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EV/AV Report: Flying cars and smarter streets

Toronto, Ontario — A provincial government reconsiders a policy that may discriminate against single parents, a member of the Forbes Technology Council warns that roads need to be updated for the arrival of AVs, and a flying car startup announces its metaphorical farewell flight. This is the latest in electric and autonomous vehicles.

Devil in the Details
The government of British Columbia is reconsidering its EV rebate policy, following complaints that the province’s definition of a household excluded single parents.

To qualify for the full rebate amount, the British Columbian government requires individuals have an annual income below $80,000, while households requires an income below $125,000.

In an interview with The Tyee, Victoria resident Jelena Putnik argues that the policy discriminates against single parents, who typically have a more difficult time than dual-parent households to make ends meet.

Under the provincial government’s definition of a household, persons must be in a common-law relationship or married and dwelling within the same residence, meaning that single parents with an income between $81,000 and $124,999 would not be eligible for the full rebate amount.

Updates Required
Modern roads may need to be reworked to suit the needs and capabilities of autonomous vehicles, warns a member of the Forbes Technology Council.

According to Mark Pittman, CEO of machine learning company Blyncsy, autonomous vehicles could mistake fallen construction barrels or crooked paint lines as warning barriers or exceptionally narrow lanes—uncommon events easily understood by humans drivers but absolutely confounding for the average autonomous system.

This challenge comes from the current state of autonomous driving, where roads in autonomous-safe areas manually programmed—people arriving on-site to scan and survey roads ahead of AV deployment.

Going forward, Pittman suggests a future with roads autonomously communicating with autonomous vehicles, guided by increasingly advanced AIs—manual surveying may soon be an obsolete approach.

Farewell Flight
A flying car startup backed by Google co-founder, Larry Page, will wind down operations after 12 years of work to develop an affordable electrical aircraft capable of vertical takeoff.

In a LinkedIn post, startup KittyHawk announced that the company would be shutting its doors, but had yet to work out the details for what’s coming next.

While the reasons for closure have not been released, it appears that KittyHawk’s people and technology may continue in a different capacity. Wisk, a joint venture between KittyHawk and Boeing will continue.

The KittyHawk startup has previously worked on ultralight electric aircraft that can be flown by non-pilots, a remotely-piloted passenger carrying aircraft and a fixed wing electric aircraft that can fly more than 100 miles on a single charge while being 100 times quieter than a helicopter.

 

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