B2B News for Thursday, December 9, 2021: Reviewing the Commute, a Robot for Renewable Energy

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It’s nice to see colleagues and to build relationships at the office. It is also nice to work from home and get more done. A happy hybrid solution may have eluded most people in 2021, but there are signs the commute culture is not dead yet.

The Waze Year in Rear View survey is out. The survey looks back on the year in commuting and travel.  The study uses first-party and third-party data. The trip planning app’s researchers asked respondents in Canada, U.S., U.K., France, Italy, Israel, Brazil and Mexico about their behind-the-wheel driver behaviours, favourite forms of entertainment, fun facts and aspirations about being on the road this year.

Highlights from the findings include:

  • 41% of Canadians don’t plan to travel this holiday season
  • 70% of Canadians said shopping was the main reason they drove this year, with family visits (48%), visiting friends (37%) and commuting for work (36%) accounting for other top reasons for getting in the car
  • 32% of Canadians would give up alcohol for a year in exchange for no traffic, while just 5% would give up their phones
  • Canadian artists topped the charts: globally, the top five songs drivers listened to via the Spotify integration on Waze included ‘STAY’ by The Kid LAROI with Justin Bieber (#1) and ‘Blinding Lights’ by The Weeknd (#5)

“Waze’s inaugural Year in Rear View gives us the chance to capture a snapshot of Canadian driving behaviours and help us better understand driving trends during 2021, a year when many of us got back to travelling on the road,” said Mike Wilson, Canada Country Manager, Waze. “We learned that Canadians showed a preference for beautiful scenery, while most drivers got on the road to visit family and go shopping over the last year. We’re looking forward to seeing how Canadians take to the roads in 2022 – a year we predict will see even more drivers on the road.”

Press release: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211207005722/en/Canadian-Driving-Behaviours-and-Trends-in-2021-Waze%E2%80%99s-Year-in-Rear-View

A great context-creating quotation can really add gravitas to a press releases. Many comms professionals are still graduates of great English lit programs with a tendency to ignore the second part of the opening of the Tale of Two Cities. Yes, “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” but it was also “the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.”

One product release this week shows the company needs a few more classics grads on its team. Icarus did not have a great ending in Greek mythology, but we all hope this innovative robotic development has a better story to tell future generations.

Heliogen has announced a new technological breakthrough in the production of low-cost renewable energy. In field tests at the company’s California facility, the provider of AI-enabled concentrated solar power, completed the first technical demonstration of an autonomous field maintenance system. The Installation & Cleaning Autonomous Robot & Utility Solution, or ICARUS, brings the same advanced technologies that enable its AI-enabled concentrated solar power systems to the task of installing and maintaining those systems. The innovation is expected to significantly reduce the time to deploy its concentrated solar facilities, as well as the costs associated with construction and ongoing maintenance of those facilities.

Press release: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211209005355/en/Heliogen-Demonstrates-AI-Powered-Autonomous-Robot-Designed-to-Lower-Installation-and-Maintenance-Costs-of-Full-Scale-Concentrated-Solar-Plants

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Kate Baggott

Kate Baggott is a former Managing Editor of B2BNN. Her technology and business journalism has appeared in the Technology Review, the Globe and Mail, Canada Computes, the Vancouver Sun and the Bay Street Bull. She is the author of the short story collections Love from Planet Wine Cooler and Dry Stories. Find links to recent articles by following her on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/kate-baggott-9a0306/