Free Tickets to MOVE Austin, SMART GRANTS Revealed, Event Recap
Free Tickets to MOVE Austin, SMART GRANTS Revealed, Event Recap
MOVE America – the #1 tech mobility and start-up show in America – is back live and in-person at the Palmer Events Center, Austin, TX, this month (September 27-28 2022).
MOVE America is THE meeting place for thousands of America’s biggest players from across the urban mobility spectrum: Government, OEMs, Transport & Fleet Operators, Transit Authorities, Road & Highway Operators, Energy & Charging companies, Startups, VCs and Investors, Logistics Supply Chain, Tech and more.
Use code CURB100 to get your ticket absolutely free of charge!
It takes less than 5 minutes to book, secure yours today before they run out.
The 366 incredible speakers taking to 20 stages include senior VPs and C-level representation from Ford, General Motors, EnergyX, Lucid Motors, Hertz, Embark Trucks, GM Cruise, Volta Trucks, Nova Bus, Lyft, CapMetro, Daimler Trucks, Proterra, Amtrak, DHL Supply Chain, Honda, Veo, TXDOT, MassDOT, Toyota, Austin Energy, and hundreds more.
The packed conference schedule will cover topics including the latest tech designed to reduce emissions and congestion, cutting-edge transport technology, the future of the personal vehicle, sustainable living, the future of the cityscape, ride-sharing and multimodality, the new regulatory landscape, and much more.
Plus, the giant exhibition floor features over 200 exhibitors and startups from across the urban mobility spectrum, and a test track for you to personally try out the latest EVs and micromobility innovations, brand-new for 2022. Register now with code CURB100.
SEPTEMBER EVENT RECAP
ITS World Congress: September is always a mad month for conferences, culminating in MOVE America (score your free tix, above.) But the largest of the transportation / urbanism events that have kept us busy from coast to coast is without a doubt ITS World Congress, wrapping up today in Los Angeles. While the gathering is still rather focused on how more ever-more radar and lidar might "reduce" congestion and speed up freeways, there have been some interesting announcements and product reveals that touch on the curb. Navtech announced a push into the USA, including a new regional HQ, and a deployment in Maryland that might help with ever elusive Vision Zero goals. Meanwhile, Miovision revealed the portable "Explore" edition of its Scout street and sidewalk monitoring camera solution - hopefully enabling more cities to get a grasp of their curbside activities.
ITS also has implications for big shippers and delivery firms. Speaking with Janine Stuchl, of Germany's PTV Group, she said, "last mile delivery is a crucial challenge in cities and by far the most expensive part of the supply chain, accounting for as much as 30-50% of total delivery cost. Every failed delivery attempt or wrong turn drives up the costs even more, apart from increasing congestion and pollution.... PTV Route Optimiser, for example, automatically optimizes orders for fleets across all vehicles and calculates the most efficient routes for multiple stops, while taking into account all relevant restrictions such as HOS and vehicle attributes. This saves customers like DHL but also smaller fleets up to 17% of overall transportation costs, reducing emissions & congestion at the same time."
Micromobility America: Bike and scooter heads returned to the SF Bay Area last week, for an expanded edition of Micromobility's flagship event. One recurring topic was how cities are getting ever more demanding that operators ensure their hardware can deter bad rider behavior, juicing the market for solutions like Drover or Helbiz's just-announced ParkSense. Also making the rounds were an increasing number of specialized scooter brands that are focused on vehicles for delivery workers.
Smart City Expo USA: While this Miami Beach gathering looked at cities as a whole, the curb was still a hot topic. Given the locale, a strong Knight Foundation presence was a given, which meant that their recent report on delivery robots was a recurring topic of conversation. Also of note were a number of solutions that look to empower citizens to make their streets tidier and more pleasant, including New Orleans-based ISeeChange. A number of vendors also had their own solutions for decluttering the curb, including our friends the bike dock impresarios at Bikeep and Swiftmile. Plus, a sizable cadre of southeastern mayors kept attendees looking lively...
HOT INDUSTRY NEWS & GOSSIP
Feds Feed Curbs with $100M in SMART Grants: The coffers for curbs are looking a little flusher, thanks to Monday's announcement by the Biden administration. The DOT announced $100 million in SMART grant funding, paired with $60 million for the more highway-centric ATTAIN program (gotta love those DC acronyms.) The Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation Grants Program could really turbocharge the rethinking of curbs and delivery zones across the country, with cash earmarked for coordinated automation, connected vehicles, sensors, systems integration, delivery/logistics, innovative aviation, smart grids, and traffic signals.
Speaking with Automotus about this consequential development, the company's Chief of Staff Kelly Ferguson said, "Historically, cities, states, and MPOs have had to prioritize investments in repairing and maintaining existing physical infrastructure over making large scale investments in technologies that can help them better manage their increasingly multimodal ecosystems; the SMART grants program changes this. The SMART funding program is an incredible opportunity for cities of all sizes to dive into curb management in a thoughtful way to reduce emissions, congestion, and improve safety. This grant is another strong signal of how the federal government is prioritizing intelligent infrastructure, including curb management, by unlocking sizable investments in technologies critical for decarbonization, a more equitable mobility landscape, and safer streets."
Delivery Wars: Meow Mix? More like RIGHT NOW Mix... as Instacart looks to shake up the pet food game thanks to a new same-day delivery partnership with Mars. (OK technically they don't own Meow Mix but I can't think of any good puns involving Whiskas...) Meanwhile, DoorDash signed on new grocery partners, including Sprouts, EG America, and Giant Eagle. The competition includes a battle for talent, with Instacart revealing an IPO plan that now looks particularly employee-friendly. New data shows that grocery delivery continues to surge, although much of that growth may be cannibalizing in-store pickup and "ship to home" options.
This week's complaints about American transit! The Bolivian city of Cochabamba inaugurated a new 3-line light rail system; if only American cities like Fort Worth or Indianapolis were as prosperous as the fourth largest city in a landlocked South American nation. Meanwhile, Phoenix is pushing ahead with its LRT expansion to the city's south side. While that sounds good, it's worth noting the region is paying over $200 million per mile for a fully at-grade (read: slow) line; small cities in France are concurrently paying less to build fully-automated, elevated systems. This inability to build things at a reasonable price means a world of ever more limited options for Americans, as this recent decision to avoid reopening a rail line in NYC shows.
New jobs for familiar faces: Cityfi's Joel Klein to serve as the first-ever Executive Director of the Joint Office of Energy & Transportation, having previously run Chicago and DC's DOTs, among other accomplishments. The California Mobility Center has a new leader as well: Dr. Mark Rosekind, who previously served in leadership positions at NTSB and NHTSA.
24 No More? The New York Times profiles how many iconic stores and restaurants in the Big Apple are now closing much earlier than they did pre-pandemic. As New Yorkers find they can no longer get their late night instant gratification just down the street, expect ghost kitchen and dark store delivery to grow ever more popular. Perhaps its no coincidence that MrBeast Burger (a great exemplar of that latter trend) just announced a big expansion.
AV Delivery: Argo AI reveals its plans for autonomous delivery vehicles, with an initial focus on the CPG and healthcare spaces.
Meet Malaysia's Instant Delivery Contenders! While ultra fast grocery delivery may be struggling in Western markets, the prevalence of players in countries like Malaysia show the format still stands a fighting chance when labor costs are low. Major players include brands owned by international juggernauts Grab and Delivery Hero. Meanwhile, Gorillas launches a new ad campaign, while France cracks down on dark stores.
This week's bonus links: The hilarious, harrowing, and hare-brained story of EV truck maker Nikola and its battle against whistleblowers. How auto-centric zoning kills restaurants and cities. What's it like delivering for Walmart Spark? Wegman's nixes self checkout, while Amazon expands its "Go" convenience chain in a not particularly techie part of SoCal. FTC puts food delivery and TNC operators on notice. FastAF goes nationwide. Did you know "Marti" means seagull in turkish? Learn that and more tidbits as the Istanbul-based scooter player aims to go public as the last great SPAC. Traffic deaths finally inch downward. Newsom should sign this parking reform no-brainer. BART runs on DOS. Research paper alert! Dynamic Curbside Management: Keeping Pace with New and Emerging Mobility and Technology in the Public Right-of-Way, Part 1: Dynamic Curbside Management Guide and Part 2: Conduct of Research Report (what a title...)
Catch ya later,
- Jonah Bliss & The Curbivore Crew