World Briefs: Uber's self-driving car test halted

Uber's self-driving car test halted

SAN FRANCISCO • California shut down Uber's testing of self-driving cars shortly after the ride-sharing service launched its pilot in San Francisco, citing the lack of a permit and threatening to sue.

Uber Technologies launched the test on Wednesday without a permit, as required by the US state. Twenty companies had been approved to test a total of 130 vehicles, the California Department of Motor Vehicles pointed out.


NZ to spend $2b on quake repairs

WELLINGTON • The New Zealand government said yesterday it would spend about NZ$2 billion (S$2 billion) on rebuilding road and railway links to the tourist resort of Kaikoura, after the South Island's main transport artery was wiped out in a deadly earthquake last month.

Tour operators and hotels in Kaikoura say they are struggling to survive as blocked roads keep potential visitors from using the town of 2,000 as a base for trips to watch whales, dolphins and seals.


New Italian govt takes office

ROME • Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni won the backing of the fragmented Senate on Wednesday, allowing his government to formally take office.

Mr Matteo Renzi resigned as prime minister last week when he lost a referendum on his proposed reform of the Constitution. Looking to stave off political turmoil, President Sergio Mattarella asked Mr Gentiloni, the outgoing foreign minister, to form a new Cabinet.


Galileo satnav system goes live

BRUSSELS • After 17 years and numerous setbacks, and three times over budget, Europe's Galileo satnav system went live yesterday, promising to outperform rivals and guarantee regional self-reliance.

Initial services, free to users worldwide, were available only on smartphones and navigation units fitted with Galileo-compatible microchips.

Some devices may need only a software update to start using the service, according to the European Commission, which funds the €10 billion (S$15 billion) project.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 16, 2016, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe