April 2020 Technology Updates

  • Author: Kevin Chambers
  • Date: April 16, 2020

What a Difference a Month Makes

The COVID-19-related challenges facing transit overall and mobility management, in particular, are daunting enough to make any characterization seem understated. While we're still in very early days in understanding what that the long term impacts will be for the industry with regard to technology, there are plenty of initial reports and folks making their best guesses.

? COVID-19 & Transit

?How coronavirus is disrupting public transit by Transit

Continually updated data from the makers of the Transit app.

?Community Mobility Reports by Google

Worldwide overviews of how movement is changing with COVID-19. US reports provide county-level data.

?Ford Mobility offers struggling transit agencies software, consulting amid COVID-19 by Kristin Musulin, Smart Cities Dive

?Emergency on-demand transit service launched to help essential workers by SmartCitiesWorld

Acquisition and Investment Roundup

Shuttle Service Via Hits $2.25 Billion Value With New Funding by Joshua Brustein, Bloomberg

TNCs/Ride Sourcing Companies

?Taxpayers Are Bailing Out Uber and Lyft — Again by Kea Wilson, StreetsBlog USA

?A transit system in crisis, Miami-Dade buying Uber, Lyft rides on overnight bus routes by Douglas Hanks, Miami Herald

Autonomous Vehicles

It may be tough times for AVs moving people, but good times for AV freight and to-the-curb delivery.

?An Unlikely Coronavirus Hero? Self-Driving Cars, by Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics

A "hero" for delivery that is, not moving people.

?Coronavirus fears halt autonomous vehicle testing for Uber, Cruise, Aurora, Argo AI, Waymo, and others by Kyle Wiggers

?Why the coronavirus is a problem for autonomous vehicles by Gary Vasilash, Auto Blog

?COVID-19 generates white knights in freight industries by Vishnu Rajamanickam, FreightWaves

?Will this crisis help set autonomous AI on the right course? by Bastiane Huang, Venture Beat

U.S. Regulators Propose Rules for Self-Driving Cars for the First Time by Jeff Plungis, Consumer Reports

This is just a test: University of Iowa puts rural autonomous driving through its paces by Steve Gravelle, The Gazette

Will Truck Convoying Be The First Viable Commercial Application For AV Technology? by Rahul Razdan, Forbes

Automated trucking, a technical milestone that could disrupt hundreds of thousands of jobs, hits the road by Jon Wertheim, 60 Minutes

When 60 Minutes does a story on it, then I guess it's happening.

How autonomous freight trains powered by artificial intelligence could come to a railroad near you by Justin Franz, Seattle Times

Vehicle Electrification

GM unveils a new electric vehicle platform and battery in bid to take on Tesla by Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge

Mobility as a Service and New Mobility

?Scooter Companies Pull Out of Cities Worldwide Amid Pandemic by Laura Bliss, Bloomberg

?Lime will remove its scooters from California and other states due to coronavirus by Laura J. Nelson, LA Times

?Bird lays off about 30% of workforce amid COVID-19 pandemic by Megan Rose Dickey, Tech Crunch

?During COVID-19, Lime and Bird Pull Back; Spin Steps Up by Kea Wilson, StreetsBlog USA

?Will scooters survive the COVID-19 crisis? by Jason Plautz, Smart Cities Dive

Almost certainly, some will not.

?COVID-19 Reveals How Micromobility Can Build Resilient Cities by Michal Naka, Next City

An overview of the state of micromobility amid the shutdown in the U.S. Michal Naka is Head of Partner Products at Ride Report, which works with city governments to provide them with the data they need to monitor and regulate new mobility services.

?UTA’s ‘microtransit’ experiment working well, offers flexibility during COVID-19 outbreak by Lee Davidson, Salt Lake Tribune

A pilot ends up being well-timed in Salt Lake City.

?MaaS providers must engage now to plan for post-pandemic growth, says report by Sam Mehmet, Intelligent Transport

USDOT announces $20.3 million grant to improve transport with innovation by Sam Mehmet, Intelligent Transport

Congratulations to the winners of these grants.

Tech giants could herald loss of MaaS policy control by Colin Sowman, ITS International

Transit apps ‘exclude most disabled users’, experts say by Ben Spencer, ITS International

Data and Privacy

Big Data Could Revolutionize Transportation. Is That a Good Thing? by Kea Wilson, Streetsblog USA



We’d love to hear from you!

Have more mobility news that we should be reading and sharing? Let us know! Reach out to Sage Kashner (kashner@ctaa.org).

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