Cruise cuts 1 / 4 of its self-driving workforce, one other e-scooter startup folds and a particular year-end message

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The Station is a weekly e-newsletter devoted to all issues transportation. Enroll right here — just click The Station — to obtain the e-newsletter each weekend in your inbox. Subscribe without spending a dime.

Welcome again to The Station, your central hub for all previous, current and future technique of transferring individuals and packages from Level A to Level B.

Hiya! And goodbye! Nicely, no less than till 2024. The Station goes to take just a little break by the tip of this yr. I wish to thanks all for studying our weekly e-newsletter and reaching out to me with recommendations, suggestions and criticism. Sure, I even recognize the considerate pushback.

It’s been an action-packed yr with new startups rising (so many electrical boat and RV firms, am I proper?), a bevy of EVs hitting the highway and plenty of business milestones achieved within the autonomous car trade. There have been, in fact, gloomy and even stunning moments too. Quite a few startups failed, together with a bunch of mobility SPACs, and layoffs have been pervasive even into this final month of the yr. Two of the extra gorgeous tales have been throughout the autonomous car trade: the founders of the defunct Argo AI coming again with a brand new Softbank-funded AV startup and the downfall of Cruise.

The Cruise story continues to unfold and can doubtless play out properly into 2024. This previous week was a doozy for Cruise, albeit an anticipated one. The upshot: the Cruise board, and by extension the GM board, are cleansing home in an effort to salvage years of technological progress. As a part of that mission, nine top leaders have been dismissed and 900 workers were laid off.

We’ll be following the Cruise story into subsequent yr. However that isn’t our solely focus.

Right here at TechCrunch, our staff cares about the way forward for transportation from new EVs and battery tech to electrical and hydrogen aviation, autonomous automobiles, micromobility and in-car tech. Which means extra than simply highlighting the following new new factor. As a substitute, we attempt to clarify why it issues and who it would have an effect on. In different phrases, we’re the sort of people who take that unlikely exit or facet highway to discover what others might keep away from. We hope you’ll be a part of us on the journey.

See you within the New Yr!

Need to attain out with a tip, remark or criticism? E-mail Kirsten at Reminder that you may drop us a notice at tips@techcrunch.comIf you happen to favor to stay namelessclick here to contact us, which incorporates SecureDrop (instructions here) and varied encrypted messaging apps.


the station scooter1a

The massive story in scooterville was the “seemingly” abrupt choice by Superpedestrian to shut down its U.S. operations and start to discover the sale of its European enterprise simply 18 months after raising $125 million. I hate to say I noticed this coming, however properly let’s simply say I wasn’t shocked by the information contemplating that in late November, Superpedestrian began letting go of some European executives who have been in control of international improvement and operations.

Superpedestrian’s Hyperlink scooters are in about 60 cities throughout 11 nations, however they’ll be pulled from most markets by the tip of 2023. The startup positioned itself as a protected metropolis associate, investing in its superior rider help know-how by acquiring Navmatic in July 2021. What got here out of that was Pedestrian Protection, Superpedestrian’s GPS-based security system that allowed it to detect and proper unsafe rider habits in actual time. However that system competed with different camera-based pc imaginative and prescient methods, like these popularized by Drover AI and Luna. Lime, the one large scooter firm that appears prefer it would possibly survive, applied its personal model of the rider help tech to its scooters in July 2022, across the identical time that Superpedestrian began issuing layoffs.

Shared micromobility is a tough enterprise to get proper, as we’ve seen from the steadiness sheets of public firms Hen and (previously Helbiz). Hen lately obtained kicked off the inventory market, issued a pair rounds of layoffs and might be near submitting for chapter. issued not one, however two reverse inventory splits this yr, and its inventory value remains to be circling the drain. And after some failed talks to get acquired, Tier Mobility additionally issued layoffs in November. Oh, and let’s not neglect the mysterious disappearance of Bolt.

My query now could be, which one shall be subsequent to say scoot off into the nice past?

— Rebecca Bellan

Deal of the week

money the station

Only a bunch of offers this week!

Dimensional Power, New York-based startup creating sustainable aviation gasoline from carbon dioxide emissions and water, raised $20 million in a Sequence A spherical led by Envisioning Companions. Strategic traders resembling United Airways’ sustainable flight fund, Microsoft’s local weather innovation fund, RockCreek’s good aviation futures fund, DSC Funding, Delek US and New York Ventures in addition to present traders like Elemental Excelerator and Chloe Capital additionally participated.

DST, a Chinese language new power car fleet administration firm, accomplished a $80 million financing spherical to gasoline R&D investments and real-time computational analytics.

Exponent Power, the Indian EV charging startup, raised a $26.4 million Sequence B, led by Eight Highway Ventures and TDK Ventures. The funds will assist Exponent develop its 15-minute charging answer to 5 main Indian cities in FY 2024 and enter the intercity e-bus section. The corporate plans to deploy 1,000 of its charging stations and have 25,000 EVs powered by Exponent by 2025.

Lyko, a Mobility as a Service startup, raised 1.4 million euros ($1.53 million) from Habert Dassault Finance, Afrimobility (Akwa Group), angel traders and banks together with Bpifrance, Crédit Mutuel, and Caisse d’Épargne.

Metafuels, a sustainable jet gasoline startup, raised $8 million in a spherical led by Power Influence Companions and Contrarian Ventures.

Vammo, the São Paulo-based startup that desires to scale electrical bike battery swapping in Latin America, raised $30 million in Sequence A spherical to seize the expansion in reputation of bikes throughout the area. The fairness and debt spherical was led by Monashees with participation from local weather tech fund 2150 and Maniv Mobility.

Notable reads and different tidbits


Tesla is limiting the usage of its Autopilot driver-assistance software as a part of a two-million-vehicle recall. Reporter Sean O’Kane explains what and why this issues.

Autonomous automobiles

TechCrunch reporter Rita Liao digs into the nuanced new AV regulations in China. “An in depth learn reveals some fascinating contrasts between the views of Chinese language and U.S. regulators concerning the nascent know-how,” Liao writes.

Waymo retains chugging alongside, this week with an vital growth. Choose riders can now be picked up or dropped off by the corporate’s robotaxis curbside at Phoenix Sky Harbor Worldwide Airport. It’s restricted to make sure, however nonetheless a milestone.

WeRide begins testing autonomous buses in Singapore, signaling its international ambitions.

Automotive sharing and different gig economic system bits

European Union lawmakers have lastly reached a deal on the ultimate form of the Platform Employee Directive, which is designed bolster gig employee rights.

Getaround, the startup-turned SPAC that permits automotive homeowners lease their automobiles out to their friends, filed its first earnings report. Tl;dr: a pop in income that implies the corporate is rising, however nonetheless not sufficient to be worthwhile.

Electrical automobiles, batteries & charging

Chevrolet invited reporters, together with yours actually, to drive the 2024 Chevy Blazer EV. My ideas? There’s a lot to love about this car. Regardless of all of its wins, the Blazer EV, which is meant to be a quantity vendor, is just too costly for what it provides.

Ford is slashing its production target for the all-electric F-150 Lightning to match weak demand.

Jon McNeill, the previous president of Tesla, founding father of enterprise DVx and vice chair of the Cruise board, wrote an fascinating op-ed in TechCrunch debunking the latest storyline that EV demand is weakening. He argues that information exhibits EV gross sales are thriving, however warns that the U.S. should take motion if it desires to remain within the international race.

Sila, a 13-year-old firm that has raised greater than $900 million to this point, signed a milestone deal to supply Panasonic with its Titan Silicon anode materials. Manufacturing will occur at Sila’s future Moses Lake facility, the place the startup lately broke floor.

Taiwanese electrical scooter maker Gogoro launched a battery-swapping community and three smartscooters to India, marking the corporate’s official entry into the world’s most populous nation and largest two-wheeler market.

Tesla’s $50,000 risk to Cybertruck resellers could also be again in spite of everything.

Uber Freight and Greenlane, a $650 million JV between Daimler Truck NA, NextEra Power and BlackRock, are working collectively to speed up the deployment and set up of public charging infrastructure for heavy responsibility EVs.

The US-China tech struggle is escalating over EV battery dominance.

In-car tech

The U.S. Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration need anti-drunk-driving tech in vehicles. Right here’s what stands in the best way.

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