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Retailers Lure Shoppers, But Buying Continues Online

November 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

U.S. stores offered huge discounts, entertainment and free gifts to attract bargain hunters on Black Friday, the traditional start of the holiday retail season, but some shoppers said they were just browsing the merchandise, reserving their cash for internet purchases.

Still, a sharp rise in online sales brightened the overall outlook for those traditional retailers that have expanded beyond brick-and-mortar outlets, sending their shares higher in day-after-Thanksgiving trading. Stores also had carefully managed inventory, seeking to ward off any post-holiday liquidation that would weigh on profits.

There was little evidence of the delirious shopper frenzy customary of Black Fridays from past years, even as some stores appeared to be getting creative with gimmicks besides heavy discounts to draw in customers.

No actual data for Friday’s brick-and-mortar business was immediately available.

 Despite anecdotal signs of muted in-store sales – fewer cars in mall parking lots, shoppers leaving stores without purchases in hand – consumers are still expected to spend more overall this holiday season than last, analysts and industry executives said.

Black Friday online sales totaled at least $3.54 billion by 8 p.m. EST (0100 Saturday GMT), up 15.6 percent from a year ago, according to Adobe Analytics, which measures transactions at the largest 100 U.S. web retailers. On Thanksgiving Day, U.S. shoppers spent more than $2.87 billion online.

Adobe projected internet sales would still reach a record $5 billion by the end of the night, with online retailers forecast to rake in an additional $6.6 billion on Cyber Monday.

Indeed, some chains struggled to keep up, with brief online outages experienced by Lowe‘s, H&M and the Gap, among others, according to website performance monitors.

Macy’s Inc customers in several states, including Texas, Arizona and Illinois, took to social media to complain about the retailer’s credit card processing system. The company acknowledged that processing was taking longer than usual in its stores and said it was working on the problem.

The hiccups dragged Macy’s shares 0.6 percent lower in extended trading. They had ended the regular session up 2.1 percent, boosted by comments from Chief Executive Jeff Gennette, who told CNBC that Macy’s was better off this year than last, had robust online demand and was in a good place for holiday promotions.

Macy’s and J.C. Penney Co Inc did a better job of ordering and controlling inventory this time, according to Burt Flickinger, managing director of Strategic Resources Group, a consultancy with seven researchers out in the field.

Fair weather across much of the nation also was factor, said National Retail Federation President Matthew Shay.

Some shoppers were enticed by the promise of spectacle, while others felt the pull of nostalgia.

Volkswagen Ramps Up Electric Cars Ambitions

November 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Volkswagen has approved a 34 billion euro ($40 bln) spending plan that speeds up its efforts to become a global leader in electric cars.

The world’s largest carmaker by unit sales will spend the money on electric cars, autonomous driving and new mobility services by the end of 2022, it said after a meeting of its supervisory board.

“With the planning round now approved, we are laying the foundation for making Volkswagen the world’s No. 1 player in electric mobility by 2025,” Chief Executive Matthias Mueller told a press conference.

The carmaker’s projected spending is significantly bigger than its pledge two months ago that it would invest more than 20 billion euros on electric and self-driving cars through 2030.

 Electric and autonomous vehicles are widely seen as the keystones of future transport, but pioneers such as Tesla Inc and other manufacturers are still working out how to make money on them as poor charging infrastructure, high battery costs and electric vehicles’ still limited driving range weigh on customer demand.

Until it admitted two years ago to cheating on U.S. diesel emissions tests, Volkswagen had been slow to embrace electric cars and self-driving technology.

The group said its total investments in electric vehicles capacity and projects will amount to about 72 billion euros by 2022, confirming an earlier Reuters story.

To fund greater spending on electric vehicles, it will draw on cost savings in all areas of operations, including vehicle development, administration and manufacturing, as well as strong cash reserves.

Its net liquidity still stood at around 24 billion euros after nine months even though about 17 billion euros of funds have been paid out to cover costs for its dieselgate scandal. VW’s core autos division has made cost savings of about 1.9 billion euros since the start of this year, nearly meeting budgeted cost cuts for the full year.

Mueller said VW will maintain spending discipline in order to shoulder the increased investments in new technologies while it grapples with billions of dollars of costs for its emissions scandal.

Do Brother Printers Pose A Security Risk Online

October 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

A security researcher has found nearly 700 Brother printers left exposed online, allowing access to the password reset function to anyone who knows what to look for.

Ankit Anubhav, Principal Researcher at NewSky Security said the printers offer full access to their administration panel over the Internet.

According to Bleeping Computer https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/hundreds-of-printers-expose-backend-panels-and-password-reset-functions-online/ a wide range of Brother printer models, such as DCP-9020CDW, MFC-9340CDW, MFC-L2700DW, or MFC-J2510 have the issue.

The cause of all these exposures is Brother’s choice of shipping the printers with no admin password. Most organizations most likely connected the printers to their networks without realizing the admin panel was present and wide open to connections.

These printers are now easy discoverable via IoT search engines like Shodan or Censys.

Organisations running Brother printers should verify if the printer exposes the administration panel by default online, and/or set a custom password to prevent unauthorised access to the device.

Courtesy-Fud

Drones Aid In The Search For The Missing In London

September 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Police in the London borough of Hackney officially became the first in the capital to utilize a drone to search for a missing person.

The search was part of an eight-week trial being conducted by London’s Metropolitan Police Force, in which drones are being deployed for a number of reasons, including serious traffic collisions, searches for suspects, weapon sweeps and identification of cannabis factories.

In this case, the drone did not help the officers find the missing person. However, it did allow the police to quickly survey a large, open space, saving both time and manpower, according to a tweet by Hackney Police.

The drone used in the trial is an Aeryon Skyranger, which will be used in much the same way police helicopters are used. The advantage of the drone over the helicopter is that it should be able to help in a wider variety of incidents, due to its small size and ability to operate in adverse weather conditions.

“We are committed to working with technology that can assist our officers with the wide range of often difficult and dangerous incidents they deal with on a daily basis,” said the Met’s Commander Simon Bray in a statement.

Siemens Strengthen Automotive Push With Tass Acquisition

August 31, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

German industrial group Siemens said it will acquire Dutch self-driving software specialist Tass International for an undisclosed sum to strengthen its automotive business.

Tass makes software that can simulate complex traffic scenarios, validate autonomous driving and advanced driver assistance systems and replicate the impact of a car crash on a human body.

It has annual turnover of around 27 million euros ($32.3 million) and around 200 employees.

“Tass International is a proven leader in both integrated safety and autonomous driving, two fields of engineering that are increasingly important for the industry,” Siemens’ Digital Factory unit Chief Executive Jan Mrosik said in a statement.

Siemens said it would combine Tass’s software with its own advanced simulation products as well as electronic design capabilities from recently acquired Mentor Graphics.

Siemens bought Mentor Graphics for $4.5 billion earlier this year. It was its biggest industrial software acquisition.

New Mazda, Toyota Vehicles To Share Infotainment System

August 29, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Future Mazda and Toyota vehicles will share the same infotainment underpinnings as part of a joint development effort between the two automakers, Nikkei reports. Toyota first developed the Linux-based guts of its new Entune 3.0 infotainment system, but it brought in Mazda for additional streamlining because of a lack of software developers in Japan’s auto industry.

The system will first reach the public by way of the 2018 Toyota Camry, which is already on sale in the US. It should land in Mazda’s stable when the redesigned Mazda3 debuts in the near future, although that has not been officially confirmed. Nikkei claims other vehicles from these manufacturers will receive the updated platform in stages.

Now, bear in mind this doesn’t refer to the whole infotainment system, this only covers the platform off which it’s built. Mazda’s version will undoubtedly look different, and each company will be responsible for developing the features and applications that will live in each system.

Both systems, though, will be able to make use of Toyota’s new Wi-Fi hotspot, which utilizes a cellular network connection to deliver over-the-air updates and new apps without requiring the owner to provide the connection. Toyota’s hotspot can accommodate up to five devices simultaneously on the 2018 Camry.

While this new infotainment system will be rather flexible thanks to a library of available third-party apps like Slacker or Pandora, it should be noted that the system still does not support Apple CarPlay or Android Auto — or, at least it doesn’t on the 2018 Toyota Camry. Hopefully that will change with other models, but Toyota has a historical aversion to this sort of phone mirroring.

 

Lyft, Taco Bell Team Up In Drive-thru Deal

July 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Lyft is teaming up with Taco Bell to add a new feature that allows riders to stop at a drive-thru with newfound ease, the ride-hailing company has announced.

The app’s new Taco Mode lets you stop at a nearby Taco Bell midride for those munchies, and promises each use comes with a free Doritos Locos Taco.

That’s right, getting late night cravings satisfied is now on the horizon.

This is not the first munchie-friendly experiment from Lyft: On 4/20 it wrapped 17 Colorado cars in green to promote safe transportation so people wouldn’t drive under the influence.

Bad news is while Taco Mode will debut this weekend, July 27-30, it’s as a limited release in Orange County, California. Good news is the feature will eventually go live nationwide in 2018.

Lyft Forms Sel-driving Car Division, Speeds Up Autonomous Vehicle Efforts

July 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Lyft Inc has formed an autonomous cars division, company executives said, a bold investment for the second-largest U.S. ride-services firm as it jockeys for position in the highly competitive self-driving vehicle race.

The executives said on Thursday the company would soon open a facility in Palo Alto, California, that would eventually be staffed by “several hundred” engineers. Lyft engineers will collaborate there with autonomous vehicle experts from other companies to build self-driving systems.

“We are putting down the accelerator significantly on investment on this,” Raj Kapoor, chief strategy officer for Lyft, told reporters at its San Francisco headquarters.

The move marks a striking strategy change for Lyft, which said previously it would leave the building of self-driving systems to others while allowing partners to test their autonomous cars in Lyft’s ride-hailing network.

Lyft previously announced partnerships with Alphabet’s self-driving division, Waymo, technology company Nutonomy, and automakers General Motors Co and Jaguar Land Rover. Lyft’s new effort could put it in direct competition with some of those partners.

The company, which will not be manufacturing the actual cars, offered no time line for its self-driving ambitions. Executives said Lyft would share data from its self-driving efforts with other companies joining the collaboration.

Lyft does not have a permit to test autonomous cars in California, according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles. The company plans to launch a pilot with Nutonomy in Boston by year-end.

Building autonomous driving systems is a complicated and expensive endeavor, and brings a new layer of complexity to Lyft. Unlike its far larger rival, Uber Technologies Inc, which has tackled everything from food delivery to flying cars, and expanded overseas, Lyft has operated strictly as a ride service for people in the United States.

Lyft’s 700,000 drivers complete more than 200 million rides and 1.2 billion miles (1.9 billion km) a year in the 350 cities where it operates, which executives said gave the company detailed knowledge of traffic patterns, bridges, construction and other roadway data critical for building autonomous systems.

“The one thing that is very, very key is the scale that we have,” said Luc Vincent, vice president of engineering.

Waze’s iOS App Allows User To Customize Voice Prompts

July 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

“In five hundred feet turn right.”

Sometimes a direction that makes sense on paper can be confusing on the road. But that’s OK because the Google-owned Waze is now letting iOS users record their own personalised directions.

You can access the Voice Recorder feature in Waze’s advanced settings by hitting “Sound & voice.” Tap “Voice directions” and you’ll be given the option to record a new voice. Your custom voice pack comes with a link you can share with friends, family and everyone on the internet.

Bought by Google in 2014 for $1 billion, Waze is a community-powered mapping and navigation app that gives you real-time traffic information and road alerts. The Voice Recorder feature was released on Android last month. And in March it introduced integration with Spotify.

Facebook Has Plans To Build Housing In Silicon Valley

July 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

The housing crunch in California’s Silicon Valley has gotten so bad that Facebook Inc has proposed taking homebuilding into its own hands for the first time with a plan to construct 1,500 units near its headquarters.

The growth of Facebook, Alphabet Inc’s Google and other tech companies has strained neighborhoods in the San Francisco Bay area that were not prepared for an influx of tens of thousands of workers during the past decade. Home prices and commute times have risen.

Tech companies have responded with measures such as internet-equipped buses for employees with long commutes. Facebook has offered at least $10,000 in incentives to workers who move closer to its offices.

Those steps, though, have not reduced complaints that tech companies are making communities unaffordable, and they have mostly failed to address the area’s housing shortage.

“The problem with Silicon Valley is you don’t have enough supply to keep up with the demand,” said Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at real estate research firm CoreLogic.

With Facebook’s construction plan, the company said it wanted to invest in Menlo Park, the city some 45 miles (72 km) south of San Francisco where it moved in 2011.

The company said it wants to build a “village” that will also have 1.75 million square feet of office space and 125,000 square feet of retail space.

“Part of our vision is to create a neighborhood center that provides long-needed community services,” John Tenanes, Facebook’s vice president for global facilities, said in a statement.

The 1,500 Facebook housing units would be open to anyone, not just employees, and 15 percent of them would be offered at below market rates, the company said.

Facebook said it expects the review process to take two years.

Alphabet has taken a smaller step, buying 300 modular apartment units for short-term employee housing, the Wall Street Journal reported last month.

Menlo Park Mayor Kirsten Keith said in an interview that there were concerns about whether the Facebook plan would increase traffic, a subject the city’s planning department would study.

She said, though, that Facebook’s plan fits with the city’s own long-term plan for development, and that the city was excited about the additional housing.

Facebook’s Tenanes said the density of the proposed development could also entice spending on transit projects.

“The region’s failure to continue to invest in our transportation infrastructure alongside growth has led to congestion and delay,” he said.

Ambulance Drones Shows Promise In Race To Save Lives

June 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

The use of drones to reach patients could aid in slashing one crucial aspect of emergency care: response times.

A drone unveiled in 2014 offered the possibility of providing much quicker care to heart attack victims by coming equipped with a defibrillator — and now, the concept has passed the first test.

By staging a series of simulated cardiac arrests around the city of Stockholm, Sweden, a team of researchers led by Andreas Claesson of the Karolinska Institutet demonstrated that drones can cut response time by a median of 16 minutes. Their research has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“Some 800,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest in the EU every year, and only 8 percent survive,” said Alec Momont, who developed the original drone in 2014.

“The main reason for this is the relatively long response time of the emergency services (approx. 10 minutes), while brain death and fatalities occur within four to six minutes. The ambulance drone can get a defibrillator to a patient inside a 12 km2 zone within one minute. This response speed increases the chance of survival following a cardiac arrest from eight percent to 80 percent.”

The drone for Claesson’s tests was equipped with an automatic external defibrillator (AED) weighing 0.8 kilograms (1.7 pounds), a GPS, a high-definition camera and autopilot software. It was placed at a fire station, and deployed to 18 simulated cardiac arrests within a 10-kilometre (6.2-mile) radius, all at locations where real cardiac arrests had taken place between 2006 and 2014.

Whenever the remotely operated drone was deployed, the team would also send an ambulance.

The drone was faster. The median time from call to dispatch of the ambulance was three minutes, compared to three second for the drone. The median time from dispatch to arrive was 22 minutes for the ambulance, and just 5 minutes and 22 seconds for the drone. The median reduction in response time was 16 minutes and 39 seconds.

“Saving 16 minutes is likely to be clinically important. Nonetheless, further test flights, technological development, and evaluation of integration with dispatch centers and aviation administrators are needed,” the study reads. “The outcomes of out-of-hospitcal cardiac arrest using the drone-delivered AED by bystanders vs resuscitation by EMS should be studied.”

There are some limitations to the study. All the test flights, of which there were only 18, were conducted in good weather, and all were over short distances. And it didn’t take into account what happens after the drone reaches the patient, which would require a person present who is able to operate the defibrillator.

Momont’s 2014 system’s solution to this problem was to equip his drone with a livestream audio and video connection so that a trained operator could walk a bystander through the process of using the equipment.

Honda Spells Out Its Strategy For Self-driving Cars

June 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co has detailed for the first time its plans to develop autonomous cars which can drive on city streets by 2025, building on its strategy to take on rivals in the auto market of the future.

Unveiling its mid-term Vision 2030 strategy plan, Honda said it would boost coordination between R&D, procurement and manufacturing to tame development costs as it acknowledged it must look beyond conventional vehicles to survive in an industry which is moving rapidly into electric and self-driving cars.

Honda has already spelled out plans to market a vehicle which can drive itself on highways by 2020, and the new target for city-capable self-driving cars puts its progress slightly behind rivals like BMW.

“We’re going to place utmost priority on electrification and advanced safety technologies going forward,” Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo said.

Developing new driving technologies, robotics- and artificial intelligence-driven services and new energy solutions also would be key priorities for Honda in the years ahead, the company said.

Honda established a division late last year to develop electric vehicles (EVs) as part of its long-held goal for lower-emission gasoline hybrids, plug-in hybrids, EVs and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) to account for two-thirds of its line-up by 2030, from about 5 percent now.

By 2025, Honda plans to come up with cars with “level 4” standard automated driving functions, meaning they can drive themselves on highways and city roads under most situations.

Achieving such capabilities will require artificial intelligence to detect traffic movements, along with a battery of cameras and sensors to help avoid accidents.

BMW has said it would launch a fully autonomous car by 2021, while Ford Motor Co has said it will introduce a vehicle with similar capabilities for ride-sharing purposes in the same year. Nissan Motor Co is planning to launch a car which can drive automatically on city streets by 2020.

Honda has been ramping up R&D spending, earmarking a record 750 billion yen ($6.84 billion) for the year to March.

Lyft’s First Self-driving Cars To Debut In Boston

June 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Lyft is stepping up its self-driving car efforts.

The ride-hailing company has announced that is partnering with autonomous vehicle software company Nutonomy to roll out self-driving cars to passengers in Boston in the next several months.

“We see a future where car ownership is optional and where cities are designed around people instead of cars,” Lyft CEO Logan Green said during a conference call with reporters. “The way that we are going to get there is with autonomous vehicles.”

Self-driving cars are a hot topic in the auto and tech industries. Automakers from Toyota to Ford to Volvo all have projects in the works. And Silicon Valley giants, including Google, Apple, Intel and Tesla Motors, are betting on the tech.

Lyft’s top rival Uber also has an in-shop driverless car project underway. The program is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and has test pilots in California and Arizona. It’s been mired in scandals, however. Uber is facing a major lawsuit from Google over the alleged theft of self-driving car trade secrets, and it has received backlash from lawmakers regarding safety.

Lyft and Nutonomy, which was founded by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said their central focus with self-driving cars is safety. The two companies said they’re working with local regulators to ensure they have the necessary permits to drive city streets.

“We’re also both safety-first organizations,” Green said. “Our goal is make every ride safe, comfortable and reliable… Nutonomy has extensive safety testing around their entire system.”

Besides Nutonomy, Lyft has also entered partnerships with General Motors and Waymo, the self-driving car unit of Google’s parent company Alphabet. Green didn’t elaborate on what the GM and Waymo partnerships will entail, but he did say each partnership is “unique and different.”

Green also didn’t specify an exact date when people will see the Lyft Nutonomy cars cruising Boston’s streets. He said they’re slowly rolling the cars out, working on research and development, and customers should be able to catch rides within the next several months.

Nutonomy has been testing autonomous vehicles with public riders in Singapore since the summer of 2016. It’s using the Renault Zoe electric car for its self-driving system in Singapore — the same car that passengers will soon be able to catch a ride with in Boston.

“By combining forces with Lyft in the US, we’ll be positioned to build the best passenger experience for self-driving cars,” Karl lagnemma, CEO and co-founder of Nutonomy, said in a statement. “Both companies care immensely about solving urban transportation issues and the future of our cities.”

Dutch Group Readies Hyerloop Testing Facility

June 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

The Dutch team that won this year’s edition of the competition held by entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX to develop superfast hyperloop transport technology is putting a full-scale testing center in place for the technology.

A hyperloop is a shuttle that travels on magnetic rails, somewhat like a train, but which runs in a tube with little or no air. In theory, hyperloops could allow travel faster than the speed of sound.

“People were dreaming already of transporting humans and cargo (in hyperloops) from the 1860s, so the concept is not that new,” said Tim Houter, co-founder of Hardt Global Mobility, the company set up to commercialize the Dutch team’s technology.

“But when Elon Musk proposed it as a transportation system between San Francisco and Los Angeles it got a huge boost” in renewed interest.

Hardt grew out of the competition team from the Technical University of Delft (TU Delft), which beat teams from MIT and the Technical University of Munich to win the all-around design and construction award in January.

With the help of several investors, among them TU Delft, the Dutch national railway NS, and construction company BAM, Hardt has built a 30 meter tube and is preparing to fit it with rails and the shuttle it has designed.

“In this facility we will test all systems that don’t require high speeds,” said Houter ahead of the public opening of the test center.

“So think about the levitation system, but also the propulsion system, but really important, all the safety systems will be tested in this low-speed but full-scale testing facility.”

Hardt has 600,000 euros ($675,000) in funding for the initial rounds of testing, with plans to raise more to build a high-speed test line by 2019.

Then “we’re going to test all systems that you need to test before you can actually start building a route between two cities so: top speed, taking corners, switching lanes, making it as safe as possible,” he said.

Houter’s ambition is to break ground on a commercial hyperloop between Amsterdam and Paris by 2021.

Automakers Urge California To Relax Rules On Self-driving Cars

April 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Automotive manufacturers are urging the state of California to further ease its proposed regulations for autonomous vehicles, saying the state did not respond to their earlier objections by making enough revisions to its planned set of rules for self-driving cars.

At a public hearing in Sacramento monitored via webcast, automakers urged California to drop some additional proposed regulations and leave much of the oversight to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But safety and consumer advocates urged the state to adopt strict oversight, and an official from San Francisco said cities should have more local control.

A number of automakers have said they plan to begin deploying self-driving vehicles, some in commercial fleets, by 2020-2021.

Paul Scullion, a manager at the Association of Global Automakers, said California’s proposed regulations go “too far.”

The group opposes California’s plan to require a permit to deploy autonomous vehicles, which must meet performance and design criteria. “We do not think requiring a permit to deploy is the right approach,” Scullion said.

Global Automakers said it opposes California’s proposal that it could withdraw permits to deploy vehicles even if they met federal requirements.

Ron Medford, director of safety at Alphabet Inc’s self-driving unit Waymo, urged California to quickly issue final rules “to provide manufacturers with the certainty that they need.”

Brian Soublet, deputy director of the California Department of Motor Vehicles, said the agency will review written comments before unveiling final rules.

Andre Welch, a Ford Motor Co official, asked the state to lift the proposed prohibition on testing self-driving vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds, such as multi-passenger shuttles.

Existing California regulations require self-driving test vehicles to have conventional manual controls such as steering wheels and pedals, as well as a backup driver. California moved to change the rules as many states said they would allow testing of vehicles without conventional controls.

In March, California’s Department of Motor Vehicles revised proposed rules to allow testing by the end of the year of autonomous vehicles without human backup drivers.

After objections from automakers, the proposal was revised to drop requirements that local communities approve testing and that companies generate a year of testing data before being allowed to deploy vehicles on public roads.

Among those who called for strict oversight of self-driving cars were Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety. “We do not trust the auto manufacturers or the tech industry to protect the public in the absence of federal motors vehicle safety standards,” said the group’s president Rosemary Shahan.

The group Consumer Watchdog called for stricter state rules, noting that there were not yet any federal standards for self-driving cars. In written comments, the group said relying on federal standards would amount to a “meaningless house of cards.”

In February, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said she was reviewing self-driving vehicle guidance issued by the Obama administration. Those guidelines call on automakers to voluntarily submit details of self-driving vehicle systems to regulators in a 15-point “safety assessment.”

California has proposed requiring companies submit a copy of a voluntary assessment submitted to NHTSA. David Strickland, a lawyer representing a group of self-driving advocates including Google, Ford and Uber opposed California’s proposal, saying it effectively makes the assessment mandatory.

Tom Maguire, an official at San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, said in some cases the proposed rules “rely too heavily on manufacturers’ self certification of their safety technology.” The agency believes cities should have the authority to deny deployment and determine when and how testing occurs.

General Motors Co official Paul Hemmersbaugh said California should drop plans to include separate privacy rules for driverless cars. The company said California’s proposed liability rules could make automakers liable regardless of fault for any crash. He said that would be “unduly punitive” and could have a “chilling effect on testing and deployment of self-driving cars.”

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