After Math: Flipping the Switch

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When Foxconn and the Wisconsin state government agreed to open a production facility in the home of the Cheeseheads, the addition of 13,000 jobs was supposed to come with the new buildings. Psych, Foxconn is actually only bringing 1,500 jobs to the state, despite receiving $222 million in subsidies. But don’t worry they’ve got a full 13 years to get those staffing numbers up to full strength.

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Harley is flipping the power switch for its new LiveWire customers, offering to charge the electric motorcycles for free at any of its dealerships for the first two years. And given that you’re shelling out 30 grand for the bike, they’d darn well better.

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Yes, robots are coming to take your job. No, that doesn’t mean you can’t go find another one. Amazon announced this week that it plans to spend $700 million over the next six years to retrain 100,000 employees at risk of being made redundant by emerging automation systems.

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Those fancy LiDAR rigs [...]  read more

May Mobility reveals prototype of a wheelchair-accessible autonomous vehicle

Autonomous transportation startup May Mobility is doing more than just talking about accessibility when it comes to self-driving transportation tech development. The company recently began developing a wheelchair-accessible prototype version of its autonomous shuttle vehicle, and just concluded an initial round of gathering feedback from the community of people in Columbus, Ohio, who would actually be using the shuttle.

May Mobility’s design includes accommodations for entry and exit, as well as for securing the passenger’s wheelchair once it’s on board during the course of the trip. The company learned from the first round of feedback that its design needs improvement in terms of making the ramp longer to facilitate more gradual onboarding and disembarking, as well as optimizing pick-up and drop-off points.

It still plans to work on implementing some improvements, before deploying its vehicles, but we can expect to see accessible May Mobility shuttles in operation across its pilots [...]  read more

Where May Mobility’s self-driving shuttles might show up next

May Mobility might be operating low-speed self-driving shuttles in three U.S. cities, but its founders don’t view this as just another startup racing to deploy autonomous vehicle technology.

They describe the Ann Arbor-based company as a transportation service provider. As May Moblility’s co-founder and COO Alisyn Malek told TechCrunch, they’re in the “business of moving people.” Autonomous vehicle technology is just the “killer feature” to help them do that. 

TechCrunch recently spent the day with May Mobility in Detroit, where it first launched, to get a closer look at its operations, learn where it might be headed next and why companies in the industry are starting to back off previously ambitious timelines.

Malek will elaborate on what markets are most appealing to May Mobility while on stage at TC Sessions: Mobility on July 10 in San Jose. Malek will join Lia Theodosiou-Pisanelli, head of partner [...]  read more