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Transportation Weekly: Tesla astroturfs, Softbank flexes, BMW and Daimler hookup, What is a Jelbi?

Welcome back to Transportation Weekly; I’m your host Kirsten Korosec, senior transportation reporter at TechCrunch. This is the third edition of our tome, I mean newsletter, and this week let’s settle in for a mind meld on why logistics is the new Hansel, a curious Tesla subsidiary, and discover a new mobility species called the Jelbi.
Never heard of TechCrunch’s Transportation Weekly? Catch up here and here. As I’ve written before, consider this a soft launch. Follow me on Twitter @kirstenkorosec to ensure you see it each week. (An email subscription is coming).
Brrruummmmm.



ONM …


There are OEMs in the automotive world. And here, (wait for it) there are ONMs — original news manufacturers. (Cymbal clash!) This is where investigative reporting, enterprise pieces and analysis on transportation lives.
Transportation Weekly: Tesla astroturfs, Softbank flexes, BMW and Daimler hookup, What is a Jelbi?

This week, Mark Harris is back with a story about Tesla. This focuses on the company’s energy business, or more specifically, the opaqueness around its lobbying efforts in the energy sector. Follow him on Twitter @meharris.
Inside Tesla’s solar energy astroturfing
Yes, this is a transportation newsletter. We get it. But Tesla has long pushed itself as a sustainable energy company that covers the entire ecosystem — solar power, energy storage, and electric vehicles. We’ll continue to look through the dozens of Tesla subsidiaries, most of them related to solar, to see what else pops up.
In other Tesla news, ARK Invest has CEO Elon Musk on a podcast; Tesla files its 10K, Consumer Reports pulls its recommendation for the Model 3 and data firm JATO Dynamics declares that the Tesla Model 3 was the best-selling electric car in the world in 2018.



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Transportation Weekly: Tesla astroturfs, Softbank flexes, BMW and Daimler hookup, What is a Jelbi?



This week, I wanted to highlight a recent conversation with May Mobility co-founder and COO Alisyn Malek. 
May Mobility, an autonomous shuttle company, announced last week a $22 million funding round. This week, the company started testing its third AV shuttle service; this time, it’s in Rhode Island.
May Mobility’s AV shuttle will travel a 5-mile route, its longest to date, along the Woonasquatucket River corridor with 12 stops, from Olneyville to Providence Station. The “Little Roady Shuttle,” as it’s being called, can carry up to five passengers and an attendant. The vehicles began testing this week on low-volume roads as the initial phase of a pilot project scheduled to launch this spring.
Malek said a curious thing to me when we last spoke. In the midst of explaining the differences in complexity between its route in Detroit and Rhode Island, she referred to May Mobility as a transportation service provider.
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