Motoring

Toyota to Put $500 Million in Driverless Cars Deal with Uber

Toyota to Put $500 Million in Driverless Cars Deal with Uber

Toyota announced this week that it will be investing $500 million in a deal with Uber to pursue the development of self-driving cars. In a press release, the firms said that they will be mass producing autonomous vehicles that would be deployed on Uber’s network. It is said that the companies, both seen as lagging in the development of the technology, will be embarking on the deal to catch up with their rivals, with Uber recently scaling back trials of its self-driving technology after a crash in Arizona resulted to a fatality.      Source: BBC

PCC to Set Rules on Grab to Ensure Fairness

PCC to Set Rules on Grab to Ensure Fairness

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) said this week that it will be strictly monitoring Grab to make sure that it follows rules to ensure fairness to consumers given its “virtual monopoly” on the local ride-sharing market. PCC chairman Arsenio Balisacan says that they will hold Grab to the commitments it has previously made, which include the improvement of fare transparency, higher acceptance rates for bookings and faster response time to complaints, and re-evaluation of drivers incentives. The watchdog said that Grab can face fines up to two million pesos per offense, and serious non-compliance can lead to the invalidation of […]

Startup Uses Ride-Sharing Technology for Trash Collection

Startup Uses Ride-Sharing Technology for Trash Collection

New York-based startup Recycle Track Systems was reported to have closed a series A financing round with Volition Capital worth $11.7 million last June. The company focuses on environment-friendly waste removal and recycling which uses ride-sharing technology to connect businesses with haulers and to track the route of garbage cargo from pickup to drop-off. At present, RTS’s local sanitation partners in New York, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Baltimore and Chicago that have the rideshare tech installed in their trucks receive multiple notifications on where their waste is going via RTS’s proprietary app.   CEO Greg Lettieri says that his company wants […]

Grab Eyes More Funds After Raising $1 Billion for Indonesia Expansion

Grab Eyes More Funds After Raising $1 Billion for Indonesia Expansion

Grab announced last Thursday that it was able to raise $1 billion in new funding for its foray into the Indonesian market which is considered to be an emerging battleground for tech firms looking to capture a population of over 250 million.   The Singapore-based ride-hailing giant says it is looking to raise more funds, but did not specify how much. President Ming Maa added that the firm was seeing significant demand from investors globally, both financially and strategically. The firm, which is transforming itself into a consumer technology group, says that the fresh funds will be used to expand […]

Argentinian Province First to Pass Law Allowing Uber

Argentinian Province First to Pass Law Allowing Uber

Argentina’s Mendoza province last Tuesday passed the country’s first law regulating ride-sharing apps such as Uber. Uber had already been operating in Buenos Aires for more than two years despite prevailing court orders. However, Argentina’s Senate recently voted 24-14 in favor of allowing the firm to operate in the country’s fifth-largest province by population. Uber’s general manager for the southern cone region of South America, Mariano Otero, says that the law will take effect in August, allowing Uber to operate as early as September.   Source: Reuters

Softbank’s Chief Exec Criticizes Japan for not Allowing Ride Sharing

Softbank’s Chief Exec Criticizes Japan for not Allowing Ride Sharing

SoftBank Group Corp Chief Executive Masayoshi Son slammed on Thursday the Japanese government’s ride-sharing ban and said the country had fallen behind overseas rivals in areas such as artificial intelligence and fintech. Addressing customers and suppliers at an annual company event, Son remarked that Japan is being “stupid” for making ride-sharing illegal. A spokesman for the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport previously pointed out that the government considers ride-sharing problematic since it was unclear who was in charge of maintenance and operation which could cause problems from the points of both safety and user protection.   Source: Reuters  

Alphabet to Push Transportation Efforts with Deals, Internal Projects

Alphabet to Push Transportation Efforts with Deals, Internal Projects

It was recently reported that Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has recently been increasing its involvement in various transportation projects such electric scooters, self-driving vehicles, and flying cars. The Financial Times reported earlier this week that Alphabet even invested in an electric-scooter startup called Lime, with its venture capital arm, GV, leading the startup’s funding round. Mike Ramsey, a Gartner research director, further revealed that Alphabet is already a powerhouse in the space. Alphabet was already the most active corporate investor in 2017 with more than 100 deals both through direct investments and its three venture funding arms, GV, CapitalG, and […]

Singapore Wants Fines for Grab, Uber for Harming Competition

Singapore Wants Fines for Grab, Uber for Harming Competition

The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) revealed this week that it wants to fine Grab and Uber, saying that the merger of the two ride-hailing firms resulted in reduced competition. The CCCS proposed several remedies, such as the sale of their car-leasing business. However, the reversal of the merger, should both companies not be able to fulfill the remedies, may no longer be an option as Uber had already exited the market. The commission said last Thursday that Uber and Grab need to be penalized since they carried out the deal despite knowing the anticipated potential competition concerns. […]

“Phantom Bookings” Hit Singapore’s Ryde Technologies

“Phantom Bookings” Hit Singapore’s Ryde Technologies

A Singaporean ride-hailing firm was recently reported to have been plagued by thousands of bogus bookings which cost their drivers approximately $50,000. Ryde Technologies, who already reported the incident to local authorities, said the manipulation not only cost their partners to lose money on fuel, but also restricted them from taking on more jobs. The company revealed that around 2000 fake bookings were made by some 300 fake accounts. It was noted that Uber had also been hit by a similar incident in the past.   Source: BBC

Toyota Pumps $1 Billion Investment Into Grab

Toyota Pumps $1 Billion Investment Into Grab

Southeast-Asian ride-hailing firm Grab announced this week that it will be getting $1 million in fresh investment from Japan’s Toyota Motors to expand their partnership and explore new strategies for the region. It was also revealed that a Toyota executive will be appointed to Grab’s board of directors and a team member will be elevated to an executive position in the Singapore-based company. Grab adds that the investment will allow Toyota to integrate services such as user-based insurance and predictive maintenance with them which may serve as an incentive for drivers to drive more safely to to lower their insurance […]