Uber is working on integrating autonomous technology into its bike- and scooter-sharing services. For this purpose, the ride-sharing giant has created a new division, Micromobility Robotics, which will be part of the JUMP group, responsible for shared electric bikes and scooters. The bike will drive themselves to user destinations, as well as, to the charging stations.
Last month, Uber presented new generation JUMP bikes with self-diagnostic capabilities and swappable batteries. The new model aims to improve system utilization, operating system, fleet uptime, and other key metrics.
Jeep testing P2P carsharing with Turo and Avis
Jeep will start testing peer-to-peer car sharing and subscription services. The two separate programs will run as a pilot for three months. The peer-to-peer service will be run in partnership with Turo, a startup that has been running a similar service with 350,000 vehicles. On subscription service, the company will work with Avis and will include models like Dodge Challenger and RAM 1500.
Both programs will debut in Boston with a limited, 100 Jeep owners each. Other car makers have jumped on P2P and subscription services last year. GM started P2P car sharing under its Maven brand, Cadillac started a subscription service Book, but shut it down in November, Lincoln continues its subscription service, and Volvo’s Care by Volvo has been quite successful. Although, all programs are small in scale.
Ford shatters Chariot
Chariot, a shuttle service startup owned by Ford, operating in 9 American cities and London, is shutting down. The company announced that it will be ending its services in London on January 25th and in the US on February 1st. The company spokesperson said Chariot’s service “was not sustainable for the company going forward”.
Chariot was founded in 2014 and acquired by Ford in 2016 for $65 million. The company founder, Ali Vahabzadeh left the company in February 2018.
Shared shuttles are one of the models that are being explored for sustainable urban mobility. Mercedes-Benz and Via collaboration ViaVan works in several cities now and has partnered with Berlin’s public transit authority, BVG, operating BerlKoenig service in the city. Volkswagen-owned MOIA is also launching its shuttle service in coming months.