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Ford's self-driving test vehicle in Miami (Image credit: Ford)

Ford is developing a broad transportation service platform to take advantage of what it says is a $332 billion business opportunity for autonomous vehicles.

Why it matters: Amid all the hype about autonomous vehicles, little attention is paid to the business case for driverless cars. Ford’s plan is to keep its AVs running nearly round-the-clock by catering to both ride-hailing consumers and business customers.

“What will win this game in the future is not just the pure science. It’s how people will use it. People will be our constant focus.”
— Ford CEO James Hackett

The big picture: Ford says the total addressable market for autonomous vehicles is $332 billion by 2026, citing data from Frost & Sullivan and Morgan Stanley.

  • $202 billion will be ride-hailing in urban areas
  • $130 billion will be “last-mile” goods delivery for retailers like Wal-Mart and small businesses like dry cleaners and florists.

What’s happening: Ford is building its business strategy city-by-city, starting with Miami, where it has been testing a fleet of autonomous vehicles with various partners since February. Every city has unique transportation needs, which is why it's important to collaborate with city officials, Ford says. Next up: Washington, D.C., starting in 2019.

Go deeper

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7 mins ago - Economy & Business

The fragile recovery

Data: Department of Labor; Chart: Axios Visuals

The number of people receiving unemployment benefits is falling but remains remarkably high three weeks before pandemic assistance programs are set to expire. More than 1 million people a week are still filing for initial jobless claims, including nearly 300,000 applying for pandemic assistance.

By the numbers: As of Nov. 14, 20.2 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits of some kind, including more than 13.4 million on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs that were created as part of the CARES Act and end on Dec. 26.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

The top candidates Biden is considering for key energy and climate roles

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has urged President-elect Joe Biden to nominate Mary Nichols, chair of California's air pollution regulator, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The reported push by Schumer could boost Nichol's chances of leading an agency that will play a pivotal role in Biden's vow to enact aggressive new climate policies — especially because the plan is likely to rest heavily on executive actions.

U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows

Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.7% from 6.9%, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The labor market continues to recover even as coronavirus cases surge— though it's still millions of jobs short of the pre-pandemic level. The problem is that the rate of recovery is slowing significantly.