Along for the Ride #102

Heya friends, Happy Friday!

This week’s edition is short and sweet, as I covered most news on Monday. I would however like to draw your attention to two important topics:

  1. A call out for the For ClimateTech Global Innovation Challenge which launched this week. If you’re interested I’d be happy to put you in touch with some of the team, as they have a track focused on transportation.

  2. On a less serious note, the Cats of Brutalism instagram account has brought me so much joy this week. If you’re looking for the cats x modern architecture crossover you didn’t know you needed.. look no further.

Ok onto le news!

Celebrating Black Excellence

This week is last week of this section as Black History Month comes to a close—I will however continue to share, celebrate, and promote Black perspectives in this newsletter, as Black history is critical to building a future where justice is prioritized. In the words of Untokening, “we are seeking to repair harm, not erase history”.

This week I’m sharing resources and reads:

  • The aforementioned Untokening Org’s Principles of Mobility Justice shares “approaches that can help justice advocates work toward an alternative paradigm, either in white-centered planning spaces or in their own work in marginalized communities.”

  • I first shared Dr. Jennifer Dill’s Transportation, Race and Equity syllabus in June 2020. Dr. Dill has since worked with academics across the US to update and expand the syllabus, which you can find here! At 47 pages long, it is an invaluable resource which covers many intersections (pun intended).

  • The Urban Institute published an article on why cities need to confront racial symbols in their cities if they want to advance racial equity. While this article focuses predominantly on statuses, I kept thinking about how highways are one of the most blaring symbols of racism in our cities, and wondering how we collectively address that.

  • Seattle DOT has highlighted Black transportation innovators throughout history who helped shape transportation as we know it today.

  • California Walks is working towards a future where queer, trans, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) are able to exist, move, and live freely. They have published a great piece about how in order to achieve this, transportation needs to be decoupled from police enforcement.

Government and Policy

Why on-street parking leads to more cars

OK, this likely isn’t “news” for many readers, so for those of you less aware of the high cost of free parking, there’s new research on the block supporting existing findings!

The research, out of San Francisco, found that residents who joined affordable housing lotteries from July 2015 to June 2018 and secured units with a free parking spot were more likely to have cars. Specifically, lottery-winning residents in buildings that guaranteed one parking spot per unit had double the rate of car ownership of residents in buildings without parking.

US District rules on MDS

A US District Court judge dismissed the ACLU lawsuit against the Mobility Data Specification (“MDS”). LADOT brought forward MDS to better understand where escooter trips were happening in the city, requiring mobility providers to share real-time information about scooter trips. Privacy advocates and many mobility companies spent the better part of the last two years fighting MDS.

Industry

Velodyne Founders removed from business

Velodyne founders, David and Marta Hall, were removed from their positions this week. David was the chair of the company’s board, while Marta stepped down as chief marketing officer. According to a company report in December 2020 the Hall’s “failed to operate with respect, honesty, integrity, and candor”. What I find fascinating, is the timing of Ford dissolving their entire stake in Velodyne this month ahead of this news dropping. Very, very interesting timing.

Motional expanding taxi service in the US

Motional (Hyundai + Aptiv) has been approved to operate and test vehicles without a driver in Nevada. Motional is now allowed to test anywhere in Las Vegas, but is keeping its vehicles in residential areas. 

Mobileye partners with Lohr and Transdev

Transdev and Lohr plan to integrate Mobileye’s assisted driving system into Lohr’s shuttles, with plans to launch completely autonomous public transportation powered fleets of self-driving shuttles in Europe. Mobilieye develops two types of assisted driving systems, one is based entirely on cameras while the other incorporates radar, lidar sensors, modems, GPS, and other components.

Research and Academia

The relationship between transportation and confirmed Covid cases

Researchers in Honolulu investigated the relationship between travel, and social distancing measures and confirmed COVID-19 cases. I sadly only have access to the abstract, but this is the first peer-reviewed research I’ve been to this effect.

That’s all from me, have a beautiful weekend friends.

Sarah

PS. My inbox is always open to share your stories, job postings, events or a debate!