Odds and Ends 

How parking app SpotHero is preparing for an era of driverless cars

On-demand parking app SpotHero wants to be ready for the day when autonomous vehicles are ubiquitous. Its strategy: target the human-driven car-sharing fleets today. The Chicago-based company, which has operations in San Francisco, New York, Washington, D.C. and Seattle, has launched a new service dubbed SpotHero for Fleets that targets shared mobility and on-demand services. The service aims to be a one-stop shop for car-sharing and commercial fleets to handle all that goes into ensuring there is access and the right number of designated parking areas on any given day…

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Dasha AI is calling so you dont have to

While you’d be hard-pressed to find any startup not brimming with confidence over the disruptive idea they’re chasing, it’s not often you come across a young company as calmly convinced it’s engineering the future as Dasha AI. The team is building a platform for designing human-like voice interactions to automate business processes. Put simply, it’s using AI to make machine voices a whole lot less robotic. “What we definitely know is this will definitely happen,” says CEO and co-founder Vladislav Chernyshov. “Sooner or later the conversational AI/voice AI will replace…

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Guardian Circle upgrades with a decentralized alert network

Chris Hays and Mark Jeffrey wanted to create a way for everyone to be able to tell their loved ones if they were in trouble. Their first product, Guardian Circle, did just that, netting a mention a few years ago. Now the same team is truly decentralizing alerts with a new token called, obviously, Guardium. The plan is to create an ad hoc network of helpers and first responders. “Guardium and Guardian Circle together open the emergency response grid to vetted citizens, private response and compatible devices for the very first…

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Londons transport regulator looks to startups to help fix urban mobility

London’s transport regulator, TfL has announced a partnership with Bosch for its forthcoming co-working space in Shoreditch. The civic tech project is intended to run for 18 months as a pilot — though Bosch’s ‘Connectory’ co-working facility won’t open until the end of January. A company spokeswoman confirmed the partnership is nonetheless up and running now. The aim of the collaborative project is to share data and expertise, including by tapping into London’s startup ecosystem, to land on new ideas for tackling urban mobility issues — from traffic jams to…

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Instagram now allows businesses to schedule their posts

Instagram today made a long overdue change to its product that social media managers have wanted for some time – it will allow businesses on Instagram to schedule their posts. Before, there were unofficial means to aid with this – like tools that would send out a push notification to remind you to publish a post at a given time, for example. But no functionality was available in Instagram itself. The closest Instagram got was the added support for Drafts, which allowed social media managers and other users to prep…

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