Chipotle is the latest company to get behind robot cars. Here’s why

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Chipotle just invested big in an autonomous delivery company. Their CTO explains why and what the process will look like. Nuro is the autonomous vehicle company that big brands love. With a focus on delivery, Nuro’s cute, driverless vehicle that’s optimized to hold goods has attracted partnerships with Walmart, Kroger, and CVS, along with over $1 billion in funding since 2017. Read Full Story

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This startup wants to replace the white cane for blind people

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Using advanced technologies such as lidar—also used in autonomous vehicles—Strap’s assistive device is aimed at helping visually impaired people navigate their environment. Lots of companies are pouring resources into teaching cars to see the world around them. Now a startup called Strap Technologies is developing a wearable pod that uses some of the same kinds of sensors used by autonomous vehicles—radar, lidar, ultrasonic—to give blind people a clearer sense of their surroundings. Read Full Story

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Santa Monica is testing the first zero-emissions delivery zone

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Deliveries have skyrocketed during the pandemic. This California city wants to nudge companies to make sure they’re happening in nonpolluting vehicles. When someone in downtown Santa Monica now gets a delivery, there’s a good chance that it will now show up on an electric delivery truck—or an electric scooter, or a battery-powered robot, or an electric cargo bike. The city is now testing a first-of-a-kind, one-square-mile electric vehicle delivery zone, which will prioritize vehicles that won’t pollute the neighborhood. Read Full Story

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Why isn’t the USPS fully electrifying its fleet? It’s a mystery

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The agency just announced the design of its new truck, but only 10% of the vehicles will be electric. Congress is trying to find out why. Amazon is shifting to electric delivery vehicles in its aim to become carbon-neutral by 2040. FedEx, which has the same goal, plans to buy only electric delivery vehicles by 2030 . But when the Postal Service recently announced a major new order for mail delivery vans it’ll obtain over the next decade, it said that only 10% of the new vehicles would be electric—even though the Biden administration wants to move the entire federal fleet to zero-emissions vehicles. Read Full Story

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How FedEx plans to become carbon neutral by 2040

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The shipping giant plans to fully electrify its delivery trucks. The planes are a harder problem. If you get a FedEx delivery in some Californian cities later this year, it might show up in a new electric delivery vehicle—and come down the sidewalk in a new electric pallet that helps couriers carry heavier loads. The company will be receiving 500 of the vehicles, from GM’s BrightDrop, as one part of a larger push to make all pickup and delivery vehicles zero emissions. By 2040, FedEx says it plans to become carbon neutral. Read Full Story

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