04 December 2016

INNOVATE - Olli Automated Buses to Launch in 2017

Tiny (they only seat 12), talking, electric, driverless buses – they’re approachable, environmentally responsible by multiple metrics, app-summonable, and they aim to bridge the gap between people and robots.

There’s a lot to get excited about with Olli, the automated buses that Local Motors will be launching in Las Vegas and Miami in 2017.

For one thing, they represent a leap forward in fully automated, driverless vehicles – potentially years ahead of fully autonomous passenger vehicles.

Although most predictions agree that the technology is years away from full automation, many companies are vying for dominance in the growing field.

Delphi and Mobileye are making waves with their hopes to release a version of a self-driving car kit in 2017, and given some of their industry advantages, they have the potential to jump ahead of their competitors.

According to the Society of Automotive Engineers outline, Olli buses would be Level 4 on the automated driving system scale, which is beyond any self-driving passenger cars currently available.

Unlike the Uber self-driving car launch in Pittsburgh this year, the Olli buses will be supervised remotely but do not appear to have a back-up driver riding along. That driver, who takes over when things get tricky, keeps the Uber fleet at a Level 3.

(Copyright 2014 SAE International J3016)

Olli buses aim to do more than advance self-driving car technology.

CEO Jay Rogers told CNN that he imagines a near future where Olli can “deliver medicine, provide advertising on demand, or roll up en masse in an area where there is an active shooter and block people so they can get out of harm's way."

The buses will use IBM’s Watson, cutting edge “cognitive technology” that hopes to provide an engaging, responsive, conversational interaction for passengers.

IBM and Local Motors want to foster a friendly relationship between customers and the robot. Watson may also connect to users’ social media, for more personalization.

Watson is also an Internet of Things platform, and the connectivity of the buses to a wide range of other connected devices such as apps, maps, sensors, and monitors both on the vehicle and beyond is a critical part of what will make the buses safe and effective.

The buses use haptic sensors to ensure that they stop when they contact anything, and uses lidar to see the surroundings.

Olli’s production model also hopes to address some of the environmental impact of vehicle production.

Not only is Olli entirely electric, with wireless recharging, the production includes 3-D printing for parts of the vehicle. These materials generate fewer carbon emissions, and they can be broken down and reused.

Although Olli hasn’t debuted yet, and will have a limited first release on campuses and airports, chances are you will see on-demand, driverless, highly interactive buses in a city centre near you within a few years.

By Tiffany Sostar
Tiffany is a writer, editor, academic, and animal lover who came late to her appreciation of pets. At 18, a rescue pup named Tasha saved her from a depression and she hasn't looked back. She has worked as the canine behaviour program coordinator for the Calgary Humane Society, and was a dog trainer specializing in working with fearful and reactive dogs for many years. She doesn't have any pets right now, but makes up for it by giving her petsitting clients (and any dogs she comes across on her frequent coffee shop adventures) extra snuggles.

03 December 2016

InfoStream Audience Leads Category

Global Audience Surpasses 340,000

Providing Trusted Information for the Urban Animal has earned InfoStream the largest global audience in this category.   

Today, InfoStream serves a global audience of 342,000.

The managers and “C” level executives of this audience lead organizations from many geographic locations and diverse sectors of industry.

The Google map below shows distribution while the table shows the top 10 countries represented in this audience.

United States
United Kingdom

Initiated in May of 2008, InfoStream began life with modest goals and the idea of supporting senior management in the pet industry.

Producing content that would help the industry collaborate and stay abreast of trends and innovations allowed InfoStream to grow and become a daily ritual for more than 1,900 leaders in this Canadian industry.

Gradually, the audience broadened to include leaders in other countries around the world.

Recently InfoStream shifted focus again. Its new mission is to to understand a growing category of consumers called ‘Millennials’ and the things they find valuable.

To support this cohort of Urban Animals and the organizations that serve them, InfoStream has expanded the stable of contributing editors and the categories of original content it brings forward.

InfoStream and your morning beverage provide a good start to the day.

Larry R. Evans of The Paradigm Corporation is the Executive Producer and Cheryl Wallach of CW Communications is the Managing Editor of InfoStream.

In 2017, InfoStream will begin supplying content to other publications. Please contact them by email.

02 December 2016

HEALTH - Over 250 Rabies Cases in Ontario

The Ontario Ministry of Forestry and Natural Resources reported a new case of fox strain rabies this week - found in a cow in Perth County.

This brings the total incidence of fox strain to three.

The outbreak of rabies in the province has largely been the raccoon strain rabies.

There were six new raccoon strain cases this week in two raccoons and four skunks, bringing the total to 250 since the first case in December of last year.

It’s believed the infected animal rode into the province on the back of a tractor trailer and the province has been fighting to manage the disease ever since.

Rabies is a vaccine-preventable viral disease which occurs in more than 150 countries and territories

The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes.

The government of Ontario is keeping citizens apprised of reported rabies cases and general rabies information on their website.

01 December 2016

Pet Business Recognizes the Best in Pet Products

Pet Business has announced their 2016 Industry Recognition Awards (IRA).

Winners were selected by Pet Business editors after scouring the industry for the most exciting and functional products on the market, as well as worthy candidates in categories such as best packaging redesign and best vendor website.

Recognition is in a wide variety of categories, from pet apparel to dog beds with self-warming technology, cat treats and food, to small animal habitats, supplements, grooming products and absolutely everything in between.

The Link AKC Collar was recognized for its GPS and location-tracking capabilities and activity monitoring and insights.

Its remote-controlled collar light helps find dogs in the dark, and temperature sensor alerts owners when the dog is in an environment that may be too hot or cold.

Lucy Pet Products’ Cats Incredible Litter, featured in InfoStream in March, was acknowledged for their breakthrough, patent-pending technology that stops ammonia from forming in the litter box.

The Torus watering system provides fresh, filtered water without the need for a power source. There’s even a locking system that makes it portable.

For the little critters, the Kaytee CritterTrail LED Habitat features two LED Bubble Plugs, which provide illumination for better pet viewing. The nighttime version has a red LED that will not disturb the pet’s natural nocturnal sight.

Interested in learning more about all the award winning products?