Friday, July 29, 2011

GM Greenlights a Weird Electric Pod Car for 2020

Automakers generally leave their “visions of the future” on the auto-show floor. Not General Motors (GM), which is so enamored of its pod-like, drives-by-itself EN-V that it plans to put it into global production around 2020. The weird thing is that a slightly more practical version of this $10,000, two-wheeled phone booth could be an international hit in the world’s cities.

Wireless sensor to monitor structural integrity of bridges

Now University of Maryland electrical engineering researcher Mehdi Kalantari has developed a tiny wireless sensor that monitors and transmits minute-by-minute data on a bridge's structural integrity that he estimates is one-hundredth the cost of a wired network approach.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

CMU Unveils App To Help You Find Your Bus

Thanks to a new iPhone application, Tiramisu, developed at Carnegie Mellon University, riders will no longer need to fret.

Tiramisu, an Italian word meaning, “pick me up,” is a user-friendly application that uses a rider's iPhone to signal the location and occupancy level of the Port Authority of Allegheny County buses in real time, tracking arrival and departure times for each bus.

The new app was developed by researchers in the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Accessible Public Transportation (RERC-APT), supported in part by CMU’s Traffic21 initiative. The free application is already available for downloading at the iTunes AppStore.


Why the Future of Transportation Is All About Real-Time Data

In order to tackle urban transportation challenges in cities around the world, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the National Research Foundation of Singapore launched a five-year cooperative project in 2009 — Future Urban Mobility (FM) — to look at new models and technology tools aimed at sustainability.

Phone App Could Keep an Eye on Your Ride

Intel is testing technology that would issue an alert if someone hit your parked car, and could capture video if a thief made off with it.

State sees green in red-light cameras

Six years ago, Philadelphia began using cameras at red lights to ticket dangerous drivers. Will other towns and cities across Pennsylvania soon get the green light? A panel appointed by Gov. Tom Corbett has recommended a statewide expansion of traffic-light cameras. The Transportation Funding Advisory Commission says it could generate more money for highway and bridge repairs, and it could make roads safer.

GM's Enhanced Vision System

To crack these problems and increase the system's usefulness, GM's Research and Development, Carnegie Mellon, The University of Southern California and several other institutions are working together to create a new HUD dubbed the "Enhanced Vision System." While older HUDs use special glass to reflect lights in an in-dash display toward the driver, this new system draws the display directly by shooting ultraviolet lasers at a photoreactive coating on the windshield.

The Enhanced Vision System does a lot more than display information from the dash. Boundary lines for roadways and lanes can be drawn onto the glass, aiding drivers in foggy and dark conditions. GPS information is also integrated into the system, identifying routes by drawing them directly in view of the road. Once the destination is in view, the system can draw a circle around the location.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Can Your Car Be Hacked? - Feature

Not too long ago, securing a car meant popping the faceplate off the CD player, slapping a Club over the steering wheel, and locking the doors. As vehicles’ electronic systems evolve, however, automobiles are starting to require the same protection as laptop computers and e-commerce servers. Currently, there’s nothing to stop anyone with malicious intent and some ­computer-programming skills from taking command of your vehicle. After gaining access, a hacker could control everything from which song plays on the radio to whether the brakes work.

Ford Proves the Blind Can Drive a Stick

Teaching the blind to drive is an increasingly realistic goal as cameras and sensors become sophisticated and cheap enough that they might one day substitute for sight. We’re already seen an autonomous Audi TT reach the summit of Pikes Peak, and a blind driver took a lap of Daytona International Speedway. He guided the car using tactile prompts that responded to visual data provided by in-car technology.

Inrix connects with $37M venture round to drive global growth

Inrix has raised $37 million in venture capital to help the Kirkland-based traffic information tech company expand into fast-growing international markets such as China. The company, which launched in 2004, has partnerships with auto makers Ford, Toyota and Audi, as well partnerships working with Microsoft and government transportation agencies such as the Washington Department of Transportation.

Port Authority starting 'smart card' fare system

The Port Authority's conversion to a fare collection system using electronic smart cards will get its first big test starting next week. University of Pittsburgh faculty, staff and students will begin using the technology Aug. 1, tapping their university ID cards on a target on the new fareboxes that have been installed on buses and light-rail vehicles.

Call for Presentations and Papers Third International Conference on Urban Transportation Systems

The Committee on Public Transportation of the Transportation & Development Institute (T&DI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) invites you to submit papers for presentation at the ASCE’s Third International Conference on Urban Transportation Systems to be held in November, 2012 in Paris, France.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Automakers Moving Software Teams To Silicon Valley

It’s smart, then, that the often-slow-moving automakers are setting up satellite research and development centers in Silicon Valley. This week, Renault-Nissan joined GM, BMW and Volkswagen in opening an R&D office in northern California, considered the heart of U.S. technology innovation.

Carpooling a click away with online ridesharing

In Seattle, two companies are using technology to connect drivers and riders. Both launched this year with on-demand ridesharing websites and smart-phone apps.

Idaho company gets $750,000 for solar parking lot

Company founders Scott and Julie Brusaw plan to use the cash to create a prototype parking lot for testing. But their real dream is for a road system built of 12-foot-by-12-foot solar panels rather than traditional asphalt. Brusaw estimates the panels might cost three times more than asphalt but would produce electricity that could be sent back to the power grid, helping governments and private industry pay for them.

Presentations Available: Sixth SHRP 2 Safety Research Symposium July 14–15, 2011

The Sixth Annual SHRP 2 Safety Research Symposium was held on July 14–15, 2011, in Washington, D.C. The agenda for the symposium is available as a PDF. The purpose of this symposium was to share progress on SHRP 2 safety projects and to serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas among researchers and practitioners from the private and public sectors.

Local Motors Shifts Crowd-Sourcing Into High Gear

Local Motors bills itself as an open-source car company, which means it leverages the spirit of Web 2.0 to bring together transportation designers, engineers and industrial designers, and car enthusiasts to "co-create" a vehicle, which it then produces, in limited runs, at a local micro-factory...
It's an accomplishment that won firm accolades from President Obama last month when he visited Carnegie Mellon University on a tour to promote the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, a program uniting industry, universities, and the federal government to jumpstart the manufacturing sector.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

IT industry curtails travel habit

BANGKOK – For the first time, the Information and Communications Technologies sector has been given an official mandate to start exploring ways to help save the environment by promoting cutbacks in the travel and transportation sector. The mandate, which could present significant problems especially for the economics of the traditional meetings and business travel sector, is contained in a report issued after the 6th International Telecommunications Union Symposium on ICTs, The Environment and Climate Change held in Accra, Ghana from 7 to 8 July, 2011.

Ohio State Students Employ Supercomputer to Design 400-MPH Electric Car

A team of engineering students at The Ohio State University's (OSU) Center for Automotive Research (CAR) recently began running aerodynamics simulations at the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC), one of the first steps in the long and careful process of designing, building and racing the fourth iteration of their record-breaking, alternative-fuel streamliner.fluctuations.

Feds' strength may be in providing data, not building apps

Federal agencies can often do more to improve public knowledge and safety by providing raw data to private sector mobile app developers than by trying to create the programs themselves, officials told an industry audience Tuesday.

Wheels turning on bike-sharing proposal

The email announced that BikePGH is partnering with Carnegie Mellon University professor Robert Hampshire and a group of graduate students from CMU's Heinz College to develop a business plan for a Pittsburgh bike-sharing system. "Meanwhile," Bricker's message continued, "we are already exploring different business models and potential funding streams."

Ford showcasing vehicle-to-vehicle communication for crash avoidance;

Several automakers offer collision avoidance systems (e.g., infrared-based) on their higher-end models; this is not V2V. A 2010 NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) analysis concluded that V2V systems potentially could address 79% of all vehicle target crashes, 81% of all light-vehicle target crashes, and 71% of all heavy-truck target crashes annually.

2011 Smarter Planet Innovation Awards

IBM is seeking to partner with universities who desire to create and teach innovative curriculum that will empower and inspire the next generation of leaders with insights into how technology can help tackle some of the world's most pressing challenges.
Note: Nominations will open the week of May 16 and remain open until early September 2011. We will notify the award winners by email in October 2011.

Safety system can avert low-speed crashes

The study by the Highway Loss Data Institute found that 2010 Volvo XC60s outfitted with a standard collision avoidance feature called City Safety are far less likely to be involved in low-speed, front-to-rear crashes than other midsize SUVs without the system. Insurance claims that pay for damage to vehicles hit by an at-fault driver were filed 27 percent less often for the XC60 than comparable vehicles, the study said. Bodily injury claims were 51 percent less frequent, it said... The system doesn't involve a warning to the driver that a crash is imminent. Rather, City Safety automatically brakes to avoid a front-to-rear crash.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

300 taxis to accept Octopus Card payment

"As most of the public transportation modes are Octopus-enabled, many people would like us to extend the Octopus service to taxis," said Sunny Cheung, chief executive officer of the OCL.

Car apps: the future of the vehicle industry

Car companies are trying to get social, and 2011 could be the year of the car as a major platform for social and other types of apps.

IEEE Announces Call for Papers for First IEEE International Electric Vehicle Conference (IEVC)

IEVC will provide an interactive forum for members of the rapidly growing electric mobility ecosystem to exchange ideas and discuss new trends in technology, engineering, standards and deployment aspects of the electric vehicle industry on a global scale.

"Smart" Traffic Lights To Make Debut

The new "smart" traffic light system—which will be used in Midtown Manhattan—allows traffic engineers to conduct on-the-spot monitoring of traffic flow, quickly identify congestion choke points as they occur and remotely adjust traffic signal patterns to clear traffic jams, with the touch of a button.

Reducing Pedestrian Delay at Traffic Signals

The New Zealand Transport Agency has released a report that explores methods of reducing pedestrian delay at signalized intersections.

How We Travel: A Sustainable National Program for Travel Data

TRB Special Report 304: How We Travel: A Sustainable National Program for Travel Data assesses the current state of travel data at the federal, state, and local levels and defines an achievable and sustainable travel data system that could support public and private transportation decision making.

Communicating Transportation Information During Emergency Situations to John and Jane Q. Public

The TRB Technical Activities Division’s Planning and Environment Group is holding its fifth annual competition to find top methods for communicating transportation concepts to non-professional audiences. Entries, which should focus on best practices in communicating transportation information to the public during emergency situations, are due by August 5, 2011.

Greenhouse-gas inventory calculations 'too simplistic'

Many US cities need to improve the way that they calculate their greenhouse-gas (GHG) inventories and their climate action plans, say researchers from the University of Texas and Carnegie Mellon University, US...
They also found three main sources of uncertainty and variability – weather impacts on building energy use; measurement and sample errors associated with on-road personal transportation;

Monday, July 18, 2011

How Intelligent Cars Will Make Driving Easier and Greener

But in some ways, the world of self-governing cars is already upon us. Using relatively simple software and adjustments to existing hardware, major automakers in the U.S. and Europe are making cars work smarter and greener in a way that has nothing to do with hybrid engines or alternative fuels. Connected to each other and to the cloud, cars will be able to make their own decisions — so the future of driving, put simply, will be largely out of human hands...

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University built a simulation that can prove such a system’s safety, even with multiple cars performing multiple complicated tasks. A team led by Andre Platzer, an assistant professor of computer science, started with just two cars in one lane. Then they added more cars to show it can work with an arbitrary number of vehicles, and added more lanes to show that number can vary, too. Ultimately, the system remains crash-proof regardless of the vehicles or lanes involved — on a straight highway, that is. Future simulations will have to account for variables like curved roads, Platzer said in a CMU release.

The end is near for New York City’s Metrocard

Several years ago, fare payment system provider ACS Transportation Solutions installed special turnstiles in the New York City subway and bus system run by the Metropolitan Transit Authority as well as on New Jersey Transit’s system...
What happened to the project, and what did they learn? I spoke with ACS Transport vice president Mike Nash.

The government tests ‘Smart Transportation System’

The aim of this project is to test and introduce a new transportation system that can help people reduce traffic and vehicle overcrowding on the roads as well as reduce pollution in Sri Lanka...
He says the www (online) system simply allows vehicle drivers to offer their extra seat or seats to a rider in exchange for a fee to reimburse for the petrol consumed on the trip.

New Hudson bus program can get riders picked up at home

In a move local leaders say could revolutionize transportation, bus riders may soon arrange to have a bus to pick them up at their homes or a store with a smartphone through a new Smart Bus pilot program. The town recently received a grant from a regional planning agency to buy and develop software that will allow residents to use smartphones to hail a bus.

Traffic and How to Avoid Future 'Carmaggedons'

With the availability of this data, network operators -- think your city or state’s departments of transportation-- can make more intelligent decisions about traffic flow, such as how to adjust the timing of traffic lights; when to change messages on digital billboards; how to time meter ramps and so on. Using predictive software, cities can forecast traffic buildup in specific locations up to sixty minutes in advance and offer alternative routes to commuters.

Travelers checks: Automatic License Plate Readers track your every move

ALPRs are not ordinary cameras. Attached to police cruisers, or fixed on telephone poles or other stationary places, the cameras snap an image of nearly every license plate they encounter. The device produces a file for each image captured, which includes searchable text displaying the time, date and GPS location of the car when and where the plate was ‘read’. This information is fed into a database, where it can be shared with other agencies and databases, and “mined” or analyzed.

Friday, July 15, 2011

MTA casts net for new smart phone transit apps

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is hoping software entrepreneurs will answer the call for a fresh take on transit-related apps that will keep smart phone-toting riders informed throughout their travels. The parent organization of Metro-North Railroad this week announced MTA App Quest -- a contest offering a $5,000 grand prize to the software developer that creates the best application to help rail and bus riders or motorists navigate the transit or road systems maintained by the MTA.

Israel’s public bike rental services to extend outside Tel Aviv

The Tel Aviv municipality is working to promote alternative transport in the city in an effort to wean residents away from private vehicles. Haaretz has learned that the Tel Aviv Economic Development Authority is negotiating with Car2Go, an hourly car rental company that maintains vehicles on Tel Aviv parking lots, which can be accessed with a smart card. The authority hopes to be able to offer a joint discount card for Tel-Ofan and Car2Go. "It gives you the perfect transportation solution," said Keren."If you need to travel short distances, take the bicycle, and if you need to get out of town, take a car."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New digital signs put MATA trolley riders up to speed on schedules and other information along routes

They'll display the date, time, when the next trolley is due and other important information. The signs are one component of MATA's three-year, $10 million Intelligent Transportation Systems, an information technology project for the entire fleet, said spokeswoman Alison Burton. The project is funded with federal, state and local dollars and will include global positioning systems for buses, passenger counters, camera systems and other technology.

Calgary Transit rolling out tech improvements

Smart cards, too, will provide more payment options to Calgarians, while work is currently underway to get electronic display boards on all C-Train platforms showing real-time arrival information for trains starting in August. Other improvements like an improved trip planning service on Calgary Transit’s website is set for launch end of the year. The smart card payment system is due for launch next summer, while real-time arrival information for buses is set for the summer of 2013.

Only on 4: Driverless Cars Coming to Nevada

RENO, Nev.--Nevada is last on a lot of lists, but now we are first when it comes to saying yes to driverless cars. Next March, we'll see Google cars mapping our roadways. News 4's Mackenzie Warren has the story you'll only see on News 4... The Nevada Legislature gave Google's self-driving robotic cars the green light. Now, we're waiting on the Department of Transportation for the rules that will accompany the new auto technology.

'Talking' cars could reduce motorway pile-ups

Scientists from the University of Bologna in Italy have developed software that lets cars "communicate" with one another on the road. Similar technology had been used before but this time, said the team, cars would be able to "know" what had happened kilometres ahead...

Road tests of the software are imminent and will be carried out in August 2011 on the streets and motorways of Los Angeles in conjunction with car maker Toyota.

Connected Vehicle Driver Acceptance Clinics coming soon to a community near you

The charming and heroic stars of Cars 2 and Transformers are not the only talking cars hitting American cities this summer. At DOT, we call them Connected Vehicles: cars, trucks, buses, and other vehicles fitted with technology that allows them--like their big-screen counterparts--to communicate with each other and with roadway infrastructure like traffic lights, dangerous road segments, and railroad crossings.

Army, Car Makers Push Ahead With Driverless Vehicle Research

When it comes to concepts for vehicles that can drive themselves on highways or city streets, the military and automakers have been working on similar paths for several years. The Army has looked into trucks that move autonomously as soldiers keep watch for roadside bombs or ambushes. Japanese, German and U.S. car manufacturers are investing research and development funding into the same idea, but for everyday life.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Washington police to begin using license recognition cameras

One police car from each department will receive a light-bar-mounted camera that will scan nearby license plates, converting the images into text and comparing them with a database that includes information about wanted criminals, Megan's Law offenders, Amber Alerts and stolen vehicles.

Packed in a Box, Another Transportation Idea for Cities

LONDON — As car-sharing services continue to evolve, so should the vehicles used in those programs, say James Brooks and Richard Bone, recent graduates of the Vehicle Design program at the Royal College of Art. The former classmates recently opened their own firm, Brooks & Bone, and designed a vehicle specifically for urban car-sharing services that resembles the prototypical box on wheels. And that, precisely, is the point.

Portland tests smart phone parking app

Starting next month, some drivers will have the option to use an app on their smart phone to pay to park. Drivers will register their credit card and their license plate online. Then when they choose a spot, they'll enter the Smart Park number and their plate number into the app along with how long they'd like to park.

Development of Mobile Accessible Pedestrian Signals (MAPS) for Blind Pedestrians at Signalized Intersections

The University of Minnesota's Center for Transportation Studies has released a report that explores the development of the mobile accessible pedestrian signals (MAPS) prototype that is designed to help support decision making by blind pedestrians at signalized intersections.
The MAPS system integrates Smartphone, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and traffic signal controller technologies to provide signal phasing and timing, and intersection geometry information to pedestrians at signalized intersections.

Legal Arrangements for Use and Control of Real-Time Data

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Legal Research Results Digest 37: Legal Arrangements for Use and Control of Real-Time Data is designed to help transit officials understand the legal options and limitations for real-time data ownership, protection, and use.

Toyota launches new intelligent navigation system to reduce accidents

The five main characteristics of this new system are the following. The system informs the driver about a red light with audio and video warning. The navigation system informs of "stop sign" and has a "vehicle order" notification. Another characteristic informs the driver of a presence of a blind spot. The 5th one notifies the driver of Green Light to reduce congestion.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Phone Data to Give a Picture of Traffic Shutdown in L.A.

But KABC, the local flagship station for ABC, sees the closure as an opportunity to experiment with technology tools as its plans to report on the mess as it unfolds. The station has partnered with Waze, an Israeli technology company that makes a navigation app for smartphones, to give drivers a real-time picture of what is happening on the roads. Waze’s app tracks the movement of each of its users to get a sense of traffic, and then directs them to quicker routes based on the data it collects. The company says it has 180,000 users in the Los Angeles area.

App designed to make travel by public transit easier

We know how it is ... you would use public transportation more often, but it's such a hassle trying to figure out which bus, train or tram to take, where to transfer, and what to do if your plans are altered. In the future, however, that might not be a problem. Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems is working on SMART-WAY, a mobile phone app that would make using public transit as simple as following the directions on a vehicle navigation system - you would just indicate your destination, and it would show you how to get there using public services, updating its information in real time.

Average Joes Wanted for First Trials of Vehicle-to-Vehicle Tech Read more:

We’ve all joked about driverless cars in the future, but as we have witnessed, such innovations are quickly becoming a reality. Just like our cellphones, our cars are getting smarter too, with automakers introducing advanced safety features like blind spot monitoring, rear backup sensors, and even brake assist programs that are capable of stopping a vehicle in its tracks. Now vehicles are able to ‘communicate’ with one another, and if you live in Michigan, you could be eligible to test out just how smart these cars are.

New Technology May Prevent Road Kill

The goal is to create a comprehensive database of where wildlife cross the road, so drivers can be more aware of hot spots on Highway 20 from Ashton up to the Montana border...
The agencies have created the Idaho Fish and Wildlife Information System website, where, by the use of a smart phone, anyone can upload information about roadkills, sightings of wildlife and GPS location-tagged pictures.

EU Puts Aside 6 Million for Gas-Guzzling Flying Car

The European Union is going to set aside €4.2 million ($6.2M USD) for a project known as myCopter. This is a Personal Aerial Vehicle (PAV) that would try to reduce the traffic congestion in major European cities. The flying car would be used at low altitudes to travel to and from work. As myCopter would be flying below 2000 feet, it wouldn’t bother other air traffic, and would be fully or partially autonomous so you wouldn’t need ground-based air traffic control.

The New Robo Cars

But when Kevin Harper brought home his Volvo XC60 with the turbo V-6 engine, he didn't really spend any time reveling in the hepped-up horsepower or the 12-speaker surround sound. For the 36-year-old Clinton, Md., patent examiner, the real wow factor came when he tested the high-tech "queue assist" feature of his adaptive cruise control.Through five miles of stop-and-go rush hour traffic and numerous red lights, he marveled (nervously) as the car did all its own braking, without his foot ever touching the pedal. "It's like being a backseat driver, only in the driver's seat," says Harper...

Many of the technologies, like Harper's adaptive cruise control, have been around for years, but they're being continually tweaked to help vehicles operate more autonomously. And new smart-car features keep coming, from proactive safety systems (like cars that self-slam their brakes for errant pedestrians) to parental controls that can limit radio volume for teen drivers. Of course, the biggest tech trend hitting the auto world is all that voice-activated, wireless Web surfing we'll be doing, having the car read our texts aloud or find the nearest Mongolian barbecue joint.

Friday, July 8, 2011

USDOT Connected Vehicle Testing To Take Place At Michigan International Speedway

Michigan International Speedway has been chosen as one of only six venues in the country to host U.S. Department of Transportation testing for wireless vehicle-to-vehicle safety communication technologies. The first in a series of six Light Vehicle Driver Acceptance Clinics will be held at MIS starting in August to help the federal government and the automobile industry learn more about how drivers respond to communication-based safety warnings that are intended to reduce traffic accidents and save lives. So Brooklyn, Mich., joins a list of other cities including Dallas, San Francisco, Orlando, Brainerd, Minn., and Blacksburg, Va., that will also host the trials.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Connected cars: take one to ease congestion

By: Hans-Hendrik Puvogel, INRIX Europe
However, with the staggering wealth of technology now at their disposal, modern travellers can access up to the minute 'real time' updates on demand via smart-phones and tablet computers. But this is just the beginning: with traffic technology advancing at a rapid pace, and internet-connected vehicles being introduced en masse, what effect will this have on the development of travel technology, and how will it transform the journey of tomorrow?

Toll lanes coming to 10 and 110 freeways in Los Angeles County

Officials broke ground on what will be Los Angeles County's first freeway toll lanes, taking a gamble that drivers will be willing to pay significant sums to avoid rush-hour traffic...
"Today marks a major milestone," Villaraigosa said, adding that the HOT lanes could be expanded to other freeways if the pilot program is successful.

New York Agencies Recognized for Giving Commuters Real-Time Information to Avoid Traffic Congestion

The Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) today recognized the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and TRANSCOM, a coalition of 16 transportation and public safety agencies in the New York City region, for providing area commuters and travelers with real-time information to help avoid traffic congestion and find the most convenient travel routes.

Three carpooling apps to cut commuting costs

Now that hybrid vehicles lost their single-occupancy privileges in California carpool lanes, ride sharing could start to sound a lot more appealing to commuters. To make it easier to fill empty seats and get back into HOV lanes, commuters can download free mobile apps that help match drivers with riders.

Transit Safety Retrofit Package (TRP) Development

As a part of the Connected Vehicles project the USDOT issued a Sources Sought announcement on June 29 to identify the availability and capability of qualified sources to perform the development of Transit Safety Retrofit Package, and to obtain industry feedback and input on the draft Statement of Work.


ITS America Smart Transportation Technology Showcase & World Congress Preview

Did you miss ITS America's Smart Transportation Technology Showcase & Reception in June? Be sure to check out this two minute YouTube clip with interviews from exhibitors and sound bites from several Members of Congress, including ITS Caucus CO-Chairman Russ Carnahan, D-Mo., and Corrine Brown, D-Fla. More than 200 industry professionals and congressional staff attended the event, including a dozen members of Congress. Get all of the information you need on the 18th World Congress on ITS at — the biggest transportation event of 2011!

Jacksonville buses getting automated payment system in 2012

Starting next year, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority will switch to a new, automated payment system with a smart card for bus passengers. The smart card, which looks like a credit card, will replace the 20 or so different bus passes that exist today, part of a system that has been in place for a generation.


Abstracts for Carbon Management Conference due July 18

This inaugural conference draws professionals from all engineering disciplines to share their expertise and provide their perspective on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to changing climate. The conference will focus on engineering perspectives regarding key issues, including technologies, strategies, policies, and management systems.

Proposals for Exploratory Advanced Research

FHWA issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the Exploratory Advanced Research Program, soliciting for high-risk, high-payoff research and innovations to solve critical highway challenges. During 2009 and 2010 FHWA engaged stakeholders from within and outside the traditional highway research community to identify topics of research that promise transformation and possible breakthroughs in highway technology, processes and policies...
The Broad Agency Announcement (number DTFH61-1-R-00027) is open until 4:00 pm EST, September 15, 2011

Being Able to Live a Spontaneous Life: Easter Seals Project ACTION 2010 Accomplishments Report

Easter Seals Project ACTION has released a report that explores the organization’s accomplishments during 2010 that supported its mission to promote universal access to transportation for people with disabilities through training, technical assistance, outreach, and applied research projects.

The Nature of Errors Made by Drivers

Austroads has released a report that explores the nature of errors made by drivers.
The report is free, but you must register before you may download the report.

New message signs, cameras coming to Ky. highways in 5 counties

Seven new side-mounted message signs and eight cameras are being installed by Arrow Electric of Louisville under a $1.5 million contract. The devices will be part of the cabinet's overall intelligent transportation system, which relays information to motorists about traffic incidents and delays.

A Roboticist's Trip From Mines to the Moon

Robots created by William "Red" Whittaker have crawled into mines and volcanoes, crossed deserts, won a 60-mile road race, helped clean up nuclear waste and harvested alfalfa. He has sheaves of academic awards and more than a dozen U.S. patents. "I have a very robot-centric view of the universe," he said. Now the 63-year-old professor of robotics at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University is gambling on his boldest venture yet: designing and making a spacecraft capable of carrying one of his robots to the moon.

Sobi Social Bikes Offers Cheaper Bikeshare

Unlike other social biking concepts and designs, the Sobi concept involves a GPS-enabled electronic lockbox that comes attached to the bicycle, allowing it to be parked at any traditional bike rack. Designed specially for urban transportation and tourist destinations, Sobi is equipped with a sophisticated networking system that allows for easy management of the bikeshare system.

Car-sharing idea gets around

"The basic idea behind it is that there are millions of cars that sit idle 22 hours a day. We have developed some novel technology to make it easier for people to share those cars."
A virtual marketplace, Getaround puts pre-screened car owners and vetted renters together and able to communicate via their smartphones or the Web.

CMU Develops Self-Driving Cars That Are Impossible To Crash

Do you remember the movie Minority Report, where the cars seemingly drove themselves, navigating between each other while changing lanes? It seems kind of scary with all the cars zipping by each other at such high speeds, they look like they might crash into each other, but surprisingly they don’t. Well it looks like we may not have to wait that long to experience a future like that, thanks to CMU (Carnegie Mellon University) who are developing cars that not only can drive themselves, but also avoid crashing into each other.

Xerox PARC: Still Inventing Cool New Stuff After All These Years

Refocusing on transportation, Burns notes that most road sensing systems to date have involved punitive measures to make drivers behave better: don’t drive too fast, or park in the wrong place. But she says PARC is working on ways to help cities deliver services in more helpful ways. One example she offers: imagine cities could provide a way to make it easier for drivers to find empty parking places in urban areas via the use of “intelligent sensing.” She notes that ACS already has relationships with just about every state in the country for the delivery of some services around transportation.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

An Executive Viewpoint: Scott J. McCormick, President, Connected Vehicle Trade Association

Scott J. McCormick, President of the Connected Vehicle Trade Association defines the 'connected vehicle' and he discloses his thoughts about what's happening in the market today, providing his predictions for its future. Find out what he thinks here...

IDC: Mobile app downloads to soar

People will download more than 182 billion mobile apps in 2015, according to a new report from IDC. That's up from 10.7 billion apps downloaded in 2010, according to Scott Ellison, the author of the report...
However, more interesting than the volume of app downloads will be the way that app developers monetize the apps in the future, IDC's Ellison said.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

TIGER grants are here again

I'm pleased to announce that we're making an additional $527 million available for a third round of TIGER funding. We're calling it TIGER 3, and we're encouraging states, cities, and local governments to submit their applications.