Can I Ride Here? How To Ride Electric Scooters Safely In DC, Arlington Co., And Montgomery Co. (9-29-18)

Want to zoom around your area one of those electric scooters? Here’s what you need to know.

Arlington County announced Wednesday that they’ll begin a nine-month demonstration program to evaluate dockless bikeshares and scooters in the area.

Dockless electric scooters have been in the news in recent days, after a young man died while riding one in DuPont Circle when he was hit by a car.

Nonetheless, electric scooter programs now exist in D.C., Arlington and Maryland. Want to ride one safely? Here’s what you need to know:

Read Full Story Here (via WUSA9)

Uber Will Check In With Riders And Drivers If Something Seems … Off (9-5-18)

The Uber logo is seen on the windshield of a vehicle in New York. Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg (John Taggart/Bloomberg)

Uber announced a slew of new safety features Wednesday intended to give both riders and drivers peace of mind when using the app.

The biggest change is a system called “Ride Check.”

Uber says it’s an extension of the GPS system that tracks riders and drivers within the app — only now, it will be leveraged to detect possible crashes and anomalies such as unusually long waits. The system will send an alert to both the rider and driver asking whether there’s an issue, and give them the option to contact authorities or reach Uber’s safety line.

Uber says the feature is tuned to “flag trip irregularities beyond crashes that might, in some rare cases, indicate an increased safety risk.”

Read Full Story Here (via The Washington Post)

How Do You Get People To Trust Autonomous Vehicles? This Company Is Giving Them ‘Virtual Eyes.’ (8-29-18)

In an effort to create trust between pedestrians and self-driving vehicles, Jaguar Land Rover has developed a driverless pod with eyes that signal the vehicle’s intent to human observers. (Jaguar Land Rover) (Jaguar Landrover)

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.

(Read Full Story Here via The Washington Post)

Scooter Company Bird Offers to Pay Cities to Build Bike Lanes (8-2-18)

Image: Bird.co

Bird, the scooter start-up that became a Silicon Valley unicorn seemingly overnight, wants to chip in to fund bike lanes in cities.

Patrick Sisson at Curbed reports that the company has pledged to contribute $1 per scooter per day into a fund that will pay for projects that carve out street space where its users can ride without getting intimidated by drivers or aggravating people on sidewalks. The company urged other scooter and bike-share firms to do the same.

Bird will also convene a “Global Safety Advisory Board” led by David Strickland, the former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and currently a major lobbyist for the self-driving car industry. The advisory board will make safety recommendations addressing walking and biking as well as scooters, Sisson reports.

Read Full Story Here (via StreestBlog USA)