December 30, 2019

The best of Sifted: Mobility and travel

We'll still be talking about electric scooters, driverless vehicles and flying cars in 2020. So you'd better catch up on Sifted's mobility and travel must-reads.

The way we get around cities and travel beyond is an area to watch in 2020, as experts predict technology will drive airlines, hotels, train operators and other well-established players to rethink their models.

How soon that translates into driverless vehicles, flying cars and other futuristic forms of mobility remains to be seen, and much will depend on cities and regulators.

Here are seven must-reads from Sifted to recap some of the biggest themes of 2019 in travel and mobility, all likely to carry over into the new year.


1. Lilium vs Volocopter: battle of the air taxis

Both Lilium and Volocopter have set out to prove that their electric urban vehicles can fly as promised and provide urban air taxi services in cities within the next few years. They need to convince regulators, city authorities and — most importantly — the public.

2. Training driverless cars just got a whole lot easier

What do you need to teach driverless cars to drive? Masses of data, especially on traffic signs. That's how Swedish mapping company Mapillary thinks it can speed up the process.

3. How Spanish scooter startup Koko went from market leader to exit in just 11 months

The scooter business is a tough one. Cofounder Oriana Circelli shares the "crazy" and "brutal" journey of launching her escooter startup Koko Kicksharing, at some point the market leader.

4. Toulouse’s IoT and transport startups

The home of European aerospace giant Airbus is also a cluster of startups working on mobility and travel.

5. Should cities like Venice consider tourist caps?’s chairwoman Gillian Tans thinks that it’s time for governments to start introducing tourist quotas in places like Venice.

6. Sono Motors' solar electric car for the masses

Slicked in solar cells, Sono's four-door, family-friendly hatchback has a €25,500 price tag and a 255km range. The company is turning to crowdfunding to raise money.

7. UK startups are shying away from aerospace, says Boeing

Boeing is looking for startups working on Industry 4.0 and sustainability. But even when startups have a general technology that could be usefully applied to aerospace, the sector, perceived as highly-regulated and slow-moving, will not necessarily be their first point of focus.