WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the Department of For-Hire Vehicles (DFHV) is making it easier for digital developers to integrate urban mobility options into a single app by introducing the “Where Are the Taxis” application program interface (API). This API is an interface that allows one application to talk to another application through simple commands.
“The Bowser Administration is committed to enabling innovative and forward-thinking solutions to support the evolution of accessible and affordable rides in the District,” DFHV Director Ernest Chrappah said during the 31st Annual Conference of the International Association of Transportation Regulators (IATR) in Philadelphia, PA. “The API strategy enables transportation as a service to reduce marketplace inequities and overcome barriers to entry for entrepreneurs, developers, and change makers.”
In early August, the New York City council voted to forbid Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing companies from adding any more cars to their fleets for the next 12 months. New York is the first American city to enact such a cap, though other cities are considering similar actions. The action took place amid the specter of six suicides by taxi drivers over the last six months and general concerns about traffic congestion in the city. Lawmakers sought to check the unregulated growth of the services and study just how many vehicles were actually required to provide appropriate transportation options during the pause.
There was, however, one important caveat to the bill that has gone largely unreported thus far: Uber and Lyft are still welcome to add as many wheelchair-accessible vehicles as they like. According to advocates for accessible transit in the future, this exception sets up a future not only for better transportation, but also for innovation around affordable wheelchair-accessible vehicle design.
One of the biggest challenges facing car companies developing driverless vehicles has little do with sophisticated robotics or laser technology.
Instead, they must figure out how to engineer something far more amorphous but no less important: human trust, the kind that is communicated when human drivers and pedestrians make eye contact at a crosswalk.
Surveys indicate that large portions of the public harbor deep reservations about the safety of self-driving technology, so Jaguar Land Rover enlisted the help of cognitive psychologists to unpack “how vehicle behaviour affects human confidence in new technology,” the British automaker said in a news release.
For most people, Uber is all about requesting a ride and jumping in a car. But Uber boss Dara Khosrowshahi is planning to change all that as the company switches its focus to embrace more modes of transportation — especially electric bicycles and scooters — in a bid to build what he calls an “urban mobility platform.”
Supermarket giant Kroger and self-driving startup Nuro are teaming up to start a pilot program to begin testing their autonomous delivery vehicles for groceries. The idea is to eventually expand the program across 35 states.