The Punch List – 10/15/18

Talk about self-driven. Pittsburgh-based startup Aurora Innovation, Co. just received the first ever official (but still voluntary) state authorization to test self-driving cars in Pittsburgh and surrounding municipalities. In April, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Authority urged self-driving car companies to make testing #official, a process which includes filing a safety plan, mapping routes, and documenting operator training programs.

What about other companies in the self-driving car companies in the area? Argo AI is the only company in the area to receive voluntary federal authorization for testing. Uber plans to release a federal report in the coming months, and as of August, Aptiv has no plans for filing for either state or federal authorization.

It’s going to be bio-swell!  The Monroeville Council passed an ordinance that will invest $3.2 million a year to minimize flooding and sediment runoff. This ordinance will create a tax for home and property owners that will help fund cleanup and infrastructure improvements such as bioswales, sediment ponds, and pipe replacement. This will help make the town’s sewer compliant to Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System rules.

Even though the town is “being forced” to invest in stormwater infrastructure, Mayor Nick Gresock says it will be “a great benefit for the community.”

Worth it’s salt. At least according to City of Pittsburgh officials, who are considering investing $14 million in a high-tech snow plow startup, Quetica, LLC. Quetica offers advanced digital monitoring that includes tracking routes, the number of hours those routes take city employees, and the amount of salt used on roads. That tracking will not only help the city budget but will also help reduce the ecological impact of road salts.

“Fitbit” for Livestock. It turns out your local farmers probably have a day jobs and no way to watch their livestock from afar. So, two local Pittsburgh farmers created a tech startup called Farmer Jenny, which allows farmers to check on the farm straight from work.

Say Cheese for Safe Streets! Speedsters beware, next time you speed in a construction zone in Allegheny County, you could have your picture taken. The PA State Legislature just passed a law that will charge speedsters driving through construction zones. Why? PA is taking a crack at lowering construction worker deaths to make safer streets for everybody.

Speaking of safer streets, see if complete streets are coming to your area.

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