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Curb appeal: This overlooked bit of urban infrastructure becomes a battleground for transportation innovators

Originally published at GeekWire. Not too far down the road is a transportation revolution that will prioritize creative ways of getting around over single-occupant cars. It’s happening fastest in cities, where environmental concerns tend to be acuter and traffic reveals a lot to be desired in traditional modes of transportation. New options — from Uber to Chariot — are just starting to emerge and already they have created an unlikely battleground for transportation innovators: the curb. Curbs have always been valuable in cities, initially for parking and public transportation. But they have become far more precious in a relatively short period of time. Seattle is one of the main fronts in the war for curb space as an early adopterRead More ›

Why Seattle’s neighbor, Bellevue, is winning the race toward self-driving cars

Originally published at GeekWire. Seattle is an innovation hub with transportation pain points aching to be solved. For those reasons, the city seems like the obvious choice to pioneer self-driving cars in Washington now that Gov. Jay Inslee has given the green light. But Seattle’s neighbor, Bellevue, is speeding ahead in the race to get autonomous vehicles on city streets. So says Bruce Agnew, director of the ACES Network, which stands for autonomous, connected, electric, and shared. Agnew says that Bellevue is prepared to put up the funding with a technology levy for transportation programs and develop the necessary infrastructure to begin testing self-driving cars. “The most promising project is the City of Bellevue, which has fully embraced the ACESRead More ›

WATCH: New push to make ride-share pickups safer in Downtown Seattle

Originally published at Kiro 7 News. SEATTLE – Drive through Downtown Seattle and you’ll see Uber and Lyft drivers, sometimes with hazard lights on, stopped in traffic lanes to pick up or drop off riders. It can block traffic and be unsafe for passengers getting in and out of the cars. “In an ideal world we wouldn’t do that, but sometimes there’s no choice,” said Michael Wolfe, a ride-share driver and leader of Drive Forward Seattle, a group founded by the industry to fight a unionization effort. ​The group sent a letter to city officials calling for dedicated pickup and drop-off zones. The group listed “pain points,” topped by the block of Union Street between Russell Investment Center and Target,Read More ›

WATCH: Bellevue Eyes Driverless Shuttle Technology Being Tested in California

On KIRO 7 News, the City of Bellevue’s Transportation Partnership Manager, Steve Marshall, considers how autonomous shuttles could benefit transit in Bellevue, WA. Ideas for Bellevue include a downtown circulator, a connection to offices in Eastgate and Factoria, or a route from Meydenbauer Bay through downtown, across I-405 to the Eastside Rail Corridor, as part of the city’s “Grand Connection” project.

How Washington state could turn freeways over to self-driving cars

Originally published at My Northwest. You typically see two types of lines on the freeway as you drive: yellow stripes along the shoulder, and reflective white stripes separating the lanes. You might not think much about them, but a self-driving car does. If state planners start now, modifying those lines will be just one aspect of serving a self-driving future on I-5, replacing human drivers. “For the next 20 years, you get to coexist with these automated vehicles, so we want the human driver to see better performance from pavement marking and signing, while at the same time we want to make sure that machine-vision systems — that autonomous vehicles are using — also can see those pavement markings andRead More ›

A special corridor set aside on I-5 just for self-driving cars?

SEATTLE — A venture capital group introduced a proposal Tuesday that could revolutionize the future of a major freeway in our area. The Madrona Venture Group sees self-driving cars as the future of commuting, and they believe a section of Interstate 5 is the place for it to evolve. The idea is to have a special corridor just for self-driving cars. This corridor would be on I-5 between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.

Dedicated Lanes On I-5 For Self-Driving Cars Get Ear Of Washington State Officials

Originally published at KUOW. Self-driving cars would one day take over Interstate 5 to the exclusion of human drivers under a proposal aired out before Washington state transportation advisors Tuesday. High tech investors in the Seattle area hatched the idea to gradually convert Interstate 5 into a corridor for autonomous vehicles. Their proposal envisions smoother, safer travel between Seattle and Vancouver, BC, with the possibility to expand south to Portland later. Consultant Scott Kuznicki of the Transpo Group and Cascadia Center think tank Director Bruce Agnew on behalf of Madrona Venture Group Managing Director Tom Alberg presented a tentative timeline to the Washington State Transportation Commission. They said autonomous cars should first get to use the carpool lane and thenRead More ›

State to hear presentation on I-5 autonomous lanes

Originally published at King 5 News. I-5 could have autonomous lanes by 2040, according to a pitch from the Cascadia Center of Discovery Institute. The Washington State Transportation Commission will hear a new pitch for reducing congestion – building out autonomous vehicle lanes on Interstate 5. Bruce Agnew, director of the Cascadia Center at Discovery Institute, will make the pitch in Olympia, following a study by his Seattle-based think tank. He believes the state could transition existing HOV lanes to handle autonomous vehicles within the next eight to 10 years and says it would be more cost effective than other ideas of the past. “Basically striping and the condition of the pavement, we need to make sure the pavement isRead More ›

Madrona, Microsoft, Kemper push to make Bellevue the self-driving car capital of the world

Originally published at the Puget Sound Business Journal. Bellevue real estate developer Kemper Freeman, Madrona Venture Group Founder and Managing Director Tom Alberg and representatives from companies including Microsoft, Google, ReachNow and Uber met Thursday to discuss ways to make the region — specifically Bellevue — a leader in autonomous vehicles. Bellevue was built as a car city and its infrastructure is better equipped for self-driving cars than Seattle. Bellevue is set up to manipulate traffic lights remotely, for example, meaning self-driving cars could sync with that system instead of having to develop technology that could determine the color of the lights, Alberg said. “We’re working on putting together a coalition of interested partners and companies in the area toRead More ›