“Automotive blog Jalopnik got a tip this week that one of Google’s autonomous cars, a Prius, got in a fender bender near the search giant’s Mountain View campus. Google issued a statement noting that the car was being driven by its human pilot when the accident occurred.”
The crash involved three Priuses and two Accords. That’s a full house in California Hold’Em.
CNET: Nissan Leaf batteries to power homes : “Rather than cranking up a generator during a blackout, Nissan Leaf drivers may be able to tap into the electric car’s batteries. Nissan earlier this week unveiled its Nissan Leaf to Home system, which it plans to commercialize in Japan within a year.”
Marginal Revolution: Ukraine Modigliani-Miller tax arbitrage : “Today I received some tax saving wisdom from a taxi driver in Ukraine. He told me that people who import cars to Ukraine sometimes cut the car in two separate pieces and carry it through the customs this way. By doing this, they save a fortune on import tax. A car carried in two pieces is seen as spare parts and therefore is taxed at a much lower rate than a normal car.”
NYTimes: Concrete Tests Faked Again, Officials Charge“In 2008, a company hired to test the strength of the concrete used at major public works projects in New York, including the Second Avenue subway and the new Yankee Stadium, falsified results, prosecutors concluded, and construction executives scrambled to find a replacement.”
A large literature base has found that economic factors have important effects on traffic crashes. A small but growing branch of literature also examines the role that gasoline prices play in the occurrence of traffic crashes. However, no studies have investigated the possible difference of these effects between urban and rural areas. In this study, we used the monthly traffic crash data from 1998–2007 at the county level in Minnesota to investigate the possibly different effects gasoline prices may have on traffic crashes in urban versus rural areas. The results indicate significant difference of gasoline price effects on total crashes in urban versus rural areas. Gasoline prices also significantly affect the frequency of injury crashes in both urban and rural areas; however, the difference is not significant. Gasoline prices have no significant effects on the frequency of fatal crashes in urban and rural areas. Traffic volume plays a bigger role on the incidence of injury and fatal crashes. The results concerning the differences between urban and rural areas have important policy implications for traffic safety planners and decision makers