June 6th, 2017 News of the Day: Lyft partners with Nutonomy, Uber hires Harvard professor

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【Summary】News of the Day for June 6th, 2017.

Original Claire    Jun 06, 2017 5:05 PM PT
June 6th, 2017 News of the Day: Lyft partners with Nutonomy, Uber hires Harvard professor

Nutonomy and Lyft partner to bring first self-driving Lyft service to Boston

Lyft recently partnered with Nutonomy to hit the road in Boston, Massachusetts with its very first self-driving taxi. The two parties will launch the pilot program to have several cars picking up riders in the coming months.

The cars will initially be Renault Zoe Evs, which Nutonomy began road-testing in Boston last November. The engineering team at Nutonomy are working on integrating Lyft's software into the vehicles. In regards to Lyft's previous cooperations with GM and Google Waymo, Lyft's CEO, Logan Green would not comment on whether Nutonomy's new partnership will impact former ones, but noted that each are completely separate agreements, and "very different" in nature.

Bill Ford calls regulators to establish self-driving crash rules


Ford executive and chairman Bill Ford hopes that federal and state officials could tackle with the ethics of autonomous vehicles, before they hit U.S. market.

"The difficult piece is going to be all the enabling things around it. Things like ethics, things like regulations," Ford said during an appearance at The Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Ford also mentioned that developing the hardware and software for a driverless car will be easy compared with deciding what the vehicle should do in a life-threatening situation, according to Detroit News.

Ford has planned to build fully autonomous vehicles in ride-hailing or ride-sharing services by 2021.

Uber hires Harvard Business School professor to solve its leadership problems


Amid waves of controversies, Uber has hired Harvard Business School professor Frances Frei as its new SVP of leadership and strategy. The company announced that Frei will report directly to Travis Kalanick, and serve as an executive coach for Uber's leadership team.

The news comes right before Uber is expected to release the results of an independent investigation into sexual harassment at the company.

"As one of the world's most noteworthy authorities on organizational transformation...she is uniquely qualified for the role--and we know we all have to learn from her," Uber said in a blog post about the appointment.

Colombian grocery delivery app Mercadoni raises $6.2 million


Mercadoni, a grocery delivery app operating in Colombia, Argentina and Mexico, has recently raised $6.2 million in Series A funding, which was one of the largest investments in the region.

The company claims that it takes less than an hour for a customer to order groceries and have them delivered. Now the number of app users has reached 250,000, and the company confirms it's operationally profitable in the market right now.

"We realized Columbians were spending 4 hours a week buying groceries in very chaotic cities such as Bogota, and we wanted to find a way to give those 4 hours back to people so they could do what's more important in their lives," Mercadoni co-founder Pedro Freire told TechCrunch.

The company hired over 3000 personal shoppers to deliver its orders in time, and partners with more than 100 grocery retail partners.

VW said 9300 employees agree to buyouts


Volkswagen released a statement on Tuesday that close to 9,300 employees have agreed to an early retirement plan, which could help the company cut down costs.

"Employees who wish to take partial early retirement must make their decision by July 31,"VW board member for human resources, Karlheinz Blessing said in the statement.

The offer is targeting at people born between 1955 and 1960. The German company has assured employees that there will be no forced layoffs as part of its "Transform 2025+" plan to cut the workforce and improve productivity by 25 percent until 2025.

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