Lyft is testing monthly subscription plans for high-frequency users, a sign that the company is shifting toward a Netflix or Spotify model for transportation. The terms of the subscription models seem to vary, but appear targeted at users who spend up to $450 on ride-hailing a month.
Automaker General Motors is said to be planning a new peer-to-peer car rental service, similar to existing offerings by Daimler -backed Turo and startup Getaround, to debut as early as this summer according to Bloomberg. The service will debut in a test pilot set to begin this summer, under GM’s Maven mobility sub-brand, per the report, and will allow GM car owners to list their vehicles on the platform for short-term rental by other users when not in use.
It’s funny how quickly innovative technology becomes commonplace. One minute you’re anxiously awaiting your chance to become one of the first humans on Earth to ride inside a driverless car. The next minute, you’re yawning (literally) and falling asleep. Waymo — formerly Google’s self-driving car project — has released a video documenting exactly that. The video shows early riders in the company’s pilot program in Phoenix as they adapt to their first self-driving car experience, moving from anxious excitement to giddiness to anti-climactic sleepiness in the space of a single ride.
In the wait for self-driving technology, cell-phone toting tech bros may have to cede their spot in line to pizzas, Craigslist couches and the mounting ephemera of e-commerce. The future—at least in the near-term—will not only be driverless, but sans passenger as well.
The city of Arlington, Texas is abandoning its 4-year-old bus program for the ride-sharing company Via, a service that operates similarly to Uber and Lyft, CBS This Morning reported. Rather than waiting at a traditional bus stop, residents with a smartphone can use the Via app to get picked up on-demand by one of the company’s 10 Mercedes-Benz vans for commutes based in the city’s downtown.
Neon green bikes soon might be found all over Golden Valley, expected to become the first city in the state to adopt dockless bike sharing ahead of similar plans previously announced by Minneapolis. Officials with the west metro suburb plan to sign an agreement March 20 with LimeBike, a Bay Area-based bike-share company. Once that happens, 500 dockless bikes could be deployed in the city in April.
Today, the world stands at the brink of what is widely deemed to be among the most significant disruptions in the history of transportation i.e. autonomous vehicles. PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ forecast suggests that by 2030, over one in three kilometers driven in the US, Europe, and China is likely to include sharing concepts. It also goes on to add that user preferences will observe a shift towards autonomous mobility with the share of autonomous driving in overall traffic increasing to at least 40% by 2030. These statistics imply that corporations too are ready to leave behind the conventional Transportation-as-an-Asset model and embrace the modern business model called Transportation-as-a-Service (TaaS) instead.
Car ownership is so yesterday. In the next decade, automobiles will be seen as an on-demand service instead of a big-ticket purchase you lovingly polish on the weekends—and 80% of car sales will be to fleet management companies rather than individual consumers. This is according to Jaime Moreno, chief executive of Mormedi, a strategic design consultancy that works in the transport sector.
Plans advanced for a proposed passenger rail line between Minneapolis and Duluth this week after federal regulators determined it will not significantly affect the environment along its 152-mile route. Those in favor of the line said it would help connect people to various destinations, while decreasing car use along Interstate 35 between Minneapolis and Duluth. People opposing the project said it would be a waste of public funds and there would be little demand for the service.
BMW AG would like to start offering up the back seat on motorbikes and scooters to get around congested cities — if the issue of helmets can be solved. “This is definitely an option, but we haven’t found the solution for the second helmet yet,” Peter Schwarzenbauer, who heads BMW’s Mini, Rolls-Royce and motorcycle brands, said in an interview at the Geneva International Motor Show. “There’s the issue of sizing and then re-using helmets in the summer heat — it’s not ideal.”