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Harley-Davidson shares details on new electric motorcycle

July 15, 2019

Harley-Davidson Opens a New Window. offered a look on Thursday at its upcoming all-electric motorcycle, a vehicle that can go from 0 to 60 mph in just 3 seconds, the company said.

The company highlighted its LiveWire model as a fresh experience that’s both “accessible to new riders and thrilling for accomplished motorcyclists,” according to a news release Opens a New Window. .

One of its features is that riders won’t need to use the clutch or gear shift in order to speed up, the company said…

The vehicle, which has a price tag of nearly $30,000, will be available this year in a limited number of dealerships in the U.S., Canada and some countries in Europe, according to the company.
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VW zooms ahead in extension of alliance with Ford to electric, automated cars

July 15, 2019

Ford and VW executives said the latest collaborations could save hundreds of millions of dollars for each company. But the projects would take time to develop, and the size and timing of the payoffs were unclear.

The latest iteration of the Ford-VW alliance suggests the German automaker may hold the more lucrative cards – for now.

VW has agreed to plow $3.1 billion into Ford’s Argo AI self-driving unit, but estimates it could realize up to $20 billion in revenue by sharing its MEB electric vehicle architecture with Ford in Europe.

The two sides are still discussing additional deals, including an extension of the EV sharing arrangement to other Ford vehicles, which could further boost VW’s take.
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Populus’ new mobility tool shows where riders use bikes, scooters

July 15, 2019

Populus added a new tool to its Mobility Manager platform, called Populus Routes, to ingest data from shared bike and scooter operators and present visualizations that enable cities to easily understand where trips are taking place. This adds to other tools in the platform, which are largely focused on device parking.

“It takes much more complex data — GPS data for every single trip and every single point along a route — and turns that into trip volume data so cities can think about longer range improvements, such as expanding bike lane infrastructure,” Regina Clewlow, Populus CEO and co-founder, told Smart Cities Dive?.
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What can Uber, Lyft data tell cities about transit deserts?

July 15, 2019

Dive Brief:
Ride-hailing trips from the outer boroughs in New York City increased 40-fold between 2014 and 2017, accounting for 56% of the market by the end of 2017, according to a paper published in the Transportation Research Record.

Ride-hailing trips increased by 46% across all five boroughs in that time, according to the paper, which analyzed data from the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission. Rides originating in Manhattan leveled off in that time, with growth coming from outside of the city center.

A bulk of the new trips originated in minority and low-income neighborhoods without reliable bus or transit service. That, said study author Carol Atkinson-Palombo of the University of Connecticut, suggested that Uber and Lyft were “filling the gap in public transit.”
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Finding a spot may get a little easier — you now can access all of the city’s parking data

July 15, 2019

The Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center — a joint open-data project among the city, Allegheny County and University of Pittsburgh — is making city parking data publicly available.

There are over 4.3 million transaction entries to comb through.

This isn’t the center’s first project. Since 2015, it’s been making all kinds of local data accessible under the direction of Bob Gradeck, project director at the center, which is housed in Oakland on Pitt’s campus…

Burgh’s Eye View, for example, is a city map application that lets users drill into crime, property and 311 data by clicking on a given intersection.

The app was built within the city’s Department of Innovation and Performance. To make the parking data more accessible, any developer can access this data and build an app that lets users click and learn.

Created by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab, the SmellPGH app lets users report and track strange odors around the city.
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For years, automakers wildly overpromised on self-driving cars and electric vehicles—what now?

July 15, 2019

The languid EV and AV rollouts are creating a mixture of confusion and desperation in the auto industry and among the tech companies that have staked their claims in it. No one doubts that the automobile is in the midst of a 100-year sea change—electric and autonomous vehicles in some form will eventually be commonplace. But there is a growing suspicion from inside the industry that the way auto companies are navigating this incipient revolution—primarily by wildly investing hundreds of millions of dollars a month in often-redundant research and development efforts whose returns on capital seem to be slipping further away—is foolhardy and lacks imagination. The problem is, a few top executives in the industry privately concede, the auto companies are slapping fresh ideas on old chassis, when the real outcome may be unlike anything that we envision today. Last year, one CEO described the expensive hunt for EVs and AVs as a “down payment on nothing.”
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Lyft Is Testing Its Self-Driving Cars on Blind Passengers

July 15, 2019

This week, the rideshare company announced it has expanded its autonomous vehicle trials, in partnership with auto parts company Aptiv, to include blind and low-vision riders. The test drives, a collaboration with the National Federation of the Blind, are taking place in Las Vegas during the organization’s annual conference.

The program, which Lyft launched with the help of blind consultants, is aimed at “ensuring everyone is included in the future of mobility,” according to the company. So far, about 50 riders with vision impairment have reportedly taken driverless Lyfts during the conference’s session.
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Ohio driverless vehicle test-track, touted as industry’s biggest, now open

July 15, 2019

A new state-funded facility for testing driverless cars and other “smart” vehicles has opened in the latest expansion of Ohio’s Transportation Research Center.

The new Smart Mobility Advanced Research Test, or SMART, Center, in Logan County about 40 miles northwest of Columbus, includes a six-lane, high-speed “smart” intersection, complete with a traffic light, that companies and researchers can use to test new vehicle technology.

The new center cost $45 million, of which $25 million came from Ohio State University, with the rest coming from the state, through JobsOhio and the Ohio Department of Transportation.
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FCC Outlines Additional 5G Auctions, Includes Mid-Band 2.5 GHz and mmWave Spectrum

July 15, 2019

The 2.5 GHz band initially was set aside in the 1960s for educational television but was rarely used for that purpose. Years ago, the FCC renamed the band Educational Broadband Service (EBS) and said the spectrum could be used for broadband initiatives supporting educational use. In some areas, such deployments have occurred. Alternatively, educational license holders have leased much of the spectrum to commercial mobile network operators, including Sprint.

As previously outlined, the order adopted by the FCC today would give tribal entities the opportunity to gain licenses for 2.5 GHz EBS spectrum in their territories. Subsequently, an auction of unlicensed spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band would be held.

Today’s order calls for county-sized licenses, including two blocks of approximately 50 MHz each and a 16.5 MHz block. Plans also call for bidding credits for small businesses, rural service providers and tribal entities.
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Maryland Eyes Innovative Fix for I-270 Congestion

July 15, 2019

According to Shanteé Felix, assistant media relations manager, Office of Communications, MDOT SHA, the ICM work is made up of 14 roadway improvements — including extending merge lanes and adding local and continuous flow lanes — that will eliminate bottlenecks.

“Some of the technology being used includes ramp metering, a proven concept that uses ramp meters to manage merging traffic from ramps to the mainline; and an automated traffic flow management system that combines real-time communication to drivers, traffic monitoring with cameras and sensors and intelligent signal systems,” Felix said.

She noted that the I-270 project proposes a two-pronged approach of roadway improvements and innovative technologies and techniques to maximize vehicular throughput, minimize vehicle travel times, and create a more predictable commuter trip along I-270 between I-70 and I-495.
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Why so few Pittsburghers want Mayor Peduto’s proposed autonomous shuttle

July 10, 2019

At a June meeting, dozens of residents showed up to hear updates on a city proposal that would ferry autonomous shuttles through Oakland, Greenfield, and Hazelwood. By and large, residents were skeptical of the autonomous-vehicle proposal. Several of them sported buttons reading, “Not Sold on AV.”

Public-transit advocates think the city’s money and effort would be better spent procuring additional bus service from Hazelwood, and that the small shuttles can’t adequately serve the growth that the city is hoping to see in the corridor.

But the city believes the project, called the Mon-Oakland Connector (MOC), can provide an improved and important transit connection between its two largest universities and the growing tech industry. Leaders also see a chance to help boost development in this corridor and make upgrades to provide flood relief.
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Bosch’s Battery in the Cloud aims to reduce battery cell aging with AI

July 10, 2019

AI running in the cloud might be the solution to electric vehicles’ battery woes, if Bosch is on the right track. The Stuttgart, Germany-based company this morning announced a new service — Battery in the Cloud — designed to supplement vehicles’ battery management systems by implementing protections to reduce cell aging. It’s able to cut down on wear and tear by as much as 20%, the company claims, through continuous analysis of battery status, optimization of recharging processes, and delivery of energy conservation tips to drivers via in-car displays.

The first customer is Beijing-based mobility giant DiDi Chuxing, which as of 2018 had 550 million users and tens of millions of drivers on its platform. Bosch says DiDi will equip a pilot vehicle fleet with its battery services in the city of Xiamen.
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Met becomes first UK police force to use drones to monitor road users

July 10, 2019

The Metropolitan Police in London will become the first UK police force to use a drone to monitor road users.

According to a report in The Guardian newspaper, the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) will focus on road users engaged in dangerous driving, such as racing, that could potentially put others at risk, rather than targeting all speeding motorists…

The Guardian reports that once a suspect has been spotted, information will be relayed from the drone to officers further along the road so they can pull them over. The drone has a night vision function and will be able to operate at both high and low altitudes.
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North Dakota agency gets waiver to fly drones over people

July 10, 2019

The North Dakota Department of Transportation was selected last year as one of 10 participants for a drone integration program that has become somewhat of a race to see who can find the next best thing to help quickly and safely incorporate drones into the national airspace.

The NDDOT last month became the first state government agency granted a waiver to fly unmanned aircraft over people, which wasn’t necessarily a surprising announcement given the state’s background that includes the nation’s first done business park and a company that supplies done pilots around the world. What was a bonus, state officials say, is that the Federal Aviation Administration permit extends for four years. The first waiver the state received to fly over people was for two months, when the Red River was flooding.
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Louisiana lawmakers write rules for self-driving trucks

July 10, 2019

Though significant use of the vehicles may be years away, Louisiana’s new regulations take effect Aug. 1, recently signed by Gov. John Bel Edwards. The legislation received near-unanimous support from lawmakers who said they want to embrace the new technology, try to lure companies that build the trucks and get ready for self-driving vehicles starting to show up on roadways…

The state currently doesn’t have a law governing self-driving vehicles for personal use, but Mallett said the transportation department is working on a policy for them.

Louisiana’s new law was backed by Starsky Robotics, a San Francisco company working on automated commercial trucking technology that uses an onboard self-driving system and a remote human operator at another location to keep the vehicles on track.
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Flying blind: Apps help visually impaired navigate airport

July 10, 2019

Navigating airports can be tricky. They’re loud, crowded and not always laid out intuitively. They’re even more challenging for visually impaired people.

Chieko Asakawa knows those challenges firsthand, and she has also devised a remedy.

Asakawa has been blind since she was 14 and is now an IBM Fellow and a professor in Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute. This spring, she and other researchers at Carnegie Mellon launched a navigation app for Pittsburgh International Airport that provides turn-by-turn audio instructions to users on how to get to their destination, be it a departure gate, restaurant or restroom.

Pittsburgh is one of a growing number of airports around the globe to provide wayfinding apps. The Pittsburgh app, called NavCog, was first used at the Carnegie Mellon campus and works almost like an indoor GPS.
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Sebastian Thrun, the godfather of the self-driving car industry, explains how Larry Page taught him to be a visionary, not just an ‘expert’

July 10, 2019

Waymo launched the first commercial autonomous ride-hailing service in the US, Waymo One, in parts of Arizona in 2018.

But, Sebastian Thrun, the man who birthed Waymo into the world back when self-driving cars was just a crazy idea inside of Google, says the whole thing might not have happened if Google founder and then CEO, Larry Page, didn’t have a stubborn streak.

Back in the mid-2000’s, Thrun was having a spectacular career in robotic vehicle academics first at Carnegie Mellon (still famous for its research which is why its home to rival Uber’s program) and then at Stanford.

In 2005, his Stanford team won the $1 milion prize DARPA challenge with a robot vehicle called Stanley that drove through the desert at high speeds.
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Tech Is Helping San Antonio Push More Accurate Transit Data

July 10, 2019

More than 500 transit buses operated by VIA Metropolitan Transit in San Antonio, Texas, communicate their location on the region’s streets and highways. That data is processed and made available to the public via mobile apps that show bus locations.

However, that data is only sent from the bus every 30 seconds, at the quickest. New storage capabilities, provided by the company Pure Storage and known as FlashArray, essentially speeds up numerous processes, said Steve Young, vice president for technology and innovation at VIA…

“Even though we call it, ‘real time,’ most people call 30 seconds ‘real time.’ We want to bring it down to sub-10 seconds,” he added. “Our goal is to now bring that reporting down to a really, really fast reporting level, such that it will seem very real time.”
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GM’s self-driving unit is close to receiving a $2.25 billion boost

July 10, 2019

t took more than a year, but GM’s self-driving company is close to receiving a giant cash infusion. Cruise Automation confirmed to Reuters that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) had approved SoftBank’s $2.25 billion investment in the driverless tech company. SoftBank will have a spot on Cruise’s board as a result of the deal. However, a Reuters source claimed that SoftBank wouldn’t have access to the technology itself — a condition CFIUS reportedly set out over concerns that the Japanese firm’s investments in Chinese tech would compromise American trade secrets.

Not surprisingly, Cruise is happy. Chief executive Dan Ammann said the money would help Cruise (and therefore GM) roll out driverless cars on a “massive scale.” Cruise has raised $7.25 billion in the past year.
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This driverless car was completely remote-controlled over 5G

July 10, 2019

We popped along to the Goodwood Festival of Speed this morning to check out a driverless car with a difference – the car was being piloted by someone hundreds of metres away, with the communication between the car and driver taking place over a special installation of Vodafone’s fledgling 5G network.

The car – a Lincoln MKZ – was in the ‘drifting’ arena area at the festival, while the driver was a way away inside the Future Lab, Goodwood’s showcase of future tech.

You can see the car in action in the arena here:

The demonstration was designed to showcase the low latency of 5G, one of the key benefits of the new network tech. Indeed, the demo was particularly effective at showing the latency off – albeit with hardly any other 5G network users in the vicinity.
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Roborace: The futuristic motorsport providing a testbed for autonomous cars

July 10, 2019

Roborace’s primary goals are to develop new forms of motorsport entertainment and explore the relationship between human and machine drivers, with the research from the sport trickling down into driverless cars for consumers.

Originally announced in 2014, Roborace launched its debut competition, Season Alpha, in April this year. Little is known about these races as they take place in private, with the sport still in its test season. There are three teams taking part in its inaugural season: Arrival, TUM and the University of Pisa.

At the heart of Roborace is the DevBot 2.0, a bespoke, all-electric car that is part-Batmobile, part-Tron Legacy.
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Electric cars ‘will not solve transport problem,’ report warns

July 10, 2019

It warns that electrifying cars will not address traffic jams, urban sprawl and wasted space for parking.

The Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS) report calls on the government to devise a strategy allowing people to have a good standard of living without needing a car.

The government said it was spending £2bn to promote walking and cycling.

It also says it plans to spend £50bn on improving roads. However, critics accuse the government of not having a serious plan to deal with the social problems associated with mass car ownership.

CREDS is an academic consortium of more than 80 academics across the UK.
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BMW and Daimler to co-develop driverless technologies

July 10, 2019

Car manufacturers BMW and Daimler AG have partnered up to develop self-driving technologies up to level 4, which are technologies that allow for self-driving without human intervention under certain conditions.

The two companies will develop technologies for driver assistance systems, highly automated driving on highways, and automated parking, with the aim of creating a “scalable platform for automated driving” that can be mass-launched from 2024.

Once created, BMW and Daimler AG have plans to make the scalable platform available to other automotive manufacturers under license.
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EU states reject WiFi plan for driverless cars

July 10, 2019

The European Commission has been forced into a U-turn after member states rejected plans to adopt a WiFi-based system for self-driving cars to communicate with each other.

The WiFi plan ran into resistance because of concerns it would mean 4G or 5G technology could not be used for driverless cars in the future because it would not be compatible.

A number of countries had initially backed the Wi-Fi system proposed by the commission because it could be implemented immediately and potentially improve road safety in the short term.

The commission proposed legislation backing WiFi in March, causing friction in the car and telecoms industry and setting EU politicians against one another. Telecoms companies and some countries including Finland argued that a “technology neutral” approach would be better, allowing the use of WiFi and 5G-based systems that could offer even bigger road safety benefits in the future.
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The Road To Self-Driving Retail

July 10, 2019

Cars and trucks have always had close links to retail and retail innovation — for starters, just think of drive-thrus and curbside pickup. Those links promise to get even tighter and more numerous with the rise of the connected car ecosystem and also autonomous vehicles. The latest development on that front comes from Waymo…

The retail stakes involved when it comes automotive in the coming years — and decades — are nothing short of tremendous. A view at the situation involved commerce and connected vehicles — which still require drivers — shows why.

Sixty-four million cars featuring connected tech are expected to ship by the end of the year, according to the PYMNTS Commerce Connected Playbook. Many automakers are already looking into tools and mobile apps to add to the experiences of drivers through infotainment systems. At the same time, connected cars are impacting how quick-service restaurants (QSRs) look at their relationships with diners.
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