A Senate panel last week approved the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy, or DRIVE, Act, a six-year, $275 billion bill for transportation projects that was introduced by Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., and Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. Inhofe called Boxer "a proud liberal" and himself "the most conservative member," adding "[a]ny time the two of us agree on something, that's rare. We agree on this [bill]." However, there's no funding mechanism. The bill leaves that to the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee.
The City Council in Huntsville, Ala., approved a measure establishing a vehicle-for-hire classification for ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft. The ordinance would set insurance background-check requirements and mandate that such firms purchase a city license annually.
Ford said it will debut its Split View feature, which uses cameras mounted on the front and rear of the vehicle to let drivers see around blind corners, in the 2015 Edge and 2016 Explorer in the U.S. and China. The company anticipates including the technology on all its vehicles worldwide by 2020.
The Department of Transportation in Colorado is examining the possibility of a commuter rail line to ease traffic between Fort Collins and Denver, and says an increase in the state's fuel tax would fund the $1.2 billion project. "A new tax isn't popular, but neither is congestion. The public needs to decide what it wants to invest in," said CDOT's David Krutsinger.
The first phase of an intelligent transportation system is under construction in Edmond, Okla. The citywide system is designed to help combat traffic problems and is expected to cost $10 million to $12 million over the next five to 10 years.
More companies are focusing on developing autonomous technology for tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles to reduce accidents and costs and increase efficiency. Such developments, however, raise safety concerns and would have a significant effect on drivers working in the $700 billion industry, observers say.
SanDisk, a $6.6 billion flash storage solutions company, improved its supply chain planning by using an advanced planning system and a multi-echelon inventory optimization solution. The APS aims for three weeks of inventory and the MEIO solution adjusts inventory targets using data from the previous 13 weeks. Meanwhile, an analytics center uses data to assess the company's supply chain policies.
Amazon will debut its Treasure Truck in Seattle on Saturday, bringing a variety of products directly to shoppers, who can track down the truck via Amazon's mobile application. The retailer's truck brings "flash sales" to consumers by pulling shoppers to the truck's location instead of delivering to a doorstep. "It's all about getting as close to customers as they can get," said Victor Anthony, an Axiom Capital Management analyst.
Companies that employ people with a high degree of self-awareness get better financial results than their less mindful rivals, according to a recent Korn-Ferry study. Listen to what people say about you and you'll "be a better leader, a better person, and you will be making a positive contribution to your organization's financials," writes Dan McCarthy.