December Tech Updates

  • Author: Kevin Chambers
  • Date: December 30, 2020

Happy  New Year!

We start off this update by highlighting the work of a new program that could assist many mobility managers when it comes to technology.

N-CATT is a new FTA-funded resources supporting technology for transit. From its About Us page: “N-CATT’s mission is to provide small-urban, rural, and tribal transit agencies with practical, replicable resources that help them apply technological solutions and innovations”

One of their first efforts is to offer a series of white papers aimed at giving small transit professionals what they need to know on a range of current technology-related topics. Most have been released this month, and a couple published in late October.

TNCs/Ride Sourcing Companies

Uber Sell-offs:

Uber and Lyft just scored a huge federal transportation contract, Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge
“The US government awarded a big transportation contract to Uber and Lyft this week, authorizing the ride-hailing companies to provide transportation to up to 4 million federal employees and their families.”

Study: Uber and Lyft likely aren’t being used much to address Chicago transit deserts by John Greenfield, Streetsblog Chicago
The referenced study is “Not minding the gap: Does ride-hailing serve transit deserts?

Autonomous Vehicles

U.S. Regulators Open Process to Ensure Self-Driving Car Safety by David Shepardson, Reuters
“U.S. auto safety regulators on Thursday said they were opening a formal regulatory proceeding that could eventually result in the adoption of new safety standards for autonomous vehicles.”

National Parks Service Shares Fresh Details on Forthcoming Self-Driving Shuttle Pilot by Brandi Vincent, Route Fifty

Toyota shows e-Palette geared towards practical MaaS applications
“Toyota Motor Corporation is introducing an operations management system to support the providing of services that will enable practical use of the e-Palette, a battery-electric vehicle for autonomous mobility as a service (Autono-MaaS) applications”

Robotaxis get the green light for paid rides in California by Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge
“California has long been ground zero for autonomous vehicle testing in the US, but the state has never allowed companies to use those vehicles to make money from a commercial ride-hailing service. That changed last week when the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved two new programs that allow autonomous vehicle operators to launch their own robotaxis in the state.”

May Mobility and Via announce partnership that will integrate on-demand AVs into public transit
“May Mobility will adopt Via’s autonomous fleet platform to power booking, routing, passenger and vehicle assignment and identification, customer experience, and fleet management as part of their new transit solution for future autonomous vehicle deployments.”

With $5 million in hand, The Routing Company is giving public transit authorities a ridesharing service by Jonathan Shieber, Tech Crunch
“James Cox spent much of his professional career at Uber trying to crack the problem of how to reduce congestion through ridesharing. As one of the architects of the Uber Pool service and a longtime proponent of ridesharing as a means to slash vehicle emissions, Cox leapt at the chance to harness technology developed at MIT that purported to perfect a dynamic routing and vehicle management system for transit authorities.”

The Zoox autotaxi has been unveiled:

Vehicle Electrification

What The EV And AV Community Wants From A Biden Administration by Selika Josiah Talbott, Forbes
An opinionated and thorough list of hopes for the next administration.

What cities can learn from the biggest battery-powered electric bus fleet in North America by Emily Chung, Alice Hopton, and Tashauna Reid, CBC

Full range of Volvo Trucks to go battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell by 2025 by Conall Martin, Eltis

This super-energy-dense battery could nearly double the range of electric vehicles by James Temple, MIT Technology Review
“But some observers aren’t convinced that QuantumScape’s lithium-metal batteries will power cars and trucks on the road as soon as the company claims.”

Mobility as a Service and New Mobility

Dignity should be key measure of MaaS success by Crissy Ditmore, ITS International

Moovit launches its first on-demand ridesharing service in the US near Detroit, with Smart Bus, Tom Stone, Traffic Technology Today
Smart Bus which currently operates a Dial-A-Ride service in Farmington near Detroit, Michigan, has announced it is partnering with Moovit, to offer an on-demand, dynamically routed service that automatically assigns multiple passengers heading in the same direction to a shared vehicle.”

How Do We Move Older Citizens in Rural Areas Using New Technologies? by Sandra Phillips

Barriers and risks of Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) adoption in cities: A systematic review of the literature by Luke Butler, Tan Yigitcanlar, and Alexander Paz

Barriers and opportunities for paratransit users to adopt on-demand micro transit by Md Mintu Miah, Farah Naz, Kate (Kyung) Hyun, Stephen P. Mattingly, Courtney Cronley, and Noelle Fields
“This paper will provide transit authorities a better understanding of the needs of on-demand micro-transit users and the potential benefits of providing micro-transit service.”


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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