Transportation

Uber confirms CMU partnership with eye on autonomous tech

Uber confirms CMU partnership with eye on autonomous tech

Uber has confirmed the rumor that surfaced earlier today, revealing that it has indeed struck a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University. Under this, the ridesharing service will create its new Uber Advanced Technologies Center near the uni's campus where CMU's researchers and others will aid in the R&D of autonomous tech, among other things. Uber is being relatively quiet about what exactly it plans to do there, but the future of hailing a self-driving taxi just got a little more real.

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Storm eBike electrifies the fat wheel: Hands-on [Updated]

Storm eBike electrifies the fat wheel: Hands-on [Updated]

Luckily for Storm Sondors he has an amazing name, and thus so does the Storm eBike he created as an electric bike for the everyman. Launched on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo this weekend, the urban transport option certainly isn't the first battery-powered bike we've seen, but at $499 it's one of the most affordable. According to Sondors, however, being easy on the wallet as well as the thighs isn't all that the Storm eBike is about, so I snapped on my bicycle clips to take a ride and find out more.

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Uber’s internal privacy audit finds favorable practices

Uber’s internal privacy audit finds favorable practices

Remember that internal review of Uber's privacy practices the company announced back in November? It came at a time when the company was being slammed with negative press over comments made by Emil Michael, among other things, and aimed to help either point out areas that need improvement or put consumers' fears to rest. Fast forward about two months, and that review has reached completion and the results are favorable, with the outside firm that conducted the review -- Hogan Lovells -- finding the company's Privacy Program to be "strong".

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Uber suspended a dozen drivers for getting proper registration

Uber suspended a dozen drivers for getting proper registration

Uber has again pulled a business move that has garnered controversy, this time by suspending drivers who elected to follow state law rather than company demands. In California, individuals who drive for hire are required to register their cars as commercial vehicles rather than personal ones. Some drivers complied with that requirement, but were give the boot by Uber, which told the drivers they must switch over to personal registration to get their driving privileges back. At least 12 drivers were suspended.

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Onewheel skateboard takes boardsport to the next level

Onewheel skateboard takes boardsport to the next level

Skateboards are becoming increasingly archaic with the introduction of powered and uniquely designed alternatives like the Hovertrax we recently detailed, as well as the Onewheel board. The Onewheel, as its name suggests, features a single wheel that is operated with an integrated motor and battery, allowing riders to travel at speeds up to 12MPH for several miles between charges. Thanks to this motor and the use of a very big rubber wheel, the Onewheel is also able to go places an ordinary skateboard can't: off-road.

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Elon Musk to build Hyperloop test track, mulls annual race

Elon Musk to build Hyperloop test track, mulls annual race

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk really wants to revolutionize the way we travel, or at least make us dream of the future. While the Hyperloop team itself has said that it it's going to take at least 10 years to make that particular dream a reality, it's not going to stop Musk from getting things rolling, almost literally. He has taken to his Twitter account to share with the public his plans to move the Hyperloop forward, starting with a test track for companies and students, as well as some annual competition to stir up the creative juices.

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Hovertrax is like a miniature Segway and skateboard combo

Hovertrax is like a miniature Segway and skateboard combo

Walking is overrated, at least some of the time. Skateboards are the de facto way to breeze from place to place in a compact way, but maybe you find them to be a bit too much work. To fill that gap is the Hovertrax, a sort of compact Segway small enough to carry and powerful enough to tote someone from room to room. Though it somewhat resembles a skateboard, the Hovertrax features two large wheels on either end, and rolls from side to side rather than front-to-back.

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Uber now sharing ‘God View’ info with city of Boston

Uber now sharing ‘God View’ info with city of Boston

Uber is planning to put their ‘God View’ to good use. In Boston, the company is planning on sharing info they gain on our rides using God View with the city. The goal is to help ease congestion and allow the city to better understand how citizens travel. Boston officials would also get info on time spent in Uber cars, as well as dates and times of travel. The information would be presented anonymously, and represents the first time Uber has shared such data.

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Gogoro Smartscooter is Tesla for the everyman

Gogoro Smartscooter is Tesla for the everyman

Last we heard of Gogoro, the mysterious startup was promising a new age of batteries for mobility in smart cities, and clutching a sheaf of patents to that effect: now, we know what it’s been working on. The Gogoro Smartscooter and its companion Gogoro Energy Network - essentially a city-wide infrastructure of charging stations for easily-swapped battery packs, offering up to 60 miles range - has been fully announced at CES 2015 today, but I caught up with the company ahead of time to find out why the founders think this is far, far broader than just urban transport.

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Uber’s $1 ‘Safe Rides Fee’ prompts class action lawsuit

Uber’s $1 ‘Safe Rides Fee’ prompts class action lawsuit

It's not easy being Uber these days. First they're fighting for the legality of their ride-sharing service in a number of cities, then the safety of their drivers and background checks come into question, followed by their CEO facing charges in other countries. And now another blow to their image, this time in the form of a class action lawsuit from two Uber passengers in San Francisco over the company's $1 "Safe Rides Fee." They argue that it's an unfair additional charge and shouldn't have to pay it.

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Uber pledges additional passenger safety measures in India

Uber pledges additional passenger safety measures in India

Earlier this month, ride-hailing service Uber was shut down by authorities in New Delhi, India after a female passenger was sexually assaulted by her driver. Now the company is making new promises to enact better passenger safety measures with the hope of being able to return to service in the city. Uber's fate in Delhi is to be discussed by the city's Transportation Department on December 29th, but the ride service needs to not only convince skeptics in the government, but angry customers as well.

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UberT adds $2 charge for hailing taxis

UberT adds $2 charge for hailing taxis

Uber has upset some of its New York customers by introducing a $2 fee to its UberT, a service in New York City that allows travelers to hail a taxi or boro-taxi using its platform. The service itself is a mixture between Uber and traditional taxi usage, making it easier to get a taxi, for example, but less convenient without the payment option regular UberX users enjoy. The new $2 charge is said to be a "booking fee", and it goes directly to Uber.

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