Autonomous Vehicle Rationale Breaks Down

Autonomous Vehicle Rationale Breaks Down
by Roger C. Lanctot on 10-03-2021 at 6:00 am

Autonomous Vehicle Rationale Breaks Down

The latest SmartDrivingCars podcast raised fundamental questions regarding the rationale for developing autonomous cars while debating the various paths to market adoption. The discussion took place between Alain Kornhauser – faculty chair of autonomous vehicle engineering at Princeton University and Adriano Alessandrini,

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Uber, Lyft Fail their COVID-19 Test

Uber, Lyft Fail their COVID-19 Test
by Roger C. Lanctot on 09-12-2021 at 6:00 am

Uber Lyft Fail their COVID 19 Test

The COVID-19 pandemic taught many lessons and revealed various weaknesses in global supply chains and business models. The transportation industry was hit particularly hard as people stopped moving thereby taking down public transit, crashing rental car companies and airlines, and erasing the fleets of ride hailing operators.… Read More


Playing Pandemic Roulette in Cars

Playing Pandemic Roulette in Cars
by Roger C. Lanctot on 01-24-2021 at 10:00 am

Playing Pandemic Roulette in Cars

A study published in ScienceAdvances has shown computer simulations of the movement of virus-laden airborne droplets in cars. The objective of the study appears to be to assess the degree of driver-to-passenger and passenger-to-driver exposure given different open-or-closed window configurations in the context of modeled… Read More


Uber v Alto Ride Hail Streetfight

Uber v Alto Ride Hail Streetfight
by Roger C. Lanctot on 01-17-2021 at 10:00 am

Uber v. Alto Ride Hail Streetfight

Uber, Lyft, Postmates, Instacart and Doordash were successful in their nearly $200M effort to pass California’s Proposition 22 in November – to allow gig operators to avoid treating their drivers as full-time employees with all of the associated employee benefits and legal protections. In the midst of a devastating pandemic… Read More


Cars and COVID-19 Uncertainty

Cars and COVID-19 Uncertainty
by Roger C. Lanctot on 07-26-2020 at 6:00 am

Cars and COVID 19 Uncertainty

A funny thing happens when you let car makers make cars and car dealers sell cars – people start buying cars. With the U.S. economy at least partially re-opening nationwide car buyers have returned to the market and, finding a limited supply of new cars and disappointing incentives, have turned, in part, to used cars. This … Read More


Shut Uber Down Now

Shut Uber Down Now
by Roger C. Lanctot on 03-29-2020 at 12:00 pm

Shut Uber Down Now

By now it is pretty clear that everywhere outside of China and South Korea human beings are doing a lousy job of “social distancing,” locking down, and sheltering in place. This is unfortunate because experts agree that only a complete lockdown will stop COVID-19 from infecting millions, continuing to kill thousands,

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Don’t Blame Trump for Auto Downturn

Don’t Blame Trump for Auto Downturn
by Roger C. Lanctot on 01-17-2020 at 10:00 am

Dont Blame Trump for Auto Downturn

There is a temptation to blame U.S. President Donald J. Trump for everything that is right or for everything that is wrong in the world today. Either that or blame Brexit. It’s just possible that Uber, instead, ought to be considered the target of shame for everything from traffic fatalities to global warming.

The automotive… Read More


Learning to Love Lyft Again

Learning to Love Lyft Again
by Roger C. Lanctot on 12-29-2019 at 6:00 am

When I landed at San Francisco International Airport last Tuesday morning around 1 a.m. I was determined to locate the airport taxi rank and take a cab to my hotel in Santa Clara. The idea of hailing an Uber or Lyft seemed essentially nonsensical to me since I knew professional taxi drivers would be waiting as they usually are at most… Read More


Put Uber out of Our Misery

Put Uber out of Our Misery
by Roger C. Lanctot on 12-06-2019 at 2:00 pm

The time may have finally arrived to put app-based transportation options out of commission. The latest report of 3,000 rapes and sexual assaults committed on or by Uber drivers in 2018 highlights a serious and possibly growing shortcoming of gig-type ride-hailing and delivery services: the weakness of driver background checks… Read More


Uber’s Sandcastle

Uber’s Sandcastle
by Roger C. Lanctot on 05-13-2019 at 7:00 am

As Uber’s initial public offering arrives this is a good moment to consider what kind of employment model for the future we all, as employees and employers, would prefer to adopt: Amazon or Uber?

One of my sons has interviewed with Amazon. The other has his Amazon moment today. My across-the-street neighbor works for Amazon Web Services.… Read More