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The Station: Amazoox, TuSimple seeks $250M and the next e-scooter battleground

The Station is a weekly newsletter dedicated to all things transportation. Sign up here — really click The Station — to receive it every Saturday in your inbox.

Hi friends and first-time readers. Welcome back to The Station, a newsletter dedicated to all the present and future lanes parties and packs move from Point A to Point B. I’m your legion Kirsten Korosec, major transportation reporter at TechCrunch.

Remember please reach out and email me at kirsten.korosec @techcrunch. com to share thoughts, criticisms, offer up opinions or tips-off. You can also send a direct message to me at Twitter — @kirstenkorosec.

Typically this seat is where I philosophize about a specific event and rising transportation trend. This week, let’s all take a pause to remember Jessi Combs, who was officially and posthumously declared to hold the fastest land hurrying record by a woman.

The Guinness Book of World Records certified the coming week the 522.783 mph tract acceleration be reported that Combs achieved August 27, 2019 in the Alvord Desert in Oregon. Combs died after her vehicle gate-crashed during that run. It’s the first time a brand-new record has been set in this category in more than 40 times. Kitty O’Neil give the record with her 512.7 mph led set back in 1976.

Here’s to you Jessi, the fastest woman on earth.

Did anyone have trouble keeping up with all the slews, virtual automotive discovers and policy decisions this week? Yeah. Me too. Let’s got to get it. Vamos.


A couple of municipalities are emerging as brand-new battlegrounds for the shared e-scooter market. New York City is a biggie.

This week, the New York City Council approved a statute that will require the New York Department of Transportation to create a pilot program for the operation of shared electric scooters in the town. The DOT now has until October 15, 2020 to issue a request for proposals to participate in a shared e-scooter pilot program.

The pilot program must launch by March 1, 2021. The NY council will continue to work with DOT on determining where to set up the captain( this is the important part ). If the pilot program restraint the service area it was able to prove a failing, several e-scooter companies and proposes told me. We know it won’t include Manhattan. That leaves four other boroughs.

Just about every e-scooter company — and a number of other least known participates — are planning to apply for the permit. The next nine months promises a great deal of lobbying act. These conglomerates are already busy, according to our roots. Stay adjusted!

The NY city council also approved two laws about the use of privately owned electrical motorcycles and scooters.

Meanwhile, Apple has finally computed a new biking feature to Maps. The newest version of iOS is wreaking a legion of brand-new facets to Maps, including a dedicated cycling option that will optimize itineraries for bicyclists and even give consumers know if the superhighway includes challenging mounds. Apple Maps has included public transit and walking in previous iterations. But the biking alternative has been the most requested, according to Apple major lead Stacey Lysik.

Administer of the week

Amazoooooxxxxx. Zamazon? It’s a thing now. In occasion you missed it, Amazon acquired Zoox.

There have been rumors, surmise and reports about the fate of self-driving vehicle startup for months now. The WSJ had the first report in May that Amazon was in talks to acquire the self-driving company.

The official announcement, which was issued Friday morning, didn’t reveal much about the terms of the treat except that Zoox CEO Aicha Evans and co-founder and CTO Jesse Levinson will continue to lead Zoox as a standalone business.

As you might expect, there was nary a business figure in sight. The Financial Times introduced the distribute at $1.2 billion and The Information pegged it at” more than$ 1 billion .” Either way, the acquisition price was well below the $3.2 billion valuation Zoox achieved during two years before.

It wasn’t a secret that Zoox was struggling to raise a large enough round. As I’ve territory several eras before, Zoox has the kind of intentions that require a mountain of capital. And by mountain, I mean far north of$ 1 billion. The company isn’t just structure the full self-driving stack — virtually the suite of hardware and software that changes a human driver. It made on the specific characteristics and development of a new bidirectional electrical vehicle with no steering wheel and it plans to operate a ride-hailing service as well.

The upshot: Zoox didn’t have a lot of options. Numerous automakers, Tier 1 suppliers and tech companionships had already formed their various partnerships and partnerships, leaving Zoox on its own. Amazon certainly has the resources to help it reached its exalted goals. That is, IF Amazon doesn’t change those goals for Zoox. For now, Amazon is publicly putting to Zoox’ mission to build and operate a fleet of robotaxis.

And we can expect more Amazon flexing in the transport industry. The e-commerce announced the coming week a $ 2 billion Climate Pledge Fund to invest in sustainable engineerings and assistances that will help the company reach its commitment to be net-zero carbon in its own operations by 2040. Some of that coin will go towards automation and transportation.

Other batches that got our scrutiny ….

Self-driving truck startup TuSimple has hired asset bank Morgan Stanley to help it raise $ 250 million, numerou generators was just telling me. Morgan Stanley recently sent potential investors an informational packet, which I also ended, that adds a snapshot of the company and an overview of its business model, as well as a move on why the company is poised to succeed. TuSimple has raised about $ 298 million with a valuation of more than$ 1 billion. Its benefactors include Sina, motorist of China’s biggest microblogging website Weibo, Hong Kong-based investment firm Composite Capital, Nvidia, UPS, CDH Investment, Lavender Capital and Tier 1 supplier Mando Corporation.

ADAM CogTech, an Israeli automotive application startup, fostered$ two million from Mobilion Ventures, the company said. Mobilion is an early-stage fund that invests in smart mobility, focusing on Israeli and world-wide after-market innovation.

Amazon’s $575 million investment into UK food delivery startup Deliveroo has been cleared by the country’s tournament regulator. The financing, which was announced more than a year ago, demonstrated Amazon a 16% stake in Deliveroo. Now that CMA has provisionally cleared the bargain, it is open for public mentions until July 10. A final judgment is expected August 6.

Cazoo, the British online consumed gondola marketplace, raised PS2 5 million at a valuation in excess of$ 1 billion. Draper Esprit attached existing investors in the round, a group that includes DMG Ventures and General Catalyst. Cazoo has raised more than PS200 million to date.

DriveU.auto, an Israeli startup that spun out of video transmission technology company LiveU, came out of stealth with $ 4 million in new sources of funding. The startup has developed a connectivity programme for teleoperations. The fund round was led by RAD group co-founder Zohar Zisapel and included participation from Two Lanterns Venture Partners, Yigal Jacoby, Kaedan Capital and other private investors. Francisco Collaborator is an existing shareholder.

Lucid Motors gave up majority ownership to Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund in exchange for the $1.3 billion investment it closed last year, according to information disclosed in a new lawsuit, the Verge reported. Wired Middle East previously reported the PIF had taken a 67% stake. However, this is the first time an acknowledgment from the company has been made public.

Shift Technologies, an online squandered car marketplace, is in talks to merge with blank-check firm Insurance Acquisition Corp ., Bloomberg reported. Shift is aiming to be valued at more than $ 500 million in the deal.

Third Wave Automation, a startup developing autonomous forklift engineering, emerged from stealth with $15 million in equity financing, VentureBeat reported.

Volkswagen is in talks to buy Europcar Mobility Group, the French automobile rental companionship that has a market capitalization of 390 million euros ($ 441 million) and net obligation as of more than 1 billion euros, Reuters reported.


Trucks have popped up a lot this week, so I figured, heck let’s dig in a bit. The large-scale swank discussion is about how robotaxis are OUT and autonomous Class 8 trucks are IN. This move forward towards trucking has actually been happening for awhile now.

The niche subcategory in the autonomous vehicle industry was rather empty in 2015 when TuSimple was founded. Then self-driving truck startup Otto came along. Uber’s 2016 buy of Otto certainly wreaked some attention to the sector. But a number of other startups had also thrown their respective hats into the trucking resounding, including Embark and the now defunct Starsky Robotics. Today, this sub-industry includes Ike, Kodiak Robotics and Waymo.

This week, Amazon-backed Aurora received some press for its “shift” to trucking located off of an interview with co-founder Sterling Anderson during The Information’s Autonomous Vehicle Summit.

Let’s be clear, the company has been publicly talking about trucks since at least October 2019. The striking bit is that Anderson shared more about its working in collaboration with trucks and was clearly bullish on its full potential in the marketplace. Together, his comments suggest that the company is prioritizing the development of autonomous trucks over cars.

But the company designed a full self-driving stack meant to have a variety of works , not just passenger cars. In a tweet after the interview, Anderson summarized its entire approach.

We’re compelled by a product track that get from midriff mile to last-place mile to mobility services.

If you can swing this technically, it allows for an elegant transition from the largest market( today) with the best component economics and lowest level of service requirements to smaller, but rapidly growing groceries with more challenging unit economics and level of service needs”

In other truckin’ story …

The California Air Reserve Board adopted a new regulation to phase out the most polluting vehicles on the road today. The pattern will require truck manufacturers to transition from diesel trucks and vans to electric zero-emission trucks starts in 2024. By 2045, each new truck sold under California will be zero-emission.

Russian-Finnish company Zyfra is using 5G technology to replace Wi-Fi/ mesh networks used for autonomous mining dump trucks, CNET’s Roadshow reports.

Luminary speaks and other tidbits

AVs, ride-hailing, electric vehicles and more!

Autonomous vehicles …

Didi Chuxing said Saturday( today) that its on-demand robotaxi service will start picking up equestrians in Shanghai, China. Passengers may start requesting on-demand razzs for free on autonomous vehicles within a labelled open-traffic area that extends Shanghai’s Automobile Exhibition Center, the local business districts, subway stations and hotels in downtown Shanghai, the company said in a press release.

Lyft is using data collected from drivers on its ride-hailing app to accelerate the development of self-driving autoes. Lyft’s Level 5 self-driving car program is using the data to build 3D maps, understand human driving structures and improve simulation experiments. The program is taking data from select vehicles in its Express Drive program, which provides rental gondolas and SUVs to moves on its platform as an alternative to alternatives like long-term leasing

Waymo and Volvo Car Group announced Thursday an “exclusive” partnership to integrate Waymo’s self-driving software into a brand-new electrical vehicle designed for ride-hailing. Not a ton of detail about the spate or what “exclusive” conveys. We know that Volvo and Uber still have a partnership. The deal with Waymo involves integrating its self-driving stack into an” all-new mobility-focused electric vehicle pulpit for move heralding assistances .” The partnership also includes other subsidiaries under Volvo Car Group, including electrical conduct firebrand Polestar and Lynk& Co. International, a point that Volvo Car Group CTO Henrik Green exclusively was contained in his prepared statement.

Mercedes-Benz and Nvidia announced a partnership to bring “software-defined” vehicles to marketplace. The automaker’s next-generation vehicles will have a software-centric computing architecture based on Nvidia’s Drive AGX Orin computer system-on-a-chip. The underlying design is likely to be standard in Mercedes vehicles, starting sometime toward the end of 2024.

It’s electrical …

Apple has added a routing feature to Maps that’s designed for electric vehicle owneds. The EV routing feature, which will be available in the most current version of iOS, will show charging stations compatible to a user’s electrical vehicle along their superhighway. TechCrunch’s Romain Dillet got a bit more information on this boast. He tells me that users will be able to enter their automobile representation in the app, which will be supported stops. The used can sounds on the stops to see if the accusing station is free or not. On sidenote, Apple is also releasing a feature that will prompt you to raise your phone and scan buildings across the street to refine your site. This peculiarity is based on Look Around, a Google Street View-inspired feature that lets you look around as if you were walking down the street.

Arrival revealed a zero-emission bus, the next step in the company to become a major electrical transportation company, the Verge reported.

Ars Technica excavates into one Ohio city’s plan to get more beings to buy electric cars. Hint: it worked.

Lordstown Motors launched an electric pickup truck prototype with four in-wheel hub machines and a few cases other pieces all purported squarely at attracting contractors and other buyers in the business sell. The Ohio startup didn’t get too deep into the details about the electric pickup truck known as Endurance. But we know a few more chips such as a $52,500 base price and some partnerships.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter that September 15 is the” tentative appointment” for the ” Tesla Shareholder Meeting& Battery Day ,” which will include the usual shareholder meeting as well as a safarus of the automaker’s cadre make structure for the artilleries that provision the capability for its vehicles.

Speaking of Tesla … the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a initial investigation into allegations of failing touchscreens on Tesla’s older Model S vehicles.

Ride-hailing …

Lyft has agreed to settle a suit from the U.S. Department of Justice that alleges the ridesharing fellowship discriminated against disabled people — exclusively those who use foldable wheelchairs or walkers.

Miscellaneous …

Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs plans to spin out some of its smart-alecky municipal ideas into separate fellowships focused on mass timber construction, economical electrification and planning tools optimized with machine learning and computation design, CEO Daniel Doctoroff said at Collision from Home conference, VentureBeat reported.

Ford’s Michigan Central is collaborating with Brooklyn-based Newlab to launch two” Innovation Studios “ concentrates on solving composite transportation industry problems related to connectivity, freedom and electrification. A corporate studio sponsored by Ford will kick off this summer to address macro mobility publishes. A second civic studio will follow focusing on more immediate mobility issues in the neighborhoods around Michigan Central Station. In 2018, Ford acquired 1.2 million square paws in Corktown, Detroit’s oldest vicinity, including the historic Michigan Central Station, with plans to establish a new mobility invention quarter announced Michigan Central. The first undertaking rooms are expected to open within Michigan Central in 2022.

GM turned to 3D printing for a C8 Corvette prototype. In the end, 75% of the vehicle was 3D engraved, Car and Driver reported.

See ya’ll next week!

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