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Live from the AutoMobility LA, It's Work Trucks Galore!
Let's treat every day like the freeway is burnt down...
Speaking of new vehicles, we were on hand earlier today for AutoMobility LA, where emerging mobility concepts are premiered to trade press. We saw a number of innovative form factors and ideas, promising new ways to move goods about the city.
Pebble revealed its all-electric camper trailer, an aerodynamic head-turner that would look good rekitted as a mobile coffee bar.
Then, AITEKX debuted its electric pickup truck. A charitable write-up would say it’s… another option to haul goods in a greener way? But let’s be honest, this thing looks like you asked someone to sketch a Tesla Cybertruck from memory, while drunk. (Not that the original is much prettier…) More photos over at Electrek.
There were other EV and hydrogen haulers a plenty, including a Nikola semi that presumably got to Downtown LA all on its own power.
Because food and mobility always go hand in hand, the show also premiered the Prosperity Market farmers market on wheels — looking to improve food access and spur entrepreneurialism in underserved communities. And the USA Street Food Awards kicked off their inaugural competition; which food truck will be crowned champion?
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HOT INDUSTRY NEWS & GOSSIP
It’s not a freeway on fire, it’s THE freeway on fire. As I’m sure you’ve heard, the I-10 freeway. Turns out storing flammable hand sanitizer in a permeable environment was not a great idea… But in a more welcome development, local agencies have responded by beefing up transit service. Commuter rail operator Metrolink is running 10 more trains per day, peaking at essentially every 20 minute service around 8 AM and 5 PM. LADOT finally sped up the signal timing near Metro’s street-running segments; on a recent ride downtown I noted normal travel times, but heading west the train was clocking in about 10% faster than timetabled. So far ridership has jumped 19% day over day in response. Imagine what we could accomplish if we treated the climate emergency like the way we treat a bad under-freeway lease management emergency…
INRIX acquires Ride Report: Portland-based Ride Report was just snapped up by Washington state’s INRIX. As INRIX is already well known for its auto traffic and congestion data, adding in a shared mobility mapper is a great way to round out that car view with some scooter info.
Slow down: In response to a deadly speeding-caused crash in Nevada, the NTSB is recommending that all new cars come equipped with intelligent speed-assist technology. Ultimately, that would be up to the NHTSA to create such a rule, which we can only imagine talk radio hosts responding gleefully to. Similar rules have been in effect in Europe since 2022.
What’s their motivation? NYC’s Citi Bike system has gone through a tumultuous ownership history, first Alta, then Motivate, and now Lyft. While the pink moustache recently reached an agreement with NYC to expand its ebike fleet, the city’s Comptroller is now calling out Lyft for what he says are poor operational practices, such as declining fleet availability, reduced rebalancing, and poor service. In response, Lyft notes that the report blames it for issues that happened pre-takeover, and that the pandemic put a crimp in its labor availability.
Two nice curbs! Boulder, CO is introducing America’s first “tall curbs” on Baseline Road, aiming to better protect cyclists while providing a canvas for artists. And St. Paul, MN is making good progress on its Capital City Bikeway — a fully separated bicycle facility in its downtown core.
From the department of never get your hopes up… Ahh, we were getting so close! MTA officials are now poohpoohing any enthusiasm for the IBX — a new rail service that was meant to better link the outer boroughs without requiring a trip through Manhattan. While Governor Hochul made it a centerpiece of her State of the State speech just last year, the MTA is now saying it shouldn’t even think about building it until it gets its existing infrastructure into a better state.
In other funny NYC news: Mayor Adams wants to repurpose some of the city’s docks into maritime cargo stations, where goods would then be put on ebikes for the last mile. On the less exciting side, he also envisions more helicopters and VTOLs in the city, except now they’d be electric…
Partnership time: Berlin selected Vianova to manage its micromobility operator data. Stockholm picked Populus to manage its shared mobility network. And Lithuanian MaaS platform Trafi claims its hit profitability.
GrOwMFth: Congrats to our friends at the Open Mobility Foundation on bringing three new members onto the team. And a double congrats for Tuesday’s excellent Summit!
Lots of delivery updates: Delivery and pickup push Walmart ecommerce sales up 24% in Q3. DoorDash onboards grocer Save Mart. Meal kitter HelloFresh is launching its own delivery fleet, serving 19 American metro areas. International 3PD Delivery Hero saw revenue climb 16.2%. Instacart is making a holiday shopping push. Bolt is fleeing two African markets. And Remy is launching a new robot-powered delivery service.
We’re always thinking of new ways to enjoy time in our cars! You can’t say America isn’t still the land of innovation… Denny’s just unveiled its first drive-thru in California. You may think of the iconic brand as a mere diner, but the SoCal-born, South Carolina-based restaurant chain thinks hungry patrons are ready to eat a Moons Over My Hammy or Lumberjack Slam with one hand, while the other attentively drives.
A few good links: Manhattan community board thumbs down ebike licensing bill. Japanese shared scooter startup Luup raises ¥3.6 billion (~$24M.) Can’t imagine what it was that made local officials favor this company over international sharing economy brands like Airbnb and Uber that have failed to break into the market… LA Metro 2023 construction update video. Understanding BVLOS vs Part 135 when it comes to delivery drones.
We should be off next week for Thanksgiving, but maybe we’ll still send you a funny email anyway…
- Jonah Bliss & The Curbivore Crew