The Detroit News
With demand for car-sharing and ride-sharing diminishing sharply, companies are shifting their focus to using driverless vehicles to deliver goods before they ferry people – a reversal of a robo-taxi future envisioned just a few years ago, courtesy of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Ford Motor Co. is postponing the commercial deployment of its autonomous vehicles. Waymo had to temporarily suspend its on-road testing and its ride-hailing offerings in Arizona. Uber recently announced layoffs of 3,500, citing the pandemic.
General Motors is shutting down Maven, the car-sharing service that debuted in 2016 as the wave of the future. COVID-19 is changing how people perceive mass transit, and that shapes how GM will develop vehicles like the Origin, which is designed to transport many people.
Read the article at The Detroit News.
There are going to be a million studies on the coronavirus and its impacts in the years and decades to come, but we’re already getting data about driving and public transit, and what it means going forward in terms of ride sharing, purchasing, and traffic congestion.
A month ago, traffic was down more than 50 percent, according to MS2 a transportation data agency. Last Friday, as people slowly started to venture out, traffic was down just 29 percent.
If you don’t want to take buses, subways or rideshares, how are you supposed to get around? Capgemini, a global leader in consulting, technology services and digital transformation, found that 46 percent of those 11,000 respondents plan to use their car more frequently. They know where the car has been and who has been in it.
Read the article at MSN.
Detroit Free Press
Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns plans to dominate the all-electric pickup market segment with the Endurance for years, even though he is taking on big guns Ford Motor Co. and General Motors.
The coronavirus pandemic caused the cancelation of the Detroit Auto Show next month, so Lordstown Motors will do a “virtual” reveal instead, likely in late June. Burns expects to take pre-orders for all 20,000 pickups the automaker will build next year.
Burns insists the Endurance will match, even outperform, a traditional gasoline pickup in every way. It can go from zero to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and has better traction than a traditional pickup.
Read the article at Detroit Free Press.
Will we have AI self-driving cars that will allow us to take a wild ride on a dangerous road, doing so by telling the AI to maximally take risks on such roads, giving the humans quite a thrill (one presumes)?
For now, the automakers and self-driving tech firms have their hands full with getting self-driving cars to safely take people to the local grocery store, and thus this inquisitiveness about coping with especially dangerous roads is considered an edge or corner case (not something to be dealt with right now).
In the future, you might see advertising for brands of AI self-driving cars that showcase they can readily drive on scandalously dangerous roads, which might become a marketing pitch to differentiate one AI driving system from another. Take a look at a recently reported list of the Top Ten alleged most dangerous roads in the world.
Read the article at Forbes.
International Fleet World
Intended to help customers restart their business and get back to work with safe, sustainable and cost-effective mobility solutions, the new ‘The Journey Goes On’ proposition will be launched progressively across Arval’s eight largest territories (France, Italy, UK, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Poland and Belgium) over the coming weeks and adapted to local customer needs.
It’s built on three main pillars: Adapted operations to comply with social-distancing and driver safety, Flexible, shorter-term leasing solutions available right now to help businesses restart, Sustainable and alternative mobility solutions.
Alain van Groenendael, Arval Group chairman and CEO, said: “Arval changed its brand signature a few months ago to ‘For the many journeys in life”. More than ever, we believe that our mission is to help our customers, their drivers and individuals, to face the new journey we are all engaging in. They are all calling for more flexibility, as well as more safety. We want to be there for them, and that’s what ‘The Journey Goes On’ is all about.”
Read the article at International Fleet World.
Companies are facing adversity and unfortunately, it may seem like you have little control over challenges thrown your way when dealing with COVID-19
By Art Liggio, CEO and president of Driving Dynamics
There is no way around it, the coronavirus pandemic has completely altered the way fleet-based organizations operate. For some, work has halted, and others are challenged to keep up with new demand. The uncertainty has left companies scrambling to reduce health exposure, keep employees safe and working, and business viable.
While the many hardships faced cannot be dismissed, there is light at the end of this tunnel and perhaps even opportunity. Together, let’s explore four ways you can encourage positivity and foster productivity to support drivers and the success of the business during these tough times.
Or you can craft fleet cost reduction opportunities right from your vehicle life cycle
Call it what you may – sleight of hand, wizardry, magic… With the challenges and concerns your fleet is facing today as a result of the pandemic, you may feel like you’re going to need some impressive tricks to rebound.
Don’t worry, no illusions required. Just some solid, short-term strategic maneuvers to reduce your operating costs.
You can easily use the vehicle life cycle as a guide to organize your strategy. Think in terms of buying the vehicle, driving the vehicle, servicing the vehicle, and finally selling the vehicle at the end of its useful life. If you create a goal to materialize two or more opportunities in each phase, you’ll end up with more than a half-dozen new strategies – without any hocus pocus.
Here are some idea starters: