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In the News

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

The sudden appearance of driverless cars, not long ago the stuff of science fiction, has some Puget Sound transportation managers a little spooked. “We do not want the technology to decide what kind of city we will have,” says Benjamin de la Peña, deputy director for policy, planning, mobility and right of way at Seattle’s Department of Transportation, pointing to the way planners in the early 1900s reshaped cities to accommodate automobiles. “We need to decide what kind of city we want and have the technology adapt to that kind of city.” The recent death of an Arizona woman who was struck by a self-driving Uber car raised an alarm that perhaps these vehicles aren’t ready for prime time. But …


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.






Washington Will Be a World Leader for Self-Driving Cars and Electric Ferries, Governor Predicts

The future of transportation will be in Seattle. That’s a proclamation Washington Gov. Jay Inslee made at an event Wednesday evening celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Alliance of Angels investment group. Speaking to leaders from the technology, political, business, and other industries, Inslee predicted that Seattle will be home to the first electric ferries in America and a hub for autonomous vehicle development. “We are going to be the future of the electrification of the transportation system and the autonomous vehicle center of the U.S.,” Inslee said. The state, which has the country’s largest ferry system, set aside $600,000 in its 2018 state transportation budget that will go toward researching how to convert ferries from diesel to hybrid electric …



Second BNSF Bridge To Keep Trade Flowing Through Idaho, PNW

For years, BNSF trains have safely traversed the bridge over Lake Pend Oreille, efficiently shuttling goods and commodities to foreign and domestic markets. Now, in an effort to further expedite shipping and modernize rail in the Pacific Northwest, BNSF is proposing a multi-million dollar upgrade in the form of a second parallel bridge that will allow rail traffic to move even safer in both directions simultaneously. The new bridge will reduce the times trains have to wait for other trains to cross the bridge. The backups created by waiting trains can sometimes extend for many miles. The second rail bridge will reduce delays in the city, improve air quality and reduce noise by cutting idle times while the trains are …