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Uber Approved to Restart Autonomous Vehicle Testing in California

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Uber received approval from California officials to restart testing the company’s self-driving vehicles.

According to BBC.com, Uber Technologies Inc. was issued a permit by the California Department of Motor Vehicles that will once again allow the company to conduct tests on its autonomous fleet of cars, as long as they have a backup driver.

The decision comes nearly two years after one of Uber’s self-driving vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona, putting the project on hold until further research could be done to avoid similar accidents.

Uber Advanced Technologies, the company’s self-driving unit, said it “does not have immediate plans to engage in autonomous driving in the state,” and officials would notify regulatory stakeholders when the plans were developed and released.

The death in Arizona caused by the autonomous vehicle has forced Uber to take a more conservative approach to self-driving vehicles, but California officials felt the company did enough to prove it deserved another chance.

In December, Uber revealed a safety report that indicated the company received 3,045 reports of sexual assault during rides in the United States in 2018.

The cases included 235 reported incidents of rape, an increase from 229 the previous year, while instances of attempted rape decreased from 307 reports in 2017 to 280 in 2018.

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Brightline Reports Substantial Ridership Growth to Begin 2020

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WHY IT RATES: The growing company’s Travel Agent Program provides 20 percent commission to registered travel agents.—Patrick Clarke, TravelPulse Senior Writer


Brightline has released ridership numbers for the month of January 2020, showing an increase of 56 percent compared to January 2019, and the third straight month of ridership growth compared to the same month the previous year.

Since November 2019, Brightline has exceeded the monthly 100,000 ridership milestone and January 2020 marked an all-time high. Brightline kicked off 2020 with record ridership and connected the South Florida megaregion with 30,000-plus passenger trips over Super Bowl Week alone.

To put this in perspective, it is equivalent to removing nearly 14,000 one-way car trips from our city’s streets and highways. This is a reduction in trips reduced over 600,000 vehicle traffic miles which otherwise would have consumed nearly 25,000 gallons of gas and emitted almost 500,000 pounds of CO2 into our air.

“Since Brightline opened its station in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach, our destination has enjoyed unparalleled accessibility—opening up more options for leisure and business travelers as well as residents throughout South Florida,” said Jorge Pesquera, president and CEO of Discover The Palm Beaches. “Recently, with Super Bowl LIV in our backyard, we also saw an influx of visitors from across the region who came to experience our Super Bowl Host Committee activities. We look forward to continuing the momentum during the MLB Spring Training season and the increasing number of conventions and meetings being held in The Palm Beaches throughout the year. The addition of Brightline’s forthcoming Boca Raton station also will reaffirm our southern gateway city’s status as a major corporate center, meetings and leisure destination.”

The weekend of February 14, Brightline connected the marine industry and boating aficionados alike to the Miami Yacht Show and Miami Boat Show, many traveling from points north of South Florida—parking in West Palm Beach to take the train.

Brightline’s Train-to-Port Package continues to gain popularity among guests and recently had a cruising couple book their third package in less than a year. The train’s Travel Agent Program provides a generous 20 percent commission to registered travel agents when booking reservations on Brightline.


SOURCE: Brightline press release.

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