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Photo: Chuck Kennedy / Axios

Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto said safety has to be a key component of new technological advances as they transform U.S. cities.

Why it matters: Citizens' safety is a primary concern as technology marches toward replacing humans in a number of different functions in our cities, such as driving. New attention has been drawn to this this issue by this week's fatal crash involving an autonomous vehicle in Arizona.

When it come to new technologies such as self-driving cars and drones, "We want to embrace it but we also want to put guardrails in place," she said at an Axios event on smart cities Thursday morning. "We build that at the same time we build the infrastructure for this technology."

  • On drones: She is also spearheading the Safe Drones Act in Congress, and Nevada is a drone testing ground. Testing, she said, is key to ensuring drones are developed in a controlled environment so safety protections can be built into that process.
  • Workers matter: Cortez Masto, a former attorney general of Nevada, said workers have to be part of the equation of next-generation cities. Enhanced productivity is one of the major promises of new connected technologies, but they must have access to essential tools, such as broadband, and opportunities to receive the right training.

Go deeper

42 mins ago - Technology

Exclusive: Facebook's blackout didn't dent political ad reach

Photo: Valera Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Americans saw more political ads on Facebook in the week before the 2020 election than they did the prior week despite the company's blackout on new political ads during that period, according to Global Witness, a human rights group that espouses tech regulation.

Why it matters: The presidential election was a key stress test for Facebook and other leading online platforms looking to prove that they can curb misinformation. Critics contend measures like the ad blackout barely made a dent.

Wall Street wonders how bad it has to get

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wall Street is working out how bad the economy will have to get for Congress to feel motivated to move on economic support.

Why it matters: A pre-Thanksgiving data dump showed more evidence of a floundering economic recovery. But the slow drip of crumbling economic data may not be enough to push Washington past a gridlock to halt the economic backslide.

3 hours ago - Health

Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine

Photo illustration by STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Moderna announced that it plans to file with the FDA Monday for an emergency use authorization for its coronavirus vaccine, which the company said has an efficacy rate of 94.1%.

Why it matters: Moderna will become the second company to file for a vaccine EUA after Pfizer did the same earlier this month, potentially paving the way for the U.S. to have two COVID-19 vaccines in distribution by the end of the year. The company said its vaccine has a 100% efficacy rate against severe COVID cases.