All Transportation stories

Amtrak unveils vision of expanded rail map under Biden's infrastructure plan

The proposed map for an expanded rail service by Amtrak. Photo: Amtrak.

Amtrak released a proposed map Wednesday of an expanded U.S. rail system that could be built with funding from President Biden's infrastructure plan.

Why it matters: The expanded rail system — funded with the $80 billion Biden's infrastructure plan allocates to rail specifically—would "create jobs, improve the quality of life, reduce carbon emissions and generate economic growth,” Amtrak said in a statement.

Delta to stop blocking middle seats on May 1

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Delta Airlines will begin filling middle seats again on May 1 — reversing a change made in April 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, per a news release.

Why it matters: Delta is one of the last airlines to unblock middle seats. The company says increased consumer confidence and the rollout of coronavirus vaccines have lowered potential risks. All passengers will still be required to wear face masks.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Mar 31, 2021 - Economy & Business

Electric plane startup Lilium goes public in bid to take commercial flight by 2024

Lilium Jet. Photo courtesy of Lilium

Electric aviation startup Lilium is going public via merger with a special purpose acquisition company as it looks to commercialize a seven-seat vertical takeoff and landing plane (VTOL) for regional travel.

Driving the news: The Munich-based company yesterday announced a merger with Qell Acquisition Corp. that values the combined company at roughly $3.3 billion.

Updated Mar 31, 2021 - Economy & Business

VW will not rebrand as Voltswagen

VW ID.4, an electric SUV from "Voltswagen of America." Photo: VW

German carmaker Volkswagen clarified Tuesday it "will not be changing its name to Voltswagen," saying Monday's announcement of a rebrand was a joke.

Driving the news: The company posted a press release, dated April 29, to its website announcing the change, according to CNBC. The release, which called the change a “public declaration of the company’s future-forward investment in e-mobility,” has since been taken down.

Mar 30, 2021 - World

Rising tides and supermoon helped free massive ship from Suez Canal

The "Ever Given" ship. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

Rescuers who dislodged the massive "Ever Given" ship from the Suez Canal on Monday got the aid of a supermoon, which raised water levels about 19 inches above normal tides and made it easier to pull the vessel, The Wall Street Journal reports.

How it works: Tides are usually higher during a full or new moon. But that effect was boosted by the year's first supermoon — which occurs when a full moon orbits closest to the Earth.

Massive container ship freed from Suez Canal

A tugboat attempting to refloat the "Ever Given" in the Suez Canal on March 26. Photo: Samuel Mohsen/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Rescuers fully dislodged the "Ever Given" from the banks of the Suez Canal on Monday, sending the skyscraper-sized container ship on its way after six days of drama that paralyzed the vital shipping route, according to canal authorities.

Why it matters: The massive maritime traffic jam wreaked havoc on global trade and resulted in one of the largest ship salvage operations in modern history.

Mar 26, 2021 - Economy & Business

What we're driving: BMW 330e sedan

BMW 330e plug-in hybrid. Photo: BMW

The BMW 330e sedan takes all the stress out of driving and keeps the fun.

The big picture: It's a plug-in hybrid that delivers the spirit of a BMW in a more eco-friendly package. And the driver-assistance technology will surprise you with all it can do.

Mar 26, 2021 - Economy & Business

Tesla's video footage of drivers raises safety and privacy concerns

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Cars are increasingly equipped with cameras to monitor driver behavior, but Tesla's use of the technology raises safety and privacy questions, Consumer Reports writes.

Why it matters: Driver monitoring systems help ensure motorists are paying attention to the road when using automated features that don't require their hands on the wheel.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Mar 25, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Democrats want Biden to restore Obama-era climate change policy

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Some Capitol Hill Democrats are pressing President Biden to re-instate Obama-era carbon emissions and mileage rules for passenger cars — and then go much further.

Driving the news: 10 Senate Democrats and dozens of House Democrats, in letters yesterday, call for standards through 2025 that at least match prior rules weakened under President Trump.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated Mar 24, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Massive container ship gets stuck in Suez Canal, causing maritime traffic jam

Workers next to a container ship that was hit by strong winds and ran aground in the Suez Canal, Egypt. Photo: Suez Canal Authority via Reuters

A huge container ship got stuck in the Suez Canal late Tuesday, causing a massive maritime traffic jam.

Why it matters: The Suez accounts for approximately 30% of container shipping volumes, and blocking it for even a short time will cause oil prices to rise — and remind us that the entire global economy relies on really, really big ships.