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UPDATE: Car-on-side crash at Delridge/Trenton

em(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)

9:09 AM: As mentioned a short time ago in our daily morning-traffic coverage, there’s a crash at Delridge and Trenton. Turns out (thanks for the tips!) a car is on its side, so this might not clear quickly, and we’re breaking it out into a separate report. No major injuries reported – the SFD dispatch does not include a medic unit.

(Photo courtesy Melanie)

9:16 AM: Our crew has talked to police at the scene and reports two vehicles are involved; no one is hurt. Delridge is completely blocked at the scene just north of SW Trenton, and tow trucks have been called.

10:21 AM: Just went back to look – scene is now clear, road fully open again.

Article source: http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/car-on-side-crash-at-delridge-trenton/

To take on the giants, self-driving car technology startup Pony.ai raises $112M

Self-driving car technology startup Pony.ai said today it has raised an unusually large early-stage funding round of $112 million in an effort to pull out in front of many well-funded rivals.

The Series A round was jointly led by Morningside Ventures and Legend Capital. Seed round lead investor Sequoia China and IDG Capital also participated in the round, as well as Hongtai Capital, Legend Star, Puhua Capital, Polaris Capital, DCM Ventures, Comcast Ventures, Silicon Valley Future Capital and other unnamed funding sources.

Founded in late 2016, Pony.ai is building level 4 autonomy technology, a grade of self-driving car technology that delivers “fully autonomous” navigation. Per the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration level system, that means it’s “designed to perform all safety-critical driving functions and monitor roadway conditions for an entire trip.” The autonomous technology at this level is limited to the “operational design domain” of the vehicle—meaning it does not cover every driving scenario equal to that of a human driver, whereas level 5 autonomous technology would.

The round is all the more interesting because Pony.ai isn’t well-known. But it is led by former engineers from both Google X (now Waymo) and Baidu Inc. Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer James Peng was previously chief architect at Baidu’s self-driving car division and before that a Google employee. Tiancheng Lou, co-founder and chief technology officer, previously worked on autonomous driving at both Google X and Baidu.

In an interview with SiliconANGLE, Peng said the large round was a reflection of the highly competitive market. “The competition for talent is fierce,” he said. “Also, self-driving car development is costly, so we need to ramp up quickly.” The company has nearly 70 people on staff so far, a figure that is expected to rise rapidly.

With offices in both China and in Fremont near Silicon Valley, the company started testing self-driving cars in San Francisco Bay area roads following approval in June, with a number of testing videos released in October showing the technology quickly reaching mature levels:

How far along has now been revealed for the first time, with Pony.ai saying that they will begin operating an autonomous fleet in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou in the first quarter. IDG Capital partner Young Guo said he believes Pony.ai has the best autonomous-driving team in China.

Peng positioned Pony.ai’s technology as lying in the middle ground in a field where many rivals are depending less on rules set up on advance to guide the cars than on machine learning technology that enables the systems to learn on their own. “We use the rules as a base and then we use machine learning on top,” he said. “One drawback of machine learning is uncertainty. With a stoplight, you have to stop; that’s the rule, there’s no need to learn.”

Pony.ai is also using multiple types of sensors from LiDAR to cameras to ultrasound, which Peng called “sensor fusion.” Although it’s buying those off-the-shelf, Peng said the company might consider designing its own.

The company is designing both hardware and software, including its own operating system that Peng said gives it a tenfold improvement in performance over existing software, but has no plans to build its own cars. Peng said Pony.ai has forged partnerships with several car manufacturers and hopes to sign contracts in the next month or two, both established companies and “newcomers,” with which it plans to design new types of cars made for autonomous driving.

Pony.ai isn’t the only startup competing with the giants. Last week, Aurora Innovation Inc. of Palo Alto, California, announced partnerships with Volkswagen AG and Hyundai Motor Co., which said they hope to put the company’s technology into self-driving cars by 2021. Aurora’s chief executive is Chris Urmson, who helped start Google’s program and led the effort starting in 2014.

With reporting from Robert Hof

Image: Pony.ai

 


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Honda launches 2018 Special Editions of the City, Amaze and WRV

The 2018 special editions by Honda feature various visual technical updates with an updated price list.

Honda Cars India’s first launch of the year includes 2018 special editions of its most successful models in India. The three popular models i.e. Honda City, Honda Amaze and the Honda WRV received the premium treatment and were relaunched with several changes on board. The new special editions come bearing various visual as well as technical updates in terms of safety pack and advanced tech.

2018 special editions - Honda City 20th Anniversary Edition

Expressing his views about the launch of these editions, Mr. Jnaneswar Sen, Sr. Vice President, Marketing Sales, Honda Cars India Ltd said, “We are extremely delighted to introduce the special editions for City, Amaze and WR-V and are confident that these will be appreciated by our customers for the enhanced value they offer.”

2018 Special Editions Launch Price

All three 2018 Honda Special Editions have been launched and are available to order from your nearest Honda dealership. The prices of the updated models are as below:

  • Honda City 20th Anniversary Edition – INR 13.72 lakh (Petrol AT) INR 13.82 lakh (Diesel MT)
  • Amaze Pride Edition – INR 6.30 lakh (Petrol) INR 7.83 lakh (Diesel)
  • WRV Edge Edition – INR 8.01 lakh (Petrol MT) and INR 9.04 lakh (Diesel MT)

2018 Special Editions – Honda City 20th Anniversary Edition

As Honda cars India Ltd celebrates 20 successful years of the Honda City in India the City 20th Anniversary Edition marks the celebration. The new special edition is based on the top-spec ‘ZX’ variant. The overall changes signify enhanced the visual appeal of the outgoing City. The Honda City special edition features ’20th Anniversary Edition’ emblem, front bumper centre and side garnish, door lower garnish, trunk end moulding under visual updates. The technical updates include Honda Connect with a 1-month subscription free. The Honda City 20th Anniversary Edition goes on sale for INR 13.72 lakh ex-showroom for the petrol CVT model and INR 13.82 lakh ex-showroom for the diesel variant.

“The Honda City completes 20 years of unparalleled success in India and has emerged as the largest selling mid-size sedan in 2017. The 20th Anniversary edition of Honda City embodies our appreciation and gratitude to our customers who have provided us with tremendous support for the past 20 years, and we look forward to their support for years to come,” Mr Jnaneswar Sen stated.

2018 Special Editions – Honda Amaze Pride Edition

Honda Amaze Pride Edition

Exactly like its elder sibling, the Amaze Pride Edition is available only on the S(O) MT grade. The special edition is available with both petrol and diesel drivetrain though. The Amaze Pride Edition features an updated infotainment system that now features navigation as well. The 17.7 cm DIGIPAD infotainment system replaces the older analogue unit and features overall improvement in delivering audio, video and the latest addition, navigation. Visual upgrades include Pride Edition premium seat covers, front centre armrest, steering wheel cover, door edge garnish, pride edition emblem and rear parking sensors. The 2018 Honda Special Editions mark a fresh entry into the year 2018. The 2018 Honda Amaze Pride Edition retails for INR 6.30 lakh ex-showroom for the petrol variant and INR 7.83 lakh ex-showroom for the diesel variant.

2018 Special Editions – Honda WRV Edge Edition

Honda WRV Edge Edition

Unlike its other updated siblings, the 2018 WRV is based on the ‘S’ variant and frankly adds more value to an otherwise loaded variant. The new WRV special edition features new alloy wheels and a new safety package. Talking about the latest features, the updated WRV gets new 16-inch gunmetal finish multi-spoke alloy wheels, Special Edition ‘Edge Emblem’ on the boot, reversing camera with IRVM display, rear parking sensors and Honda connect with a 1-month free subscription.

Article source: http://www.carblogindia.com/2018-special-editions-city-amaze-wrv/

New Honda Civic 2018 India Launch Later This Year, Debut at Auto Expo 2018

The eighth generation Civic was a very successful model for Honda in India. It enjoyed a very strong run in the market until the rise in popularity of diesel-fueled vehicles and the advent of new rivals. Struggling to keep up with the competition, Honda was forced to pull the plug on the Civic in India. The ninth generation never made it to India despite numerous reports claiming HCIL was planning a re-launch. Now in its tenth generation, Honda is evaluating the car for India and could launch it here by the end of 2018. Prices will start at around INR 14 lakhs for the base petrol variant. Read on for more details on the new Honda Civic 2018 India launch. ALSO SEE- Hot New Honda Civic Si

New Honda Civic 2018 India Launch, Price, Specifications new-2017-honda-civic-india-official-images- (4)

Also See – Upcoming Cars in India | Upcoming Honda Cars in India 

New Honda Civic 2018 India Launch Date

It is difficult to say exactly when the new Civic will come to India, but the New Honda Civic 2018 India Launch should take place by the end of this year. According to Autocar India, Honda plans to bring the new Civic and the new CR-V to the fast-approaching Auto Expo 2018. Examples of the tenth generation model have been spotted at Honda’s manufacturing facility in Rajasthan. Honda has been struggling off late in India. Their new launches – BR-V and Accord- haven’t had a major impact in their respective segments.

Also See- Modified Honda Civic

New Honda Civic 2018 Price in India

The new Honda Civic will plug the gap between the City and the CR-V. Prices will fall in the Rs. 14-20 lakhs bracket. Although the focus seems to be slowly shifting back to petrol cars, Honda will launch a diesel variant in India as the lack of a diesel engine was one of the reasons for the fall in popularity of the older model. And with demand for diesel cars still strong in big cities, Honda will introduce the Civic in diesel guise this time around.

New 2017 Honda Civic India Launch, Price, Specifications new-2017-honda-civic-india-official-images- (1)

New Honda Civic 2018 India Specifications

Our sources have also revealed the engine lineup for the India-spec new Honda Civic. It will get the 1.5 L diesel that also powers all diesel Honda cars in India. The petrol variants will get a 1.8-litre i-VTEC, which will come with either a 6-speed manual or a CVT automatic. A 1.5 L Diesel will mean the Civic will be underpowered in comparison with its rivals like the Elantra and Octavia. However, it will still be more powerful than the Corolla Altis’ 1.4 Diesel.

New Honda Civic 2018 India Mileage

According to our estimates, this is what the Honda Civic fuel mileage figures could look like. Keep in mind that actual figures could vary.New 2017 Honda Civic India Launch, Price, Specifications new-2017-honda-civic-india-official-images- (5)

New Honda Civic India 2018 Dimensions

New Honda Civic 2018 India Features

  • HID Headlamps
  • LED DRLs
  • LED Tail lamps
  • 17-inch alloys
  • Coupe-like styling
  • Chrome grille
  • ORVMs with integrated turn indicators
  • Touchscreen infotainment system
  • Reverse parking camera
  • Rear AC Vents
  • Leather upholstery
  • Auto-dimming IRVM
  • Dual Zone Climate Control
  • 6-airbags

New Honda Civic 2018 India – Safety

The 2018 model Civic sports many active and passive safety features. These include-

  • Six Airbags
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Vehicle Stability Control
  • Tyre Deflation Warning System
  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Forward Collision Warning System
  • Lane Departure Warning System

New Honda Civic 2018 India Review – Exterior Design

For its tenth generation, the Civic has gotten a radical makeover. It features a low, wide nose complete with sleek headlamps flanking a thick chrome bar. It houses the Honda logo and is a staple feature of most modern Hondas. India-spec Civic could get additional chrome inserts on the front bumper as well.

The new Civic has a coupe-like side profile, deviating from a conventional three-box shape. At the back, the taillamps integrate seamlessly with a subtle lip spoiler that adds some sharpness to the boot. The rear bumper features black inserts that also house the reflector units. Overall, the 2018 MY Civic is nothing like anything we have on sale in India currently. This should definitely give it an edge over its competitors.

New 2017 Honda Civic India Launch, Price, Specifications new-2017-honda-civic-india-official-images- (6)

New Honda Civic 2018 India Review – Interior Design

The interiors look just as modern and futuristic as the exteriors. Keen observers will be quick to notice that it is quite similar to the Honda City’s interior. There’s a centrally mounted 7-inch touchscreen with the aircon control placed below it. Thankfully, this one gets physical buttons instead of the City/Jazz’s touch sensitive controls. You get a nice chunky steering wheel with silver highlights. Like the older Civic that was sold in India, the new one get a digital speedo with analogue tacho. For international markets, the Civic gets an all-black cabin with silver inserts. However, for India, Honda could drape it in a combination of black and beige.

New 2017 Honda Civic India Launch, Price, Specifications 2016 honda civic thailand official images dashboard

New Honda Civic 2018 India – Engine and Transmission

This time around, Honda will launch the Civic in India with both petrol and diesel engine options. The petrol unit will be a 1.8-litre one that churns out 135 BHP and 170 Nm. While the diesel will be a 1.5-litre unit producing 99 BHP and 200 Nm. Petrol Civic will also get automatic transmission variants with a CVT. However, diesel variants of the Civic will come with only one transmission option – 6-speed Manual. Mileage figures for the diesel Honda Civic will fall in the 20-24 km/l region. The 1.5 L diesel powering the Honda Civic is the same one that powers all other Honda products on sale in India.

New 2017 Honda Civic India Launch, Price, Specifications new-2017-honda-civic-india-official-images- (2)

New Honda Civic 2018 Image Gallery

Stay tuned for updates on New Honda Civic 2018 India launch. What are your thoughts on the New 2018 Honda Civic? Do let us know via the comments section below.

Article source: http://www.carblogindia.com/new-honda-civic-2018-india-launch/

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Car ‘completely cleaned out’; bicycle found

Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch so far today, and a reminder:

CAR BREAK-IN: From Steve:

We had our car prowled overnight, sometime between 11 pm and 9 am. We are on 37th Ave SW between Lander and Stevens [map]. Registration and Title, Insurance, car chargers, special parking permit and shopping bags were taken. The car was completely cleaned out. The registration (etc.) was in a bright-orange vinyl folder.

The tracking number for the incident is T18000652.

(ADDED 1:12 PM) After reading this, Todd e-mailed to say his car window was broken by someone last night just a block west, on 38th SW.

BICYCLE FOUND: A texter found a bicycle at 12th SW and SW Myrtle [map] – near Riverview Playfield – and turned it over to a Parks and Recreation crew that was nearby. The finder didn’t take a photo but described it as a black or gray Trek “commuter bike” that had been purchased at Gregg’s. (The general Parks number is 206-684-4075.)

REMINDER – WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL TOMORROW: 7 pm Tuesday (January 16th) at the Southwest Precinct, it’s the next meeting of the WS Crime Prevention Council, with your chance to bring neighborhood crime/safety concerns to local police. A drug-trend guest is booked this month too.

Article source: http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/west-seattle-crime-watch-car-completely-cleaned-out-bicycle-found/

Is the E92 BMW 328i the next affordable enthusiast’s car?

At the moment, there isn’t a single BMW on sale that lacks a turbocharger. That can upset many BMW enthusiasts that miss the days of natural aspiration. Admittedly, BMW made some incredible free-breathing inline-six engines, engines that were some of the best in the industry. So it’s no wonder that fans want them back. Yet, they no longer exist on production BMWs. That means that if you want a naturally-aspirated BMW, you have to look at the used market, which is something many enthusiasts are doing. One such car that’s currently getting popular is the E92 BMW 328i.

The E92 BMW 328i is the last N/A BMW ever to be sold in the ‘States and it’s a car that could be the next great affordable enthusiast’s car. It has the perfect recipe for a great sports car and it’s the perfect setup for someone who truly appreciates the art of driving.

BMW 3er E92 LCI 10 750x500

Under its hood lies a 3.0 liter naturally-aspirated I6 engine that makes a mere 230 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque, which seems positively puny by modern standards. The new B48 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine of the modern 330i makes 238 hp and 255 lb-ft of torque, with two fewer cylinders and an entire liter less displacement. From 0-60 mph, the old E92 BMW 328i gets from 0-60 mph in about 6.0 seconds with a six-speed manual. The new F30 330i? It can do the same sprint in about 5.5 seconds.

So the old E92 328i is significantly slower than its more modern replacement. However, its free-revving engine is infinitely more enjoyable to use than the more modern turbocharged engine. It revs so cleanly and fantastically, all the while making that old-school BMW I6 noise that we all love and miss. When paired with a six-speed manual, you get to properly rev that engine out and keep it in the meat of its powerband.

BMW 3er E92 LCI 231 750x500

But it’s not just the engine. The E92 3 Series feels far sharper and more communicative than the current 3 Series/4 Series. While those new cars aren’t bad by any means, the old E92 just feels that extra little bit more BMW-like.

It also looks superb, the E92 3 Series Coupe. Its proportions are bang-on and it just looks so good, even years later. Personally, I think it’s the second best looking 3/4 Series ever, behind only the E46 3 Series Coupe. Its interior is also simple and uncluttered, lacking any of the crazy fancy tech of more modern BMWs.

The best part of the E92 BMW 328i, though? It’s cheap. Now, you can get a post-LCI E92 328i with decent miles for under $15,000. Considering that it’s also a modern car with every modern amenity one might need, that’s a great price.

When you consider its great looks, brilliant engine, more pure driving dynamics and low price point, it could be the best used car deal for BMW enthusiasts on the market.

Article source: http://www.bmwblog.com/2018/01/14/e92-bmw-328i-next-affordable-enthusiasts-car/

Baltimore County police officer fires at suspect in stolen car in Garrison

A Baltimore County police officer fired shots at a suspect in a stolen car in Garrison on Friday because he feared the suspect might run him down, police said.

The incident started in the area of Countess Drive and Village Queen Drive, just northeast of Reisterstown Road, when officers said they found a gray 2014 Honda Accord that was reported stolen Jan. 6. A man was driving the car on Village Queen Drive toward Reisterstown Road, officers said.

The man tried to elude the officers, driving over a curb and a sidewalk and striking a police vehicle, police said. An officer then got out of his vehicle as the Accord approached, still heading toward Reisterstown road.

Police say the man drove the Accord toward the officer, who drew his service weapon and fired several times at the car. The officer was not hit, and the man fled on Reisterstown Road.

sdance@baltsun.com

twitter.com/ssdance

Article source: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/bs-md-garrison-stolen-car-20180113-story.html

Argument preview: For Fourth Amendment purposes, does it matter who is on the car-rental agreement?

When you rent a car, there are often extra charges – as much as $13 per day – to have an additional authorized driver on your rental agreement. These fees can add up, but there could soon be another reason to pay them: Depending on how the Supreme Court rules in the upcoming case of a New Jersey man, Terrence Byrd, drivers who are not listed as authorized drivers on the rental agreement may not be entitled to the same protections under the Fourth Amendment as those who are included on the agreement.

Byrd’s case began in September 2014, when Latasha Reed (whom Byrd refers to as his fiancée, but – the federal government points out – his presentencing report described as his “former girlfriend”) rented a car at a New Jersey car-rental facility. Reed signed a rental agreement that indicated that additional drivers were only permitted “with prior written consent.” When Reed left the facility, she allowed Byrd to take the wheel; shortly thereafter, he began a solo trip in the rental car from New Jersey to Pittsburgh.

While Byrd was driving on Interstate 81 in Pennsylvania, a state trooper pulled him over. After giving Byrd a warning for driving in the left lane, the trooper and his partner searched the rental car. They reasoned that they didn’t need Byrd’s consent because he wasn’t listed as an authorized driver and therefore had “no expectation of privacy” for the Fourth Amendment to protect. In the trunk of the car, the troopers found a laundry bag that contained a flak jacket and 49 bricks of heroin.

Byrd was indicted in federal court on two charges: possession of heroin with intent to distribute it and possession of body armor after a felony conviction for a violent crime. He argued that the heroin and flak jacket could not be used as evidence against him because the state troopers lacked probable cause to search the trunk. But the district court rejected that argument, agreeing with the government that Byrd could not have had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the car because he was not on the rental car agreement. Byrd then pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit affirmed. Byrd asked the Supreme Court to weigh in, which it agreed to do in late September 2017.

The Fourth Amendment protects us from (among other things) the warrantless search of a place in which we have a reasonable expectation of privacy. In his brief at the Supreme Court, Byrd argues that his reasonable expectation of privacy in the rental car’s trunk doesn’t hinge on whether he owned the car. Instead he contends, what matters is whether he had “possession and control” over the car – which he did, he asserts, because the car had been rented by Reed, a close family member and the mother of his five children.

The federal government disagrees sharply, telling the court that having “possession and control” of the car doesn’t help Byrd’s cause at all. “If that alone were the test” for whether Byrd had a reasonable expectation of privacy, the government contends, then it wouldn’t even matter whether he had Reed’s permission to drive the car. Indeed, the government continues, under Byrd’s logic “even a car thief would have Fourth Amendment rights” because he would have possession and control of the car.

Byrd next argues that it doesn’t matter whether he was listed as an authorized driver on the rental agreement because that agreement is just a business contract, which has nothing to do with reasonable expectations of privacy. Instead, he suggests, the “authorized driver” provision of the rental agreement is simply intended to allow rental car companies to collect additional fees and shift liability for any accidents to the driver. In fact, he posits, “widespread noncompliance with the authorized-driver provisions is an open secret.”

Responding to this assertion, the federal government notes that under the Supreme Court’s earlier cases, even a passenger who has permission to be in the car does not have a Fourth Amendment interest in the car’s trunk. But Byrd is claiming more rights under the Fourth Amendment, which would have to stem from the fact that he was the driver –“the very thing that the rental agreement rendered illegal and unauthorized.” The government acknowledges that the rental-car contract is a “private agreement,” but it pushes back against any suggestion that the agreement is irrelevant to the protections available to Byrd under the Fourth Amendment. To the contrary, the government contends, such agreements often influence the courts’ determination of whether the Fourth Amendment applies.

Byrd then outlines a series of problems that, he contends, would flow from a ruling for the government. First, he warns, if the 3rd Circuit’s decision is allowed to stand, even the driver would not have any reasonable expectation of privacy if he violated the terms of the rental agreement – a common occurrence.

The government first counters that such a scenario is purely hypothetical and not presented by this case, because Byrd was not the authorized driver and had no reason to be driving the car. In fact, the government adds, the rental-car company would not have allowed him to rent the car because he has “prior convictions for conduct that includes riding in a stolen van and striking a law-enforcement officer with a vehicle.” But in any event, the government continues, violations of other provisions of the rental agreement – for example, the ban on driving while using a handheld cellphone – would not “have a direct bearing on who may operate the car.”

Byrd next suggests that under the government’s rule, police officers would have an incentive to pull over any rental car they see, in the hope that the driver would not be listed on the rental agreement and they could search the car.

But experience has not borne this out, the government responds. It emphasizes that Byrd has not cited any “actual evidence of the practices he fears in the jurisdictions where it has been the law for decades that an unauthorized driver lacks a legitimate expectation of privacy in a rental car.”

The third problem with the rule that the government proposes, Byrd asserts, is that it would create additional burdens for police officers, by requiring them to try to figure out exactly what the terms and conditions of the rental agreement are, and whether the driver was complying with them. One “friend of the court” brief supporting Byrd notes that, even if they are not specifically listed on a rental-car agreement, many people (for example, the spouse of the person renting the car) are nonetheless allowed to drive the car “either as a matter of state law or under the policy of the rental-car agency.” And another “friend of the court” brief stresses that a police officer’s job would be even more difficult in cases involving car- and ride-sharing services, such car2go, Zipcar, Uber and Lyft. Those services, the brief explains, use agreements that are stored online rather than kept in the car; the agreements differ from traditional rental-car companies’ and – depending on the specific business model – are also often different from their competitors’. The easier option, Byrd concludes, is to establish a bright-line rule that if the driver of a rental car has permission from either the owner of the car or the person renting it, he has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

The government dismisses this suggestion out of hand, telling the justices that written rental-car agreements – which are supposed to remain in the car at all times – make it easy for both courts and police officers to determine whether someone has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Finally, Byrd contends that the Fourth Amendment also protected him from a warrantless search of the trunk because he had a property interest in the car: He was using it with Reed’s permission, even if Reed didn’t have permission from the rental-car company to let him use the car. That property right, Byrd emphasizes, gave him the right to have the car and to keep others from going into it; the only limits on his rights were the rights of Reed and the rental-car company.

Here too the federal government pushes back, countering that Byrd could not have had a property right in the car because Reed “could not legitimately allow him to take it.” The rental agreement, the government points out, was solely between the rental-car company and Reed; under it, not only did Reed lack the power to give Byrd permission to take the car, but she was in fact obligated not to let him drive.

Supporters for both sides caution the justices that the ripple effects from the court’s decision could be extensive. The American Civil Liberties Union, for example, predicts that a ruling for the government could have an outsized impact on lower-income drivers, who have often “come to depend on rental cars for everyday travel because they cannot afford to purchase their own vehicles,” and minorities, who are more likely both to rent cars and to be pulled over and searched while driving. And another of Byrd’s supporters suggests that such a ruling could also “make life harder for the residents of disaster-ravaged regions like Puerto Rico, Florida, and Texas, where the destruction of countless private vehicles has left many residents entirely dependent on rental cars as their primary means of transportation.” The state of Arizona, by contrast, notes that drug couriers, human traffickers and alien smugglers have all been known to use rental cars, implying that a ruling for Byrd could have equally pernicious effects.

This post was first published at Howe on the Court.

Posted in Byrd v. U.S., Featured, Merits Cases

Recommended Citation:
Amy Howe,
Argument preview: For Fourth Amendment purposes, does it matter who is on the car-rental agreement?,
SCOTUSblog (Jan. 3, 2018, 11:34 AM),
http://www.scotusblog.com/2018/01/argument-preview-fourth-amendment-purposes-matter-car-rental-agreement/

Article source: http://www.scotusblog.com/2018/01/argument-preview-fourth-amendment-purposes-matter-car-rental-agreement/

Baltimore County police officer fires at suspect in stolen car in Garrison

A Baltimore County police officer fired shots at a suspect in a stolen car in Garrison on Friday because he feared the suspect might run him down, police said.

The incident started in the area of Countess Drive and Village Queen Drive, just northeast of Reisterstown Road, when officers said they found a gray 2014 Honda Accord that was reported stolen Jan. 6. A man was driving the car on Village Queen Drive toward Reisterstown Road, officers said.

The man tried to elude the officers, driving over a curb and a sidewalk and striking a police vehicle, police said. An officer then got out of his vehicle as the Accord approached, still heading toward Reisterstown road.

Police say the man drove the Accord toward the officer, who drew his service weapon and fired several times at the car. The officer was not hit, and the man fled on Reisterstown Road.

sdance@baltsun.com

twitter.com/ssdance

Article source: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/blog/bs-md-garrison-stolen-car-20180113-story.html

GM Unveils a Self-Driving Electric Car With No Steering Wheel or Pedals

The future of self-driving cars may arrive sooner than you think, if General Motors gets its way.

The Detroit-based automaker on Thursday revealed its plans for a fully-autonomous, electric car to hit the road by 2019. GM says the automobile is “the first production-ready vehicle built from the start to operate safely on its own, with no driver, steering wheel, pedals or manual controls.”

Called the Cruise AV, an ode to Cruise Automation, the startup GM purchased in 2016 and converted into its autonomous vehicle division, the car will be GM’s fourth-generation self-driving car following a version of the Chevy Bolt introduced late last year. But despite its anticipated release date, the Cruise AV is not guaranteed to hit the streets by next year.

GM says that it has filed a Safety Petition with the Department of Transportation in order gain permission to deploy the vehicles on roads across the country. The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards can make exemptions, but only up to 2,500 vehicles a year, so GM is looking to “meet that standard in a different kind of way,” company president Dan Ammann told the Verge.

“What we can do is put the equivalent of the passenger side airbag on that side as well,” he said. “So its to meet the standards but meet them in a way that’s different than what’s exactly prescribed, and that’s what the petition seeks to get approval for.”

If successful, GM’s move would signal a major step forward for both electric and autonomous cars. “What’s really special about this, when we look back 20 years from now, is that it will be a major milestone — to create production-ready vehicle with no manual controls,” Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt said, according to Business Insider.

Article source: http://time.com/money/5101194/gm-cruise-av-2019/