Allison+Partners report suggests a shift from car culture to mobility culture

A new report from Allison+Partners, a global marketing and communications agency, suggests that changing definitions of transportation and an influx of new mobility solutions are paving the way for the birth of a new culture—the mobility culture. Resulting from the intersection of transportation and technology, this cultural shift will be... Read more →


Vulog, a technology platform for free-floating, round-trip, peer-to-peer carsharing, scootersharing, ride-hailing and hybrid services, is partnering with Segway to accelerate creation of shared micro-mobility services. Through a deep integration between Vulog’s AiMA platform and new sharing-ready scooters from Segway, existing mobility operators and new entrants can now deploy profitable, large-scale... Read more →


BMW, Volvo invest in Zūm; ride-sharing for children

BMW i Ventures and Volvo Cars Tech Fund each have invested in Zūm, a fast-growing on-demand ride sharing service for student transportation for school districts and working families. The company, which celebrates its fourth birthday this month, aims to become the world’s safest and largest child transportation provider. The new... Read more →


Volkswagen extending Automotive Cloud to China and US in addition to Europe; core markets for future ID. EV

In September 2018, Volkswagen and Microsoft announced a strategic partnership to develop the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud, one of the largest dedicated automotive industry clouds for all future Volkswagen digital services and mobility offerings. (Earlier post.) During a joint visit to the Volkswagen Digital Lab in Berlin, Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO... Read more →


Daimler Buses acquires a 5.25% stake in IVU AG; strategic partnership for integrated mobility

Daimler Buses (EvoBus GmbH) is acquiring a 5.25% stake in Berlin-based software solutions provider IVU Traffic Technologies AG. The seller of the equity stake is the charitable foundation Gerlind & Ernst Denert-Stiftung established by IVU’s previous CEO, Prof. Ernst Denert. The transaction also involves a strategic partnership between IVU and... Read more →


SEAT launches Mobility Advisor proof-of-concept powered by Watson AI running on the IBM Cloud

SEAT and IBM have developed a new solution designed to transform driving in cities. Mobility Advisor uses IBM Watson AI to help urban citizens make informed decisions about their daily transportation options: from cars, to scooters, to bikes and public transport. Traffic congestion and environmental challenges are putting huge pressure... Read more →


BMW Group and Daimler AG invest more than €1B in joint mobility services provider

The BMW Group and Daimler AG are pooling their mobility services to create a new global player providing sustainable urban mobility for customers. The two companies are investing more than €1 billion (US$1.13 billion) in total to develop and more closely intermesh their offerings for car-sharing, ride-hailing, parking, charging and... Read more →


California ARB developing Clean Miles Standard for ridesharing companies

With the enactment of SB 1014 (earlier post)—the Clean Miles Standard and Incentive Program—the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is to develop and to implement new requirements for transportation network companies (TNCs)—i.e., ridesharing companies—for innovative ways to curb GHG emissions as new mobility... Read more →


BMW i Ventures; InMotion Ventures, Jaguar Land Rover’s venture capital fund; and Porsche Ventures have invested in US-based Urgent.ly—a global digital roadside assistance platform—as part of a $21-million Series B round. The funding round, which also saw participation from current investors, was oversubscribed. Urgent.ly’s solution combines location-based services, real-time data,... Read more →


Volkswagen, Ford launch global alliance starting with medium pickups and commercial vans; exploring EVs, AVs and mobility services

Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Company announced the first formal agreements in a global alliance. Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess and Ford CEO Jim Hackett confirmed that the companies intend to develop commercial vans and medium-sized pickups for global markets beginning as early as 2022. The alliance will drive significant... Read more →


ZF expands partnership with Microsoft to develop digital services

ZF has expanded its partnership with Microsoft to establish one of the most comprehensive digital cloud platforms in the automotive market. The strategic cooperation puts ZF in a position to offer digital services in the areas of automated driving, vehicle motion control, integrated safety and electromobility. The products range from... Read more →


At CES 2019, ZF will unveil a steering-wheel- and pedal-free robo-taxi to show how its technologies enable new forms of urban mobility. Users can hail the taxi using their smartphone or tablet; the robo-taxi will maneuver autonomously to pick them up. It can then chauffeur them to where they wish... Read more →


The BMW Group and Daimler AG are planning the next steps for their joint mobility company (earlier post), following approval by the responsible authorities. The basis for this is the approval of the US antitrust authorities, which was received on 18 December 2018. All antitrust authorities involved have now given... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) is introducing “total-care service,” a pioneering set of mobility services specially designed for ride-hailing companies. Working with ride-hailing companies, Total-care Service will enable Toyota to leverage onboard telematics data through a shared information platform and provide services such as fleet management, automotive insurance, and vehicle maintenance... Read more →


Hyundai, Kia invest additional US$250M in Grab; pilot EV projects

Hyundai Motor Group and Grab Holdings Inc., Southeast Asia’s leading O2O (online to offline) mobile platform, announced an agreement under which Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation will invest an additional US$250 million into Grab and establish a partnership to pilot EV programs across Southeast Asia. Under the EV... Read more →


Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi invests in Transit to advance multi-modal transportation

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi has invested in the latest round of funding in Transit, a multi-modal transportation mobile app company based in Montreal, Canada. This marks the latest technology investment by Alliance Ventures, launched earlier this year to support start-ups, early-stage development and entrepreneurs at the cutting edge of next-generation systems for the... Read more →


The Volkswagen Group is progressing with its work with quantum computers (earlier post). For the first time, Volkswagen researchers have succeeded in using a quantum computer to develop a traffic management system that will replace forecasting for urban traffic volumes, transport demand and travel times with precise calculations. As a... Read more →


First EVs in new car-sharing program with Envoy to roll out in Sacramento; 142 e-Golfs by early 2019; Sac-to-Zero

The first of hundreds of electric car-sharing vehicles coming to Sacramento, California as part of Electrify America’s $44-million investment in the City will be unveiled tomorrow at the Whispering Pines Apartments in Meadowview. Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Electrify America and Envoy, an electric car-sharing company awarded funds by Electrify America,... Read more →


Volkswagen Group, Mobileye and Champion Motors plan to commercialize Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) with self-driving electric vehicles in Israel. Development will begin in early 2019 and roll out in phases reaching full commercialization in 2022. The partners will establish a joint venture, subject to approval by the responsible authorities and bodies. Operating... Read more →


Daimler Mobility Services and Geely Group Company form premium ride-hailing joint venture in China

Daimler Mobility Services and Geely Group Company, Geely Holding Group’s new business entity, will form a premium ride-hailing joint venture in China. Headquartered in Hangzhou, the 50:50 JV will provide ride-hailing mobility services in several Chinese cities using premium vehicles including but not limited to Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The fleet initially... Read more →


Juniper Research: mobility-as-a-service revenues to exceed $11B by 2023, as regulation drives adoption

A new study from Juniper Research forecasts that revenues generated by the use of MaaS (Mobility-as-a-Service) platforms, which integrate multi-modal transport services (including buses, taxis, rail and metro), will exceed $11 billion by 2023. This is up from an estimated $100 million in 2018 and reflects an average annual growth... Read more →


FASTLinkDTLA, Downtown LA’s transportation management-focused public-private partnership, and Daimler’s moovel launched a new ridesharing pilot that will complement the city’s public transit network. To ensure the service is available to all and grows to meet the needs of the community, FlexLA will charge a reduced fare during the pilot. In... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation and SoftBank Corp. agreed to form a strategic partnership to facilitate the creation of new mobility services. The two plan to establish a joint venture company, MONET Technologies Corporation, before the end of the 2018 fiscal year (April 2019). The objective of MONET is to help realize... Read more →


Ford, Uber and Lyft to share data through SharedStreets platform

Ford Motor Company, Uber and Lyft have committed to support to SharedStreets, a new data platform designed to make it easier for the private sector to work with cities around the world and leverage data to improve urban mobility. At the heart of SharedStreets is a linear referencing system which... Read more →


CU Denver study finds ride-hailing increases vehicle miles traveled

Ride-hailing accounts for approximately an 83.5% increase in the miles cars travel for ride-hailing passengers in Denver’s metro area, according to a study published this week in the journal Transportation by researchers at the University of Colorado Denver. For this study, the conservative (lower end) percentage of deadheading miles from... Read more →


Porsche increases investment in start-ups by €150M; innovative business models in the field of mobility

Porsche has increased its total investment in venture capital activities by €150 million for the next five years. The objective of “Porsche Ventures” is to gain access to trends, new technologies and business models. The investment activities being undertaken by Porsche Ventures build in part on the company’s existing start-up... Read more →


California first state to regulate GHGs of ridesharing companies

California has become the first state in the US to regulate the greenhouse gas produced by the surge in popularity of ridesharing. California Governor Brown signed SB 1014, a bill requiring transportation network companies (TNCs) to account for, and reduce, the greenhouse gas emissions of their operations. The explosive growth... Read more →


A new study from Juniper Research has found that adoption of MaaS (Mobility-as-a-Service) platforms will replace more than 2.3 billion urban private car journeys annually by 2023, compared with just 17.6 million globally in 2018. This is equivalent to 18 times the number of taxi journeys across New York in... Read more →


ABI Research: 16B ride-hailing trips completed globally in 2017, 24B expected in 2018; 70% in Asia

A recent mobility study by ABI Research on regional ride-hailing markets found that 16 billion ride-hailing trips were completed worldwide in 2017. ABI forecasts that 24 billion completed trips by the end of 2018. In the report, ABI Research analyzed the number of ride-hailing trips completed by users in different... Read more →


Ford’s ride-sharing shuttle service Chariot launched its first European routes tailored for companies and campuses this week. Chariot, which began operating in London earlier this year, is a ride-sharing minibus service that connects commuters living and working in areas underserved by public transport with nearby transit hubs. Now, Chariot is... Read more →


24.4 million customers use Daimler’s mobility services

With car2go, moovel, mytaxi/Intelligent Apps (mytaxi, beat, Clever Taxi and Chauffeur Privé), the mobility portfolio in the segment of Daimler Financial Services counted 24.4 million customers as of July 30, 2018. This represents an increase of 64% (compared to the previous year). The number of transactions reached 95.3 million in... Read more →


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 →