Don’t Sleep on Mobility as a Service

I read a few posts today by and about Bestmile, an under-the-radar Swiss autonomous vehicle company. Although Bestmile was born out of an autonomous vehicle demonstration, its focus now seems to be on “orchestrating” mobility through a combination of ridesharing, micro-transit, autonomous shuttles, and robotaxis.

This is probably the closest of any current company I’ve seen to a true “mobility as a service” platform.

I’ve never interacted with anyone from Bestmile or used the service, so it’s certainly possible the reality is a lot different than the vision. But the idea of “AWS but for mobility” is exciting.

Some of the ridesharing companies taken steps in this direction, by adding bicycles and scooters and mopeds and even helicopters to their apps. But I haven’t really had a seamless experience where I moved from one transportation mode to another.

More to the point, what will be really exciting is when entrepreneurs can use mobility-as-a-service networks to build their own businesses, the same way entrepreneurs (and now giant corporations) use cloud computing providers.

I don’t know that Bestmile will be the winning solution — it seems early and the commodity components don’t really exist yet, especially in the critical autonomy realm. I’m excited to watch this develop, though.

Udacity’s Cloud Architect Nanodegree Program

Today Udacity’s AWS Cloud Architect Nanodegree Program launched!

This is outside my usual wheelhouse of autonomous vehicles and robotics, but I played a significant (albeit behind-the-scenes) role teaching the first course in the three-course program.

Tom Verbiscer and I worked together to design and build a sequence of lessons on high-availability, resilience, and redundancy. Tom teaches about:

  • Availability Zones
  • Regions
  • Server-based architecture
  • Serverless architecture
  • Global services
  • DynamoDB and global tables
  • S3 classes and features
  • Uptime
  • Downtime
  • Service-Level Agreements
  • Recovery Time Objectives
  • Recovery Point Objectives
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Monitoring with CloudWatch
  • Alerting with Simple Notification Service
  • Recovery
  • Chaos Engineering!

And that’s just the first course of the program!

I hope everyone that enrolls learns as much from taking the program as I did working with Tom to build the program.