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Tag Archives: transportation

Delta to start scanning faces at airport check-in

Delta will later this year roll out facial recognition at its terminal at Atlanta International Airport for anyone traveling on an international flight. The airline said the biometric facial scanning is optional — a move that will shave off a few minutes off each flight — but will help border and pre-flight security authorities before jetting out of the US. It’s the latest roll-out of facial recognition trials at Detroit Metropolitan and New York John F. Kennedy airports. What might be convenient to some, to others it’s a privacy violation — and some argue that without approval from Congress, it could be illegal . Facial recognition at airports is a controversial move, one that’s been decried over the past year since it first rolled out last year. Six major US airports completed trials as part of a wider rollout — aimed to be completed by today. CBP relies on airlines to collect facial recognition data, something Delta doesn’t shy away from. The airline said facial recognition “is a natural next step following CBP and Delta’s optional facial recognition boarding tests” at Atlanta. Customs and Border Protection has previously said that the move was to crack down on those who overstay their visas, but privacy advocates said that it steps on privacy rights. Delta said that travelers who don’t want their faces will be given several opportunities to opt-out, Delta spokesperson Kathryn Steele told TechCrunch, and can continue to “proceed normally” through security. CBP spokesperson Jennifer Gabris said that only US citizens can opt out, and will have their documents checked manually. Homeland Security, which oversees border security, struck a different tone when last year it said that  anyone who wanted to opt out of having their faces scanned should “refrain from traveling.” Biometric data collected by Delta is stored by the government for two weeks, but exit records on citizens and green card holders are held for 15 years, and 75 years for non-immigrant visitors. If that makes you uneasy, don’t expect the rollout to slow any time soon

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Amazon’s Echo Auto puts Alexa in any car

A growing number of cars have Alexa built-in, but what if yours doesn't? Amazon has its own solution: Echo Auto. The new peripheral uses your phone's cellular connection (through a Bluetooth link) to provide Alexa voice commands in vehicles where the...

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Lime is pissed at San Francisco for denying it an e-scooter permit, claims ‘unlawful bias’

Lime is waging a war against the San Francisco Municipal Transporation Agency (SFMTA), claiming that the organization acted with “unlawful bias” and “sought to punish Lime” when it chose not to award the e-scooter and dockless bike startup a permit to operate in San Francisco last month. Lime has sent an appeal to the SFMTA, requesting an “unbiased hearing officer” reevaluate its application to participate in the city’s 12-month pilot program for e-scooter providers. San Francisco’s permit process came as a result of Lime and its competitors, Bird and  Spin,  deploying their scooters without permission in the city this March. As part of a new city law, which went into effect in June, scooter startups are not able to operate in San Francisco without a permit. Lyft,  Skip, Spin, Lime, Scoot, ofo, Razor, CycleHop, USSCooter and Ridecell all applied for said permit in June; the  SFTMA only awarded permits to Scoot and Skip . Lime thinks the selection process was unfair and that because it deployed scooters in the city without asking permission — the Uber model of expansion — SFMTA intentionally rejected its application despite its qualifications. “The SFMTA ignored the fact that Scoot’s price is twice that of other applicants, including Lime, and that Scoot declined to offer any discounted cash payment option to low-income users, as required by law,” Lime wrote in a statement today. “SFMTA inexplicably avoided inclusion of these factors as evaluation criteria and instead deemed Scoot “satisfactory” because they ‘agreed to comply.'” When Lime learned of its rejection on Aug. 30, CEO Toby Sun said he was disappointed and planned to appeal the decision. San Franciscans deserve an equitable and transparent process when it comes to transportation and mobility. Instead, the SFMTA has selected inexperienced scooter operators that plan to learn on the job, at the expense of the public good …  The SFMTA’s handling of the dockless bike and scooter share programs has lacked transparency from the beginning.

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Lyft now integrates public transit info in app

Lyft has officially entered the public transit space with the launch of Nearby Transit , a feature currently available just in Santa Monica, Calif. This comes just a couple of days after Lyft deployed electric scooters in the city . Today, Lyft customers in Santa Monica will see the Nearby Transit option, which includes route information and schedules for the Big Blue Bus, LA Metro and Metrolink. The feature is in partnership with Trafi, a transit information platform. “Building on the launch of Lyft Scooters in Santa Monica this week, it’s another step toward providing effective, equitable, and sustainable transportation to our communities, and towards creating a more seamless and connected transportation network,” the company posted on its blog. Lyft has also brought on Lilly Shoup, formerly of NelsonNygaard Consulting, to serve as senior director of transportation policy. In that role, Shoup will oversee Lyft’s multi-modal transportation efforts as they pertain to equity, land use, autonomous vehicles and more. Uber announced its public transit ambitions back in April , but has yet to integrate those offerings into the app. Whenever Uber integrates public transit, the company will take it a step further than Lyft by enabling people to purchase tickets, not just check routes.

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The E-Tron: Audi Launches Its First Electric Car – Ubergizmo

Ubergizmo The E-Tron: Audi Launches Its First Electric Car Ubergizmo If the Audi E-Tron looks familiar, it might be because you've seen something like it on Ubergizmo back in 2016 when Audi was showing the E-Tron SUV as a concept, as it wowed tolaunch three electric cars by 2020. So farm Audi is making good on its ... and more »

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DOJ launches investigation into Tesla, Elon Musk’s tweets

Tesla’s stock is down 5 percent this morning after news emerged the U.S. Department of Justice had launched a criminal investigation into CEO Elon Musk’s Aug. 7 tweets about taking the company private. The criminal probe is in addition to the previously reported Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into the electric car company. “Last month, following Elon’s announcement that he was considering taking the company private, Tesla received a voluntary request for documents from the DOJ and has been cooperative in responding to it,” a Tesla spokesperson said in a statement provided to TechCrunch. “We have not received a subpoena, a request for testimony, or any other formal process. We respect the DOJ’s desire to get information about this and believe that the matter should be quickly resolved as they review the information they have received.” Bloomberg reports that the DOJ’s criminal inquiry is in the “early stages” “The Justice Department generally does not confirm, deny or otherwise comment on the existence or non-existence of an investigation,” a spokesperson for the DOJ told TechCrunch. Musk has since retracted those statements , or tweets rather, after speaking with shareholders and investigating the process, realizing the best path forward for the company was to remain public. Here’s an excerpt from his Tesla blog post at the time: “Given the feedback I’ve received, it’s apparent that most of Tesla’s existing shareholders believe we are better off as a public company. Additionally, a number of institutional shareholders have explained that they have internal compliance issues that limit how much they can invest in a private company. There is also no proven path for most retail investors to own shares if we were private. Although the majority of shareholders I spoke to said they would remain with Tesla if we went private, the sentiment, in a nutshell, was ‘please don’t do this.'” Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.

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