Car of the Future Weekly Roundup for August 15, 2018

In this week’s Car of the Future Weekly Roundup

  • California warns it won’t follow the new EPA fuel economy/emission rules
  • US drone delivery has hit a milestone
  • NYC does not want any more Uber and Lyft drivers for a year

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NMA Car of the Future Story of the Week

California warns it won’t follow lower EPA fuel economy, emissions rules
In response to an EPA proposal to freeze emissions and fuel economy standards, California said it will not honor federal vehicle certifications if the proposal goes through. “The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has proposed amending the California Low-Emission Vehicle III Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulation to ensure that cars and light-duty trucks for model years 2022-2025 continue to meet California standards even if Federal standards are frozen,” reads a statement from CARB reprinted in Green Car Congress. Under a 2012 agreement with the EPA (which regulates emissions standards, including those of carbon dioxide) and NHTSA (which has statutory authority over fuel economy), California agreed that cars would be “deemed to comply” with California standards if they were approved by the federal agencies under standards as strict as the state’s. Now the state says it will repeal that provision of its regulations if NHTSA and the EPA roll back increases that all three agencies and the automakers agreed to at that time.

Toddler’s popsicle-by-air marks milestone in U.S. drone delivery
From her home in a wooded hollow in Virginia hill country, Brianna Smith and her 2-year-old son Jack entered the aviation record books on Tuesday. Just six minutes after a technician from Alphabet Inc.’s Wing clicked the “Confirm Order” button on a smartphone app, a drone operated by the company had flown from a simulated store more than a mile away, hovered over her lawn and lowered the ice cream and Popsicle she’d ordered. “Airplane brought me a Popsicle,” said Jack. The Smiths were part of a Federal Aviation Administration-approved test that for the first time allowed flights over congested areas where people live, and ventured beyond the view of its operator on the ground. It was the most realistic public demonstration to date in the U.S. that people may someday get near instant purchases sent to their home by unmanned devices.

NYC goes after Uber and Lyft
For Uber and Lyft, the loss at the council today is a shift in fortunes—but one that’s been a long time coming. Much has changed since ride-hail companies injected themselves into American transportation systems in the early 2010’s. At the start, the companies revolutionized personal transit, allowing users to quickly call a car, or drivers to get into the gig economy. Regulators and city councils might have been frustrated by the startups’ “launch first, ask questions later” approach, but often lacked the authority to do much about it—or the political capital to try.

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