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Uber halts self-driving tests: You might have heard the news yesterday about a woman in Tempe, Ariz. who died after being hit by a self-driving Uber outside of a crosswalk. It’s left a lot of people wondering about the future of self-driving cars. After the incident, Uber pulled its self-driving cars from Tempe, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto.
Last month, GeekWire’s Taylor Soper and John Cook got to ride in a self-driving Uber as part of our GeekWire HQ2 initiative in Pittsburgh. They had a scary moment during their Uber ride when the car hit a pothole — even robots get confused sometimes. As the Tempe incident shows, mistakes made by self-driving cars can have really serious consequences.
Google-owned Waze launches Carpool service: Back here in Seattle, can technology help solve the traffic crunch? The navigation app Waze just launched its carpool service in Seattle and across Washington state.
It’s kind of like UberPool and Lyft Line. But driving for Waze carpool isn’t supposed to be a “job” like driving for Uber would be. It’s just a way for users find other people to carpool with to save time and money.
A ride from downtown Seattle to downtown Tacoma on Monday morning runs around $7 on Waze Carpool. The same trip would cost more than $50 on Uber Pool.
Waze pays drivers 54 cents per mile — that’s the maximum IRS mileage reimbursement rate to avoid commercial tax and insurance requirements while keeping costs low for riders.
Buff Bezos walks robot dog: Lastly, Jeff Bezos showed up with a four-legged friend to the MARS conference, Amazon’s invitation-only event on machine learning, automation, robotics and space exploration.
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) March 19, 2018
His new dog is a SpotMini from the company Boston Dynamics. The robot resembles a dog in its movements and design — it has four legs but has a mechanical arm where its head would be.
The invitation-only conference also had a ping-pong-playing robot, indoor drones, and an inspirational talk from Michael J Fox.