The death of cars was greatly exaggerated

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The founders of Uber and Lyft, among others, declared that people would no longer need to own cars. Instead, car ownership is rising.

Throw your driver’s license out the window. Better yet, don’t get one at all.

For nearly a decade, that’s been the message from buzzy transportation companies. In 2011, car-sharing company Zipcar touted a study claiming millennials believe car ownership is difficult. The same year, Zimride, founded by the guys who would later cofound Lyft, was touted as a startup challenging the “old model of individual ownership.” Former Uber head Travis Kalanick boasted that his driver’s license had expired and that his 1999 BMW M3 convertible—his only car—had a broken alternator.

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We pit the Uber Copter vs. public transit in a race to JFK — here’s who won

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One is a bumpy, deafening and slightly nauseating way to get to John F. Kennedy Airport — the other is public transportation.

The Post put Uber’s new helicopter shuttle to JFK to the test, racing the car-sharing company and its chopper from Midtown to the hub against old-fashioned New York City Transit — which proved three minutes swifter at a sliver of the price.

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Chinese passenger drone maker EHang is said to file for U.S. IPO

 

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An EHang Inc. E-184 drone.

 Technology startup is working on producing passenger drones.

EHang may raise as much as $200 million in public offering.

EHang, one of China’s largest drone makers, has made a confidential application for an initial public offering with Nasdaq Inc., according to people with knowledge of the matter.

EHang plans to float 10% to 15% of its shares, with the company’s valuation not yet set due to volatile market conditions, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. EHang may raise as much as $200 million in the IPO, one of the people said.

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New INRIX Research ranks the top U.S. cities where micromobility has the most potential

 

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KIRKLAND, Wash., Sept. 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Micromobility (defined as shared bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters) has the potential to deliver substantial benefits to consumers and businesses around the world, including efficient and cost-effective travel, reduced traffic congestion, decreased emissions and a boost to the local economy.

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Meet Olli 2.0, a 3D-printed autonomous shuttle

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From afar, Olli resembles many of the “future is now!” electric autonomous shuttles that have popped up in recent years.

The tall rectangular pod, with its wide-set headlights and expansive windows nestled between a rounded frame, gives the shuttle a friendly countenance that screams, ever so gently, “come along, take a ride.”

But Olli is different in almost every way, from how it’s produced to its origin story. And now, its maker, Local Motors, has given Olli an upgrade in hopes of accelerating the adoption of its autonomous shuttles.

Meet Olli 2.0, a 3D-printed connected electric autonomous shuttle that Rogers says will hasten its ubiquity.

“The future is here; it’s just not evenly distributed,” Local Motors co-founder and CEO John B. Rogers Jr. said in a recent interview. “That’s something I say a lot. Because people often ask me, ‘Hey, when will I see this vehicle? 2023? What do you think?’ My response: It’s here now, it’s just not everywhere.”

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Lyft’s main taxi business is already profitable in some areas, but self-driving cars and bike-sharing are eating into that revenue

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A man rides a Lyft scooter near the White House in Washington DC Reuters

JPMorgan says Lyft’s core ride-hailing business is already profitable in certain markets.

It’s other bets on things like bikes, scooters, and self-driving cars that are dragging down the company’s balance sheet.

Other Wall Street analysts have also raised their estimates and targets for Lyft following second-quarter earnings that topped expectations.

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The dream of flying taxis may not be too far off

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Then again, Henry Ford said the same thing in 1940.

“Mark my words. A combination of airplane and motorcar is coming. You may smile. But it will come,” Henry Ford quipped in 1940. Our dreams of cars capable of taking flight at the whim of their driver have been around nearly as long as we’ve had cars themselves, or at least as long as we’ve endured heavy commute traffic. Yet the prospect of actual, commercially available flying automobiles has always seemed to remain just out of reach, only a few years from viability. But even as drones become commonplace, are we really any closer to an age of aeronautical automobiles than we were in Ford’s day?

What even is a flying car? Designs have run the gamut from the AVE Mizar (basically a Ford Pinto with wings, to VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) designs like the Piasecki VZ-8 Airgeep. Even today, you’ve got roadable aircraft like the Terrafugia Transition, though these are quickly being pushed into the periphery in favor of VTOLs like the Bell Nexus being developed for Uber Elevate. That is, modern designs generally focus on serving as personal aircraft, rather than automobiles that can also fly.

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After drones & self-driving vehicles, Japan shows flying cars are no longer a distant dream

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While drones and self-driving cars have been making the headlines, Japan has reportedly have cracked the code of making flying cars. Though the car was caged and only hovered for about a minute in the air, it was a successful attempt to make the vehicle fly. In an experiment right out of the sci-fi movies, this has been accomplished by Japan’s NEC Corp. While it is a small development directing towards bigger accomplishments, there is also a debate on whether it really is a flying “car” or just a bigger version of a drone.

What Can The Flying Car Accomplish?

The prototype which was unveiled by Japan’s NEC Corp had four propellers that could smoothly hover for about a minute. It was powered by a battery and could rise to about the height of 3 meters or 10 feet above the ground before setting down again. While the prototype that Japanese electronics maker demonstrated was flown without passengers in it, the company claims that it is capable of doing so in the future.

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For the struggling legacy transit systems, new mobility options present challenges and opportunities

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Despite decades of ridership and revenue growth, the country’s busiest transit systems have struggled in recent years both at the turnstile and in the farebox, even as operating costs and unmet capital needs continue to grow. Metropolitan transit agencies serving New York, Chicago, Washington, DC, Boston and San Francisco, the country’s five largest systems, have all seen ridership declines in each of the last three years, and only the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) saw revenues increase, according to financial disclosures.

Some of the decline can be attributed to service quality. But these systems are also challenged by competition from ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft, bike-share programs and the ever-polarizing electric scooter phenomenon.

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Autonomous air mobility company EHang to deploy air shuttle service in Guangzhou

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China’s EHang, a company focused on developing and deploying autonomous passenger and freight low-altitude vehicles, will build out its first operational network of air taxis and transports in Guangzhou. The company announced that the Chinese city would play host to its pilot location for a citywide deployment.

The pilot will focus on not only showing that a low-altitude, rotor-powered aircraft makes sense for use in cities, but that a whole network of them can operate autonomously in concert, controlled and monitored by a central traffic management hub that EHang will develop together with the local Guangzhou government.

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Uber will test its flying taxis in Melbourne

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The company has chosen Melbourne as its third test city.

 

Uber has chosen the third test city to join Dallas and Los Angeles for its flying taxi trials: Melbourne, Australia. The third location was supposed to be Dubai, but negotiations fell through and prompted the company to look for another site for trials outside the US. Uber considered Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Paris, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Tokyo and Sydney. In the end, Melbourne won.

Susan Anderson, Uber’s Regional General Manager for Australia, New Zealand and North Asia, told Reuters that it’s because the Australian government “adopted a forward-looking approach to ridesharing and future transport technology.” Melbourne, in particular, has a “unique demographic and geospatial factors, and culture of innovation and technology” that make it perfect for the trials.

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Uber begins talks with Indian government to push for flying taxis

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Ride-hailing firm Uber has begun talks with the government to usher in a regulatory framework for flying taxis in the country, a top company executive told ET.

Uber has begun talks with the Indian government to push for flying taxis. Ride-hailing firm Uber has begun talks with the government to usher in a regulatory framework for flying taxis in the country.

Over the last one year, the San Francisco-based company has held conversations with regulators in India and met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said Nikhil Goel, head of product, aviation at Uber, in an interaction with ET on the sidelines of an Uber Elevate event here.

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