Collaborative Consumption Archive

Didi Chuxing makes information security push with new U.S. research lab and hires

Didi Chuxing, China’s largest ride-hailing company, has hired two distinguished security experts to lead a new U.S.-based research center as part of a major push to increase its data security efforts. Dr Fengmin Gong, whose 30 year work history includes starting Palo Alto networks and selling it to FireEye, and Zheng Bu, who worked with Gong at FireEye and spent time with McAfee among employers, have taken key positions at the company, Didi announced today. …

Uber-owned Otto to offer freight hauling services using autonomous trucks in 2017

Uber acquired self-driving lorry startup Otto this summer in a deal worth up to $680 million and it plans to put the company to work next year. That’s according to comments from Otto co-founder Lior Ron, who told Reuters that Otto will enter the long-haul freight business in 2017. To recap, Otto’s technology allows existing trucks to be ‘retrofitted’ with self-driving technology which can handle driving on …

Chinese taxi-hailing giant Didi eyes bicycle sharing with its latest investment

Didi Chuxing, China’s largest ride-hailing company, may be about to get into bicycles. Bike sharing, to be precise. The company, which is in the process of finalizing its acquisition of Uber’s business unit in China, today revealed that it has invested in a young startup called Ofo which lets people borrow bikes. The investment is said to be “tens of millions” in size, but it isn’t clear how much equity Didi …

Airbnb faces fresh crackdown in Barcelona as city council asks residents to report illegal rentals

Airbnb is facing a further squeeze on its activities in Barcelona, the Catalonian capital that’s hugely popular with tourists — ramping up tension with local communities dealing with inflating rents and rowdy behavior by visitors facilitated by the rapid rise of sharing economy platforms. The city has been trying to crack down on illegal tourist rentals for some time, with the incoming mayor Ada Colau putting a temporary cap …

Airbnb acquires travel activities marketplace, trip4real

Airbnb has bought a Barcelona-based travel startup it was advising and partnering with: Trip4real offers a marketplace of experiences for tourists to browse and book ahead of time to lend their trip a little local color/flavor (via tapas tastings, paella cooking classes, barrio tours and so on). There are obvious synergies with the sharing economy giant which pitches its platform as a way to escape the usual tourist traps by staying in …

Understanding the economy of the crowd

When you think about crowdsourced work, you probably think about Mechanical Turk and, maybe, Uber. On the one hand, an anonymous platform where people feel like mechanical parts. On the other hand, a face-to-face platform where people are rapidly obsolescing and doomed to be replaced by robots. I call this the “Turk Myth,” that crowdsourced work is only done by people because we haven’t built good enough robots yet. …

MIT spinout NuTonomy just beat Uber to launch the world’s first self-driving taxi

Uber has taken the plaudits for its audacious plan to deploy driverless cars as soon as this month, but the U.S. giant has been beaten to the punch for actually introducing autonomous vehicles by a far lower-profile company that is working on the other side of the world in Singapore. NuTonomy, a three-year-old company that span out of MIT, announced that its first autonomous vehicles available for public hire have hit the …

Tesla’s best-laid plans will have a challenge in convergence

Driverless cars and ridesharing are poised to bring about the next big tectonic movement that technology provides for the human experience. In much the same way that the mobile phone has transformed the way we live, autonomous vehicles and transportation sharing promise to change the way we move. Tesla’s recent announcement of its Master Plan, Part Deux exemplifies the convergence of these technology trends. For …

Didi Chuxing confirms it is buying Uber’s business in China

China’s Didi Chuxing has confirmed that it has agreed to buy Uber China in a deal that had been heavily speculated earlier today. Didi said in an announcement that Uber will be given a 5.89 percent stake in the newly merged entity, with preferential equity that is equal to a 17.7 percent economic interest in Didi Chuxing. It explained that existing Uber China investors, which …

Uber China will reportedly merge with archrival Didi Chuxing

Huge news for China’s ride-sharing industry, it appears that Didi Chuxing will gobble up rival Uber China in a merger deal that will value the combined entity in China at $35 billion. The rumor has being doing the rounds for around a month now, with both sides denying but it looks like a deal is happening. Both Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal cited sources claiming that a …