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Senators weigh bill to remove obstacles to self driving cars

WASHINGTON— A bill to clear away obstacles to a new era of self-driving cars is facing opposition from safety advocates who say it would give automakers free rein to put unsafe vehicles on the road. A Senate panel is scheduled to take up the measure on Wednesday. It would allow automakers to apply for exemptions …

Studies: Automated safety systems are preventing car crashes

WASHINGTON — Safety systems to prevent cars from drifting into another lane or that warn drivers of vehicles in their blind spots are beginning to live up to their potential to significantly reduce crashes, according to two studies released Wednesday. At the same time, research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety raises concern that …

Government to require cars be able to talk to each other

WASHINGTON—All new cars and light trucks would be able to talk wirelessly with each other, with traffic lights and with other roadway infrastructure under a rule the Transportation Department proposed Tuesday. Officials say the technology holds the potential to dramatically reduce traffic deaths and transform driving. Vehicle-to-vehicle communications, or V2V, enables cars to transmit their …

US bans Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones from airliners

WASHINGTON – Passengers and flight crews will be banned from bringing Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones on airline flights under an emergency order issued Friday by the Department of Transportation in response to reports of the phones catching fire. The order, which goes into effect on Saturday at noon EDT, says the phones may not …

US official: Plane debris in Indian Ocean same type as MH370

WASHINGTON – Air safety investigators have a “high degree of confidence” that aircraft debris found in the Indian Ocean is of a wing component unique to the Boeing 777, the same model as the Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared last year, a U.S. official said Wednesday. Air safety investigators – one of them a Boeing …

Boeing warns airlines against flying battery shipments

WASHINGTON — Boeing, one of the world’s two largest aircraft makers, warned its passenger airline customers on Friday that flying bulk shipments of lithium-ion batteries can cause fires capable of destroying the planes. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration also issued a statement acknowledging that testing it has “conducted on the transport of lithium batteries has …

Gov’t says fewer drivers are drinking, but more use drugs

WASHINGTON — The number of drivers on the road with alcohol in their systems has declined by nearly one-third since 2007, but there has been a large increase in drivers using marijuana and other illegal drugs, a government report released Friday found. The report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the share of …

Q&A on what might have happened to AirAsia flight

NEW YORK — Rescue crews are searching Indonesian waters for AirAsia Indonesia Flight 8501, which disappeared Sunday with 162 passengers and crew onboard. The plane was flying from Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city, and was about halfway to its destination, Singapore, when it vanished from radar. — Q: WHAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED? A: It is way …

Transportation Department rejects exemption for low cost air carrier to fly between US, Europe

WASHINGTON—In a case that has labour and trade policy implications, the Obama administration on Tuesday rejected a request that would have immediately permitted a low-cost air carrier to begin flights between the U.S. and Europe while the government is still reviewing its application for new service. The Transportation Department turned down a request by Norwegian …

FAA tells US airlines not to fly to Tel Aviv

WASHINGTON — The Federal Aviation Administration told U.S. airlines Tuesday they are prohibited from flying to the Tel Aviv airport in Israel for 24 hours following a Hamas rocket explosion nearby. The ban began 12:15 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, the agency said in a statement. “Due to the potentially hazardous situation created by the armed …

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