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…
"Last March, renowned tech journalist and prognosticator Kara Swisher wrote a New York Times opinion piece with the headline, 'Owning a car will soon be as quaint as owning a horse.' In it, she declared she would sell her own car and vowed she would never again own an automobile. 'The concept of actually purchasing, maintaining, insuring and garaging an automobile in the next few decades? Finished,' she wrote." In September, Ms Swisher also wrote a follow-up opinion piece titled, "The Ups and Downs of Life Without Wheels of My Own."
The playlist is hosted on the ListenNotes service. From the playlist page located here, you can listen to the episodes directly from your browser or click the “subscribe” button to add it to your podcasting app.
Every January since 1967, CES, "The Global Stage for Innovation", happens in Las Vegas. It's the place where a lot of technology-related announcements get made, and where hype is at its peak. Transportation is a featured topic at CES this year, with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao being a keynote speaker. Below are a few of the announcements (including one from Secretary Chao about AI regulation for AVs) that have made headlines in the transportation press.
But first, a couple anti-hype inoculants: somewhat recent articles for your consideration when assessing the value of a new technology that's made the news:
Now on the latest from CES:
Large fare collection provider Cubic acquires Delerrok, which has gained traction as an e-fare platform provider for small and mid-sized transit operators.
"The new pricing structure increases charges for downtown trips and lowers rates for shared rides elsewhere in the city."
"Uber also is publicly releasing a free data tool in its Uber Movement platform that shows Jump bike volume within a city, starting with San Francisco, Washington, DC and Paris. The tool will show where bikes and scooters are used most to inform cities' decisions about where infrastructure opportunities exist."
"In California, the ride-hailing company is changing a policy used as a safeguard against driver discrimination against low-income and minority riders."
Currently only in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
"Incidents of sexual assault and violence have brought renewed scrutiny to ride-hailing, which could lead to bolstered background checks or fingerprinting."
"Larry Willis, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), said USDOT 'chose to disregard legitimate concerns' around safety. Meanwhile, in a statement last week, [Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety President Cathy] Chase said the claim that AVs must be deployed quickly to avoid the U.S. falling behind other countries — which has been advanced by many, including proponents in Congress — is a 'fallacy.'"
It's all a bit harder than many folks thought it was ten years ago.
"[AV driving data] has always represented a key competitive advantage for AV developers - which is why virtually nothing has been shared beyond the walls of their (mostly) Silicon Valley offices. That is, until now."
A brief retrospective on the changes in the last decade.
This after leaving a number of smaller markets earlier in the year. It appears that Daimler and BMW will focusing on Europe instead.
The service is operated by ride-hailing company Via. "Via said this expansion, which is funded by a $12 million grant from the Sacramento Transportation Authority, is 'due to its popularity and success.'"
"Helsinki, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Singapore, and other metros have been experimenting with on-demand buses—and not seeing a lot of success."
A review of many things about on-demand services just don't pencil out in many situations. Plus, an awesome photo of a dial-a-ride service from 1973.
"New Kinto brand will lead Toyota's development of car sharing, subscription and autonomous transport services"
"Under the partnership, Cubic will reportedly integrate Moovit’s MaaS APIs with Cubic’s Traveller App to include service alerts, nearby transit service lines, multimodal trip planning and real-time arrival information."
A report from a roundtable with transit leaders building on the work of TCRP Report 210: Transactional Data Specification for Demand Responsive Transportation.
"New mobility-as-a-service projects are gaining traction in major cities across Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden"
What's next now that private car sharing is on the ropes?
It's an interesting twist that after so much investment in developing e-fare systems, some agencies may just go fare-free.
A car tunnel ≠ public transit. A chronology of how initial hype scales down to something much less disruptive or equitable.
This reinforces the podcast at the top of the post. Add in the growing numbers of older adults who'll soon need to give up their car keys, and we have some interesting trends.
Hero image from Newegg via Facebook.
Have more mobility news that we should be reading and sharing? Let us know! Reach out to Kirby Wilhelm (email@example.com).