Providence Technology Group

Nuro Gets the Green Light to Charge for Autonomous Deliveries in California

The California Department of Motor Vehicles last week awarded Bay Area robotics company Nuro a permit to deploy autonomous vehicles on public streets for commercial purposes, meaning it can make money from the services its cars provide. This is the first self-driving deployment permit granted in the state, “a significant milestone in the evolution of autonomous vehicles in California,” says DMV Director Steve Gordon. Nuro has been allowed to test its autonomous vehicles on public roads with a safety driver since 2017 and received a driverless testing permit in April 2020. But it can now expand into actually charging customers for services like grocery deliveries or medication drop-offs. Nuro will offer service in parts of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, which includes the c...[Read More]

SAC LIBRARY TO HELP PROVIDE WI-FI CONNECTIVITY FOR CITY RESIDENTS IMPACTED BY COVID-19

The Sacramento Public Library, in partnership with the City of Sacramento and local community-based organizations, is helping to bring internet services to local communities by providing more than 1,400 Wi-Fi hotspots to eligible residents impacted by COVID-19. Residents wanting to access these hotspots can either apply to get a hotspot to keep for free (which includes one year of free service) or they can check one out of the library to use for up to six weeks. Keep reading this article at sacramentocityexpress.com

COVID-19 exposure notification system expands statewide; University of California to lead roll out effort

The State of California has asked the University of California to lead an expansion of a  smartphone-based COVID-19 exposure notification system recently tested at seven University of California campuses. Under this statewide program, researchers and entrepreneurs at UC San Diego Health who developed and led the pilot program will manage broadening the program for the State. The notification system, called CA Notify which will officially launch on December 10, enables individuals who opt-in to the program to receive automatic smartphone notifications if the user has high-risk exposure to other enrolled users who are diagnosed with COVID-19. Keep reading this article at universityofcalifornia.edu

‘Chill Cloud’ helps campus community combat social isolation

Sacramento State’s College of Education has devised an innovative way to help students, faculty, and staff combat social isolation amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “Chill Cloud,” which launched in October, allows members of the University community to sign up for or create informal virtual meetings on any topic, or simply to allow people to hang out in a non-classroom setting. Suggested meetings on the Chill Cloud website include an open mic night for poets, performers, or comedians; “the fun topic you will NOT learn in my course;” meditation and yoga; story-telling night; and “cooking dinner with…” Keep reading this article at csus.edu

There’s Been a 70% Uptick in Redfin.Com Users Looking to Relocate to Sacramento and Las Vegas Since Last Year

Nationwide, 28.5% of Redfin.com users looked to move to another metro area in October, up from 24.9% a year before and a slight decline from 29.2% in the third quarter. This is according to a new report from Redfin (redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage. Sacramento, Las Vegas and Phoenix were the most popular destinations for people looking to move to a different metro area in October, with higher net inflows than any other major U.S. metro. A net inflow means more people are looking to move in than leave, while a net outflow means more people are looking to leave than move in. Keep reading this article at prnewswire.com

California Chief Data Officer Joy Bonaguro’s New Data Strategy

Joy Bonaguro, California’s Chief Data Officer (CDO), recently unveiled a high-level plan to revamp California’s data systems. The mission of the CDO is to “empower use of data by ensuring the state has the infrastructure, processes, and people to manage, access and use data efficiently, effectively, securely, and responsibly.” In order to meet the CDO’s mission, Bonaguro organizes the new Data Strategy by goals and objectives. The goals are broadly positive, highlighting general areas for improvement. These goals are: Streamlining Data Access, Improving Data Management and Governance, and Spurring Data Use & Ability. Streamlining Data Access focuses on the technical aspects of the plan – the things that must be coded. Improving Data Management & Governance aims at standardizing and...[Read More]

A Billion Dollars from a Junkyard

On a sprawling 97-acre lot beside railway tracks and auto repair shops in a section of eastern Long Island that’s definitely not the Hamptons, forklifts maneuver through a neatly organized salvage yard, moving everything from weathered pickup trucks to an almost-new Lotus coupe. This is no ordinary junkyard. Everything is coordinated electronically: The forklift drivers follow a meticulous schedule laid out on a tablet. Each car, be it a lightly battered BMW or a totaled Toyota, has a numerical code on the windshield so it can be digitally identified, inventoried and then moved to its corresponding spot in the sales area. In the squat, one-story building out front, customers who bought a vehicle online wait to pick up their newly purchased wreck after scanning a QR code on their phones. Th...[Read More]

How California uses tech, partnerships to nail trucking emissions violators

Data mining, sensors, and other software and hardware solutions are changing the way California air quality regulators are enforcing trucking emissions regulations. Partnerships with local and national enforcement agencies to catch emissions violations also on the rise. The tech revolution that has hit the trucking industry over the past decade is likewise reshaping the way air quality regulators do their job. A slew of telematics services have come on board to help fleets monitor operations, including emissions control systems. Simultaneously, data collection and sensor tools are giving regulators better visibility into fleets violating emissions regulations, yielding more efficient and effective enforcement. “Historically, we would be out in the field doing individual truck inspections, ...[Read More]

Sacramento FBI Encourages Business Community to Guard Against and Report Business Email Compromise

SACRAMENTO—During National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Sacramento Field Office is reminding the business community about business email compromise (BEC). BEC is a sophisticated scam targeting anyone who performs legitimate electronic payments such as wire or automated clearing house transfers. In a typical BEC scheme, the victim receives an email they believe is from a company they normally conduct business with, but this specific email requests funds be sent to a new account or otherwise alters the standard payment practices. BEC has been a major concern for years. In 2019, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) recorded 23,775 complaints and more than $1.7 billion in losses due to BEC fraud schemes. In April 2020, the IC3 issue...[Read More]

Fintech’s Wildfire Fighter: This Reinsurer is using AI to make California Insurance Affordable

This year, California wildfires have torched 1.4 million acres, an area bigger than Connecticut.  Nine thousand homes and other structures have burned. While brand-name insurers like Allstate ALL -0.7% and State Farm are suffering from a surge in homeowner insurance claims, another industry is gasping for air behind the scenes: reinsurance. Reinsurers cover companies like Allstate when they see big losses, typically paying out 60% of claims for catastrophic events. To make up for lost profits and rising risks, reinsurers in California have raised their prices by about 600% over the past five years. San Francisco startup Kettle thinks its sophisticated statistical models can predict wildfires better than any other reinsurer, and it plans to offer lower prices as a result. It officially laun...[Read More]

Local Computing Innovation Opens Programming to All

“One guest, after spending time at Dynamicland, held up his smartphone and shouted, ‘This thing is a prison!’” Computing is a relatively new feature of our modern lives, despite the ubiquity of phones and laptops. The more the computers can do, the less we want to do with them. With an innovative, human centric approach to computing, DynamicLand is pushing the envelope for what computers are capable of and opening our eyes to a new era of technological possibilities. Imagine this:  Arts and crafts supplies on a table, surrounded by children and their parents. Lights dazzle on the surface of their table, commanded by intricate patterns of hundreds of multicolored NFC tags (An NFC tag is a sticker with small microchips that can be read by in-range mobile devices). Though nobody in this scene...[Read More]

New Simulation Technology Helps Get the Jump on Wildfires

The Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit (LNU) wildfires in California burned nearly 200,000 acres before finally being contained. But in the process, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) was able to deploy a simulation technology that helps firefighters predict the actions of a wildfire and deploy resources more quickly where needed. The data has always been available, but only within silos and compiling that data traditionally took hours or days. The technology, developed by Technosylva, was partially deployed by CAL FIRE in July during the LNU fires and showed a rapid spread of the wildfire. “We’re rolling it out over a three-phased implementation period,” said Christine McMorrow, CAL FIRE resource management communications officer. “Our first phase went live July 31 in...[Read More]