It’s perhaps the single-greatest transportation revolution since the Ford Model T. And Bellevue is among the cities who are at the forefront of the movement. The idealistic concept of autonomous vehicles has now become concrete discourses and brass-tacks negotiations. In the last year alone, the nation has seen more pointed efforts from companies like Tesla and Google. And in Washington state, Gov. Jay Inslee signed in June 2017 an executive order — right here in Bellevue — allowing for easier testing and operation of self-driving cars.
If you’ve ever found yourself stuck in traffic on a freeway surrounded by other drivers, know that it’s all because a computer isn’t driving your car. At least that’s the reasoning of proponents of autonomous, or driverless, cars — vehicles that are driven entirely by computers and can sense and respond to their surroundings without human guidance. Proponents of the technology, which now include the federal government and an increasing number of car manufacturers, argue that humans simply are not that good at driving. They say putting computers behind the wheel will cut down on congestion, pollution and accidents.
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 adopter Read More ›
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 ACES Read More ›
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 ›
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.
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 and Read More ›