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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.

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker