Day: June 3, 2019

June 3, 2019 Off

Aptiv’s self-driving BMWs have made more than 50,000 rides on the Lyft app in Las Vegas

By Jill T Frey

A little more than a year ago, self-driving software company Aptiv and Lyft launched a pilot project to test a robotaxi service — with human safety drivers still behind the wheel — in Las Vegas during the week of CES.

That one-week pilot never ended. And now, the companies say they’ve given more than 50,000 rides in Aptiv’s self-driving BMW 5 series vehicles via the Lyft app. The average ride received a rating of 4.97 out of 5 stars, according to Lyft, which added that 92% of riders said they felt very safe or extremely safe during the ride.

The milestone illustrates how far Aptiv and Lyft has come in a span of 18 months. It also shows that in spite of amassing so many rides, there’s much left to achieve before humans leave the driver’s seat for good.

Lyft and Aptiv first launched the pilot in January 2018. By … Read the rest

June 3, 2019 Off

Meet Apple’s secret weapon for keeping Wall Street happy

By Jill T Frey

Apple has been shifting their business strategy over the past couple years to push the revenues earned from top customers higher and higher, but if you thought a $999 starting price for the iPhone XS was bold, Apple announced earlier today that they’re selling the freaking stand for the display of their new Mac Pro for $999.

As the price of the stand was announced as an aside towards the end of the WWDC keynote, audible murmurs broke out in the crowd visibly catching the presenter off-guard and causing him to lose his train of thought.

The company’s new Mac Pro starts at $5,999, which is incredibly pricey but ultimately it’s a machine that hit plenty of the high-points that the company’s power users were hoping for. The company’s $4,999 Pro Display XDR also hits some high points though its pricing might raise your eyebrows a bit more, but then … Read the rest

June 3, 2019 Off

GM and Fiat Chrysler are buying Tesla’s regulatory credits

By Jill T Frey

One of the more opaque segments of Tesla’s business just became a little more transparent. Recent  filings show that GM and Fiat Chrysler have bought zero-emissions vehicle credits from Tesla, Bloomberg reported Monday.

Tesla’s ZEV credit program isn’t a secret. The company has brought in nearly $2 billion in revenue since 2010 when it started selling regulatory credits to automakers that needed to offset sales of polluting vehicles in the U.S. And it’s a revenue stream that has been either lauded or criticized for years now as analysts and the media debate whether this helps or hurts Tesla’s bottom line.

But little was known, until now, about who was doing the buying and why — beyond the assumed reason to offset sales of vehicles that produce tailpipe emissions.

Bloomberg found recent state filings in Delaware that reveal a little bit more about Tesla’s ZEV customers. GM and FCA both disclosed … Read the rest

June 3, 2019 Off

iOS 13 will let you bypass the App Store download cap when on a cellular connection

By Jill T Frey

 

Just a few days ago, Apple bumped up the limit on how big of an app you can download from the App Store while on a cellular connection, increasing it from 150MB to 200MB. As we noted at the time, it’s always seemed a bit silly that there was no way to acknowledge the file size and bypass the limit — to effectively say “Yeah, yeah, I know. Let me download it anyway.”

Looks like Apple agrees.

As spotted by 9to5Mac, iOS 13 (or, at least, the just-released developer beta version of iOS 13) gives you the option to download large apps over cellular should you choose to do so. Whether you’ve got the monthly bandwidth to spare or you just need a big ol’ monster app/update now (lack of WiFi be damned), iOS 13 seems much more willing to get out of your way.

A new Read the rest

June 3, 2019 Off

Fitness startup Mirror nears $300M valuation with fresh funding

By Jill T Frey

Today, Peloton is a bonafide success. The company, which sells $2,245 internet-connected exercise bikes, boasts a $4 billion valuation and a cult following.

That hasn’t always been the case. For years, Peloton battled for venture capital investment and struggled to attract buyers. Now that it’s proven the market for tech-enabled home exercise equipment and affiliated subscription products, a whole bunch of startups are chasing down the same customer segment.

Mirror, a New York-based company that sells $1,495 full-length mirrors that double as interactive home gyms, is closing in a round of funding expected to reach $36 million, sources and Delaware stock filings confirm, at a valuation just under $300 million. It’s unclear who has signed on to lead the round; we’ve heard a number of high-profile firms looked at Mirror’s books and passed. The company has previously raised a total of $38 million from Spark Capital, First Round Capital, Lerer … Read the rest

June 3, 2019 Off

Cookware startup Great Jones launches Potline, a text service for recipes and advice

By Jill T Frey

Great Jones, a startup selling pots, pans and even an oven directly to consumers, is introducing a new way to get help in the kitchen.

Potline is a free text message service where anyone can ask for recipe ideas, or get advice when things are going wrong in the middle of the cooking process, or get tips on how to clean up afterwards. Great Jones co-founder Sierra Tishgart argued this is “a really natural extension” of the brand, particularly since the company has already been getting customer service queries that aren’t really about its cookware.

“It’s great to see someone write in to say, ‘Hey I’m cooking for my new girlfriend or boyfriend, and I want a roast chicken recipe,’” Tishgart said.

As for why it’s doing this via text message, she said, “We really want this to feel like that you are in the middle of making pasta … Read the rest

June 3, 2019 Off

Flash, the e-scooter startup from Delivery Hero founder, re-brands as ‘Circ’ and announces 1M rides

By Jill T Frey

Flash, the micro-mobility startup from Delivery Hero and Team Europe founder Lukasz Gadowski, is re-branding today and disclosing that the e-scooter rental service has clocked up 1 million rides in just 4.5 months since launch.

This, the company claims, is a milestone passed quicker than any of its competitors, although Voi recently announced that it reached 2 million rides in less than 8 months, while I understand that Tier, which launched later than Voi, is on track to hit that same number any day now, if it hasn’t already. The takeaway: e-scooter rentals in Europe remains a hot and fast-growing market to be in.

Quietly launched in Zurich, Switzerland in mid-January this year, Berlin-based Circ says it has since expanded to 21 cities across 7 countries. The re-brand is in preparation for further international expansion, with Germany up next to coincide with new German regulations permitting e-scooter services.… Read the rest

June 3, 2019 Off

Is your event strategy paying off? How to calculate your event ROI

By Jill T Frey

Events have increasingly become an important channel in the marketing mix, despite how notoriously “impossible” it is to measure the ROI, or return on investment. When people show up to your event, they are willingly giving you their attention for hours on end – not trying to avoid attention-grabbing ads.

A well produced experience provides a great way to reach outside of your existing networks, build a pipeline of new customers, transform existing customers into superfans, and position your brand as a thought leader. In 2017, only 7% of marketers … Read the rest

June 3, 2019 Off

With iOS 13, Apple delivers new features to court users in India

By Jill T Frey

Apple has finally listened to its small, but slowly growing user base in India. The iPhone-maker today announced a range of features in iOS 13 that are designed to appease users in the world’s second largest smartphone market.

First up, the company says its Siri voice assistant now offers all new and “more natural” Indian English male and female voices. It has also introduced a bilingual keyboard, featuring support for Hindi and English languages. The keyboard offers typing predictions in Devanagari Hindi that can suggest the next word as a user types and it learns from their typing over time.

Additionally, the keyboard in iOS 13 supports all of 22 Indian languages, with the inclusion of 15 new Indian language keyboards: Assamese, Bodo, Dogri, Kashmiri (Devanagari, Arabic), Konkani (Devanagari), Manipuri (Bangla, Meetei Mayek), Maithili, Nepali, Sanskrit, Santali (Devanagari, Ol Chiki), and Sindhi (Devanagari, Arabic).

The addition of these features comes … Read the rest

June 3, 2019 Off

Flash Sale! Buy a mobility startup package, get one for free at Disrupt SF

By Jill T Frey

Check your calendars, mobility startup fans. It’s only five short weeks until TC Sessions: Mobility 2019 goes down in San Jose. Get ready to dive into the current state of mobility, challenge assumptions, put hyperbole in its place and help shape the future of these rapidly evolving technologies.

And if you want to expose your early-stage mobility startups to mobility’s brightest, most influential founders, technologists and investors, take advantage of this limited-time flash sale. When you buy a demo table at TC Sessions: Mobility you’ll get a free Startup Alley Exhibitor Package at Disrupt San Francisco 2019*. And guess what — in addition to a demo space, both events’ startup packages come with three attendee tickets!

This double-demo opportunity comes to a grinding halt on Friday, June 7 at 11:59 pm (PT) and is exclusively for early-stage mobility startups. Don’t miss your chance to showcase your company to thousands of … Read the rest