Welcome to the transportation issue. No, we don't really have theme issues (at least not yet). It just worked out that way.
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The electric scooter boom has been compared to the early days of ride-hailing in terms of how it is changing urban transportation, but the two markets are fundamentally different, as Kia Kokalitcheva reports.
First and foremost: Being able to get a ride in a car would address a much larger transportation need than scooters, which are primarily designed to handle short commutes or help people to connect to another form of transportation.
The other big difference: E-scooter companies own their scooters and charge rental fees, whereas ride-hail companies don't own their cars and take a minority cut from driver earnings. That said, things could look more similar once self-driving cars become reality, though that could be a ways from being mainstream.
Other ways things are different:
Yes, but: While there are clearly differences, there are obviously parallels. In addition to both being forms of on-demand transportation, some ride-hailing companies are offering scooter or bike rentals, or are considering doing so. And both ride-hail and scooters can be used as a "last mile" option to and from public transit.
Kia has more here.
Go deeper: Meet Bird, the Uber of scooters
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
Uber continued to shrink its operating losses in the first quarter of 2018, according to financial documents the company shared with Axios. It's also launching a stock tender offer for early employees and investors, at an implied valuation of $62 billion.
Why it matters: Uber wants to go public in 2019, so getting at least close to profitability is of paramount importance.
By the numbers:
Separately: Uber said it is shutting down its self-driving test program in Arizona and will focus on resuming operations in Pittsburgh sometime this summer. (The company remains barred from testing its cars in Arizona after one of its self-driving cars struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe in March.)
And, The Verge reports that passengers with disabilities continue to have a tough time getting an accessible Lyft or Uber.
Getaround CEO Sam Zaid
Getaround has been quietly testing its car rental service in Seattle and plans to formally launch operations there later today.
The service, which allows people to make their personal cars available for daily or weekly rental, already operates in L.A., San Francisco and about a dozen other cities.
CEO Sam Zaid said Getaround has around 50 to 60 cars signed up already in Seattle.
"We’ve proven the model very well here in San Francisco and the Bay Area and really want to just bring Getaround everywhere," Zaid told Axios.
A Volkswagen van being made at a factory in Poland. Photo: Wojtek Laski/Getty Images
The New York Times reported Wednesday that Apple has signed a deal with Volkswagen to supply vans that the iPhone maker would use to create a self-driving shuttle for employees.
The bottom line: While not in the fast lane, Apple's self-driving car effort is apparently chugging along. Apple has gotten permits to test autonomous vehicles in California.
While the project is only now being reported, the Times said that the project is behind schedule and is taking up nearly all the resources of the scaled-back self-driving car team.
The Times also reported that Apple had sought deals with BMW and Mercedes but had been rebuffed amid Apple's desire to maintain control over design and data. An Apple representative declined to comment.
The best part of the Salesforce Tower grand opening — mascot Astro trying to squeeze through the revolving door.