Waze plots ride-sharing expansion. Where trucking jobs will be lost. Ford's sleepy engineers.
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CB Insights celebration

Hi there,

We dove into the CB Insights database this week to crunch the numbers on funding to private electric vehicles companies through full-year 2016 and the first weeks of 2017:

After an uneven decade, both EV deals and dollar investment bounced back in a big way last year, cresting $2B thanks to Chinese mega-rounds and cautious optimism returning to the space.

At its current pace, 2017 would need to see a few outsized funding rounds of its own to match 2016, but deals are on track for a fresh high while total financing would still top $1B.

Behind these impressive top-line figures, the recent uptick in seed deal share is another indicator of private investors dipping their toes back into the field.

For more on everything EVs, check out next week's webinar on the state of Electric Vehicle tech. If you can't attend but still would like the full slide deck and recording, sign up and we'll send you all the materials after the webinar.

Where trucking jobs will be lost

Axios built a nifty interactive to visualize the impact of trucking automation on US counties heavily dependent on truck-industry employment:

Not surprisingly, the concentration of trucking jobs is heaviest in heartland counties, many of which have already borne the brunt of automation-driven job losses to date (check out the full article in the blurb below). Though timeframes are uncertain, the risk of exacerbating rising economic inequality will nevertheless require a concerted response from industry players, government, and beyond.

Of course, the benefits are clear from a business standpoint, as companies from self-driving startups to e-commerce giants and logistics providers target the ubiquitous cost driver of trucking. For more on trucking & logistics, check out our list of 12 trucking tech startups to watch and our supply chain & logistics briefing.

Have a great rest of the week.


Financing to electric vehicle startups roars back in 2016

After startup failures earlier in the decade, 2016 saw fresh highs in deals and dollars to companies working on vehicle electrification. Check out the data.
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12 trucking tech startups to watch

Many of these trucking tech companies focus on connecting truckers and shippers more efficiently, and providing real-time status updates. See the list.
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US renewable energy patents: What GM, GE, IBM, and other top corporates are working on

Toyota emerged as the top patent holder with its fuel cell research. Check out the analysis.
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This Week in Auto Tech
A curated mix of recent articles on auto tech financings, exits, announcements, hirings, partnerships & perspectives.
Skurt raises $10M. The rental car delivery service has raised a Series A led by Upfront Ventures, joined by BMW, Greycroft and more.

PSA invests in Travelcar. The French car-sharing service saw a €15M investment from PSA and MAIF to enter the US market.

POD Point raises. The UK-based EV charging point startup has secured £7.5M in funding from Draper Esprit and Barclays Capital.

Waymo sues Uber/Otto. IP litigation in the self-driving space intensifies as Google's self-driving unit files suit for the theft of Waymo documents by former employees at Otto.


Waze plans expansion. The Google unit's nascent ride-sharing service is planning a dramatic expansion across the US and Latin America.

GM and Lyft plan self-driving fleet. The partners plan to roll out thousands of self-driving Bolts in test fleets next year, the largest announced trial to date.

Mobileye outfits 4.5k cars. The company has fitted thousands of for-hire cars in NYC with advanced collision avoidance systems.

Ford's dozing engineers. Bloomberg reports that engineers nodding off while overseeing autonomous prototypes nudged Ford to pursue full autonomy.

BMW and Mobileye's crowdsourced data. The partners have agreed to collect and pass on data from self-driving cars to HERE for real-time updates.

UPS tests delivery drone. The logistics company unveiled a drone-launching truck concept, though the second launch test encountered a hiccup.

Uber cars now picking up in AZ. After relocating self-driving test cars to Arizona, Uber is now using its vehicles to pick up passengers in Tempe.
The Verge

Articles & Perspectives
A strange year at Uber. A female Uber engineer reflects on her struggles with workplace harassment and HR at the company, as Uber grapples with its famously aggressive culture.
Susan J. Fowler / NYT

The EV effect. Steven Sinofsky of a16z gives a favorable review of his new Chevy Bolt, likening the car to a smartphone with the simplicity of its operation and maintenance as well as its tech features.
Learning By Shipping

Where trucking jobs will be lost. An exploration of the affected geographies, possible scenarios, and players in automated trucking.
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