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March 25, 2019
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Transportation

Tesla Model Y orders are now open

in Automotive/Cars/ceo/Delhi/electric vehicles/Elon Musk/hyperloop/India/Los Angeles/model/model Y/Politics/Tesla/tesla model 3/The Boring Company/Transportation by

Customers can already place an order for the Tesla Model Y, a mid-sized crossover SUV that won’t go into production until 2020.

Tesla requires a $2,500 deposit to complete the order for the all-electric vehicle, according to information posted on its website. A disclaimer on the order form states that “production is expected to begin late next year.” Under that timeline, deliveries wouldn’t begin until late 2020 or possibly early 2021.

There are other clues on the order page, including that the seven-seat interior won’t be available until 2021. The Model Y will come standard as a five seater.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the Model Y on Thursday night at the Tesla Design Studio in Los Angeles. During the presentation, Musk didn’t mention that customers could order the Model Y. That’s a departure from previous events, notably the Model 3 reveal in March 2016, which prompted thousands of people to put down $1,000 deposits.

The Model Y bears a striking resemblance to Model 3, and for good reason. The Model Y shares about 75 percent of the same parts as the Model 3.

The vehicle, which will come in a standard, long range, dual-motor all-wheel and performance variants, is larger than the Model 3, allowing it to accommodate seven people (for those who opt to pay the $3,000 up charge). The order page of the Model Y shows that it comes standard as a 5-seater. To get the 7-seater configuration, customers have to pay an additional $3,000.

The Model Y also sits higher than the Model 3, a distinction that is more obvious once you’re sitting inside. One of the most distinguishing differences is the Model Y has a panoramic roof.

The standard range version will start $39,000 and have 230 mile range. However, Tesla will first produce the performance, dual-motor and long range versions. Customers who want the standard range version of the Model Y will have to wait until at least spring 2021. The performance and dual motor variants will be able to travel 280 miles on a single charge, while the long-range version will, as it sounds, have the longest range at 300 miles.

All of the variants are designed to have the same kind of performance as its smaller sibling. The performance version of the Model Y will be able to travel from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 150 mph.

But that kind of performance comes at a higher price. The performance version will start at $60,000. The dual motor variant will start at $51,000 and the base price of the long-range version will be $47,000.

News Source = techcrunch.com

The Tesla Model Y is a 300-mile range Model 3 doppelganger coming in fall 2020

in Automotive/Delhi/electric vehicles/Elon Musk/India/model-s/Politics/Tesla/Transportation by

At first glance, it appeared that Tesla Model 3 had a doppelganger.

After years of teasers and hints, Tesla CEO Elon Musk finally unveiled the Model Y, a mid-sized all-electric vehicle that will start at $39,000 and is slated to hit the marketplace in fall 2020.

The Model Y bears a striking resemblance to Model 3. The vehicle, which will come in a standard, long range, dual-motor all-wheel and performance variants, is a bit larger,  allowing it to accommodate seven people. It also sits slightly higher than the Model 3.

And that’s where the differences start to fade away.

The Model Y has the same interior as the Model 3, including the same single 15-inch touchscreen interface as well as other features like the door handles.

The photo below is a Model 3. 

And now, the Model Y. Notice a slightly higher stance and shorter front end.

Other important specs

The standard range version will start $39,000 and have 230 mile range. However, Tesla will first produce the performance, dual-motor and long range versions. Customers who want the standard range version of the Model Y will have to wait until at least spring 2021. The performance and dual motor variants will be able to travel 280 miles on a single charge, while the long-range version will, as it sounds, have the longest range at 300 miles.

All of the variants are designed to have the same kind of performance as its smaller sibling. The performance version of the Model Y will be able to travel from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 150 mph.

But that kind of performance comes at a higher price. The performance version will start at $60,000. The dual motor variant will start at $51,000 and the base price of the long-range version will be $47,000.

Musk didn’t say where the Model Y would be produced, nor did he get into other details beyond the vehicle specs and a vague timeline.

He did provide a bullish forecast for the Model Y, stating towards the end of the event that he expects Y sales to exceed Model S and Model X combined. Tesla has sold more than 500,000 vehicles to date, including the Roadster, S, X and 3.

News Source = techcrunch.com

How to watch Elon Musk unveil the Tesla Model Y

in Automotive/Cars/ceo/China/Delhi/electric vehicles/Elon Musk/hyperloop/India/Los Angeles/Politics/Tesla/Tesla Model x/The Boring Company/Transportation/United States by

Tesla is scheduled to reveal the Model Y — the next electric vehicle in electric automaker’s lineup — tonight at an event in Los Angeles after, not months, but years of teasers and hints from CEO Elon Musk .

Tesla will live stream the Model Y unveiling event at 8 pm PT via its website. However, folks who want to watch the event should head over to the site (https://www.tesla.com/modely) prior to the 8 pm start time. There is a registration process. Once completed, a new page pops up with the message “Thank you for registering. We will send you an invite in the hours leading up to the event.”

TechCrunch will be at the event to hunt for other interesting tidbits about the Model Y as well as possibly get a ride in the compact SUV. Stay tuned.

What to expect

Details about the compact SUV are scant, although Musk has provided some information leading up to the March 14 Tesla Model Y event.

The Model Y is expected to be 10 percent bigger than the Model 3 and cost 10 percent more, according to Musk. It will have the same battery as the Model 3, but its beefier profile will mean “slightly less” range than the Model 3.

Tonight’s event should answer many, but not all questions. Expect more information on the vehicle specs such as range and performance, two favorite go-tos for Musk. Price could be revealed as well. Those kinds of splashy data points can create buzz and attention. But TechCrunch is more interested in the how, than the what.

What we’ll be watching for is any information about where the Model Y will be produced, a production timeline, and what manufacturing strategy the company plans to pursue. TechCrunch will also be paying attention to how Tesla handles reservations for the Model Y.

Some of Tesla’s biggest problems stem from how it builds its electric vehicles. The company emphasized highly automated systems and then backed away from that approach. (Remember the tent?)

Why it matters

Model 3 has long been considered Tesla’s most important car. And it still is. Without continued sales of the Model 3, Tesla will lack the necessary capital to produce the Model Y.

Meanwhile, the Model Y, if Tesla can apply all of the lessons it learned from its troubles with the Model 3 production, could be a smash hit for the automaker. More importantly, Musk is counting on the Model Y to hit the company’s goal of delivering 1 million cars by 2020.

Americans are still lusting after SUVs, particularly smaller ones,  and it’s an appetite that has grown beyond U.S. borders and into other important markets such as China.

News Source = techcrunch.com

Populus raises $3.1 million to help cities make sense of shared scooters and bikes

in Delhi/India/micromobility/Politics/precursor ventures/TC/Transportation by

Cities are seemingly down for this new era of transportation, which entails micromobility services and ride-hailing, and operators are increasingly more down to share their data with cities. Now, cities just have to find out what to do with this data and how to extract learnings from it.

This is where Populus comes in. Populus, which just raised a $3.1 million seed round from Precursor Ventures, Relay Ventures and others, helps cities make sense of the influx of transportation data. This brings the startup’s total funding to $3.85 million.

The platform is designed to enable cities to access vehicle and trip data from shared mobility operators. City planners can view where people park and ride scooters, for example, to better determine the best place to put scooter parking areas and dedicated lanes.

“One of the key issues that cities face around mobility services (in general), is that these services are arriving faster than most cities can keep up,” Populus CEO and co-founder Regina Clewlow told TechCrunch via email. “They are fundamentally changing transportation choices and travel patterns in ways that are unpredictable and unmeasured, making it very difficult for cities to design and manage public infrastructure (a job that only they can do). With access to better data and more importantly, information, we are finding that our customers, such as Arlington County in the D.C. area, are able to design infrastructure that can help shared mobility services grow safely and sustainably – such as new bike lanes and scooter corrals.”

To date, Populus works with Washington, D.C. and cities in the SF Bay Area and Los Angeles region. Given that most cities require shared transportation operators to share data with them, it’s easy for Populus to come in as a third party. Populus also offers real-time data from ride-share companies to inform curbside management and pricing. Back in December, Populus partnered with Lime to facilitate data-sharing from its car-share service, LimePod.

Populus works by having cities and operators purchase the platform on a subscription basis. Populus then securely ingests and hosts the data, and proceeds to offer tools to cities and operators to better understand how residents are using the transportation services in the city.

“Over the past decade we have seen an explosion of shared mobility services,” Precursor Ventures Managing Partner Charles Hudson said in a press release. “In order to fulfill their promises of delivering safer, equitable, and efficient streets, shared mobility operators will require platform partners like Populus to facilitate their continued growth. The Populus team’s deep technical and industry expertise are unparalleled. They’ve dedicated their careers to solving the worlds biggest urban problems, and they are building a game-changing platform that will transform the future of cities.”

Populus first launched its core product in September 2018. Clewlow says it was her work with co-founder Fletcher Foti back in 2012 that inspired this company. At the time, the two were working on software to help the Bay Area regional transportation agency forecast the next 30 years of travel. During that work, they witnessed cities struggle to understand what were new modes of transportation at the time offered by the likes of Uber and Lyft.

“We believed that with the rise of dockless mobility, cities would begin to start exerting their authority over managing city streets, and that data platforms would be essential to help private fleets and cities coordinate with one another to make progress on safety, efficiency, and equity goals,” Clewlow said.

News Source = techcrunch.com

Flight-hailing startup BlackBird raises $10 million to replace driving with flying

in air travel/Airbnb/Andrew Swain/Blackbird/california/Delhi/eBay/Francoise Brougher/Google/India/Lyft/new enterprise associates/pilot/Pinterest/Politics/tahoe/TC/Transportation by

The origin story of BlackBird, a startup that links travelers to planes and commercial pilots through an app, didn’t begin with air travel. It was prompted by car sickness.

BlackBird CEO and founder Rudd Davis, who was getting his pilot’s license at the time, asked his flight instructor if he would fly his family to Tahoe because his son gets terribly sick every time they traveled by car. What Rudd discovered was an incredible experience that was far more affordable than he realized. 

Davis launched the company in 2016 and has spent the past two years honing in on the business model as well as adding commercial pilots and members. Now, with fresh capital from New Enterprise Associates, BlackBird is ready to spread its wings. 

The company announced Tuesday it has raised $10 million in a Series A round led by NEA. NEA partner Jonathan Golden, who previously worked at Airbnb, has joined the BlackBird board of directors alongside Francoise Brougher of Pinterest, Square and Google, and Andrew Swain, who also is from Airbnb.

BlackBird has also hired Brian Hsu, who spent a decade at eBay and most recently was vice president of supply at Lyft, as chief operating officer. Davis is counting on Hsu, who has experience scaling marketplaces, to help BlackBird expand its membership and reach.

 

The company will use its new injection of capital to scale up, in terms of users, pilots and employees.

BlackBird currently has more than 700 commercial pilots who fly passengers between 50 and 500 miles from and within California. For now, Davis said this is a self-imposed geographic restriction.

“We’re trying to build up density and build up the network and optimize it before we start replicating it to other geographies,” Davis said.

It does face challenges. BlackBird has to find that price-per-seat sweet spot, which is largely driven by how many users and pilots are on the platform. Seats can be around $80 or upwards of $900, depending on the route, pilot availability and demand. And BlackBird must fight misconceptions of what and who the platform is designed for.

“A lot of people have looked at this space before, and really have kind of come up empty handed,” said Golden, who was a seed investor in BlackBird before joining NEA.

What makes BlackBird so compelling, Golden added, is that it’s not about luxury travel, but instead about how to actually replace driving through flights, which is really compelling.

“When most people think about kind of flying non-commercially, they think about huge jets with couches and for billionaires,” Davis said.And that is not the entirety of general aviation; there’s a huge aspect of aviation that is flying in smaller planes. It just hasn’t really been as accessible.”

News Source = techcrunch.com

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