Feb 14, 2017

Self-driving car companies tell Congress what keeps them up at night

Paul Sancya / AP

Traditional carmakers and Silicon Valley startups told Congress on Tuesday why they're worried about policies that could limit the nascent market for self-driving cars:

  • They say regulations shouldn't tie them down to one type of technology. "We wouldn't want to see government taking steps specify specific technology or a specific solution," said Mike Ableson, a General Motors executive.
  • They want congressional action to be carefully calibrated. "We would not like Congress to engage in traditional rulemaking because that would stifle development," said Volvo's Anders Karrberg. Joseph Okpaku, of Lyft, warned of "even ... the most well intended law inadvertently precluding or restricting potential innovation to make this technology even safer."

Why it matters: The success self-driving car plays at Alphabet and Uber, not to mention Detroit's automakers, is intimately tied to policymakers' handling of the new technology. The Obama administration released the first-ever guidelines for autonomous cars last year.What's next: Companies developing self-driving cars may have concerns about certain type of federal action, but they still are supportive of moves that help them avoid a patchwork of state laws. Key lawmakers in both houses of Congress say they want to examine ways to encourage the development of self-driving technology.

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History's largest lockdown leaves Indian workers stranded, afraid

A migrant worker on the move with his child, in Gurugram, India. Photo: Parveen Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty

Few moments better capture the world into which we've slipped than the decision of one man to order 1.4 billion into lockdown.

Why it matters: India’s three-week lockdown is the largest ever attempted, and it sparked South Asia's greatest migration since partition in 1947. While the economic effects could be devastating, the public health crisis it's intended to fend off could be more destructive still.

Go deeperArrow25 mins ago - World

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 782,319 — Total deaths: 37,582 — Total recoveries: 164,565.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 161,807 — Total deaths: 2,953 — Total recoveries: 5,595.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30.
  4. State updates: Rural-state governors say testing is still inadequate, contradicting Trump — Virginia, Maryland and D.C. issue stay-at-home orders to residents, joining 28 other states.
  5. Business latest: Ford and General Electric aim to make 50,000 ventilators in 100 days.
  6. In photos: Navy hospital ship arrives in Manhattan.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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First U.S. service member dies from coronavirus

Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.

The Pentagon on Monday announced the death of a member of the New Jersey National Guard who tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: It's the first U.S. service member — active, reserve or Guard — to die from the virus, according to the Pentagon. The guardsman passed away on Saturday after being hospitalized for the novel coronavirus on March 21.