vehicle, fully optimized for the mobility services that DiDi is offering, and also initiating a... Read more →


ITF shared mobility study for Helsinki bolsters other results suggesting car sharing ends congestion, cuts emissions

The findings in a new report from the International Transport Forum (ITF) on shared mobility services in Helsinki, Finland largely confirm that replacing private car traffic with new shared mobility services in urban areas reduces the number of cars needed, cuts CO2 emissions and frees large swathes of public land... Read more →


GM to introduce at least 10 new New Energy Vehicles in China from 2016-2020; focus on autonomy, connectivity and sharing

At a press conference in Shanghai, General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said that the company will introduce at least 10 new energy vehicles (NEVs) in China. These include the Cadillac CT6 Plug-In, the Buick Velite 5 extended-range electric vehicle and the Baojun E100 electric vehicle—all of which have... Read more →


Daimler invests in peer-to-peer carsharing market company Turo; combining Croove with Turo

Daimler Mobility Services is investing in the US carsharing company Turo Inc., as part of a $92-million financing round. With more than four million customers and more than 170,000 vehicles, Turo is the market leader in the peer-to-peer (P2P) carsharing sector in the US. The round was co-led by Daimler... Read more →


Volkswagen and IBM enter 5-year partnership to develop digital mobility services

Volkswagen and IBM intend to develop digital mobility services together. Jürgen Stackmann, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen brand responsible for Sales, said that the objective of the agreement between the two companies—initially set for a term of five years—is the development of personalized digital services for... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz Vans is entering the ride-sharing sector by setting up a joint venture with the US startup company Via. Daimler Mobility Services additionally joins in as a strategic investor in Via with a $50-million stake. For Daimler Mobility Services, Volker Mornhinweg will be joining Via’s board of directors. Unlike other... Read more →


EY launches Tesseract, a blockchain-based mobility platform

EY launched Tesseract, an integrated mobility platform underpinned by blockchain technology. The platform facilitates fractional vehicle ownership, shared use and seamless multimodal transport and it will help lay the groundwork for how autonomous vehicle fleets could be owned in the future and provide access to a variety of on-demand mobility... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), Toyota Financial Services Corporation (TFS), Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance (Aioi) and Grab, Inc. (Grab), the largest ride-hailing service company in Southeast Asia, are collaborating to provide ride-hailing services throughout Southeast Asia. The Connected Company, a TMC in-house company, developed the data-transmission TransLog driving recorder, a device... Read more →


Daimler’s moovel Group acquires Familonet GmbH, provider of location messenger app Familonet

moovel Group, a subsidiary of Daimler AG, has acquired all of Familonet GmbH based in Hamburg. The team from Familonet will be bolstering the moovel development team at the Hamburg site from now on. The Familonet app, with 2 million registered users, will still be offered in the future. moovel... Read more →


Six mobility start-ups move into the Volkswagen Incubator in the Transparent Factory; focus on Big Data

Volkswagen’s new incubator program at its Transparent Factory in Dresden is starting with six mobility teams. The teams now have 200 days to take their innovative ideas and develop mobility products or services which are ready for the market. Alongside Volkswagen mobility experts they will be supported by Group It’s... Read more →


Transdev, Delphi partner on autonomous transportation; testing 1st open-road, driverless on-demand mobility service in EU

Transdev, a leading global provider of mobility services, and Delphi Automotive PLC have entered into a commercial partnership to develop a global, fully automated, mobility-on-demand (AMoD) transport system. The system will utilize Transdev Universal Routing Engine (URE) and Delphi’s previously announced automated driving platform—the Centralized Sensing, Localization and Planning (CSLP)... Read more →


Sweden-based NEVS is launching a city mobility pilot program with support from Tianjin Binhai Hi-tech Industrial Development Area (THT). The program offers car-sharing and ride hailing solutions in Tianjin city, with 15 million inhabitants. The users will get access to all NEVS 9-3 EV series. With this green technology collaboration,... Read more →


INFINITI selects 9 Internet of Things (IoT) and smart city startups for INFINITI LAB program in Canada

INFINITI LAB Toronto, an Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities accelerator program from premium car brand INFINITI, announced the nine startups that will participate in the inaugural four-week accelerator program in Toronto. The nine participating startups have raised $2.7 million in funding between them, and during the program they... Read more →


Six mobility start-ups launching Volkswagen’s incubator program at Transparent Factory

Volkswagen has selected the first six teams for the new start-up incubator at Volkswagen’s Gläserne Manufaktur (Transparent Factory, earlier post) in Dresden: the start-ups Smart City System from Nuremberg; LoyalGo from Dortmund; Tretbox from Berlin; and Ekoio from Leipzig were declared winners on Thursday evening following a pitch competition at... Read more →


Honda begins joint research with Boston University in information security for AI; secure MPC

Honda Research Institute (HRI), a Honda R&D subsidiary, and Boston University have agreed to begin joint research in the area of data security and privacy for artificial intelligence (AI) research. Honda intends to develop Cooperative Intelligence: AI that cooperates with people which will 1) empower: expanding the potential of people;... Read more →


Germany-based international consultancy Rolad Berger had launched a new publication—the “Automotive Disruption Radar”—to monitor the radical transformation of the automotive industry being driven by four concurrent megatrends: mobility services, autonomous driving, digitalization and electrification (MADE). The Radar analyzes the transformation via 25 selected indicators in five dimensions: Customer interest (e.g.... Read more →


In Japan, Toyota Motor Corporation and KDDI Corporation, together with the Tokyo Hire-Taxi Association (THTA), have begun verification testing on data collection for making connected taxis a reality. Such taxis, by communicating with data centers, are expected to make possible new services that will, among others, improve taxi-customer convenience and... Read more →


Toyota and Net Impact announce 3 finalists of Next Generation Mobility Challenge

Net Impact, a global community of students and professionals who aspire to be effective drivers of social and environmental change, and Toyota announced the 3 finalists of the Next Generation Mobility Challenge. Launched in 2015, the Next Generation Mobility Challenge is a national competition from Toyota, the Toyota Mobility Foundation... Read more →


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

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... Read more →