Uber Freight, the rideshare company’s trucking division, said Thursday it’s acquiring shipping software company Transplace in a deal that values the transportation logistics company at $2.25 billion.
Uber shares were slightly positive Thursday morning.
Uber Freight will acquire Transplace from TPG Capital, the private equity platform of alternative asset firm TPG that acquired Transplace in 2017. The deal consists of of up to $750 million in common stock of Uber and the remainder in cash.
It’s a rare move for Uber, which has spent the last year shedding its profit-eating self-driving unit and flying taxi segment. Instead, Uber has been choosing to pour billions into strengthening its Uber Eats segment, acquiring alcohol delivery company Drizly and food delivery service Postmates.
Uber Freight chief Lior Ron said in an interview on CNBC’s “TechCheck” that the deal is a continuation of the company’s long-term vision, which is to bring digital transformation to the industry. Transplace makes software that helps companies manage their supply chains to ship goods. The company claims it operates one of the largest software platforms for supply chain management and logistics in the world.
Uber Freight, a separate division of Uber, offers similar software tools to manage supply chains and shipping. Uber Freight says it has over 70,000 carriers on its network that can ship items for companies.
Uber Freight booked $301 million in revenue in the first quarter of this year, up 51% year over year. Despite the growth, Uber Freight contributes just a small slice of Uber’s overall revenue, the bulk of which comes from rides and food delivery.
The deal is expected to help Uber’s trucking division reach profitability. The company said it could help the segment break even on an adjusted EBITDA basis by the end of 2022.
The deal is still subject to regulatory approval.
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The Lincoln Motor Company recently revealed a quartet of concept cars aimed at depicting the types of vehicles the automaker might potentially produce in 2040, and the designs are shocking and compelling in all the best ways. The concepts were created by four teams of transportation design students at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California—one of the world’s premier institutions for up-and-coming automotive thought—and were based on a very simple brief.
“We didn’t want to restrain or limit the students, so we had very few descriptors,” says Kemal Curic, Lincoln’s design director, who helped shepherd the project into existence. “We wanted an autonomous, electric, and shared two-seater, four-seater, high-riding four-seater, and six-seater. We wanted to include our brand pillars of humanity, beauty, and gliding, based on our vision of Quiet Flight, which is what Lincoln stands for. And we said, let’s dream up something the world has not yet seen.”
The results are quite stunning, and complete, in part because the automotive students worked in conjunction with colleagues in other design departments—film, illustration, animation, and architecture—to create not just vehicles, but also stories of the worlds in which these vehicles might exist.
A two-seat autonomous Glider is inspired by Lincoln Zephyrs and Continentals of the past—Streamline Moderne vehicles from the ’30s and ’40s, favored by Frank Lloyd Wright—and we see a son allowing his paralyzed father to experience the joy of “driving” again. A four-seat sedan loads up digital images that provide a couple with scenes from their 30-year marriage as they tour locations where these memories were made. A four-seat SUV takes a family on an adventure, displaying images from their mother’s initial connection with astronomy as she prepares to go into space. And a six-passenger luxury cruiser, built out like a living room, takes an up-and-coming band on a relaxing drive as they prepare for their first big gig.
“I was mesmerized by the visualization,” says Curic. “I love putting all these diverse skill sets together where we focus not only on the vehicle but also on the feeling these vehicles will convey in 2040. I was blown away by the architecture, environmental, and storytelling bit. They do a lot of Hollywood work at ArtCenter, so it’s all about the narrative.” These narratives help communicate more fully how the appearance of the car might change—but, perhaps more important, how it might be integrated into our lives in new ways as technologies and needs shift. Curic notes the “intriguing architecture and buildings, and the vehicles built into these backgrounds…[the stories give a] more holistic sense of our future incorporating cars into the built environment,” says Curic.
Moreover, the designs demonstrate a shift in the ethos of the next generation of automotive designers, as they
STANDISH, MI — An East Tawas man has pleaded guilty-as-charged to crashing into a bicycle-riding teenager, fatally injuring him in the process.
Mark Elliott, 63, on Wednesday, July 14, appeared before Arenac County District Judge Richard E. Vollbach Jr. and pleaded guilty to moving violation causing death. The charge is a one-year misdemeanor.
Elliott’s charge stems from a crash that occurred the afternoon of Aug. 31 at the intersection of U.S. 23 and Beach Road in East Tawas. Michigan State Police troopers arrived at the crash scene to find a northbound 2019 Dodge Ram driven by Elliott had crashed into a bicycle ridden by 16-year-old Dohnovan X. Newcome.
Newcome had been riding his bike through a crosswalk when the Ram struck him, police previously said.
Newcome was taken from the scene to a hospital, where he died of his wounds.
Elliott was prosecuted by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, as local prosecutors had recused themselves due to a familiarity with Elliott and requested a special prosecutor handle the case.
“While no court outcome will ever offset the pain inflicted on Dohnovan’s family and friends, Mr. Elliott’s admission of guilt in this tragic case avoids a drawn-out trial,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. “It is my hope this plea provides a sense of justice and relief for Dohnovan’s loved ones.”
Newcome was a junior at Oscoda High School at the time of his death, according to his obituary. Earlier on the day of his death, he had begun the automotive program at the IRESA Tech Center in Tawas City.
“Dohnovan was enthralled with everything about cars and was so excited about learning even more through the Tech Center program,” his obituary reads. “He used his 16 years to the fullest and had wisdom and compassion beyond his years!”
Newcome enjoyed playing soccer, working on computers, playing car games on his Xbox and spending time outdoors, including cross-country skiing. As a youngster, he hunted and collected bugs. In his teen years, he taught himself how to play guitar.
“He developed a love for the band Metallica and discovered that he and his mom had the same taste in heavy metal music, both secular and Christian,” his obituary continues. Newcome was a member of the Oscoda Baptist Church and volunteered at the Oscoda Wurtsmith Airport’s Air Museum.
Judge Vollbach is to sentence Elliott at 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 12.
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EV startup Lightyear has announced a letter of intent with contract manufacturer Valmet Automotive as a production partner of its upcoming Lightyear One solar electric vehicle (SEV). Through this new partnership, prototypes of the Lightyear One will be built in January 2022, with an exclusive series production to follow in the summer.
Lightyear is a Netherlands-based EV startup specializing in SEVs. We’ve covered the automaker since its inception and continue to follow it as it moves ever closer to delivering its first SEV, the Lightyear One.
From very early on, the startup has promised an impressive range of 450 miles on a single charge in the Lightyear One, garnering some early skepticism from the public as a startup with limited prototypes.
Not to be discouraged, Lightyear has since gathered huge rounds of funding and even partnered with big automotive names like Bridgestone for custom tires on the Lightyear One. Most recently, Lightyear delivered 441 miles of consistent range on a 60 kWh battery pack, gathering about 3.5 additional kWh from its solar panels.
As the Lightyear has its targeted range in its sights, it looks to manufacture its next prototype before reaching a limited production run of the Lightyear One next year, all with the help of Valmet Automotive.
Lightyear One to be manufactured by Valmet
In a press release today, Lightyear shared its letter of intent to work with Valmet Automotive as a production partner in manufacturing the upcoming Lightyear One SEV.
Valmet Automotive is a contract manufacturer with over 50 years of experience with high-end automotive brands like Mercedes-Benz, Saab (RIP), and Porsche, and has been developing and producing electric vehicles for the last decade.
After over a year of searching, Lightyear believes it has found its production partner in Valmet due to its experience with EV production. Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and co-founder of Lightyear elaborates:
Two years ago, we announced our prototype Lightyear One. We are really excited to have found a production partner with whom we will manufacture this exclusive model. Valmet Automotive is a great partner, has a well-established track record and over a decade of experience in EV production. It’s also a good cultural fit with our company. We are proud that we will soon realize the actual production of Lightyear One with Valmet Automotive.
In addition to manufacturing vehicles and various components, Valmet also has its own battery production line in Finland and has invested heavily in additional engineering and testing capabilities for EV powertrains. The company’s CEO Olaf Bongwald speaks about the new agreement:
Our experience as a car manufacturer, as well as our focus on electric mobility and battery systems make us predestined for processes in which mobility must be redefined. We are ready