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NEW MOBILITY WORLD @IAA 2019Frankfurt/Main, September 10–15, 2019
Best of The Week

Best of the Week – CW 4

By Editorial Team on January 25, 2019

Here’s a short summary of what happened in the world of mobility, logistics & transportation this week:

Pony.ai launches an app that allows users to hail an autonomous taxi

As one of China’s most valuable driverless car startups, Pony.ai has launched an app that allows users to hail an autonomous taxi. The app was launched in December and has made the startup one of the first to bundle an autonomous taxi service into a funtioning app. The app allows users to hail a self-driving taxi from a pre-set location in Nansha, which is part of Guangzhou in southern China. The car can travel to specific areas that have been set by the company such as its offices or residential areas.

Tesla Model 3 coming to Europe

Tesla achieved an important milestone this week when the RDW, the Dutch regulator and European authority tasked by Tesla to approve the vehicle for European roads, approved the vehicle for European roads. This is critical for Tesla, especially as European Automakers (such as Volkswagen) are racing to reposition their own EV brands on the continent.

Lime Worth $2 Billion?

The two-year-old scooter-sharing company Lime is finalizing a new round of fundraising that values the company at about $2 billion excluding the new cash, according to people familiar with the matter.

Lime is expected to take in $400 million in a round financed primarily by its existing investors, the people said. The money is expected to arrive in an initial tranche of $300 million followed by a second $100 million investment.

Charging Lamps 💡

In the next two years, 1.000 lampposts are to be converted into charging stations for electric cars in Berlin. Another 600 connections will be installed on private property. This is the plan of the “Clean Air” program by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, in which the startup Ubitricity has successfully participated, provides.

Investments of the Week

The Munich-based startup Eluminocity, which was having liquidity problems, will be continuing. The developer of charging stations, Wirelane, took over the business operations on January 1, 2019. All 13 employees as well as the managing directors Sebastian Jagsch and Michael Schwarz remain on board.

Flash, the stealthy mobility startup from Delivery Hero and Team Europe founder Lukasz Gadowski, is de-cloaking today, with news that the Berlin-based company has raised a whopping €55 million in Series A funding.

Berlin-based startup Vehiculum, that leases cars to businesses, has raised €7 million in a funding round led by Runa Capital. The company plans to use the capital to open its platform, which is currently only available for businesses, to private customers.

Lastly, congratulations to the company behind one of our NMW 18 speakers: Sony’s venture capital arm has invested in what3words, the startup that has divided the entire world into 57 trillion 3-by-3 meter squares and assigned a three-word address to each one. Previously, Daimler had also invested in the startup.

Bonus news: This could get interesting

The German car industry is working on an autonomous driving alliance. According to manager magazin, leading manufacturers and suppliers are checking whether and how they could jointly develop a system for computer-controlled cars. Interested companies include Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler, as well as the suppliers Bosch and Continental. This seems to signify a bid by German manufacturers to surge ahead in the AV race with Asian manufacturers and American tech companies.

Photo by Ubitricity.

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