Cruise, GM’s self-driving car unit, brings on Zippy team

Cruise recently brought on seven team members from Zippy.ai, which develops robots for last-mile grocery and package delivery, for an undisclosed amount of money.

The deal did not include any of Zippy’s product or intellectual property. Instead, it seems Cruise was more interested in the skillsets of the co-founders, Gabe Sibley, Alex Flint and Chris Broaddus, and their team.

“Their expertise in machine learning, computer vision, and simulation is among the best in the industry,” Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt wrote in a Medium post. “But perhaps more importantly, their commitment to working on a team — and doing things the right way — strengthens our ability to safely test, validate, and deploy our self-driving technology at scale.”

This announcement comes after Cruise last month parted ways with its CTO, A.G. Gangadhar, who formerly worked at Uber. Though, Zippy’s team joined Cruise back in February.

Jagmeet Singh Says Liberals Should Take Kinder Morgan Pipeline Issue To Supreme Court

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh speaks to reporters about the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on April 11, 2018.

OTTAWA — The federal New Democrats are calling on the Trudeau Liberals to work with the British Columbia government on a joint reference to the Supreme Court of Canada.

It’s aimed at a fast-track resolution of issues arising from B.C.’s objections to the Trans Mountain pipeline project.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says it’s the quickest way to resolve jurisdictional questions over the pipeline expansion.

Singh says he opposes the pipeline project because it was approved under what he calls flawed environmental assessment rules brought in by the previous Conservative government.

But he says, one way or another, the project needs to move forward.

And he says the slower option would be to let the B.C. government launch legal battles in lower courts, which would likely end up in a lengthy appeals process.

Earlier this year the Liberals rejected the option of going to the Supreme Court, fearing both the time such a step would take and the suggestion of doubt about jurisdiction when Ottawa firmly believes there is none.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says the federal government won’t negotiate an end to the Trans Mountain pipeline crisis in public.

But he said today the Liberal government is looking at several “financial options” to ensure the Alberta-B-C pipeline expansion gets built.

More from HuffPost Canada:

The Americans who go abroad for illegal heroin treatment

Opioid addicts are turning to a clinic in Mexico to break their addiction with a treatment that’s illegal in the US.

Ronaldo penalty puts Real Madrid through

Cristiano Ronaldo’s injury-time penalty put holders Real Madrid through to the Champions League semi-finals after a stunning Juventus comeback.

Bayern Munich 0-0 Sevilla

Bayern Munich grind out a 0-0 draw to see off Sevilla’s spirited challenge and reach the Champions League semi-finals with a 2-1 aggregate win.

Filling up in B.C. could cost $120 if Alberta cuts off oil supplies amid Trans Mountain fallout

CALGARY – Business groups in British Columbia are turning on the provincial government as analysts fear a proposed law in Alberta could increase costs on a range of goods across the Lower Mainland.

A trade war between B.C. and Alberta over the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline project to the West Coast could soon result in oil-rich Alberta cutting off petroleum supplies to B.C. and send prices for gasoline, diesel and even consumer goods soaring.

Alberta Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd’s Bill 12, Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act, is now on the order paper in Alberta.

“We’ve been clear that if the government of B.C. persists in attacking our jobs and economy, they will face serious consequences. We’ve been saying for a long time that this bill will focus on giving us the power to control our oil and gas products that belong to Albertans,” McCuaig-Boyd said in an email.

She declined to provide the specific contents of the bill, citing legislative process, but other lawmakers have indicated it would inflict economic pain in B.C.

“Their government has caused pain to Alberta families,” Alberta Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman said of B.C. in the legislature on Tuesday. “We can certainly do the same, and we’ve put a bill on the order paper that enables us to do that.”

The prospect of restricting oil flows is causing stress among B.C. businesses, who have begun to call on Victoria to drop its opposition to the pipeline, which caused proponent Kinder Morgan Inc. to announce this week it would pare non-essential spending on the project until the federal government steps in.

“The impasse created and sustained by the provincial government is now challenging — in full view of the international investment community — the very ability of our country to govern itself,” Greater Vancouver Board of Trade president and CEO Iain Black said in a release, which called on Victoria to “immediately stand down” as the trade war escalates.

Other groups expect Alberta’s plans will result in higher costs for fuel, but also for consumer goods like groceries as trucks transporting those goods around B.C. will pass higher transport costs onto consumers.

“Trucks are going to start using fuel surcharges,” said Chris Gardner, the president of the Independent Contractors and Business Association of British Columbia.

“It would be significant and it would impact people’s daily lives. People need to understand that this is quite serious,” he added.

He said restricting oil flows to B.C. would affect his members, especially those that drive long distances through the interior of the province to remote worksites.

Analysts have provided mixed forecasts on how much fuel costs would rise if Alberta cuts off all petroleum product shipments to B.C., but they all point to higher fuel prices, especially in Vancouver and the surrounding areas.

“Every facet of B.C.’s economy would be affected — forestry, mining,” said GasBuddy senior analyst Dan McTeague, adding that the resource industry uses a lot of diesel in their operations.

McTeague said the average price for gasoline in the Lower Mainland right now is $1.50 per litre, but a complete restriction on oil, gasoline, diesel and jet fuel shipments would immediately send prices in the area to $2 per litre as fuel distributors ration supplies to fill-up stations.

That would mean the cost to fill up a typical car with a 60-litre tank would cost $120, and the cost to fill up a pick-up truck would be $200.

McTeague said it would be challenging for the Vancouver region to source alternative supplies of gasoline, because shutting down the existing Trans Mountain pipeline would also affect Washington.

Victoria, he said, already has infrastructure in place to import gasoline and other refined products by sea, and could be spared the worst of price escalation. Despite its port, Vancouver does not have specialized gasoline import facilities by sea.

“You can’t take an oil terminal and turn it into a gasoline terminal. Unloading gasoline is far more dangerous than unloading oil,” he said.

Kent Group senior vice-president Michael Ervin said he expects fuel prices to rise in the region, but by a more modest 10 cents per litre “above what is already a high wholesale price.”

He said there would eventually be an alternative supply of petroleum to the Vancouver and Victoria areas, but “it would be a real search for terminal operators on the West Coast to find alternate sources of supply.”

Those terminals, he said, would be paying “at spot prices as opposed to contracts.”

B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver, who is supporting NDP Premier John Horgan’s minority government, called worst-case-scenario predictions around Trans Mountain’s cancellation “fear-mongering” in a release.

Horgan has similarly defended his government’s opposition to the pipeline and said he’s trying to boost environmental protections in B.C. He said he was “surprised” that Alberta would move ahead with a bill to inflict economic pain on his province.

• Email: gmorgan@nationalpost.com | Twitter: geoffreymorgan