To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Proposed rules for self-driving cars drafted by California regulators
The Department of Motor Vehicles' proposed regulations govern
testing procedures that automakers would use to develop the cars as
early as a year from now.
SACRAMENTO — California regulators are speeding ahead with new rules
of the road for testing and eventually operating self-driving cars —
autos that can function without someone actively at the controls.
Manufacturers hope these cars may be available by 2020.
The Department of Motor
Vehicles last week announced it has drafted proposed rules for so-called
autonomous cars. The regulations, when final in the spring, would
govern testing procedures that manufacturers would use to develop the
cars as early as a year from now.
"They're right on track," said state Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima),
the author of a 2012 law that began the process for making such cars
legal. California is the furthest along of three states — the other two
are Nevada and Florida — working on regulations. The California
requirements deal with insurance, reporting of road-test results, safety
and other issues.
The idea of self-driving
"conjures up images of Buck Rogers and futuristic things," said Bernard
Soriano, a DMV official in charge of the program. "But, it's not far
off. When we meet with the manufacturers, we realize that technology is
not the limiting factor."
Manufacturers want to test in California, he said. "We're a big state
with a wide variety of terrain ... a lot of people, a lot of roads and a
lot of situations that cars will have to encounter."
Greenhouse gas progress
The Golden State is gaining ground in the battle to cut greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbondioxide, that contribute to global warming.
That's the takeaway from a hearing held last week at UCLA by the
state Senate's Select Committee on Climate Change and AB 32, the
landmark 2006 law that requires a 17% drop in greenhouse gas pollution
California is more than halfway toward meeting the goal, but there is much to do, said the law's author, Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills).
"It's going to require a concerted effort by the public and private
sectors," she said. "And the focus should be not just on emission
reductions but the adaption of people to a warmer climate." Jobless angst
For many of California's jobless trying to get overdue unemployment
benefits as the holidays approach, the nightmare at the Employment
Development Department goes on.
Just ask laid-off aerospace welder Robert Rowe, 56. He griped that
phone calls and emails to the agency have gone unanswered and benefits
have come weeks late. "It's insane," he said. "You feel like a dog
chasing your tail."
The EDD for months has been plagued with a glitchy computer upgrade
that delayed payments to about 150,000 claimants. The backup has been
largely fixed, the EDD contends.
Frustrated by the bureaucracy, Rowe wrote the Los Angeles Times to say, "I am desperate." Last week, a Times reporter passed the complaint to an official of Gov. Jerry Brown's administration.
That same day, the EDD called Rowe, telling him his money was in the
mail. The quick response, said an EDD official, was "coincidental."