In 2015, 5 billion toll transactions were recorded, per a survey by the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association, and that was "a record-breaking rate of growth" that is expected to continue as states struggle to find funds for road work. "The Highway Trust Fund is not covering the costs needed for major infrastructure investments and repairs," said IBTTA's Bill Cramer.
A ballot measure to increase bridge tolls around the San Francisco area is supported by a coalition of planning, transportation, business and labor organizations. Voters will decide on the measure in June, and Jim Wunderman of the Bay Area Council believes that "Bay Area commuters battling record traffic are desperate for big investments in our transportation system that will bring meaningful relief."
Continental is considering separating its tire business from its electronics, powertrains and safety systems divisions as it transitions to the development of autonomous and electric vehicles. Among Continental's initiatives are the development of the 48-volt electrical system for Audi's A8 sedan, an intelligent intersection in Columbus, Ohio, and an autonomous robo-taxi.
Uber Technologies CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says flying cars will be available in the US within the next 10 years. Uber has partnered with NASA to develop traffic concepts for robotic flight systems and is developing fixed flight routes between city hubs.
Allego and Fortum Charge & Drive are planning a network of 27 electric-car charging hubs in 20 European countries. The hubs would serve buses, taxis and other vehicles in Europe's main cities.
JD.com announced it plans to open unmanned convenience stores in China, an effort that would reduce costs associated with costly labor. Though it's testing the process now, future versions may feature the company's smart logistics solutions such as an automated pharmacy using a vending machine-style method and last-mile delivery with autonomous vehicles.
It's unlikely airlines will add more space for freight even as demand continues to rise, according to Brian Bourke of SEKO Logistics. This has resulted in airfreight agents working to develop new relationships and strategies to align freighters with their goals, he added.
Construction of Interstate 95, the US's longest north-south highway, started 61 years ago, and this year, the road will reach its goal: one continuous interstate in excess of 1,900 miles from Miami to Maine. A gap in the roadway on the border between Pennsylvania and New Jersey will finally be closed.
Analysts believe the food shortage at Whole Foods locations is due to a surge in shopper traffic after the company's acquisition by Amazon, but employees blame order-to-shelf, an inventory management system that uses a minimalistic approach. The system works to reduce unnecessary inventory with a goal of freeing up employee time and reducing waste, but its strict procedures are causing stocking issues.