Jennifer A. Kingson
Jennifer A. Kingson
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Sidewalk robots get legal rights as "pedestrians"

Sidewalk robots get legal rights as "pedestrians"

"We’ve got about 1,000 of them running around out there," Ryan Tuohy of Starship tells Axios. Photo courtesy of Starship Technologies.As small robots proliferate on sidewalks and city streets, so does legislation that grants them generous access rights and even classifies them, in the case of Pennsylvania, as "pedestrians."Why it matters: Fears of a dystopian urban world where people dodge heavy, fast-moving droids are colliding with the aims of robot developers large and small — including Amazon and FedEx — to deploy delivery fleets. Driving the news: States like Pennsylvania, Virginia,...

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Jennifer A. Kingson
Mar 4
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Climate activists aim to ban new gas stations

Climate activists aim to ban new gas stations

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/AxiosPetaluma, California, has voted to outlaw new gas stations, the first of what climate activists hope will be numerous cities and counties to do so.Why it matters: Expect more such ordinances, particularly in liberal towns. Grassroots groups are popping up with the mission of spreading this type of ban and forcing pollution cleanups at existing gas stations.Driving the news: In Petaluma — where neighborhood opposition to a new Safeway gas station prompted years of litigation — the council voted unanimously last week to move forward with a permanent ban on...

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Jennifer A. Kingson
Mar 1
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Food delivery by drone is likely a part of the future

Food delivery by drone is likely a part of the future

A drone delivers Pizza Hut orders over central Israel. Photo: Courtesy of Dragontail SystemsA fledgling system north of Tel Aviv has three drones making six test runs a day from a Pizza Hut to designated parking lots, where drivers pick up the meals and deliver them the "last mile."Why it matters: All signs point to a future in which systems like this are ubiquitous across America, with food and merchandise shuttled overhead to centralized landing hubs (as opposed to your doorstep or balcony).The big picture: UPS, Alphabet, FedEx, Amazon, Walmart and other giants are pressing forward with...

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Jennifer A. Kingson
Jan 28
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Guaranteed income programs are proliferating

Guaranteed income programs are proliferating

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/AxiosCities around the country are starting up guaranteed income programs, which pay low-income residents around $300-$600 a month to help improve their lives.Why it matters: If successful, backers hope these experiments — which bring the idea of guaranteed basic income from the progressive drawing board to reality — could set the stage for a day when unconditional cash stipends are a ubiquitous national safety net.Driving the news: The first three pilots — in , Minn., , Calif, and — are now under way. How it works: Some projects are being paid for by CARES Act...

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Jennifer A. Kingson
Jan 21
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Cities prepare for home delivery by drone

Cities prepare for home delivery by drone

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/AxiosThe Federal Aviation Administration has released new and looser rules for flying drones over highly populated areas and at night, effectively laying a welcome mat for future aerial deliveries of takeout food, Amazon packages, prescription drugs — you name it. Why it matters: While the prospect of Jetsons-style convenience with less street gridlock is tantalizing, there are still plenty of logistical hurdles, and it will take some time for cities to figure out how to manage low-altitude air traffic as routinely as they do today's road traffic. Driving...

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Jennifer A. Kingson
Jan 14
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"Pharmacy deserts" are becoming a bigger problem in low-income neighborhoods

"Pharmacy deserts" are becoming a bigger problem in low-income neighborhoods

Illustration: Aïda Amer/AxiosNeighborhoods in cities like Chicago are rapidly becoming places where people can't fill medical prescriptions locally because their drugstores have shuttered or don't accept Medicaid.Why it matters: The pandemic has accelerated the growth of "pharmacy deserts" as unprofitable and less-profitable stores have closed. It's a worrisome trend for the urban poor, who are less likely to try online pharmacies and more likely to let their drug regimens lapse when they can't get medication locally.Driving the news: Effective Dec. 1, Medicaid patients in Illinois — of...

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Jennifer A. Kingson
Jan 7
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The wealthy rush to shield their assets from Biden

The wealthy rush to shield their assets from Biden

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/AxiosHigh-net-worth Americans are busy setting up trust funds, giving large gifts to heirs and philanthropies, and even selling family businesses as they brace for the tax hikes a Biden presidency might bring. Why it matters: President Trump has jacked up the amount that people can leave tax-free to their heirs to record highs. If Biden wins, his tax shakeup would have ripple effects on how the wealthy buy and sell properties, allocate savings and investments, and give to charity. Driving the news: Biden says he wants to raise taxes on people who earn more than...

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Hans Nichols
Nov 2
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The (near) cashless society arrives, courtesy of the coronavirus

The (near) cashless society arrives, courtesy of the coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/AxiosPeople have suddenly stopped using money — of the bill-and-coin variety — for fear it may spread the virus. Some worried shopkeepers have stopped accepting it, too.Why it matters: The coronavirus may have changed our buying and payment habits forever. Online shopping is through the roof, and consumers are rushing to get "contactless" credit and debit cards, which are tapped at a merchant terminal rather than inserted or swiped.Driving the news: The coronavirus has made us scared to touch anything, and there's a perception that money is dirty and payment...

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Jennifer A. Kingson
June 29, 2020
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