Breakfast links: The (hazardous?) future of cars
This car really could hit a pedestrian: The dreams of many a science fiction fan have been realized with the news that Google is piloting a driverless car. Google engineers claim this technology will reduce crashes, but the article noted the driver
had to disengaged the "autopilot" when a bike made a sudden turn ran a red light in front of their vehicle. Soon reporters could accurately write about cars hitting pedestrians. Update: As commenters have noted, the article also says that the car "seemed likely" to have avoided hitting the cyclist.
More driving distractions or a ban?: Car manufacturers plan new waves of hands-free devices and entertainment systems (like this one) that allow hands-free texting and more. Such features are designed to attract younger buyers, a demographic auto manufacturers are having a hard time reaching. But Secretary LaHood would like to see a total ban on many of these distractions, setting the stage for a big battle. (Bloomberg, Yahoo, Steve S)
Not enough money for transit: Alexandria is proposing higher density in the Beauregard corridor, but ongoing and future traffic problems in the corridor may kill it. The city planned to use taxes from new developments, but currently the projected amount of new tax revenues from higher density is not enough to pay for transit improvements. (Froggie's Blog)
DC spares federal bike funding: All states and DC had to return some transportation dollars to the federal government, and 28 states disproportionally cut ped and bike programs. DC and nine states cut none of these. (Bike League)
More highways not the only choice: WAMU's newly revised Metro Connection's transit segment presented a one sided argument for HOT lanes, saying they are a win for everyone because they have a choice to either sit in traffic or pay the toll. Except they aren't a win for everyone, because people may prefer to spend that highway money on transit. (WAMU, ErikD)
Drill, baby, drill: Gov. Bob McDonnell is continuing with his plans to open Virginia up to off-shore oil drilling, holding a meeting later this week with oil proponent T. Boone Pickens. Sierra Club director Glen Besa told the AP, "He says everything is on the table, but the bottom line is his actions show a commitment to fossil fuels." (WTOP)
An IBM planet?: IBM has a new SimCity-like game called CityOne. However, "solutions" for each problem in the game are either IBM solutions or "do nothing." (Dave M.)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
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- Amsterdam plays Spot the Christmas Streetcar