Today's Pickup: Accelerator Program Pushes Geotab Into City Building

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Good day,

Geotab, a fleet-tracking and management platform, has launched a smart cities and transportation accelerator program called Torque Labs, according to a press release. Three companies have enrolled, and the Ontario, Canada-based program is currently accepting applications.

The Torque Labs launch comes as city building is gaining more attention in the tech and financial sectors. Less than a month ago, Alphabet subsidiary, Sidewalk Labs LLC, joined with the Ontario Pension fund to create an urban infrastructure fund, Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners, or SIP. SIP is investing in technology-enabled infrastructure relating to advanced mobility, energy, water and waste and more.

Similarly, Torque will fund and incubate start-ups in a range of sectors, including supply chain, fleet management, electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, smart cities and vehicle sharing.

Participating companies will have access to the Geotab platform, including the data sets derived from the more than 1.8 million Geotab-connected vehicles around the world. They will also receive mentorship and coaching, as well as gain assistance for proof-of-concept development and access to commercialization opportunities.

“As technology around us is developing so quickly, it is important for us to stay on the cutting edge of the industry by continuously innovating and staying proactive in the marketplace,” said Neil Cawse, Geotab’s CEO, in the release. “We want to empower individuals, startups and companies to create future innovations that will aid in the continuous technological transformation of our cities and transportation systems.”

Did you know? 

The United Cannabis Business Association, a statewide group of legal marijuana businesses, found that about 2,835 illicit  marijuana sellers, including storefronts and delivery services, are operating statewide. That’s more than three times as many illegal sellers as legal ones. (NBC)

Quotable

“This archaic regulation was a roadblock to innovation. The status quo is the only thing that should be off the table as we seek to deliver and fund transportation solutions.”

ARTBA President & CEO Dave Bauer on the government’s  ending of a century-old restriction on highway construction (FreightWaves)

In other news

Punishing China could stall electric bus adoption

China supplies about one-third of the electric buses in the United States, but it would be effectively barred under a provision in a national defense bill. (Wired)

Watch Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct implode 

A new Washington State Department of Transportation video titled “Out of the Shadows” condenses the months-long demolition of the key Seattle roadway into a  6 1/2-minute montage.(SeattleTimes)

Discount retailer launches e-commerce site

Marshalls debuted its e-commerce site, Marshalls.com, allowing users to shop the off-price retailer’s “ever-changing” inventory online. (Retaildive.com)

University of British Columbia researchers map out a hydrogen highway

A study published  in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy outlines a “roadmap” for a British Columbia hydrogen supply chain that would enable the adoption of hydrogen-powered cars over the next three decades. (Vancouverisawesome.com)

Final thoughts,

Autonomous vehicle companies can’t flock to Texas fast enough. Detroit-based auto giant Ford announced on September 25  that it will bring a fleet of self-driving cars to Austin as part of its effort to test the technology in real-world situations. The prototypes will hit the road sometime between mid-November and the end of 2019. The Ford news comes less than a week after Uber announced it would deploy a fleet of cars with human operators in Dallas as part of its autonomous vehicle initiative. 

Hammer down, everyone!

Image Sourced from Pixabay