August Technology Updates

  • Author: Kevin Chambers
  • Date: August 11, 2020

? = COVID-19 related

New In the Podcast Playlist

In two episodes of the CleanTech Talk podcast, Michael Barnard, Chief Strategist of TFIE Strategy Inc. and CleanTechnica contributor, and Anthony Townsend, author of GHOST ROAD: Beyond the Driverless Car, sit down to talk about autonomous vehicles and urban planning. 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.

? COVID-19 & Transit

What might Covid-19 mean for mobility as a service (MaaS)? by David A. Hensher, Transport ReviewsRecommendations for "rebooting" MaaS during and after COVID

COVID-19: The future mobility delusion by IHS Markit, Automotive News. A summary of how COVID-19 throws a wrench in so many mobility visions, from MaaS to AVs to EVs.

TNCs/Ride Sourcing Companies

Lyft settles with Justice Department over rider accessibility complaints by Kim Lyons, The Verge. "Under the terms of the settlement, the company will pay damages between $4,000 and $30,000 to four people with disabilities, pay a civil penalty of $40,000, and will provide the DOJ with biannual written reports about its ADA compliance efforts over the next three years."

Lyft plans to offer car rentals across much of US by Matt McFarland, CNN Business. "The car rentals are the latest example of Lyft striving to make its app a one-stop shop for transportation services, though it comes as the car rental sector overall has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic."

Uber will acquire public transportation software company Routematch by Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge. Routematch is one of the larger software venders to small and medium-sized transit agencies.

Uber rolls out mobile ticketing for 13 Ohio, Kentucky transit agencies by Chris Teale, Smart Cities Dive

House passes ride-hailing safety bill Sami's Law by Chris Teale, Smart Cities Dive. The bill "requires that ride-hailing companies implement a digital driver verification system for passengers to use when entering a vehicle."


? Visa is rolling out contactless payments on public transport in 500 cities as the pandemic-driven demise of cash continues by Shalini Nagarajan, Markets Insider. The worldwide trend towards contactless payments is not so strong in the US, where contactless cards are not yet the norm, though that's changing.

? Touchless transit payments increased 187% since April: Visa by Kristin Musulin, Smart Cities Dive

? Contactless Transit Fare Systems Are in High Demand by Skip Descant, Government Technology. "The novel coronavirus has prompted some transit agencies to reimagine how they accept fares. Efforts to keep transit staff and riders safe, while serving the 'unbanked,' are giving new payment solutions a foothold."

Autonomous Vehicles

MIT task force predicts fully autonomous vehicles won’t arrive for ‘at least’ 10 years, by Kyle Wiggers, VentureBeat. The report by the MIT task force is here. Lots of thoughtful recommendations on what's needed to make AVs really work beyond testing and the isolated demonstration project.

Sorry, Elon: Fully Autonomous Tesla Vehicles Will Not Happen Anytime Soon by Ben Dickson, PCMag. The machine learning that Tesla is relying to achieve a fully autonomous vehicle is... not very ready for prime time.

Germany Allows Intel to Test Self-Driving Vehicles at 80mph by Matthew Humphries, PCMag. "The testing can be carried out on open roads, both urban and rural, anywhere in Germany."

Drones to robots: Pandemic fuels U.S. autonomous delivery by Carey L. Biron, Reuters

The Delivery Robot Revolution Is Not Quite Ready for Primetime by Jay Ramey, Autoweek. "The pandemic put a spotlight on contactless delivery, but infrastructure remains a challenge."

Beep to deploy Local Motors' 3D-printed AV shuttles by Kristin Musulin, Smart Cities Dive

Pitt receives federal grant to study how autonomous vehicle industry serves people with disabilities by Mike Pesarchick, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "The University of Pittsburgh will spearhead a national study about the accessibility of autonomous transportation for people with disabilities after receiving a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation."

Vehicle Electrification

Electric Bus Research Seeks to Utilize Extra-Fast Charging for Public Transit by Chris Kocher, Binghamton University

Mobility as a Service and New Mobility

Mobility data is foundational for fairer transport systems, say city leaders by Sarah Wray, Cities Today


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 (

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