Uber has announced updates to its app intended to curb bad behavior by passengers.Key among the changes is allowing passengers to see the ratings they receive from drivers — knowledge the company hopes will make customers more cognizant of the fact their behavior is being graded during every trip.
A report released by the DMV Wednesday reveals that driverless cars have a long way to go before they can actually become driverless.
The data from the Department of Motor Vehicles includes autonomous vehicle test results from 11 companies. The information includes details of when drivers had to take control of the cars, either because the test driver felt uncomfortable or due to a glitch in the technology. The data only includes miles traveled on public roads in California, and doesn’t include testing at private facilities or outside the state.
Bryant Walker Smith, scholar for Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society says”there are more questions that need answers; such as what would happen if the driver didn’t intervene. Would the car know to pull to the side of the road to avoid a collision? how ‘bad’ the hypothetical outcome avoided by a driver-initiated disengagement needs to be for Waymo (for example) to include such a disengagement in its count,” he said. “In other words, if the driver hadn’t intervened in any given instance, would a crash have necessarily resulted?”
Delphi Automotive Systems, for example, reported several instances where the cars could not read traffic signals due to “poor sun conditions,” or when the cars had trouble changing lanes during heavy traffic. Google’s Waymo, on the other hand, said the human drivers had to take over most often due to software discrepancies, followed by an unwanted maneuver of the car or the reckless behavior of another driver. Other times, humans took over because there was heavy pedestrian traffic or out of extra caution for a cyclist sharing the road.
Honda and Volkswagon — said they never tested the vehicles on public roads. The others ranged from 530 miles logged by Tesla during only one month in 2016 to the 635,868 miles traveled by Google’s Waymo vehicles.
In an effort to raise awareness for responsible driving, the chip maker has partnered with Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Uber to create “alcohol sensor bags,” special Tostitos bags that can tell if you’ve been drinking.
“Book by Cadillac” is a subscription service that gives users access to short-term rentals of different vehicles for a flat monthly fee via app. Similar to the Audi On Demand and Audi At Home services that is already available in certain markets, Book by Cadillac aims to give subscribers the flexibility to choose whatever vehicle they want at the moment, without the so-called hassles like lease or finance payments, insurance, fuel, and maintenance.
The SUV’s standard Toyota 3UR-FE 5.7-liter V8 has been dialed way up with two Garrett turbos the company officially describes as “the size of volleyballs” for a claimed output of “more than 2,000 horsepower.” This engine, used in the Tundra, Sequoia, LX and GX is normally rated to 381 hp in a Land Cruiser like this.Today’s Cruiser also weighs 5,765 pounds, but it looks like this one’s gone on at least a little diet based on the interior images in that video.A custom-made transmission puts that power down to massively wide wheels, which required the whole truck’s track to be narrowed by 3 inches to fit.
Uber and Lyft have been striking agreements with transit agencies, mostly for so-called “first-last mile” programs — meant to shuttle commuters to bus or train stations. As of last year, Uber has scored public transit agreements with San Francisco, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Dallas, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh, among other cities. Uber and Lyft have also been edging into public transportation services, like transit for disabled people or low-income residents who need rides to work or the grocery store. Last month officials in Washington, DC proposed having Uber respond to some 911 calls for ambulances.
Critics worry that if these programs succeed, they could pluck the affluent commuters who wield real political influence off trains and busses, leading to a crisis of declining ridership and decreasing clout for traditional public transportation.
The past year has seen a surge in public officials interested in giving the companies taxpayer dollars for public transit contracts. companies find it appealing especially in low-density communities like Altamonte where running traditional mass transit can be expensive.The pilot program is unusable for people without a smartphone, credit card, or a disability.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick envisioned a future where increasing efficiency would make Uber cost-competitive not just with owning a car, but with traditional mass transit. When drivers drop off a customer only to pick up another, chained together in a “perpetual trip,” Kalanick said, “not only is it much less expensive than taking a cab or owning a car, it has the potential to be as affordable as taking a subway, or a bus, or other means of transportation. And that’s what we believe is the real game-changer. Those are the things we’ll be working on in years to come.