Fewer people are texting and chatting on their mobile phones while driving, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report concluded last month. Between 2016 and 2017, handheld cell phone use dropped from 3.3 percent of drivers to 2.9 percent. This represents a dramatic reduction from the phone use peak of 6.2 percent in 2007.

Self-driving cars are already on our roads, and in order to be safe, courteous drivers, they obviously need to be able to see around them. For that, they have perception systems that include sensors like lidar units (spinning lasers that map the surrounding streetscape), and cameras. But just perceiving the world as it is isn’t enough. A good driver, whether it’s a computer or human, should also be able to predict where a car, or person, will be in a few moments.

Donation will aid transportation in low-income neighborhoods, but tax could have generated far more money.

In fact, Americans would prefer a free fill-up to finding $20 on the street, or even having their meal paid for. The study looked at a small sample of 1,016 Americans that covered all age brackets and income levels; the results were conclusive. About 86 percent of respondents said they rely on gasoline in their everyday lives and budgeting for fuel is more important than health care and a savings account/emergency fund. Americans only said housing/rent, groceries, and utilities were more important than buying gas.

In case readers missed it, Metro is considering congestion pricing. It’s part of a multi-faceted proposal to pay for accelerating projects in advance of the 2028 Olympics. Specifically, at Metro’s January board meeting (video) CEO Phil Washington sought board approval to undertake a feasibility study on congestion pricing. Just a study. Washington said that the proposed 12-to-24-month congestion pricing study would address equity issues. He said that it would include outreach. He said that he would come back to the Metro board for a vote before moving forward with any congestion pricing pilot. Unfortunately, from January’s board discussion, it appears that many on the Metro board have already their minds made up about congestion pricing, and seem reluctant even to study it. Several boardmembers expressed contempt for the concept. Others moved, successfully, to delay the study. After a heated discussions in December and January, the Metro board delayed deciding whether to study or not. It is expected to be back at the February board committee meetings next week.