Want To Drive Uber In Philly, DC? Getaround Will Soon Make It Easier (12-13-18)

 

Last year, Getaround teamed up with Uber to let car owners in San Francisco rent out their cars to those who wanted to drive Uber but didn’t have cars of their own. In April, Uber then launched Uber Rent for personal use, which integrated the interface found in Getaround’s mobile app into its own app.

And while Uber Rent didn’t last long, Uber and Getaround are continuing their partnership for Uber drivers. Today it officially expanded to Los Angeles and San Diego, and it will be available in Philadelphia and Washington D.C. in the coming months.

I exchanged emails with Getaround co-founder and CEO Sam Zaid to learn more.

Read Full Story Here (via PC Mag)

Exclusive: How Do You Sell Driverless Cars, If Drivers Are Your Best Customers? Ford CEO Jim Hackett Explains The Autonomous Vehicles Business (12-6-18)

Ford CEO Jim Hackett, in an exclusive Newsweek interview, explained how a car company turns into a “mobility” company. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: GLUEKIT; SOURCE IMAGES JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/GETTY; COURTESY FORD

Building cars that can drive themselves through busy downtown streets safely and efficiently is above all a staggering achievement in artificial intelligence, which is why tech companies were first off the mark to develop them. Traditional car manufacturers are now spending billions to catch up, hoping that their well-known brands will give them an edge. Ford, which plans to roll out a fleet of autonomous vehicles in 2021, ranked No. 1 in Newsweek ’s survey of automobile brands. We caught up with CEO Jim Hackett in Miami in November to talk about Ford and the future of transportation.

Read Full Story Here (via NewsWeek)

A New Day At DFHV (December 2018)

Greetings Washingtonians,

I am honored to join the Department of For-Hire Vehicles as Interim Director. As a seasoned urban planner with a keen interest in transportation, I envision a transportation ecosystem that moves people reliably, efficiently, and safely across our city.

My journey to Washington, DC began in San Jose, California, where I grew and became the first in my family to graduate from college. As an undergrad at the University of California, Merced, I decided to apply to the UCDC Program that took me to Washington, DC for my final semester. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Spending time in one of the most progressive cities in the country gave me the perspective that there are like-minded, hard-working people here that are trying to achieve their goals and dreams.

I previously served as the Director of the DC Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (MOAPIA), a role I held for more than three years. Before that, I served in the Executive Office of the Mayor (EOM) of Washington, DC during the administrations of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Mayor Vincent C. Gray. I also worked with various community-based organizations to promote capital improvement grants at the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED). Through these experiences, I have gained a unique understanding of the District of Columbia and its most pressing issues.

As Interim Director of the DFHV, I am committed to a thriving for-hire market that supports Mayor Bowser’s Vision Zero plan, which protects pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists alike. Moreover, I want to see how we can incentivize green infrastructure so that drivers will find it more advantageous to use alternative-fuel vehicles.  I also intend to continue innovating and using big data in a way that is consistent with the vision of the Bowser administration.

I want to ensure that there is a transportation landscape where multiple types of for-hire services can exist. I want the DFHV to continue to ensure that for-hire vehicle operators serve our community safely. I also want to further improve the complaint process for not only the public but for drivers, too.

From for-hire vehicles to buses, bike share, dockless options, walking, and a reliable Metro system, having diverse transportation options benefits everyone in all eight wards. Innovative transportation options move us toward a more accessible DC. We want to position transportation as a service to overcome barriers to obtaining a ride, such as lacking funds, a disability, or neighborhood location. We need to look at transportation as a means of ensuring that all people can get to their essential daily activities safely.

When I’m not serving the District, you can find me at some of my favorite spots in DC. Almost every Saturday morning at 8:00, I enjoy a bagel at Buffalo & Bergen in Union Market and then head to a cycling class. I like going to Pub and the People after a long day of work for a beer and a great burger (tip: their cauliflower tempura with hoisin sauce is pretty good). I get dim sum in Logan Circle every Sunday morning at Da Hong Pao. The line is long, but they have the best dim sum in the city (tip: the bar is first come, first served). I’m an avid Capitals fan. Last year, I went to the playoffs to see them beat the Penguins. #RocktheRed

The DFHV will play a crucial role in managing the evolution of transportation and the for-hire industry. I look forward to working together with operators, drivers, stakeholders, passengers, and the public to achieve our shared goal of ensuring residents and visitors have safe, affordable, and accessible transportation options.

 David Do, Interim DFHV Director

Senate Democrats Fight Push To Pass Driverless-Car Bill During Lame Duck Congress (12-10-18)

An autonomous Waymo Chrysler Pacifica hybrid van drives in Chandler, Ariz., last week. Waymo launched the nation’s first driverless taxi service last week in Arizona. (Caitlin O’Hara for The Washington Post)

Senate Democrats are pushing back against attempts to pass a compromise bill in the lame-duck session that could speed the introduction of driverless cars onto U.S. roadways, saying it lacks safeguards that would protect drivers.

“Many provisions still do not go far enough to protect American consumers,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), said of the American Vision for Safer Transportation through Advancement of Revolutionary Technologies Act, or AV START.

“We can do better,” said Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.).

The fight over the bill pits some automakers, which have argued that less regulation will speed the advent of autonomous vehicles, against safety advocates and states that say Washington should exert a firm hand in regulating the budding industry.

The automakers’ argument: The sooner fully autonomous vehicles reach the road, the sooner the 40,000 annual traffic deaths on U.S. roads will decline. But some states and consumer advocates demur, saying that if the federal government does not step in to regulate, states will need to — potentially leading to a patchwork of rules across the country.

Read Full Story Here (via The Washington Post)