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Waymo is Mapping L.A. So Robot Cars Can Take Over

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Waymo is mapping L.A. in hopes of someday introducing driverless taxis

LOS ANGELES (L.A. Times) A Waymo van mapping LA streets. (Waymo) Waymo this week set three Chrysler Pacifica minivans crawling Los Angeles streets to make maps — but not the kind made for humans.

Google’s autonomous vehicle offshoot deployed the vans not to chart the layout of the city’s streets and avenues, but instead to craft 3-D maps of the infrastructure around which cars travel — curbs, fire hydrants, potholes, fences and crosswalks.

The goal is to turn the physical environment into a virtual reality that robot cars can understand.

Self-driving vehicles are equipped with sensors that help them quickly identify traffic and pedestrians, but these maps can help provide a fuller picture to inform those split-second decisions.“We’re not looking for things like the name of a road,” like a human would, said Waymo spokeswoman Alexis […]

Continue reading at www.latimes.com

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Community

Metro NextGen Bus Plan Workshop: Westside/Central Feb 12

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WEST HOLLYWOOD — Join Metro at a workshop to lean about Metro’s proposed NextGen Bus Plan and how they propose to create a better bus system that is fast, frequent, reliable and accessible.

Stop by the West Hollywood Advocates for Metro Rail (WHAM) table to learn more about efforts to bring Metro rail to West Hollywood. Attend the workshop for a chance to win a limited edition NextGen Bus Plan TAP card.

Light snacks and refreshments will be served.

Simultaneous translation in Spanish will be offered at all meetings. For more information, please contact David Fenn at (323) 848-6336 or dfenn@weho.org.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 4 p.m. the West Hollywood Community Center at Plummer Park, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard.

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City

DUI Checkpoints Throughout LA and WeHo for Oscar Weekend

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Checkpoints have been announced at the following locations and times for heavy enforcement during Academy Awards weekend and parties. In addition, the Los Angeles Police Department has announced a DUI Saturation Patrol in the LAPD Central area Thursday, February 6, 2020, 5 P.M. to Friday, February 7, 2019, 2 A.M.

Checkpoints will be held:

WEST HOLLYWOOD: Friday, February 7 between the hours of 6:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Traffic Services Detail will be conducting a DUI/Drivers License Checkpoint at an undisclosed location within the city limits

HOLLYWOOD: Friday, February 7, 2020, 8 P.M. to Saturday, February 8, 2020, 1 A.M., Sunset Boulevard at Orange Grove Avenue, Hollywood

CENTRAL LA: When: Friday, February 7, 2020, 8 P.M. to Saturday, February 8, 2020, 1 A.M., Western Avenue at Venice Boulevard

DOWNTOWN: Figueroa Street at 9th Street, Downtown – Friday, February 7, 2020, 6 P.M. to Friday, February 7, 2020, 11 P.M.

PACOIMA: Saturday, February 8, 2020, 7 P.M. to Sunday, February 9, 2019, 12 A.M., Glenoaks Boulevard at Montague Street

SHERMAN OAKS: Saturday, February 8, 2020, 8 P.M. to Sunday, February 9, 2019, 1 A.M., Ventura Boulevard at Columbus Avenue

Such DUI Checkpoints are placed in locations based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests. Deputies will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment, with deputies checking drivers for proper licensing.

Law enforcement agencies wish to remind drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI.

Marijuana can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.
 
In 2017, 1,120 people were killed in alcohol-involved crashes on California roads. Last year the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department investigated 395 DUI collisions which have claimed 21 lives and resulted in another 590 injuries.
 
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department offers these reminders to ensure you have a safe night of fun that doesn’t involve a DUI:

  •  Always use a designated sober driver – a friend who is not drinking, ride-share, cab or public transportation – to get home.
  • See someone who is clearly impaired try and drive? Take the keys and help them make other arrangements to find a sober way home
  • Report drunk drivers – Call 911.
  • Hosting a party? Offer nonalcoholic drinks. Monitor who are drinking and how they are getting home.

Getting home safely is cheap, but getting a DUI is not! Drivers caught driving impaired and charged with DUI can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to be upwards of $13,500. This includes fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspension and other expenses not to mention possible jail time.
 

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City Hall

LA traffic Deaths Stay High: Officials Plead ‘Stop Texting’

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As L.A. traffic deaths stay high, officials plead with drivers to stop texting

LOS ANGELES (Los Angeles Times) — Advocates staging a “die-in” on the steps of L.A. City Hall in December to protest a lack of progress on the city’s goal of eliminating traffic deaths on city streets by 2025.

In the fourth full year of a program designed to eliminate traffic fatalities on Los Angeles streets, the number of people killed in car crashes stayed stubbornly high, early data show.

Last year, 244 people were killed in traffic collisions on city streets, a decrease of 0.8% compared to 2018, according to preliminary figures from the city. The victims included 134 people who were walking and `19 people biking.

The data may change slightly with additional analysis, officials said. But the early figures suggest another year […]

Continue reading at latimes.com

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