Mar 20, 2018

Some self-driving car companies hit brakes on tests after fatality

A nuTonomy test vehicle in Boston. Photo: nuTonomy

Following the death Sunday of a pedestrian struck by an Uber self-driving car, some companies are halting their own autonomous vehicle testing, Among those who is halting testing is nuTonomy, which says it did so at the request of the city of Boston. Uber also halted its testing, as has Toyota, per Bloomberg.

Why it matters: The first death caused by a self-driving car was sure to shake up the industry, despite arguments that self-driving cars are significantly safer than humans behind the wheel.

From nuTonomy: “We are working with City of Boston officials to ensure that our automated vehicle pilots continue to adhere to high standards of safety. We have complied with the City of Boston's request to temporarily halt autonomous vehicle testing on public roads.”

Ford: "We have no plans to change our testing operations at this time," a spokesman told Axios.

Toyota: “Because we feel the incident may have an emotional effect on our test drivers, we have decided to temporarily pause our Chauffeur mode testing on public roads,” Toyota told Bloomberg in a statement.

But, but, but: GM has said there are no changes to its plan to roll out a commercial service in 2019.

Axios has contacted other companies and will update if we hear back.

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New Zealand flattens coronavirus curve after 2 weeks of lockdown

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gives a coronavirus media update at the New Zealand Parliament in Wellington. Photo: Mark Mitchell - Pool/Getty Images

AUCKLAND -- New Zealand has flattened the curve of novel coronavirus cases after two weeks of lockdown and the next phase is to "squash it," Professor Shaun Hendy, who heads a body advising the government on COVID-19, told Axios.

Why it matters: The country imposed 14 days ago some of the toughest restrictions in the world in response to the pandemic, despite confirming only 102 cases and no deaths at the time.

Go deeperArrow11 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 a.m. ET: 1,431,375 — Total deaths: 82,145 — Total recoveries: 301,543Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 a.m. ET: 399,886 — Total deaths: 12,910 — Total recoveries: 22,461Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Acting Navy secretary resigns over handling of virus-infected ship — Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill — Trump said he "didn't see" memos from his trade adviser Peter Navarro warning that the crisis could kill more than half a million Americans.
  4. States latest: California Gov. Gavin Newsom is confident that more than 200 million masks will be delivered to the state "at a monthly basis starting in the next few weeks."
  5. Business latest: America's food heroes in times of the coronavirus crisis. Even when the economy comes back to life, huge questions for airlines will remain.
  6. World updates: China reopens Wuhan after 10-week coronavirus lockdown.
  7. 2020 latest: Polls for Wisconsin's primary elections closed at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, but results won't be released until April 13. Thousands of residents cast ballots in person.
  8. 1 Olympics thing: About 6,500 athletes who qualified for the Tokyo Games will keep their spots in 2021.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Tariff worries hit record high amid coronavirus outbreak

Data: CivicScience, margin of error ±1 percentage points; Chart: Axios Visuals

Concern about President Trump's tariffs on U.S imports grew to record high levels among Americans last month, particularly as more lost their jobs and concern about the novel coronavirus increased.

Driving the news: About seven in 10 people said they were at least somewhat concerned about tariffs in March, according to the latest survey from CivicScience provided first to Axios.