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)

How Autonomous Vehicles Will Transform Cities and Suburbs by Ending Traffic Jams, Parking Problems and Road Rage (12-6-18)

The emerging technology of autonomous vehicles (AVs)—cars and shuttle buses that, through the miracle of artificial intelligence, can drive themselves with no human at the wheel—could go far in eliminating traffic congestion, parking problems and road rage. ILLUSTRATION BY ALEX FINE

Rush hour in Singapore, a crowded island city of nearly 6 million people, is much like rush hour in almost every major city in the world: a living hell of clogged highways and stressed-out drivers. The dilemma, if left alone, will only get worse if, as is expected, Singapore adds a million more residents in the next decade. But city planners have no intention of leaving it alone. They have in mind a solution that is radical and all-encompassing: to replace car ownership with ride-sharing.

Read Full Story Here (via Newsweek)

Parents Using Ride Sharing Apps For Kids’ Transportation (12-6-18)

(WTHR) — One of the struggles of being a busy parent with busy kids: transportation.

2017 survey found many parents with children between ages 6 and 17 have a hard time managing the logistics of getting their kids to various activities. Forty percent of those surveyed said they spend more than five hours per week driving their kids around. Of those parents, a third said they spend more than 10 hours each week driving their kids.

Mobile app developers are working to alleviate some of that stress with ride sharing apps similar to Uber or Lyft, but geared toward kids.

Read Full Story Here (via WTHR)

Lyft Unveils Its Most-Visited Properties In D.C. (12-5-18)

Flickr/Tom Finzel The Kennedy Center on D.C.’s waterfront

Ride-sharing services have revolutionized the way D.C. residents and visitors get to dinner, concerts and other events, and new awards from Lyft shed light on which properties are benefiting most. Lyft Wednesday announced its fourth annual Lyftie awards, given to the most-visited destinations in the city, and 14th Street and U Street were big winners.

 

Read Full Story Here (via Bisnow)

Waymo Launches Nation’s First Commercial Self-Driving Taxi Service In Arizona (12-5-18)

A pickup site for the driverless Waymo taxis in the Phoenix suburbs. (Michael Laris/The Washington Post)

 On the chilly October day the New York City subway opened in 1904, the marvel of engineering and grit was greeted with horns, steam sirens and stations overrun by thousands of revelers. “Fast Trains in Tubes,” blared one headline.

On Wednesday, 114 years later in sun-swept Arizona, the launch of the 21st-century equivalent came in a blog post and an email invitation.

Google offshoot Waymo announced it is launching the nation’s first commercial self-driving taxi service in this and other Phoenix suburbs. The 24/7 service, dubbed Waymo One, will let customers summon self-driving minivans by a smartphone app, a la Uber or Lyft.

Read Full Story Here (via The Washington Post)