Uber’s Big Loss, Boeing’s 787 Trouble, and More Car News This Week

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi called the loss a “once in a lifetime hit,” since much of it came from stock-based compensation costs in the wake of its …

It’s summertime, and the profits are measly. Nonexistent, actually: Uber this week announced it lost $5.2 billion this past quarter, while posting record low revenue growth. Rival Lyft did better, losing just $644 million in the same span. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi called the loss a “once in a lifetime hit,” since much of it came from stock-based compensation costs in the wake of its IPO. Seeking profitability, both companies offered hints that they will ease off undercutting the other with subsidized rides. Yup, the days of the cheap Uber ride may be waning.

Elsewhere in corporate schadenfreude, Boeing continued to work on a fix for its troubled 737 MAX, while a researcher found security vulnerabilities in the code of its 787 Dreamliner jet. We also witnessed a pivot to electric cars from a major auto industry supplier, checked in with the self-driving trucks roaming Texas, and more. It’s been a week—let’s get you caught up.


Stories you might have missed from WIRED this week

  • We’ve heard a lot of boasting about going electric from automakers: GM promises a “zero emissions” future without offering a date; Ford used an electric F-150 to tow a train. But seeing industry supplier Continental divest from R&D in internal combustion engines in favor of EV components is a hard-to-deny sign that the age of the battery-powered car truly is nigh.
  • It’s been five months since the FAA grounded the 737 MAX after a pair of deadly crashes, and Boeing is still working on a fix for the troubled plane’s software. Turns out, that involves flying a test plane up and down off the coast of Oregon.
  • You know how having your friend punch you in the arm is a good way to distract you from the pain of a stubbed toe? Maybe that’s how the folks at Boeing felt when a security researcher revealed he had found flaws in the code for the 787 Dreamliner.
  • Limited regulations, good weather, and a whole lot of freight to move: Why Kodiak and other AV trucking companies have flocked to Texas.
  • Electric cars still make up a tiny percentage of new car sales, but they’ve now been around long enough to start appearing on used car lots—and the deals are pretty good.
  • Almost exactly a year after opening—and 11 months after the discovery of cracks that forced its closing—San Francisco’s Salesforce Transit Center is coming back online, after some serious engineering work.
  • Mayoral candidates in Salt Lake City are talking about making public transit free, and polls say residents are for it. But cost isn’t the only thing pushing people into cars—you have to make the service useful if you want people to use it.
  • In their battle for ride-hail supremacy, Uber and Lyft have spent years subsidizing rides. But their competition is reaching something like a detente as the now-public companies seek profitability. That may mean the days of super cheap rides are coming to an end.

Hot Mess of the Week

Why did the kid with the rolly bag cross the highway? Because an August Thursday became one of the busiest days ever for a very much under construction LaGuardia Airport and everything fell apart.

Stat of the Week


The cost of the powertrain for an electric vehicle, according to new research from consulting firm AlixPartners. Thanks to high-priced batteries (which are steadily getting cheaper), that’s 2.5 times as much as the cost of the powertrain for an internal combustion engine, which is about $6,500. (Based off a 55-kWh battery pack with a 170 kW motor and a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine.) The gap also creates what AlixPartners calls a “profit desert,” which automakers shifting to an age of EVs will struggle to cross.

Required Reading

News from elsewhere on the internet

  • Peugeot is looking to boost its sales beyond its home European market, and that means the French company has big plans to return to the US. We’re in, so long as they revive the (timeless!) Citroën DS.
  • NYC moves to banish cars from 14th Street, to make way for bikes and buses.
  • Uber and Lyft released a study showing their cars do indeed make traffic worse in some cities—but that personal and commercial vehicles are the main culprits.
  • Scale AI, the startup that wants self-driving companies to share data and that’s run by a 22-year-old, is now a unicorn.
  • Postmates is on the verge of landing the first permit to test its adorable sidewalk delivery robot on the mean sidewalks of San Francisco.

In the Rearview

Essential stories from WIRED’s canon

Our deep dive into Dara Khosrowshahi’s bid to save Uber by transforming a scandal-plagued mess into a profitable, public company.

More Great WIRED Stories

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Kespry and DroneBase Announce Partnership to Expand Bring Your Own Drone Program to …

The company was incubated by Y Combinator and has raised funding from FLIR Systems, Union Square Ventures, Upfront Ventures, Hearst Ventures, …

MENLO PARK, Calif., July 31, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Kespry, the leading drone-based aerial intelligence solution provider, and DroneBase, the leading global drone services company, today announced a partnership to enable insurance, mining, and aggregates enterprises across North America to expand aerial analytics implementation across their worksites.

Kespry’s customers will now be able to leverage DroneBase to manage their Kespry deployments as part of Kespry’s new Bring Your Own Drone (BYOD) program. BYOD includes a new platform pricing model designed to meet the expanding enterprise aerial intelligence requirements of multi-site mining and aggregates companies, as well as large-scale residential and commercial property insurers. The combination of Kespry and DroneBase brings the best of the platform and services worlds together, offering a cost-effective, productive way of using drone-based analytics across the largest insurance, mining, and aggregates businesses.

“We’re very pleased to work with DroneBase and its team of dedicated, aerial intelligence professionals to further expand Kespry insurance, mining and aggregates deployments across the country,” said George Mathew, CEO, Kespry. “The combination of Kespry and DroneBase delivers serious value to companies across North America looking for a partner to help scale their usage of Kespry’s aerial intelligence platform and benefit from its granularly-accurate inspection, inventory management and mine planning capabilities.”

“Together, Kespry and DroneBase offer an advanced solution that serves the demanding needs of complex insurance, mining, and aggregates operations,” said Dan Burton, Founder and CEO of DroneBase. “With our global pilot network in all 50 states and over 70 countries, DroneBase will enable Kespry clients to scale their drone programs across North America without the cost of investing in hardware. By combining our strengths, DroneBase and Kespry will solve a need within these industries.”

Kespry’s BYOD program gives companies flexibility in how they source their aerial data, whether customers use Kespry-sourced drone hardware, DroneBase, or their own existing DJI drone fleet, including the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and the DJI Phantom series. DroneBase can either manage customers’ Kespry deployments or have DroneBase’s global pilot network fly their missions, which can be turned around in 48-72 hours. Kespry now offers a single fee for its platform, including unlimited access to industry-leading, vertically-integrated applications, the Kespry Cloud and AI and ML-based analytics.

Kespry’s aerial intelligence platform is now deployed at 220 mining and aggregates customers that use its platform across 3,311 worksites across North America, with 22,987 missions in 2018 alone. These companies typically use Kespry for inventory management, mine planning, materials management, contractor benchmarking, and boosting employee safety. The Kespry platform is also seeing widespread use across Fortune 50 and Fortune 500 insurance companies.

About DroneBase

DroneBase is the largest global drone operations company, which provides businesses with stunning aerial information to make better, real-time decisions about their most critical assets from the world’s largest Pilot Network. Based in Los Angeles, the company is the trusted, go-to platform for aerial images and data for worldwide enterprise commercial clients across multiple industries such as residential and commercial real estate, insurance, telecommunications, construction, and media. DroneBase has completed over 100,000 commercial missions flown in over 70 countries and in all 50 states. The company was incubated by Y Combinator and has raised funding from FLIR Systems, Union Square Ventures, Upfront Ventures, Hearst Ventures, Pritzker Group, Accel Partners, SV Angel and DJI.

About Kespry

Kespry’s aerial intelligence platform is transforming how organizations capture, analyze and share insights about their business, providing the information they need to accelerate their operations. Purpose-built for industrial use yet simple enough for any user, a wide variety of industries rely on Kespry to solve business-critical problems. Delivering a fully integrated solution from drone data capture to industry-specific analytics, Kespry serves customers across North America, Europe and Australia, including John Deere, Hancock Claims Consultants, Catastrophe Response Unit (CRU), Lehigh Hanson/Heidelberg, and Colas USA.

Media Contact:

For Kespry: Amanda King



For DroneBase: Cassie Lawrence




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See The Boeing 737 MAX Pile Up In Storage In These Time-Lapse Satellite Images

Now those planes are building up in three locations where Boeing is storing them, satellite images from Planet Labs show. There were 60 planes in a …

Over the past four months, Boeing has assembled about 180 737 MAXs that it can’t deliver to customers while the plane is grounded by aviation safety regulators. Now those planes are building up in three locations where Boeing is storing them, satellite images from Planet Labs show.

There were 60 planes in a section of Boeing Field as of Sunday, near the 737 factory in Renton, Washington, with some taking over employee parking spots.

737 MAX Boeing Field

737 MAX planes parked at Boeing Field on Sunday.

Courtesy of Planet Labs

At Boeing’s test facility at Moses Lake near Seattle, there were 40 737 MAX aircraft as of Tuesday, the images show. There’s room at Moses Lake for 90 to 95 planes, estimates Michel Merluzeau, a Seattle-based director of aerospace and defense market analysis with the consultancy AIR.

See the buildup at Moses Lake in a series of time-lapse photos from Planet Labs, a San Francisco-based company with a network of about 140 small satellites that take over a million images of the Earth a day:

737 MAX Moses Lake

Satellite images show the buildup in the number of 737 MAX planes stored by Boeing at its test flight airfield at Moses Lake, Washington, from June 1 through Tuesday.

Courtesy of Planet Labs

At part of Boeing’s San Antonio maintenance facility at the former Kelly Air Force Base, there were about 30 planes parked as of July 18.

Boeing 737 MAX San Antonio

Boeing began flying 737 MAXs to its maintenance facility in San Antonio in May. It doesn’t seem to have added many more since early June.

Courtesy of Planet Labs

Here’s a higher-resolution picture of the section of the Boeing San Antonio complex from July 15:

737 MAX San Antonio

737 MAX aircraft at Boeing’s San Antonio maintenance base.

Courtesy of Planet Labs

Plane spotters have seen another 29 parked elsewhere at the facility, according to Merluzeau, which he says likely puts it close to maximum capacity.

Boeing has seven completed 737 MAX aircraft currently parked at the Renton factory and 22 at its sprawling factory complex in Everett, Washington, Merluzeau says.

Moses Lake, which is also a former air force base, is a better location for storing planes than San Antonio, Merluzeau says, with drier summers and milder temperatures. There’s also more room at Moses Lake, but room isn’t really an issue. If it needs to Boeing can fly planes to airplane storage fields in Victorville, California, or the Mojave Desert. The biggest advantage of Moses Lake: easy access for Boeing maintenance and engineering staff. “You want to put as many airplanes in positions where return to service is as easy as possible,” Merluzeau says. “You want to store those aircraft that you think are going to go first in close proximity to the delivery centers.”

Airlines that operate the 737 MAX have said that it will take 100 to 150 hours of work on each plane in storage to ready them to fly again, according to Reuters.

When the 737 MAX will fly again isn’t clear. Aviation authorities worldwide grounded the plane after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight in March, the second fatal crash of a 737 MAX inside of five months. Boeing has continued to churn out 737s, dropping production to 42 a month in April from 52.

Boeing expects to submit its package of software fixes and training revisions for the plane to regulators in September, which the company says should allow its bestselling plane to return to service early in the fourth quarter. However, CEO Dennis Muilenburg warned on Boeing’s second-quarter conference call Wednesday that if the timeline slips further, the plane maker could be forced to slow the production line or even temporarily halt 737 MAX output entirely.

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Rapid Increase in End-use Adoption to Boost Drone-Powered Business Solutions Market Revenue …

… Drone-Powered Business Solutions market include 3D Robotics Inc. (3DR), Aerialtronics, Airware, Cyberhawk Innovations Limited, CyPhy Works, …

Drone technologies are creating immense potential in new application areas for existing businesses. Its wide scope of application is rapidly driving its adoption in several end-user industries such as agriculture, security and surveillance, infrastructure, media & entertainment among others. Availability of various types of drone-powered solutions and drone functionalities fulfils the requirement of different industries, hence creating demand for drone-powered business solutions by respective industries. Drone-powered business solutions are suitable for those industries which require mobility and large amount of data.

Drones are Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) which combine the power of robotics and digitization to collect data while moving or do aerial surveys and inspections. Drone inspection facilitates constant data accumulation and also allow photogrammetry which is the science of making 3D models out of measurements taken from photographs. Photogrammetry is expected to create huge opportunities for drones in 3D printing application.

Get Sample Copy of Report @ https://www.persistencemarketresearch.com/samples/16507

Drone-Powered Business Solutions Market: Drivers and Restraints

Rising need for quality data is one of the most important factors driving the drone-powered business solutions market. Industries such as energy, oil & gas and construction are rapidly adopting the usage of drones as they provide high quality images which help companies to do quality inspection, monitoring and maintenance of infrastructure. Drones also capture high quality geo-spatial and photogrammetry data which is used by agriculture industry for understanding topography and vegetation development. Furthermore, drones are very cost-effective compare to other manned aviation and satellites which makes it more desirable for commercial purposes.

The increase in number of drones for commercial purposes is creating threats to the safety of other aerial vehicles and also increasing the risk of collision with air traffic controllers of manned vehicles. These drones also increase privacy concerns. While flying overhead, drones also collect confidential information or personal data and images. This is a widespread concern and various national authorities are working to solve this issue.

Global Drone-Powered Business Solutions Market: Market Segmentation

Global Drone-Powered Business Solutions Market can be divided into three segments, based on Solution Type, Application and End-user.

Segmentation on basis of Solution Type in Drone-Powered Business Solutions market:

The segments in Drone-Powered Business Solutions market by solution type include:

  • Software
  • Services

Segmentation on basis of Application for Drone-Powered Business Solutions Market:

The major segments of Drone-Powered Business Solutions market on basis of application include:

  • Mapping and Surveying
  • Aerial Video and Photography
  • Surveillance and Monitoring
  • Security
  • Data Collection and Analysis
  • Delivery Services
  • 3D Modelling

Segmentation on basis of End-user for Drone-Powered Business Solutions Market:

The major segments of Drone-Powered Business Solutions market on basis of end-user include:

  • Agriculture
  • Construction & Real-estate
  • Oil & Gas
  • Energy & Utilities
  • Transportation
  • Security
  • Media & Entertainment
  • Retail
  • Others (Mining, Telecom, Insurance)

Global Drone-Powered Business Solutions Market Trends

One of the important trends happening in the global drone-powered business solutions market is connecting a commercial drone to a mobile device such as smartphone and tablet. Companies such as DroneDeploy and UGCS (SPH Engineering) have developed mobile apps which can remote control multiple drones from any mobile device. This control is enabled by connecting a 4G telemetry device to a drone’s avionics.

Global Drone-Powered Business Solutions Competitive Landscape

Some of the prominent players in the Drone-Powered Business Solutions market include 3D Robotics Inc. (3DR), Aerialtronics, Airware, Cyberhawk Innovations Limited, CyPhy Works, Inc., FlyWorx LLC, DJI, DroneDeploy.com, Pix4D, PrecisionHawk and senseFly Ltd. (Parrot SA), among others.

Request Customization of this Report @ https://www.persistencemarketresearch.com/request-customization/16507

The report covers exhaustive analysis on:

  • Global Drone-Powered Business Solutions Market Segments
  • Global Drone-Powered Business Solutions Market Dynamics
  • Historical Actual Market Size, 2012 – 2016
  • Global Drone-Powered Business Solutions Market Size & Forecast 2017 to 2027
  • Supply & Demand Value Chain for Drone-Powered Business Solutions Market
  • Global Drone-Powered Business Solutions Market Current Trends/Issues/Challenges
  • Competition & Companies involved in Drone-Powered Business Solutions Market
  • Drone-Powered Business Solutions Technology
  • Value Chain of Drone-Powered Business Solutions
  • Global Drone-Powered Business Solutions Market Drivers and Restraints

Regional analysis for Global Drone-Powered Business Solutions Market includes

  • North America Drone-Powered Business Solutions Market
    • US
    • Canada
  • Latin America Drone-Powered Business Solutions Market
    • Argentina
    • Mexico
    • Brazil
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Western Europe Drone-Powered Business Solutions Market
    • Germany
    • France
    • U.K.
    • Spain
    • Italy
    • Nordic
    • Benelux
    • Rest of Western Europe
  • Eastern Europe Drone-Powered Business Solutions Market
    • Poland
    • Russia
  • Asia Pacific Drone-Powered Business Solutions Market
    • Australia and New Zealand (A&NZ)
    • China
    • India
    • ASEAN
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Japan Drone-Powered Business Solutions Market
  • Middle East and Africa Drone-Powered Business Solutions Market
    • GCC Countries
    • North Africa
    • South Africa
    • Rest of MEA

The report is a compilation of first-hand information, qualitative and quantitative assessment by industry analysts, inputs from industry experts and industry participants across the value chain. The report provides in-depth analysis of parent market trends, macro-economic indicators and governing factors along with market attractiveness as per segments. The report also maps the qualitative impact of various market factors on market segments and geographies.

Report Highlights:

  • Detailed overview of parent market
  • Changing market dynamics of the industry
  • In-depth market segmentation
  • Historical, current and projected market size in terms of volume and value
  • Recent industry trends and developments
  • Competitive landscape
  • Strategies of key players and product offerings
  • Potential and niche segments/regions exhibiting promising growth
  • A neutral perspective towards market performance
  • Must-have information for market players to sustain and enhance their market footprint

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Virgin Orbit Stages First Launch Vehicle Test Drop from Boeing 747 Over Mojave

This compares to $62M USD to launch a larger 50,000 lb. payload into orbit using Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. On a pound-per-dollar basis, …
he Virgin Orbit Boeing 747 conducted the first successful test drop of a simulated orbital spacecraft on Wednesday over California’s Mojave Desert.(Photo: released via Virgin Orbit)

Sir Richard Branson’s company, Virgin Orbit, conducted a successful test drop of an unpowered LauncherOne rocket on Wednesday, July 10, over California’s Mojave Desert near the Mojave Air & Space Port. The test is the latest step in Virgin Orbit’s goal to offer an affordable, small payload orbital launch capability to both commercial and government contract customers.

The unpowered air-launch drop test was the last major step toward the next phase of testing for LauncherOne, a future powered flight following a drop from the Boeing 747-400 named “cosmic Girl”. Wednesday’s test drop was initiated from an altitude of 35,000 feet using an unpowered LauncherOne vehicle filled with antifreeze and water as ballast to simulate a payload. Following yesterday’s test drop the LauncherOne test vehicle fell seven miles to earth and its destruction following impact with the desert.

The LauncherOne test vehicle under the wing of the drop aircraft moments before Wednesday’s successful test drop. (Photo: released via Virgin Orbit)

The Boeing 747-400 drop-test mothership aircraft was flown by noted test pilot and Air Force Academy graduate Kelly Latimer, a combat pilot and also a graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School. Latimer is a veteran of the Virgin Galactic program and has also flown the WhiteKnightTwo specialty built aerial launch vehicle.

In a blog post on VirginOrbit.com published Tuesday, the company said, “We’ll be monitoring and rehearsing a million things, but this test is really all about those few seconds just after release, as we ensure the rocket and aircraft separate cleanly and observe how the rocket free-falls through the air.”

The course flown by the Boeing 747-400 drop aircraft for Wednesday’s successful test drop. The aircraft could be tracked on Flightradar24.com. (Photo: Flightradar24.com via Virgin Orbit Twitter)

The Virgin Orbit LauncherOne project is one of many recent commercial space launch projects, not all of which have succeeded. Following the dramatic first flight of late billionaire Paul Allen’s Stratolaunch aircraft on April 19, 2019, the Reuters News agency ran a story on May 31 saying the Stratolaunch flight program would be shut down until a buyer for the ambitious project came forward. A June 14, 2019 report on CNBC.com by reporter Michael Sheetz said, “Holding company Vulcan is seeking to sell Stratolaunch at $400 million, people familiar with the matter tell CNBC.”

Branson’s Virgin Orbit LauncherOne may be a more practical approach to short lead-time, low cost orbital launches. LauncherOne is claimed to have a payload capacity of 300 kilograms (660 lbs.), although Space.com reports the payloads can be up to “1,100 lbs. (500 kilograms)”. Extremely short launch lead times can be only 24 hours from mission preparation to orbit, a feature that may make this launch technology attractive to military customers.

Branson’s greatest achievement with LauncherOne may be even more practical; cost. Boosting a payload into orbit using Virgin Orbit and LauncherOne may cost as little as $12M USD per mission. This compares to $62M USD to launch a larger 50,000 lb. payload into orbit using Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. On a pound-per-dollar basis, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 is less expensive, but LauncherOne can specialize in smaller, shorter lead-time orbital payloads.

Virgin Orbit has not said when the next phase of testing, to include launching a powered LauncherOne into orbit from the 747-400 launch plane, will take place, but reports suggest it will happen soon. Virgin Orbit has confirmed the operational rocket for the first powered air launch has “already undergone extensive testing”.

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