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Tag Archives: traffic

Tesla is no longer working with NTSB in fatal Model X crash investigation

In light of Tesla going a bit rogue and disclosing details of the fatal crash that involved Autopilot, the National Transportation Safety Board is removing Tesla as a party in the investigation. “The NTSB took this action because Tesla violated the party agreement by releasing investigative information before it was vetted and confirmed by the NTSB,” the NTSB wrote in a press release today . “Such releases of incomplete information often lead to speculation and incorrect assumptions about the probable cause of a crash, which does a disservice to the investigative process and the traveling public.” This is not too surprising, given the NTSB said it was “unhappy” with Tesla following its March 30 disclosure that Autopilot was engaged during the crash. Losing party status means Tesla is no longer able to provide technical assistance to the NTSB. As the NTSB notes, having party status is a “privilege” that enables two-way information sharing. “It is unfortunate that Tesla, by its actions, did not abide by the party agreement,” said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt. “We decided to revoke Tesla’s party status and informed Mr. Musk in a phone call last evening and via letter today. While we understand the demand for information that parties face during an NTSB investigation, uncoordinated releases of incomplete information do not further transportation safety or serve the public interest.” The NTSB says it’s rare to revoke party status, but that it has happened before. While Tesla is no longer an official party, the NTSB says it expects Tesla to cooperate with any future data requests. While Tesla is no longer a party in this specific case, the company is still working with the NTSB in other investigations, like the one pertaining to a crash in Lake Forest, California and one in Culver City. On Wednesday, Tesla provided Bloomberg with a statement implying Tesla willingly withdrew from the party agreement. “Tesla withdrew from the party agreement with the NTSB because it requires that we not release information about Autopilot to the public, a requirement which we believe fundamentally affects public safety negatively,” the company said in a statement to Bloomberg

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Cloudflare launches Spectrum to protect the internet beyond the web

When it launched back in 2010, Cloudflare was all about speeding up websites and protecting them from hackers. Today, with the launch of Spectrum , it’s taking a major step to move beyond the web and into protecting — and potentially speeding up — other parts of the internet. While Cloudflare’s regular services work well for apps, APIs and websites, all of which tend to use regular web protocols, Spectrum is about all of the other traffic that moves across the internet. Or as the company puts it: Spectrum extends Cloudflare to 65,533 ports. To be clear, this is not a self-serve product like the majority of Cloudflare’s existing services. It’s also mostly about security, not performance (though somewhat incidentally, it does often speed up connections, too). This is very much a product for large enterprises that want to ensure their various services sit behind a secure connection. As Cloudflare co-founder and CEO Matthew Prince told me, the company started with protecting websites in part because it was going after small customers during its early days. And those customers were mostly setting up websites at the time. As the company’s customer base grew, those customers went from small websites to more advanced web applications and mobile apps.

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Cloudflare launches Spectrum to protect the internet beyond the web

When it launched back in 2010, Cloudflare was all about speeding up websites and protecting them from hackers. Today, with the launch of Spectrum , it’s taking a major step to move beyond the web and into protecting — and potentially speeding up — other parts of the internet. While Cloudflare’s regular services work well for apps, APIs and websites, all of which tend to use regular web protocols, Spectrum is about all of the other traffic that moves across the internet. Or as the company puts it: Spectrum extends Cloudflare to 65,533 ports. To be clear, this is not a self-serve product like the majority of Cloudflare’s existing services. It’s also mostly about security, not performance (though somewhat incidentally, it does often speed up connections, too). This is very much a product for large enterprises that want to ensure their various services sit behind a secure connection. As Cloudflare co-founder and CEO Matthew Prince told me, the company started with protecting websites in part because it was going after small customers during its early days. And those customers were mostly setting up websites at the time. As the company’s customer base grew, those customers went from small websites to more advanced web applications and mobile apps. Cloudflare is talking to the largest financial institutions and other major enterprise clients and they are starting to ask for services that go beyond just protecting their websites.

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Comma.ai raises $5 million

Transportation startup Comma.ai has raised $5 million, according to a new SEC filing. George Hotz, the founder of Comma.ai , started the company in an attempt to take on Tesla. Initially, Hotz was working on a self-driving car kit called Comma One. The Comma One was an add-on that would’ve enabled certain cars to have Tesla Autopilot-like driving assistance capabilities. But Hotz cancelled that project following a warning letter from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration pertaining regulatory compliance. Comma One is now only available as an open-source project. Last July, Hotz launched an $88 universal car interface called Panda. Panda plugs into your car’s OBD port to collect and record your driving data. At the time, Holtz described it to TC’s Sarah Buhr as a Fitbit for your car.

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Elon Musk just took charge of Model 3 production, saying it’s his ‘most critical’ job right now

You can probably argue over whether it’s a good or a bad sign, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed on Twitter today a report in The Information that he has taken over direct control of the division that’s producing Tesla’s Model 3 electric sedan after the company failed to meet the delivery goals it had set. Specifically, Tesla had intended to produce 500 Model 3 cars per day, or 2,500 per week, by the end of last month. But according to a company-wide email to employees that was sent today and obtained by Jalopnik , Musk said Tesla has been making closer to 2,000 of the cars per week. ( Musk estimated last July that Tesla would be making 20,000 of the cars per month by December.) In his email — fired off at 3 am. PDT — Musk added that if “ things go as planned today, we will comfortably exceed that number over a seven day period!” Musk may have been referring in part to the reorganization. But while The Information reported that Musk had seemingly “pushed aside the company’s senior vice president of engineering, Doug Field, who had been overseeing manufacturing in recent months,” Musk quickly took issue with that characterization of events. He complained on Twitter to Information reporter Amir Efrati, “Can’t believe you’re even writing about this. My job as CEO is to focus on what’s most critical, which is currently Model 3 production. Doug, who I regard as one of the world’s most talented engineering execs, is focused on vehicle engineering.” Musk continued , tweeting: “About a year ago, I asked Doug to manage both engineering & production. He agreed that Tesla needed engineering and production to be better aligned, so we don’t design cars that are crazy hard to build. Right now, tho, better to divide & conquer, so I’m back to sleeping at factory. Car biz is hell …” That Musk is feeling sensitive to press reports right now won’t come as a surprise to anyone who follows the company, given the string of negative publicity that Tesla has received in recent weeks. In addition to a voluntary recall of 123,000 Model S vehicles that owes to a problem with the power-steer component of some of the cars, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last week launched an investigation into the role of Tesla’s Autopilot in a fatal crash . In fact, in a series of separate tweets today, Musk responded to the National Transportation Safety Board, a safety agency that said it was “ unhappy ” with Tesla’s decision on Friday to publish a blog post about the accident, given that investigations are ongoing. In that post, Tesla said the driver, since identified as an Apple engineer, “had received several visual and one audible hands-on warning earlier in the drive and the driver’s hands were not detected on the wheel for six seconds prior to the collision.” The company also noted that a highway safety barrier that might have lessened the impact of the collision had been “crushed in a prior accident without being replaced.” The suggestion was plainly that Tesla can’t be blamed, at least not entirely, for the fatality

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The real threat to Facebook is the Kool-Aid turning sour

These kinds of leaks didn’t happen when I started reporting on Facebook eight years ago. It was a tight-knit cult convinced of its mission to connect everyone, but with the discipline of a military unit where everyone knew loose lips sink ships. Motivational posters with bold corporate slogans dotted its offices, rallying the troops. Employees were happy to be evangelists. But then came the fake news, News Feed addiction, violence on Facebook Live, cyberbullying, abusive ad targeting, election interference and, most recently, the Cambridge Analytica app data privacy scandals. All the while, Facebook either willfully believed the worst case scenarios could never come true, was naive to their existence or calculated the benefits and growth outweighed the risks. And when finally confronted, Facebook often dragged its feet before admitting the extent of the issues. Inside the social network’s offices, the bonds began to fray. An ethics problem metastisized into a morale problem. Slogans took on sinister second meanings. The Kool-Aid tasted different

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Bird adds a former Lyft VP of Government Relations as chief legal officer

Bird has made another key hire as it looks to spread its electric scooter rental business across the nation. The company has brought on former Lyft vice president of government relations, David Estrada, to be its chief legal officer. He’s going to take over the company’s compliance and government relations efforts just as Bird seems poised for a big, nationwide rollout following its huge $100 million raise. Estrada will be facing similar challenges to the ones he had to deal with at Lyft as he helped grow the nation’s second largest ride-hailing service. Bird has some unique hurdles to overcome — including pushback from local businesses that find the scooters to be more nuisance than last-mile transportation savior; local governments worried about both the traffic and safety risks that scooters may pose on streets and sidewalks; and competition from other services like LimeBike, which has rolled out a scooter service of its own. Estrada most recently served as the chief legal officer and head of public policy for the electric aircraft company, Kitty Hawk. He served as the CLO at Lyft from 2014 to 2015 and had also worked as the legal director for Google X, working with states on legislation around autonomous vehicles, Google Glass and drone delivery. David Estrada

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Government agencies react to Uber’s fatal self-driving car accident

Earlier today, news broke of a fatal crash involving one of Uber’s self-driving cars in Tempe, Arizona. In response, Uber halted its self-driving car programs where it currently operates, including in Pittsburgh, Toronto, San Francisco and Phoenix. Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell and others have since released statements about the crash. “The City of Tempe has been supportive of autonomous vehicle testing because of the innovation and promise the technology may offer in many areas, including transportation options for disabled residents and seniors,” Mayor Mitchell said in a statement. “All indications we have had in the past show that traffic laws are being obeyed by the companies testing here.” Here is my statement regarding the tragic event that occurred in Tempe overnight. pic.twitter.com/3ql1WAxKpA — Mayor Mark Mitchell (@AZMayorMitchell) March 19, 2018 Moving forward, the city of Tempe and its police department will look into the accident to try to figure out what happened, Mitchell said. In the meantime, Mitchell said he supports the step Uber has taken to temporarily suspend its self-driving tests. Over in California, where Uber has also suspended its self-driving car tests, the DMV says it “takes the safe operation of our autonomous vehicle permit holders very seriously,” a DMV spokesperson said in a statement to TechCrunch. “The California DMV has many requirements in place for testing permit holders and requires collision reports and annual disengagement reports,” the spokesperson said. “We are aware of the Uber crash in Arizona, but we have not been briefed on the details of the crash at this time.

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Government agencies react to Uber’s fatal self-driving car accident

Earlier today, news broke of a fatal crash involving one of Uber’s self-driving cars in Tempe, Arizona. In response, Uber halted its self-driving car programs where it currently operates, including in Pittsburgh, Toronto, San Francisco and Phoenix. Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell and others have since released statements about the crash. “The City of Tempe has been supportive of autonomous vehicle testing because of the innovation and promise the technology may offer in many areas, including transportation options for disabled residents and seniors,” Mayor Mitchell said in a statement. “All indications we have had in the past show that traffic laws are being obeyed by the companies testing here.” Here is my statement regarding the tragic event that occurred in Tempe overnight. pic.twitter.com/3ql1WAxKpA — Mayor Mark Mitchell (@AZMayorMitchell) March 19, 2018 Moving forward, the city of Tempe and its police department will look into the accident to try to figure out what happened, Mitchell said. In the meantime, Mitchell said he supports the step Uber has taken to temporarily suspend its self-driving tests. Over in California, where Uber has also suspended its self-driving car tests, the DMV says it “takes the safe operation of our autonomous vehicle permit holders very seriously,” a DMV spokesperson said in a statement to TechCrunch. “The California DMV has many requirements in place for testing permit holders and requires collision reports and annual disengagement reports,” the spokesperson said. “We are aware of the Uber crash in Arizona, but we have not been briefed on the details of the crash at this time.

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The world’s largest DDoS attack took GitHub offline for less than tens minutes

 In a growing sign of the increased sophistication of both cyber attacks and defenses, GitHub has revealed that it weathered the largest-known DDoS attack in history this week. DDoS — or distributed denial of service in full — is a cyber attack that aims to bring websites and web-based services down by bombarding them with so much traffic that their services and infrastructure… Read More

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The world’s largest DDoS attack took GitHub offline for less than ten minutes

 In a growing sign of the increased sophistication of both cyber attacks and defenses, GitHub has revealed that it weathered the largest-known DDoS attack in history this week. DDoS — or distributed denial of service in full — is a cyber attack that aims to bring websites and web-based services down by bombarding them with so much traffic that their services and infrastructure… Read More

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AI will create new jobs but skills must shift, say tech giants

 AI will create more jobs than it destroys was the not-so-subtle rebuttal from tech giants to growing concern over the impact of automation technologies on employment. Execs from Google, IBM and Salesforce were questioned about the wider societal implications of their technologies during a panel session here at Mobile World Congress.  Read More

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Pop star turned entrepreneur Starshell raises $1 million for her Birthday Girl World

 For the singer-songwriter Starshell, a one-time protege of Mary J. Blige, success comes in many guises — and the latest is startup entrepreneur. Her song “Birthday Girl“, resonated so strongly with fans, says the singer born LaNeah Menzies, that it became something of an anthem. And Menzies has turned that anthem into a business. Her site, Birthday Girl World, saw 208,740… Read More

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Sony Could Be Looking To Launch AI Taxi Hailing System – Ubergizmo

Ubergizmo Sony Could Be Looking To Launch AI Taxi Hailing System Ubergizmo When you think of ride-hailing systems, we're pretty sure that Sony doesn't come to mind, but apparently that's a perception the company wants to change. In a report from Nikkei (paywall; via Engadget), it seems that Sony could be looking to launch an ... and more »

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