Welcome back to The Station, your friendly central hub for all things transportation. This week, we have some interesting updates to share with you. Micromobility company Bird has been delisted from the New York Stock Exchange due to its struggling stock price. However, the company is not giving up and plans to appeal the decision. Meanwhile, Uber surprised us by forming a partnership with Los Angeles Yellow Cab and its partner taxi fleets, showing an unexpected collaboration between ride-hailing and traditional taxis. Lastly, Tesla finds itself facing another lawsuit, this time for racial discrimination. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has accused the automaker of tolerating ongoing racial harassment and retaliating against employees who spoke out against it. Stay tuned for more exciting news in the transportation world!
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Bird delisted from NYSE
Bird, the popular electric scooter company, has been delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. The company failed to maintain a market cap of over $15 million for 30 consecutive days, which led to its delisting. However, Bird will continue to trade over-the-counter and has announced its plans to appeal the decision. This development comes at an awkward time for Bird, as it had recently acquired Spin, another scooter company, just a week before its delisting. The future of Bird remains uncertain as it faces challenges to regain investor confidence.
Bird appeals the decision
Despite being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange, Bird is not giving up. The company has announced that it will appeal the decision in an effort to continue trading. Bird’s delisting was a result of failing to maintain a market cap of over $15 million for a consecutive 30 days. However, the company believes that there are still opportunities for growth and success, and it will fight to regain investor confidence and secure its position in the market.
Legislation for national safety standard for micromobility batteries
In light of increasing concerns about battery safety in micromobility devices, Rep. Ritchie Torres has introduced legislation to Congress that would require a national safety standard for lithium-ion batteries used in micromobility devices. The bill comes in response to the continued selling of unsafe batteries by online retailers like Amazon, despite the increasing number of battery fires in recent years. Establishing a national safety standard for micromobility batteries would ensure the safety of users and prevent further incidents.
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Arc raises $70 million in Series B funding
Arc, a Los Angeles-based electric boat startup, has raised $70 million in a Series B funding round. The funding comes from a group of returning investors, including Eclipse, Andreessen Horowitz, Lowercarbon Capital, and Abstract Ventures, as well as new investor Menlo Ventures. With this new funding, Arc plans to scale up its operations and develop a new electric boat design specifically aimed at wakeboarding, wakesurfing, and other water sports. This focus on a niche market could prove to be lucrative for Arc, as most electric boat startups are currently producing hydrofoil-styled boats that are not suitable for water sports.
Plans to scale up with new electric boat design
Arc, the electric boat startup that recently raised $70 million in funding, has ambitious plans for growth. The co-founders, Mitch Lee and Ryan Cook, intend to use the funding to scale up their operations and develop a new electric boat design that caters specifically to wakeboarding, wakesurfing, and other water sports. This move sets Arc apart from other electric boat startups that are currently focusing on hydrofoil-styled boats, which do not create wakes large enough for water sports. By targeting this niche market, Arc hopes to carve out a profitable space for itself in the electric boat industry.
Other Notable Deals
H55 raises $49 million in Series C funding
Swiss developer H55 has raised $49 million in a Series C funding round. The company specializes in electric propulsion and battery management systems for aviation. The funding came from investors such as ND Capital, Tippet Venture Partners, and RTX Ventures. This new capital will enable H55 to further develop its electric propulsion technology and expand its presence in the aviation industry.
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Kneron raises $49 million in Series B extension
Kneron, a company developing AI chips for self-driving cars and other autonomous machines, has raised $49 million in a Series B extension. The funding round included investors such as Foxconn, Alltek, Horizon Ventures, Liteon Technology Corp., Adata, and PalPilot. Kneron has now raised a total of $190 million, which will support its efforts to advance AI technology for autonomous vehicles.
Line Man Wongnai prepares for IPO
Line Man Wongnai, an on-demand delivery app based in Thailand, is gearing up for an initial public offering (IPO) in Bangkok. The IPO is expected to raise approximately $300 million, according to unnamed sources cited by Bloomberg. Line Man Wongnai’s IPO marks an important milestone for the company and reflects the growing demand for on-demand delivery services in Thailand.
Sierra Space raises $290 million in Series B round
Sierra Space, a commercial space transportation startup, has raised $290 million in a Series B funding round. This significant investment brings the company’s valuation to $5.3 billion. Sierra Space plans to use the funds to scale its Dream Chaser spaceplane and commercial space station projects. The company’s ambitious goals in the commercial space industry are attracting attention and support from investors.
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Emme Hall tests Mercedes’ automated driving system
Automotive journalist Emme Hall recently tested Mercedes’ hands-off, eyes-off automated driving system on a busy Los Angeles freeway. The test aimed to evaluate the performance and safety of the system in real-world driving conditions. Hall’s experience provides valuable insights into the capabilities and limitations of Mercedes’ automated driving technology. This type of testing is crucial for the development of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and the eventual deployment of fully autonomous vehicles.
Teamsters union urges denial of GM petition for exemption
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters union has sent a letter to U.S. auto safety regulators, urging them to deny a petition by General Motors (GM) for an exemption to build its autonomous vehicle, the Origin, without traditional vehicle standards. GM’s subsidiary, Cruise, has been developing the Origin AV, which does not have a steering wheel or other traditional controls. The union’s concerns revolve around the safety implications of exempting autonomous vehicles from established safety standards. The outcome of this petition will have significant implications for the future of autonomous vehicle regulation.
General Motors seeks exemption for Origin AV
General Motors (GM) has filed a petition with U.S. auto safety regulators seeking an exemption to build its autonomous vehicle, the Origin, without traditional vehicle standards. The Origin is an electric, self-driving vehicle developed by GM’s subsidiary, Cruise. It does not have a steering wheel, pedals, or other conventional controls. GM argues that the exemption is necessary to enable the deployment of autonomous vehicles and that they have demonstrated the safety of the Origin through extensive testing. This petition is currently under review by auto safety regulators and has generated significant debate around the regulation of autonomous vehicles.
Electric Vehicles, Charging & Batteries
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Ford halts work on $3.5 billion EV battery plant
Ford has announced that it is halting work on its planned $3.5 billion electric vehicle (EV) battery plant in Michigan. The plant was intended to produce cheaper lithium iron phosphate batteries using technology from China’s CATL. However, the project has faced controversy and pushback from local residents and lawmakers who have demanded more transparency from Ford about its agreement with CATL. The timing of this decision has led to speculation, with some attributing it to the ongoing United Autoworkers strike. However, other theories suggest that Ford’s decision may be influenced by regulatory uncertainty or other factors.
Speculations on Ford’s decision timing
The timing of Ford’s decision to halt work on its EV battery plant has raised eyebrows and sparked speculation. While some have linked the decision to the ongoing United Autoworkers strike, others believe that there may be other factors at play. One theory suggests that Ford saw the recent interpretation of foreign entity of concern by the U.S. Commerce Department and expects similar language from the Treasury Department, making it unlikely for the plant to meet requirements for receiving incentives. Whatever the true reason may be, Ford’s decision has significant implications for the future of EV production and battery technology.
Honda’s EV partner network in the US
Honda has announced its massive electric vehicle (EV) partner network in the United States. The network includes various companies and organizations that will collaborate with Honda to accelerate the adoption of EVs in the country. This partnership network will provide crucial support for Honda as it aims to bring its lineup of electric vehicles to the U.S. market. By collaborating with these partners, Honda hopes to overcome barriers to EV adoption and create a sustainable future for transportation.
Lucid Group opens factory in Saudi Arabia
Lucid Group, the electric vehicle manufacturer, has opened its first international factory in Saudi Arabia. The factory will initially focus on re-assembling Lucid Air vehicle kits that are pre-manufactured at the company’s U.S. factory. This move comes as Saudi Arabia is the largest shareholder of Lucid Group. The opening of this factory marks an important milestone for Lucid Group as it expands its global manufacturing capabilities and positions itself as a key player in the electric vehicle industry.
Volkswagen cancels EV factory plan in Germany
Volkswagen has announced the cancellation of its plan to launch a dedicated electric vehicle (EV) factory in Wolfsburg, Germany. Instead, the automaker will modify two existing plants in the country to accommodate EV production. This decision reflects Volkswagen’s evolving strategy in response to changing market conditions and the need for flexibility in its manufacturing operations. While the cancellation of the EV factory plan may be disappointing for some, Volkswagen remains committed to its goal of transitioning to electric mobility.
Minimum pay rate implemented for NYC food delivery workers
In a significant development for gig workers, a minimum pay rate of $18 per hour has been implemented for food delivery workers in New York City. This ruling will have a profound impact on companies like Uber, DoorDash, and Grubhub, which rely on gig workers for their delivery services. The implementation of a minimum pay rate aims to address concerns about worker exploitation and ensure fair compensation for gig economy workers.
Uber partners with Los Angeles taxi fleets
In a surprising move, Uber has entered into a multi-year partnership with Los Angeles Yellow Cab and its five partner taxi fleets in Southern California. Under this arrangement, taxi drivers will have access to Uber trip referrals in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties. This partnership represents a shift in the dynamics of the ride-hailing industry and highlights the evolving relationship between traditional taxi companies and app-based ride-hailing services.
EEOC files lawsuit against Tesla
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a lawsuit against Tesla, accusing the automaker of racial harassment and retaliation. The lawsuit alleges that Tesla violated federal law by tolerating widespread and ongoing racial harassment of its Black employees and subjecting some workers to retaliation for reporting such harassment. This is not the first time Tesla has faced allegations of racial bias, as it has been previously sued by the California Civil Rights Department over similar allegations. The lawsuit highlights the importance of addressing racial discrimination in the workplace and holding companies accountable for fostering a safe and inclusive environment for all employees.
Tesla accused of racial harassment and retaliation
Tesla, the electric vehicle manufacturer, is facing accusations of racial harassment and retaliation. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a lawsuit against Tesla, alleging that the company allowed widespread racial harassment of its Black employees and retaliated against those who reported such incidents. This lawsuit comes after previous legal actions against Tesla for racial bias. These allegations shed light on the urgent need for companies to actively address racial discrimination and create a workplace that promotes diversity, inclusion, and equality.
Cariad hires Sanjay Lal for software architecture
Cariad, Volkswagen’s software unit, has hired Sanjay Lal for software architecture. Lal, who previously led the development of Rivian’s infotainment and next-gen middleware, will take on the 2.0 version of Cariad’s software architecture. This operating system will be designed for all Volkswagen Group brands, and Lal will play a crucial role in establishing the SDV Hub, where software developers and tech experts from Cariad, Volkswagen, and Audi will collaborate on developing the 2.0 platform. This hiring demonstrates Cariad’s commitment to advancing software development and ensuring a seamless user experience across Volkswagen Group vehicles.
Development of VW Group’s 2.0 platform
Volkswagen Group is making significant progress in the development of its 2.0 platform. The company’s software unit, Cariad, has hired Sanjay Lal to lead the establishment of the SDV Hub, where experts from Cariad, Volkswagen, and Audi will collaborate on developing the platform. The 2.0 platform aims to create a unified software architecture that can be deployed across all Volkswagen Group brands, providing a seamless and integrated user experience. This development highlights Volkswagen’s commitment to software innovation and its efforts to stay at the forefront of the automotive industry.