Uber hits profit milestone, Ford builds electric car skunkworks, Fisker misses | TechCrunch

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Welcome back to TechCrunch Mobility—your central hub for news and insights about the future of transportation.

Very busy this week Rivian Officially announces the release date of its next-generation electric car Waymo A robo-taxi hit a cyclist (oh, and one of the robo-taxi was vandalized and burned late Saturday night!), arrive Attempts to sell its UK assets, plus some scoop on electric motorcycle startup cake, Ford and Fisker.There’s a lot to explore, so come on.

Oh, but first, some latest news from the weekend.

Joby AirA company developing all-electric aircraft for commercial passenger service announced Sunday that it Dubai Regulators have called for the local launch of air taxi services by early 2026. Joby, a startup that went public in 2021 through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, said it aims to begin operations as early as 2025.

It is worth noting that according to the agreement, Joby has the exclusive right to operate Dubai’s air taxis for six years and some financial “mechanisms”; Joby did not provide further details. Joby has also signed an agreement with Skyports, which will design, build and operate Dubai’s four initial vertical airports.

let’s go!

a little bird

There are many birds talking to us Fisker, an electric vehicle startup that went public in 2020 through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company.The combination of those conversations, a review of internal documents, a series of lawsuits and investigations by federal regulators created Fascinating and disturbing story go through Sean O’Kane.

What did O’Kane discover? Fisker Ocean SUV customers have reported more than 100 separate outages and countless other issues, including sudden loss of braking power, faulty key fobs that left them locked in the vehicle, or outside vehicles that were not detected by the seat sensors In the presence of the driver, the front hood of the SUV suddenly flew up at high speed.

Customers have also complained about the service department, and after our story was published, another birdie told us that Fisker’s director of global services was recently fired.

Any advice you can give us?e-mail Kirsten Korosek exist or Sean O’Kane If you wish to remain anonymous, Click here to contact uswhich includes SecureDrop (Description here) and various encrypted messaging applications.

Trades of the week

money station

India It is one of the largest two-wheeler markets in the world.There’s also a whole new crop of startups—e.g. river They have burst onto the scene due to the demand for zero-emission vehicles.

nearest river Raised $40 million Received Series B financing led by Japan Yamaha engineExisting investors Al-Futtaim Automotive, Lowercarbon Capital, Toyota Ventures, Trucks VC and Maniv Mobility also participated.

The startup faces a competitive market as many companies compete for a piece of the EV market. River is betting it will win over Indian customers with Indie, a practical lifestyle-centric product said to be an “SUV” wheeler.

Other deals that caught my eye…

Elroy AirA South San Francisco startup developing autonomous cargo drones has raised $48.9 million. Supervision filing.

channel energya French startup Raised $5.2 million Sequoia Capital and Dynamo Ventures will launch a software tool by the end of 2023 to help electric fleet operators manage and schedule charging.

OttoIt is an Indian start-up company that has established a financing software platform for two-wheeled electric vehicles. Raised $10 million The round was led by GMO Venture Partners.

Starship Technologya delivery robot startup from Estonia, Raised $90 million The round was co-led by two previous backers, Plural and Iconical. This brings Starship’s total funding to $230 million, with previous backers including Finnish-Japanese company NordicNinja, the European Investment Bank, Morpheus Ventures and TDC.

Noteworthy Reads and Other Tidbits

self-driving cars

administrative law judge California Public Utilities Commission Held precipitation A hearing was held into the October 2 incident in which a pedestrian was initially struck by a human-driven car and then dragged away by a vehicle. cruise Robot taxi.

The hearing reiterated much of what was revealed in an independent report by Quinn Emmanuel, the law firm hired by GM to investigate the Oct. 2 incident. But it’s worth noting that Cruise’s tone was extremely conciliatory throughout the exchange. Craig GliddenHe was especially flattering to GM’s executive vice president of legal and policy, who was named Cruise’s chief administrative officer in December.

At one point, he appeared to agree to pay a higher fine, which was $112,000 under the law. Here’s what he said.

“It’s regrettable. It was a mistake and Cruise is trying to right it. I’m not here to argue about $75,000 or $112,000. We want to resolve this because we want to move forward and we want to move forward as The public’s mission to bring autonomous vehicles that are safer and more accessible to the public. So we’re more than happy to compromise in any way that the court or the commission sees fit to put this matter behind us.”

Waymo One of Waymo’s robotaxis hit a cyclist in San Francisco, prompting the company to draw the attention of California regulators. The cyclist suffered minor injuries. Waymo said its robotaxi was stopped at a four-way intersection because a large truck was traveling in the opposite direction. Then entered the intersection and collided with the cyclist behind the truck.

TechCrunch interviewed Division of Motor Vehicles and California Public Utilities Commission — Two agencies that control licenses that allow companies like Waymo to test, deploy and commercially charge driverless rides. The CPUC said it was “gathering information from Waymo,” and the DMV told me the agency “is reviewing this incident. We’ll see if this turns into something more.”

Another Waymo productAround 9pm on Saturday, a group of people surrounded an empty Waymo robotaxi and began shaking it, smashing its windows and eventually setting it on fire with fireworks. FriscoLive415 shared video X. Pretty crazy shots. A Waymo spokesperson told TechCrunch that the vehicle did not transport any passengers and no injuries were reported. The company is “working closely with local security officials to respond to this situation.”

Electric vehicles, charging and batteries

arrive announced that its UK division is Enter administrationthe national version went bankrupt.

electric motorcycle company cake Meeting with Harley-Davidson Founder and CEO Stefan Ytterborn told TechCrunch that the company will join other automakers in their struggle for survival in 2023.

cowboy Rolling out On-demand service plan For basic maintenance, customization and repair, delivered to the e-bike owner’s home.

Ford It has been quietly developing low-cost electric vehicles.The company Created a Skunkworks project Two years ago, the Irvine, California-based company was led by the former head of advanced electric vehicle development at Tesla and Ford Alan ClarkNotably, the team includes engineers from Auto Motive Power (AMP), an electric vehicle power startup acquired by the automaker in November 2023. AMP founder Anil Paryani, who coincidentally worked with Clark at Tesla for about five years, was also part of the Skunkworks project.

Rivian will reveal its Smaller, cheaper R2 SUV March 7th, stay tuned!

toyota will spend an additional $1.3 billion to prepare its Kentucky plant for production of new Three-row pure electric SUV Designed for American consumers

gig economy

Uber Reached a major milestone that a few years ago I wasn’t sure I would achieve.This ride-hailing and delivery app reports full year profit (driven by operating income) As a public company, earnings momentum is expected to continue into the first quarter. Uber has posted annual profits before, but mostly due to its investments. In 2023, the company’s profits also came from its operations.

remind Lyft Fourth-quarter and full-year earnings will be announced after the market close on February 13.


walk aroundis a company that helps car owners rent their cars, trucks, and SUVs to other peers. Cut 30% As part of the restructuring, Getaround laid off 10% of its workforce in February 2023.

General Motors Hire a battery expert and former Tesla executives Kurt Kelty as the automaker’s new vice president of batteries—a completely new role for the company.

This week’s wheel

Image Source: Tyler Hatmaker

This week’s wheels may catch the attention of e-bike followers.edit Tyler Hatmaker Writing this about her “zombie” van muff.

My VanMoof e-bike isn’t dead, but it’s not fully resurrected either.I bought one X3 I reviewed this bike on TechCrunch in 2021 and I was impressed. This bike is brilliant; but it’s also been a personal revelation, allowing me (a lazy good-weather cyclist) to ride a bike in my city (Portland, OR) when I might have been using a car.

When I bought the VanMoof, which was on sale at the time, I knew it was a risk. I spent the money knowing that in the worst case scenario my bike might turn into a $2,000 brick.This situation occurred last year, when VanMoof declares bankruptcy.

Lavoie purchased the remains of the company late last summer, offering a glimmer of hope that the notoriously fickle bikes filled with custom components could still be used in the future.Meanwhile, VanMoof owners like me are rushing to download apps like Bikey, which was developed by cowboyrescuing the digital key that connects us to our bikes.

I’m still emotionally attached to my 30-pound future paperweight, which I nervously open and connect to my phone a few times a week. It’s been pouring with rain for months now, which isn’t my kind of cycling weather anymore – but I’m hoping that when spring arrives my X3 will show some new signs of life too.

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