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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Here's a thought that occurred to a few people while weaving their cars through double-parked Amazon trucks and Ubers: Let's find a way to monetize those scofflaws.

Why it matters: Video cameras mounted on city streets — and connected to the right software and technology — could one day be a gold standard for urban traffic management.

  • The nascent technology — now being marketed by a handful of new companies — could be used to bill vehicles that park in commercial spaces, fine vehicles that double-park, and help cities place commercial parking spaces in the best locations.

Where it stands: Several vendors have popped up in the emerging field of digital curb management.

  • Coord says it "supports over 4.9 million curb spaces in 15 cities across North America."
  • Automotus says its installations have helped reduce traffic caused by parking by 20%.
  • curbFlow says it "identifies vacancy at the curb in real time for drivers needing to pick up & drop off deliveries."
  • Other companies, like Flow Labs and Flux Mobility, are at earlier stages of development.

What they're saying: Jordan Justus, co-founder and CEO of Automotus, walked me through the company's plans.

  • For cities that hire Automotus: "We've developed a system to automatically invoice companies for their time at the curb — whether it's DoorDash or PostMates, Amazon or UPS — so that not only are these folks paying [cities based on their time in a commercial parking spot], but they're paying based on their use."
  • For Uber, Lyft drivers (and others): An app will help find parking for motorists, free-of-charge.
  • For urban revenue coffers: Automotus automates enforcement of double-parking. "Enforcement mechanisms today rely on officers driving or biking around to get back to the same spot every two hours, when you have a vehicle stopping for anywhere from 2 to 15 minutes."

Details: Automotus has done projects in cities like Bellingham, Washington, and campuses like Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

  • But Coord "now supports over 4.9 million curb spaces in 15 cities across North America," including, most recently, Omaha.
  • Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Denver are also using Coord's platform.

Go deeper

Dec 16, 2020 - Economy & Business

Lyft to offer self-driving taxis in several cities in 2023

A self-driving Lyft in Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of Motional

Autonomous vehicles will be available on Lyft's ride-sharing network in multiple U.S. cities beginning in 2023, Lyft and self-driving tech company Motional announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: It represents a potential milestone in the commercial rollout of self-driving technology, which AV developers say will lead to safer, lower-cost transportation.

Laurel Hubbard to become 1st openly trans athlete to compete at Olympics

New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia, when she became the first openly transgender athlete to represent NZ. Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

The New Zealand Olympic Committee has announced that Laurel Hubbard has been selected for the women's weightlifting team for the Tokyo Games — making her the first openly transgender athlete to compete at the event.

The big picture: Hubbard, 43, is part of a five-member Kiwi weightlifting team and will compete in the women's super heavyweight category. Meanwhile, BMX rider Chelsea Wolfe will become the first openly trans athlete to travel to the Olympics with Team USA, when she arrives in Tokyo as a reserve rider.

American Airlines cuts hundreds of flights amid demand surge

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

American Airlines announced Sunday that it's cutting some 950 flights from its schedule, including 296 this weekend, to reduce potential pressure on its operations, the Wall Street Journal first reported.

Driving the news: The U.S. vaccine rollout has led to a massive increase in travel bookings. The airline noted in an emailed statement that it's facing an "incredibly quick ramp up of customer demand."