Welcome, this industry newsletter shares key market changes, in a twice-monthly publication, curated by Jeremiah Owyang, Founder of Catalyst Companies™, you can subscribe to the email newsletter on the footer of the homepage.
Seattle Will Allow Uber, Lyft, and Other For-Hire Drivers to Unionize
In a move to provide protection against unfair wages and working conditions, the Seattle City Council has voted to allow for-hire drivers to unionize. This is the first time that both Uber and Lyft have faced the prospect of unionized drivers, as they had previously been excluded due to the contractor status of their drivers. With this legislation, Seattle drivers with for-hire vehicle licenses who have delivered a minimum threshold of rides will be able to participate in the union. This sets a significant precedent for other cities and states considering similar workers’ rights legislation and brings into question how the union may impact the rider experience. Find out more from Venturebeat.
UK’s Love Home Swap Buys Holland’s HomeForExchange
In an attempt to bolster the company’s stock in continental Europe, UK-based Love Home Swap acquired HomeForExchange in early December. The company now handles more than 100,000 properties as a result of the deal, according to TechCrunch. Love Home Swap plans to acquire additional home sharing companies within the next 18 months, continually battling to maintain relevance to travelers amidst competition from Airbnb and traditional hoteliers. The company took a strategic investment of $11.4M earlier this year from Wyndham Worldwide, securing the hotel chain’s position a significant minority investor. Get the details from TechCrunch.
Ford will begin testing self-driving Ford Fusion Hybrids next year
Last week, Ford secured its California autonomous vehicle driving permit to begin testing fully autonomous cars on public roads. Ford joins Google and Tesla in on-road testing, showing its commitment to the next phase of the Collaborative Economy, the “Autonomous World,” wherein customers favor on-demand access to mobility solutions (including driverless cars, in the future) versus ownership. With more than 100 employees at its Research and Innovation Center in Palo Alto, Ford has one of the largest automotive research centers in Silicon Valley. Unfortunately, Ford’s news came just a day before the California DMV released a proposal that requires drivers to be present in self-driving cars, potentially limiting testing ability. Read more from Ford.
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