Tuesday, January 31, 2012

LaHood highlights need for young women to study STEM subjects

At a WTS International event earlier this week, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood put out an “urgent” call to encourage more young people, particularly young women, to study science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and to consider careers in those fields to help fill the current and future need of jobs in transportation.

Foldable Electric Cars To Launch In Europe Next Year

Researchers from MIT have developed a highly efficient electric car for commuting around the city. Dubbed the Hiriko, the tiny vehicle is powered by a single electric engine and can fold in on itself once parked to become even smaller. In addition, the wheels can rotate 360 degrees making parallel parking much easier as drivers can simply steer sideways into the parking spot.

Retailing for $16,210, Hiriko cars will initially be launched in European cities as part of a car-sharing program and is expected to be ready by 2013. No official information has been released on which cities will be participating, but Berlin and Barcelona have expressed interest.


Walkbase showcases indoor location tech with auto check-in app

While location-based services are bringing a lot of context and relevancy to the world, the technology is a lot harder to use indoors. But a Finnish company called Walkbase is looking to bring to market a very simple and scalable solution for indoor positioning that can help map out rooms using crowd-sourced data and smart self-learning algorithms.

Surveillance cameras to go on five bridges

Pittsburgh Post Gazette
By early fall, about two dozen high-tech cameras will be in place at the ends of five bridges over the Allegheny River as part of a continuing effort to create a network of surveillance video cameras informally dubbed the "ring of steel" on highways and in public spaces across the county.

Apps for smart cities – vision and event details in Amsterdam – looking for speakers

I have been speaking of the apps for smart cities event/concept before and here are some more details. We are looking for speakers for this absolutely unique and fun event. I will give a short synopsis of the event itself first and then followed by details about the vision of Smart cities and apps for Smart cities. March (27-30) at the RAI (one of Amsterdam’s largest venues)

The apps for Smart cities event is chaired by me and organized by the World Smart Capital initiative (I am on the advisory board of the World Smart Capital). The event is a part of series of related events on March (27-30) at the RAI (one of Amsterdam’s largest venues). The ‘anchor’ events on these days are intertraffic) – which relates to traffic management and Cevitts which relates to charging of electric vehicles. The apps for smart cities will be in the Perfect Storm pavilion (which relates to IT related events) and held at the RAI at the same time as Intertraffic and Cevitts.

Gainesville commute times lowest in state, but congestion still an issue

City officials credited public transit and a new traffic management system for the distinction but acknowledge more must be done to address congestion along major corridors such as Newberry and West 34th Street.

Tata Technologies unveils electric urban car concept - The eMO

A couple of years back, Tata Motors provided its solution for meeting the transportation needs of modern day urban India in the form of the Nano, one of the most inexpensive cars in the world. But to meet such requirements on a global scale needs a massive rethink in the way the world does automobiles, and this means that just the expertise of auto makers is not enough in coming up with innovative solutions that address the issue of future urban mobility.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Webinar - Leveraging a Regional ITS Architecture in Planning for Operations

2/29/2012 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM Eastern Time
This webinar will highlight the important uses of the regional ITS architecture in planning for operations. The webinar will offer participants a preview of the upcoming U.S. Department of Transportation document, Applying a Regional ITS Architecture to Support Planning for Operations: A Primer, and two expert practitioners will share what they have learned from using the regional ITS architecture in planning.

Hands-free tech reduces driver distraction, study says

The VTTI study supports interactive voice applications using natural speech language for in-vehicle tasks rather than manual interaction and visual focus on the part of the driver, with the voice applications reducing those periods when hands are off the steering wheel and eyes are off the road,” Schalk said.

Why Big Data Won’t Make You Smart, Rich, Or Pretty

This year will be the year of Big Data. The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) reported that 90 percent of the IT professionals it surveyed said they were familiar with big data analytics. And 34 percent said they already applied analytics to Big Data. The vast hordes of data collection during e-commerce transactions, from loyalty programs, employment records, supply chain and ERP systems are, or are about to get, cozy. Uncomfortably cozy.


MOVEPGH Public Kick-Off Meeting

The City of Pittsburgh is launching the Transportation Component of PLANPGH--join us! We are pleased to inform you that the Public Kick-Off for MOVEPGH (the Multimodal Transportation Component of PLANPGH) will be held February 2, 2012 on the Carnegie Mellon campus from 6-8 PM in Porter Hall.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Bus Time app makes traveling in NYC easier

Earlier this month, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority installed Bus Time tracking system for all Staten Island bus lines, allowing travelers to look up the location of their buses on computers and phones.

City eyes high-tech parking

Vancouver is carefully watching two ambitious high-tech pilot projects in San Francisco and Los Angeles where on-street parking rates are varied monthly depending upon demand.Those programs, which result in vast swings in metered parking rates by so much as a single block, are the newest efforts by transportation engineers to more accurately price on-street parking to account for congestion. In some cases two adjacent blocks can vary by as much as $3 to $4 per hour. The changes are also designed to encourage alter-native forms of transportation such as mass transit, bicycling and walking.

Technology Transportation Trends

This is all according to the AASHTO (American Assn. of State Highway and Transportation Officials), www.transportation.org, Washington, D.C. The association also suggests new technologies and smarter management practices will play a role in helping states address the challenge of aging infrastructure without increasing funding. AASHTO says to specifically watch out for more vehicle-to-vehicle communications, greater use of intelligent transportation systems, accelerated bridge construction, new paving techniques, and practical design strategies.

Transit apps empower riders with information

If you're in Iowa City and waiting for a bus, Iowa City Transit's Bus on the Go app makes it easy to use your smartphone to find out when your bus will arrive. And if you're waiting for one of Washington, DC's terrific Circulator buses or Metro trains, you can use the "Where's My Bus?" or "Next Train Arrival" app...

But not all transit riders are so fortunate. In fact, a review of 276 transit agency systems revealed that only 45 of them provide some information on mobile devices. And of those 45 agencies, only 15 offered their riders the real-time information precise planning requires.

We think we can do better for our nation's transit riders. So last week, Deputy Secretary John Porcari and U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra gathered a variety of stakeholders to see what we can do to help millions more transit riders get better access to information.


Copenhagen's Green Sheen: It's Not Just About The Bikes

For those who can’t bike to work (or who might want to avoid peddling through the worst of the winter slush and chill), Copenhagen is served by an integrated transportation network: a driverless, punctual Metro (with one of the best airport connections in the world), regional trains, and buses.

Open contactless payment system to be launched in New York 23 Jan 2012

New York residents will be able to pay for trips on the city's buses and subways with contactless-enabled bank cards, it has been revealed.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Collision in the Making Between Self-Driving Cars and How the World Works

New York Times
Even as Google tests its small fleet of self-driving vehicles on California highways, legal scholars and government officials are warning that society has only begun wrestling with the changes that would be required in a system created a century ago to meet the challenge of horseless carriages.
What happens if a police officer wants to pull one of these vehicles over? When it stops at a four-way intersection, would it be too polite to take its turn ahead of aggressive human drivers (or equally polite robots)? What sort of insurance would it need? These and other implications of what Google calls autonomous vehicles were debated by Silicon Valley technologists, legal scholars and government regulators last week at a daylong symposium sponsored by the Law Review and High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University.

Carnegie Mellon students wired to build on imaginations

Similar technology powers Mindnet, a thought-controlled car made with a Star Wars Force Trainer car that sells for about $30. The car is covered with an elaborate circuit board that takes data from an electroencephalography (EEG) headset, worn by Neil Abcouwer, 21, an electrical and computer engineering student. His thoughts controlled the car's motion.


7 Cities Vying for Intelligent Community of the Year

Can an American city break through in 2012 and win acclaim as the world’s Intelligent Community of the Year? Austin, Texas, and Riverside, Calif., will represent the nation’s prospects against an international field in pursuit of the Intelligent Community Forum’s annual prize, to be awarded at the think tank’s annual conference on June 8 in New York City. The other finalists, announced this week, are Oulu, Finland; Quebec City, Quebec; Saint John, New Brunswick; Stratford, Ontario; and Taichung City, Taiwan.Can an American city break through in 2012 and win acclaim as the world’s Intelligent Community of the Year?

Let the Robot Drive: The Autonomous Car of the Future Is Here

Wired - The object, vaguely pink, sits on the shoulder of the freeway, slowly shimmering into view. Is it roadkill? A weird kind of sagebrush? No, wait, it’s … a puffy chunk of foam insulation! “The laser almost certainly got returns off of it,” says Chris Urmson, sitting behind the wheel of the Prius he is not driving. A note is made (FOD: foreign object or debris, lane 1) as we drive past, to help our computerized car understand the curious flotsam it has just seen.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Edmond gets $1.7 million for traffic system

Edmond has been approved for $1.7 million from the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments to install a citywide traffic and communication system. The project could cost between $8 million and $10 million.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Federal Money for Transpo Robot

Externally, the robot is pretty mundane. “It looks like a metal box, about the size of a large picnic cooler,” explained Thomas. The robot uses a number of techniques to test a bridge’s steel lattice core. One deploys sound waves to ferret out micro cracks, air pockets and splits. The grant will also help fund a smart phone app that excavators can use to create an underground map of wires, on the spot, before they dig.

GM explores interactive backseat windows

No, we’re not in a scene from Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. This is simply the latest bit of R&D from General Motors. The automaker challenged researchers and students from the FUTURE LAB at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Israel to conceptualize new ways to enhance the experience of backseat passengers, children in particular.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Video: Ford’s Car Of The Future

This eight-minute video produced by Ford shows the Evos, their vision of the car of the future, which is connected to the internet and capable of adapting to your daily routine.

FY 2013 TCRP Research Problem Statements Sought

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program has issued a request for problem statements identifying research needed for TCRP’s FY 2013 program. Research problem statements for the TCRP FY 2013 program are due June 15, 2012. These submittals form the basis for selection of the annual TCRP research program. The TCRP undertakes applied research and technical activities focusing on the needs of transit operating agencies. Research is conducted in all areas of public transportation, including operations, policy, planning, service configuration, engineering of vehicles and facilities, maintenance, human resources, and administration.


2012 UTC Spotlight Conference on Sustainable Energy and Transportation: Strategies, Research, Data

TRB is sponsoring the 2012 UTC Spotlight Conference on Sustainable Energy and Transportation: Strategies, Research, Data on November 8-9, 2012, in Washington, D.C. The conference is designed to promote dialogue and coordination among University Transportation Centers (UTCs), federal agencies, industry, and state and local agencies on research to address the complex and challenging issues concerning sustainable energy and transportation.

An R&D Lab for Transit Tech Tools

Arlington County Commuter Services office... Since 2010, the office has built up a kind of R&D lab, which Fairchild directs, where a small group of programmers has been trying to figure out how to use technology to close that convenience gap between driving your car and using absolutely any other alternative. Mobility Lab, and its Transit Tech initiative, has a lean start-up philosophy that's almost unrecognizable in a government bureaucracy.

The Top 10 Smart Cities On The Planet

Crunching a list of variables about innovation and sustainability, we rank the world’s smartest cities, from New York to Hong Kong (and with an unexpected winner).

Monday, January 16, 2012

CMU and Penn land $3.5M federal grant for transportation research center

With a $3.5 million grant from the Department of Transportation, Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pennsylvania are establishing a transportation research center that will look at the future of how we get around. Though CMU does a lot of transportation-related research this is a new center, called Technologies for Safe and Efficient Transportation (T-SET) and it will mainly be housed on CMU’s campus.

Student entrepreneur Micah Toll pedaling in the right direction

Micah Toll is no stranger to entrepreneurship. With only five months left until graduation in April, Toll, 22, has spent his days at the University of Pittsburgh like every other student: Going to classes, becoming involved in clubs, hanging out with friends and, oh yeah, starting his own electric bike company called Pulse Motors. Pulse Motors is a Pittsburgh start up business designed to provide two-wheeled electric vehicles to the students and the public.

Climate Leadership Academy: Accelerating Bus Rapid Transit

March 26-28, 2012 Cleveland, OH
The Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) invites teams of five senior officials and key stakeholders from up to 10 U.S. cities and metropolitan regions to participate in this free CLA workshop. The CLA is a peer-learning and training program to build the capacity of practitioners in U.S. cities and metropolitan regions to improve, scale-up, and accelerate their efforts to reduce climate pollution and strengthen resilience to the local impacts of global climate disruption. The deadline for applications to this workshop is January 31st, 2012.

Minnesota Traffic Observatory makes transportation smarter

To improve your daily commute, the Minnesota Traffic Observatory (MTO) plays a major role behind the scenes, studying everything from busy intersections to electronic toll lanes. Safety is the lab’s top priority. The observatory, which falls under the umbrella of the University of Minnesota’s Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute, is a high-tech transportation lab that develops tools for surveying, monitoring and managing traffic systems.

Irancell demonstrates NFC payments and ticketing

Irancell, Iran's second largest mobile network operator, and technology provider Etick Pars Intelligent Technologies Development have teamed up with Bank Pasargad to demonstrate a suite of NFC services tailored to the Iranian market.

Dislike? Mercedes-Benz Wants to Put Facebook in Your Dashboard

Earlier this week, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Mercedes-Benz USA unveiled “mbrace2,” an in-dashboard service that enables the use of Facebook, Yelp, and Google behind the wheel. The service will likely be available in all 2013 models.

Boston Launches App Challenge to Link Transit and Bike Share

When New York wanted to spur developers to create transit apps, it offered up $15,000 in prizes. Boston is dangling free lunch … and a lot of data. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and MassDOT launched a contest today looking for software applications and data visualizations that “show the power of Boston’s transportation options.” What that means is: apps that help riders merge their non-car transport, specifically connecting Boston’s New Balance Hubway Bike Sharing program with MBTA’s existing buses and trains.

New York plans to replace the MetroCard, pilots smart cards

A pilot program is in the works to replace the New York City MetroCard with a chip-enabled smart card, according to the New York Times. Unlike the current MetroCard, which use magnetic-stripe technology, smart cards are waved in front of a sensor, rather than swiped. This aims to eliminate any delays at the turnstiles, where riders are often held up by malfunctioning MetroCards.

Local gadgets at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show

Innovations born in the Steel City are making their global debut this week during the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Modular Robotics, a Boulder, Colo.-based Carnegie Mellon University startup, will demonstrate its robot construction kits for children during the show. The university's Quality of Life Technology Foundry is exhibiting five new products developed by its startup companies that range from gaming products to a bus-tracking mobile phone app.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Smart Phone App Warns of Driving Danger

The iOnRoad app, made by the Israeli computer vision company Picitup, is intended to transform smart phones from a distraction into a lifesaving tool. The application uses a device's built-in sensors and camera, which work when the smartphone is mounted above the dashboard. The free Android app maps objects ahead of the vehicle and calculates speeds in real time. When a collision seems likely, it warns the driver with visual and audio alerts.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Robot cars: fond memories from CES ’08

Today, I thought I’d start with my most memorable CES experience, which was riding in a robot car at the 2008 show. The car, a GM SUV designed by Carnegie Mellon engineers, was tricked out with GPS, ladar (also known as laser radar and LIDAR) and a host of other sensors, all of which allowed it to drive itself. The Boss, as the vehicle was known, won the 2007 DARPA urban challenge, an open race held by the Pentagon’s mad science division in an effort to spur development of robotic vehicles.
--Great Video---

IBM Grabs Top Patent Crown Again

The more than 6,000 patents IBMers received in 2011 represent a range of inventions that enable new innovations and add value to the company's products, services, including smarter solutions for retail, banking, health care, transportation and other industries. The patented inventions also span a wide range of computing technologies to support a new generation of more cognitive, intelligent and insight-driven systems, processes and infrastructures for smarter commerce, shopping, medicine, transportation and more, IBM said.

DOT to explore mobile apps for public transit

Imagine an integrated public transit system that uses satellites to identify your location and spit out the fastest and most convenient route to your desired destination. It's apparently among the goals of research from the Department of Transportation, which will hold a public meeting later this month to discuss the concept.

Daimler's Dr. Zetsche talks about internet-connected electric cars at CES

This week the big deal in the automotive industry is not only the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, but the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Automobiles are increasingly a platform for infotainment systems putting the auto and electronics industries on a converging course.

Cities Extract Energy from Everyday Activities

That’s the idea in Roanoke, Va., where the city recently tested a roadway “rumble strip” that generates electricity when vehicles drive over it. The device -- a portable speed bump that’s laid on the roadway surface -- was placed at the Roanoke Civic Center on a busy Saturday in October. About 600 vehicles traveled over the strip, actuating a series of small hinged plates that produce power through a technique similar to regenerative braking used by electric and hybrid vehicles. Over the six-hour test, the strip produced enough electricity to power an average home for a day, according to its manufacturer, Maryland-based New Energy Technologies.

ITS Vienna 2012 Final Call for Papers

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.

Carnegie Mellon University's Chris Hendrickson Appointed To Serve On Prestigious National Transportation Research Board Executive Committee

Carnegie Mellon University's Chris T. Hendrickson has been appointed to the executive committee of the Transportation Research Board (TRB), which provides expert advice on national transportation policy and leadership in transportation innovation. "This is an opportunity for me to serve as the nation continues to face serious challenges to its aging infrastructure," said Hendrickson the Duquesne Light Company Professor of Engineering and co-director of the Green Design Institute at Carnegie Mellon.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cars’ Internet connections may change driving life

Coming soon to a garage near you is a car that will download your work schedule and trigger your alarm clock. By the time you get behind the wheel, the car will have analyzed the morning’s traffic and weather and calculated the best route to get you to the office on time. You won’t even have to touch the radio - it’s already playing the same station you were listening to in the house. And as you pull away, it will shut the garage door and turn off the lights.

Those capabilities are built into Ford Motor Co.’s Internet-connected Evos, a so-called concept car making its North American debut at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show, the giant annual trade event that opens today in Las Vegas.


RITA - Research Program and Project Management Website

The U.S. Research and Innovative Technology Administration has launched a new website designed to allow the transportation research community to share and collaborate. The site is expected to become a repository of documents and work products that address the planning, funding, conducting, managing, and implementing of transportation research projects.

TR News November-December 2011: Charting Pathways into Nanotechnology

The November-December 2011 TR News assembles feature articles that explore the applications of nanotechnology in transportation, examine asset management for low-volume road systems, review the metamorphosis of traffic data from the Long-Term Pavement Performance studies, and more.

Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) Now Accepting Funding Proposals

TRB’s Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) has released its annual program announcement that 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.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Mobile startup Drive Power creates digital driving coach using U of M IP

DriveScribe is the go to market product, which is anticipated to publicly launch in April. Using a smartphone accelerometer, GPS and gyroscope combined with GIS map data and SaaS dashboard, DriveScribe aims to be a digital driving coach.
From a safety point of view, the app pauses incoming messages, communicates changes in speed limits, driving conditions, and tracks other nuances like location and sudden movements. It collects, compiles and synthesizes multiple data points into a real time web-based analytics dashboard for parental observation. The interesting twist of Drive Power is found in the way by which this individual behavior can be interpreted and leveraged.

Peirce: A high-tech revolution for world cities

What can high technology do to help cities confront their thorniest problems — from police strategies to water systems, traffic control to waste disposal? A group of high technology firms, led by IBM and Cisco, are plunging into the city management business. In varied forms, they offer super-efficient new-generation computerized information and control systems.

Ford cozies up to Silicon Valley with its first West coast research lab

Ford is moving its new Research Lab to Silicon Valley to work closer with technology companies as it aims to further develop with its Drive Innovation in Personal Mobility. Why is this important? This will be the company’s first-ever dedicated R&D office on the west coast that will open early this year in order to continue the development of its automotive technology and creating in-car personal mobility experiences for consumers. This is also a clear sign that car maker is serious about the inevitable future of its automobile with modern technology.


IBM and University of Guadalajara create Smarter Cities Exploration Center; transportation pilot seeks to reduce commuting time in city by 15%

Joint work between IBM and the University of Guadalajara will focus on research aimed at identifying ways to apply advances in technology to the high degrees of instrumentation and massive data volumes that comprise the core systems of a city such as transportation, healthcare, education, public safety, energy and water.

Carlsbad traffic signals to become state-of-the-art

The intelligent transportation system, and its central computer and communications system, Traffic Management Center, are the nuts and bolts behind the technology. Bilse said the wireless connections between the controller at the traffic signal and its Traffic Management Center feed real time information to staff managing the signals. “The new software will send out an automated alarm when the controller senses a problem with the signal operations,” he said. “By performing this work in the Traffic Management Center, not only are travel times reduced but maintenance costs go down as well.”

Flashing lights designed to prevent crashes

Minnesota - Beginning Dec. 28, yellow warning signs fitted with solar-powered flashing LED lights alerted motorists eastbound and westbound on Airport Road when vehicles approached north- or southbound on County Road 7. Traffic sensors on County Road 7 trigger the flashing lights. Similar “intelligent transportation systems” were installed at the intersections of county roads 2 and 3, and 3 and 15, north of Glencoe.

Experimental real-time transit screens come to Arlington, DC

If you go into the Java Shack coffee shop near Court House in Arlington, or walk past the Red Palace bar on H Street in DC, you will see a new experimental project from the Mobility Lab: Digital screens showing real-time transit arrivals and Capital Bikeshare availability...
Outdoor screens, however, are expensive to install, which is why we created this indoor alternative at a fraction of the cost. For the past few months I have been working with Andy Chosak and David Alpert at the Mobility Lab in Arlington to bring this low-cost alternative to fruition.

Friday, January 6, 2012

‘Green routing’ can cut car emissions without significantly slowing travel time

The path of least emissions may not always be the fastest way to drive somewhere. But according to new research from the University at Buffalo, it’s possible for drivers to cut their tailpipe emissions without significantly slowing travel time.
In detailed, computer simulations of traffic in Upstate New York’s Buffalo Niagara region, UB researchers Adel Sadek and Liya Guo found that green routing could reduce overall emissions of carbon monoxide by 27 percent for area drivers, while increasing the length of trips by an average of just 11 percent.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Web on wheels to be standard soon?

For many Americans, car time is a necessary evil that gets them to and from the places responsible for their paychecks, but with some people delayed up to 74 hours a year in commuter traffic, the idea of being connected to the Web in the car — aside from their phones — could be one that gains traction to make the most of the time stuck in one's vehicle. KPMG, an international network of audit/tax/advisory firms, recently surveyed auto execs and found that having the same amenities in a car as at home is a trend that is capturing the attention of the industry:

CMU Technology Featured at World-Famous Electronics Show

Carnegie Mellon professors and researchers will be among those discussing their research and products at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (Jan. 10-13), the world's largest and most well-known technology tradeshow.

CMU's Quality of Life Technology (QoLT) Foundry will feature five CMU start-ups and several other innovations and partner collaborations will be on display at booth #3011.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

This Traffic Light Senses Bikes, Promotes Road Harmony

Cyclists have a new friend out there on the roads: microwaves. And the city of Pleasanton, California, is one of the first cities in the country to roll out this high-tech solution to help cars and bikes share the road.

Six features you should find in your new car in 2012

Mark Phelan of USA TODAY and the Detroit Free Press compiled a list of five features to look for which we’ve expanded to six while adding the Torque News touch.

Officials propose ride sharing for military employees

But this isn't just your grandma's carpool. The new program, called real-time ridesharing, will allow commuters to find rides from wherever and whenever they need using a smart phone app. Riders under the new program would be allowed to ride five times for free. After that they would pay drivers $1 per pick-up and 20 cents per mile using a cashless, automated system.

Driving has lost its cool for young Americans

Amidst all the hand-wringing over distracted driving, a critical point is getting lost. The problem isn't the texting -- it's the driving.

20m Koreans to have NFC phones this year

Five million Koreans already have an NFC phone, says mobile network operator KT, and payments for bus, subway and taxi fares are the most popular NFC applications.

Your Connected Vehicle Is Arriving

As our cars become networked—to the Internet and to one another—new trends in technology and society will redefine transportation. What's certain: tomorrow's automobiles will provide experiences that go well beyond driving.

5 Ways The Smart City Will Change How We Live In 2012

Five predictions on how smarter buildings will impact daily life and efficiency of our cities, from IBM’s Smarter Buildings division.
A city’s infrastructure is comprised of a number of systems, including transportation (e.g. roads, bridges, public transportation, etc.), sewage, utility (e.g. gas, electricity, water treatment and delivery), and public and private buildings. Urbanization and proliferation of these systems are key to quality of life, but also create a significant toll on the sustainability, energy efficiency and capacity level of a city.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Red Light Running Camera Enforcement in Cedar Rapids

The Institute for Transportation at Iowa State University has released a report that assesses the safety effectiveness of the red light-running program that has been implemented in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Ignition Magazine: News from TRB's IDEA Programs Fall/Winter 2011

The latest issue of Ignition, a periodic news magazine from TRB's Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) programs, examines the automated computer-controlled image analysis systems and the asphalt binder cracking device that took the IDEA path to becoming American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials specifications, an innovative signal head vibration absorber, the transit data feeder, and more.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Snow Site Lets Chicago See if Plows Are Really in a Rut

But this year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration will announce on Tuesday, Chicagoans may test their theories about clout on their computers. Using GPS technology, a new city Web site, ChicagoShovels.org, will provide a map of Chicago’s approximately 300 snowplows, making their way in real time through the neighborhoods. Anyone will have a clear view of who gets what first, and whether plows really sweep more rapidly beside the homes of the mayor, powerful aldermen — or even just the neighbor everyone hates.

Megabus is accelerating growth for intercity buses

For the longest time, travelers going from one city to another turned up their noses at buses, using them only if all other options were impractical. Now, driven by low-cost curbside operators like Megabus.com, city-to-city bus service has had a resurgence...

And many riders were pushed by a desire to use portable electronic devices like tablet computers, laptops and smartphones while traveling, which is not always possible when driving or flying. Ninety-one percent of riders surveyed said they intended to use portable electronic devices while on the bus; field observations revealed that at any given time, more than 40 percent were doing so.


Beijing Improving Road Network Environment with “Intelligent Transportation”

Recently, Beijing Municipal Public Security Traffic Command Center was completed and put into use. The Center integrated 36 real-time online technological systems, forming an urban “intelligent transportation”system with functions of traffic detection, traffic control, command and control, and information services, which can precisely estimate and effectively control urban traffic operation.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The 5 Most Intriguing Patent Applications of 2011

#1 Google Patent #8,078,349: Transitioning a Mixed-Mode Vehicle to Autonomous Mode

We are seeing quite a number of patents that could hint at autonomous vehicles, but there was one element of this patent that struck me and gives this invention substantial credibility. Besides the fact that Google has autonomous vehicles on California roads already, its inventors are particularly noteworthy. Among the listed inventors are Christopher Urmson and Nathaniel Fairfield, both who joined Google from Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute. Urmson is especially interesting because he was the technical leader of the Tartan racing team, which won the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge for the university.


Eye tracking may enable researchers to determine the cause of crashes

Researchers at Montana State University's Western Transportation Institute (Bozeman, MT, USA) are outfitting a new vehicle with eye-tracking sensors to help them understand why young drivers are unable to perceive road hazards.

Tourniquets to Robots, Iraq War Innovations Finding Wider Use

The ground robots whose technologies were adapted from the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Grand Challenge program -- it offered a $2 million prize for a vehicle to drive autonomously over 132 miles in the desert -- may lead one day to autonomous cars, said Peter Singer, author of “Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century” and director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative at the Brookings Institution in Washington.