Olli, created by Arizona-based Local Motors, officially hit the streets of the nation's capital Thursday. Using an app similar to Uber or Lyft, ride-seekers can order the bus to pick them up and drop them off at their destinations of choice. Olli is electric-powered and 3D-printed, reducing the vehicles footprint before and after it hits the road, Local Motors wrote in a release. The bus can even talk to riders. "Olli offers a smart, safe and sustainable transportation solution that is long overdue," John B. Rogers Jr., Local Motors CEO and co-founder, said.
A bevy of robocar-oriented companies has founded a lobby--a move than provides the single clearest sign that the industry is maturing. The lobby's chief, David Strickland, would like all regulatory decisions to be coordinated by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). Strickland sure knows what to do: he's a former administrator of NHTSA--and yet another example of Washington's revolving door. The lobby is called the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, and it includes Google, Ford, Volvo, Uber and Lyft. It looks as if Google is the prime mover here.
Amtrak says two of its trains that travel between Pittsburg and Washington are being affected by the CSX derailment over the weekend. Amtrak said in a statement Monday that its Capitol Limited train, which runs daily between Washington and Chicago, won't run between Pittsburgh and the District of Columbia. Amtrak will be bussing passengers to and from Pittsburg to complete their journeys. On a normal day, Amtrak has one Capitol Limited train that runs from Washington to Chicago and another that runs from Chicago to Washington. Amtrak's train 29 leaves Washington around 4 p.m. for Chicago and its train 30 leaves Chicago around 6:45 p.m. for the District of Columbia.
Some Washington, D.C., residents may soon be sharing the streets with Starship Technologies' delivery robots. Back in June, Washington became the first U.S. city to approve a pilot program of the ground-based delivery robots. Among some restrictions, the D.C. Council bill specifies that PPDs, or personal delivery devices, must not operate above 10 miles per hour, must weigh less than 50 pounds without cargo, and must obey all traffic and pedestrian signs and signals. Starship Technologies' bot is equipped to follow all of these guidelines. It weighs around 40 pounds and is capable of carrying about three filled shopping bags while rolling along at a safe speed of four miles per hour.
Patrick Shunn and Monique Patenaude worried about getting on the wrong side of the man who lived a little ways up an old logging road from their 21-acre spread along the Stillaguamish River. When they sued other neighbors over a property dispute more than two years ago, they avoided naming him as a defendant because they didn't want to irk him, their former lawyer said Monday. But now the couple is missing and presumed murdered, and investigators are trying to track down the man, John Blaine Reed, 53, along with his brother, Tony Clyde Reed, 49. Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary said surveillance video linked them to the dumping of the victims' cars over an embankment in a remote, wooded area near Oso, about 50 miles north-northeast of Seattle. Both brothers had previously been convicted of felonies, the sheriff's office said, though it did not release details about their backgrounds.