Melbourne has been announced as the third pilot city for Uber to trial its flying taxi service, Uber Air.Test flights are pencilled in for next year, with plans for commercial operations to commence from 2023.Uber Air is touted by the company as an "urban aviation ride-sharing product". It wants to ease traffic congestion on the ground. "In the long term, the vision is for safe, quiet electric vehicles transporting tens of thousands of people across cities for the same price as an UberX trip over the same distance," Uber said in a statement announcing the initiative down under.The company in August announced five possible markets to launch its pipedream: Australia, Brazil, France, India, and Japan. It also confirmed that from 2023, customers will be able to get a flight on-demand in Dallas and Los Angeles. Uber had in February told an Australian House Infrastructure, Transport and Cities Committee that it was keen to trial Uber Air in either Melbourne or Sydney and that it … [Read more...] about Uber Air flying taxi service to be trialled in Melbourne
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Waymo is reportedly planning to take the next step towards offering a commercial driverless car service in early December, according to an unnamed source who spoke to Bloomberg. The soft launch will see Alphabet’s self-driving car division offering rides from a new — unnamed — consumer taxi brand. The autonomous service is expected to launch in Phoenix Arizona, where the company already operates a fleet of modified Chrysler Pacifica minivans. “Some cars” will contain backup drivers who can take control if necessary, according to the report, with straight-forward fares priced to be competitive with Uber and Lyft. Offering paid rides is a big milestone for the service, but this is otherwise an incremental step. Initially, Bloomberg speculates that availability will be restricted to Waymo’s existing 400-person “Early Rider Program” — although they’ll no longer be bound by a secretive NDA. The location is also not set to change … [Read more...] about Waymo’s paid driverless taxi service could launch next month, says report
Sony plans to lead a new joint venture (JV) designed to develop an artificial intelligence (AI)-based taxi service for Japan. Featured stories Cryptocurrency reality checks and the coming boom USB Type-C is the iPhone charging connector that Steve Jobs would have wanted I tried to write this article on an iPad Pro. It didn’t go well Thousands of Mega logins dumped online, exposing user files According to a statement on Tuesday (translated), Sony and six local taxi companies -- Green Cab, International Automobile, Kusumi Transportation, Daiwa Motor Transportation, Checker Cab Radio Cooperative Association, and Hinomaru Transportation -- will form the new business venture.Sony and the six other firms aim to establish the new JV in coming months.The new company will develop and operate "dispatch service applications" that will utilize Sony's AI technologies for demand forecasts and similar services.Sony says that the six companies together control over 10,000 taxis across … [Read more...] about Sony wants to bring AI taxi services to Japanese streets
MEXICO CITY -- Green and white taxis pull up to their stand behind the capital's towering cathedral. Then they plug in. A pilot program is testing the viability of zero-emissions electric taxi service in Mexico City, notorious for its choking traffic and cough-inducing smog. The city laid out 11 million pesos, or $770,000, for 20 electric Nissan "Leaf" sedans. Service started earlier this month at the sitio, or stand, in the city's historic center. It's the latest initiative in Mayor Marcelo Ebrard's mobility strategy, which has included building out the city’s rapid-transit Metrobus service, adding a new metro line, replacing antiquated peseros with lower emissions buses, and starting a fast-growing bike lending program called Ecobici. "It's a public investment that seeks to generate examples and models for using new technologies," said Inti Muñoz, director of the city’s Historic Center Trusteeship. Every single taxi speeding down Mexico City's wide avenues emits 14.8 … [Read more...] about Mexico City powers up electric taxi service
Uber doubled down Tuesday on its claim that it's a software company, not a taxi service.Speaking in front of Europe's highest court, the ride-hailing company defended its business model, saying it was a smartphone app. The company argued it should be allowed to operate freely across Europe.The hearing at the European Court of Justice has been a long time coming and is central to Uber's ongoing battles with regulators around the globe. In many countries, the company has set up shop before asking local governments for permission to operate. That aggressive strategy has been crucial to Uber's expansion, helping it grow from a small San Francisco startup to a multinational service in just six years. The company now operates in more than 400 cities in 72 countries and is valued at $68 billion. "Transportation is something that people do every day, using their own cars and increasingly sharing them with others," Uber said in court on Tuesday during its oral argument, a transcript of which … [Read more...] about EU court asks: Is Uber an app or taxi service?