Uber and Lyft are driving toward IPOs

Uber and Lyft are driving toward IPOs

Emma Jacobs Oct 18, 2018 Uber and Lyft already compete in ride-hailing, ride-sharing, bike-sharing and e-scooters. Next year, they’ll be competing for investors, too: Both companies are reportedly planning initial public offerings for early 2019. For years, the companies have subsidized rides to keep costs low for customers. That fueled their growth, which in turn pumped up their expected valuations: as much as $120 billion for Uber and $20 billion or more for Lyft. But thanks to those subsidies, neither company is profitable. “Frankly, it will probably be a fairly long road before they are,” said Jeff Schuster, president of Americas operation and global vehicle forecasting at LMC Automotive. So the hype around these IPOs “has to be about prospects for a very different model for the future.” In that model, fewer people would own their own cars and would instead rely on a range of on-demand transportation options, especially self-driving vehicles… Read the full article...
Lyft Is Paying People to Stop Driving for a Month

Lyft Is Paying People to Stop Driving for a Month

An incentive program points to the company’s ambitions beyond ride-hailing By Joshua Brustein Sep. 26, 2018 Two years ago John Zimmer, Lyft Inc.’s co-founder and president, predicted that car ownership would be non-existent in major American cities by 2025. With seven years left to turn the country’s transportation landscape upside down, Lyft is now offering to pay people in about three-dozen cities to park their cars for a month, with the compensation coming in the form of $500 to $600 in credits for its ride-hailing service. There are also credits for bike- and car-sharing services, and public transit. The move is a marketing gambit. Lyft will choose about 2,000 people to participate and hope that they will be honest about not using their personal car. This program will run for only one month, but it points to a real shift within the ride-hailing industry. Both Lyft and Uber Technologies Inc. have spent the year adding new types of transportation to their platforms. They each bought a bike-sharing company – Uber’s choice was Jump; Lyft bought Motivate – and are developing their own scooter-sharing services. Lyft also redesigned its app to highlight its carpool service, as well as public transportation… Read the full article here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-26/lyft-is-paying-people-to-stop-driving-for-a-month...
Are we going too fast on driverless cars?

Are we going too fast on driverless cars?

Dec. 14, 2017 By: JEFFREY MERVIS The automakers and high-tech companies spending billions of dollars on developing self-driving cars and trucks tout the idea that autonomous vehicles (AVs) will help create a safer, cleaner, and more mobile society. Politicians aren’t far behind in their enthusiasm for the new technology. “This is probably the biggest thing to hit the auto industry since the first car came off the assembly line,” Senator Gary Peters (D–MI) told a cheering audience of researchers and executives at a recent computing conference in Washington, D.C. “It will not only completely revolutionize the way we get around, but [AVs] also have the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives each year.” Such predictions, however, turn out to be based on surprisingly little research. While developers amass data on the sensors and algorithms that allow cars to drive themselves, research on the social, economic, and environmental effects of AVs is sparse. Truly autonomous driving is still decades away, according to most transportation experts. And because it’s hard to study something that doesn’t yet exist, the void has been filled by speculation—and starkly contrasting visions of the future. “The current conversation … falls into what I call the utopian and dystopian views,” says Susan Shaheen, co-director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California (UC), Berkeley. In the utopian view, she says, fleets of cheap, accessible AVs offer rides at the tap of a screen. Their ubiquity expands transportation options for everyone. Once AVs are commonplace, traffic accidents become a thing of the past, and enlightened government regulatory policies result in fewer traffic jams...
Generation Z May Not Want To Own Cars. Can Automakers Woo Them In Other Ways?

Generation Z May Not Want To Own Cars. Can Automakers Woo Them In Other Ways?

December 8, 2017 By: NATALIE BETTENDORF Sheryl Connelly has a crazy job. She’s in charge of looking into the future for Ford Motor Co. The automaker is trying to predict how people my age — from Generation Z — will use cars. “I have two Gen Zers at home,” Connelly says. “So my 16-year-old daughter is thrilled, actually. Her car is ready to go. As soon as she has her license, it’s in the driveway. And so she sits in her car and she listens to the radio and she loves her car.” That’s definitely not me. I’m 18 and I don’t want a car. I am from the San Francisco Bay Area. I take buses and trains. I bike, and when I need a car, I use Lyft. Connelly says Gen Z is a game changer. “They don’t really care about ownership,” she says. “They don’t necessarily see that their vehicle is going to be a status symbol. In fact, they’re really savvy customers and can be quite frugal.” Read the rest of the article...
Chariot is Suspended in San Francisco, and the Transportation Biz is Still Hard

Chariot is Suspended in San Francisco, and the Transportation Biz is Still Hard

By: Aarian Marshall 10.21.17 Chariot, the Ford-owned van commuter service that crowdsources its routes from passengers, is the subject of some controversy in San Francisco, the city where it was born. For its 3,000 to 4,000 daily riders, Chariot is a valuable, non-personal-car form of mass transit, a cost-effective-ish alternative to the city’s sometimes sluggish and limited public transportation system (a rush hour ride is $5, compared to Muni’s $2.50). For others, the service’s vans are a straight-up nuisance: loudly idling near their homes, belching exhaust, double parking on already crowded streets, and hanging out stops meant for city buses. So it was with a mixture of joy and despair that San Franciscans greeted the news that Chariot had been suspended in California. (It also operates in Seattle, Austin, and New York.) Late Thursday afternoon, as rush hour bore down upon the City by the Bay, the California Public Utilities Commission yanked the service’s operating license. Chariot had failed three routine inspections by the California Highway Patrol, as officials found not all of its drivers had the right licenses to operate the company’s 14-person passenger vans. “We are committed to always providing our riders with safe and reliable service, and we comply with regulatory orders even when we disagree with them,” the company said in an email sent to riders. It’s likely Chariot will be back up and running in a few days, once it passes a re-inspection. According to California Highway Patrol spokesperson Jaime Coffee, the company requested a re-inspection on Thursday and the process began Friday morning. Assuming Chariot has nixed the drivers without proper licenses—or they’ve...