ACES

Photo by Mike Tsitas

Raising Taxes on Ride Sharing Harms the Public

Call it a head tax on wheels. The recently announced plan to triple the Seattle city taxes on all ride-share trips — to 75 cents from 24 cents, which would create the highest flat ride-share tax in the U.S. — is out of the same playbook that brought us the 2017-18 tax on jobs. It would hurt working people and others who use the Uber or Lyft ride option, reduce income for drivers by up to an estimated $1,800 a year and increase traffic congestion rather than alleviating it. Read More ›
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concept of the cockpit of an autonomous car driving at night illuminated by a tunnel

On the ‘Edge’ with Driverless Cars

How soon will it be before you pull up at a stop light in your car, and the car next to you has no one behind the wheel? Maybe sooner than you think.

One of the most interesting conversations I’ve had in recent months is with Bryan Mistele, founder and CEO of INRIX, the Seattle-based company that pioneered managing traffic by analyzing data from vehicles as well as road sensors. INRIX is now one of the leading providers of real-time parking and traffic information to your automobile — and they’ll be doing the same with driverless cars, or as the industry prefers to dub them, autonomous vehicles (AVs).

Mistele reminded me that AV’s are already on the road. Working with INRIX, Las Vegas was the first city to have an autonomous shuttle that opened in 2017, and Denver launched one near Denver International Airport in January 2019.

Talking to an expert like Mistele makes you realize there’s nothing magic about AVs. It’s all about sensors, data, computing power, and connectivity — and ultimately the security of that data and those connections, which can either take us all to the next level of a brave new technological world, or plunge us into chaos.

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Will the Rise of the Eastside Eclipse the Seattle Boom?

The Eastside has long been eclipsed by Seattle. Now, however, it is challenging the big city on several fronts. The reasons are many: Microsoft’s revival; global tech companies opening engineering offices on the Eastside; the openness of Eastside local governments to new technologies; Seattle’s problems of homelessness, crime, traffic and subpar public schools; and the Seattle City Council’s hostile actions and rhetoric directed at tech companies.

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Transportation Technology Can Deliver Us From Viaduct Closure Gridlock

Seattle is facing a dire transportation crisis with the Jan. 11 closing of the viaduct, politely dubbed the “Period of Maximum Constraint” (POMC). While commuters, employers and school officials are busy making contingency plans, why not take advantage of this moment to tackle some of our traffic congestion problems with creative solutions that might not be possible in normal times.

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Self-Driving Vehicles May Be the Answer to Seattle-Area Traffic Problems

Tom Alberg, a cofounder of Seattle’s Madrona Venture Group and a strong supporter of AV technology, thinks the number of AVs in use will increase more rapidly than most people anticipate. “My guess would be that by 2022, we are going to have a lot of vehicles with strong autonomous capabilities on the roads,” Alberg says. He expects that in 12 years, autonomous cars will account for more than 50 percent of new-car sales. Read More ›

I-5 Stretch Running Through Pacific Northwest is the Best Route for Self-Driving Trucks, INRIX Study Finds

When we envision our self-driving future, cars with built-in entertainment systems buzz us to and from work, while flying Ubers drop off passengers nearby. But the reality of the first commercial autonomous vehicles to arrive on our streets will probably be less sci-fi, more practical. Researchers at INRIX set out to discover which routes are most practical for commercial AVs — specifically freight trucks — in a new study released Monday. They analyzed trip data from the Kirkland, Wash. company’s traffic database between June to August of 2018. They wanted to find out which freight routes in the U.S. could see the biggest safety improvements from AVs and which would be the most commercially viable to the companies operating them. This article …

Bellevue Envisions Fleet of Driverless Vans to Help Commuters Skirt Congestion

Just this month, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a driverless van began shuttling students and staff the 1-mile round trip between a research complex and a distant parking lot and bus stop. In Las Vegas, an autonomous van launched last year, taking curious passengers on a three-block loop between a downtown retail park and Las Vegas Boulevard. In San Ramon, California, two driverless shuttles began circulating in March through a nearly 600-acre cluster of office parks. Autonomous shuttle pilot projects are sprouting in myriad locations across the country, gauging people’s reactions and trying to increase their comfort with driverless transit. Bellevue wants in, too.