Here’s a short summary of what happened in the world of mobility, logistics & transportation this week:
The city of Hamburg is betting on Elon Musk’s Hyperloop technology to help alleviate its traffic congestion problems caused by trucks and delivery vans: it is aiming to build a Hyperloop that will transport goods in containers to the surrounding countryside. The Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) is currently in negotiations with the Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) from California.
The Boring Company also managed an important break-through this week: it completed digging out its first tunnel in LA.
The automobile company from Wolfsburg wants to bundle its sharing offer “We Share” under their new umbrella customer platform VW We. The service is scheduled to be launched in the second quarter of 2019 – probably in April – in Germany.
The New Zealand-based launch provider Rocket Lab completed its first commercial launch last weekend and also announced a $140 million funding round that puts their valuation well above a billion.
Also launching rockets: Virgin Orbit with their LauncherOne system. Virgin took the LauncherOne out for a spin with an actual rocket attached under its wing in an attempt to get their low earth orbit payload launch system up and running. It’s a necessary step toward Virgin Orbit’s plans to begin launching rockets early next year.
Uber is joining the Linux Foundation as a Gold Member, making a firm commitment to using and contributing to open-source tools.
Through this membership, Uber will support the Linux Foundation’s mission to build ecosystems that accelerate open source technology development. Uber will continue collaborating with the community, working with other leaders in the space to solve complex technical problems and further promote open source adoption globally.
“Open source technology is the backbone of many of Uber’s core services and as we continue to mature, these solutions will become ever more important,” said Thuan Pham, Uber CTO. “The Linux Foundation not only provides homes to many significant open source projects, but also creates an open environment for companies like Uber to work together on developing these technologies. We are honored to join the Linux Foundation to foster greater collaboration with the open source community.”
Also, California-based Apex.AI plans to make a safer and more reliable version of the so-called Robot Operating System, or ROS, the open-source software that powers many experimental self-driving cars. They have raised $15.5 million in order to make ROS safe and reliable enough to be used in commercially available vehicles.
U.K. car tech startup Lightfoot, which sells a telematics system that gives real-time feedback to drivers combined with a rewards platform to further incentivize good driving, has picked up £3.2 million (~$4M) from London-based early-stage venture fund BGF.
In scooter-news, Wind Mobility from Berlin has raised $22 million in seed funding, throwing its hat into the ring as European competitor to Bird and Lime. The startup offers offers “dockless” e-scooter (and electric bicycle) rentals.
And lastly, also in e-scooter news, VOI Technology, an e-scooter startup headquartered in Sweden but with pan-European ambitions, has raised $50 million in Series A funding, confirming our earlier scoop. The London-based venture capital firm Balderton Capital has led the round, alongside LocalGlobe, Raine Ventures and previous VOI backer Vostok New Ventures.
Image Source: Voi Scooters