Ford and Lyft will work collectively to deploy autonomous automobiles [The Verge]
Sum and Substance: Ford introduced right now that it’ll work with Lyft to deploy its self-driving automobiles on the ride-hail service’s platform by 2021. On the floor, it’s yet one more announcement about two corporations partnering on driverless automobiles (snooze). But it’s greater information than it appears for 2 causes: it’s the primary signal that Ford gained’t be going it utterly alone on autonomous driving; and it’s a potential wrinkle within the preexisting relationship between Lyft and Ford’s largest rival, General Motors. Engineers from Ford and Lyft will work collectively to construct software program that permits Ford’s self-driving automobiles to talk with Lyft’s app. Recently, Lyft stated that it might even be designing and manufacturing its personal self-driving know-how stack. And Ford has focused 2021 because the yr it is going to start deploying its absolutely autonomous Ford Fusion hybrids on a ride-hailing service. Now it appears that evidently that service will probably be Lyft’s.
“Think of it this way: Someday, when you open the Lyft app during a period of high demand, Ford and Lyft software will need to be capable of quickly dispatching a self-driving vehicle so that you can get to your destination as quickly and as safely as possible,” Ford’s VP for autonomous automobiles and electrification Sherif Marakby wrote immediately. “And that’s where our work with Lyft begins.” In addition to constructing its personal self-driving know-how, Lyft has stated it’s creating an open platform to deploy autonomous automobiles constructed by different corporations. We now know that this can embrace GM, Jaguar Land Rover, Alphabet’s Waymo, NuTonomy, and now Ford.
Meanwhile, Ford just lately stated it might make investments $1 billion over 5 years in a little-known AI startup referred to as Argo. Neither Lyft nor Ford made any point out of GM of their respective bulletins. A Lyft spokesperson subsequently stated that there can be “no change for our partnership with GM; GM is an investor and board member but the partnership is non-exclusive. Our relationship with GM didn’t play a role in this decision.”
A GM spokesperson echoed that sentiment (and tossed in a little bit of a problem, too): “This does not affect our existing business relationship with Lyft. GM’s plan remains steadfast — we are on track to launch our self-driving technology first in a ride-sharing application.” GM’s announcement that it will be investing $500 million in Lyft again in December 2015 was one of many first in what has since develop into an extended string of bulletins regarding a majority of these partnerships. The emergence of self-driving automobiles, estimated to ultimately be a $7 trillion business, …
My Take: Slowly however certainly, Lyft has been establishing itself as a reputable menace to Uber. They’ve managed to rework their scrappy, quirky id to a considerate, main participant.
Their technique in autonomous automobiles is an effective working example. Lyft is positioning to be the connective tissue between different main gamers on this area. Yes, it’s getting to the purpose the place you want a scorecard to maintain monitor of all of the partnerships rising in self driving automobiles. From this announcement, it definitely seems that a minimum of on my scorecard, Lyft is profitable the sport towards its most important rival, Uber. Lyft now has rising collaborations with virtually all the key gamers – and that’s what is going to decide the large winner in what seems to be an enormous market.
Uber CEO apologizes to Londoners: ‘We got things wrong’ [Money/CNN]
Sum and Substance: Uber’s new CEO issued an apology to Londoners on Monday simply days after metropolis officers stated they might not renew the corporate’s license. “While Uber has revolutionized the way people move in cities around the world, it’s equally true that we’ve got things wrong along the way,” Dara Khosrowshahi wrote in a letter first revealed in London newspaper The Evening Standard. “On behalf of everyone at Uber globally, I apologize for the mistakes we’ve made.” London’s transport authority introduced Friday that it will not renew Uber’s license when it expires on the finish of September, saying the corporate was not “fit and proper” to function within the metropolis. Transport for London (TfL) stated it didn’t like the corporate’s strategy to reporting critical crimes. Also at difficulty: a controversial piece of software program referred to as “Greyball” that forestalls officers from monitoring Uber’s app. (Uber says it has by no means used, or thought-about utilizing, the software program for the needs the London authority cited.)
Uber has stated it plans to problem the choice in courtroom. It additionally began a petition urging London mayor Sadiq Khan to hold Uber within the metropolis. By Monday, greater than 760,00zero individuals had signed it. Khan, who has backed the ban, welcomed Khosrowshahi’s apology and indicated it might open the door to talks between the corporate and metropolis transport officers. “Obviously I am pleased that he has acknowledged the issues that Uber faces in London,” the mayor stated in a press release. “Even though there is a legal process in place, I have asked TfL to make themselves available to meet with him.”
Khosrowshahi took over as Uber’s prime exec final month. This is his first public apology as CEO of the corporate. His predecessor, Travis Kalanick, left behind the fallout from a PR disaster that was kicked up earlier this yr amid allegations that managers didn’t adequately tackle stories of sexual harassment. Critics say the agency has an excessively aggressive tradition that encourages its managers to flout native laws. It’s additionally been the topic of controversies over passenger security, together with driver background checks and pay.
My Take: This is another indication that Dara Khosrowshahi has a vastly totally different strategy and administration type than former CEO Travis Kalanick. Note the London ban on Uber gained’t take have an effect on whereas Uber appeals – which might take years.
But, once more, Lyft appears to have outsmarted Uber. While Uber’s new CEO is issuing an apology to attempt to clean issues over with London authorities, Lyft has quietly been holding conferences to pave their method into the London market. See: Uber arch-rival Lyft quietly met with London regulators 5 times over the last year. According to this text, “Uber’s arch-rival Lyft has quietly met with London’s transport regulators five times over the past 12 months. The meetings, some of which took place over the phone and some in person, suggest that the American transportation firm is at least considering the possibility of expanding to the British capital.”
Uber will now let you already know whenever you’re being a complete jerk to your driver [The Verge]
Sum and Substance: Uber is saying a number of notable modifications in the present day, beginning with a brand new function that permits drivers to supply a further layer of suggestions to unruly riders. Working off the idea that nobody likes IRL confrontation, drivers can now select from a preselected record of causes to clarify why they rated a passenger as lower than 5 stars. So the subsequent time you’re taking too lengthy getting within the automotive, or you could have a loud telephone dialog within the again seat, you’ll be listening to about it out of your Uber driver.
The replace will ask drivers “what went wrong” in the event that they choose a four-star score or much less. They can then select from an inventory of causes: “wait time,” “patience,” “number of riders,” “attitude,” “wanted new route,” or “other.” If a rider will get the identical “tag” twice inside 30 days, a notification will seem once they open the Uber app to allow them to know that their conduct is affecting their score.
According to Uber, drivers typically complain that poor rider conduct is usually a main explanation for stress, particularly throughout UberPool journeys. Drivers have all the time been in a position to fee riders after the journey, however now they are going to be in a position to depart particular suggestions that Uber can then floor to riders to allow them to enhance their score. Whether riders take the criticism to coronary heart or dismiss it as patronizing, although, stays to be seen.
The irony, in fact, is that Uber is saying this new function at a time when its personal popularity has suffered from collection of damaging, self-inflicted controversies and scandals. A cascading collection of studies of a poisonous office, hostility towards its feminine staff, secret packages to evade the authorities, and extra have served to blunt the startup’s momentum. The firm’s new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, was pressured to publicly apologize for Uber’s many transgressions after London officers declined to renew the corporate’s license to function in that metropolis….
These modifications are a part of the corporate’s general “180 days of change” apology tour that it hopes will assist shore up its relations to its drivers and riders. … Most of the modifications introduced at the moment relate to UberPool, a service that’s seen by many at Uber as core to the corporate’s mission of improved transportation, however has been suffering from poor suggestions from riders and drivers. Riders are lured in by cheaper fares, solely to grow to be aggravated by frequent detours to decide up new passengers. Drivers complain that UberPool typically means extra work with out essentially extra pay. …
To assist sweeten the load for drivers, Uber will now supply a further flat fare for every added passenger they decide up throughout an UberPool journey. Uber says it is going to be shouldering a significant portion of the added value of those journeys by way of a discount of the service charge the corporate applies to every journey. Still, the upfront fare a rider receives on an UberPool journey would be the fare she or he pays, no matter whether or not there are further pickups or not. The pickup fare will vary from $zero.50 (in Miami) to $1.00 (in San Francisco), relying on the town. Assumedly, it’s because the demand for UberPool is larger in San Francisco than Miami. …
My Take: These modifications are welcome, however how far more troublesome wouldn’t it have been to add a number of extra choices to this suggestions loop, like “underage passenger” or “total nut case”?