The Maintenance Decision Support System used by the South Dakota transportation department provides real-time weather data that allows the department to prepare for the deployment of snowplows. Every snowplow has its own small version of the system to assist the drivers and monitor the use of salt.
Rail operator Union Pacific reported a drop in daily miles traveled per car from 223 in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 197 in Q4 of 2021, along with a drop in on-time intermodal trailer delivery rates from 83% to 78% in the same period. Company executives attribute the decline in performance to increased worker absences for COVID-19 vaccinations, illnesses and exposures.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says several provisions in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act should help alleviate supply chain bottlenecks, including an apprenticeship program to attract younger truck drivers, an advisory group reaching out to women in trucking and almost $20 billion to improve connectivity at commercial ports. Buttigieg also says that White House nominees for key positions in his department will be committed to improving transportation safety.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike is considering toll payment contract proposals in an attempt to increase payment options and reduce unpaid tolls. About 6% of tolls currently go unpaid, reaching a total of $105 million last year.
Factorial Energy is developing a solid-state battery for electric vehicles, which the company says has a 50% better driving range and is safer. The US company, which is working with Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis, has raised $200 million in funding and is building a factory in New England.
Sixteen Republican governors have written the Biden administration objecting to the push to address climate change and racist land-use policies in the infrastructure package. The governors also oppose efforts to limit road widening and require union labor in transportation projects.
Public transit systems in the Bay Area of California are looking at implementing an integrated transit that would streamline the services offered by the region's 27 transmit systems. Shifting to an integrated system would mean removing funding from silos, restructuring and adopting a collaborative instead of competitive strategy, according to a panel of experts.
A record 10.7 million 20-foot container units moved through the Port of Los Angeles in 2021, beating 2018's record by 13%, according to Executive Director Gene Seroka. The Port of Long Beach handled a record 9.38 million units, up nearly 16% from 2020, while the Port of Oakland received its highest volume of imports since it was established almost a century ago.
Nike said it's able to work through current and future supply chain challenges through tech innovations, including using robots to more efficiently move and ship products. The activewear and sneaker brand also created regional facilities in the US and Europe to speed up distribution, and it's using artificial intelligence tools to gain insights into consumer preferences.
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