A morning roundup of the day’s news.
The road ahead: The U.S. House on Wednesday approved a bill that accelerates the rollout of self-driving cars, expanding companies’ abilities to test the next-generation technology. If it passes in the Senate, this will be the first national law for autonomous vehicles. The Verge reports:
“The bottom line is this is very good news for the auto industry and those companies that are involved in self-driving vehicles,” Michelle Krebs, an executive analyst for Autotrader, tells The Verge. “It really gives them an opportunity to do significant testing and put together all the research that's required to make sure that this is truly a step forward in road safety, which is the ultimate goal.”
It also allows all 50 states to innovate on self-driving technology, says Greg Rogers, a policy analyst for the Eno Center for Transportation. “This will really allow states to focus on their core roles of registering vehicles, enforcing traffic laws, and managing insurance and liability, because these are still critical components of our transportation network.”
Weathering the storm: As Miami-Dade orders coastal evacuations for Hurricane Irma, lessons from another historic storm—Andrew, in 1992—still reverberate in South Florida’s building codes and construction trends, while the hurricane also gave rise to the modern-day emergency response system across the nation. (Miami Herald, New York Times)
Digital divide: The latest Census stats and Pew surveys affirm huge disparities in Internet access between low-income families and wealthier households, including in the metro areas of Louisville, Memphis, and New Orleans. Governing also finds that low-income households are more connected in metro areas anchored by universities, such as Boulder.
Pedal culture: In the Dutch city of Utrecht, the world’s largest bike parking garage filled up its 6,000 spaces quickly, as planners now focus on more cycling infrastructure in the small city that ranks second only to Copenhagen in its bike-friendliness. (New York Times)
Cities in protest: While there’s no single database that shows which worldwide city hosts the most public demonstrations, The Guardian’s police-based survey selects Hong Kong as a likely candidate, followed by Mexico City. In Europe, Berlin is the protest champion.
The urban lens:
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