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DOT Issues $3 Million for State, Local Safety Tools

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The U.S. Department of Transportation recently issued $3.3 million to state, local and tribal government groups to support tools that are meant to improve roadway safety.

The cooperative funding agreements, announced June 10, were established through DOT’s Safety Data Initiative, which is intended to help communities create policies to reduce roadway fatalities. In particular, the initiative aims to incorporate data visualizations and analytics to offer insight into transportation safety risks.

“This $3.3 million in federal funding will help these communities implement innovative ways to improve roadway safety,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said.

The city of New Orleans will receive about $402,000 to expand DOT’s Pedestrian Fatality Risk Map to include risks associated with biking in the area. The purpose is to help city officials make decisions around certain small areas and corridors to reduce serious injuries and fatalities to vulnerable road users. According to the City of New Orleans Department of Public Works, Orleans Parish contains more than 100 miles of on- and off-street bike trails.

The Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation Department of Natural Resources will receive $430,000 to expand a roadway safety analysis tool, as well as develop a roadway safety data visualization platform. The Yakama Nation is based in south-central Washington.

Some $453,000 will be issued to the Connecticut Department of Transportation for a tool that will integrate crash and roadway information with data on citations, toxicology and injuries. For the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, more than $429,000 will be directed to expand a crash data portal, which is designed to help “transportation practitioners” identify higher risk roadways and risk factors. These data points are meant to help target roadway safety improvements and develop a publicly available analytics tool.

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration will receive $358,000 to develop a data analytics and visualization dashboard that uses mobile device location data and electric scooter trip data from the city of Baltimore. The purpose is to better understand pedestrian, bicycle and electric scooter travel volumes and associated risk exposure.

About $294,000 will go to MetroPlan Orlando to build on the University of Central Florida’s safety data visualization tool, which uses traffic conditions to estimate the likelihood of a crash at certain locations. MetroPlan Orlando is a metropolitan planning organization representing central Florida. The University of Central Florida’s tool previously won DOT’s Solving for Safety Visualization Challenge.

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“[The tool can] help system operators target monitoring of video feeds to identify crashes, deploy first responders and clear crash scenes more quickly, reducing the probability of secondary crashes occurring at those locations,” DOT’s notice states.

The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County, an MPO representing Reno, Nevada, will receive $298,000 to automatically extract road geometric features from mobile lidar data collected on area roadways. It will use artificial intelligence to create a dataset that will be incorporated into software for roadway safety analysis.

Some $384,000 will be issued to the North Carolina Department of Transportation for a tool that will help analyze existing videolog data to identify roadside hazards, such as trees and steep slopes, on all rural roads. This tool is meant to help identify roadway segments that are in need of infrastructure improvements.

Similarly, the Virginia Department of Transportation will receive $232,000 to develop a tool to identify locations with higher levels of risk that could benefit from safety countermeasures.

DOT’s notice of funding opportunity for the Safety Data Initiative came out in November. In response to the funding opportunity, DOT received 40 eligible project proposals totaling nearly $15 million.

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Source: https://www.ttnews.com/articles/dot-issues-3-million-state-local-safety-tools

Automotive

Geico admits fraudsters stole customer driver’s license numbers for months

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Geico, the second-largest auto insurer in the U.S., has fixed a security bug that let fraudsters steal customer driver’s license numbers from its website.

In a data breach notice filed with the California attorney general’s office, Geico said information gathered from other sources was used to “obtain unauthorized access to your driver’s license number through the online sales system on our website.”

The insurance giant did not say how many customers were affected by the breach but said the fraudsters accessed customer driver’s license numbers between January 21 and March 1. Companies are required to alert the state’s attorney general’s office when more than 500 state residents are affected by a security incident.

Geico said it had “reason to believe that this information could be used to fraudulently apply for unemployment benefits in your name.”

Many financially-driven criminals target government agencies using stolen identities or data. But many U.S. states require a government ID — like a driver’s license — to file for unemployment benefits. To get a driver’s license number, fraudsters take public or previously breached data and exploit weaknesses in auto insurance websites to obtain a customer’s driver’s license number. That allows the fraudsters to obtain unemployment benefits in another person’s name.

Earlier this year, San Francisco-based insurance startup Metromile admitted a bug on its website was used to obtain driver’s license numbers for six months before the bug was fixed in January.

If you’ve received correspondence from your state government and haven’t filed for unemployment benefits, there’s a good chance your personal data may have been used fraudulently.

Geico spokesperson Christine Tasher did not return multiple requests for comment.

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/04/19/geico-driver-license-numbers-scraped/

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No one behind the wheel in deadly Tesla crash Saturday night, say authorities

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The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is opening an investigation into a crash involving a Tesla that authorities say was operating with no one behind the wheel, which left two men dead on late Saturday evening outside of Houston.

The 2019 Tesla Model S went off the road after it failed to negotiate a slight curve, local CBS-affiliate KHOU-TV reported. Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman told local reporters that the accident was unprecedented.

“Our office has never experienced a crash scene like this,” he said. “Normally, when the fire dept arrives, they have a vehicle fire under control in minutes, but this went on for close to four hours.” The long burn time was reportedly due to the electric vehicle batteries repeatedly reigniting.

More than 30,000 gallons of water were used to put out the fire. One of the victims was in the front passenger seat and the other was in the backseat, “and at the time of the accident there was no one in the [driver’s] seat,” Herman said.

Earlier on the day of the crash, Tesla CEO Elon Musk retweeted news that the company released its first-quarter 2021 safety report. “Tesla with Autopilot engaged now approaching 10 times lower chance of accident than average vehicle,” he said. Tesla describes its Autopilot as a “suite of driver assistance features” and states that it requires “active driver supervision.”

“NHTSA is aware of the tragic crash involving a Tesla vehicle outside of Houston, Texas,” an spokesperson told TechCrunch. “NHTSA has immediately launched a Special Crash Investigation team to investigate the crash. We are actively engaged with local law enforcement and Tesla to learn more about the details of the crash and will take appropriate steps when we have more information.”

TechCrunch reached out to Tesla for comment and will update the story if the company responds.

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/04/19/no-one-behind-the-wheel-in-deadly-tesla-crash-saturday-night-say-authorities/

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AutoX partners with Arbe to bring ultra-high resolution radars to its autonomous vehicle fleet

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Tel Aviv-based ultra-high resolution radar startup Arbe Robotics has a new customer: Chinese autonomous driving company AutoX, which has procured 400,000 Arbe-based radar systems to go in its Level 4 fleet.

The companies said in a statement that Arbe’s platform addresses “core issues” that have been the source of recent AV motor accidents, such as correctly identifying vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians, detecting stationary objects, and removing false alarms caused by ambiguities in the radar image.

It does so using proprietary 2K-resolution, 30 frames per second imaging technology, that the company says is 100 times more detailed than any other radar currently on the market.

Arbe already has partnerships with five tier one automotive supplier customers, and with chipmaker NVIDIA, CEO Kobi Marenko said in a recent webcast. He further added that the company has two additional purchase orders from an unnamed delivery robot company and from “one of the largest car companies in the world.”

AutoX, whose backers include Alibaba, Shanghai Motors and MediaTek, has been at the forefront of AV deployment in China. It was the first company in China to test AVs on public roads without safety drivers, in Shenzhen, one of the country’s largest cities and the location of the company’s headquarters. And it launched a self-driving taxi service, RoboTaxi, in Shanghai.

AutoX was also awarded a permit in California to start driverless testing without a human safety driver, the third company after Waymo and Nuro to have landed such a permit.

The partnership was announced just weeks after Tel Aviv-based Arbe said it would go public via a merger with special purpose acquisition company Industrial Tech Acquisitions, at an equity valuation of $722 million. The move was supported by a $100 million PIPE )private investment in public equity) from investors that include M&G Investment Management, Varana Capital, Texas Ventures and Eyal Waldman.

Marenko estimated during the webcast that Arbe’s revenue will only be $7 million in 2021, so investors are clearly bullish on the company’s technology. To that point, Marenko said he expects to exceed $300 million in revenue in 2025 — a 4,185% increase in just four years.

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/04/19/autox-partners-with-arbe-to-bring-ultra-high-resolution-radars-to-its-autonomous-vehicle-fleet/

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Automotive

AutoX partners with Arbe to bring ultra-high resolution radars to its autonomous vehicle fleet

Avatar

Published

on

Tel Aviv-based ultra-high resolution radar startup Arbe Robotics has a new customer: Chinese autonomous driving company AutoX, which has procured 400,000 Arbe-based radar systems to go in its Level 4 fleet.

The companies said in a statement that Arbe’s platform addresses “core issues” that have been the source of recent AV motor accidents, such as correctly identifying vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians, detecting stationary objects, and removing false alarms caused by ambiguities in the radar image.

It does so using proprietary 2K-resolution, 30 frames per second imaging technology, that the company says is 100 times more detailed than any other radar currently on the market.

Arbe already has partnerships with five tier one automotive supplier customers, and with chipmaker NVIDIA, CEO Kobi Marenko said in a recent webcast. He further added that the company has two additional purchase orders from an unnamed delivery robot company and from “one of the largest car companies in the world.”

AutoX, whose backers include Alibaba, Shanghai Motors and MediaTek, has been at the forefront of AV deployment in China. It was the first company in China to test AVs on public roads without safety drivers, in Shenzhen, one of the country’s largest cities and the location of the company’s headquarters. And it launched a self-driving taxi service, RoboTaxi, in Shanghai.

AutoX was also awarded a permit in California to start driverless testing without a human safety driver, the third company after Waymo and Nuro to have landed such a permit.

The partnership was announced just weeks after Tel Aviv-based Arbe said it would go public via a merger with special purpose acquisition company Industrial Tech Acquisitions, at an equity valuation of $722 million. The move was supported by a $100 million PIPE )private investment in public equity) from investors that include M&G Investment Management, Varana Capital, Texas Ventures and Eyal Waldman.

Marenko estimated during the webcast that Arbe’s revenue will only be $7 million in 2021, so investors are clearly bullish on the company’s technology. To that point, Marenko said he expects to exceed $300 million in revenue in 2025 — a 4,185% increase in just four years.

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/04/19/autox-partners-with-arbe-to-bring-ultra-high-resolution-radars-to-its-autonomous-vehicle-fleet/

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