10.1 C
Monday, December 18, 2023

Cruise cuts 1 / 4 of its self-driving workforce, one other e-scooter startup folds and a particular year-end message

The Station is a weekly publication devoted to all issues transportation. Join right here — simply click on The Station — to obtain the publication each weekend in your inbox. Subscribe without spending a dime.

Welcome again to The Station, your central hub for all previous, current and future technique of transferring folks and packages from Level A to Level B.

Whats up! And goodbye! Effectively, at the least till 2024. The Station goes to take somewhat break by the tip of this 12 months. I need to thanks all for studying our weekly publication and reaching out to me with strategies, suggestions and criticism. Sure, I even respect the considerate pushback.

It’s been an action-packed 12 months with new startups rising (so many electrical boat and RV firms, am I proper?), a bevy of EVs hitting the street and various business milestones achieved within the autonomous automobile business. There have been, after all, gloomy and even surprising moments too. A variety of startups failed, together with a bunch of mobility SPACs, and layoffs had been pervasive even into this final month of the 12 months. Two of the extra beautiful tales had been throughout the autonomous automobile business: the founders of the defunct Argo AI coming again with a brand new Softbank-funded AV startup and the downfall of Cruise.

The Cruise story continues to unfold and can doubtless play out effectively into 2024. This previous week was a doozy for Cruise, albeit an anticipated one. The upshot: the Cruise board, and by extension the GM board, are cleansing home in an effort to salvage years of technological progress. As a part of that mission, 9 high leaders had been dismissed and 900 employees had been laid off.

We’ll be following the Cruise story into subsequent 12 months. However that isn’t our solely focus.

Right here at TechCrunch, our staff cares about the way forward for transportation from new EVs and battery tech to electrical and hydrogen aviation, autonomous autos, micromobility and in-car tech. Which means extra than simply highlighting the subsequent new new factor. As an alternative, we try to elucidate why it issues and who it’d have an effect on. In different phrases, we’re the sort of people who take that unlikely exit or facet street to discover what others could keep away from. We hope you’ll be a part of us on the trip.

See you within the New Yr!

Need to attain out with a tip, remark or grievance? Electronic mail Kirsten at kirsten.korosec@techcrunch.com. Reminder which you can drop us a be aware at suggestions@techcrunch.comIn the event you favor to stay namelessclick on right here to contact us, which incorporates SecureDrop (directions right here) and varied encrypted messaging apps.


the station scooter1a

The large story in scooterville was the “seemingly” abrupt choice by Superpedestrian to shut down its U.S. operations and start to discover the sale of its European enterprise simply 18 months after elevating $125 million. I hate to say I noticed this coming, however effectively let’s simply say I wasn’t shocked by the information contemplating that in late November, Superpedestrian began letting go of some European executives who had been answerable for international growth and operations.

Superpedestrian’s Hyperlink scooters are in about 60 cities throughout 11 international locations, however they’ll be pulled from most markets by the tip of 2023. The startup positioned itself as a protected metropolis companion, investing in its superior rider help expertise by buying Navmatic in July 2021. What got here out of that was Pedestrian Protection, Superpedestrian’s GPS-based security system that allowed it to detect and proper unsafe rider habits in actual time. However that system competed with different camera-based laptop imaginative and prescient techniques, like these popularized by Drover AI and Luna. Lime, the one large scooter firm that appears prefer it may survive, carried out its personal model of the rider help tech to its scooters in July 2022, across the identical time that Superpedestrian began issuing layoffs.

Shared micromobility is a tough enterprise to get proper, as we’ve seen from the stability sheets of public firms Chook and Micromobility.com (previously Helbiz). Chook not too long ago obtained kicked off the inventory market, issued a pair rounds of layoffs and might be near submitting for chapter. Micromobility.com issued not one, however two reverse inventory splits this 12 months, and its inventory worth remains to be circling the drain. And after some failed talks to get acquired, Tier Mobility additionally issued layoffs in November. Oh, and let’s not overlook the mysterious disappearance of Bolt.

My query now could be, which one might be subsequent to say scoot off into the nice past?

— Rebecca Bellan

Deal of the week

money the station

Only a bunch of offers this week!

Dimensional Vitality, New York-based startup growing sustainable aviation gasoline from carbon dioxide emissions and water, raised $20 million in a Collection A spherical led by Envisioning Companions. Strategic buyers similar to United Airways’ sustainable flight fund, Microsoft’s local weather innovation fund, RockCreek’s sensible aviation futures fund, DSC Funding, Delek US and New York Ventures in addition to current buyers like Elemental Excelerator and Chloe Capital additionally participated.

DST, a Chinese language new vitality automobile fleet administration firm, accomplished a $80 million financing spherical to gasoline R&D investments and real-time computational analytics.

Exponent Vitality, the Indian EV charging startup, raised a $26.4 million Collection B, led by Eight Street Ventures and TDK Ventures. The funds will assist Exponent increase its 15-minute charging resolution to 5 main Indian cities in FY 2024 and enter the intercity e-bus phase. The corporate plans to deploy 1,000 of its charging stations and have 25,000 EVs powered by Exponent by 2025.

Lyko, a Mobility as a Service startup, raised 1.4 million euros ($1.53 million) from Habert Dassault Finance, Afrimobility (Akwa Group), angel buyers and banks together with Bpifrance, Crédit Mutuel, and Caisse d’Épargne.

Metafuels, a sustainable jet gasoline startup, raised $8 million in a spherical led by Vitality Impression Companions and Contrarian Ventures.

Vammo, the São Paulo-based startup that desires to scale electrical motorbike battery swapping in Latin America, raised $30 million in Collection A spherical to seize the expansion in reputation of bikes throughout the area. The fairness and debt spherical was led by Monashees with participation from local weather tech fund 2150 and Maniv Mobility.

Notable reads and different tidbits


Tesla is limiting using its Autopilot driver-assistance software as a part of a two-million-vehicle recall. Reporter Sean O’Kane explains what and why this issues.

Autonomous autos

TechCrunch reporter Rita Liao digs into the nuanced new AV laws in China. “A detailed learn reveals some attention-grabbing contrasts between the views of Chinese language and U.S. regulators concerning the nascent expertise,” Liao writes.

Waymo retains chugging alongside, this week with an essential enlargement. Choose riders can now be picked up or dropped off by the corporate’s robotaxis curbside at Phoenix Sky Harbor Worldwide Airport. It’s restricted to make sure, however nonetheless a milestone.

WeRide begins testing autonomous buses in Singapore, signaling its international ambitions.

Automobile sharing and different gig financial system bits

European Union lawmakers have lastly reached a deal on the ultimate form of the Platform Employee Directive, which is designed bolster gig employee rights.

Getaround, the startup-turned SPAC that allows automobile homeowners lease their autos out to their friends, filed its first earnings report. Tl;dr: a pop in income that means the corporate is rising, however nonetheless not sufficient to be worthwhile.

Electrical autos, batteries & charging

Chevrolet invited reporters, together with yours really, to drive the 2024 Chevy Blazer EV. My ideas? There’s a lot to love about this automobile. Despite all of its wins, the Blazer EV, which is meant to be a quantity vendor, is just too costly for what it presents.

Ford is slashing its manufacturing goal for the all-electric F-150 Lightning to match weak demand.

Jon McNeill, the previous president of Tesla, founding father of enterprise DVx and vice chair of the Cruise board, wrote an attention-grabbing op-ed in TechCrunch debunking the current storyline that EV demand is weakening. He argues that knowledge exhibits EV gross sales are thriving, however warns that the U.S. should take motion if it needs to remain within the international race.

Sila, a 13-year-old firm that has raised greater than $900 million thus far, signed a milestone deal to provide Panasonic with its Titan Silicon anode materials. Manufacturing will occur at Sila’s future Moses Lake facility, the place the startup not too long ago broke floor.

Taiwanese electrical scooter maker Gogoro launched a battery-swapping community and three smartscooters to India, marking the corporate’s official entry into the world’s most populous nation and largest two-wheeler market.

Tesla’s $50,000 menace to Cybertruck resellers could also be again in any case.

Uber Freight and Greenlane, a $650 million JV between Daimler Truck NA, NextEra Vitality and BlackRock, are working collectively to speed up the deployment and set up of public charging infrastructure for heavy obligation EVs.

The US-China tech warfare is escalating over EV battery dominance.

In-car tech

The U.S. Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration need anti-drunk-driving tech in vehicles. Right here’s what stands in the best way.

Latest news
Related news


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here