BMW’s car-sharing service ReachNow has started phasing out its operations in some parts of the US. Last week the company ended its service in Seattle and Portland and announced that it would be closing its offices in the two cities. The new users are redirected towards car2go service. The two cities were served by a fleet of 1000 free-floating vehicles.
The move is connected to the establishment of a joint carsharing service of Daimer and BMW. The joint venture will allow the two companies to compete more aggressively with American giants of sharing economy like Uber, Lyft and Lime. As part of the plan, the two companies will focus their carsharing efforts on the joint Share Now, a mix of car2go and DriveNow services. ReachNow entity will be re-assigned to improving access to public transit.
GM delays commercial self-driving service
General Motors’ self-driving unit Cruise will be delaying the deployment of its commercial self-driving car service beyond the initial target fo 2019. The main reason named was the need for more testing. The company has announced it would expand testing in San Francisco. In the statement, Cruise also said it was working with Honda to develop purpose-built autonomous vehicles.
Cruise has raised around $7.25 billion in the past year. The company’s decision to delay deployment of self-driving cars comes in the footsteps of industry leaders acknowledging that they need more time and resources to ensure the safety of autonomous vehicles on public roads.
This week, a rival self-driving company Waymo announced that it has been using “evolutionary” principles to improve the safety of its vehicles. The approach involves competition between the AI networks of the company with weaker examples being replaced by the stronger ones in an automatic manner. Lyft has published data from its Level 5 self-driving vehicles, giving researchers an opportunity to further contribute to the safety of self-driving systems.
Toyota expands MaaS cooperation with Didi
Toyota has concluded a deal with Didi Chuxing to expand their partnership on Mobility-as-a-Service in China. The two companies announced the establishment of a joint venture. Toyota will invest $600 million in Didi and the joint venture for vehicle-related services for ride-hailing drivers, e.g. vehicle leasing.
The vehicles used by Didi services will be equipped with Toyota’s Mobility Service Platform (MSPF) technologies, allowing the two companies to expand access to various connected services.