Welcome back to The Station, your central hub for all past, present and future means of moving people and packages from Point A to Point B. In this edition, we’ll be diving into a conversation with Cruise’s CEO Kyle Vogt, the recent acquisition of Spin by Bird, and the latest developments in the world of self-driving trucks. Let’s get started.
Cruise has surpassed 5 million miles of driverless rides and is actively exploring the future of autonomous vehicles in cities. The company is committed to developing winterized AVs and plans to deploy them within the next two years.
Cruise Surpasses 5 Million Miles of Driverless Rides
In an illuminating interview with Kyle Vogt, the co-founder and CEO of Cruise, it was revealed that the company has reached a major milestone – surpassing 5 million miles of driverless rides. Vogt pondered the question of when it will no longer make sense to have human-driven cars in cities, expressing Cruise’s support for cities that take action to prioritize autonomous vehicles.
Additionally, Cruise is working on a winterized version of their autonomous vehicle, the Origin, with plans to start producing and deploying them on public streets within the next two years. Vogt refrained from commenting on the UAW strike, but it’s worth noting that the Origin and Chevy Bolt AV vehicles are produced at a GM factory.
Bird Acquires Spin in a $19 Million Deal
In a surprising turn of events, shared micromobility company Tier sold Spin to Bird for $19 million. This acquisition comes after Ford sold Spin to Tier earlier this year. Bird’s financials haven’t been the strongest, with negative free cash flow of -$1.8 million in the second quarter, but the company remains optimistic about its future growth.
Spin generated about $45 million in revenue in the 12 months leading up to June 2023. Bird expects the transaction to result in synergies of over $20 million and contribute to its earnings, thanks to recent operational restructuring.
Self-Driving Trucks Get a Green Light in California
Despite recent debates surrounding the future of self-driving trucks, California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have effectively banned autonomous trucks in the state. This decision allows companies like Fernride, a German self-driving truck startup, to continue their progress in the industry.
Fernride recently extended its Series A funding to $50 million, attracting new investors and strengthening its position in the market. This news comes alongside Joby Aviation’s announcement that it will invest up to $500 million in its new electric aircraft factory in Dayton, Ohio.
In Other News…
- Ola Electric, the Indian electric scooter maker, is considering an IPO
- Mottu, a Brazilian motorcycle rental company and last-mile delivery startup, raised $50 million in a Series C round
- Redwood Materials acquired German battery recycler Redux Recycling
- ZeroAvia raised an undisclosed amount in a funding round co-led by Airbus, Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital, and NEOM
With these exciting developments in the transportation industry, it’s clear that the future is bright for autonomous vehicles, micromobility, and innovative startups.