Transportation

Toyota reveals fuel cell bus for 2017, can serve as emergency generator

Toyota reveals fuel cell bus for 2017, can serve as emergency generator

Toyota unveiled its newest hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle in Japan this week, but it's not a four-door sedan or crossover SUV; it's a bus intended for public transportation. The zero-emission bus uses the same technology as Toyota's new Mirai fuel cell sedan, and the plan is to have a fleet of 100 or so running in Tokyo in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

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AIR33 eBike is a lightweight, efficient way to get around a city

AIR33 eBike is a lightweight, efficient way to get around a city

Electrobike has introduced the new AIR33, an electric bicycle poised for getting you around the city in style, and without the burdens that an ordinary street bike may present. The AIR33 is lightweight and foldable, with the latter feature being tailored sensibly to one's needs: the bike can still be rolled on its wheels when folded up, meaning you don't have to carry it. As well, the bicycle includes an electric motor for riding along without peddling or for assistance while going up hills.

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Uber and Lyft face their newest battle in Philadelphia

Uber and Lyft face their newest battle in Philadelphia

Uber and Lyft face their latest legal struggle in Philadelphia, where they were ordered yesterday night to stop operating. Both companies ultimately ignored the order and continued providing rides via their respective platforms; soon after, Uber got a small victory via a preliminary injunction that blocked the cease and desist order. That itself is only a temporary victory, though, and the company -- as well as Lyft -- face an uphill battle to get more friendly legislation established, otherwise they risk a similar order to cease operations in the future.

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Apple Maps adds full Amtrak route data for nationwide train rides

Apple Maps adds full Amtrak route data for nationwide train rides

Yes, passenger train rides in most of the U.S. are long, expensive, and sparse. That doesn't stop some people from using them -- especially those in the northeast corridor and other highly-serviced regions -- and now Apple users can do so more easily than before. Apple Maps has been updated with Amtrak's full nationwide routes, as well as some routes that head up into Canada, enabling users to plot their trips from the comfort of Apple's own mapping app.

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Uber’s getting into the long-haul trucking business

Uber’s getting into the long-haul trucking business

Uber is getting into the long-haul trucking business, expanding its focus beyond mere consumer ridesharing (and possible future VTOL flights). The company recently acquired Otto, a trucking startup with self-driving ambitions, and now it is working on establishing partnerships with truck drivers and more. Per statements made recently by Otto co-founder Lior Ron, the Otto fleet is being expanded from six trucks to 15 or so, with the trucks being slated to hit the road starting next year.

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Uber may offer short VTOL flights in big cities in the future

Uber may offer short VTOL flights in big cities in the future

For now, hailing an Uber ride means waiting for a human driver to show up in a car. In the relatively near future, we expect it’ll mean an autonomous car showing up. In the somewhat more distant future, it could include a different option entirely: a short duration autonomous flight from one place to another. Such a reality was recently discussed by Uber’s Jeff Holden, who said the company is looking into so-called VTOL technology — that is, vertical takeoff and landing vehicles.

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Uber rolls out security selfies in US for driver authentication

Uber rolls out security selfies in US for driver authentication

Uber has taken another step toward addressing safety concerns voiced by critics, doing so by starting a rollout of security selfies in the United States. With these selfies, an Uber driver takes a selfie using their phone before they can go online in the Uber system, which users the selfie to determine whether the driver matches the account owner's photo on file. By doing so, it serves as an authentication of sorts that the driver is who he or she is supposed to be.

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Germany will soon have a quieter, hydrogen-powered train

Germany will soon have a quieter, hydrogen-powered train

“Environment-friendly trains” is probably a bit of an oxymoron, unless you’re talking about electric-powered ones. Ever since their first incarnations, trains have been synonymous not just with the consumption of massive amounts of diesel but also of CO2 emission. But as they are an integral part of public transportation, especially in European countries, they can’t be simply removed. In Germany, however, a solution is already being tested in the form of the Coradia iLint, billed as the world’s first clean and green train fit for public use.

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Uber in New York City gets ride scheduling

Uber in New York City gets ride scheduling

Uber is great if you need to catch a ride somewhere, but lacks when you have to catch a ride at a specific time — if no drivers are close by, you’ll be forced to wait however long until a driver swings by. To help deal with that issue comes a scheduled rides feature for those located in New York City. With it, you can schedule a ride ahead of time to ensure there’s a car ready to pick you up right when you need it. This is part of the feature announced in June, which already went live in Seattle and many other places.

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Car-sharing outfit Zipcar expands into bike-sharing

Car-sharing outfit Zipcar expands into bike-sharing

Long before Uber was ruling the streets, the idea of car-sharing was associated with companies like Zipcar, the service where users can pay to use a car just when they need it, and then park it for someone else to take. Now Zipcar is looking to apply that same model to bicycles, and has announced a new partnership with Zagster where they will bring a new bike-sharing service to 15 college campuses in the US.

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Ford acquires Chariot as part of smart city transportation plans

Ford acquires Chariot as part of smart city transportation plans

Ford Smart Mobility LLC is acquiring San Francisco-based crowdsourced shuttle service “Chariot,” the company has announced. With it, Ford anticipates it will be able to offer an “affordable and convenient transportation” option to people in five or more markets starting a year-and-a-half from now. In addition, Ford is also aiming to provide San Franciscans with more transportation options via its Ford GoBike bike-sharing service offered in collaboration with Motivate.

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Google Maps adds Lyft and Gett as ride service options

Google Maps adds Lyft and Gett as ride service options

Back in March, Google added a ride services section to Google Maps that presents various ride services with how soon you could take them and about how much they’d cost. The idea is that you probably don’t have time to toggle between a bunch of different apps to figure out which transportation method is the fastest — using this ride services tab, you can see in one glance whether it would, for example be faster to take an Uber car or a taxi; or, alternatively, whether one option would be cheaper than another. In a statement today, Google announced it has updated that ride services integration with two new companies.

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