Author: Reporter

Advocates for self-driving cars urge Congress to revive long-stalled debate on AV regulations

Advocates for the self-driving cars and trucks industry on July 26 warned that years of regulatory inaction is putting American manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage and urged Congress to expand their ability to test and eventually sell autonomous vehicles (AV). “I’m sure it’s rare for you that someone from the private sector comes before you to ask, to plead, for their business to be regulated,” said John Bozzella, president for the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which represents several major auto manufacturers. “We’re at a crossroads, and without a comprehensive AV framework, companies are not going to succeed.” While most...

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Major automakers unite to build rival network to Tesla’s electric vehicle charging stations

Seven major automakers say they are joining forces to build a North American electric vehicle charging network that would rival Tesla’s and nearly double the number of fast-charging plugs in the U.S. and Canada. General Motors, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes, and Stellantis said in late July that they will share in a multibillion-dollar investment to build “high power” charging stations with 30,000 plugs in urban areas and along travel corridors. The dramatic move is intended to speed the adoption of electric vehicles, allaying fears that chargers will not be available for long-distance travel. The companies would not disclose...

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Exploding lithium-ion batteries become fastest growing fire risk as e-bikes proliferate

The explosion early on a June morning ignited a blaze that engulfed a New York City shop filled with motorized bicycles and their volatile lithium-ion batteries. Billowing smoke quickly killed four people asleep in apartments above the burning store. As the ubiquity of e-bikes has grown, so has the frequency of fires and deaths blamed on the batteries that power them, sparking a push to better regulate how the batteries are manufactured, sold, reconditioned, charged, and stored. Consumer advocates and fire departments, particularly in New York City, are urging the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to establish national safety...

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Medicaid programs in many states are expanding to provide dental care for their poorest residents

For months, Carlton Clemons endured crippling pain from a rotting wisdom tooth. He could not sleep, barely ate, and relied on painkillers to get by. The 67-year-old from Nashville, Tennessee, could not afford to see a dentist on the $1,300-a-month his family gets in Social Security and disability payments. So he waited for the state to roll out a program this year that offers dental care to the more than 650,000 Medicaid recipients like him who are 21 and older. Tennessee is spending about $75 million annually on the program. “Man, I thought I had made it to heaven...

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Research finds that AI chatbots used to provide health care services are perpetuating racism

As hospitals and health care systems turn to artificial intelligence to help summarize doctors’ notes and analyze health records, a new study led by Stanford School of Medicine researchers cautions that popular chatbots are perpetuating racist, debunked medical ideas, prompting concerns that the tools could worsen health disparities for Black patients. Powered by AI models trained on troves of text pulled from the internet, chatbots such as ChatGPT and Google’s Bard responded to the researchers’ questions with a range of misconceptions and falsehoods about Black patients, sometimes including fabricated, race-based equations, according to the study published in October in...

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Safe Mobility: New immigration policy that avoids a dangerous journey is working but alternatives needed

Five years ago, Alexis Llanos and his family fled Venezuela for Colombia, escaping death threats and political persecution. The family then planned to make the dangerous and deadly journey north, through the Darien jungle leading through Panama, with hopes of eventually crossing illegally into the United States. Their plans changed when a friend mentioned a new migration program from the U.S. government that would allow them to stay put while they pleaded for a chance to come legally. It worked. After a four-month process that included medical exams and interviews with the United Nations and the U.S., Llanos, his...

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