Category Archives: Transportation

Uber to resume autonomous vehicle testing months after fatal accident

Uber has been granted permission by the state of Pennsylvania to reinstate tests of its autonomous vehicles, as first reported by Reuters. A spokesperson for Uber confirmed to TechCrunch that the ride-hailing giant received a letter of authorization from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and clarified that the company has not yet resumed self-driving operations. Uber halted testing of its self-driving cars following a fatal accident in Tempe, Arizona this March that left a pedestrian dead. An autonomous Uber SUV accompanied by a safety driver was driving northbound […]

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Careem launches delivery service as it nears closing a massive round

The ride-hailing giant Careem is now in the delivery business as the company seeks new verticals in its ever-increasing fight against other services in the Middle East, including Uber. Starting with food delivery in Dhabi and Jeddah, the company sees the delivery service expanding to pharmaceuticals. according to a report by Reuters. Careem is investing more than $150 million into the service. “We believe the opportunity for deliveries in the region is even bigger than ride-hailing,” chief executive and co-founder Mudassir Sheikha told Reuters. “It is going […]

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A former Ofo exec is launching his own scooter startup

The funding extravaganza may be approaching its end for scooter “unicorns” Lime and Bird, but smaller startups in the micro-mobility space have continued to close venture capital rounds at a consistent pace. See Grin, Tier and Yellow for examples. The latest is Dott, a European scooter startup founded by Maxim Romain, Ofo’s former head of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Romain joined Ofo, a Chinese bike- and scooter-sharing company that raised more than $1 billion in venture capital funding but has struggled to scale overseas, in 2018 to help it […]

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Lift Aircraft’s Hexa may be your first multirotor drone ride

We were promised jetpacks, but let’s be honest, they’re just plain unsafe. So a nice drone ride is probably all we should reasonably expect. Lift Aircraft is the latest to make a play for the passenger multirotor market, theoretical as it is, and its craft is a sleek little thing with some interesting design choices to make it suitable for laypeople to “pilot.” The Austin-based company just took the wraps off the Hexa, the 18-rotor craft it intends to make available for short recreational flights. It just […]

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Vroom nabs $146M from AutoNation, VCs for its used car marketplace

Vroom has raised $146 million in Series G funding, an expansion to a $30 million investment we reported in early September. U.S. automotive retailer AutoNation led the round for the startup, with participation from existing investors T. Rowe Price, L Catterton, General Catalyst and Fraser McCombs Capital. The company declined to disclose the valuation, but says it was an up round. Vroom was valued at $440 million in 2016 with a $50 million financing, according to PitchBook. Led by chief executive officer Paul Hennessy, the former CEO of […]

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SoftBank invests in parking startup ParkJockey pushing valuation to $1 billion

SoftBank continues to invest in the future of transportation — this time in ParkJockey, a startup that has built a technology platform aimed at monetizing parking lots. And ParkJockey, which was founded in 2013, is already using that capital to scale up. Along with the SoftBank investment news, ParkJockey also announced that it was acquiring two of the largest parking operators in North America. The startup, with help from Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Capital and debt financing from Owl Rock, said it had reached an agreement to acquire Imperial Parking Corporation, […]

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New York’s Taxi and Limousine Commission approves minimum wage rules for app-based drivers

The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission has approved new rules designed to provide a minimum hourly wage of $17.22 (after expenses) for drivers who work with app-based services like Uber, Lyft, Via and Juno. Fast Company reports that the rules try to deliver that wage by requiring drivers be paid according to a formula that incorporates mileage, time and utilization rate (the average percentage of time drivers have passengers in their cars). They also call for a higher payment when drivers have to take passengers […]

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Lime tries to back-peddle on VP’s line on why it hired Definers

Scooter startup Lime has sought to back peddle on an explanation given by its VP of global expansion late last week when asked why it had hired the controversial PR firm, Definers Public Affairs. The opposition research firm, which has ties to the Republican Party, has been at the center of a reputation storm for Facebook, after a New York Times report last month suggested the controversial PR firm sought to leverage anti-semitic smear tactics — by sending journalists a document linking anti-Facebook groups to billionaire George Soros […]

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Lyft’s pink-wheeled shareable bikes will be available to rent soon

Lyft has finally given us a glimpse of its forthcoming line of shareable bikes, which the ridesharing company says will be available to rent within its mobile app in select cities “soon.” The news comes as the $15 billion company announces the final close of its acquisition of Motivate, the New York City-based mobility startup that owns a number of bike-rental services, like Citi Bike, Ford GoBike, Divvy, Blue Bikes and Capital Bikeshare. The transaction was reportedly worth some $250 million. Lyft brought in $600 million in […]

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Phiar raises $3 million for an AR navigation app for drivers

Augmented reality is a very buzzy space, but the fundamental technologies underpinning it are pushing boundaries across a lot of other verticals. Machine learning, object recognition and visual mapping tech are the pillars of plenty of new ventures, enabling there to be companies that thrive in the overlap. Phiar (pronounced fire) is building an augmented reality navigation app for drivers, but the same tech it’s built to help drivers easily pinpoint where they need to make their next turn also helps them build up rich mapping data […]

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