Look at some of the autonomous vehicle concepts, predicting a future of us being able to treat a car as a lounge or work area when we don’t want to actually drive, and you’ll notice one thing: space. By that, I mean the space they take up on the road. Everyone seems to be designing a large, autonomous SUV because that’s what people want. Mercedes-Benz is guilty of the same thing, with its vast F105 Concept it showed a few years ago. Sleek, spacious and lounge-like, it’s one idea for a self-driving future. But its tiny Smart division has other ideas
In the coming years, 10 more rapid-bus lines will snake throughout the metro’s busiest transit corridors — and last week, the network’s build-out reached two milestones. Advocates say rapid-bus service offers passengers a light-rail-like experience but is far cheaper to build and maintain.
Emerging transport disruptions could lead to a series of nightmare scenarios and poorer transport systems unless we have sensible and informed public policy to avoid this. In a newly published paper, we explore some potential problems linked to vehicle electrification, autonomous vehicles, the sharing economy and the increasing density of cities. We examined what could happen if these four trends are not all properly managed together.
Just a couple of weeks after Uber revealed it was getting into the bike-sharing game, Lyft, too, is hopping onto the two-wheelers. While Uber tests out a scheme in San Francisco with ebike company Jump, Lyft’s debut effort involves a partnership with the city-operated Baltimore Bike Share scheme in Maryland.
Angel Torres was driving down a major Los Angeles boulevard in late 2016 when it happened: Ride requests from Uber and Lyft arrived at the same second. As he looked away from the road to decide which trip was more worth his time, he nearly rear-ended the car ahead of him. “It scared the crap out of me,” Torres says. He was new to juggling the two apps, and was so rattled by the near miss that he started pulling over every time he needed to accept a ride on one app or turn off the other. That’s time-consuming and costly: For Torres, like all workers in the gig economy, “every minute is money.”
“Car nation” Germany has surprised neighbours with a radical proposal to reduce road traffic by making public transport free, as Berlin scrambles to meet EU air pollution targets and avoid big fines.
General Motors’ bid to rule whatever comes after the self-driving apocalypse—and the end of private car ownership as we know it—has gone international. Today, the automaker’s in-house car-sharing company, Maven, announced it is expanding to Toronto.
Earlier this month, a few dozen companies, cities, and organizations pledged to work together to make cities more livable by promoting shared transportation. It’s a nice idea, but to actually kill car ownership, we’re first going to need to have some very uncomfortable conversations about class and equity in the United States. Public transit used to be the great equalizer, but affordable private rides have become the new favorite of the middle class. When richer people give their money to private ride-hailing or carsharing companies, public transit loses money—and that’s not good for cities, societies, or the environment.
Alphabet’s Waymo and Uber have agreed to bury the hatchet and settle a lawsuit revolving the latter’s self-driving vehicle aspirations. As a result, Uber will pay Alphabet a hefty sum (in the eyes of mere mortals): $244 million. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s still a relatively small figure for Uber, which has value of $72 billion.
In a significant court decision on the status of so-called gig-economy workers, a federal judge ruled drivers for GrubHub Inc. are independent contractors and not employees. The ruling may have far-reaching implications for other sharing economy companies, including Uber Technologies Inc., whose business models are built on pairing customers with products and services through apps and typically avoid the costs of traditional employment.