General Motors Makes $500M Bet on Lyft

General Motors announced Monday that it would invest $500 million in ride-sharing service Lyft to help boost the automaker’s business in car-sharing companies and perhaps rental cars.

The automaker announced that the investment — roughly half of Lyft’s latest round of fundraising — would buy the automaker seat on the ride-sharing company’s board of directors. Lyft, which is based in San Francisco, is valued around $4.5 billion, which is significantly less than the $62 billion valuation for rival Uber, according to the New York Times.

GM said the companies would partner on rentals for the car-sharing company, connectivity and autonomous technology.

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Whose Insurance is It Anyway? Enterprise Offering Rentals To Uber Drivers in Denver

Uber and Enterprise Rent-A-Car announced Tuesday a pilot program in Denver to rent cars to mobile entrepreneurs for ride-sharing services, according to the Denver Post.

The program, which will cost $210 a week on top of a $500 deposit, will make available cars to roam the city streets for people who don’t sleep for a week at a time. The $210 cost for the rental will be automatically deducted from the driver’s earnings, and if the driver doesn’t make enough to cover the cost of the car they’re still totally on the hook.

“What we’re trying to do here is lower the barrier to entry for someone who does want to work with Uber but who does not have a qualifying car or doesn’t have a car at all,” Andrew Chapin, Uber’s Head of Vehicle Solutions, told the Denver Post.

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Study Aims To Determine If Ride-sharing Services Are Putting More Cars on The Road

The National Resources Defense Council’s Urban Solution program will study the impact ride-sharing services have on the environment, the group announced Friday. The study will be conducted with the University of California Berkley Transportation Sustainability Research Center to determine what environmental impacts services such as Lyft and Uber have on pollution and congestion.

” … Others wonder if these companies are competing with public transit, substituting for walking and biking trips, or perhaps adding more cars to the road,” wrote Amanda Eaken, a researcher for the NRDC, a non-profit environmental group.

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Here's The Renault Twizy in the US, Hassle-free. No, Really.

Nissan is sending 10 Renault Twizys Nissan New Mobility Concept vehicles to San Francisco as part its citywide ride sharing service Scoot.

The small, all-electric Renault Twizy Scoot Quad will seat two people, have a range of roughly 40 miles and a top speed of 25 mph. The cars will cost $8 per ride or $80 per day to rent.

According to Nissan, the cars are being sent to the ride-sharing service to study transportation in urban areas — and to see if they can sell them anywhere else, probably.

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Analyst: Tesla Could Surge With Autonomous Ride Sharing Biz

Tesla’s ride-sharing business could be worth hundreds of millions to the company in the future, an analyst for Morgan Stanley said Monday.

Adam Jonas increased his price target for Tesla from $280 to $465 — but said the stock could go even higher to $611 — based on his forecast that Tesla could introduce an autonomous ride-sharing service by as early as 2018, Bloomberg reported.

It’s at least the third time that Jonas has publicly pumped Tesla’s stock.

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No Fixed Abode: Whatcha Gonna Do When They Don't Come For You?

Might as well admit it: I have an unhealthy fascination with the service known as car2go. It’s just so… improbable. I’m pretty sure it began as a way to dump some Smart “ForTwo” inventory into service so the Daimler-Benz lines could keep operating at something like capacity. Since its inception, the service has been in near-constant flux: adding and removing services, changing the fees in predictable and unpredictable ways, suffering service outages, and generally perplexing its customer base, of which I am a devoted and unusually enthusiastic member.

car2go‘s newest change, communicated to me via email yesterday, concerns a significant reduction in their service area. After confirming that my usual lunch runs remain possible, I thought no more about it.

For a while, anyway.

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Uber in Finland? Cops Say Hail No

Police in Helsinki are asking residents to skip the fare and call the cops if they spot an Uber driver within city limits.

Cops sent out a tweet Friday asking people to call emergency services (112 if you live in Finland, apparently) so authorities could have a chat with the enterprising driver. It’s illegal to operate a cab without a license, according to the Helsinki Sanomat (via Slashdot via Jack Baruth), and police are using citizen reports and even sting operations to crack down on the drivers.

It’s unclear if police are arresting or fining the Uber drivers.

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European Taxi Drivers Take To The Streets Against Uber

Much like it has in the United States, Uber and other ride-sharing services have upended the traditional taxi in Europe. Just like the U.S., taxi operators have protested the disruption the new services have caused upon them, citing the lack of properly licensed drivers and thoroughly maintained vehicles as a reason to bring them in line with the same regulations they already are mandated to follow. However, unlike the U.S., European taxi drivers took their complaints to the streets, and then some.

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Hammer Time: Hey Taxi!

Georgia is now seriously weighing in House Bill 907 which opponents have dubbed the, “Taxi Monopoly Protection Act.”

It would effectively outlaw ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft. While also making cab companies victims of the usurious fees that they are required to pay to remain in business.

My solution to all this would be politically tone deaf and probably DOA in GA. My special interest is simply a personal one. I want to see better ideas work for the general public.

So here’s my deep dive into the rabbit hole that is government balancing one man’s freedom with another man’s fears.

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  • Mike Evs do suck, though. I mean, they really do.
  • Steve Biro I don’t care what brand but it needs to be a compact two-door with an ICE, traditional parallel hybrid or both. A manual transmission option would be nice but I don’t expect it - especially with a hybrid. Don’t show me an EV.
  • ToolGuy Lose a couple of cylinders, put the rest in a straight line and add a couple of turbos. Trust me.
  • ToolGuy Got no money for the Tasman, it is going to the Taxman. 🙁
  • ToolGuy They should have hired some Ford Motor Company employees. No, I'm kidding -- they should have hired some Ford Motor Company executives. 😉