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A Van to Scoop You Up After The Dallas Cowboy Game when you had Too Much Beer!

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Drive.ai’s new service is scheduled to run for one year and begin with three vehicles. Riders can hail the vehicles one of two ways: by downloading an app that allows a user to request a vehicle or by going to a designated pickup point and request a vehicle using a kiosk, according to the company. The service is funded by the city of Arlington and with federal grants, according to city officials.

Riders will connect to a handful of well-traveled local landmarks, such as the city’s convention center, retail areas, restaurants and office buildings, as well as AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Park, the respective homes of the Dallas Cowboys and the Texas Rangers.

Halder said that about 100,000 people flood into the city’s entertainment district on game days, creating a distinct need for transportation, but also new challenges for the company as it continues to refine its technology. This time, the routes will be longer and potentially more complicated, especially when pedestrians descend on the area during games.


(Courtesy of Drive.ai) ((Photo courtesy of Drive.ai))


(Courtesy of Drive.ai) ((Photo courtesy of Drive.ai))

Drive.ai has attempted to distinguish itself by prioritizing “recognizability over beauty,” giving its Nissan vehicles bright orange paint jobs that are designed to grab the attention of pedestrians and drivers, according to company officials.

The vehicles operate along fixed routes, include human backup drivers and travel up to 35 mph. They also include exterior panels with messages — such as “waiting for you to cross” — to take the place of a human driver making eye contact or gesturing with a pedestrian at a crosswalk, for example. In the near future backup drivers will be removed and the vehicles will operate autonomously.

 

New York Plans To Cap Uber & Lyfte

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New York City Council moved to impose a slate of new regulations on ride-hailing services. If Mayor Bill de Blasio signs off on the new legislation, New York would be the first city in the U.S. to cap the number of Uber and Lyft vehicles, as well as establish a minimum wage for drivers. It would also impose a new license requirement with more robust data-sharing requirements for the fiercely proprietary companies.

During the year-long cap on vehicle growth, the city would also conduct an impact study of the services. However, foes say it could lead to higher fares and more limited services. Ride-hailing has devastated the yellow cab industry, which is highly regulated in New York City compared to Uber and Lyft. Taxi medallions, once highly sought, have plummeted in value since TNCs came onto the scene, casting many drivers into financial ruin & death. A 2017 survey by the Independent Drivers Guild, which represents ride-hailing drivers, found that 57 percent of app based drivers bring in less than $50,000 annually, and 22 percent less than $30,000.

Companies Like Mercedes Benz Are Investing More Systematically In People Over 50

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Mercedes-Benz is trying to dispel attitudes about older people as Germany grapples with the challenges of an aging society.

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People visit an exhibition about demografic change called ‘Ey Alter’ by carmaker Mercedes Benz in Berlin, Germany June 5, 2018. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

The luxury brand owned by Germany’s Daimler AG (DAIGn.DE) is waging a company-wide campaign to combat those mistaken impression about aging. Daimler has developed is an exhibition challenging stereotypes about aging. It has already been visited by 80,000 people, including 2,500 of its factory managers and has now been brought to Berlin and opened to the public.

Visitors are asked to choose between the “young” or “old” door to enter the exhibition. Many retired visitors, who obviously feel young at heart, come in through the “young” door.

Rival carmaker BMW (BMWG.DE) expects workers aged over 50 to make up more than 35 percent of its workforce by 2020, from 25 percent in 2014.

Germany faces a serious skills shortage as the post-war “baby boomer” generation retires. The working-age population is expected to shrink by some 2 million by 2030.

The shortage of workers is costing the economy up to 0.9 percentage points of output a year, the IW German Economic Institute said recently.

The German government has moved to discourage people from retiring early and the pension age is scheduled to rise gradually from 65 to 67 by 2030.

“Companies know it is not so easy attract young workers. They are realizing they can’t do without some of the baby boomers and will try and hang onto them,” said Andre Schleiter, a demographics expert at the Bertelsmann Foundation think tank.

Mercedes Benz has also launched formal joint tool making training for teenage apprentices and employees aged over 50 and is testing ergonomic tools, such as an exoskeleton which reduces muscle strain for workers installing parts overhead.

Other ideas include a system to help workers swap shifts more easily; allowing older staff to work part-time as they approach retirement and hiring retirees for short-term projects.

 

Self Driving Bikes Coming Soon

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  • With “Amazon Key In-Car,” Prime members with “compatible vehicles” can opt to have packages delivered inside their cars when parked in a publicly accessible area. Amazon expects those locations to typically be at a customer’s home or workplace, according to a company press release. Compatible vehicles include 2015 or newer Chevrolets, Buicks, GMC, Cadillacs or Volvos with active roadside assistance accounts.
  • The service carries no charge for Prime members and is available starting now in 37 U.S. metropolitan areas, the same areas where Amazon Key is already available. More cities and more vehicle makes and models will be added over time, Amazon said.
  • The app also provides notifications with an initial four-hour delivery window, when the delivery is on its way and again when it’s been delivered. Customers can track when their car was unlocked and relocked in the App’s activity feed and rate their in-car delivery
  • More than three quarters (75.9%) of women said they’re unwilling to use it, as did 60.9% of men — a 68.8% average for all, according to a study by InsuranceQuotes.
  • People are leery of giving Amazon a key to their homes. Almost 80% said they are afraid that Amazon Key couriers will steal something (80.4% of women and 78.4% of men); 76.9% of women and 69.9% of men worry about a breach of privacy; and 61.8% of women and 56.2% of men are concerned about “malicious exploitation” of the service.

 

Self Driving Uber Kills Woman

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A 49-year old pedestrian, who was struck while pushing her bike and later died from her injuries, was walking outside of the crosswalk, according to a Tempe police department statement.  The car was operating in self-driving mode, the police said, but a vehicle operator was behind the wheel at the time. The National Transportation Safety Board said on Twitter that it planned to open an investigation of the incident.

The Volvo XC90-based prototype was traveling at 38 mph in a 35 mph zone when it hit the pedestrian. The car made no attempt to brake or swerve. But while Uber’s prototype most likely isn’t to blame, the operator behind the wheel could ultimately face charges.

A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association released March 1 said Arizona had the highest rate of pedestrian fatalities in the nation, based on available data from 2017.

The complete Tempe Police Department statement:

The vehicle was traveling northbound just south of Curry Rd. when a female walking outside of the crosswalk crossed the road from west to east when she was struck by the Uber vehicle. She was transported to a local area hospital where she passed away from her injuries. Her next of kin has not been notified yet so her name is not being released at this time. Uber is assisting and this is still an active investigation.

After costs Uber & Lyfte Drivers Average 4$ An Hour

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A research paper from MIT’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research compared a survey of over 1,100 drivers for Uber and Lyft with “detailed vehicle cost information” and found that 30 percent of the workforce is actually paying to work after vehicle expenses are taken into account. Overall, their findings reveal a bleak picture: The median profit for drivers came out to just $3.37 per hour before taxes.

 The researchers used data from Edmunds, Kelly Blue Book, and the Environmental Protection Agency to determine the cost of insurance, maintenance, gas, and depreciation for various vehicle models. Cross-referenced with drivers’ self-reported revenue, mileage, and vehicle models, that information revealed discouraging results. Stephen Zoepf, a co-author of the paper, said “it’s quite possible that drivers don’t realize quite how much they are spending.” He said that many drivers are effectively borrowing money against the value of their cars and subsidizing the ridesharing companies by working for low wages. When you combine that subsidy with the billions of dollars in venture capital that these companies are losing each year, Zoepf concludes that “this business model is not currently sustainable.”

According to the working paper, 74 percent of drivers are earning less than the minimum wage in their states once these costs are included, with the average driver only pulling in $661 of profit per month. For those who are considering working for ride-hailing service, this data should make them cautious.

Those who already doing it should pay close attention to the paper’s finding that the median profit is 29 cents per mile. The researchers say that drivers could possibly take advantage of the standard mileage deduction that tops out at 54 cents per mile and declare a loss on their taxes. So while ride share services are losing billions of dollars, billions more dollars of driver income may be mistakenly getting taxed. Meanwhile, other recent studies have found these companies are just making traffic worse.

Uber responded to the Guardian with the following statement:

While the paper is certainly attention grabbing, its methodology and findings are deeply flawed. We’ve reached out to the paper’s authors to share our concerns and suggest ways we might work together to refine their approach.

 

It’s worth noting that other studies have reported higher hourly income using different methodologies.

A spokesperson for Lyft responded and said: “Drivers are an integral part of Lyft’s success. An ever-growing number of individuals around the country are using Lyft as a flexible way to earn income, and we will continue to engage with our driver community to help them succeed. We have not yet reviewed this study in detail, but an initial review shows some questionable assumptions.”

Last year, Uber settled claims by the Federal Trade Commission that it misled drivers about the potential income they would make. Gizmodo obtained a letter sent by Uber’s lawyers to the FTC where they argued that drivers were only earning less than the advertised rates because they chose not to drive enough.

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