Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Solid's vibrating handlebars navigate bike lanes on its 3D printed frame

In order to keep your eyes on the road, haptic grips will buzz when you're approaching a turn and they'll both vibrate when you've missed one. All of Solid's on-board electronics are pedal powered with its components tucked inside a 3D-printed titanium frame that unscrews for easy access. Oh yeah, the gears are sorted electronically as well -- at the push of a button -- and those safety lights turn off thanks to built-in sensors.

FHWA to Engineers: Go Ahead and Use City-Friendly Street Designs

The heavyweights of American transportation engineering continue to warm up to design guides that prioritize walking, biking, and transit on city streets. On Friday, the Federal Highway Administration made clear that it endorses the National Association of City Transportation Officials’ Urban Street Design Guide, which features street treatments like protected bike lanes that you won’t find in the old engineering “bibles.”

Heinz Students Break Down Barriers to Urban Development in State Transportation Policies

The Almono partnership politely disagreed and that’s where Heinz College came in.  RIDC teamed up with the College’s Traffic 21 Smart Transportation Institute which led to an MSPPM student project to assess of PENNDOT’s Transportation Impact Guidelines.  Advised by consultant Richard Feder, and an advisory board that included representatives from the Port Authority of Allegheny County, the Urban Development Authority of Pittsburgh, the Planning Department of the City of Pittsburgh, GAI Consultants, CMU’s Remaking Cities Institute, BikePGH, the Hazelwood Initiative, and Traffic 21 and RIDC, the students took a hard look of the appropriateness of TIS guideless for urban mixed use developments and using Almono as a case study, found a variety of ways such policies could be improved. 

Driverless cars get green light for testing on public roads in UK

The business secretary, Vince Cable, said a £10m fund will be made available for driverless car researchers in the UK, joint funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Bis) and the Department for Transport (DfT).
“The excellence of our scientists and engineers has established the UK as pioneers in the development of driverless vehicles through pilot projects,” said Cable. “Today’s announcement will see driverless cars take to our streets in less than six months, putting us at the forefront of this transformational technology and opening up new opportunities for our economy and society.”

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Modeling Taxi Demand with GPS Data From Taxis and Transit

The Mineta National Transit Research Consortium at San Jose State University has released a report that predicts taxi demand by using GPS data to identify transit accessibility, population, age, education, income, and the number of jobs within different census tracts.

RFP: IDEA Program Announcement 2014: Funding Proposals Now Being Accepted

TRB’s Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) annual program announcement solicits funding proposals for the upcoming review cycles. The announcement explains the IDEA programs, describes the types of eligible projects and their funding structures, suggests general areas for which IDEA proposals can be submitted, and provides guidelines and forms for submitting proposals.

NCHRP IDEA proposals are due September 1st and March 1st, depending on which of the two funding cycles is targeted.
The Safety IDEA program has only one review cycle per year; Safety IDEA proposals are due September 16, 2014.

TRB Webinar: Estimating Demand for Non-Motorized Travel

TRB will conduct a webinar on August 18, 2014, from 1:00pm to 3:00pm ET that will discuss the forthcoming NCHRP Report 770: Estimating Bicycling and Walking for Planning and Project Development. This report will provide a comprehensive overview of the characteristics of bicycle and pedestrian travel and the factors that influence their demand. The report will also introduce a set of tools for estimating demand in various contexts at different geographic scales and with different levels of sophistication.

MnDOT expands interactive bicycle map statewide

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has unveiled the expansion of an interactive bicycle map, Cyclopath, which allows riders to plan their route in real time – and edit the information so it stays up to date.

Why Florida’s Governor Likes Self-Driving Cars: “Jobs”

Self-driving cars are a common sight in Silicon Valley, but in Tampa, Fla. a test drive of an automated vehicle can still cause a stir.
Volkswagen AG's Audi brand today offered test drives on a closed section of Tampa’s Selmon Expressway featuring an Audi A7 equipped with a prototype “Traffic Jam Pilot” system that can relieve drivers of steering, braking and speed control duties allowing hands-free operation at speeds up to 40 miles per hour.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott got one of the first rides. He explained his enthusiasm for autonomous driving research in a word: “Jobs.” The governor, who’s running for re-election, says Florida laws allowing autonomous vehicle testing on public roads will help the state attract technology jobs. Florida is one of four states that allows on-road autonomous vehicle testing.

Poll: Drivers love idea of driverless cars

More than three out four U.S. drivers of the 2,000 surveyed say they are "very likely" to buy or consider buying a car with self-driving capabilities, says the survey by Even more, 86%, found the idea appealing when the notion of cheaper car insurance was dangled as a possibility, the result of self-driving cars being safer than those with human drivers.
"People are aware that they already drive cars controlled partly by computers," says Managing Editor Des Toups in a statement. "Now they see features like collision avoidance on new models and hear about Google cars hitting the roads in a couple of years. An autonomous car is not science fiction anymore."