The transportation stories that drove 2022

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2022 was the benignant of twelvemonth that made america think, “What a clip to beryllium live and reporting connected transportation.” This twelvemonth was perfectly dominated by conversations astir the realities of bringing self-driving cars to market, the imaginable upheaval of the gig idiosyncratic economy, micromobility dramas and, of course, each things Tesla.

We took a look backmost astatine our top-performing proscription stories to find what stood retired arsenic important to you, our beloved readers.

Ford, VW-backed Argo AI is shutting down

Argo AI vehicle

Image Credits: Argo AI

Autonomous conveyance startup Argo AI came onto the country successful 2017 with a $1 cardinal investment. Today, the institution is nary much aft Ford and Volkswagen pulled retired their investments.

This 1 shocked the AV world, successful peculiar due to the fact that Argo had been successful the mediate of moving a robotaxi aviator with Lyft successful Austin and testing afloat driverless exertion successful Miami. The shutdown of the institution signaled 2 things: (1) Another circular of consolidation is coming for self-driving tech companies and (2) Deploying Level 4 self-driving exertion astatine standard is inactive acold away.

Both Ford and VW decided to enactment their investments toward much near-term paths to profitability, specifically Level 2 and Level 3 autonomy, oregon precocious operator assistance systems. Jim Farley, Ford’s CEO, besides said helium didn’t deliberation the automaker would request to make L4 exertion itself but could alternatively outsource it down the line.

Bolt Mobility has vanished, leaving e-bikes, unanswered calls down successful respective US cities

teal-colored e-bikes lined up successful richmond, ca

Image Credits: Bolt Mobility

It’s the proscription enigma of the year. What happened to Bolt Mobility, the Miami-based micromobility startup co-founded by Olympic golden medalist Usain Bolt? Back successful August, we reported that the institution up and vanished from respective of its U.S. markets, leaving cities with abandoned equipment, unanswered calls and emails and tons of questions. It besides near astatine slightest 1 city, Portland, with outstanding fees.

No 1 — not TechCrunch nor galore metropolis officials — was capable to get successful interaction with the institution to inquire what happened and what it planned to bash with each the cogwheel the institution near connected the ground.

The institution appears to person unopen down — it hasn’t been progressive connected societal media since July — contempt having been connected a maturation streak the twelvemonth prior. Bolt started retired 2021 by acquiring the assets of Last Mile Holdings, which opened up 48 caller markets to the startup. It conscionable goes to show, micromobility is simply a pugnacious crippled to win, adjacent if it looks similar the likelihood are successful your favor.

If anyone has immoderate accusation astir Bolt Mobility, I’m inactive dying to cognize what went down there.

The 10 EVs and plug-in hybrids that stood retired astatine the New York Auto Show

Stellantis Chrysler Airflow Graphite

Image Credits: Chrysler

Because who doesn’t emotion a roundup? In April astatine the New York Auto Show, automakers bequest and startup came unneurotic to amusement disconnected their electrical conveyance offerings. Here are the ones that got our attraction this year:

  • Alfa Romeo’s archetypal compact crossover, the 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale.
  • The Chrysler Airflow Graphite Concept, a sleek crossover with Level 3 capabilities.
  • Jeep’s Grand Cherokee High Altitude 4xe, a full-size hybrid SUV.
  • Deus Automobiles’ curvy roadster, the Vayanne EV hypercar.
  • Indi EV’s Indi One, the “lifestyle-focused” crossover with a built-in gaming computer.
  • Kia’s subcompact SUV, the 2023 Niro, disposable successful a hybrid, PHEV oregon EV powertrain.
  • Kia besides showed disconnected its EV9 concept, a boxy SUV that is expected to deed the U.S. marketplace by 2023.
  • The Genesis X Speedium Concept, a coupe with a bold design.
  • Vinfast’s 2 SUVs, the VF8 and VF9.

Musk reveals program to standard Tesla to “extreme size”

SpaceX laminitis Elon Musk during a T-Mobile and SpaceX associated lawsuit connected August 25, 2022 successful Boca Chica Beach, Texas

Image Credits: Michael Gonzalez / Getty Images

A time earlier Tesla opened its Berlin gigafactory successful March, CEO Elon Musk teased the merchandise of Tesla’s “Master Plan Part 3,” which leans heavy connected themes of artificial quality and scaling operations to “extreme size.”

“Main Tesla subjects volition beryllium scaling to utmost size, which is needed to displacement humanity distant from fossil fuels, and AI,” Musk tweeted astatine the time. “But I volition besides see sections astir SpaceX, Tesla and The Boring Company.”

Part 3 of Tesla’s maestro program is the archetypal to see notation of Musk’s different companies. Note: This was published earlier Musk bought retired Twitter.

A speedy refresher connected parts 1 and two. Part 1 was published successful a 2006 blog station that outlined Tesla’s impervious of conception and progressive gathering a sports car and utilizing the funds to physique much affordable cars, portion simultaneously providing zero-emission electrical powerfulness generation. Part two, which came retired a decennary later, discussed plans to make artillery retention and motorboat caller models, including a pickup motortruck and SUV.

Later successful the year, Musk revealed much details astir his Master Plan portion three. Per a companywide meeting, the plan’s raison d’etre is: “How bash you get to capable standard to really displacement the full vigor infrastructure of earth?”

Uber and Lyft drivers accidental substance surcharge is “an insult to drivers”

Image Credits: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg / Getty Images

Russia’s warfare successful Ukraine caused state prices to skyrocket globally earlier this year. In March, astatine the commencement of the war, Uber and Lyft responded by adding temporary substance surcharges to rider fares to assistance drivers screen the rising outgo of fuel.

The Rideshare Guy, a blog and podcast dedicated to helping ride-share drivers gain much wealth and enactment up to day with manufacture news, polled its assemblage of Uber and Lyft drivers successful the U.S. and recovered that 43% discontinue oregon were driving little owed to precocious state prices. Before the substance surcharges were announced, that fig was astatine 53%.

Many drivers said the surcharge wasn’t capable and they’d person liked to spot a per-mile surcharge to relationship for the accrued substance expenditure connected agelong trips alternatively than a level fee.

One Lyft operator told TechCrunch the surcharge is “an insult to drivers.”

This nonfiction is important contiguous due to the fact that it encapsulates galore themes — our quality arsenic a taxon to panic the infinitesimal prices for blistery commodities increase; the ongoing aggravation of gig workers; the subtle creation Uber and Lyft play arsenic they effort to appease drivers but seemingly ne'er successful a mode that’s really meaningful.

Another large communicative this twelvemonth was the Department of Labor’s projected ruling connected gig idiosyncratic status, and the consequent tanking of app-based companies’ banal prices. The rule, if passed, volition marque it easier for gig workers to assertion employment presumption if they tin beryllium they’re financially babelike connected a company. Drivers who consciousness they’ve not lone been consistently shafted by macroeconomic events but besides hardly protected by Uber and Lyft mightiness beryllium praying for existent alteration connected a national level.

Source Techcrunch