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We are pleased to inform you about mobility-related news for the third week of January 2021.

I (Kersten Krosec) became TechCrunch’s editor for mobility. The change in job title has increased responsibilities and missions. We’ll be getting more freelance writers to contribute to TechCrunch’s “Future Mobility” article. Mark Harris is an investigative journalist who has published some great articles in the magazine and will be appearing regularly in the future. Harris has the talent to dig out news from legal documents and submissions. There’s an article about Tesla’s tariffs in 2019 and an article about Elon Musk’s estimate of passenger transport capacity for the Las Vegas Loop project.

We look forward to adding more faces to the transportation sector in the future.

CES Overview

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Mercedes-EQ MBUX Hyperscreen(Image credit: Mercedes)

Although it may have been virtual, autonomous driving technology did not play a central role at CES 2021 as it used to.

Instead, the themes that attracted attention at CES focused on infotainment and advanced driver assistance systems. Also, as a trend that will continue from 2020, some huge screens have appeared. The Mercedes Hyperscreen in the photo above is one of them.

Pioneer, Harman, and Panasonic have introduced future products to further incorporate audio and visual technology into the car. Harman, for example, unveiled three new “experience concepts” that turn an in-car infotainment system into a concert hall, recording studio, or arcade.

Panasonic has announced that it will partner with British startup Envisics to jointly develop and commercialize next-generation heads-up displays for passenger cars, trucks and SUVs. Head-up displays (HUDs) have been seen everywhere in the show. The technology isn’t new, but recent technological advances have led to a rapid evolution of the system’s capabilities, embedding it in the dashboard and projecting images onto the windshield to assist drivers through navigation and various alerts.

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Image Credit: Envisics

GM (General Motors) probably had the largest presence in the virtual 2021 CES, at least in the transportation sector. The company chose the show as a venue to unveil BrightDrop, a new business unit to bring products and services, including electric wagons, to market. But that’s not all.

GM took this opportunity to pre-introduce the upcoming Chevrolet Bolt EUV. In addition to being equipped with GM’s hands-free highway driving support system Super Cruise, it has also adopted the Cadillac Celestiq dashboard and new logo. The intent of the series of announcements is clear. GM is trying to show the world (and shareholders) that the company is serious about the technology of electric vehicles and connected vehicles.

Many GM announcements cannot be overlooked. There was also eVTOL (Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing Drone). In contrast, Mobileye’s announcement wasn’t very noticeable, but it’s definitely worth noting.

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GM unveiled two concepts at CES 2021. Self-driving shuttle and personal eVTOL (image credit: GM)

Mobileye outlined plans to expand self-driving car testing to many cities, the same as previously announced plans.

What caught my eye was Mobileye’s president and CEO, Amnon Shashua, who talked about the company’s vision and progress.

In summary, Mobileye has adopted a three-pillar tactic in the development and deployment of autonomous driving technology, including fully autonomous driving stacks (including cameras, radar, and redundant sensing subsystems based on LiDAR technology) with REM mapping systems, and Combined with rule-based liability-sensitive safety theory (RSS) driving policy.

Mobileye’s REM mapping system creates high-precision maps from data collected by cloud sourcing from nearly one million vehicles equipped with the company’s technology, and is used to support ADAS and autonomous driving systems. Mobileye’s technology can now automatically map the world, collecting nearly 8 million kilometers and a cumulative total of nearly 1 billion kilometers of travel data each day, Shashua said.

Mobileye will also reveal details of the new one-chip LiDAR system product currently under development and will bring it to market in 2025. The LiDAR will use Intel’s silicon photonics technology, notably because Mobileye is known for its camera-based technology. Mobileye doesn’t abandon the camera-first approach. Mobileye believes that the best technical and business approach is to develop a camera-first system and use LiDAR and radar as add-ons for redundancy, Shashua explained.

In summary, Mobileye has the money and network to commercialize autonomous driving technology and bring it to the masses.

Below are some of our transportation-related CES articles.

・ Mercedes-Benz announces curved 56-inch “hyper screen” of luxury EV sedan EQS
・ GM launches new business unit for delivery companies, announces commercial EV vans and pallets with electric assist
・ Mobileye, an autonomous driving technology, will expand its test area to four cities around the world, including Tokyo, within a few months.
・ Sony releases technology introduction and driving scene video of prototype EV sedan “VISION-S”
・ Envisics, a holographic display, has partnered with Panasonic to accelerate the realization of in-car AR technology.
・ BMW pre-releases next-generation “iDrive” infotainment system
・ Sono Motors licenses solar car technology to Easy Mile, an autonomous shuttle bus
・ Air taxi startup Archer partners with car maker Fiat Chrysler to produce electric airplanes

Uber is preparing a new spin-off


Postmates robot Serve uses Austin’s camera and rider (image credit: Postmates)

Do you remember my prophecy that unmanned delivery will make a leap forward in 2021? Apparently I’m right.

Postmates X is the robotics division of an on-demand delivery startup that Uber acquired for $ 2.65 billion in 2020 and is looking for an investor to become another company named Serve Robotics.

Some people may remember the word Serve. A self-driving sidewalk delivery bot painted in yellow and black, developed by Postmates X and pilot tested. The robot has recently partnered with Pink Dot Stores for delivery in West Hollywood and is likely to be the core of a new startup.

I have some information on the important details of this plan, but I haven’t finalized it yet. Uber
Will continue to hold shares in the new company. Uber’s stake was initially low, but has since jumped to about 25%, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The company will be headed by Ali Kashani, who is currently head of the Postmates X and responsible for the Serve project. Anthony Armenta will lead the software division of the new company, Aaron Leiba (
Aaron Reyba) will be in charge of the hardware. Both are the same jobs I did at Postmates X.

We will keep you updated as soon as new information becomes available.

Related article
・ Tesla’s autopilot is in trouble due to Trump tariffs
Elon Musk’s Las Vegas Loop passenger transport capacity may be significantly less than expected
・ GM announces new logo showing seriousness for EV, website renewed
・ Cadillac reveals the concept of a one-seater electric vertical takeoff and landing drone that provides luxury air travel
Uber completes acquisition of food delivery Postmates


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