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September 3 - 16, 2016

Self-driving wave of the future

Google’s autonomous cars drawing raves during intensive testing in the East Valley BY MIKE BUTLER

Andrew Miller of Gilbert said he thinks Google’s self-driving cars will be so advanced 15 years from now that his 11-month-old twin daughters won’t even need to learn how to drive. “It won’t be the coming-of-age event it is now,” he said. “It’s beautiful.” Miller’s thoughts echoed those of hundreds of other East Valley residents who swarmed downtown Chandler’s SoHo63 recently for an opportunity to kick the tires of Google’s self-driving Lexus SUV and ask questions. Young, old or in-between, they came to embrace the technology, not to fear it. “They’re not death-bots,” Miller said. “They’re not going to run you down or take your job.” “I’m excited to be a part of history,” said Angelina Nelson of Gilbert. “We’re all in this together.” “All I see are benefits,” said her husband, John. “I think it should be mandatory for young people—give them something they can’t wreck.” Safety is the driving force behind the project, which started in 2009 in Mountain View, California, said Jennifer Haroon, head of business operations for Google’s self-driving car. The program has since spread to Austin, Texas, and Kirkland, Washington. A

Andrew Miller of Gilbert said he believes his twin daughters, Scarlett and Kira, will never have to learn to drive thanks to Google’s self-driving cars.

small fleet of self-driving cars has been cruising Chandler and Ahwatukee streets since April. Of the more than 35,000 people

killed on U.S. roadways last year, Haroon said, 94 percent of the accidents were caused by human error. That’s the equivalent of a mid-size

commercial jet crashing every weekday for an entire year, she added. In the early days of the selfdriving program, Haroon said select Google employees were chosen to test the cars on daily commutes to the Mountain View campus. The cars weren’t completely autonomous then; drivers needed to pay attention when exiting freeways and making other complex maneuvers. The more the technology improved, the more distracted the employeedrivers became. Google engineers realized they had to put all their chips on push-button, fully self-driving technology, Haroon said. Engineers also realized that the cars couldn’t possibly be programmed like robots for all of the real-world situations they would encounter. Instead, the cars process data from the 360-degree views they get from their lasers and other sensors to make decisions and learn as they go. Haroon brought up a you-can’tmake-this-stuff-up example: A Google car once was forced to pause for a woman in an electric wheelchair who was chasing a duck across the road. The self-driving cars now routinely anticipate and yield to drivers and see


Chandler police ask public’s help State regulation of parking lot for leads in murder of man, 84 donation bins gets mixed reviews


Chandler police are seeking help from the public to find the persons responsible for the Aug. 18 murder of an 84-year-old man outside of LA Fitness at 2100 N. Dobson Rd. Shivaswamy Hosakote was stabbed several times while sitting in his vehicle, according to the Chandler Police Department, and later died from his injuries at a local hospital. “This loss has devastated all of us, especially his wife of 50 years,” said Ananth Krishnan, a family spokesperson. “We haven’t come to grips with what happened.” Krishnan said that Hosakote was a very kind and gentle person who touched many souls in the community. He was a retired engineer who resided in Mesa. “I miss his laughter,” Krishnan said. “We

think of him every day and hope he didn’t suffer too long at the end.” Hosakote maintained a healthy, active lifestyle and frequented the LA Fitness location. While the investigation is ongoing, it is unclear if there is a motive in this case, however Chandler Police have confirmed that surveillance cameras in the LA Fitness parking lot were working at the time of the incident and footage will be reviewed for evidentiary value. Detectives have spoken to LA Fitness employees to gather any leads. “This is a very tragic incident,” said police Sgt. Daniel Mejia. “We pride ourselves on being a safe city and when something like this happens, we understand people are worried. That’s why we are reaching out to the see

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Shopping center owners are heaving collective sighs of relief now that there’s Arizona legislation to curb the practice of haphazardly placing donation bins in their parking lots, while an established non-profit found it “regulation overkill.” “The state has spoken, and I think that it’s very timely,” said commercial real estate entrepreneur Michael J. Pollack, who owns about 80 shopping centers in the Valley, of which about 35 are in the East Valley. “I’m very relieved,” said Joel Moyes, founder of Phoenix-based Kinetic Companies, which owns several shopping centers in the East Valley. “We now have clear property rights about what can and cannot be done when one of these bins shows up on our

property.” Senate Bill 1504, which became law on Aug. 6, requires donationbin operators to receive signed and notarized permission from a property owner before placing a bin on the property. In addition, bins must display the name and contact information of its operator and, if not in compliance, allows property owners to remove bins without liability. Moyes, who is the Arizona director of the International Council of Shopping Centers, which has 2,000 members statewide, said that he has anecdotal stories to believe that the law already is having an effect. “The operators, the ones that are going to be good operators, those who want to play by the rules, are


Check out our Family Fun Section! You will not want to miss any of the fun events listed on Family Fun calendar this month.

City of Chandler Insider . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . community . . . . . . . . Page 6 Noah’s launches new service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . business . . . . . . . . . . Page 21 Sadie Robertson of ‘Duck Dynasty’ coming to GCU youth . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 27 Rockin’ Taco Street Fest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . neighbors . . . . . . . . Page 45 Cabaret’s Kit Kat Club opens at ASU Gammage . . . . arts . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 59

SANTAN FAMILY FUN . . . . . . . . . . . Center Section


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More Community . . . . . . 1-20 Business . . . . . . . . 21-26 Youth . . . . . . . . . . 27-35 Opinion . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Neighbors . . . . . . 45-58 Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . 59-67 Spirituality . . . . 68-70 Directory . . . . . . . 71-72 Classifieds . . . . . . 73-74 Where to Eat . . . 75-78

SanTan Sun News - Sept. 2, 2016  
SanTan Sun News - Sept. 2, 2016