NICB: MORE DRIVERS LOSING THEIR CARS BY LEAVING THEIR KEYS

Thefts with keys up 31 percent since 2013

DES PLAINES, Ill. – Last year, a vehicle was reported stolen once every 45 seconds in the United States.  And one out of every eight thefts was a freebie for the thief.  There was a theft every six and one-half minutes where the driver left the keys or FOB inside.

It’s a growing problem according to the latest report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).  The 57,096 thefts in 2015 amounted to a 22 percent increase over the previous year. Over the past three years, this kind of theft grew by 31 percent.

Since many people do not admit to leaving their car
Read the full article…

Sacramento could be among first to test fleet of self-driving vehicles

By Tony Bizjak – October 26, 2016

Self-driving robot cars will be coming soon to the streets of American cities. Exactly when is uncertain. But Sacramento city transportation officials are taking steps now to be ready when the revolution rolls in.

Sacramento will be among 16 select cites meeting next month to discuss ways to harness new technologies, including autonomous vehicles, as part of a new national study effort called the Smart Cities Collaborative.

“We definitely see the future of autonomous vehicles and want to wrap our arms around it and make sure it is safe and equitable for the city of Sacramento,” city planner Fedolia Harris said. “We want to
Read the full article…

Uber-owned driverless truck delivers 50,000 cans of beer

By Melanie Zanona – 10/25/16 02:07 PM EDT

A self-driving truck loaded with 50,000 cans of Budweiser beer has made its first delivery without a driver behind the wheel.

Uber teamed up with Anheuser-Busch InBev for the delivery, which the companies say is the first-ever commercial shipment made by a driverless truck, according to Bloomberg News.

The tractor-trailer drove 120 miles down a preprogrammed route on Colorado’s I-25 highway with a police vehicle traveling behind it. The truck’s human driver remained in the sleeper cab during the journey.

Uber acquired Otto, an autonomous trucking company, this summer as part of the ride-hailing firm’s aggressive push to expand its business.

Although self-driving trucking is still
Read the full article…

When your driverless car crashes, who will be responsible? The answer remains unclear

By Hope Reese – 9/7/16

In the era of self-driving cars, insurance will be radically transformed, shifting to cover the tech that powers the vehicles. But when a driverless car gets in a wreck, who’s at fault?

By 2021, major automakers—as well as tech companies like Google, Baidu, and Apple—are likely to unveil some form of autonomous driving capability. In Pittsburgh, Uber is now offering the public a chance to hail a ride in their self-driving fleet. And as we see more driverless cars on the road, the burden of driving will shift away from human drivers and onto the machine. The issue of liability is going to play an important role
Read the full article…

Aviation Experts Urge Caution on Releasing Self-Driving Cars

By DANIEL MICHAELS and ANDY PASZTOR
July 27, 2016 5:30 a.m. ET

Aviation-safety experts have advice for the car industry as it moves to autonomous-driving vehicles: Proceed slowly and make sure drivers realize the limits of the technology.

As airline pilots became increasingly reliant on automation over the years, the focus shifted to simplified cockpit displays and enhanced crew training.

Many high-end cars now offer sophisticated cruise-control and collision-avoidance systems that can maneuver in traffic and on highways without driver commands. From automatic braking to steering assist, manufacturers rely on them as marketing tools.

But several accidents involving Tesla Motors Inc. cars with such technology, including a fatal accident in Florida, have federal highway-safety regulators
Read the full article…

Coal Divestment and the California Insurance Industry

California voters in 1988 dramatically expanded the power of the state Department of Insurance and turned the insurance commissioner post into an elected position. It also gave the commissioner unprecedented authority to prescribe which specific factors private insurance companies may use in crafting rates. The department already had the duty to monitor domestic companies’ financial solvency, in line with government’s traditional role in insurance to make sure companies have the wherewithal to pay their claims. Without this oversight, consumers face the risk of paying premiums without getting promised benefits in return.

Current California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, a former Democratic Assemblyman who was first elected to the post in 2010, has
Read the full article…

Teamsters, Lyft Drivers Objecting to Class-Action Settlement

Five Lyft drivers and the Teamsters union will object to a proposed class action settlement, saying it would shortchange drivers by keeping them as independent contractors instead of employees, a union spokesman said on Tuesday.

Lyft and larger rival Uber face separate lawsuits brought on behalf of drivers who contend they are employees and entitled to reimbursement for expenses including gas and vehicle maintenance. The drivers currently pay those costs.

Employment status is a critical one for the so-called sharing economy technology companies. The Uber and Lyft cases have been closely followed because a determination that the workers are employees rather than contractors could affect the valuations of other startups that
Read the full article…

Contracts And Chaos: Inside Uber’s Customer Service Struggles

Uber’s customer support staff is the company’s first line of defense against driver and rider misconduct. But a BuzzFeed News investigation reveals that during Uber’s transition from a local customer support operation to a global one, these employees worked under conditions that sometimes made it difficult for them to do their jobs.

On the evening of May 19, 2015, Katherine accepted what was to be her last fare as an Uber driver.

A former customer support representative for the ride-hail company, Katherine — who asked to be identified by her middle name to protect her anonymity — hadn’t been driving for Uber for long. In March, her contract as a customer service
Read the full article…

At long last, the Anthony Rendon era officially begins

Environmentalist. Early childhood education advocate. Fan of daylight saving time. And now the 70th Speaker of the Assembly.

In just over three years at the Capitol, Anthony Rendon has ascended from head of a nonprofit to the top of political leadership in California. The Lakewood Democrat was selected last September as the next speaker and he will be sworn in Monday during Assembly session at 1 pm.

As the first speaker under new term limits that allow lawmakers to serve up to 12 years in either house, much attention has focused on how long Rendon could hold on to the position after a string of short-term leaders
Read the full article…

Allstate Rideshare Coverage Approved in California

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has approved a new rideshare insurance product from Allstate Insurance.

The Allstate coverage is for for people driving for transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.

Beginning in April, TNC drivers will have the option to purchase Allstate’s “Ride for Hire” endorsement for an estimated additional $15 to $20 annually for improved insurance coverage during Period 1, while the app is activated and the driver is looking for a new fare.

Transportation network company services generally fall into three periods: Period 1: the driver has the rideshare app open and is waiting for a match; period 2: A match has been accepted, but the passenger has not yet
Read the full article…