Congressional leaders have until Friday to finalize negotiations on a long-term highway bill. The House version authorizes up to $325 billion for transportation projects over the next six years, while the six-year Senate bill only includes money for the first three years. A short-term extension is set to expire Friday.
Driverless cars used for car-sharing, shuttles or taxis could reduce the number of cars on congested Los Angeles highways, improving safety and traffic flow, said Gabe Klein, former D.C. transportation and Zipcar head, now with Fontinalis Partners. When asked how to persuade people to give up car ownership, Klein suggested increasing the cost of owning a vehicle and making alternatives more convenient, noting a Zipcar study suggested that car-sharing and biking cost the average user $150 per month, while car ownership averaged about $900 per month.
Despite Wal-Mart's efficient supply chain, Amazon is putting significant pressure on the retailer, leading to a massive overhaul of Wal-Mart's e-commerce technology. Its e-commerce overhaul, dubbed Pangaea, has altered how the site works and looks as well as modifies all of its back-end data center tools. This piece examines how Jeremy King, the engineer behind the technology, is revamping the company's operations.
Ride-sharing company Uber announced it will form an advisory board made up of security experts to help it deal with various safety and security issues, including drivers' and passengers' physical safety, securing data and cooperating with law enforcement agencies.
US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has ordered the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to update its policy to include consideration for new connected and autonomous-vehicle technology and "to reflect today's technology and his sense of urgency to bring innovation to our roads that will make them safer," says Suzanne Emmerling, the DOT's spokeswoman.
Nestle has a plan to combat human rights abuses among seafood handlers in Thailand, the company said Monday. Nestle, facing lawsuits claiming it imported fish-based pet food from a supplier that used slave labor and obtained cocoa beans from suppliers that participate in child labor, said it will work "to protect workers from abuses, improve working conditions and tackle unacceptable practices including juvenile and teenage working."
Startups such as SoftWear Automation are developing robots capable of performing basic tasks normally performed by humans, such as sewing around button holes. The technology, however, likely will become more advanced in the future, allowing robots to work beside humans in manufacturing, experts say.
Driverless cars and robot taxi services will reduce car ownership and change the way consumers view transportation, according to presentations at the L.A. Connected Car Expo by Lyft President John Zimmer and Los Angeles Taxicab Commission President Eric Spiegelman. Zimmer noted that the current average US car is used 4% of the time with 20% occupancy, while Spiegelman said that robot taxis will be able to offer lower fares and round-the-clock service.
Five rail infrastructure and development projects will receive a total of $1.29 million in state loans or grants from the Iowa Transportation Commission, the state's Department of Transportation said. The new projects are expected to create jobs, increase shipping capacity, support industrial development and upgrade existing infrastructure.
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