Thursday, May 31, 2012

iPhone App Might Make It Easier To Find Parking

ParkMe, a California-based company founded in 2009, uses data from Austin's "smart" parking meters to update parking availability every five minutes on a free iOS app. You can also access the information on this website. Currently, information is only provided for downtown and the University of Texas area.

SEPTA combats carbon footprint

This month, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) implemented a new braking technology to prevent electricity from going to waste, using a new battery storage system to store excess energy from the train. The project will be carried out by capturing the regenerative braking energy of trains along the Market-Frankford line, according to SEPTA General Manager Joseph M. Casey.

Bill Ford seeks reform, new opportunities for green technology

Trends in transportation, manufacturing and green technology offer an opportunity for Michigan to emerge as a global innovation center, Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford said today at the Mackinac Policy Conference...
“I believe Michigan must become the Silicon Valley of the mobility revolution.”

Data to Go: Mobile Devices Serve Up Real-Time Transit Data (repeat webinar)

Date: June 26, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET
Cost: All T3 webinars are free of charge
The demographics of transit riders have changed significantly over the past five years with many more riders and non-riders using cell phones or even smartphones, which provide Internet access and other capabilities such as mobile e-mail and application programs.

Workzones benefit from new mobile speed enforcement technology

A variety of new technology for temporary speed zones during major highway projects across the globe is about to hit the market, while other proven systems remain in demand. Guy Woodford reports.

Next Era of Traveler Information

Washington State - We are asking your help to fill out “The Next Era of Traveler Information” survey. This 17-question survey asks you for information about how you use traveler information, and how it affects your commute decisions. The survey is part of an effort that is looking at how real-time traveler information technology is changing.

Investment in Smart Transportation Systems Will Continue to Grow Despite Public Sector Cutbacks

Demand for ITS will grow in both the developed and developing economies. Developed economies will see ITS as a cost effective way to maximize existing transportation infrastructure and improve city services. Developing cities will incorporate ITS as they build out their transportation infrastructure. Pike Research estimates that global investment in smart transportation systems will total $13.1 billion between 2011 and 2017.

Mobile Tech Is Driving Zipcar Into The Future

Now “zipsters,” aka Zipcar customers, transact via mobile devices 60% of the time instead of computers. The company has seen 800,000 downloads of its iPhone and Android apps. That enables Zipcar to offer more features, such as a service that provides members with a picture of the building where their Zipcar is parked.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Volvo's driverless road train in Spain is public mainly on the plain (video)

It's been awhile since we saw Volvo's SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) project, which was last running out of harm's way on a test track near Gothenburg. Volvo has just taken a big step forward in fostering confidence by conducting its road train on public asphalt. The 124-mile Spanish test both proved that the cars could stay driverless without posing a threat and upped the ante for what the cars could do:

Market Report on UAV by Visiongain

Visiongain’s analysis represents that the UAV market will attain a value of $7.26 B in 2012, following the consistent demand for UAVs for a wide range of military operations essential for combat and humanitarian missions.

PennDesign Students Assist Cities in Highway Projects

A group of students in the University of Pennsylvania School of Design spent the spring semester researching and offering proposals for highway removal and redesign to government and planning officials in six cities...
The studio is the brainchild of John Landis, chair of City and Regional Planning in PennDesign, and led by Harris Steinberg, a PennDesign professor and executive director of Penn Praxis, the applied-research arm of the School.

What Can Near-Misses Tell Us about the Risk of Actual Collisions? A New Report from the SHRP 2 Driving Study

n anticipation of the large volume of data to be collected during the SHRP 2 naturalistic driving study (NDS), several projects were conducted to demonstrate that it is possible to use existing data from previous naturalistic driving studies and data from other sources to further the understanding of the risk factors associated with road crashes.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

As Apps Move Into Cars, So Do More Distractions

THERE have been the sexy horsepower wars and dull best-in-class fuel-efficiency battles. Now automakers are fighting an undeclared, escalating war over in-dash apps, worrying regulators about even more distracted driving. Automakers say they are concerned too, but that hasn’t stopped them from connecting smartphones to in-dash systems and putting Internet-based information into so-called connected cars for 2013.

TRB Webinar: 2013 TRB 92nd Annual Meeting -- How to Survive and Thrive

On September 28, 2012, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET, TRB will hold a webinar designed to help both new and returning Annual Meeting attendees get the most out of their meeting experience.

Schneider sets up smart traffic system in Riyadh

Schneider Electric said that its recent acquisition Telvent, a leading real-time IT solutions provider, has implemented its first intelligent transportation system on King Abdullah Road in Riyadh. The first smart transportation system to be implemented in Saudi Arabia, Schneider Electric’s SmartMobility manages interurban expressway traffic through a centralized platform.

Xin Zhang, who graduated from Carnegie Mellon University and now works for Google, delivered Secure and Scalable Fault Localization under Dynamic Traf

Xin Zhang, who graduated from Carnegie Mellon University and now works for Google, delivered Secure and Scalable Fault Localization under Dynamic Traffic Patterns, co-authored with CyLab Technical Director Adrian Perrig, and by Chang Lan of Tsinghua University.

IEEE Technology Time Machine 2012: Siemens the Car Maker

“We’re moving from data-poor to data-rich highway management systems,” Haoui says, thanks to better sensors and wireless technology to collect and move data around much faster and more reliably. And in 10 years, he predicts, “most of that data will be in the cloud.” Where else?

Converting existing cars to EVs slowly becoming practical

The kit for the Honda Civic, model years 2001 to 2005, was the brainchild of a team at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Chances are you’d need a mechanic to install it, where it would take two to three days at most shops. The other consideration is the engine and transmission, along with other unneeded collateral systems, can be resold to help defray the expense of conversion.

Drone Lobbying Ramps Up Among Industry Manufacturers, Developers

While privacy advocates fret over the implications of going from 300 licensed drones to as many as 30,000 by 2020, the industry is salivating over myriad applications that include agriculture, energy exploration, weather research, traffic control, wildlife tracking and movie production, to name a few.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

High-Tech Bridges Marry Function and Beauty

Thanks to the growth of modern technology, new and existing bridges are incorporating highly advanced design features and construction to ensure efficiency and safety. From an arch bridge with a dynamic light display that can tell you whether there’s a full or crescent moon to structures that collect data about bridge conditions with sensors, bridges are becoming smarter on a global level. Check out the smart bridges below, and let us know in the comments if you have a smart bridge in your town.

New electric car conversion kit will charge your car (and wallet)

PITTSBURGH — That old Honda in your driveway — maybe it's in need of a valve job? Transform it with an electric conversion. A team at Carnegie Mellon University here in Pittsburgh has come up with an all-included kit to make your 2001-2005 Civic a zero-emission battery car. Converting an existing car instead of buying a new one is good for the planet, and the old beater will have a new lease on life.

Today’s Sociotechnical Problems Require a New Field of Study

The challenges of running the transportation system in Mexico City present more than just an engineering problem. With a population of 22.9 million people, according to the latest count, it ranks as the largest metropolitan area in the Western hemisphere and the seventh largest in the world. It’s the combination of complex engineering factors, combined with equally difficult human considerations, that makes such problems, known as complex sociotechnical systems (CSS), so frustratingly difficult to address. That is why some authorities, such as MIT professor Joseph Sussman, argue that these systems should be the subject of a new field of academic study. Sussman made his case in a lecture just several weeks ago.

FREE WEBINAR - Driverless Car Summit Preview

Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Are you one of the one in five drivers revved up about driverless cars? Want to learn more before Driverless Car Summit 2012? Then save the date for AUVSI's FREE May webinar:

Chuck Thorpe from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Steven Shladover from California Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology will discuss the latest progress in autonomous car technology and answer your questions about the future of driverless cars. It's an event you won't want to miss!

Autonomous ‘RoBoat’ Making World Record Attempt

The aptly-named “RoBoat” has been taking home the World Robotic Sailing Championship (WRSC) crown for three years, but this July the team behind the world’s winningest autonomous watercraft will attempt to snag another record for the longest robotic sailing expedition.

Google Goes to Washington to Lobby for Self-Driving Cars

Google is evidently taking its campaign to make its driverless cars legal on U.S. roads from state capitals to the nation’s capital. A Google robo-Prius was spotted last Tuesday roaming the streets of Washington, D.C., only a day after Nevada became the first state to legalize autonomous vehicles on the Silver State’s roads.

DOT research: Auto drivers support connected vehicle technology

An “overwhelming majority” of drivers who have experienced technology that allows vehicles to communicate with each other have a highly favorable opinion of its safety benefits, according to data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

FTA - Remote Infrared Audible Signage (RIAS) Pilot Program Report

The Remote Infrared Audible Sign Model Accessibility Program (RIAS MAP) is a program funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to evaluate the effectiveness of remote infrared audible sign systems in enabling persons with visual and cognitive disabilities to travel independently.

See something? Report it with new app

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority released a new smartphone application Monday for riders to report suspicious activity on to Transit Police.

2012 National Traffic Signal Report Card

The National Transportation Operations Coalition has released a report that highlights the importance of investment in traffic signal management and operations.

FHWA Pedestrian Forum Newsletter

Current Issue: VOL. 58, Spring 2012 (pdf version) | Archive Issues

The goal of the FHWA is to continually improve highway safety by reducing highway fatalities and injuries by 20 percent in ten years. Ensuring safe travel on highways is the guiding principle throughout the FHWA. Pedestrian fatalities account for about 12 percent of all traffic fatalities and are one of the focus areas of the Safety Office. FHWA has taken the position that walking and bicycling are legitimate modes of transportation.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Audi’s new vehicle is…a bicycle?!

The final touch is the smart-phone controlled interface: you can set it to be a simple bicycle, make it a full electric bike, or any of three settings in between. This is a genuinely impressive design that really is built to make the bicycle more usable as urban transportation…but no word on availability or how much it’ll cost just yet.

Repairs on 2 Downtown parking garages to begin next month

Fort Duquesne/Sixth Street and Smithfield/Liberty are among a dozen public and private garages included in ParkPGH, a real-time parking availability program operated by the Cultural Trust. ParkPGH -- accessible by land line, Internet and mobile -- says how many spaces are available in each garage.

Carnegie Mellon, Penn Launch University Transportation Research Center

"The work at the Technologies for Safe and Efficient Transportation UTC is furthering the great American tradition of innovation and creativity in transportation," said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood in a videotaped message. "We are incredibly proud of the work you are doing at Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pennsylvania, and we look forward to seeing the technologies that you are developing and deploying to make vehicles and infrastructure smarter," LaHood said...
"Henry Hillman's visionary philanthropic investment in Traffic21 was triggered by his idea that 'smart transportation' development could unfold very productively in Pittsburgh," said Jared L. Cohon, president of Carnegie Mellon University.

New AERIS reports now available on the National Transportation Library (NTL)

Intelligent Transportation System proposed for city

India - A proposal to cover the entire city with Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) has been ‘agreed in principle' at the recent meeting of the Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA). And according to the officials, when taken up, Hyderabad would have the distinction of being first city in the country to have such concept.

T3 Webinar: Why do Transportation Agencies Adopt ITS? Join the conversation and share your experiences with the ITS Evaluation Program

The U.S. Department of Transportation wants to hear about your experiences in deploying ITS -both the successes and challenges. Understanding the motivating factors for adopting and deploying ITS technologies is critical for moving to the next generation of ITS and beyond to the connected vehicle environment of the future.

Can smart cars pull out of the slow lane?

"We have a lot of data we could push anonymously to intelligent transport systems," explained Bell. The data he described could reveal not simply how many cars are where, but if tied into satellite navigation (satnav) systems, could determine where they are heading. Instructions could then be fed back to the satnavs to control routing in real time, reducing the congestion that wastes both time and fuel.

Secretary's RAISE Award to recognize student innovation in aviation, aerospace

The Secretary's “Recognizing Aviation and Aerospace Innovation in Science and Engineering” Award, called RAISE, is a new tool to motivate high school, college and university students to develop creative solutions to aviation and aerospace issues, and to share their results with the broader community. This new challenge recognizes innovative scientific and engineering achievements that will have a significant impact on the future of aviation and aerospace.

When Robots Rule the World, They'll Come From Pennsylvania

UPenn's GRASP Laboratory (General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception) and the work its doing with autonomous quadrocopters (flying robots) is for you...
Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University and its various offshoots such as Astrobotic Technology Inc., ReSquared and, its most famous split-off, Carnegie Robotics, have been creating affordable robotics for interplanetary and local travel for over a decade.

Engineering Sustainability 2013 - 1st Call for Papers

Engineering Sustainability 2013: Innovation and the Triple Bottom Line, will be held April 7-9, 2013 in Pittsburgh. This focused conference will bring together engineers and scientists from academia, government, industry, and nonprofits to share results of cutting-edge research and practice directed at development of environmentally sustainable buildings and infrastructure.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Hertz and IBM Launch Smart Microgrid for Electric Car-Sharing

IBM’s Ehningen Innovation Center campus in Germany is about to become ground zero for the development of an advanced personal transportation system that combines Hertz’s car sharing know-how with distributed renewable energy, electric vehicles and smart microgrid technology.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Technology Makes Cars More Intelligent

Universities are also interested in researching solutions for connected cars. Just recently, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute,, announced it will begin a project designed to help prevent crashes by using connected technology.

Obama Administration's Safety Data Initiative challenges app developers

Safety is the number one priority at the US Department of Transportation (DOT), so National Transportation Week is the perfect time for DOT to help launch the Obama Administration's critical Safety Data Initiative--an historic effort to make government data relating to every aspect of safety, from transportation crime to consumer products much more accessible, and to stimulate the development of innovative apps and services fueled by those data.

Caltrans Kicks Off Enhancements to State Route 12

The first project, the $20.5 million SR-12 Operational Improvements Project, will create a “Smart Corridor” using Intelligent Transportation System elements in Solano, Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties on SR-12, and on Interstate 5 (I-5) in San Joaquin County. These elements include: Changeable Message Signs, Highway Advisory Radio, Extinguishable Message Signs, Closed Circuit Televisions and Traffic Monitoring Stations.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

T3 Webinar: Beyond Scheduling: Transit Scheduling and Operations IT: Lessons Learned

The next steps in this evolution are modules which can be deployed to expand from purely service planning and scheduling functions to other transit departments, chiefly operations. This webinar explores issues associated with the procurement and assimilation of large-scale IT projects at five transit agencies in the Pacific Northwest; King County Transit in Seattle will be the featured transit property during this webinar.

Texting and driving: The impossible test

A novel experiment aims to make young people face up to the dangers of text messaging whilst driving.

YPTers: Present at the AASHTO 2012 Annual Meeting! (Free!)

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is collaborating with Young Professionals in Transportation to feature the best and brightest young minds in the field of transportation at this year’s AASHTO Annual Meeting on Sunday 18 November 2012 in Pittsburgh, PA.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bombardier and Carillion announce new Infrasig joint venture

This will see the implementation of the latest European Train Control System (ETCS) technology.

Smart cities market worth $1 trillion by 2016

According to a new report from Marketsandmarkets, a marketing research company, the global smart cities market is expected to top $1 trillion by 2016. Currently, the report estimates the value of the smart cities market at $526.3 billion, with a compound annual growth rate of about 14.2 percent from 2011-2016.

Smart cities and Rocket steam engine: on parallel tracks?

Such technology-driven revolutions have occurred at surprisingly regular intervals in the last 250 years, according to economic historians. Steam, steel, electricity, mass production – all had dramatic impacts on world economies. Could smart cities be the next inflection point?

The Role of Social Networking Sites in Changing Travel Behavior

The UK's Transport Research Laboratory has released a report that provides an overview of research that was conducted to explore the potential for social networking sites to encourage changes in travel behaviors.

FHWA Focus Magazine: April 2012

The Federal Highway Administration has released the latest version of its Focus magazine, which highlights efforts designed to accelerate infrastructure innovations in order to build better, safer roads.

Seventh SHRP 2 Safety Research Symposium

TRB's second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) will hold its annual Safety Research Symposium on July 12, 2012, in Washington, D.C. The symposium is designed to provide updates on progress on SHRP 2 safety projects. Topics that will be addressed include SHRP 2’s naturalistic driving study and roadway database, analysis projects, and data access and institutional review board issues.

Transportation Asset Management Webinar Series, Part 2: Federal Transit Administration and Transit Cooperative Research Program

The National Transit Institute, in cooperation with the Transportation Research Board (TRB), will conduct a webinar on May 30, 2012, from 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM that will highlight two active research projects that offer technical assistance to the transit industry in developing and improving transportation asset management and state of good repair practices.

2013 TRB 92nd Annual Meeting: Spotlight Theme

The spotlight theme for the TRB 92nd Annual Meeting, January 13-17, 2013, in Washington, D.C., is Deploying Transportation Research—Doing Things Smarter, Better, Faster.