Driver flees deadly crash involving Uber driver in West Town

The Uber driver and a passenger were treated on scene for minor injuries. The 42-year-old driver told police he had the green light. A traffic camera on …
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CHICAGO —Police are investigating a deadly hit-and-run crash in West Town.

Around 2:30 a.m. Thursday, a woman was driving a Pontiac minivan southbound on Halsted when she ran a red light at Madison Street, and was hit by an Uber driver in a Toyota Camry.

The woman who caused the crash jumped out of he minivan and fled the scene.

A 28-year-old man, who was a passenger in the minivan, was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Three women who were also in the minivan were injured, and transported to the hospital in stable condition.

The Uber driver and a passenger were treated on scene for minor injuries. The 42-year-old driver told police he had the green light.

A traffic camera on the intersection should have footage of exactly what happened.

Detectives appeared to be processing evidence from inside the van.

Police have not released a description of woman who fled the scene.

41.881784-87.647368

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Remembering Mustang creator Lee Iacocca: Why was he such a legendary car company boss?

America’s most important automotive personality at the moment is Elon Musk, but before the South African revolutionised electric vehicles with Tesla, …

America’s most important automotive personality at the moment is Elon Musk, but before the South African revolutionised electric vehicles with Tesla, there was only candidate as automotive MPV – Lee Iacocca.

The legendary former Ford chairman passed this week and leaves a deeply impressive chronology of achievements as his legacy.

For many younger car enthusiasts, his name will not trigger any particular reference, but Iacocca defined much of America’s auto industry with focussed decisions and a brilliantly intuitive marketing mind.

Why is he being celebrated as the most influential American automotive personality since WW2? Allow us to list some of his achievements in support of that claim.


What you do think of Lee Iacocca’s legacy? Email us


(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 20, 2004(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 20, 2004

Image: AFP

Father of the affordable American sports car

There is no question that Ford’s Mustang is the most successful American sports car of all time. It has sold more than ten million units since its launch in 1964 and is now in its sixth-generation – very few other vehicles can claim such an uninterrupted continuation of production and evolution.

After joining Ford as an engineer in 1946, Iacocca swiftly progressed up the company’s hierarchy and was in a position to influence and guide the original Mustang from concept to production.

Its success over the last five and a half decades is a testament that Iacocca had judged the formula for an affordable, and inspirational, American sports car to perfection.

The man who made Americans believe in FWD and four-cylinders

Iacocca eventually left Ford ignominiously in the late 1970s, after irreconcilable tensions with the Ford family. He joined rival Chrysler, which was struggling with a product portfolio badly out of trend with customer expectations.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 20, 2004(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 20, 2004

Image: AFP

American brands rejected the idea of smaller-engined cars, which were front-wheel drive, but after a decade of surging fuel prices, Iacocca knew there were customers who would buy these.

With his Chrysler K-Car models, he effectively used Japanese sedan design and configuration principles, with an American badge. The Chrysler K-Car platform vehicles were hugely successful and rejuvenated the company throughout the 1980s.

Establishing the MPV

In another visionary interpretation of what customers would need, but did not have, Iacocca built the first useable multi-purpose vehicle in 1983.

Although MPVs have mostly been surpassed by SUVs and crossovers in the last decade, Chrysler made generous profits with its minivans for a very long time. These vehicles eventually evolved into the Voyager model – which sold in South Africa.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 20, 2004(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 20, 2004

Image: AFP

By the early 1990s, most American urban families who did not require an enormous tow-rating or gravel road driving ability were optioning to buy Chrysler’s Voyager as their vehicle of choice.

Understanding the importance of SUVs

After championing the MPV trend, Iacocca saw the SUV craze a decade before it happened. He realised that Chrysler desperately required an ability to build SUVs. Instead of a costly R&D project, he simply bought AMC, which owned the Jeep brand in 1987.

Today, Jeep is a robust and healthy brand, without which Chrysler would potentially not have been an attractive target for its joint-venture with Fiat, which saved the company after bankruptcy in 2009.

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RideCell expands funding round to $60 million

Nearly half a dozen other companies had already invested in the Series B round, including Cox Automotive, Initialized Capital, Denso, Penske, …

RideCell, a transportation software startup, has doubled its previously announced Series B funding round to $60 million, a sign that investors believe demand for cloud-based mobility platforms will grow as more companies try to scale up car-sharing, ride-hailing and even robotaxi businesses.

The company, which has developed a platform designed to help car-sharing, ride-sharing and autonomous technology companies manage their vehicles, announced it raised $28 million in May.

Activate Capital led this round; its co-founder and managing director Raj Atluru has joined RideCell’s board. Reinsurance group Munich Re’s ERGO fund, LG Technology Ventures, BNP Paribas, Sony Innovation Fund, Ally Ventures and Khosla Ventures joined this extended round. Denso also upped its investment in the Series B round.

Nearly half a dozen other companies had already invested in the Series B round, including Cox Automotive, Initialized Capital, Denso, Penske, Deutsche Bahn and Mitsui.

“Investor interest in cloud-based mobility platforms and autonomous vehicles increases almost daily as the disruptive potential of these new technologies are realized,” RideCell CEO Aarjav Trivedi said in a statement.

The company recently received a permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to test its Auro autonomous vehicles on public roads. RideCell acquired self-driving car company Auro in October 2017. Auro initially developed and operated driverless shuttles for private geo-fenced locations such as corporate and university campuses. The company has since expanded its focus to include passenger vehicle models and minivans, although it still plans to target low-speed urban use cases focused on solving last-mile transportation.

The company’s real-world trials will start on Ford Fusion vehicle platforms equipped with Auro’s autonomous driving system.

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Google’s Self-Driving Car Project to Buy 62000 Minivans for a Ride-Hailing Service

This news from Waymo comes after Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told Recode just this week that the two companies have been discussing the …
Waymo may also lease its technology so that consumers can personally own a self-driving car. Waymo may also lease its technology so that consumers can personally own a self-driving car.
Waymo may also lease its technology so that consumers can personally own a self-driving car.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Google’s autonomous vehicle spinoff Waymo announced on Thursday that it is planning to buy up to 62,000 minivans from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for a ride-hailing service, which will launch later in the year in Phoenix. Waymo had previously struck a deal to buy 20,000 compact cars from Jaguar Land Rover in March.

Rather than manufacturing cars itself, Waymo plans to retrofit these fleets with cameras, sensors, and other self-driving technology. Beyond ride hailing and leasing, Waymo indicated that it also plans to earn revenue from deliveries and mass transit.

“We’re excited to deepen our relationship with F.C.A. that will support the launch of our driverless service, and explore future products that support Waymo’s mission,” CEO John Krafcik told the New York Times.

The company also announced that it is discussing the possibility of leasing its technology to Fiat Chrysler so that the automaker can also sell these to consumers, the first solid indication that Waymo is willing to let people personally own an autonomous vehicle. Waymo began working with Fiat Chrysler in 2016 and currently has around 600 minivans, with which it has been running tests in Arizona, California, Texas, Washington, Michigan, and Georgia.

This news from Waymo comes after Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told Recode just this week that the two companies have been discussing the possibility of collaborating on autonomous vehicles. “They’re an incredible technology provider, they’re serious about autonomous,” he said of Waymo. “To the extent that that technology could show up on the [Uber] network, I think [it] could be a good thing. It’s up to them whether they want to do it or not.”

It’s unclear how Thursday’s news will impact that potential partnership, since it seems like Waymo could soon be directly competing with Uber. Khosrowshahi told CNBC on Wednesday that Uber is on track to hold an initial public offering in the second half of 2019; another well-funded company focused on autonomous vehicles probably isn’t who the company wants entering the market before then.

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Waymo’s self-driving car service to include 62000 minivans

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says he is trying to persuade Waymo to put its self-driving cars to work in his company’s pacesetting ride-hailing …

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) A self-driving car service that Google spinoff Waymo plans to launch later this year will include up to 62,000 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans.

The deal announced Thursday is the latest sign of Waymo’s confidence in its self-driving car technology, which sprung from a secret Google project started nine years ago. The technology will initially be deployed in a ride-hailing service in the Phoenix area before the end of this year and then expand into other U.S. markets.

Waymo plans to pick up people in cars that won’t have a human in the driver’s seat, making it the first ride-hailing service with a fleet of fully autonomous vehicles.

The company already had bought 600 Pacifica Hybrid minivans from Fiat Chrysler with a commitment to add “thousands” more.

Waymo and Fiat also are discussing other ways to expand their partnership, including possibly striking a deal to sell Chrysler vehicles with self-driving technology to consumers.

Chrysler is the largest vehicle supplier for Waymo’s ride-hailing service so far. Waymo agreed to buy up to 20,000 electric vehicles from Jaguar Land Rover, but none of them will be ready before 2020.

If Waymo ends up using all the vehicles from Chrysler and Jaguar, its self-driving car service will be potentially capable of providing millions of rides per day.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says he is trying to persuade Waymo to put its self-driving cars to work in his company’s pacesetting ride-hailing service, but there is no indication yet whether that will happen.

Waymo accused Uber of stealing its self-driving car technology in a lawsuit that was settled for $245 million after several days of testimony during a February trial.

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