LOOK OUT! Driverless cars about to hit the streets in Japan, France and China
Carzaam Automotive News Episode 5: Neuron - Waymo - OnTime
Orange scooters a next-generation arrival on Brisbane streets
Bright orange electric scooters are soon to arrive on Brisbane streets with news that Brisbane City Council awarded a 600-scooter contract to Singapore-based company Neuron Mobility.
This means that first-comers Lime will have to reduce their offering to 400 scooters.
Neuron Mobility will start rolling their scooters out in just a few weeks, with co-founder and chief executive Zachary Wang saying the company plans to stay in Brisbane for good.
Neuron’s scooters are a "generation three" scooter - unlike earlier scooters - Mr Wang said and were specifically designed for public mobility.
Lucy Stone: @ljstone09
Brisbane times: @brisbanetimes
Waymo strikes a deal with Nissan-Renault to bring driverless cars to Japan and France
Waymo inked a deal with Nissan and Renault to bring its driverless cars and trucks to France and Japan, the companies announced Thursday.
The wording of the deal is vague and doesn’t indicate any concrete plans to launch either robot taxi or delivery services, as Waymo has done in the past with its other automotive partners. Instead, the three companies will simply “explore driverless mobility services for passengers and deliveries.”
The news comes as reports have surfaced about tension between the Japanese-French automotive alliance.
Into this chaos steps Waymo, the Alphabet subsidiary that has been testing its self-driving minivans outside of Phoenix for almost two years. Those vehicles are modified Chrysler Pacifica minivans.
The company has partnered with both Fiat-Chrysler and Jaguar-Land Rover to build driverless cars. This deal with Nissan-Renault, though, marks the first time Waymo is teaming up with an automaker that already has self-driving technology under development.
Andrew J. Hawkins: @andyjayhawk
The Verge: @verge
Tencent-backed ride hailing start-up OnTime to launch in Guangzhou before expansion into Greater Bay Area
OnTime, a ride-hailing platform backed by Tencent Holdings and Guangzhou Automobile Group, will become the latest player to enter China’s mobility market, the world’s biggest, when it rolls out services later this month.
The Guangzhou-based start-up will begin services in the city before expanding into the Greater Bay Area – a southern China business hub that covers Hong Kong, Macau and nine Guangdong cities – marking the arrival of yet another new challenger to maker leader Didi Chuxing.
An increasing number of carmakers have also been piling into the market. Last month, electric vehicle start-up Xpeng Motors launched a mobility service in Guangzhou and in November BMW announced it had secured a ride hailing permit for Chengdu, making it the first global carmaker to gain such access in China. A car-hailing platform backed by state carmaker Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation also began trial operations in Shanghai last year.
The competition is getting tougher though. Earlier this month, Meituan Dianping launched its aggregated ride-hailing service in 10 Chinese cities including Beijing, enabling users to compare offers from several platforms such as Geely’s Caocao Car and Shouqi, and hail a ride via the Meituan app.
Sarah Dai: @sarah_dai
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