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Photo: Chuck Kennedy / Axios

Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto said safety has to be a key component of new technological advances as they transform U.S. cities.

Why it matters: Citizens' safety is a primary concern as technology marches toward replacing humans in a number of different functions in our cities, such as driving. New attention has been drawn to this this issue by this week's fatal crash involving an autonomous vehicle in Arizona.

When it come to new technologies such as self-driving cars and drones, "We want to embrace it but we also want to put guardrails in place," she said at an Axios event on smart cities Thursday morning. "We build that at the same time we build the infrastructure for this technology."

  • On drones: She is also spearheading the Safe Drones Act in Congress, and Nevada is a drone testing ground. Testing, she said, is key to ensuring drones are developed in a controlled environment so safety protections can be built into that process.
  • Workers matter: Cortez Masto, a former attorney general of Nevada, said workers have to be part of the equation of next-generation cities. Enhanced productivity is one of the major promises of new connected technologies, but they must have access to essential tools, such as broadband, and opportunities to receive the right training.

Go deeper

42 mins ago - Health

U.S. ahead of pace on vaccines

A health care worker administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine in Ruleville, Mississippi. Photo: Rory Doyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. is now vaccinating an average of 2 million people a day, up from 1.3 million in early February.

Why it matters: That puts us on track to hit President Biden's goal of 100 million doses a month ahead of schedule.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Harris breaks tie as Senate proceeds with lengthy debate on COVID relief bill

Photo: Oliver Contreras/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate on Thursday voted 51-50 — with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie — to proceed to debate on President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package, likely setting up a final vote this weekend.

The state of play: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is forcing the Senate clerk to read the entire 628-page bill on the floor, a procedural move that will likely add 10 hours to the 20 hours already allotted for debate.

3 hours ago - World

Netanyahu campaigns against Biden's plan to save Iran deal

Netanyahu campaigns at a gym last month. Photo: Pool/AFP via Getty

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indirectly criticized the Biden administration for its intention to return to the Iran nuclear deal and told his supporters he was prepared to "stand against the entire world" to stop it.

Why it matters: This is a major change of tune for Netanyahu, who had been careful in his statements on the Iran deal and avoided publicly criticizing President Biden. The statement was part of Netanyahu's attempt to rally his base ahead of Israel's election on March 23.