Toronto is rethinking one of the latest innovations to hit the streets: the micro-delivery robot, Geoffrey. The tiny pink device has been delivering food and goods across the city, much to the delight of pedestrians. However, accessibility advocates and city councillors are questioning the use of Geoffrey and other "micro utility devices," voting to ban them from city sidewalks, keeping them a public space for safe pedestrian use.
While Toronto is pausing on innovations like Geoffrey, Ontario is betting on it. The province has released a to drive innovative development and investment in electric, connected, and autonomous vehicles. The $56.4 million promise will fund the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network, with a chief focus on production mandates, create a domestic battery ecosystem, and profile Ontario as a leading hub in automotive innovation.
Sustainable transportation options have been a priority at all levels of government. At the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26), the federal government was on the world stage as one of 19 countries pledging to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions with and vehicle manufacturers. One such promise from Transport Canada was to make heavy trucks and buses emission-free in less than two decades while working to eliminate emissions from cars and shipping routes. Critics are sceptical that this talk will lead to action, but hopefully, global exposure will encourage transparency.
The transportation innovation industry is a top bet for the investment industry. Rivian, the electric truck and car manufacturer, made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange with an initial public offering valuation of nearly $70 billion. And this is a company that has only delivered 156 vehicles to new owners. Backed by giants like Amazon and Ford, this initial valuation is not far off from Ford's $80 billion valuation, a company that sold over four-million vehicles last year. Never heard of this transportation tech company? Prior to this slam dunk I.P.O, not many people had — Rivian has been known to operate in stealth mode, with 38-year-old founder, R.J. Scaringe, keeping the company as quiet as possible.
In Mark Zuckerberg's latest attempt to be involved in… everything, the newly coined Meta (the parent company for a group of Zuck's companies, including Facebook) will partner with Uber's operations in India. People looking for rideshare will now be able to book directly in the WhatsApp messaging service rather than downloading the Uber app. From booking to issuing a receipt, the entire transaction will happen in WhatsApp — a sign that Uber is meeting customers where they already congregate.
If you’ve always wanted a Tesla but just can’t commit to the steep price tag, you might be happy to know there’s another option to own Tesla tech. The car giant has launched a Cyberquad for Kids, an adjustable, battery-powered ATV that starts at a price point of $1900. The timing of Tesla's latest launch aligns with the holiday season, but has some Tesla critics wondering why the company is promoting new products while over three million Cybertruck orders still haven't been fulfilled, and the adult-sized Cyberquad remains to be shipped.