Sep 18, 2019

Feds spend $60 million for AV tests on public roads

A Ford Argo AI test vehicle being tested in downtown Detroit. Photo: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Transportation on Wednesday announced nearly $60 million in federal grants to 8 automated driving projects in 7 states.

Why it matters: The projects will help communities gather significant safety data that will be shared with the agency to help shape future regulations on self-driving cars.

"The Department is awarding $60 million in grant funding to test the safe integration of automated vehicles into America's transportation system while ensuring that legitimate concerns about safety, security, and privacy are addressed."
— Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao

The funding program attracted more than 70 applicants, including cities, states and local transit authorities, universities and research centers.

Of note:

  • 3 projects, in Texas, Iowa and Ohio, will focus on rural applications of automated driving.
  • Virginia Tech received two grants, totaling $15 million.

Read the list of recipients here.

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Updated 6 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Police officer in George Floyd killing charged with third-degree murder

A protester with a sign with George Floyd's last words. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer involved in the killing of George Floyd, was charged Friday with third-degree murder and manslaughter, according to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

The state of play: Freeman said that the delay in Chauvin's arrest, which came four days after Floyd's death on Monday, was due to the need to collect sufficient evidence — and that it was "by far the fastest" his office had charged a police officer. He added that he also anticipated charges against the other three officers involved in Floyd's arrest and death, but refused to elaborate.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

Updated 6 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 5,871,347 — Total deaths: 362,554 — Total recoveries — 2,463,332Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 1,731,035 — Total deaths: 102,201 — Total recoveries: 399,991 — Total tested: 15,646,041Map.
  3. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  4. Supreme Court: Senators Grassley, Leahy urge Supreme Court to continue live streams post-pandemic.
  5. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a vaccine.
  6. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.
  7. 🚀 Space: How to virtually watch SpaceX's first crewed launch Saturday.

Joe Biden says he spoke with George Floyd's family

Photo: JoeBiden.com via Getty Images

Joe Biden called on Americans to demand change when it comes to police brutality against African Americans, saying he'd spoken with George Floyd's family and that "none of us can stay silent. None of us can hear the words 'I can't breathe' and do nothing."

Why it matters: The livestream remarks by the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee had the look and sound of an address to the nation — and came right before President Trump was set to give remarks.