Monthly Archives: March 2018

The Lose-Lose Ethics of Testing Self-Driving Cars in Public

Wired – March 23, 2018

So now is the time to ask, even if it feels a bit late: How, exactly do we feel about unleashing this tech on public streets, inflicting it on people without their consent or even knowledge? What responsibilities does a government have to protect me and you and everyone we know as we live inside this science experiment? Sure, autonomous vehicles need to test and collect data from the real world, where they’ll encounter the strange and very human things lab simulators couldn’t imagine. But how did I get roped into this?


How Self-Driving Vans and Minibuses Will Change the Transit Landscape

MarketWatch – March 22, 2018

A sleek minibus cruises the streets of National Harbor, Maryland, stopping for walkways and making clean turns. The black-and-white vehicle rolls up to street curbs where riders who have summoned it with an app stand waiting, all the while avoiding obstacles and pedestrians. A set of sliding doors open to reveal wrap-around benches where 12 passengers can ride. But there is no driver’s seat, no steering wheel. And most importantly, no driver.

Waze Rolls Out Carpool Matchmaking in Washington State

Curbed Seattle – March 21, 2018

Navigation app Waze just rolled out a new feature in Washington State: Waze Carpool, which matches single-occupancy-vehicle commuters with people who need a ride to work. This basic concept might sound familiar. But unlike a ride-hailing app like Lyft or Uber—drivers earn money for rides, riders pay—it’s more like actual ride-sharing, encouraging people to carpool instead of driving a single-occupancy vehicle. Drivers pick people up along their daily commutes instead of as part of their job descriptions.

Chicago Poised to Test One-Way Car-Sharing, Despite Local Opposition

Chicago Sun-Times – March 20, 2018

Using an Uber-style app, customers would locate the nearest vehicle, get a designated code to open the door and use the key inside the glove compartment to drive anywhere they want to go. When they’re done, there would be no need to return the vehicle to a designated garage or drop-off point. All the customer would need to do is park the car in any legal space on the street. Customers could choose to pay by the minute, by the hour or by the day. Gas and insurance would be part of the overall cost.

Become a Parking Savant With Sidewalk Labs’ New Curb Visualization Tool

The Verge – March 19, 2018

Urban curbsides have traditionally been allocated based on real estate: parking meters in front of shops, loading zones near supermarkets, no-parking areas at warehouses, unmetered parking in residential areas, and so on. But with the explosion of new mobility options like ride-hailing, car-sharing, and bike-sharing, and the looming specter of self-driving vehicles on the horizon, cities are starting to rethink how they allocate curb space. They are beginning to realize that if they don’t get ahead of the technology, it could lead to chaos on the curb.

How Car Sharing Can Save the World From the Autonomous-Vehicle Robot Apocalypse

Forbes – March 18, 2018

Autonomous vehicles could be a blessing for society if they are electric and shared, a disaster if gasoline-powered and individually owned. In the blessing scenario, carbon emissions plummet, traffic lightens, accidents and fatalities disappear, and vast expanses of roadway and parking space open to reuse. In the disaster scenario, emissions increase, gridlock strangles cities, people become more obese and diseased as their robot cars do everything for them.

GM Said To Pilot Peer-To-Peer Car Sharing Through its Maven Brand

TechCrunch – March 14, 2018

Automaker General Motors is said to be planning a new peer-to-peer car rental service, similar to existing offerings by Daimler -backed Turo and startup Getaround, to debut as early as this summer according to Bloomberg. The service will debut in a test pilot set to begin this summer, under GM’s Maven mobility sub-brand, per the report, and will allow GM car owners to list their vehicles on the platform for short-term rental by other users when not in use.

The Unexpected Thing That Happens Inside Waymo’s Self-Driving Minivans

The Washington Post – March 14, 2018

It’s funny how quickly innovative technology becomes commonplace. One minute you’re anxiously awaiting your chance to become one of the first humans on Earth to ride inside a driverless car. The next minute, you’re yawning (literally) and falling asleep. Waymo — formerly Google’s self-driving car project — has released a video documenting exactly that. The video shows early riders in the company’s pilot program in Phoenix as they adapt to their first self-driving car experience, moving from anxious excitement to giddiness to anti-climactic sleepiness in the space of a single ride.