Here are five things worth knowing today:
1. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Navistar $7.5 million fine to settle a lawsuit that accuses former CEO Daniel Ustian of defrauding investors in 2011 and 2012. According to a Reuters report, the SEC charges that Navistar defrauded investors into believing a diesel truck engine it was developing could meet federal emissions standards. According to the report, Navistar has not admitted nor denied wrongdoing, and Ustian has not settled. Reuters has more.
2. A survey of state DOTs has found that 33 states are either already using or considering aerial drones, according to the AASHTO Journal. Drones are being used for a range of possible cost- and time-saving tasks, including bridge inspections and helping allocate assets to clear vehicle crashes, AASHTO said. According to the Journal, 17 state DOTs have researched or used drones, while another 16 say they are under consideration for certain tasks.
3. Rhode Island-based energy company eNow presented its solar panel auxiliary systems for the transportation industry during last week’s Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville. According to a WFPL Environment report, the panels, which are mounted to the top of a truck, use solar energy to charge a battery that can run the truck’s mechanical systems and help reduce idling. According to the report, panels would help small-scale utility truck workers charge their electronics and tools without running their trucks’ engines all day, and they would allow long-haul truckers to run their air conditioning in their sleeping compartments without idling the truck all night.
4. Volkswagen’s truck division announced that it will spend nearly half a billion euros by the end of the decade to enhance digital features of heavy-goods vehicles, ET Auto reports. The announcement comes as truck makers have increased their focus on automation in road haulage. According to the report, VW started this operation before its emissions scandal broke last September and is pushing digitalization and new mobility technologies in an effort to reposition itself and overcome the scandal. ET Auto has more.
5. The Missouri Senate has agreed on a plan to raise the state’s fuel tax by nearly 6 cents per gallon to pay for road and bridge projects, The Daily Dunkin Democrat reports. According to the report, the Senate endorsed the proposal, but the plan also requires voter approval. Missouri’s current fuel tax of 17 cents is among the lowest in the country, according to the report.