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App Helps NYC Essential Workers Navigate Late-Night Transit

Plus, Equifax’s payout for its massive 2017 breach, a look at American fears of riding in autonomous vehicles and a potential solution for sanitizing sports arenas between events post-COVID.

by / July/August 2020
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Night Shift

Following an announcement from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in early May that the New York City subway would be shut down between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. every night for coronavirus-related cleaning, the agency worked with a Swiss company called Axon Vibe (not to be confused with body-camera manufacturer Axon) to quickly roll out an app to help essential workers navigate the city in those early morning hours. Called Essential Connector, the app points users to nearby available buses; if none are available, one free taxi ride is offered per night. The system is designed to become more personalized over time as it learns a user’s frequently visited stops.
Source: The Verge

$5.5M

Following the widely reported 2017 Equifax breach that revealed sensitive personal and financial data of 147 million Americans, the credit monitoring service agreed to pay each affected individual $125 as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. While that amount isn’t likely to make it into Americans’ bank accounts any time soon — $125 multiplied by nearly 150 million proved too much for Equifax to pay — the company has agreed to provide $5.5 million to “all financial institutions in the United States” to cover the costs of reissuing any compromised credit cards.
Source: Ars Technica

Disinfecting Drones

When large gatherings and events are being held once again, new hygiene measures will likely be in place for cleaning spaces like sports stadiums. Buffalo, N.Y.-based startup EagleHawk proposes drones equipped with disinfecting sprayers as the solution to ensure stadiums are safe post-event, while cutting down on cleaning time compared to wiping down everything by hand, as well as limiting worker exposure to the virus. EagleHawk plans to offer its service to sports teams in its home region.
Source: New Atlas

48%

of Americans surveyed in early 2020 by industry organization Partners for Automated Vehicle Education said they would never get into a self-driving taxi. Twenty percent said they think the tech will never be safe. However, only 8 percent of those surveyed were familiar with the accident in Tempe, Ariz., where an autonomous Uber struck and killed a pedestrian, so many fears of AVs seem to be of undefined origin.
Source: Engadget

 

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Lauren Harrison Managing Editor

Lauren Harrison is the managing editor for Government Technology magazine. She has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and more than 10 years’ experience in book and magazine publishing.

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