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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Autonomous vehicle fleets won't likely replace buses and trains in major cities, but two mobility tech firms are exploring how self-driving taxis might improve access to public transit systems.

What's happening: Self-driving tech company Motional (a joint venture between Hyundai and Aptiv) this week announced a partnership with Via that the companies say will serve as a blueprint for an on-demand, shared robotaxi service.

  • Via’s software enables cities and transit agencies to offer shared, on-demand rides, sometimes in place of underutilized bus routes or to help people in underserved areas reach mass transit stations — a service known as micro mobility.
  • Under the new partnership, Via’s ride-sharing app would include Motional's self-driving vehicles, alongside public transit information.
  • The service is expected to launch in the first half of 2021, in one of Motional's existing AV test markets, which include Las Vegas and Boston.

Go deeper

Jan 8, 2021 - Economy & Business

Cruise hires ex-Delta Air Lines executive to lead rollout of self-driving taxis

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Cruise is turning to a former Delta Air Lines' executive to begin the rollout of its self-driving taxi business.

Why it matters: Gil West, who retired as Delta's chief operating officer last year at age 59, will become COO at Cruise as it shifts from research and development to commercialization of autonomous vehicles. He'll report to CEO Dan Ammann.

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."