The Short Cut: Book flights on Uber, videogame-powered dashboards and more
Welcome back to The Short Cut! This week, we've compiled five must-read stories that caught our attention over the past few weeks. Here’s a sneak peek: we’ll be looking at Uber's new flight booking feature, sleepy driver detection systems, how videogames and the automotive industry are colliding and more. Ready? Let's dive in!
Whether it’s land, sea or air, Uber's there
Uber’s new partnership with Hopper, an online travel agent, will soon allow Uber UK customers to book domestic and international flights through a simple click on the ride-hailing app, The Guardian reports.
This is not the company's first exploration of different transport options. UK users can already book bus and train tickets through the app. Even a boat alternative was launched in London in 2020, when the company held the naming rights to the Thames Clippers commuter boat services — users could also board riverboats using Uber's app.As Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s CEO, once expressed in 2019, when the company merged ride-hailing and food delivery services, Uber’s long-term vision is to become “an operating system for everyday life.” With that said, this new partnership seems to be just another step towards achieving that goal.
Volkswagen Group has a new CEO for its software unit
Volkswagen Group is moving forward with an internal organizational restructure at CARIAD, the automaker’s software unit. Now, Peter Bosch, the former production chief at VW’s Bentley brand, has been appointed as the new CEO of CARIAD as of June 1, according to TechCrunch.After several delays and setbacks in the unit’s mission to create software-defined vehicles, this restructuring is reinforcing the company’s focus on developing digital tech for the Group's brands.
Blood tests for sleepy drivers
New legislation against drowsy drivers could be just around the corner, The Guardian reports. Recent research by the Australian Government Office of Road Safety has found that blood tests can accurately determine whether a driver who caused an accident was sleep-deprived. The tests are said to be 90% accurate.The research supports the notion that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving, prompting experts to call for legal measures against sleepy drivers. Drowsy driver detection systems track eye movements to make sure the driver is alert and attentive
However, when it comes to the detection method, the story gets complicated. Forensic blood tests and portable roadside tests are options, but the former require hospital settings and the latter needs five years to develop. Lucky for us, there's already technology that can detect drowsy drivers. It might not help law enforcement right now, but it could certainly improve road safety.
Video game maker wins a seat in the automotive industry
The automotive and video game industries might start merging as better in-car experiences become a key competitive differentiator in the automotive sector. An example of this is the newly announced partnership between ECARX, an automobile technology provider, with Epic Games, the creator of the popular video game “Fortnite.”The collaboration aims to provide a high-end navigation experience for drivers by equipping in-dash car screens with high-resolution, interactive and 3D graphics. Drivers will be able to open doors or initiate electric charging by tapping on a digital rendering of the car on the vehicle’s dashboard. Plus, young (and old) passengers can also entertain themselves by playing video games on their own screens.
From a business perspective, Epic Games expects to deepen its ties to the automotive industry through this partnership, while ECARX intends to extend its customer base in the U.S. market, even though its main focus is on equipping electric vehicles. Read the full story over on The Wall Street Journal.
Long read: Norway is a decade ahead of the world in the adoption of EVsIf you think of somewhere that is no stranger to electric vehicles, that must be Norway. Last year, about 80% of new car sales in the country were battery-powered. As a result, Norway has now become the observatory for what the EV revolution might mean for the environment, workers and life in general.
If you're looking for a lengthy read for the weekend, The New York Times has compiled the benefits and problems Norway has encountered on its path to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to almost zero by 2030.
We've come to the end of this week's Short Cut, but don't worry, we'll be back in a few weeks with more exciting stories in the world of tech, mobility and location data. Keep checking back for more updates.
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