October 2019 Technology Updates

  • Author: Kevin Chambers
  • Date: October 8, 2019

TNCs/Ride Sourcing Companies

Uber & Lyft move from traffic congestor to mobility provider by Fien Van den steen, Global Fleet

Not really news, just a reminder Uber and Lyft want to eventually be the windows into all shared transportation options.

Lyft redesigns app to put all mobility options 'front and center' by Chris Teale, Smart Cities Dive

Some people might see a connection between this and the article "Lyft is trying to shut down bikeshare in Transit", below.

Uber's Real Advantage is Data by Grace Dobush, Marker

Billionaire Oracle founder Larry Ellison calls Uber 'almost worthless' because it doesn't own cars or control its drivers and has an app that 'my cat could have written' by Ralph R. Ortega, Daily Mail

To be fair to Uber on this, Larry Ellison did pay a hefty sum to get an uncommonly smart cat.

Partnerships Between Transit Agencies and Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) from the Transit Cooperative Research Program

Just released, this research includes a "partnership playbook", a five-step process for agencies considering working with TNCs.

Best Practices: TNC Integration by Mass Transit

Vehicle Electrification

Tesla May Soon Have a Battery That Can Last a Million Miles by Daniel Oberhaus, Wired.

"Earlier this month, a group of battery researchers at Dalhousie University, which has an exclusive agreement with Tesla, published a paper in The Journal of the Electrochemical Society describing a lithium-ion battery that 'should be able to power an electric vehicle for over 1 million miles' while losing less than 10 percent of its energy capacity during its lifetime."

Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous Vehicles Are Reshaping The Tech World by Kevin Fogarty, Semiconductor Engineering

"Even before fully autonomous vehicles blanket the road there is major upheaval at all levels of the industry."

Uber and Lyft Induced Congestion Give a Preview of Driverless Car Hell by Kelly L. Fleming, Earther

"The next 5 years will be crucial to avoid the worst outcome."

Argo CEO says robotaxis are still ‘far away' by Leslie J. Allen, Automotive News Europe

"If there's a voice of reason in the autonomous vehicle industry, Bryan Salesky is it."

Mobility as a Service and New Mobility

Has Public Transit Finally Found Its First Mile-Last Mile Partner In Micromobility? by David Zipper, The Drive

"As ride hailing fails to deliver on its promise to augment public transit as a first mile-last mile solution, micromobility is ready to step up."

Car2Go's exit from 5 cities raises car-sharing viability questions by Katie Pyzyk

After a merger with ReachNow, Car2Go announces it's leaving the Austin, Calgary, Denver, Portland OR, and Chicago markets. It's unclear how sustainable car sharing is the US outside of the largest and most transit-friendly markets.

Lime shutters LimePod, raising questions about viability of free-floating car-sharing model by Monica Nickelsburg, GeekWire

Another sign of contraction in the car sharing space. Seattle, where LimePod is closing down, is one of the cities where Car2Go is staying.

Top five factors in creating successful MaaS systems by Sam Mehmet, Intelligent Transport

The last factor, "addressing the skills shortage", strikes me as the most puzzling one to solve. We likely need whole new professions — MaaS Engineers, MaaS Planners, MaaS Economists — people who can properly build and maintain a MaaS system.

US transit falls behind the digital curve by Mike Lambrou, International Railway Journal

A review of the headwinds transit agencies face, with a focus on ticketing.

Lyft is trying to shut down bikeshare in Transit by Transit

Transit, the maker of a proto-MaaS app, is calling out Lyft (who acquired bike share operator Motivate last year) for pulling back from Motivate's open data approach. Transit makes the case of an MaaS ecosystem rooted in interoperability between operators and app makers.


Is smart ticketing being held back by bespoke systems? by SmartCitiesWorld

"Research report sets out to examine some of the key challenges transit agencies are facing when it comes to providing fare collection services to riders."


Foreseeing the Impact of Transformational Technologies on Land Use and Transportation from the National Cooperative Highway Research Program

A pre-publication draft. This is less about the technologies themselves and more about how agencies can respond. Presents "a new mindset for planning" that includes self-assessing, getting data, and developing expertise (AKA "getting smart") as the key steps to becoming nimble.

Hero image headlines by GeekWire and Smart Cities Dive


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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