Along for the Ride: Weekly Newsletter on AVs and Urbanism - Issue #12

Friends, I must apologize for my tardiness - the world of micro-mobility is a-buzzing. A delayed edition coming to your inbox this week (from Copenhagen)!

Read of the Week (x2)

Will Self-Driving Cars Ruin the American City?

The Atlantic discusses the ‘will they or won’t they’ question of AVs. Will they succeed in making cities more enjoyable places to live or will they increase urban congestion?


Universal Basic Mobility

Alex Roy is a race driver, blogger and investor, and he’s arguing we need to stop looking at transport as its components (buses, scooters, cars, bikes), and rather as a network of travel which affects social mobility and long-term life outcomes. He focuses the text around AVs.


Government and Policy

House of Reps Push for AV Start Act

The House of Representatives in America have grown tired of the Senate delaying action on a pivotal bill.


How the US DOT is Stalling Transit Investment

President Trump’s Department of Transportation continues to be frugal: despite $2.3B in already-allocated funds, only 20% has been delivered to cities.


Cruising into NYC

GM stated that they would be testing their Cruise vehicles on the streets of NYC but a year later the pilot has yet to launch.


Voluntary Self-Driving Assessments

The US DOT is urging US companies to submit voluntary self-driving assessments – but only a handful have. Nuro just released theirs.


Lyft & Monrovia: Potential for AVs

The City of Monrovia in Los Angeles has partnered with Lyft to consider how shared autonomous trips can be a cost-effective method of moving more people.



Blackmore's Lidar Detects Speed

The startup’s doppler lidar laser scanner detects not just where things are, but how fast they’re moving.


Lyft Looks to IPO in 2019

Rumours point to a potential IPO in 2019, as the company hires an advisor to prepare for the listing.

And Uber is Right There Beside Them

Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi says the company is “on track” to IPO in 2019.


Volvo's Self-Driving Nap Pod

Volvo released new designs for their concept AV, and well, they look cozy. Thoughts on how more comfortable cars may induce VMT have circulated the internet since the mock-ups were released (see Opinion section below).

Apple's Bump in the Road

Apple’s self-driving car was rear-ended in California while merging - the collision was not caused by Apple’s car.

IKEA's Space10 Designs for Self-Driving

The Innovation Lab at IKEA is exploring how the interior design of self-driving cars will change to look more like living space. Get ready for a Swedish kitchenette in your rear-view.


Volvo Takes AVs to Gothenburg

With support from the government, Volvo will be able to test AVs on public roads, beginning in their hometown of Gothenburg.

Uber Commits to Toronto

With a $150M investment in self-driving, this is “the strongest indication yet that the company is not retreating” from AVs. The company has also worked closely with the University of Toronto on AVs.


Research and Academia

Urban Institute: AVs Could Harm Low-Income Populations

Urban Institute: AVs Could Harm Low-Income Populations

A quick blog out of the DC-based think tank details how self-driving cars could potentially damage the livelihoods of low-income populations if not properly prepared for.


AV Open Data Recommendations in Oz

A new report from Australia sets out the importance of open data for use by CAVs - focusing on traffic management data.

How Far Can Driverless Cars Take Us?

City Journal discusses the potential impact of AVs, and how influential they will be when rolled out en masse.

Brooking Institute: Filling Gaps

The think tank finds that ride-sharing and self-driving cars can expand transportation coverage in cities without increasing traffic.


Knight Foundation's $5.25M Fund

The Knight Foundation has announced a $5.25 million program to study last-mile self-driving schemes. The program will “develop community-driven roadmaps for self-driving deployments in five U.S. cities”.



Why Volvo's Concept Car is an Urban Nightmare

Curbed argues the AV wants to replace flying and “autonomous sleeping cabins are the dystopian future we must prevent”.


Putting Pedestrians First

Contrary to the hype, walkers and bikers are much smarter than autonomous vehicles”.


Update: As of next week, I am slimming down content to make the newsletter more readable. Comments? Thoughts? Send them my way.

Have a beautiful weekend friends.


By Sarah Barnes

This weekly newsletter on cities, transportation and technology is curated weekly by Sarah Barnes, a transport nerd based in San Francisco, CA.

The newsletter encourages new conversations about advanced transportation technology, primarily autonomous vehicles, which focus on people, equity, design and the cities we want to (and need to) be building for the future.

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