Posted on September 6, 2018 by staff

Daily Briefing: Taxify could launch e-scooters in UK city


Ride-sharing service Taxify is in talks with the City of London over plans to launch a fleet of electric scooters in the capital.

The Estonian start-up is launching its Bolt scooters in Paris this week and plans to launch in other cities across Europe and Australia in the coming months.

Taxify’s car service is currently banned from operating in London due to issues over its licence.

However Taxify CEO Markus Villig told Business Insider the firm was in talks with London’s transport regulator.

“We’re in talks with the city on both the ride-hailing front and on launching scooters,” he said. “It’s quite obvious that in the long-term, small vehicles are much more efficient from a traffic point of view [and] environmental impact [and] ease of use… It’s a matter of how fast cities will realise this and regulate.”

The 500,000 people who use the firm’s app in Paris can now book scooters, which include GPS and are unlocked by scanning a QR code, through it.

Hire of the scooters will cost €0.15 a minute, with a minimum fare of a euro.

US start-ups Bird and Lime have already launched a similar service in Paris.

Samsung says folding smartphones are coming

The next big advancement in smartphone technology could be foldable devices.

Samsung’s head of mobile DJ Koh told CNBC it is “time to deliver” smartphones capable of bending as there is public demand for them.

He said Samsung had “nearly concluded” development of the technology but would need a clear purpose for such a device before releasing one.

“Even unfolded, what kind of benefit does that give compared to the tablet?” he said. “If the unfolded experience is the same as the tablet, why would [people] buy it?

“Every device, every feature, every innovation should have a meaningful message to our end-customer.”

Uber ‘on track’ for IPO in 2019, no plans to sell tech unit – CEO

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says the ride-hailing service is on track to go public next year.

He also told Reuters that the company will not sell its Advanced Technologies Group “at this time”.

The subsidiary looks at future technologies which will “transform the way the world moves” and includes its self-driving and mapping departments.

“Ultimately, it is a big asset that we are building and we can monetise that in whatever way we want to. It’s not something we’re thinking about it at this point,” said Khosrowshahi.

Twitter boss admits its algorithms were not always impartial

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told US authorities that the social media giant’s algorithms have not always been impartial.

Under questioning from senators over allegations that Twitter censors the voices of conservative figures, Dorsey admitted that the platform “unfairly” reduced the visibility of 600,000 accounts, including some members of Congress.

However he did not say which political parties were most affected.

US President Donald Trump is among those who have accused Twitter of bias, which the company denies.

“Twitter does not use political ideology to make any decisions, whether related to ranking content on our service or how we enforce our rules,” said Dorsey.