UZE Mobility, a startup based in the German city of Aachen, announced that it will be offering its StreetScooter electric vans free of charge to customers. The company hopes to generate revenue through other streams, most importantly from its ‘mobile billboard’ — essentially a screen attached to the shuttles.
Another revenue stream explored by the company is the selling of data — not personal data generated by the users, but information regarding the surroundings. The company says the city of Aachen has expressed interest in the data. UZE Mobility hopes to launch the pilot program in December.
Car data to be copyrighted in the EU
The European Parliament has voted to take out a clause from the proposed copyright law that prevented automakers from copyrighting data generated by autonomous vehicles or other telematics data. The clause that read “data generated by autonomous transport are automatically generated and are by nature not creative, thus making copyright protection or the right on databases inapplicable” has been removed from the bill.
The issue is quite important as autonomous vehicles generate rich data that could be useful for many industries, including city governments. If copyright laws apply to this data, automakers will be able to generate new revenue from reselling the data. A similar case has been raised in the US, where farm equipment manufacturer John Deere prevents owners of its tractors from accessing data generated by these vehicles and resells the data on the crop futures market.
Audi partners up with Huawei
Audi will be partnering with Huawei to work on self-driving technology for vehicles to be sold in China. The two companies will focus on Level 4 technology — a vehicle that completely drives itself from start to finish within a designated area.
Huawei has already demonstrated an Audi Q7 with the company’s Mobile Data Center rig, which consists of several AI chips, CPU, cameras and LIDAR sensors.
China has been relaxing its previous rules for automakers, which obliged the foreign companies to partner up with local companies, with equal shares, to manufacture vehicles in China. As a result of the loosening of the rules, several automakers have already invested more heavily in China. Tesla announced this summer that it will open a new factory in Shanghai, while BMW has increased its stake in Brilliance Auto group.