Articles by Dan Albert

Apr 05, 2019

Have We Reached Peak Lyft

After the IPO

Uber and Lyft are upend­ing how we live by revers­ing a cen­tu­ry-long trend of ever-increas­ing auto­mo­bile depen­dence, with its atten­dant dead­en­ing sprawl, omnipresent dan­ger, and envi­ron­men­tal harm. Their rev­o­lu­tion will trans­form the $1.5 tril­lion busi­ness of sell­ing cars into a $10 tril­lion mobil­i­ty as ser­vice” busi­ness, accord­ing to a report by Mor­gan Stan­ley (now the lead under­writer for the Uber IPO).

Dec 02, 2018

Make Ford Great Again

For now, yesterday is where the money is.

Blunt and regres­sive, Ford’s new TV com­mer­cials make do with­out jin­gles or CEOs, opt­ing instead for Break­ing Bad’s scary-man­ly-pater­nal (don’t for­get Mal­colm in the Mid­dle) Bryan Cranston. Dressed in Steve Jobs gear, Cranston is on the verge of deliv­er­ing a Future Talk” when he shakes it off at the last minute: The future wasn’t made in a keynote speech,” he declares. (Pre­sum­ably this includes Jim Hackett’s keynote speech about Ford’s future.) Next he’s in an easy chair aboard Air Force One: A pres­i­den­tial speech did not land us on the moon.” Cut to men with pock­et pro­tec­tors sweat­ing over the Apol­lo Lunar Lan­der. Mil­lions of man hours did.”

Jul 03, 2017

Not a Techno-Thriller

The Volkswagen scandal was more diffuse, technical and tedious than most journalists allow.

Scan­dal always cap­ti­vates, and the VW news cap­ti­vat­ed Amer­i­cans for months — even those Amer­i­cans who usu­al­ly skip past the auto­mo­bile sec­tion. Reporters like Ewing pub­lished updates near­ly every day. John Oliv­er even jumped aboard with a com­e­dy bit mock­ing the Ger­man lan­guage and end­ed with the line, Hitler trust­ed us, why won’t you?” With the mar­ket pre­pared, Faster, High­er, Far­ther has been pub­lished simul­ta­ne­ous­ly in Eng­lish and Ger­man, and the author has been appear­ing on the morn­ing shows to talk cor­po­rate scan­dal. Leonar­do DiCaprio bought the movie rights.

Apr 14, 2017

Less of a Machine, More of a Pal

The car of the future will be needy and unnerving, and will lack comic timing.

Imag­ine the val­ue of a car that, thanks to an exclu­sive mul­ti-year part­ner­ship, autonomous­ly dri­ves past Dunkin’ Donuts and heads straight for Star­bucks when you say, Leaf, get me a cof­fee.” Or, a car in which Nis­san Pay replaces Sam­sung Pay or Apple Pay and takes a piece of the action.

Oct 21, 2016

The Highway and the City

And the making of modern America

How the high­way destroyed the city in order to save it. Excerpt­ed from City by City: Dis­patch­es from the Amer­i­can Metrop­o­lis ed. Kei­th Gessen and Stephen Squibb.