Sep 7, 2017

Lyft to bring semi-autonomous cars to Bay Area within months

Lyft said it is working with self-driving startup Drive.ai to get semi-autonomous vehicles on the Bay Area streets by the end of the year, Recode reports. A driver will still be in the vehicle to take over in case human intervention is needed. Drive.ai is the fourth autonomous software company Lyft has signed a partnership with.

Why it matters: Lyft and rival Uber are in a race to deploy self-driving cars so that drivers are eventually not needed — therefore eliminating the need to split ride-hailing fares with the drivers. These are just tests at the moment, but show how quickly the companies are trying to perfect the technology. Lyft is also working with Waymo and nuTonomy which expects to put semi-autonomous cars on Boston streets by the end of the year.

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The downsides of remote work

Data: Reproduced from Prudential/Morning Consult "Pulse of the American Worker Survey"; Chart: Axios Visuals

The coronavirus pandemic has forced a large-scale experiment in working from home. It has gone well enough that many companies are expanding their remote work expectations for the foreseeable future, and remote employees want to continue to work that way.

Yes, but: The downsides of remote work — less casual interaction with colleagues, an over-reliance on Zoom, lack of in-person collaboration and longer hours — could over time diminish the short-term gains.

Hong Kong's economic future hangs in the balance

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As Beijing forces a sweeping national security law on Hong Kong, the once semi-autonomous city's status as one of Asia's largest financial hubs is at risk.

Why it matters: Political freedoms and strong rule of law helped make Hong Kong a thriving center for international banking and finance. But China's leaders may be betting that top firms in Hong Kong will trade some political freedoms for the economic prosperity Beijing can offer.

Why space is good politics for Trump

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's exuberance around today's scheduled SpaceX launch — including his decision to travel to Florida to watch — goes beyond a personal fascination with astronauts, rockets, and how to make money and wield power in the next frontier.

The bottom line: There's a presidential election in November, and the U.S. space program enjoys wide support across party lines. It's good politics for Trump, at least for now.