Most U.S.-based airlines are gearing up for strong growth — adding routes, hiring employees and ordering new aircraft — as the industry continues to recover from the pandemic slowdown.
The big picture: Airlines crippled by the health crisis generally weathered the shock better than after 9/11 because of the way federal assistance was structured, industry officials told the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday.
Autonomous vehicle developers are deliberately blinding their cars to perfect various sensor-cleaning strategies.
Why it matters: Like humans, self-driving cars must be able to actually see the world around them to make decisions. But rain, dirt, debris and even insects can obscure their vision, requiring systems that can automatically clean the sensors.
What's happening: To help with the research, engineers at one company, Argo AI, even jerry-rigged a "mud cannon" to splatter its test cars with a pudding-like substance.
What to watch: 3M is developing a replaceable, superhydrophobic film that would act like a waterproof screen protector for lidar systems and other vehicle sensors.
Clear, the ID security company that aims to speed passengers through airport security, will now book you an Uber to make sure you arrive at your gate on time.
Why it matters: Holiday travel is expected to approach pre-pandemic levels this year, which could lead to extra stress for passengers, many of whom haven't traveled in two years.
Driving the news: Clear is partnering with Uber to integrate its ride-hailing platform directly into the Clear app’s "Home to Gate" feature.
How it works: You don't have to be a Clear Plus member to use the Home to Gate feature, but access to Clear's expedited security lines requires membership.
What they're saying: "Travel is surging back this holiday season, and together with Uber, we are helping travelers have a more predictable and stress-free travel experience," said Caryn Seidman-Becker, CEO of Clear.
The lightest element on the periodic table could soon be used to power the heaviest of engines.
What’s happening: Caterpillar, BNSF Railway and Chevron on Tuesday announced a plan to develop a hydrogen-powered locomotive system.
I'm like the majority of SUV owners: My biggest excursion is to Home Depot. But the 2022 Ford Bronco I tested off-road recently had so much technology that even I was able to plow through sloppy mud trails and crawl over boulders with confidence.
The big picture: After 26 years, the iconic Bronco is back, going head-to-head with Jeep's legendary Wrangler. While it's natural to pit them in an all-out battle for market share, Ford wants to grow the segment by drawing inexperienced people like me to off-roading.
Amtrak faces the threat of a service reduction in January if more employees don't receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the company's president said, per AP.
Driving the news: About 95% of Amtrak workers are at least partially vaccinated ahead of the Jan. 4 vaccination deadline set for employees of federal contractors by the Biden administration, per AP.
This week is bringing fresh signs of intensifying efforts by the world's largest automakers to secure the materials and supply chains needed for the transition to electric vehicles.
Driving the news: General Motors on Thursday announced two deals related to magnets needed for EV motors.
Carmakers typically make their money when they sell a car. Now, they're eyeing monthly service subscriptions as a way to turbocharge growth.
Why it matters: The auto industry is aiming to be more like the tech and telecom industries, hooking customers with services and downloadable features that improve over time and — most important — generate recurring revenues.
New York City is the biggest school district to gear up for an Uber-like GPS-based system that tracks each pupil's school bus ride, letting parents know where their child is in real time.
Why it matters: For parents, teachers and school administrators, the ability to follow each student's daily commute adds a layer of safety and peace of mind — and helps all parties adjust plans when there are traffic jams, weather problems or other snarls.
Americans are still avoiding downtown travel in many cities, a sign that COVID-19 continues to affect when, where and how people move.
The big picture: Traffic congestion is returning to many U.S. cities, but has yet to match pre-pandemic levels, according to new data from INRIX, a mobility research firm. One reason: people aren't making as many trips downtown.
What's happening: Many employees continued to work remotely in 2021.
Nationwide, downtown trips have decreased 22% compared to pre-COVID levels.
The bottom line: The average American driver spent 36 hours stuck in traffic in 2021 — worse than last year — but far below 2019 levels, when drivers wasted nearly 100 hours in traffic.