October 2021 Tech Updates
- Author: Kevin Chambers
- Date: October 31, 2021
News of large-scale investments in zero-emission transit keeps rolling in. Meanwhile, scrutiny of Uber, Lyft, and Tesla’s AV features continues.…
It's been a busy month, with lots of changes. Some are accumulated reports and such previously held up by COVID-19 and some a direct result of the disruption caused by the pandemic.
"As Covid-19 rages on, cities are eyeing microtransit to create a responsive system. But experts say there are tradeoffs."
"COVID-19 is derailing public transportation the world over, but Fernando Souza, vice president at payments platform CyberSource tells PYMNTS it’s also creating a huge push toward replacing cash and paper tickets with contactless payments. The conversations with transportation systems are no longer about ‘why’ but ‘how fast.’ Here’s what it takes to answer that question."
"JUMP wanted to create a better, more bike-friendly world. Former employees told Motherboard how getting acquired by Uber led to JUMP bikes being destroyed by the thousands."
"A new white paper encourages transit agencies to consider actions that ensure commuter safety, such as partnering with ride-hailing companies to transport riders from low-density areas."
Researchers "at The George Washington University in Washington DC have found that ride-hailing companies charge a higher price per mile for a trip if the pick-up point or destination is a neighbourhood with a higher proportion of ethnic minority residents than for those with predominantly white residents."
The implementation of California's AB5 moves forward.
Lyft's announcement is here.
"RideAustin, a local nonprofit that emerged as an alternative to ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft during their brief departure from the city but struggled to carve its place in the market upon their return, is shutting down for good."
"The deal could drive Amazon into an entirely new business: transporting people from one place to another. But some industry analysts think Amazon’s ultimate goal is to repurpose the Zoox vehicle for its core business, delivering packages to shoppers."
In the short term, expect AVs to move more stuff than people.
A brief review of the "interesting ethical issues exist around mobility, ownership and equality."
The cities are Helsinki (Finland), Gjesdal (Norway), Tallinn (Estonia), Lamia (Greece), and Helmond (the Netherlands).
"The 'Integrated Mobility Innovation' grant will aid development of automated technology to be used on CTtransit's 'CTfastrak,' a 9.4-mile rapid transit bus corridor in central Connecticut. The automated technologies will include steering, docking at station platforms and platooning capabilities."
"The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is unveiling the Automated Vehicle Transparency and Engagement for Safe Testing, or AV TEST, Initiative, to provide 'an online, public-facing platform for sharing automated driving system on-road testing activities.'"
Regarding the "AV TEST" cited above: "DOT is asking for volunteers, but safety advocates say the agency is settling for ‘table scraps’"
"The study essentially asserts that the entire concept of robotic cabs doesn’t actually serve poor communities any better than just buying one’s own automobile."
Momenta is "one of Asia’s most valuable artificial intelligence startups."
Vermont's Agency of Transportation is receiving nearly $800,000 in federal funding to support the purchase of four electric transit vehicles for rural communities.
They might help make electrification pencil out, but (of course) it's complicated.
"The Toronto startup, Grocery Neighbour, is developing an app-based mobile supermarket that brings local groceries to your neighbourhood."
An update on FTA's Integrated Mobility Innovation program.
"In January, Moovit’s MaaS APIs were integrated with Cubic’s Traveler app and the companies now say they will leverage Cubic’s mobile payment and fare collection technologies and Moovit’s multimodal journey planner 'to create a platform that offers travellers a seamless and frictionless mobile experience'."
There's so much change in the air an increase in ridership and industry consolidation that many are hopeful micromobility is turning a corner after a very tough few months.
"The growth of shared mobility services and enabling technologies, such as smartphone apps, is contributing to the commodification and aggregation of transportation services. This chapter reviews terms and definitions related to Mobility on Demand (MOD) and Mobility as a Service (MaaS), the mobility marketplace, stakeholders, and enablers."
"The publication is the synopsis of a January 13, 2019, workshop that examined next steps for preparing for a transition to autonomy, and discussed ways to optimize sustainability and ensure equitability. The workshop emphasized the role of public transit, shared mobility, and automation in shaping the future of mobility."
"Columbus, Ohio research team is getting closer to releasing an app that could soon give people with cognitive disabilities more independence on mass transit systems across America."
"App sleuth Jane Manchun Wong has discovered that Google is exploring “connections to public transit” route options that would cover the 'first mile' transportation for certain trips, such as bikes, cars, motorcycles ridesharing services and even auto rickshaws."
"Renting an electric scooter should not give the government the right to trace your every move — where you start, where you end, and all stops, twists, and turns in between. But that’s the situation in the City of Los Angeles where electric scooter rental companies are required to provide real-time and historic GPS tracking data to city officials."
"Nonprofits and advocacy groups signed on to an organization called Communities Against Rider Surveillance—without knowing that the ride-hail giant was involved."
These draft guidelines released by the California Department of Transportation regarding use of the General Transit Feed Specification were developed for the "California Integrated Travel Program (Cal-ITP) dedicated to making travel simpler and cost-effective for all." Includes a good summary of current state of all the GTFS standards and standards-to-be.
This report "is designed to help agencies make decisions about sharing their data, including how to evaluate benefits, costs, and risks."
"The e-Circular summarizes a conference from September 2019 that brought together practitioners involved in all aspects of transportation planning, programming, and the decision making process."
Have more mobility news that we should be reading and sharing? Let us know! Reach out to Sage Kashner (email@example.com).