The Suburb Where Golf Carts Rule the Roads | Sep 01st, 2023
This week we have updates on most colleges banning e-bikes, Specialized’s latest e-cargo bike the Haul LT, Cruise’s robotaxi launch in Seattle and Washington, DC, and Buycycle’s expansion in US.
Issue [#202] - Every week, we deliver analysis and curation of emerging mobility news - post a job listing here!
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University students have found electric bicycles to be a great option for getting around campuses and college towns, but many colleges are now banning these electric two-wheelers. The main reasons behind the ban are found to be the increased risk of fires and collisions with pedestrians. But would outright banning them be a perfect solution to these issues? | Electrek
Unlike other American cities, Peachtree City has a unique way of getting around. They use golf carts. At McIntosh High School in Peachtree City, Georgia, students hop into golf carts instead of cars to head home. The town has 9,300 registered golf carts, making it an all-ages suburb where golf carts are intrinsic to local life. The city was founded in the 1950s with a concept of car-free circulation paths and now, it offers many lessons for new developments on the outskirts and existing suburbs trying to reduce emissions | Bloomberg
The US market is getting rid of not just small pickups but all fancy small vehicles like the Honda Fit. It may be partly because consumers want more range capacity, which requires bigger cars to fit bigger batteries. And partly because the auto industry, driven by profit, seems to be doing everything possible to make sure that Americans prefer huge vehicles | Blackbird Spy Plane
Electric motorcycles can be up to 70% cheaper to operate than gasoline ones, but the limited range and charging facilities can be a deal-breaker for Brazil’s delivery drivers. But with Vammo’s new cabinets, the delivery drivers can swap their empty batteries with fully charged ones, saving them time and money at the same time! | via Jack Sarvary
According to Jeremy Vine, a BBC and Channel 5 presenter who loves cycling, bicycles should have the right of way in towns and cities. He thinks that cars and vans are slower than bicycles in urban areas, and they should let them pass by pulling over when they see them in their rear-view mirror. He also suggests properly segregating motor vehicles and bicycles to reduce accidents | The Times
Product Launches & Updates
The all-electric sedan from Lotus, formerly called the Type 133, has a new name: Emeya. Planned to be fully revealed on September 7, the Emeya is the third EV from Lotus, after the Evija supercar and the Eletre SUV. The expected features of the new member include Lotus' Electric Premium Architecture, a 112.0-kilowatt-hour battery, a 644 km range, and a dual-motor setup with AWD. But the spec that stands out the most is the car's active aerodynamics | ArenaEV
After the COVID-19 pandemic shut down its operations, EBCO, a British e-bike brand from 2010, has returned with a new website, new bikes, and enhanced technical features. The 2023 e-bikes have LG batteries hidden in the frames for a smoother look, and the frames have a more modern geometry for more comfort and handling. They also offer more frame sizes, which is a boon for riders who are very short or very tall | eBike Tips
Get ready to meet Specialized’s second e-bike from its resurrected Globe brand, the Haul LT, a long-tailed cargo bike with fat tires, a sturdy aluminum frame, and a $3,500 price tag. Additionally, the Haul LT is rated for 441 lbs (200kg) of cargo, rider included, with a 772Wh battery to power up a 60-mile ride. But that’s not all. Specialized is also launching a range of new accessories to go along with the new member of the Globe family | The Verge
Are you looking for a convenient and affordable way to ride an e-bike in LA? Wombi is the first full-service subscription service that provides you with premium electric cargo bikes from Tern Bicycles. For as low as $99/month, you can enjoy the benefits of an e-bike without worrying about delivery, repairs, and maintenance | via @Wombi_US
Ridehailing, Carsharing & Delivery
AI is changing the way businesses operate, and popular delivery apps are not lagging behind. Uber Technologies Inc. is developing an artificial intelligence chatbot that will give suggestions to customers who order food online and help them place their orders faster, and considering DoorDash’s DashAI and Instacart’s chatbot in development based on OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology, Uber is not the only one to work on integrating AI into its operations! | Bloomberg
Cruise, General Motors’ self-driving unit, is preparing to launch commercial robotaxi services in Seattle and Washington, DC. It has started collecting data by manually driving its vehicles in these cities. It will also map the roads and traffic conditions. While Cruise aims for expansion, it is also facing issues regarding its services in San Francisco, where it secured permits for 24/7 services along with its competitor Alphabet’s Waymo | TechCrunch
Imagine ordering your favorite food from your favorite restaurant with just a few words. No more waiting on hold, no more repeating your order, no more hassle. That’s what DoorDash is offering with its new answering service for restaurants. Restaurants can use the new service to let AI handle phone calls and take orders from customers, with the option of switching to live agents at any time for customer support | The Verge
The last-mile delivery system has been under a lot of stress due to the increase in e-commerce since the COVID-19 pandemic, and according to consultancy firm McKinsey, it will escalate in the coming years. While last-mile deliveries increasingly contribute to traffic congestion and pollution, technologies like delivery robots, electric delivery vehicles, smart parcel lockers, autonomous vehicles, and delivery drones can be sustainable options to avoid these issues | CNN
Investment & Deals
XPeng, a Chinese electric vehicle startup, is set to acquire Didi's smart EV assets in a notable partnership worth $744 million. This move adds to XPeng's growing list of strategic alliances as it competes with Tesla in the electric vehicle market | TechCrunch
In response to the growing demand for affordable pre-owned bikes, Buycycle is expanding its presence in the United States. Through its thriving marketplace, Buycycle offers a platform for giving pre-owned bikes a second life | Tech.eu
American Airlines has been fined $4.1 million by the Department of Transportation (DOT) for unlawfully subjecting thousands of passengers to extended tarmac delays | U.S Department of Transportation
Geely-backed electric vehicle brand Zeekr and well-funded autonomous driving startup WeRide are creating significant impact in their respective domains. Zeekr benefits from Geely's financial support, while WeRide has successfully raised over $1 billion in funding | TechCrunch
Cities & Policy
Ahead of the 2024 Olympics, Paris is set to become one of the few cities in Europe to implement a complete ban on rented e-scooters. In response, operators are preparing to expand their e-bike fleets as a replacement option | CNBC
Situated within Bentonville, Ark.'s Coler Mountain Bike Reserve, Airship Coffee is exclusively accessible by bike or on foot. Visitors can park their vehicles in a designated lot approximately one mile away on a paved path | StreetsBlog USA
Connecticut's recently launched e-bike rebate program has gained popularity in urban areas, attracting hundreds of new riders to embrace electric biking | CT Insider
By the end of this year, Mercedes-Benz plans to inaugurate its initial DC fast charging stations in Atlanta, Georgia, along with locations in China and Germany. This move is part of their ambitious goal to install a total of 2,000 chargers by the end of 2024 | The Verge
New Products, Features & Data Points
AI chatbots handling navigation requests have enabled OnStar operators to focus on addressing more intricate queries, such as emergency service requests, thus optimizing their workload | The Verge
NHTSA seeks additional information from Tesla regarding Autopilot safety, indicating a need for further assessment | TechCrunch
A program within the Air Force illustrates the Pentagon's increasing recognition of the vast potential of a rapidly emerging technology. This acknowledgment has far-reaching implications for war-fighting strategies, military culture, and the defense industry as a whole | The New York Times
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