TuSimple loses driver, Nikola fixes and predicts for 2022 - TechCrunch
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Hello Readers: Welcome to the Station, a hub for all past, present and future modes for moving people and packages from Point A to Point B.
Your regular guest, Kirsten Korosec, is taking a well - deserved holiday outdoors in nature, so I will be taking over this week to bring you the news and wish you a Happy New Year new to you and hangover quick recovery.
It's officially 2022, but let 's take a quick look at the past year. To sum up quickly - everyone bought e-bricks; robotaxis and autonomous trucks are getting closer to trade; teleoperated roadside delivery robots are becoming a thing; the National Traffic and Road Safety Association monitors the likes of Tesla and Chevy; virtually all OEMs invest heavily in electrification, which includes battery-powered joint ventures; and eVTOLs received significant investment.
Let’s dig a little deeper into that last one. My colleague Aria Alamalhodaei wrote a two - part series on the movements shaping the eVTOL space. The first part looked back at 2021, highlighting trends such as:
- SPACs have been taking off and helping to fuel a lot of money into the industry, with companies like that Archer planes, Joby Flights, Lilium and Vertical aerospace all coming together with blank check companies.
- Infrastructure on the ground, such as vertiports and chargers, is becoming a business unit, and companies like it. Archer, Hyundai and Volocopter explores ways to integrate air movement into a city's existing transport networks.
- More orders have arrived for eVTOL flights, starting with United Airline's $ 1 billion order with Archer.
- Automakers - as Hyundai, Honda and Xpeng - invest in facilities to build their own flying cars.
All of this trend sets the stage for what’s to come in 2022. Some of Aria’s predictions are:
- “The main story of 2022, it is definitely going to prove,” said Sergio Cecutta, founder and partner of SMG Consulting. "This is a year of erection or closure."
- More automakers will start getting involved instead. That's clear from big investments from Toyota and Stellantis in Joby and a manufacturing contract with Archer, separately.
- More SPAC contracts. Aria writes that this is not a special thing, “but the huge capital demands on aviation could mean that more beginners are still looking for a big injection of money through the public markets. ”
If you have any thoughts, criticisms, suggestions or comments that you would like to share, you can email me at [email protected]
Since we are making predictions, I would be happy if I did not share a few thoughts on what 2022 could be for the world of micromobility. I talked to a few experts and came up with interesting, and even wacky, answers.
Crystal ball says…
- More e-bricks hit the shared micromobility space.
- New VC money is drying up and it is unlikely that there will be more new entrants to the place. Those who made it are likely to stay so long here, and are becoming more and more mature.
- That said, the cycling companies (aka Uber and Lift) to come back to play, he said Segway's Tony Ho, based on orders and questions for vehicles he sees coming in.
- All those ADAS scooter that we started seeing last year? Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either. But that's not it! Buckle up for softer vehicles that will not only affect the route of your trip, but also give operators more monetization opportunities. Data. Is. Everything. Operators look for ways to sell sensory data.
- Horace Dediu, business analyst and co - host of the Micromobility Podcast, believes there will be far more integration of micromobiilty options with motion planning apps like Google Maps.
- He also said that we can expect a marriage between micromobility and the metaverse. The f &% !, you may be thinking. Wait for it. Imagine a stylish helmet with a visor-enhanced enhanced visor, marking directions for you or flipping it to your nearest coffee shop with a floating coupon!
- New, heavier form factors. Personally, I want to see a tiny little vehicle with a roof, already! We do not all like to be caught in the water.
- Better integration of micromobility offerings with public movement.
In other news…
Butter has just raised Series D $ 115 million in what it describes as a full - fledged funding round that will help it expand into new markets. As scooter companies consolidate their power, such a huge increase late in the game is certainly important.
Wind movement, which has sold Italian and Israeli jobs in recent months, is now updating its e-scooter fleet in Nottingham and Derby in the UK with LINK e-scooters from Superpedestrian. Users now need to download the LINK app to continue using the Wind service… so is it a Wind service anymore?
Superpedestrian also launched 150 seated scooters in Baltimore to provide a safer and more comfortable transportation option for people with disabilities and older riders.
Design of the week
What with the holidays, there were not too many contracts, but I noticed an AI chip maker Kneron's $ 25 million raise. Chinese startups will use the funding to start making chips for autonomous driving applications. This move is compounded by the fact that the company may be preparing to go public in the US in the next few years, with a growing number of AV companies aiming to scale over the same framework. time, Kneron may be one to watch.
The other contract that caught my eye is the work of South Africa Planet42, a car membership company that buys cars from dealers and renters to buyers, raised just $ 30 million in equity and debt. The tour revolves around a bridge, a precursor to Series A, and will help the company expand into the Mexican market.
Planet42 has an interesting business model called "socially inclusive." As a company that provides services in emerging markets, it helps people with precarious incomes or unmatched credit scores to get vehicles that could last their lives. change.
Famous news and other tidbits
Waymo partnering with Chinese automaker Geely to build an electric, self-driving riding vehicle. The companies integrate Waymo Driver, a Waymo AV system, into Geely's seakr vehicles for use in US markets "in the years to come."
TuSimple has completed the first autonomous run on open public roads with no occupants or any human intervention. Its autonomous driving system traveled 80 miles on surface streets and highways between Tuscon, Arizona and Phoenix, marking a milestone for the company which aims to scale their technology to built-in trucks. deliberately by 2024, said President and President Cheng Lu.
Iveco attached Plus to launch a pilot in Europe and China aimed at starting to test and integrate Plus autonomous truck technology with Iveco’s latest gen S-Way heavy-duty truck.
AutoX they built a Level 4 robotaxi production facility in China to make their gen 5 vehicles, which they say could operate without in-vehicle safety drivers.
FedEx has got his first five GM-built Brightdrop electric delivery vans out of order 500. The move represents an important landmark for FedEx in its stated goal all-electric delivery fleet and to be globally carbon neutral by 2040.
Gravity they launched a fleet of NYC all-electronic yellow taxis, which includes Mach-E Ford Mustang Cabs.
Nikola has reached a decision with Commissio Securities and Exchange of the United States, agreeing to pay $ 125 million to settle costs it was misleading investors by misleading its products, technical advances and commercial prospects .
Future they have started testing their Arrival Bus at a test facility in the UK, where it will undergo rigorous testing to gain certification for operating on public roads.
Israeli Driver Inspection System (DMS) Company Cipia it integrates its tech into Chinese automaker SAIC's Roewe RX5 MAX car to detect when a driver is towed or asleep.
Reporter Rita Liao wrote a deep dive on a Chinese internet giant Meituan's head of the drone delivery point in Shenzhen. Over the past two years, the company has shipped 19,000 foods to 8,000 customers across seven neighborhoods in the city. Now, the company is preparing to double its air delivery intentions. Meituan has applied for permission to run a commercial drone delivery service throughout Shenzhen, and is expected to receive approval in 2022. Meituan Competition, sponsored by Alibaba Ele.me. and e-commerce powerhouse JD.com, has also invested in similar drone delivery services in recent years.