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This article was originally published by Sarah Wray on Cities Today, the leading news platform on urban mobility and innovation, reaching an international audience of city leaders. For the latest updates, follow Cities Today on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, or sign up for Cities Today News.

Start-up Refraction AI has launched a pilot program with ten of its REV-1 delivery robots in Austin, Texas.

The service launched with Southside Flying Pizza for deliveries in the South Congress, Downtown and Travis Heights areas of the city, with scope to expand as more businesses come on board.

The three-wheeled electric devices, which travel up to 15 mph and are controlled remotely, will operate in bike lanes or the street where bike lanes aren’t available. Assistants ride close by to ensure safety.

The delivery vehicles are described as “approximately the size of a person on a bicycle” at 1.37m tall (4.5 feet), 1.37m (4.5 feet) long and 76cm (30 inches) wide, and can hold around six grocery bags.

“Collaborating with innovators in this space gives us an opportunity to learn more about robotic delivery and how it can benefit the community as we continuously work to improve our transportation ecosystem,” said Gina Fiandaca, Austin Assistant City Manager for Mobility. “We believe that greater access to robotic last-mile delivery will lead to a greener future with safer, less congested streets, and we’re excited to leverage the technology as we continue to prioritize both sustainability and equity.”

No city funding is going into the pilot.

Safety

The operation of the vehicles in Austin is guided by state legislation, as well as resolutions passed by the City Council.

Jacob Culberson, Division Manager, Mobility Services, City of Austin, told Cities Today: “The city’s responsibility always is safety.”

The city worked with Refraction AI ahead of the launch, including ensuring the robots adhere to rules around lights, braking, etc. and demonstrating them for the fire and police departments.

Austin also sought feedback from the City of Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Refraction AI’s robots have been operating since December 2019.

“Refraction AI was great in working with us to bring that together…and we feel confident that [the devices] are safe,” Culberson said.

One day at a time

Austin Transportation Department’s announcement of the robots on social media prompted a flurry of queries from local residents, including some concerns about the use of bike lanes.

“If we can reduce the number of single occupancy vehicles by supplanting them with small electric carriers that pose much less risk to people around them than traditional motor vehicles, then I think that’s a win,” Culberson said, adding that due to their size and speed: “I feel there’ll be little interference with our bicycle folks.”

The devices are required by state law to stop and yield the right of way to all other traffic, including bikes and pedestrians. According to Refraction AI, the REV-1 has “the shortest stopping distance of any device on the road”.

Culberson says the city will take things “one day at a time” and could develop local regulations if necessary, as it did with e-scooters.

There is no formal data-sharing requirement for the pilot but Refraction AI has agreed to share some data points with the city. Residents are also encouraged to report any issues to the 311 service.

“Over the past year, it has become more apparent that our current solutions for on-demand delivery are broken; local businesses and households are having a hard time keeping up with rising fees while profitability remains elusive for even the biggest players,” said Luke Schneider, CEO of Refraction AI, which launched in 2019. “Our expansion into Austin marks another step in our vision to transform last-mile delivery into a ubiquitous, accessible, sustainable service that anyone can take part in.”

Starship Technologies also ran a short pilot with sidewalk delivery robots in Austin in 2017.


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Naabiae Nenu-B is a Medical Health Student and an SEO Specialist dedicated to flushing the web off fake news and scam scandals. He aims at being "Africa's Best Leak and Review Blogger" and that's the unwavering stand of Xycinews Media.

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Technology

iOS 14.7.1 now available with fix for Apple Watch unlock bug

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Apple rolled out iOS 14.7.1 to the public on Monday — exactly one week after iOS 14.7 debuted. This is a minor update that addresses a bug that was introduced in iOS 14.7. As Apple noted, iOS 14.7 “affects the ability of iPhone models with Touch ID to unlock Apple Watch.” Once the update has been applied, this issue should be resolved, and everything should unlock correctly.

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Which devices work with iOS 14.7.1?

If you’re wondering whether or not your device is compatible with iOS 14.7.1 or iPadOS 14.7.1, here’s a full list below with every compatible device. If your device is there, you’re good to go:

  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone SE (1st generation)
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation)
  • iPod touch (7th generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th generation)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st generation)
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch
  • iPad (7th generation)
  • iPad (6th generation)
  • iPad (5th generation)
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad Air 2

Here is Apple’s full list of release notes for iOS 14.7:

  • MagSafe Battery Pack support for iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • Apple Card Family adds the option to combine credit limits and share one co-owned account with an existing Apple Card user
  • Home app adds the ability to manage timers on HomePod
  • Air quality information is now available in Weather and Maps for Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, South Korea, and Spain
  • Podcasts library allows you to choose to see all shows or only followed shows
  • Share playlist menu option missing in Apple Music
  • Dolby Atmos and Apple Music lossless audio playback may unexpectedly stop
  • Battery service message that may have disappeared after reboot on some iPhone 11 models is restored
  • Braille displays could show invalid information while composing Mail messages

How to download and install iOS 14.7.1

Installing a new update on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is an incredibly simple process. Navigate to Settings > General > Software Update and then tap “Download and Install” at the bottom of that page. If you prefer, you can also install the update through iTunes by connecting your iOS device to a computer. Whichever method you choose, just make sure to back up your device before installing an update so that you don’t risk losing any of your data during the procedure.

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Technology

This pro-grade 4K camera drone is $430 at Amazon, and it beats $800+ rivals

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If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on
our website, we may receive an affiliate commission.

Do you want a professional-grade quadcopter drone from a big-name brand? Sadly, it can easily set you back $1,000 or even more. At best, you’re going to spend $800 if you want decent features and a 3-axis gimbal. That’s one of several reasons why we’re such big fans of the Potensic Dreamer Pro. It’s a relatively new model from a popular brand with a 4K camera and a 3-axis gimbal. Plus, it can easily go toe-to-toe with drones in the $800-$1,000+ range. But instead of having to pay $1,000 or more, this quadcopter retails for a fraction of that sky-high price.

That’s especially true right now, thanks to a surprisingly good deal you can take advantage of for a limited time. Amazon has a coupon you can clip today that will slash the Dreamer Pro from $460 to $429.99. That’s about half what you’ll pay for a comparable drone from the top brand in the quadcopter market. How awesome is that?!

Anyone who knows anything at all about drones can probably name the go-to pro-grade quadcopter drone for amateurs and professionals on a budget. You also know that it costs $800 minimum. It’s a high-quality quadcopter with pretty much all the key features you need. That includes a 4K camera that captures stunning video. Plus, you get a 3-axis gimbal that stabilizes video and still images captured during flight. On top of that, intelligent software and flight features round out the experience.

It should go without saying that not everyone has an extra $800 lying around. Especially not that they’re willing to spend on a drone, no matter how great it is. If you’re looking for a terrific alternative that checks all the same main boxes for much less money, you’ve definitely come to the right place.

Potensic’s Dreamer Pro offers professional-grade quality and features at a fraction of what you’d pay for a comparable model from other companies. You get 28 minutes of flight time per charge, plus a stunning 4K camera with a high-quality Sony sensor. Additionally, you’ll get a 3-axis gimbal for outstanding video and image stabilization. On top of all that, the Dreamer Pro is packed full of smart features that will help with any content you might be shooting. One example is a “follow me” mode that tracks moving objects and people. There’s also a circle mode that flies in a perfect circle around any center point. Path mode lets you draw out a flight pattern the drone will fly on its own. Also, this drone has an impressive 2-kilometer transmission range and so much more.

This excellent Potensic drone is absolutely on par with the market leader and other quadcopters that fall into the $800 – $1,200 price range, yet the Potensic Dreamer Pro 4K camera drone with 3-axis gimbal retails for just $460. That’s about half the price of comparable models from leading brands. Head over to Amazon and pick one up now, however, and you can save an extra $30 thanks to the clippable coupon. You definitely don’t want to miss out on this great deal.

Potensic Dreamer Pro 4K camera drone with 3-axis gimbal Price:$429.99 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Here are the main takeaways you need to know about:

  • The 4K camera with a 1/3-inch SONY CMOS sensor and the 3-axis gimbal combine capture stunning video that is stable and free from shakes and jitters
  • Capture and record aerial footage or stream live to your smartphone with a transmission range of up to 1.24 miles
  • Potensic’s exclusive PowerAC dynamic system creates bursts of 3x power that are great for tricks
  • Advanced stabilization system makes it easy to fly smoothly in still conditions or with a light breeze
  • Includes a 32GB SD card and a special carrying case

Potensic Dreamer Pro 4K camera drone with 3-axis gimbal Price:$429.99 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Go here to see this month’s best deals on Amazon!


Follow @BGRDeals on Twitter to keep up with the latest and greatest deals we find around the web. Prices subject to change without notice and any coupons mentioned above may be available in limited supply.

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Technology

This stimulus program gets you up to $25,000, but no one seems to know about it

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One of many extraordinary steps the federal government took to combat the coronavirus pandemic, in addition to approving billions of dollars in direct cash payments to Americans, was a temporary ban on the eviction of renters. Additionally, more than one emergency coronavirus relief bill passed by Congress included billions in stimulus rental assistance. Unfortunately, though, there’s evidence that enough Americans still don’t seem to be aware of that fact.

For example, both the stimulus bill that President Biden signed in March and the one President Trump signed in December set aside a total of $46.6 billion in emergency rental assistance stimulus aid. However, a mere $1.5 billion of that was reportedly paid out in June. The stimulus checks certainly have sky-high awareness among members of the public. But let’s take a closer look at this effort which too few people still seem to know about.

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Stimulus rental assistance

First, we should note that the national ban on evictions is set to end on July 31. Meaning, they can resume as normal after that.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition maintains a list of a few hundred rental assistance programs around the country that can help get a chunk of the federal rental assistance stimulus money to people who need it. Generally, you have to be a renter who’s having a hard time paying your rent and/or your utility bills because of the pandemic. Perhaps, for example, the pandemic caused you to lose your job.

The way this funding is supposed to work is that it’s distributed to people in need by over 400 local and state agencies. The problem, however, is that while the problem may be uniform, the response isn’t. For example, all of those agencies in charge of parceling out the stimulus rental assistance have different technology. Many of them also have different staffing levels.

And it’s not clear who ought to be doing a better job of alerting renters to the aid that’s available. Although, what is clear is that someone needs to do so. Because it’s not happening really at all at the moment. Per the Census Bureau, around 7 million households were behind on their rent as of late May. But between April and June, only 550,000 people had received any of this stimulus rental aid.

Additional details

“There is still much further work to do to ensure tenants and landlords take advantage of the historic funding available to help cover rent, utilities, and other housing costs and keep people in their homes,” the US Treasury department said in a recent news release.

Here are some examples of the kind of stimulus rental assistance that’s available. Be aware that things are pretty different from one state to the next. And your local or state housing agency should be consulted from benefits that apply in your area. In Illinois, the state’s Housing Developing Authority is overseeing the administration of $1.5 billion in rental assistance. There, tenants and landlords can apply for grants of up to $25,000 to cover as many as 15 months of rent payments between June of last year through August of this year.

Texas, meanwhile, has been offering help with unpaid rent and utilities going as far back as March 13, 2020. Use the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s website to start a search for the housing authority nearest you. That’s where you’ll apply for this funding.

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