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Tag Archives: streets

What to expect from the return of electric scooters in SF

The time has come. Electric scooter sharing services are returning to the streets of San Francisco — this time with explicit permission from the SF Municipal Transportation Agency. On Monday, we’ll see both Skip and Scoot deploy their respective electric scooters throughout the city. And if you remember what it was like earlier this year, you’ll likely notice that these scooters look different from the ones that were previously scattered throughout the city. In March, a number of electric scooters from Bird, Lime and Spin appeared in San Francisco essentially overnight. That prompted city officials to act quickly, with the SF City Attorney’s office sending cease-and-desist letters , a new city law going into in June restricting electric scooter companies from operating without a permit and, eventually, the SFMTA creating a permitting process. But the permitting process and the decision that resulted did not sit well with companies like Lime and Lyft, which were not granted permits to operate electric scooter services in San Francisco. Toward the end of this week, Lime made clear its intentions to seek to block the deployment of scooters on Monday. A judge, however, denied Lime’s request for the temporary restraining order. Lyft had also petitioned SF Mayor London Breed, asking her to take a look at the SFMTA’s decision. Despite Lyft and Lime’s efforts, the great electric scooter rollout of 2018 is still happening on Monday. Ahead of the official launch, TechCrunch chatted with Scoot CEO Michael Keating and Skip CEO Sanjay Dastoor about their respective rollouts of 625 electric scooters. Scoot CEO Michael Keating at a pre-launch event in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood Given the number of scooters Scoot is allowed to deploy, the company chose a relatively concentrated area in which to deploy them, Keating told me

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Uber and Cabify pause services in Barcelona after taxi strike turns violent

A two-day taxi driver strike in Barcelona this week, called to protest against the number of ride-hailing vehicles on the streets and failure to enforce national regulations that are supposed to cap private hire vehicle numbers, turned violent yesterday with protestors attacking cars and local media reporting attacks on drivers too. The violence has led to a temporary suspension of all vehicle for hire services ( VTC) in the city — thereby also including Uber and Cabify, both of which only run licensed driver services in the country. Local newspaper La Vanguardia  reports that drivers and even passengers were attacked during protests yesterday. An Uber spokesman confirmed that some of its drivers had been attacked by protestors, telling us:  “ Rider and driver safety is our top priority. As a result of yesterday’s serious attacks the apps for professional licensed drivers have collectively decided to temporarily pause operations in Barcelona.” A Cabify representative confirmed its service remains suspended in Barcelona. The company also condemned how its drivers were being “daily intimidated for simply exercising their right to work”. “We firmly reject the hostile and violent environment that unwound yesterday in the city of Barcelona. Cabify respects any company or professional group’s right to strike as well as it respects the right of those who wish to continue to develop their activity under normal terms, whether they are taxi or VTC drivers,” it told us in a statement. “We consider that the citizens and visitors of the city of Barcelona, which at this time of the year is at its peak season, have the right to move through the city and enjoy quality minimum services as well as other urban transportation alternatives they may need or desire.” Taxi drivers are angry that the supposed national ratio of one professionally licensed vehicle for hire (VTC) per thirty taxis is not being upheld. The ride-hailing giants have been buying up licenses from other operators to ramp up their presence. From 6:00 today Wednesday 25 and until 06:00 p.m

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Apple touts iPhone gaming performance in new ad

Many people have talked about the performances of the new MacBook Pro over the past few days. But Apple focuses on the A11 Bionic chip in its new TV ad. Named ‘Unleash’, this ad shows a young man walking down the streets of a Chinese city filled with Mobike and Ofo bikes. He’s playing a game on his phone, receiving text messages and watching a live stream on YouTube Gaming. The game quickly becomes bigger than his phone. He fights monsters and virtual characters in the real world. The tagline says “Unleash a more powerful you”. If you opened up the App Store today, you may have seen a promotion for Vainglory in the Today tab. That’s because this ad is all about Vainglory, a multiplayer game that works more or less like League of Legends or Dota 2. Apple has been updating its system-on-a-chip every year to make it more performant. For the first time, Apple designed its own GPU with the A11 Bionic. This is one of Apple’s competitive advantage against generic Android manufacturers. The company now has a clear advantage when it comes to benchmarks and gaming performance.

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Waymo-branded Jaguar I-Pace vehicles hit the streets of San Francisco

Waymo’s next phase in self-driving cars has begun. The former Google self-driving project that spun out to become a business under Alphabet has received its first three all-electric I-Pace crossover sport utility produced by Jaguar Land Rover. These I-Pace EVS — the first on U.S. roads outside of JLR’s own fleet — can be seen driving around the San Francisco Bay Area. These aren’t operating autonomously just yet. For now, Waymo is testing the vehicle’s performance on roads to generate self-driving system design requirements and develop durability tests, the company told TechCrunch. Waymo announced in March a strategic partnership with Jaguar Land Rove r to develop a self-driving electric I-Pace for a driverless transportation service. The plan is for the electric SUV to become part of Waymo’s driverless fleet beginning in 2020. Ultimately, up to 20,000 modified I-Pace vehicles will join Waymo’s soon-to-be-launched driverless ride-hailing service in the first two years of operation. The Jaguar I-Pace SUVs are a piece of Waymo’s larger plan to build a self-driving system to be used in ride-hailing, delivery and logistics such as trucking, connecting rides with public transit and licensing the technology with automakers for personally owned vehicles.

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Chrysler makes a case for the hybrid minivan

No one marvels at minivans. Well, except maybe at car-stereo events (you can get so many woofers in the back of a van). But in real life, on the streets, the world treats the minivan like a defeat: It's what you buy as an adult when you've given...

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Pedaling pictures: The art and science of GPS doodling

Michael "Wally" Wallace, a Baltimore middle school science teacher, is a practitioner of a peculiar art form. His works, which he spends hours planning and executing, are created with a beat-up mountain bike, an Android smartphone, and the streets and open spaces of his home city as canvas. But the only way his creations can be seen is when he shares them on his Instagram and Twitter feeds, or on the Strava fitness tracking application . For the past eight years, Wallace—who goes by " WallyGPX " on his chosen platforms—has been a "GPS artist," drawing his creations Etch-A-Sketch-style with tracks of global positioning data left by his bike routes. Wallace is one of a collection of early adopters of fitness tracking apps who discovered that they could turn their runs, bike routes, and other tracking data into a form of geeky, sometimes subversive self-expression. Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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