Along for the Ride: Weekly Newsletter on AVs and Urbanism - Issue #25

Welcome back friends! I imagine 2019 will be an exciting year across all aspects of urban mobility, but especially for autonomous vehicles.

Here’s to another year of tests, trials and getting one step closer to a mobile future which serves us all.

Government and Policy

Beijing’s Big Investment: Beijing plans to spend almost $15 billion USD by 2022 in an effort to accelerate autonomous vehicle production, including investments in urban infrastructure. (TechNode).

Canadian Court Critiques Uber: A court ruling in Ontario found Uber’s arbitration laws to be unlawful and “unconscionable". (WSJ).

UK’s Cyber Security: The British Standards Institute has released new “fundamental principles” for automotive cyber security. (bsi).


Permit Please: Zoox has received the first permit to test passenger vehicles in California. While over 60 companies have permits to test, Zoox will actually be allowed to transport locals - with a safety driver on hand at all times. (TechCrunch).

Rocky Start: I reported before the break that Waymo’s vehicles in Pheonix were being vandalised by locals, and it seems things have only gotten worse. NPR speaks with local news reporters about why they think people enjoy slashing tires, throwing rocks and more. (NPR).

Electric Energy: GM sold over 200,000 EVs in 2018 - demonstrating a small, but growing, trend towards alternative fuel. (Autoblog). GM’s cruise will also begin a partnership with DoorDash to deliver food to households. (Axios).

Research and Academia

Harvard’s Political Push: Harvard has recently launched two major efforts to aid the advancement of self-driving in Boston and across the US: the Autonomous Vehicle Policy Initiative at the Kennedy School and a new law class titled Autonomous Vehicles and Local Government Lab. (Harvard).

ChauffeurNet: A new paper out of Cornell in partnership with Waymo is titled Learning to Drive by Imitating the Best and Synthesizing the Worst. The goal of the paper is to “train a policy for autonomous driving via imitation learning that is robust enough to drive a real vehicle”.(Cornell University Library).


Elementary: How a high-school junior (Sully Chen) designed his own self-driving car - and how companies like Nvidia were inspired by his work. (Medium).

Have a beautiful weekend friends.


By Sarah Barnes

This weekly newsletter on cities, transportation and technology is curated weekly by Sarah Barnes, a transport nerd based in San Francisco, CA.

The newsletter encourages new conversations about advanced transportation technology, primarily autonomous vehicles, which focus on people, equity, design and the cities we want to (and need to) be building for the future.

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