nother company, Innova, is targeting the US university market with its pilot fleet of all-electric Dash cars. The firm is promoting its vehicles as a last-mile solution that improves a university’s sustainability score and makes the institution more attractive to prospective students.
Autonomous cars have been making the news recently, and while Uber and Google’s efforts have accounted for the bulk of the coverage, Uber-rival Lyft and car giants Ford and Audi are also working on self-driving vehicles specifically for ride-hailing services.
Lyft is partnering with General Motors to roll out thousands of self-driving electric cars for the ride-hailing service in 2018, according to a recent Reuters report. That is a full two years before any major automaker had been expected to test fully autonomous vehicles in larger volumes. As part of a ride-hailing pilot with Audi, Delphi Automotive announced it will introduce six self-driving vehicles in Singapore this year to test the technology on the city-state’s bustling streets.
Last August, Ford announced its plans to deliver a fully-autonomous vehicle ready for commercial ride sharing and ride hailing by 2021; in December, Volkswagen launched a spinoff company, Moia, focused on “new mobility solutions” – including on-demand autonomous vehicles and ride hailing. The company hopes that by 2025 “a significant share” of its sales revenue will come from these efforts.
Other last-mile solutions
Alternative – and intriguing – last-mile solutions include car-pooling apps such as Waze Rider and BlaBlaCar, or the fleet of “flexible vehicles” from Bridj that partners with local bus operators and uses data to create a more tailored service that eliminates transfers and reduces stops.
There is also the self-balancing electric unicycle from Solowheel, the self-balancing electric Stator Scooter and folding electric bicycles like the URB-E. Other solutions in development include a self-propelled unicycle from Ford – to be used in combination with a vehicle – or the firm’s Carr-E, which is a hoverboard-like device to carry you or your luggage.