Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Google's maps go indoors with new mobile feature

An upgrade of Google's mobile mapping service released Tuesday includes directions within stores, malls, airports and transit centers in the U.S. and Japan.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Self-Driving Vehicles Swarming to Future Roads

Influenced heavily by swarm robotics and artificial intelligence, Rattray's omni-wheeled, self-driving Autonomos would travel in tight platoons while shifting their configurations to maintain an uninterrupted traffic flow. Microwave sensors would allow cars to travel a mere 7.8 inches apart, thus aerodynamically reducing vehicle drag and energy consumption, making tailgating actually a good thing.

Banks Stumble Along Tech Frontier

The main gripe about mobile payments is that the current technology doesn't significantly improve upon the tried-and-true method of swiping a piece of plastic...
"The lesson in all of this is that you need critical mass and you need something that works and works well," said Ed McLaughlin, chief emerging-payments officer at MasterCard.

Feed your expiring meters by cell phone

In San Francisco, 45 cents soon could save $55. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency plans to launch a new service that sends drivers text alerts if their parking meters are about to expire. People also will be allowed to plug the meters remotely using their cell phones. Existing time restrictions won't change. A 45-cent "convenience" fee will be charged for each pay-by-phone transaction. The service is voluntary.

State uses analytics to build roads faster, cheaper

North Carolina’s Transportation Department is using analytics software to build roads faster and for less money while minimizing environmental disruption. NCDOT is analyzing geographic data to help narrow the choices of possible road corridors and, at the same time, is able to reduce costly land surveys. The process can save $500,000 per project and shave 20 percent off the time needed to select and plan a road, according to North Carolina officials.

No Ads on Electronic Road Signs in Pennsylvania

To make up for a shortfall in transportation funding, the administration of former Governor Ed Rendell had applied to the federal government for permission to put paid advertisements on electronic road signs. Governor Tom Corbett's administration determined that such signs might pose a hazard by distracting drivers, so the application was withdrawn in April.

Mobile Telephones and Other Communication Devices and Their Impact on Traffic Safety – A Review of the Literature

The Swedish National Road and Transportation Research Institute (VTI) has released a report that explores the use of mobile devices while operating vehicles and the impact it has on traffic safety. The report is written in English with a Swedish summary.

A Feasibility Study on Embedded Micro-Electromechanical Sensors and Systems (MEMS) for Monitoring Highway Structures

The Institute for Transportation at Iowa State University has released a report that explores the use of micro-electromechanical systems to monitor the health of highway structures.

511 Travel Information Service: Development & Documentation

The New York State Department of Transportation has released a report that outlines the development and scope of the 511NY Travel Information Service.

FISMA 2011: Persistent Weaknesses in DOT's Controls Challenge the Protection and Security of its Information Systems

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Office of Inspector General has released a report on the results of an annual audit of DOT’s information security program and practices, as required by the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002.

Travel Behavior 2011: Volume 2

TRB’s Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2231 consists of 15 papers that explore non-work travel behavior; applying sequence alignment methods to large activity–travel data sets; dynamic choice set generation; the impacts of information and communication technologies and virtual activities on activity and travel behavior in Cairo, Egypt; and empirical analysis of decision-making and tour formation processes.

Making Energy Efficient Streetlights a Reality

Pittsburgh is planning to convert its 40,000 streetlights to LEDs over the next five years. The city commissioned Carnegie Mellon's Remaking Cities Institute (which I lead) to analyze the possible negative effects. We benchmarked best practices internationally, researched the newest LED technology, conducted field tests, interviewed stakeholders and ultimately made recommendations.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Car Safety Tech at the L.A. International Auto Show: Next Gen Safety

I think the most impressive vehicle safety innovations, show after show, come from Volvo. They have done an excellent job of meshing safety regulations with advanced technology to take it all a step further. They have a system in their vehicles called “city safety” which is a camera-based detection system that uses a laser-based radar to create a field of vision in front of the car to detect people. The system recognizes the difference between a person and, say, a shopping cart, and will stop the vehicle along with alerting the driver.

IEEE ITS Society Newsletter

2012 IEEE ITS Conference (ITSC12)
Call for Papers 2012 IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Symposium (IVS12)
Call for Papers 2012 IEEE International Conference on Vehicular Electronics and Safety (ICVES 2012)
Call for Papers 2012 International Conference on ITS TelecommunicationsCall for Papers

Sunday, November 27, 2011

ODOT leads the way in traffic data

Holiday shoppers will have several new tools to plot their travel strategy this season and more high-tech help is on the way. The Ohio Department of Transportation has installed 18 of 21 message boards planned for the Akron area. About 30 cameras of major traffic areas are working, with a total of 66 planned. A website that shows freeway speeds is already up and running.

WEBINAR Fourth Generation Wireless Infrastructure - Long Term Evolution (LTE) Advanced and Heterogenous Networks (HetNets)

Presenters: Dr. Eduardo Esteves, Vice President of R&D and Technology Marketing, QUALCOMM - Wednesday December 14, 2011 1p EST (click here to see more information) This is a webinar in the Technology Scan and Sssessment Webinar Series is a companion to ITS America newest report Fourth Generation Wireless Vehicle and Highway Gateways to the Cloud.

The Autonomous Electric Mail Truck of Tomorrow

In the future, electric mail trucks will follow postal carriers like well-trained puppies. Volkswagen, which already envisions a world where we drive super-sexy diesel hybrids that get 261 mpg, teamed up with Deutsche Post to reinvent the lowly mail truck.

Are Highways going to be Completely Automated in the Future?

In the future you might not have to deal with rude drivers and speeding cars because cars will be completely autonomous. Today's congested highways have resulted in a rising number of car accidents. In Australia the number of fatalities due to car accidents has increased every year. In 2009 the road toll was 1509 people killed in Australian roads. Traditional methods of preventing car crashes have mostly relied on building better automobiles but perhaps it's time to completely re-think the system.

Intelligent Transportation Systems for Commercial Vehicle Operations (ITS/CVO)

This case study shows how technology can be applied to reduce the cost of truck registration and inspection for motor carriers and federal and state agencies in case of cross-border transport. It shows that technology can help improve safety and productivity; that standards are key to success; that motor carries only participate if the system saves them money; and that Public-Private Partnerships can be used to deploy such a technology system.

MMDA to test iBus system

THE Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said Thursday it will test an award winning Filipino invention designed to address endemic problems in bus transportation in urban areas like Metro Manila. MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino issued the statement after he met with Elma Arboleras, who presented her Intelligent Bus System or iBus system for the consideration of the agency's use in addressing the problems brought by traffic congestion in the metropolis.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Free Florida 511 app makes holiday travel a little easier

The days before and after Thanksgiving are among the busiest of the year, and the Florida Department of Transportation knows how stressful holiday travel can be. That's why it's taking the time to remind Florida drivers: There's an app for that. The Florida 511 app gives you access to maps, traffic cameras and travel times right from your smart phone.

The brains behind ─░stanbul’s transporation wonder: the Metrobus

─░stanbul's Metrobus network, on which hundreds of thousands of ─░stanbulites travel every day, is controlled centrally from a command center that looks little like a space station. This station opened its doors for the first time ever to the press, namely to Today's Zaman.

Phone away fines

Parking and Transportation Services hopes that offering commuters the chance to pay for parking with a smartphone is a smart choice. It is now possible to pay for parking through either an iPhone or Android smartphone. The combination of the new digital parking meters and the ability to pay via smartphone has reduced the number of parking violations given this year by 50 percent from last year, according to Mark Napier, the PTS associate director.

Leading the way on road to smart car revolution

AUSTRALIA could lead the world in the creation of new transport infrastructure, including cars that communicate with each other to avoid traffic jams and electric cars that power the grid. This is the view of American Professor Travis Waller, who has joined the University of NSW to head its new research centre for integrated transport innovation.

Electric Vehicles Have Great Potential

If there is one application that could someday bring M2M into every home in the country, it could be electric-vehicle charging.

Call for stringent steps to curb road crashes in UAE

"The ITS helps to develop safe and efficient road networks by understanding how the transportation and infrastructure master plan is integrated with ITS components," said Al Harethi. He added that the application of ITS would reduce road accidents by 30-40 per cent yearly.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Connected Vehicle Core System Baseline Documentation

The Connected Vehicle Systems Engineering Research Program produced baseline documentation defining the Core System that will enable vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-infrastructure, and vehicle-to- personal device communications. This documentation was developed in conjunction with interested stakeholders across the Country. The documentation provides a concept for the core system operations, and initiates a high-level design of the system defining what the system must accomplish. The documentation also identifies potential areas for new and updated standards, and identifies critical risks to system deployment.

CDOT developing smartphone traffic application

The Colorado Department of Transportation is developing a smartphone application to alert drivers to traffic conditions — and suggest pit stops for dining and killing time while waiting for the roads to clear...
"What's really unique about the app is that we hope to have more predictive information on it," Stegman said. "In the past we've just been able to show you what's going on real time.

Smartphones Shift Conventional Walking Patterns

Smartphones may be shifting conventional walking patterns by encouraging people to move outside their comfort zones. “Smartphones facilitate exploration,” said research scientist Andrew Mondschien. “They make it easier to explore, they make people more comfortable in their environments because they don’t feel like they’re going to be lost,” and decrease fear of crime, adding a sense of security.

Toyota to show autonomous Prius hybrid and home energy charging station at Tokyo Motor Show

One of the more interesting areas is certain to be the Toyota Smart Mobility Park exhibit which will feature the Toyota AVOS (Automatic Vehicle Operation System), a self-driving version of the Prius. Back-seat test drives will be available at the show, demonstrating first hand how the Prius can avoid obstacles, be summoned from a parking garage and park itself.

CCITT Newsletter: Fall 2011

The Center for the Commercialization of Innovative Transportation Technologies, part of the Northwestern University Transportation Center, has released the latest version of its periodic newsletter that highlights research projects that push existing research outcomes closer to the point of adoption and implementation by public and private operators and users of all types in the transportation industry.

Safety Compass Newsletter: Fall 2011

The U.S. Federal Highway Administration has released the latest issue of its Safety Compass newsletter. The newsletter covers program delivery, best practices, research, training, regulations, and legislation designed to help improve and establish a more productive national and local safety program.

10th National Conference on Access Management*

TRB is cosponsoring the 10th National Conference on Access Management on July 17-19, 2012, in Dallas, Texas. The conference will draw together engineers, planners, consultants, land developers, and academics from across all fields of highway planning, design, operations, and engineering.

20th International Symposium on Transportation and Traffic Theory*

TRB is cosponsoring the 20th International Symposium on Transportation and Traffic Theory on July 17-19, 2013, in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. The symposium will deal with scientific and operational aspects of transportation and traffic, spanning all modes of transport, and covering freight as well as private and public transport. Individuals or groups wishing to present at the symposium must submit an abstract by January 15, 2012.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Technology assists drivers but shouldn't take over

Aaron Steinfeld works at the Quality of Life Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University. He is project lead on Safe Driving, a cluster of projects that develop intelligent vehicle technology for the elderly and disabled. One of these is Virtual Valet, a semi-autonomous parking system that allows drivers to get out of their vehicle and use video streaming on their smartphone to supervise the car as it parks itself. The vehicle keeps track of where it is, using lasers, cameras and inertial sensors.

Chicago, Philadelphia sign up for next-gen transit payment systems

Meanwhile, Philadelphia’s transit authority, SEPTA, on Thursday awarded Cubic rival ACS Transport Solutions a $129.5 million contract to deploy an open standards system that allows for bank cards as well as contact-less “smart cards” in its bus, subway, trolley and regional rail systems, doing away with the tokens, passes, tickets and cash used today.

Grant to give University of Utah transit buses of the future

A new federal grant aims to make the University of Utah home to first-in-the-nation transit buses of the future — electric shuttles that recharge without wires from underground pads while they wait for passengers.

Harnessing Residents' Electronic Devices Will Yield Truly Smart Cities

The best way to harness a city's potential for creativity and innovation is to jack people into the network and get out of the way.

New technology could transform road safety

China is now working on an Internet of cars (IoC), to increase the amount of immediate information about road conditions. It could offer many benefits to transport, and could also help cut down on accidents.

GE going big with Bay Area software initiative

Ruh, formerly vice president of systems technology at Cisco Systems, said much of the center's focus will be on the company's energy, health care, aviation and transportation customers and divisions...
"Our goal is to develop a new generation of intelligent systems that can predict and respond to changes," he said, likening the changes to an "Internet industrial revolution." "As we do this, GE will look to be recognized as a great software company," he said.

Automakers need to add more technology to stay on the minds of millennials, panelists agree

Automakers have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to the millennial generation (those who were born between 1980 and 2000). Research indicates that today's young people are more interested in handheld devices like the iPod and the iPhone than cars. Panelists at the first-ever Society of Automotive Analysts' (SAA) Technology Outlook Conference said that carmakers will have to make it possible for millennials to update their social media pages from their vehicles. The challenge is that automakers need to add technology, but do it in a way that reduces driver distraction.

How cellphone signals will help York region ease gridlock

Traffic jams are not getting better, but they are getting smarter, thanks to the people stuck inside them. In January, the Regional Municipality of York is set to begin using a real-time traffic monitoring system built around cellphones.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

NSF RFP - Partnerships for Innovation (PFI)

The NSF Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) program is an umbrella for two complementary subprograms: one of which involves an earlier stage that focuses on building innovation capacity and the other involves a later stage that focuses on the acceleration of innovative research.

National Spotlight on Maricopa County Test Site for High-Tech Traffic Management Prototype

Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) engineers and University of Arizona researchers are on the national forefront developing a system that will radically lower these statistics and make signalized intersections safer nationwide for emergency responders and the general public, according to Faisal Saleem, MCDOT ITS engineer, and UA Systems and Industrial Engineering researcher, Dr. Larry Head.

Carnegie Mellon University Students Win Global Cybersecurity Contests

In the last four weeks, the CMU CTF team has won two prestigious contests. On Oct. 24 they won the SecuInside CTF contest in South Korea, winning $30,000. Last week, they entered two teams at the Polytechnic Institute of New York (NYU-Poly) CSAW contest and took first- and second-place, netting another $1,750.

ITS Vienna 2012: Paper submission open

The Call for Papers for the 19th World Congress for Intelligent Transport Systems opened on 17 October 2011. We invite ITS experts to submit a technical/scientific paper or Special Interest Session for presentation at ITS Vienna 2012. We also strongly encourage women in ITS to hand in their contributions. The proposals must be received by Friday 13 January 2012.

Edmonton’s Cutting Edge Traffic Management - Video

The task was two-fold: create a video promoting Edmonton to an international audience of thousands, while at the same time explaining the most cutting-edge aspect of the City’s Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), to play repeatedly on a big screen at the 2011 ITS World Congress held in Orlando, Florida in September 2011.

Intelligent technologies to reduce accidents

Most of the traffic accidents caused due to driver error can be eliminated if existing intelligent transportation technologies are implemented in vehicles and roads, according to experts at Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

A Request for Proposals Released for the Multi-Modal Intelligent Traffic Signal System Project

The Cooperative Transportation Systems Pooled Fund Study, a group of 11 state and local transportation agencies and FHWA, is focused on research and application development to prepare agencies for the deployment of connected vehicle technology.

4 Cities Using Tech to Alleviate Traffic

We’ve already shown you how apps and tools can make parking easier, but what about the actual act of driving? Perhaps unbeknownst to you, there’s a lot of tech in your city’s streets and traffic lights that make things run more smoothly. And so despite a growing population and a growing number of cars on the road, gas-guzzling congestion and dirty emissions just might cede, thanks to technology that’s improving traffic flow management.

Google X labs plan robot researchers to map the future

Google could release a fleet of autonomous data collection robots, supplanting its current Google Street View cars insiders suggest, using robotics and AI research from the search giant’s mysterious Google X incubator labs. The high-tech exploratory ‘bots – which would build on Google’s self-driving cars - are one of several outlandish projects currently underway among the company’s more prophetic engineers and developers, according to an NY Times piece on the clandestine R&D facility.


Other initiatives will include a $287,000 study to determine the feasibility of converting Port Authority buses to natural gas fuel; a $120,000 pilot project by Carnegie Mellon University in East Liberty that will develop a light signal system that aids traffic flow; a large scale planting program to add 20,000 trees to city streets in the next three years; an analysis of the economic benefits of air quality improvements; and a “Mayors Summit” meeting to gather information from other cities that have successfully reduced air pollution.

T3 Webinar - Overview Introduction to Cyber Security Issues for Transportation

Date: December 7, 2011
Time: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM ET
Cost: All T3 webinars are free of charge

The Clever Devices platform offers many operational and customer benefits, including automatic bus stop announcements, vehicle condition monitoring, p

The Clever Devices platform offers many operational and customer benefits, including automatic bus stop announcements, vehicle condition monitoring, passenger counting, and real-time location reporting. The technology, together with an upcoming procurement for a new radio system, will ultimately enable NJ Transit to deliver real-time bus location and arrival information to any web-enabled device, letting customers know when their bus is expected to arrive at their stop.

Field Testing and Evaluation of a Wireless-Based Transit Signal Priority System

The University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies has released a report that explores the effectiveness of a wireless-based transit signal priority strategy based upon bus schedule adherence, location and speed.

Use and Deployment of Mobile Device Technology for Real-Time Transit Information

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis 91: Use and Deployment of Mobile Device Technology for Real-Time Transit Information examines the use and deployment of real-time transit information on mobile devices.

Travel Behavior 2011: Volume 1

TRB’s Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2230 consists of 15 papers that explores the role of social networks in start time and duration of activities, choices related to bicycle commuting, route choice behavior, continuous activity planning for continuous traffic simulation, large-scale single-day survey samples, and parametric hazard functions.

Announcement of FY 2012 TCRP Projects for Potential Contractors

The research projects to be undertaken by TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) as part of its Fiscal Year 2012 activities have been identified and are now available for review. Requests for Proposals related to the individual projects are expected to be issued starting in March 2012.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Transforming the Twin Cities into a robotics hub (w/ video)

People always ask robotics expert Matt Mason of Carnegie Mellon University, "When is a robot going to change my life?" "I say, 'It already has,' " he said. Robotic manufacturing is commonplace in the auto industry, Mason points out, and now you can buy cars that brake for you in emergencies, stay in the lane automatically or even park themselves. But few people consider those cars "robots." A robot car may not be that far off. In an episode that sounds like science fiction, Google revealed in May that it had sent seven self-driving cars a combined total of more than 140,000 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles without anyone noticing.

MIT Study Suggests “Smart” Safety Systems May Lead to "Stupid" Accidents

Active safety systems are becoming more and more common in modern cars. Features such as lane departure warning or blind spot information systems are meant to let the car’s onboard "clever" electronics help you avoid dangerous situations – and in extreme cases, take over automatically apply full force to the braking system. However, a recent study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on driver distraction suggests that there can be too much of a good thing, even in safety-related systems.

Public transport info on Google Maps to ease travel in Dubai

DUBAI: Information on Dubai’s integrated mass transport network comprising the Metro, public buses, water bus and water taxi is now fully uploaded on digital Google Maps. This service enables users of various types of public transport in Dubai Emirate to plan their daily travels in a smooth and easy manner at any time they wish, through the Google Maps’ portal ( downloadable on their computers or smart phones.

Nokia Indoor Positioning Technology May Find Lost Car Keys

The technology can pinpoint objects with attached transmitters within a 20-centimeter (7.9-inch) range, Fabio Belloni, Principal Researcher at the Nokia Research Center, said today. It could also be used to help travelers find gates in airports and locate merchandise in stores, he said.

The Car is the 3rd Fastest Growing Wireless Gadget

The race we are now seeing to connect smartphones to car radios is just an interim step, say analysts. The real goal is building 3 or 4G right into the radio, without the need of a connected smartphone. And this shift will happen so quickly that in 3-4 years ALL cars will offer embedded wireless, says AT&T’s Glenn Lurie.


This robot guide dog takes the blind for a walk

Most elderly or disabled people rely upon wheelchairs, Seeing Eye dogs and nursing assistants to get them through the day. Soon they may also get a robotic walker that channels the sensing abilities of a friendly guide dog to navigate rooms, streets and even stairs.

Android radar app aims to prevent collisions

The app allows the phone to map objects in front of the driver in real time, calculating the user’s current speed using native sensors. As the vehicle approaches danger, an audio-visual warning pops up to warn the driver of a possible collision, allowing them to brake in time.

New technologies could prevent wrong-way drivers

MILWAUKEE - It happens more often than you think. Drivers take a wrong turn and end up driving the wrong-way on the highway. The most recent case ended with two people killed.
Can wrong-way driving be prevented? Wrong-way sensors have worked in North Texas.
"We had a 44% percent reduction in wrong-way crashes and a 100% reduction in fatal wrong way crashes," said Marty Leje of the North Texas Toll Authority.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

'Waze' helps Silicon Valley commuters fight traffic

Getting around town in heavy traffic is almost fun if you're using a crowd-sourced traffic app called Waze. The app, which brings social networking to commuting, has taken off in the Bay Area since its launch here two years ago. Last month, it introduced a redesigned interface.

City testing traffic tracker website

The Chicago Department of Transportation is building a new website that offers an array of traffic information about 300 miles of arterial streets citywide. A test version of the Chicago Traffic Tracker map is at

Peer-to-peer car sharing gains investors, users

USA Today
Thousands of drivers are borrowing cars from newfound friends for an hourly fee — and companies, both big and small, want in on the trend.

Transportation and economic development: Why Smarter Transport is good for jobs and growth

IBM Institute Study
Transport contributes directly to economic activity and employment through bus, rail, road, air and maritime services. It also has a large indirect impact via all the other sectors and activities in the economy that depend on and use these various modes of transport to move people and goods around, nationally and internationally, in an efficient and safe manner.

Intelligent Transportation Systems: Your Road to the Future -Video

A new video produced by the University of Minnesota ITS Institute offers a snapshot of the rewarding career opportunities in the field of transportation technology, or intelligent transportation systems (ITS).

ITS America Summary of the Senate Transportation Reauthorization Bill

The bipartisan proposal would maintain overall surface transportation funding at current levels plus inflation (roughly $109 billion) over the two-year timeframe covered by the bill. However, the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Baucus, must still identify the additional $12 billion needed to fully fund the bill, and the Senate Banking Committee and Senate Commerce Committee must still provide transit, safety, and freight provisions.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Home / Saudi Arabia / Makkah to become smart city in 6 years, says governor Makkah to become smart city in 6 years, says governor

“We will employ all kinds of modern technology to make Makkah smarter than any other smart city,” Prince Khaled told a press conference in Mina on Tuesday, the penultimate day of Haj 2011.

FTA initiative will connect America's veterans and their families to the opportunities they deserve

These projects will make it possible for veterans to check bus and van schedules online or over the phone and to schedule rides with vanpools or private transportation companies. Better coordination means better service, for everyone.

Honda’s ASIMO Robot Gets Smarter, More Autonomous

Perhaps even more importantly, Honda’s little droid has been upgraded in the AI department as well, enabling it to (autonomously) respond to movement and surrounding situations. It can recognize a face or a voice — even when multiple people are speaking simultaneously — and react to the intention of the other party. It can also predict the direction a person will walk within a few seconds, and take an alternate path to avoid collision.

Kia Rio restyled, Soul refreshed, and both offer stop-start option

Although Rio and Accent share a platform, there are technical differences. Kia is the first mainstream-priced car line in the U.S. (BMW and Porsche the higher-end exceptions) to offer an idle stop-start system on a 12-V car, making it available as a $400 option on the Rio ordered with a “convenience package.”

Midstate firm to design $8M La. highway-incident system

East Pennsboro Township-based Gannett Fleming Inc. has been chosen as the lead engineer of an $8 million design-build transportation project for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.

City modernizing traffic controls

Pittsburgh - The city's goals are not only to increase public safety, but to improve traffic flow and ease congestion. Workers will be able to operate traffic lights remotely, so timing can be changed in advance of sporting events or adjusted on the fly if accidents, construction, snow storms or other factors warrant.

New mobility

Last week I began a new series of columns on the transportation challenges of Metro Manila, proposing a change of paradigm from understanding our current problem to be one from traffic to a transportation, or better still a mobility, perspective.

NYC DOT to Roll Out Smart Parking Tech in 2012

New York City is moving forward with plans to use sensors to improve parking management, along the lines of San Francisco’s pioneering SFPark system. The program will be unveiled next year, Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced at a conference on transportation and technology held last Friday at Columbia University.

KT, Cisco Working on Smart Cities

Korean telecommunications giant KT will partner Cisco, the global communications equipment and systems provider, to realize technologically-advanced metropolitan environments as seen in science-fiction movies...
The smart city service includes building up IT infrastructure within an urban center and setting up an integrated control center, as well as managing and controlling transportation, safety, electricity, firefighting, and public facilities through IT.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Volpe Highlights: October 2011

The U.S. Research and Innovative Technology Administration’s Volpe National Transportation Systems Center has released the latest issue of its monthly newsletter that highlights work taking place at the center as well as information of interest to the transportation research community.

SHRP 2 Project Brief: Improving Travel Time Reliability

TRB’s second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) has released a project brief that highlights new tools being developed through SHRP 2’s Reliability focus area to improve reliable travel times by helping to change business processes to support travel time reliability, monitor travel time reliability and usefully preserve the data, evolve the institutional arrangements of agencies, improve traffic incident scene management, and improve overall systems operations and management.

A SHRP 2 Program Update for 2011: Can You See Us Now?

TRB’s second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) has released a project brief that provides a snapshot of SHRP 2 progress. Since it’s authorization in 2005 50 pilot tests and field demonstrations have been undertaken in 24 states, 35 documents are published, data are being collected from nearly 1000 cars in the naturalistic driving study, and five invitational work sessions have been held to help prepare for implementation of SHRP 2 products.

Smart Rivers 2011: Conference Presentations Available

Presentations made during the Smart Rivers 2011 Conference in September 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana are available for download. The conference, which was cosponsored by TRB, explored topics such as "smart" service design and innovation, system/technology, public policy/finance, environmental management, flood protection/mitigation, port and landside economic development, and more.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


THE INTELLIGENT VEHICLES SYMPOSIUM (IV'12) is the premier annual forum sponsored by the IEEE INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS SOCIETY (ITSS). Researchers, academicians, practitioners, and students from universities, industry, and government agencies are invited to discuss research and applications for Intelligent Vehicles and Vehicle-Infrastructure Cooperation.

County Intelligent Transportation System earns award

Traffic engineer Keith Bryant brought home the ITS Florida’s Outstanding Achievement Award, given for leadership and innovations toward advancing ITS and incident management, and Siemens Outstanding ITS Deployment Award in recognition of outstanding and exemplary vision and innovation in the design and implementation of ITS.

Prof. Allen Biehler, Former Secretary of PA DOT to talk about Smart Growth

Allen Biehler, the former Secretary of PA DOT will talk with Paula and Becca about his smart Transportation Initiatives in Pennsylvania and nationwide. Listen at or at 88.3 fm from 5-5:30 pm on Thursday 11/7/2011

Eaton Corporation to Install 45 EV Charging Stations along Pennsylvania Interstate

Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation today announced the deployment of 45 new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations along Interstate 376, a major auxiliary route of the Pennsylvania Interstate Highway System, made possible by a $238,467 Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities (PRCC) grant received from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and a private investment of approximately $400,000, for the development of EV infrastructure in the state.

Request For Information (RFI) "Every Day Counts Innovation Initiatives"

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) hereby requests information from all sources regarding innovations that have the potential to transform the way we do business by shortening project delivery, enhancing the safety of our roadways, and protecting the environment. The purpose of this RFI is to hear from our state, local, and industry partners regarding ideas for accelerated deployment of proven processes or technologies that have the potential to provide efficiencies at all levels of the transportation system.

New Traffic Cameras Offer On-line View of Reno Freeway Travel Conditions

More than 20 cameras stationed along Interstate 80 and U.S. 395 through the heart of Reno provide nearly up-to-the-second views of travel conditions. To view, users simply log onto and select “Traffic Cameras” under traveler information.

Friday, November 4, 2011

U of M Start-Up Hopes to Reduce Traffic Congestion

The traffic management system can calculate the length of vehicle queues at intersections with traffic signals, according to a university news release. The system, which includes a device that can be installed inside controller cabinets at street corners, collects data such as vehicle queue length—each time the light is red—and the time it takes to get through the intersection. It then transmits the information to a server in real-time using an Ethernet connection.

Can IT Make Cities Better?

The aim of Cisco’s $12 million Clinton Global Initiative investment was to “demonstrate how to reduce carbon emissions by introducing fundamental improvements in the efficiency of urban infrastructure through information and communications technology (ICT).”

Supreme Court set to hear landmark GPS tracking case

"If the Supreme Court were to rule against warrants for GPS tracking, the state of Pennsylvania could, for example, decide tomorrow that all license plates would be issued with a GPS monitor," warned Norman Sadeh, a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, in a statement of the university's home page.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Awards for Technology Moving People and Goods Faster, Safer, Cleaner

Best New Innovative Products, Services, or Applications
This award recognizes “innovative projects that provide transportation solutions to users in the areas of public safety, security, surface transportation efficiency and the reduction of carbon emissions.

1st: Houston TranStar for “Cost Effective Arterial Network Travel Times”

2nd: Carnegie Mellon University’s “Tiramisu Transit”

3rd: Florida Department of Transportation District 4 “Maintenance Inventory Management System”


ITS America's 22nd Annual Meeting & Exposition - call for papers

Gaylord National Convention Center - National Harbor, Maryland
May 21 - May 23, 2012 Deadline for Submission is December 1, 2011
The ITS America Annual Meeting Program Committee is proud to announce a change in the process of submitting a topic for presentation at the ITS America Annual Meeting. New this year, we will augment our traditional 'Call for Papers' approach with presentation-only submissions.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Smartphone's Next Role: Reducing Highway Fatalities

Automotive researchers have been earnestly studying the V2V idea for years, but the cellphone aspect of it is new. Grimm demonstrated the smartphone technology at the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress in Orlando on October 17."Someone could start up their V2V application on the phone and put it in a pocket or purse, while it decides if it needs to send warning to other vehicles in the area," Grimm said. "All of that would be seamlessly communicated over a wireless link through your vehicle's audio system."

Traffic cameras give live view of conditions on I-80, 395 through Reno

More than 20 cameras have been installed, part of NDOT’s statewide network of Intelligent Transportation Systems, which includes freeway digital message signs, Highway Advisory Radio, freeway ramp meters and more than 100 Las Vegas traffic cameras hosted in partnership with local cities and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada.

ITS and Locational Privacy: Suggestions for Peaceful Coexistence

The Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota has released a report that reviews from legal and political perspectives several cases where implementation of transportation technologies has raised concerns about civil liberties.