October 25, 2019
Longtime Senate President Mike Miller, who is battling cancer, announced this week that he will step down after presiding over the chamber for more than thirty years. The Democratic Caucus voted unanimously to nominate Baltimore City Senator Bill Ferguson as Miller’s successor. As the nation’s longest-serving Senate president, Miller’s departure marks a generational shift in Maryland politics. MACo’s policy experts discuss this historic moment and what it means for Maryland on the Conduit Street Podcast .
MACo Winter Conference
 “Building for the Future”
December 4-6, 2019
Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel, Cambridge, MD

Lowest Rates End on Nov 8!


Conduit Street Podcast Corner:
On the latest episode of the Conduit Street Podcast, Kevin Kinnally, Natasha Mehu, and Les Knapp discuss the latest news and notes from Annapolis, including longtime Senate President Mike Miller's decision to step down after presiding over the chamber for over thirty years; inmate Medicaid exclusion and healthcare in jails; a new state task force to examine the effects of vaping; the latest on renewable energy policy and climate change issues; and an update on opioid litigation.
Listen to any MACo Podcast Episode: www.mdcounties.org/Podcast
Counties In Action
Tourism Department Accepting Virtual Reality Proposals for Harriet Tubman Byway
Howard County to Host Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Conference Nov. 8
Montgomery County Hosts 10th Annual Diwali Celebration

Corporate Partner Corner

MACo's Bronze Corporate Partner Panasonic is working to advance technology that will prevent distracted driving.

When it comes to crashes, driver behavior is far and away the biggest cause. In fact, according to the NHTSA, 94% of all crashes can be attributable to driver behavior. This includes distracted driving. There are three major types of distracted driving. A visual distraction is when you take your eyes off the road, a manual distraction is when you take your hands off the wheel and a cognitive distraction is when you take your mind off driving. As smartphones have become a larger part of our everyday lives, various wireless technologies have been added to vehicles in an effort to mitigate these distractions.

Bluetooth, for instance, is nearly standard in today’s vehicles. In fact, 86 percent of new vehicles now come equipped with the technology. This means today’s average user now has readily available hands-free access to calling and streaming while driving, yet over a million automobile crashes are still caused by hand-held cell phone usage each year. This presents us with a disconnect between the widespread availability of hands-free technology and drivers’ decision to not use it.

One of the ways to improve the adoption rate of Bluetooth in the automotive market is to reduce the amount of friction. By focusing on a user experience that eliminates the barriers to utilizing the technology, we believe we can increase usage – but this must be done in a way that does not compromise user security or privacy.

These were all considerations we put into designing Panasonic Automotive’s Friction Free Connectivity. This technology streamlines smartphone-to-vehicle connectivity by leveraging cloud infrastructure and a handset service. By making it easier for drivers to use of the hands-free technology already present in vehicles today, we believe this we can reduce instances of distracted driving.

For more information on Friction Free Connectivity, visit Panasonic's website .

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