This week has been eventful with horrific news images of the Taliban taking over in Afghanistan – and driving around in Toyota pickup trucks holding machine guns. Hardly a great look for the company.
We also took a look into Uber's losses, a full size LEGO electric car you can actually drive, Tesla's AI day, and more.
There's always something happening in mobility, and we're speeding through the news faster than a jet ski dodging a speed boat.
So let's dive straight in, before they pass us by.
Uber's doomed — and so are the cities that supported it
Cities have long relied on Uber to plug the gaps in transport, especially when it comes to last-mile solutions. But as Uber's financials are revealed to be less than stellar, what does that mean for the cities that have let the company take up the slack?
Author and tech privacy activist Cory Doctorow recently published a scathing article on Uber, calling the company a "shiny distraction" that stops cities from prioritizing investment in road infrastructure and public transport. What does this mean as the company runs at a loss?
Last year Uber sold off some of its most ambitious projects, including ebikes, escooters, autonomous vehicles, and its flying taxi unit.
The company is these days focused on ride-sharing, freight, and food delivery. Hardly the stuff of their glory days.
A quick take:
Uber is losing money and without equipping cities with its most future-forward transport, it leaves a BIG hole.
In this week's horrific news about the Taliban in Afghanistan, we've seen plenty of footage of Taliban soldiers riding around in Toyota pickup trucks. Have Toyotas become the vehicle of war?
Toyota dealerships face legal penalties if they are found selling vehicles to terrorist organizations. But it's hard to track second-hand trucks. In response, Toyota has stopped new vehicle owners from selling on their trucks for at least a year. Will it work?
Why are mobility companies working with blockchain tech?
We've moving towards an era where cars communicate, buy, and sell using services around them — autonomously without human intervention. This raises issues about identity verification. How do you know who you are trading services/data/payments with? How do you ensure you get what you pay for? Blockchain tech might be the answer.
There's a growing number of blockchain tech companies focused on machine-to-machine transactions. But it can all be a bit confusing if you don't have a degree in cryptography. Don't worry though, we've done the legwork for you.
We dug into the basics and also looked at some of the startups working on issues such as in-car payments, odometer tampering, EV charging, and more.
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