Lime’s electric scooters will be able to tell when you’re too drunk to ride


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Lime co-founder and executive chairman Brad Bao chatted with The Verge’s editor-in-chief Nilay Patel and senior transportation reporter Andrew J. Hawkins about what’s next for the e-scooter revolution in this week’s Vergecast interview. Bao discussed how scooter-sharing companies could better promote safety without compromising the convenience, as well as how his company is protecting its customers’ private data.

You can listen to the discussion in its entirety on The Vergecast right now. Below is a lightly edited excerpt from this interview regarding some of Bao’s ideas about how to keep drunk riders from using Lime’s scooters.

Andrew J. Hawkins: Is there an innovative way of looking at how you can promote safety in a way that you…

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Genesis made a miniature mint green electric car for the urban future


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Genesis is not a well-known brand in the US — only around 100 dealers feature the automaker’s cars on their lots — but the company is making it a habit to release its flashiest concepts at stateside auto shows. Last year, it was the Genesis Essentia, an all-electric coupe with a retro-futuristic glass bubble roof. This year it’s the Mint concept, an electric city car with (you guessed it) a minty fresh paint job.

It’s a “city car” meant to squeeze through the narrow alleys and dense traffic of packed urban centers. The two-seat, two-door vehicle has a shortened sedan-shaped body, but without a traditional trunk. In its place, there’s a “parcel shelf” designed for occasional use. Think a Smart Car with a slightly longer wheelbase.

The…

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Uber says it fixed its e-bikes with similar brake problems as Lyft, but some riders were still injured


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Rachelle Kuebler-Weber had only been riding the Jump pedal-assist electric bike for about 15 minutes when the front wheel locked up, sending her flying over the handlebars.

“It happened as soon as I hit the brakes,” Kuebler-Weber said. “I barely touched it. It was like the front tire hit a brick wall.” The fall broke her wrist, gave her a mild concussion, and left her left side completely bruised. She posted several photos of herself looking downcast in a cast and sling on Facebook.

Jump, which is owned by ride-hail giant Uber, has hundreds of pedal-assist electric bikes scattered across dozens of cities in the US and Europe. The red-painted bikes use the same brand of brakes — Japan’s Shimano — as rival Lyft, which operates bike-share…

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Waymo’s app is now in the Google Play Store — but don’t expect to hail a driverless car right away


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Waymo’s ride-hail app is now available in the Google Play Store for Android users, but don’t download it expecting to summon a self-driving car right away.

Waymo, the self-driving unit of Google parent Alphabet, officially launched its first commercial autonomous taxi service in the cities surrounding Phoenix late last year. But the app that riders use to summon one of Waymo’s self-driving minivans was only available via a private link in an emailed invitation. Now anyone can download the app and add their names to Waymo’s growing waitlist for riders — but depending where you live, you might be waiting a really long time.

Adding the app to Google Play would appear to be a precursor…

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Volkswagen unveils next electric SUV in its futuristic ID lineup


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Volkswagen unveiled a new electric car concept at the Shanghai Auto Show this week. The quixotically named ID Roomzz is an all-electric SUV with Level 4 autonomous capabilities that is destined for the Chinese market by 2021, the German automaker announced.

The ID Roomzz will come with an 82 kWh battery, providing a range of up to 450 km (279 miles) according to the European Union’s WLTP standard, or 475 km (295 miles) per the New European Driving Cycle as well as China’s range standards. The concept car can be recharged to 80 percent of its capacity in 30 minutes via a fast charging system with 150 kW, the automaker says.

“This SUV is a monolith, appearing to be seamlessly machined from one solid block,” Klaus Bischoff, chief designer…

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Lyft pulls thousands of e-bikes out of service in three US cities for braking malfunctions


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Lyft, which operates bike-share systems across the US, said it would temporarily pull its fleet of pedal-assist electric bikes in three US cities due to problems with the braking systems. The affected systems include Citi Bike in New York City, Ford GoBike in San Francisco, and Capital Bikeshare in Washington, DC.

Motivate, the bike share operator owned by Lyft, made the decision out of an “abundance of caution” after receiving “a small number of reports from riders who experienced stronger than expected braking force on the front wheel,” according to a blog post. E-bike riders have reported flipping over the front handlebars after a braking problem caused the front wheel to lock up, according to multiple reports. One rider told am New…

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California to allow testing of light-duty self-driving trucks


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California would allow for the testing of light-duty autonomous trucks on public roads under a proposed rule announced Friday. The state’s Department of Motor Vehicles announced the proposal today, which outlines a permitting process for companies wishing to deploy driverless trucks for testing.

The rule would only apply to autonomous vehicles weighing less than 10,001 pounds. That means only Class 1 and 2 trucks — which include minivans, pickup trucks, utility vans, and step vans — could receive permits for testing under the proposed rule. All vehicles in Class 3 through 8 — which include walk-in delivery trucks, semi trucks, buses, and heavy-duty construction vehicles — would not be allowed under this permitting system.

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Electric scooters may not be around for long


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Seemingly overnight, electric scooters went from being a fun — if niche — recreational gadget to suddenly appearing on every street corner in almost every city in the US. The unexpected success of shareable dockless e-scooter companies, as encapsulated by Bird and Lime, is undoubtedly one of the biggest tech crazes of the last year.

But there’s a dark side to scooter-sharing (and I’m not talking about the vandalism or the sidewalk clutter or even all those injured riders). The fundamental numbers don’t really add up because scooters don’t bring in enough money to cover their cost. Ride-sharing is wildly unsustainable, and if the business continues on its current path, it’s entirely possible that these scooters will end up in a mass…

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Uber kicks off its bid to become a public company


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Uber filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission to become a public company Thursday, in what is expected to be one of the biggest tech IPOs in history. The company is seeking a valuation of between $90 billion and $100 billion, influenced by the rocky start to rival Lyft’s initial public offering late last month. As such, Uber will sell around $10 billion worth of stock in its IPO.

The company said it lost $10 billion since 2016, underscoring the extremely precarious nature of Uber’s business model. The filing revealed Uber had 91 million users on its platforms at the end of 2018.

The company, which got its start as an app-based luxury car service in San Francisco in 2009, is now one of the most dominant transportation…

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Elon Musk ordered to work things out with the SEC over his tweets


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Elon Musk sat stoically in a Manhattan courtroom Thursday, hands clasped in front of him, as a federal judge weighed whether to hold him in contempt of court. The proximate cause was a tweet Musk sent in February that the Securities and Exchange Commission argues violated the terms of their settlement. And when the judge ultimately punted on the decision, ordering his lawyers and the SEC to work out their differences and come back in two weeks with a resolution, he seemed relieved.

“Take a breath,” said US District Court Judge Alison Nathan. “Come back with your reasonableness pants on.”

As he was leaving the courtroom, I asked Musk what he thought about the judge’s call to action. Nathan…

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Preliminary report into 737 Max crash clears pilots, suggests anti-stall tech to blame


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Officials investigating the deadly crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 have said this morning that the plane suffered from “repetitive uncommanded nose-down” prior to crashing, in an apparent reference to the Boeing aircraft’s controversial automated flight control system. Officials also said that the plane had not been damaged by a foreign object, and stressed that the plane’s pilots followed the correct procedures, but could not prevent the 737 Max 8 from crashing.

“The preliminary report clearly showed that the Ethiopian Airlines Pilots who were commanding Flight ET 302/10 March have followed the Boeing recommended and FAA approved emergency procedures to handle the most difficult emergency situation created on the airplane.”…

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Electric car battery with 600 miles of range? This startup claims to have done it


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Electric carmakers have long been clamoring for a battery breakthrough that will improve the range of their vehicles while also extending their lifespans. Innolith, a Swiss startup, says its new high-density lithium-ion batteries can do just that.

The company claims to have made the world’s first 1,000 Wh/kg rechargeable battery. (Watt-hours per kilogram is a unit of measurement commonly used to describe the density of energy in batteries.) By comparison, the batteries that Tesla uses in its Model 3 — the so-called 2170 cells — are an estimated 250 Wh/kg; the company plans to eventually push that to 330 Wh/kg. Meanwhile, the US Department of Energy is funding a program to create 500 Wh/kg battery cells. If Innolith’s claims turn out to…

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Uber sued for $10 million by woman who was sexually assaulted by her driver


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A resident of Washington, DC, is suing Uber for negligence and consumer protection violations, after she was sexually assaulted by one of the ride-hail company’s drivers. The victim, listed only as “Jane Doe” in court documents, claims Uber portrays itself as a safe mode of transportation for women, especially if they have been drinking, when in fact they are putting those women in harm’s way.

The victim was sexually assaulted by an Uber driver named Raul E. Rodriguez Vasquez on April 1st, 2018, according to court documents. She later told a social worker, who contacted the police. They collected DNA evidence linking Vasquez to the assault. He pleaded guilty to one count of sexual abuse and is currently in jail.

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Watch a self-driving car handle hairpin turns like a race car


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Self-driving cars are trained to be overly cautious, but there may be situations where they need to make high-speed maneuvers to avoid a collision. Can these vehicles, festooned with tens of thousands of dollars worth of high-tech sensors and programmed to drive at grandma-speeds, handle these split-second decisions like a human?

Engineers at Stanford University may have the answer. They created a neural network that can enable driverless cars to perform high-speed, low-friction maneuvers just as well as race car drivers. When they eventually arrive, driverless cars will need capabilities beyond those of humans, as 94 percent of crashes are attributable to human error. Researchers say this is an important step in improving autonomous…

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UPS will use drones to deliver medical supplies in North Carolina


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UPS is teaming up with autonomous delivery drone startup Matternet to experiment with using drones to deliver medical supplies, the companies announced on Tuesday. Starting today, the supplies will be delivered via Matternet’s M2 quadcopters to WakeMed hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The drone delivery program will be overseen by the Federal Aviation Administration and the North Carolina Department of Transportation. It will be small at first: Matternet’s drones can only carry payloads of up to five pounds over distances of up to 12.5 miles. Here’s how the companies describe the delivery program:

Throughout the WakeMed program, a medical professional will load a secure drone container with a medical sample or specimen – such as a…

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Uber’s Ride Pass subscription service is coming to 16 new cities


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Ride Pass, the subscription service that Uber introduced late last year, is coming to over a dozen new markets, the company announced Tuesday. The expansion of Ride Pass — an Amazon Prime-style subscription service that allows Uber customers to pay a monthly fee of $14.99 for discounted rates for all UberX, Uber Pool and Express Pool rides — will include electric bike and scooter trips.

Ride Pass will now be available to customers who live in the following cities and regions: New York City, New York; Dallas, Texas; San Diego, California; Seattle, Washington; San Antonio, Texas; Las Vegas, Nevada; Phoenix, Arizona; Orange County, California; Baltimore, Maryland; New Orleans, Louisiana; Nashville, Tennessee; Portland, Oregon;…

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Everything you need to know about the Boeing 737 Max airplane crashes


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<img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/CdDqsVhb_ugtA-3juoDIKK8zKdc=/0x0:3000x2000/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/63278630/1135669563.jpg.0.jpg" />

The crashes of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 have rocked the aviation industry, sparked numerous investigations, and resulted in the grounding of hundreds of Boeing 737 Max jets worldwide.

As this important story continues to unfold, The Verge will update this page with all the latest news and analysis. Our hope is to answer all your questions about these tragic events, as well as provide a real-time feed of news about the ensuing investigations.

Table of contents:

What happened?

Lion Air Flight 610 took off from…

<a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/22/18275736/boeing-737-max-plane-crashes-grounded-problems-info-details-explained-reasons">Continue reading&hellip;</a>

Boeing 737 Max airplane crashes: all of the news, updates, and analyses


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<img alt="" src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/4G2_dWZ-BQ_7ya7Z6m9yrGsbJW4=/0x0:1000x667/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/63276040/Aircraft_cockpit_1000_SS.0.jpg" />

Two deadly crashes, with investigators initially focusing on faulty anti-stall technology

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