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Welcome back to the station, your central hub for all past, present and future means of moving people and packages from point A to point B.
Has ChatGPT reached the height of the hype? When a cautious automaker jumps into the fray, well, it’s one sign that we might be close.
I’m talking, of course, about Mercedes and its announcement that on June 16 it was rolling out a pilot program for around 900,000 vehicles that will add an OpenAI chatGPT agent to its MBUX infotainment system. Devin Koldoy, our AI and Insider Science Editor, took up the story and asked why a car would be the right environment for such a tool.
Finally, I wanted to share an interesting article on market analysis by reporter Haji Van Camps about the trend of electric vehicles in the United States making significant progress. TL; DR: It’s not the right move.
Well, let’s move on to the rest of the week’s news!
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bike buses What is it becoming the new standard in the US, you ask? It is safe in numbers to see groups of families driving their children to school together.
Looks like Bike sharing services Create more motorcyclists. At least, that’s what this UK study found – 66% of bike-sharing users started cycling more after using the service.
sectiona Brooklyn-based startup that makes a portable device to instantly convert any bike into an e-bike without tools, won the Micromobility Europe startup competition.
Cowboys The company announced at Micromobility Europe that the integrated app will now offer navigation from Google Maps. Obviously, this is just one of many future Google collaborations.
dab motors And Peugeot motorcycles Together we create an e-motorcycle, Concept-E and launch series production. As part of the collaboration, Peugeot has invested heavily in DAB and now owns a majority stake in the company.
delivery workers In New York City he earned $18 an hour minimum wage, a historic win for labor rights activists. However, people on both sides were disappointed. App companies clearly hate the idea. Many of the delivery people said they expected $24 an hour, and after expenses, they wouldn’t earn a living wage.
I’m kiddingIn partnership with GrubHub, officially opened his center for delivery riders. It’s called Joco Concierge and the partnership between the two companies includes a pilot program that provides at least 500 gig workers with free access to more than 1,000 e-bikes.
I wish New 3.0 Enduro helmet protects your face, head and ears..
Harley Davidson LiveWire subsidiary LiveWire is preparing to begin deliveries of its new S2 Del Mar e-Motorcycle this summer. It will have a range of 100 miles and a price of $15,499.
love small cars? Check out the new alliance of small car manufacturers, otherwise known as the Microcars Alliance. The group wants to encourage small car-friendly legislation and attract more manufacturers.
Micromobility.com It leaves many unprofitable markets so that it can focus on “self-sustaining”. The company has not provided any details about what markets it will be leaving, or how it will regroup, and it has stubbornly refused to respond to my emails.
New York City It has expanded its e-scooter pilot out of the Bronx. Now Queens can play too. The city is sticking with Bird, Lime and Veo as its operators.
tern It released the 2023 version of its HSD folding cargo e-bike, and I want one. The new version has more carrying capacity in the rear luggage rack, but it’s still easy to convert into a compact, metal-and-rubber package. Pricing starts at $5,065, but for a new Bosch motor, it’s worth it.
A new global player has emerged in the field of precision navigation. today It was recently formed by the merger of six brands – Frog, Leap, Ottr, Element, Mixte and White Fox – and is owned by VC fund EFO Ventures. Today’s commercial fleet includes 8,000 vehicles consisting of e-scooters, e-bikes, e-cargo bikes and e-scooters.
to move TOM’s scooter is really cute. It’s a 20 mph sit-down buggy with a bamboo body that folds and loads in less than 10 seconds.
Are you bored AF? Rad Power Bikes He wants to bring fun back into your life. Take part in the company’s most boring contest to win cash, prizes, a trip and/or a rad bike.
XYZ’s The modular kit allows you to design the perfect load-carrying vehicle for a range of jobs and offers 300 lbs. capacity.
Yes Dixie, MaaS provider’s global charging station revealed. The system uses artificial intelligence to charge a selection of small electric vehicles and collects data on parking usage and the carbon footprint along the way.
– Rebecca Bilan
deal of the week
Who said SPACs are dead? Leader TechThe automotive sensor and perception software developer said it will go public by merging with special purpose acquisition firm Prospector Capital Corp. The deal will give the combined company an initial stock valuation of $348 million. Interesting fact: Prospector Capital was formed by the former head of Qualcomm Derek Aberle.
Other deals that caught my eye…
axis power, a London-based startup that develops software that connects electric vehicles and other energy home devices to energy markets, has raised $1.6 million in a seed funding round led by Pecos Capital. Eka Ventures also participated.
Remote drivinga startup developing self-driving electric vans, has raised $31 million in a Series A round from 10x Founders, Promus Ventures, Fly Ventures, Speedinvest, and Push Ventures, along with corporate investors HHLA Next and DB Schenker via Schenker Ventures. and Krone.
Gravel mobilityInc., a California startup developing a towable travel trailer, has raised $13.6 million from Lightspeed, Vision+ and UpHonest Capital in a seed round and Series A.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia It signed a $5.6 billion deal with Chinese electric vehicle maker Human Horizons to cooperate in developing, manufacturing and selling the vehicles.
Standard fleetan electric vehicle fleet management software startup, has raised $7 million in seed funding led by UP2398 and the eBay founder’s Canvas Ventures.
excellent It has invested about a third of its €300m ($324m) fund in 10 startups (plus an unnamed mobility fund) since 2022 when its institutional investment arm launched. The first tranche of startups covers everything from battery technology and 3D augmented reality to sustainable manufacturing and even e-bikes. Some of the names you may recognize: Envisics, Lyten, and Nauto.
threean interesting EV company written about by reporter Harry Weber, has raised $1.4 million with a post-money valuation of $10 million.
Uber He led a $20 million round to Everest FleetIt is a Mumbai-based fleet management company with more than 10,000 vehicles operating on Uber and Ola ride-sharing platforms across India.
Remarkable readings and other anecdotes
Xpeng It has expanded City NGP, which is similar to Tesla’s FSD, to Beijing. Besides the capital, car owners can access City NGP in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Shanghai, with dozens more cities coming online this year.
Elon Musk He said that Tesla’s market capitalization is directly related to its ability to “solve self-driving”. Musk made the comments during a conversation with LVMH’s Antoine Arnault at the VivaTech innovation conference in Paris. This is not the first time he has made such a comment. Musk has spoken repeatedly about this connection, while also promising that he will soon “dissolve” autonomy.
Electric cars, chargers and batteries
Bright DropThe General Motors subsidiary, General Motors, delivered it for the first time outside the United States. The company has delivered 50 BrightDrop Zevo 600 electric vans to FedEx Express Canada as part of a larger order of 2,500 Zevo EVs.
final drive Partnership with PostNord in Norway to deploy 35 electrified trucks by June 2024.
GM and partner in the joint venture Samsung SDI Indiana selected to site a $3 billion battery cell plant scheduled to begin operations in 2026.
Japan Toyota will give up to $841 million in subsidies for the domestic production of batteries used in electric vehicles.
revel He jumped into the NACS-CCS conversation and called out both standards, as well as automakers, to enable V2G capabilities as well.
Rivian CFO Claire McDonough made some interesting comments at the Deutsche Bank conference, including that the production of the R1S SUV is outpacing its electric truck. The CFO also confirmed its plan to produce 50,000 cars in 2023, double what it achieved last year.
Tesla The EV Charging Port and Connector (dubbed the North American Charging Standard) has been gaining support since Ford and GM jumped on board. A long list of charging hardware and software companies have announced plans to add NACS to their systems, including ABB, Autel Energy, Blink Charging, Chargepoint, EVPassport, Freewire, Tritium, and Wallbox. Even CharIN, the global association founded to promote the adoption of the common charging system (CCS) connectors that are used in every electric car sold in the United States except for Tesla, has expressed tentative support.
Toyota It plans to introduce a high-performance lithium-ion battery for its next-generation electric vehicles by 2026, part of the automaker’s new technology roadmap unveiled ahead of its annual shareholder meeting. The batteries will offer a faster charge and a range of about 620 miles (1,000 km). Toyota also said it has made progress in solid-state battery technology and aims to commercialize the technology between 2027 and 2028.
Logan GreenCo-founder and former CEO of the passenger service ordering platform LiftShe will remain on the company’s board of directors despite the opposition of some shareholders, according to the preliminary results of the annual meeting of shareholders.
the US National Labor Relations Council He rejected the worker classification standard adopted by the Trump administration, which made it easier to classify gig workers as independent contractors. A return to the Obama-era test will make it harder for companies like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash to continue treating workers as independent contractors rather than employees. It may also make it easier for gig workers to form unions.
Billy NolenActing FAA Administrator, has joined Archer Aviation as Chief Safety Officer.
Nikola company. It is laying off 270 employees, or about 23% of its workforce, and is constraining its electric truck efforts in North America as it seeks to conserve cash.
True Car It lays off 24% of employees due to restructuring. About 102 people will be affected by the layoff.