October 18, 2022
WTS SmartBrief
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Transportation Today
The Inflation Reduction Act, which contains provisions that require electric vehicles to be manufactured domestically to qualify for tax incentives, is spurring auto manufacturers to bring production to the US. So far this year, EV production investments of approximately $13 billion have been announced by auto manufacturers, around three times the amount invested two years ago.
Full Story: Protocol (10/11) 
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A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that 53% of General Motors Super Cruise users, 42% of those using Tesla Autopilot and 12% of Nissan ProPilot Assist users reported feeling comfortable in allowing their vehicles to function as though they were fully self driving. The findings indicate that "early adopters of these [driver-assist] systems still have a poor understanding of the technology's limits," IIHS President David Harkey says.
Full Story: CNN (10/11) 
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Officials in Florida have warned that the lithium-ion batteries used to power electric vehicles can pose a major fire hazard when they come into contact with salt water, as was the case after Hurricane Ian. In a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., warned the fires can not only burn for long periods of time but also reignite without warning.
Full Story: Fortune (tiered subscription model) (10/15) 
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Planning & Engineering
Delta Air Lines is investing $60 million in Joby Aviation, which is developing an electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft that Delta envisions using as an air taxi to move passengers between central cities and airports, beginning with New York and Los Angeles. "This is a groundbreaking opportunity for Delta to deliver a time-saving, uniquely premium home-to-airport solution for customers," said CEO Ed Bastian.
Full Story: Delta News Hub (10/11),  CNBC (10/11) 
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Cities are working on how to accommodate an expected surge in electric vehicles, with different solutions proposed in different places. In Hoboken, N.J., where 1,000 EVs are on the road, the goal is to set up charging stations within a five-minute walk of each household.
Full Story: Route Fifty (10/12) 
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Honeywell International says it has developed a process for sustainable aviation fuel that will convert ethanol derived from corn, sugar or cellulose into SAF. The ethanol-to-jet fuel can reduce carbon emissions by up to 80% when compared to fossil fuel, Honeywell says.
Full Story: AIN Online (10/12),  Reuters (10/10) 
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NASA and Purdue University are teaming up on research that could allow electric vehicles to charge in five minutes. The "subcooled flow boiling" technology was initially developed to cool space equipment, but also could be used to bolster the amps of EV chargers, researchers say, in part by removing 24.22 kilowatts of heat.
Full Story: USA Today (10/12) 
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Ford Motor Co. has announced its plans for the Ford Atlanta Research and Innovation Center, which will focus on artificial intelligence and digitally connected vehicle software solutions. "There's a high demand for tech talent across industries, and we have an opportunity to create nontraditional career pathways to attract and develop the expertise needed to stay competitive," said Ford Research's Jim Buczkowski.
Full Story: The Detroit News (10/13) 
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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
While advocates say there is still a lot of progress to be made, representation and opportunities for women in trucking have increased in recent years, say officials from organizations including the American Trucking Associations and Women in Trucking. Ellen Voie, founder, president and CEO of Women in Trucking, says that many companies are coming to understand the value that women bring to trucking: "They are safer, easier to train, risk averse in cabs of trucks and 25% less likely to be involved in a crash. Now that they are seeing the data, they are actively recruiting women."
Full Story: Transport Topics (10/11) 
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UPS backs logistics effort for Black-owned businesses
(Bloomberg via Getty Images)
UPS is partnering with the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs, which assists Black business owners, to create a Logistics Launchpad in Atlanta that helps with shipping, warehousing and fulfillment. "When the pandemic hit, the small- and medium-sized customers got hit harder, and then the diverse segment got hit hard," said Kevin Warren, chief marketing officer for UPS, which is investing $1.25 million in the initiative.
Full Story: WSB-TV (Atlanta) (10/12),  Saporta Report (Atlanta) (10/12),  The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/Atlanta (10/13) 
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Policy Watch
Communities seeking clues on how to secure federal infrastructure funding can find help through the new Thriving Communities Program offered by the Department of Transportation. The Department of Housing and Urban Development also is participating in the $30 million program to "help equip more local leaders with the resources, knowledge and assistance they need to access federal funding," says Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
Full Story: Transportation Today (10/11) 
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Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee says the state will appeal a court ruling last month that tolls on trucks were unlawful. The Providence US District Court sided with truckers opposed to the charges when it found that the plans targeted truckers unfairly by making them shoulder a disproportionate share of the cost of road maintenance.
Full Story: WJAR-TV (Cranston, R.I.) (10/11) 
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About WTS International
Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) International is the only organization dedicated to creating a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable transportation industry through the global advancement of women. WTS attracts, sustains, connects, and advances women’s careers to strengthen the transportation industry.

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