May 2020 Technology Updates

  • Author: Kevin Chambers
  • Date: May 12, 2020

Not everything is about the pandemic these days... But most things are.

? COVID-19 & Transit

Get ready for a wave of UV-based disinfecting technologies coming to stations, vehicles, and bus barns near you.

?Pittsburgh’s airport is the first in the US to use UV-cleaning robots by Kim Lyons, The Verge

?MTA to use ultraviolet lights to kill coronavirus on NYC subways, buses by Clayton Guse, New York Daily News

Acquisition and Investment Roundup

Lots of mergers and acquisitions appear to be in the works. Here's what's public now.

?Uber leads $170 million investment in scooter company Lime by Lauren Feiner and Deirdre Bosa, CNBC

Simultaneously Uber is transferring its bike-share business to Lime.

Intel Plans Towards Autonomous Transportation With Moovit Acquisition by Reina Colmenares,

TNCs/Ride Sourcing Companies

21 Key Takeaways from Partnerships between Public Transit Providers and Transportation Network Companies in the United States by Mallory Livingston and Joe Schwieterman, Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University

An up-to-date review of what transit agencies are finding when working with TNCs.

Can partnerships between transit and ride-hail help with post-pandemic recovery? by Ariel Parrella-Aureli, StreetsBlog Chicago

A synopsis of the Chaddick institute report, above.

?Uber launches new delivery services as demand for ride-hailing plummets by Jon Porter, The Verge

Times are tough, and Uber takes a second look at non-food deliveries.

Autonomous Vehicles

?Self-driving vehicles get in on the delivery scene amid COVID-19, Reuters

Examples include delivering COVID-19 tests for the Mayo Clinic and service for food banks.

?This Was Supposed to Be the Year Driverless Cars Went Mainstream by Cade Metz and Erin Griffith, New York Times

"Perfecting the technology has taken longer than expected. The coronavirus pandemic has made it even more difficult."

Downsides of self-driving cars could swamp benefits if D.C. region fails to act, study says by Michael Laris, The Washington Post

"The District study sought to examine the implications going out decades, testing a range of provocative policies and possibilities."

Uber claims its AI enables driverless cars to predict traffic movement with high accuracy by Kyle Wiggers

How Cornell Disguised Drivers to Gauge the Public's Reaction to Autonomous Vehicles by Chris Teague, The Drive

"As it turns out, witnessing a car without a person behind the wheel is incredibly unsettling to those who are unfamiliar with the concept, but the degree to which people went out of their way to avoid the vehicle is surprising."

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

A lot of changes driven by the collapse in travel.

?GM cites COVID-19 for shutdown of Maven car-sharing service by Chris Teale, Smart Cities Dive

?How has COVID-19 impacted 2020’s mobility trends? by Carol Schweiger, Intelligent Transport

A view into MaaS as we confront COVID-19. "Attaining a complete trip in the time of COVID-19 may be challenging unless several technology-enabled mobility solutions are advanced quickly."

Bird: the electric scooter startup with big workplace problems by Julia Black, The Verge

A thorough examination of the rise and fall of a micro-mobility startup.

Anyone Feel Like Saving Electric Scooters? by David Zipper and Marla Westervelt, CityLab

On the idea of subsidizing scooters the way cities support bike share and transit.

Trapeze and Masabi partner to make transit payments simpler, faster, more convenient, Trapeze Group

"Trapeze Group and Masabi have partnered to offer transit agencies an integrated fare payment solution to help transform the rider experience and change the way public transit agencies deliver Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) to their communities."

Sony develops MaaS common database platform using blockchain by Sam Mehmet, Intelligent Transport

Sony hasn't yet been a strong presence in MaaS. "[The project] is said to be the industry’s first project to successfully realize the recording and sharing of large-scale movement history and revenue allocation by using blockchain technology for MaaS."


Business Models for Mobile Fare Apps by Candace Brakewood, Transit Cooperative Research Program

Five different business models for mobile fare payment apps are examined, as the world of apps used by transit agencies in the United States and Canada continues to steadily grow.

Development of Transactional Data Specifications for Demand-Responsive Transportation by Roger Teal, Niels Larsen, David King, Candace Brakewood, Charlotte Frei, and, David Chia, Transit Cooperative Research Program

"Demand-responsive transportation (DRT) can produce benefits — fewer empty seats, lower cost per passenger, less delay for customers — to both passengers and transportation service providers, particularly the public and private nonprofit agencies that finance DRT services with public funds.

[This report] presents a transactional data specification for DRT to facilitate interactions among the software systems that manage these services.

A validator software tool that verifies data messages generated by a software system is available as part of the project"


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