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A toaster on wheels to deliver groceries? Self-driving tech tests practical uses

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The tiny autonomous cars are trailed by “shadow cars” in case something goes wrong./Credit:Caitlin O’Hara for The New York Times


Starting this week, two small self-driving cars made by Nuro, a start-up, will chug along at no faster than 25 miles an hour to deliver groceries in Scottsdale, Ariz.

By Cade Metz | The New York Times

Last Thursday morning in the desert town of Scottsdale, Ariz., a tiny robotic car turned onto a neighborhood street and pulled up to a home with a Spanish-tiled roof and synthetic grass in the front yard.

Not even half the size of a Volkswagen Beetle, the toylike vehicle had no driver and no passengers. Instead, it held six bags of groceries from the Fry’s Food Store down the road. One observer oohed and aahed over how cute the car seemed.

Designed by a start-up called Nuro, the vehicle was making a test run as part of a partnership with Fry’s on an autonomous delivery service. Starting this week, Nuro said, two of these small, electric cars will chug along local streets at no faster than 25 miles an hour to deliver groceries to nearby homes.

If it all looked a bit ridiculous, that’s because self-driving is still a technology in search of a purpose. With driverless passenger services from the likes of Waymo, Uber and General Motors slow to become realities, the autonomous industry is casting about for practical uses — and hitting upon experiments like food deliveries from cars that make a golf cart seem spacious.Flake to introduce carbon tax legislation to address climate change

By Jim Small | Arizona Mirror

Not content with bucking the Republican Party for its support of Donald Trump, U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake will introduce carbon tax legislation, The Hillreported Wedmesday.

Although there is broad consensus in the scientific community that climate change is real and presents a danger to the U.S., polling has long shown that Republican voters don’t believe human-caused climate change is a serious problem and that they oppose efforts to limit carbon emissions, including carbon taxes.

In 2016, the Republican Party wrote opposition to a carbon tax into its platform.

The Hillnoted that Flake’s bill, which will be co-sponsored by Delaware Democrat Sen. Chris Coons, is a companion to bipartisan legislation introduced last month in the House of Representatives.


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  • Published: 4 weeks ago on December 20, 2018
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  • Last Modified: December 20, 2018 @ 8:19 am
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