A new partnership between autonomous driving startup Optimus Ride and release estate developer LStar Ventures will see self-driving vehicle access offered up to residents of a new urban development near Boston called Union Point, via a revenue generating last mile commuter and local destination autonomous travel service.
The U.S. market for four-door sedans, the mainstay of the auto industry and U.S. driving culture, could be cut in half, from 5.4 million today to around 2.1 million per year, by the growth of ride-sharing services, according to consulting firm KPMG.
Stand-alone technology like automation, connectivity and electrification won’t push the automotive industry forward by themselves. Rather, it’s a fusion of the three areas meshing together that will be game-changers, according to a report released Monday by the Center for Automotive Research. While consumer adoption of the technologies hasn’t reached a critical mass, a reliance on the sharing economy may be key.
People could ride their own bikes to a Shweeb or ride sharing station. Park their bike. Bike parking could be made far more compact using an adapted dry cleaning conveyer belt system. Shweeb would be used to get over highway blockages or other bad traffic areas. When the person exits they get use a bike sharing system. Using Shweeb is easier and less tiring than using bicycles.
Once upon a time, a new apartment or condominium came with one or even two parking spaces, often free, a reflection of America’s love for and dependence on automobiles. But now, parking in urbanized areas is scarce and expensive, and walkable is in. Bike lanes have gobbled up on-street parking spaces. Short-term car-sharing services such as Zipcar and Car2Go, and paid ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft, have sprouted in city and suburb alike.
Whenever I hear someone mention Airbnb, I cringe — on the inside, at least. Not because there’s anything inherently wrong with Airbnb, the home-sharing business that has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years and has opened up affordable accommodations to millions of people around the world. The problem is, it hasn’t done so for people like me.
The latest company to receive a permit to test self-driving cars on public roads in California only just revealed that it wanted to build its own automated driving software four months ago. Ride-hail service Lyft just popped up today at the bottom of the California DMV’s list of permit holders, a sign that the ride-hail service was preparing to test its first robot taxis.
The ride-hailing service Uber revealed that the personal information of 57 million people — both customers and drivers — was hacked last year and that the company kept the massive theft secret for more than a year.
No one knows what the future of self-driving cars will look like, or how long it will take to get there. But every major player in the field is striking partnerships to be ready for the day when autonomous vehicles finally become mainstream. That includes Uber, which on Monday announced a new deal with Volvo.
Rather than hailing a ride through something like Uber, and possibly sharing a ride in this way, Less brings together people who are looking for a ride between two points and pairs them with drivers who are already driving on that route. So for example, when someone is looking for a ride from one side of London to the other, Less would match them with a driver who is making that same journey.