MIT Technology Review: Uber Is Betting We’ll See Driverless 18-Wheelers Before Taxis
In a battered warehouse in San Francisco, Uber is working on what it thinks will be a shortcut in the race to make money from vehicles that drive themselves. A fleet of six modified white Volvo truck cabs operate out of a brick building in the SoMa district popular with technology startups. Around the clock, at least one of the vehicles is steering itself around Bay Area highways.
The trucks have radar, cameras and lidar -- which maps in 3-D using lasers -- added to their roofs and fenders by Otto, a startup that Uber acquired last month. The startup’s team is sharing data and technology with Uber’s group in Pittsburgh, which is working on autonomous cars to carry passengers. But Otto is still focused on its original business plan: creating a computer copilot that can let a trucker sleep during long stretches of highway driving. The truck would pull over and stop when it was time to leave the highway, or for the driver to take over again.
Sunrun: Sunrun Appoints Anne Hoskins as Chief Policy Officer
Sunrun Inc., the largest dedicated residential solar company in the United States, announced today that former Maryland Public Service Commissioner Anne Hoskins is joining Sunrun as Chief Policy Officer.
“Sunrun is a leader in helping consumers choose clean, affordable power," Hoskins said. "With our world facing a critical need for lower carbon, sustainable energy, I am thrilled to be joining a company with the vision to ‘create a planet run by the sun.' I look forward to applying my experience as a regulator and advocate to work with policymakers, utilities and other stakeholders to empower customers to make smart, clean, and affordable energy choices."
Hoskins served on the Maryland Public Service Commission from September 2013 through July 2016. During her service, she adjudicated major merger and rate cases, service quality and consumer protection proceedings, and participated in rulemakings involving community solar, grid reliability and competitive retail supply.
Fortune: How New York Grocery Stores Plan to Use Ice Batteries
A handful of grocery stores in New York could produce ice overnight as an unusual way of storing energy and working with the local utility.
The technology to make and manage the ice will be provided by a young startup backed by the chief technology officer of Tesla, among other investors.
On Tuesday, startup Axiom Exergy announced that it won a deal to provide $5 million worth of its refrigerator batteries to grocery stores in Brooklyn and Queens. The grocery stores will be able to use incentives from utility Consolidated Edison to pay for the technology.
Climate Progress: For Climate Activists, the G20 Summit Was a Mixed Bag
On Monday night, the world’s biggest economies shook hands and pulled the curtain closed on the annual G20 summit in Hangzhou, China. And while climate change made headlines during the summit as two of the world’s biggest emitters officially joined the Paris climate agreement, climate and environmental activists are more concerned with what the G20 failed to consider than what it did.
“The G20 failed to set the right priorities,” Pirmin Spiegel, general director at the Catholic Bishops’ Organization for Development Cooperation -- a member of the international Climate Action Network -- said in a statement.
“They don’t seem to care for our common home. While climate change is only one of ‘Further Significant Global Challenges Affecting the World Economy’, the biggest problem and -- at the same time -- the one-size-fits-all solution G20 offers to these challenges is growth. They stick to the same old tools that have not been able to solve the climate crisis and global inequality.”
Science World Report: Pope Francis Says 'Harming the Environment Should Be a Sin'
Environmental destruction is a sin, Pope Francis said in a press conference on Thursday in Rome for the Catholic Church's World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. He also called it "ecological debt" that humanity has caused and should act against. Despite the awkward relationship between the church and science, they are apparently heading to the same track when it comes to environmental concerns.
IFL Science reported that the pope has joined the debate on climate change and showed great concern for the future of the environment. Currently, it is clear that NASA scientists are not the only ones worried about the issue. According to Pope Francis, humans are "participants in a system that has imposed the mentality of profit at any price, with no concern for social exclusion or the destruction of nature." He added that the poor and refugee crisis victims are the ones suffering the adverse effects of climate change even though they are the least responsible for it.