The street lamps lining Santa Monica's busy, shop-lined downtown streets will soon display tiny video cameras operated by a local software startup.

The cameras will watch delivery vehicles that stop in a new city-piloted drop-off zone — an experiment designed to cut down traffic and encourage companies to deploy zero emission trucks and ecargo bikes.

But it will also be a test for Automotus, a venture-backed software company that uses the technology to automate parking violations and wants to ink more deals with municipalities across the United States.

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Forty-five minutes in traffic won't get you very far in Los Angeles. But Virgin Hyperloop estimates it will be able to get you from Los Angeles to San Francisco in that time.

The Richard Branson-owned company unveiled its hyperloop concept video Wednesday, just two months after the company's first tested its design with passengers. Traveling several hundred miles per hour in a pressurized tube is no longer a vision of the far-distant future — Virgin Hyperloop engineers want to make it a reality in less than 10 years.

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When Joanna McFarland co-founded HopSkipDrive in 2014, she thought she had discovered the perfect low-risk business model – contracting with school districts to provide safe and reliable ridesharing for students.

"I always said this is the most recession-proof business there is because it's schools and schools don't close," McFarland recalls. "But apparently it's not pandemic proof."

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