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Eric Garcetti Guest
Eric Garcetti

City of Los Angeles

Mayor of Los Angeles; former Los Angeles city councilman for the 13th District; ex-oficio board member of MOCA, the Museum of Contemporary Art

FROM Eric Garcetti

Design and Architecture

Is driverless technology ready for the roads? Imagine driving your car and you look over at the car next to you -- and there’s no driver at the wheel! It sounds like science fiction, but this is already becoming a reality. This week the California Department of Motor Vehicles can begin issuing driverless testing and deployment permits for autonomous vehicle manufacturers. One manufacturer already decided not to apply for this permit: Uber. The company is still investigating last month’s fatal crash in Tempe, Arizona involving a self-driving car. DnA spoke to Grayson Brulte, who advises the city of Beverly Hills about autonomous vehicles, about what the Wright Brothers and the music industry can teach us about innovation and adaptation, why truck drivers will benefit from autonomy, and why “we're on the cusp of one of the greatest breakthroughs in the history of society.” Grayson Brulte, an autonomous vehicle consultant in Beverly Hills, says “autonomy will change every single aspect of the economy.” Photo credit: Avishay Artsy. John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog is far less enthusiastic, telling us that “the push for complete autonomy may be misguided and selected applications might make more sense.” Meanwhile Matt Petersen, head of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, is concerned about autonomy’s role in creating a cleaner, more sustainable future, saying it has to go hand in hand with electrification, as well as meeting safety needs. And Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says the city is preparing for a self-driving future, telling DnA, “it's a real exciting opportunity, but we have to do it right.”

11 min, 24 sec Apr 03, 2018

Design and Architecture

Does LA have tunnel vision? The tunnels of the Downtown Regional Connector in Los Angeles Photo by Avishay Artsy There is a tunnel currently under construction 60 feet below Little Tokyo. It's an S-shaped tube and it's finished in curving concrete, parallelogram-shaped panels that are so elegantly arranged that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti called it a "sexy tunnel." It's called the Downtown Regional Connector and it will link the Expo, Blue and Gold lines. The tube is being created by a computer controlled machine that drills through the earth and then positions concrete rings in five foot segments. And all this is being done in a way that the project manager says creates very little ground movement. But this is not the only tunnel project in LA. Also in the pipeline are the Crenshaw/LAX Line and two segments of the Purple line (running from downtown west towards Santa Monica). Meanwhile, Elon Musk and his Boring Company are busy boring his own tunnel. Musk has complained loudly about his own LA commute and has suggested various concepts for speeding it up. He once told DnA he wanted to put another deck over the 405. Now he is aiming for a "3D" tunnel network in which vehicles would be lowered down onto rails on an electric skate that would then shoot underground at about 130 miles per hour. "There's no real limit to how many levels of tunnel you can have," Musk explained at a TED Talks event. "You can go much further deep than you can go up... so you can alleviate any arbitrary level of urban congestion with a 3-D tunnel network." Musk recently tweeted out an image of a stretch of tunnel under the parking lot of his company SpaceX in the city of Hawthorne. He says it is 500 feet and should be two miles long in three or four months; and adds that it will hopefully stretch the whole 405 north-south corridor from LAX to the 101 in a year or so. Is it a coincidence that if built -- and it's a big if since this project would involve multiple cities and jurisdictions -- it would run conveniently near his own home in Bel Air? DnA talks to the mayor and a city engineer about LA's boom in tunnel building.

7 min, 33 sec Nov 07, 2017

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