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...
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...
Planning for Shared Mobility: Incorporating Shared Modes into the Public Rights-of-Way

Planning for Shared Mobility: Incorporating Shared Modes into the Public Rights-of-Way

By: Susan Shaheen 11 October 2017 In recent years, a variety of social and economic forces coupled with advancements in technology have quickly given rise to shared mobility. Shared mobility—the shared use of a vehicle, bicycle, or other low-speed travel mode—is an innovative transportation strategy that enables users to have short-term access to a mode of transportation on an as-needed basis. Technological, mobility, and societal trends are having a transformative effect on cities. The growth of cloud computing, location-based services, mobile technologies, big data, and advanced algorithms are enabling the commodification of passenger mobility. The growth of shared mobility has become part of a trend that has pushed it from the fringe to the mainstream. Read the rest of the article...
Smart Cities and the Future of Transportation

Smart Cities and the Future of Transportation

By: Susan Shaheen, 16 August 2017 Generations of ecologists, urban planners, and engineers have undoubtedly been influenced by the events that shaped their lives. Today, we are confronted with an infrastructure and economic challenge of epic proportions. Across the globe, our cities suffer from poor air quality and worsening congestion that strangles our roads and highways; wastes time and diminishes the savings and expendable income of families; and adversely impacts quality of life. In recent years, technological, economic, and environmental forces have quickly given rise to “Smart Cities” – a collective of municipal public and private partnerships leveraging information and communications technology (ICT) to more intelligently and efficiently use resources with the goals of achieving energy and taxpayer savings, improving service delivery and quality of life, and reducing adverse environmental impacts – all supporting innovation, government efficiency, and environmental sustainability. While precise definitions of smart cities may vary, smart cities frequently use ICT to manage an ecosystem of civic resources including: transportation systems, telecommunications, utilities, health and human services, public safety, and other community services. In both Europe and the United States, the transport sector accounts for approximately one quarter of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The European Commission estimates that more than 70% of transportation GHG-related emissions come from roadway users. To read the rest of the article,...