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.
The Utah Department of Transportation will begin a field test of a vehicle-to-vehicle communication system that could help improve safety and fuel efficiency in the trucking industry. The Peloton Technology system allows two trucks to "platoon" together, with one in the lead and the other following 40 to 60 feet behind. The trucks will be able to brake simultaneously, react to road conditions as far as 800 feet away and accelerate together to try to reduce driver reaction time and lower fuel costs by as much as 10%.
According to a Deloitte study, consumers view free shipping, rather than speed, as the most important factor when purchasing online. "The challenge for retailers is that free and fast shipping are standards year-round, potentially causing a disruption for the industry as a whole as they redefine the supply chain process to be more efficient," said Rod Sides, vice chairman of Deloitte.
Retired Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke says the days are gone when a large retailer could simply put demands on its suppliers. "For Wal-Mart, it's much more about working together," he said, noting that suppliers are essential to the company's success.
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