Volkswagen, Ford launch global alliance starting with medium pickups and commercial vans; exploring EVs, AVs and mobility services

Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Company announced the first formal agreements in a global alliance. Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess and Ford CEO Jim Hackett confirmed that the companies intend to develop commercial vans and medium-sized pickups for global markets beginning as early as 2022. The alliance will drive significant... Details →


ZF expands partnership with Microsoft to develop digital services

ZF has expanded its partnership with Microsoft to establish one of the most comprehensive digital cloud platforms in the automotive market. The strategic cooperation puts ZF in a position to offer digital services in the areas of automated driving, vehicle motion control, integrated safety and electromobility. The products range from... Details →


At CES 2019, ZF will unveil a steering-wheel- and pedal-free robo-taxi to show how its technologies enable new forms of urban mobility. Users can hail the taxi using their smartphone or tablet; the robo-taxi will maneuver autonomously to pick them up. It can then chauffeur them to where they wish... Details →


The BMW Group and Daimler AG are planning the next steps for their joint mobility company (earlier post), following approval by the responsible authorities. The basis for this is the approval of the US antitrust authorities, which was received on 18 December 2018. All antitrust authorities involved have now given... Details →


Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) is introducing “total-care service,” a pioneering set of mobility services specially designed for ride-hailing companies. Working with ride-hailing companies, Total-care Service will enable Toyota to leverage onboard telematics data through a shared information platform and provide services such as fleet management, automotive insurance, and vehicle maintenance... Details →


Hyundai, Kia invest additional US$250M in Grab; pilot EV projects

Hyundai Motor Group and Grab Holdings Inc., Southeast Asia’s leading O2O (online to offline) mobile platform, announced an agreement under which Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation will invest an additional US$250 million into Grab and establish a partnership to pilot EV programs across Southeast Asia. Under the EV... Details →


Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi invests in Transit to advance multi-modal transportation

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi has invested in the latest round of funding in Transit, a multi-modal transportation mobile app company based in Montreal, Canada. This marks the latest technology investment by Alliance Ventures, launched earlier this year to support start-ups, early-stage development and entrepreneurs at the cutting edge of next-generation systems for the... Details →


The Volkswagen Group is progressing with its work with quantum computers (earlier post). For the first time, Volkswagen researchers have succeeded in using a quantum computer to develop a traffic management system that will replace forecasting for urban traffic volumes, transport demand and travel times with precise calculations. As a... Details →


First EVs in new car-sharing program with Envoy to roll out in Sacramento; 142 e-Golfs by early 2019; Sac-to-Zero

The first of hundreds of electric car-sharing vehicles coming to Sacramento, California as part of Electrify America’s $44-million investment in the City will be unveiled tomorrow at the Whispering Pines Apartments in Meadowview. Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Electrify America and Envoy, an electric car-sharing company awarded funds by Electrify America,... Details →


Volkswagen Group, Mobileye and Champion Motors plan to commercialize Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) with self-driving electric vehicles in Israel. Development will begin in early 2019 and roll out in phases reaching full commercialization in 2022. The partners will establish a joint venture, subject to approval by the responsible authorities and bodies. Operating... Details →


Daimler Mobility Services and Geely Group Company form premium ride-hailing joint venture in China

Daimler Mobility Services and Geely Group Company, Geely Holding Group’s new business entity, will form a premium ride-hailing joint venture in China. Headquartered in Hangzhou, the 50:50 JV will provide ride-hailing mobility services in several Chinese cities using premium vehicles including but not limited to Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The fleet initially... Details →


Juniper Research: mobility-as-a-service revenues to exceed $11B by 2023, as regulation drives adoption

A new study from Juniper Research forecasts that revenues generated by the use of MaaS (Mobility-as-a-Service) platforms, which integrate multi-modal transport services (including buses, taxis, rail and metro), will exceed $11 billion by 2023. This is up from an estimated $100 million in 2018 and reflects an average annual growth... Details →


FASTLinkDTLA, Downtown LA’s transportation management-focused public-private partnership, and Daimler’s moovel launched a new ridesharing pilot that will complement the city’s public transit network. To ensure the service is available to all and grows to meet the needs of the community, FlexLA will charge a reduced fare during the pilot. In... Details →


Toyota Motor Corporation and SoftBank Corp. agreed to form a strategic partnership to facilitate the creation of new mobility services. The two plan to establish a joint venture company, MONET Technologies Corporation, before the end of the 2018 fiscal year (April 2019). The objective of MONET is to help realize... Details →


Ford, Uber and Lyft to share data through SharedStreets platform

Ford Motor Company, Uber and Lyft have committed to support to SharedStreets, a new data platform designed to make it easier for the private sector to work with cities around the world and leverage data to improve urban mobility. At the heart of SharedStreets is a linear referencing system which... Details →


CU Denver study finds ride-hailing increases vehicle miles traveled

Ride-hailing accounts for approximately an 83.5% increase in the miles cars travel for ride-hailing passengers in Denver’s metro area, according to a study published this week in the journal Transportation by researchers at the University of Colorado Denver. For this study, the conservative (lower end) percentage of deadheading miles from... Details →


Porsche increases investment in start-ups by €150M; innovative business models in the field of mobility

Porsche has increased its total investment in venture capital activities by €150 million for the next five years. The objective of “Porsche Ventures” is to gain access to trends, new technologies and business models. The investment activities being undertaken by Porsche Ventures build in part on the company’s existing start-up... Details →


California first state to regulate GHGs of ridesharing companies

California has become the first state in the US to regulate the greenhouse gas produced by the surge in popularity of ridesharing. California Governor Brown signed SB 1014, a bill requiring transportation network companies (TNCs) to account for, and reduce, the greenhouse gas emissions of their operations. The explosive growth... Details →


A new study from Juniper Research has found that adoption of MaaS (Mobility-as-a-Service) platforms will replace more than 2.3 billion urban private car journeys annually by 2023, compared with just 17.6 million globally in 2018. This is equivalent to 18 times the number of taxi journeys across New York in... Details →


ABI Research: 16B ride-hailing trips completed globally in 2017, 24B expected in 2018; 70% in Asia

A recent mobility study by ABI Research on regional ride-hailing markets found that 16 billion ride-hailing trips were completed worldwide in 2017. ABI forecasts that 24 billion completed trips by the end of 2018. In the report, ABI Research analyzed the number of ride-hailing trips completed by users in different... Details →


Ford’s ride-sharing shuttle service Chariot launched its first European routes tailored for companies and campuses this week. Chariot, which began operating in London earlier this year, is a ride-sharing minibus service that connects commuters living and working in areas underserved by public transport with nearby transit hubs. Now, Chariot is... Details →


24.4 million customers use Daimler’s mobility services

With car2go, moovel, mytaxi/Intelligent Apps (mytaxi, beat, Clever Taxi and Chauffeur Privé), the mobility portfolio in the segment of Daimler Financial Services counted 24.4 million customers as of July 30, 2018. This represents an increase of 64% (compared to the previous year). The number of transactions reached 95.3 million in... Details →


Booking Holdings invests US$500M in DiDi Chuxing; DiDi partners with Continental

China-based Didi Chuxing, the world’s leading one-stop mobile transportation platform, and Booking Holdings, a global leader in online accommodations and travel e-commerce, have entered into a strategic partnership. Booking Holdings has invested US$500 million in DiDi, recognizing DiDi as a leader in the mobile transportation industry. Under the partnership, DiDi... Details →


The City of Paris and Groupe Renault announced their intention to share their expertise and skills to develop electric mobility for Parisians, Île-de-France residents and visitors. The partnership will result in short-, medium- and long-term actions in favor of the development of connected and autonomous electric vehicles. As a first... Details →


Volvo Car Mobility launches mobility brand M; market debut in 2019

Volvo Car Mobility—a wholly-owned and stand-alone entity within Volvo Car Group that aspires to deliver a better alternative to car ownership for urban and metro consumers—launched M, a new brand that will expand the company’s global mobility operations by providing dependable, on-demand access to cars and services through an intuitive... Details →


Toyota Motor Corporation has concluded an agreement with Grab Holdings Inc. (Grab) to strengthen their existing partnership and expand the collaboration between Toyota and Grab in Southeast Asia to drive further advances in Mobility as a Service (MaaS) across the region. As part of this agreement, Toyota will invest US$1... Details →


Both air travel and the use of ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft are on the rise in cities around the world. Global demand for air travel is expected to double by 2035, and new airport infrastructure investments and modernization upgrades—costing tens of billions of dollars—are anticipated. In a... Details →


Stuttgarter Straßenbahnen AG (SSB), the principal public transport operating company in Stuttgart, will launch the SSB Flex mobility service on 1 June 2018. (Earlier post.) SSB Flex will pool similar journey requests in three areas to provide additional, more flexible journey options in certain high-traffic areas or at specific times... Details →


Alan Turing Institute and Toyota Mobility Foundation collaborate to modernize city planning and traffic management

The Alan Turing Institute—the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence—and the Toyota Mobility Foundation are collaborating on a project to transform the way cities are planned and managed. The objective of this new project, Optimizing flow within mobility systems with AI, part of the Turing’s new AI... Details →


NASA has signed a second space act agreement with Uber Technologies, Inc. (earlier post), further to explore concepts and technologies related to urban air mobility (UAM) to ensure a safe and efficient system for future air transportation in populated areas. NASA defines UAM as a safe and efficient system for... Details →


US Army, Uber to partner on vertical lift research; stacked co-rotating rotors; Launchpoint for motors

Ride-sharing company Uber and US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, Army Research Laboratory, have entered a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to advance technologies supporting Future Vertical Lift. As part of this agreement, Uber and RDECOM ARL also signed their first joint work statement jointly to fund and... Details →


DOE to award $68.5M for advanced vehicle technologies research

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award up to $68.5 million for early-stage research of advanced vehicle technologies. (DE-FOA-0001919) This new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) seeks research projects to address priorities in the following areas: batteries and electrification; materials; technology integration and energy efficient mobility systems; energy-efficient commercial off-road... Details →


On the eve of the 2018 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, Volkswagen Group announced that it its joint-venture partners will invest around €15 billion ($18.3 billion) through 2022 in China on e-mobility, autonomous driving, digitalization and new mobility services. Volkswagen sold almost 3.2 million vehicles in China in 2017—the most successful... Details →


India-based Ola, one of the world’s largest ride-hailing companies, launched “Mission: Electric”, with a commitment to place 10,000 E-rickshaws and Electric auto-rickshaws in its service in the next 12 months. The company will develop “Mission: Electric” as a platform to bring one million electric vehicles on the road by 2021.... Details →


The Volkswagen Group is readying autonomous parking functionality for deployment in series production vehicles in 2020. Group brands Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche are currently testing autonomous parking at Hamburg Airport. In the test scenario, users can book a parking space at Hamburg Airport from home using an app and simply... Details →


Porsche invests in Israeli AI start-up Anagog; on-device mobility status detection

Porsche Digital GmbH has purchased a minority stake in Israeli start-up Anagog as a strategic expansion to its digital innovation portfolio. Founded in 2010, the Tel Aviv-based start-up currently has around 30 employees and specializes in developing artificial intelligence (AI) in the context of mobility. Daimler also recently took a... Details →


The BMW Group and Daimler AG have signed an agreement to merge their mobility services business units. Subject to examination and approval by the responsible competition authorities, the BMW Group and Daimler AG plan to combine and strategically expand their existing on-demand mobility offering in the areas of CarSharing, Ride-Hailing,... Details →


Daimler is pursuing strategic research partnerships in the field of quantum computing, and has signed a cooperation agreement with Google in this area. The design of Google’s recent 72‑qubit Bristlecone chip features the highest number of quantum bits yet used in a quantum computer. Qubits are the smallest possible unit... Details →


Magna to invest $200M in Lyft, partner on self-driving systems

Magna, a mobility technology company and one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, and Lyft announced a multi-year collaboration in which the companies will jointly fund, develop, and manufacture self-driving systems. In addition, Magna will invest $200 million in Lyft equity. The establishment of this partnership is subject to regulatory... Details →


Toyota Motor Corporation and JapanTaxi Co., Ltd., jointly with KDDI Corporation and Accenture, have developed a taxi dispatch support system that predicts demand for taxi services, combining data from taxi service logs with predictions of demographics made by location-based big data from smartphones as well as event information. The companies... Details →


At the Geneva Motor Show, Renault introduced EZ-GO, an electric, autonomous, shared robo-vehicle concept—both a vehicle and a service—that allows people to hail a ride either from a fixed or mobile location. Renault believes vehicle-service integration combined with connection to city infrastructure—leveraging sensors, data analytics, connected services, multimodal systems and... Details →


Maven is now offering its first all-electric fleet of cars for use in the gig economy; 20 Chevrolet Bolt EVs are available for freelance drivers in Austin, Texas to earn money on their own schedules. Maven is working with Austin Energy, the Austin Transportation Department, and Rocky Mountain Institute to... Details →


Daimler AG is intensifying its cooperation with the Israeli start-up Anagog Ltd. Daimler has participated in a financing round together with MizMaa Ventures, a venture capital company located in California. Based in Tel Aviv, Anagog has developed software which provides on-device mobility status detection, with cloud-based processing power, deep learning... Details →


Bosch is entering the ridesharing business with its acquisition of Splitting Fares Inc. (SPLT), a US start-up based in Detroit. SPLT operates a platform that allows companies, universities, and municipal authorities to offer their workforces ridesharing services. The B2B approach is designed especially for commuters. Bosch aims for growth well... Details →


Didi Chuxing, the world’s leading mobile transportation platform, and SoftBank Corp. have established a partnership to provide platform services for the taxi industry. The partnership will utilize DiDi’s advanced AI technologies to build ride-hailing platforms to enhance efficiency for both taxi operators and drivers. DiDi and SoftBank aim to commence... Details →


On the heels of an quarterly report marked by an underwhelming profit, and amid a general “lack of fitness” according to CFO Bob Shanks, Ford Motor announced that it is accelerating and expanding its activities in 2018 to deliver a broad suite of mobility products and services to personal vehicle... Details →


Volkswagen founds mobility services company in Rwanda; to begin local assembly of Polo and Passat

The Volkswagen brand has founded “Volkswagen Mobility Solutions Rwanda”, a company based in Rwanda. The objective is to provide modern integrated mobility services in Africa in future. As part of its worldwide regionalization strategy, Volkswagen is planning to expand its business presence significantly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Going forward, the brand... Details →


DiDi expands GAIA initiative worldwide to facilitate data-driven research in transportation

Didi Chuxing, the world’s leading mobile transportation platform, will make aggregated, anonymized data from its vehicle network available to facilitate transportation AI research worldwide. Every day, DiDi receives more than 25 million orders, collects more than 70TB of new route data, processes more than 4500TB of data, and obtains more... Details →


Kia Motors presented its new “Boundless for All” future mobility vision at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Kia is also demonstrating a range of new technologies as part of its new “ACE” strategy to make its cars more Autonomous, Connected and Eco/Electric.Kia’s ACE strategy is based... Details →


At CES in Las Vegas, Toyota Motor introduced the autonomous electric e-Palette Concept Vehicle, which is designed to meet the demands of future multi-mode transportation and business applications. Toyota President Akio Toyoda also announced the e-Palette Alliance, which will leverage Toyota’s Global Mobility Services Platform (MSPF) to develop advanced vehicle... Details →