Friday, August 31, 2012

FTA - RFP- National Center for Mobility Management

FTA, under its National Research Program, plans to fund a National Center for Mobility Management (NCMM) which will carry-out activities to further mobility management and to improve and enhance the coordination of Federal resources for human service transportation. This solicitation seeks proposals from national non-profit organizations with transportation and/or mobility management experience which have the capacity to deliver a national technical assistance program. The selected organization will implement and manage the National Center for Mobility Management.

Road 'profilers' used on state highway projects are tested on a section of the Cumberland Valley Rail Trail

The profiler looks like a golf cart with a rod affixed to the front. Dangling from the rod is a rubber flap that drags along the pavement. Sensors in the cart collect data on the smoothness of a road surface. The data is used to make adjustments in construction and paving projects.

Stanford Researchers Develop New Unmanned Wave Glider Robot

Named Carey, after a fish biologist, the Wave Glider robot is investigating the Pacific Ocean beyond the California coast. The research involving marine predators has been led by Stanford marine sciences Professor Barbara Block and her research team.

Webinar - Adaptive Signal Control Initiatives and Validation Program

This webinar will introduce a generic validation process and tools to evaluate the effectiveness of traffic signal operation. Validation is an element of the systems engineering process that confirms the system implemented meets defined agency needs and objectives. The FHWA Model Systems Engineering Documents for Adaptive Signal Control Technology (ASCT) provides guidance and model documentation that agencies can use to articulate needs and requirements to facilitate the design, implementation, and procurement of Adaptive Signal Control Technology.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Using Smartphones to Collect Bicycle Travel Data in Texas

The Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University has released a report that evaluates a smartphone application that is available on both iPhones and Android-based smartphones that collected demographic information about people who use bicycles for the purposes of transportation.

Traffic Data Quality Verification and Sensor Calibration for Weigh-In-Motion (WIM) Systems

The University of Minnesota’s Center for Transportation Studies has released a report that explores the characteristics of Weigh-in-Motion (WIM) measurements, identifies different WIM operational modes, and discusses the development of mixture models for each operation period to help determine if a calibration is needed.

Ignition Magazine: News from TRB's IDEA Programs – Fall/Winter 2012

The latest issue of Ignition, a periodic news magazine from TRB's Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) programs, examines a smart phone application designed to help reduce expensive paratransit trips; a laser-based system that can measure the shape, position, and dimension of bridge members; a prototype sensing platform that can detect driver drowsiness without physical contact; audio cues to help truck drivers stay alert; and more.

Non-Contact Driver Drowsiness Detection System

TRB’s Safety Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) Program Final Report for Safety-IDEA Project 17: Non-Contact Driver Drowsiness Detection System explores the development of a non-contact sensing platform to monitor the physiological signals of drivers such as the electrocardiography and/or electroencephalography, from which the onset and extent of drowsiness can be detected.

6th Annual Competition and Call for Communications Concepts with John and Jane Q. Public: Transportation Finance and Related Policy Solutions

The TRB Technical Activities Division’s Planning and Environment Group is holding its sixth annual competition to find top methods for communicating transportation concepts to non-professional audiences. Entries, which should focus on best practices in communicating transportation finance and related policy solutions to the public, are due by August 31, 2012.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Scientists Investigate Using Artificial Intelligence for Next-Generation Traffic Control

The development of artificial intelligence-based approaches to junction control is one of many new and promising technologies that can make better use of existing urban and road capacity, while reducing the environmental impacts of road traffic. The research carried out by the University of Southampton team has used computer games and simulations to investigate what makes good traffic control.

Our View: Technology helps Glendale ease traffic on Bell Road

Arizona - Technology is key to improving heavily traveled roads where adding lanes is impossible. Improvements (current and past) include message signs, closed-circuit TV cameras, traffic-detection devices and traffic-signal synchronization, specifically designed to improve traffic flow and reduce traveler delays and traffic congestion. The city has been working with Maricopa County Department of Transportation to install intelligent transportation-system equipment along the popular roadway.

Ford, Carnegie Mellon University Team Up for Cool Summer Fun

The PURIFLUME mobile water system is not only cool; it’s a fun, creative way to cool off when the heat is on. The PURIFLUME is such a unique idea; it has been awarded a $50,000 Ford College Community Challenge (Ford C3) grant. Ford C3 is a national competition that recognizes colleges and universities that utilize a school’s resources to address an urgent, unmet social need or problem in the local community.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Nokia, Samsung, Sony Join Forces to Improve Indoor Navigation

Nokia, Samsung Electronics, Sony and Qualcomm have formed the In-Location Alliance, which will work to improve the accuracy of indoor positioning, the companies said on Thursday.Indoor positioning is the next frontier of mobile services. Finding out where you are in a mall or a sports arena using a smartphone is difficult today because GPS coverage usually isn't available. Besides improving navigation accuracy in those kinds locations, the In-Location Alliance will also prioritize low power consumption and making the technology both easy to implement and use, according to a joint statement.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Study finds car computers vulnerable to viruses, hijacking

As cars are becoming more computerized, they are also becoming more susceptible to viruses, a study released this month found. The report, from the University of California San Diego and the University of Washington's Center for Automotive Embedded Systems Security (CAESS), argued that "[M]odern automobiles are pervasively computerized, and hence potentially vulnerable to attack."

Stanford researchers using data from real drivers to improve autonomous cars

Self-driving cars are a major topic of interest among the science community, and researchers at Stanford University are gathering data from race drivers to help improve the vehicles. The investigators are going to analyze the brain activity of two drivers behind the wheel of a 1966 Ford GT40 during the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion in California.

IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Society Newsletter

July 2012 The latest issue of the Newsletter is now available for download.

Smart cars to be put to test in Ann Arbor

The, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute will conduct the research project in Ann Arbor where nearly 3,000 cars, trucks and buses equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication devices will "talk" to each other and highway devices. Most of the test vehicles will be privately owned. NHTSA says vehicle-to-vehicle communications will assist drivers in preventing as many as three-fourths of crashes.

Application of New Technologies to Improve Risk Management (Stage 1): Scoping of Potential Technologies

Austroads has released a report that explores new technologies that may be helpful to asset and risk managers. There is no fee to download a copy of the report after registering on the website.

Understanding Traveler Behavior: The Psychology Behind Managed Lane Use

The Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University has released a report that examines the impact of several personality traits on survey respondents’ travel choices. Traits reviewed in the report included conscientiousness, general locus of control, personal need for structure, financial risk tolerance, driving risk perceptions, risky driving style, and careful driving style.

Positive Train Control: Implementation Status, Issues, and Impacts

The U.S. Federal Railroad Administration has released a report that summarizes technical and programmatic issues experienced by railroad carriers that may inhibit them from implementing Positive Train Control systems by December 31, 2015.

Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems Elements to Improve Airport Traveler Access Information

TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 70: Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems Elements to Improve Airport Traveler Access Information provides descriptions, component details, and examples of how airport ground access information can be disseminated using various intelligent transportation systems (ITS) technologies.

RFP: Guidance for Implementation of Traffic Incident Management Performance Measurement

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) has issued a request for proposals to develop guidance on the implementation of traffic incident management performance measurement that is applicable to a broad spectrum of transportation and incident responding agencies. Proposals are due October 16, 2012.

RFP: Effective Practices for the Protection of Transportation Infrastructure from Cyber Incidents

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) has issued a request for proposals to develop a primer and a briefing for transportation system owners and operators explaining the nature of cyber events and their operational and safety impacts. Proposals are due by October 2, 2012.

SHRP 2 Releases Three New Requests for Proposals for Implementation Support Projects

TRB is issuing three RFPs for SHRP 2 implementation support projects, which are available on the following page. Proposals are due on October 2, 2012, at 4:30 PM. A prebid webinar will be held on September 6, 2012, which will give potential bidders an opportunity to ask questions;
C55: Capacity Implementation Support
L55: Reliability Implementation Support
R55: Renewal Implementation Support

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Beyond Medals and Memes: The Olympics As Test Bed For Urban Innovation

GE CMO Beth Comstock discusses how London 2012 and future Olympic Games should be seen as labs for urban innovation as the world’s population shifts to cities.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Obama Administration launches new public-private institute to support innovation in additive manufacturing technology with $30M in federal funding

The Obama Administration launched a new public-private institute for innovation in additive manufacturing technology. Additive manufacturing is defined in ASTM 2792-12 as a process of joining materials to make objects from three-dimensional (3D) model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing methodologies. Synonyms include additive fabrication, additive processes, additive techniques, additive layer manufacturing, layer manufacturing and freeform fabrication...

9 Research Universities: Carnegie Mellon University, Case Western Reserve University, Kent State University, Lehigh University, Penn State University, Robert Morris University, University of Akron, University of Pittsburgh, Youngstown State University

Why Can't Detroit Be The World Capital Of Driverless Cars?

Driverless cars work, but legal, social and logistical obstacles remain. How will driverless cars integrate with an infrastructure built for cars that require drivers? The answers are being explored by very smart people at places like Carnegie Mellon University, Stanford University and the University of Michigan, not to mention the aforementioned companies.

How big data drives intelligent transportation

One of the biggest enablers of intelligent transportation is an open-data approach. Most cities manage their traffic and transit data on private databases, accessed exclusively by municipal staff to monitor system performance and implement improvements. Imagine: instead of a few municipal staff thinking about how to improve their isolated systems, millions of software developers look to gain lucrative market share in the information space—from established powerhouses such as Google and IBM to individual programmers on smartphone app stores—all contributing their own innovations. Not only would cities tap into a much larger pool of creativity, the collective innovation would be infectious, and individual successes could be quickly replicated and spread to multiple cities.

New report details trends in vehicle vision

Researchers from the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America; Washington, DC, USA) have produced a new report that provides an overview of vision-based technology and its potential for the transportation sector. The authors of the report believe that market penetration of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) -- many of which rely upon computer vision -- will increase due to market demand for safety features, in addition to regulatory incentives.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Smart Solution Spotlight: Meritor WABCO Receives National Transportation Award

The Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) today honored Meritor WABCO, a leading supplier of safety and control systems for commercial vehicles with a national award recognizing OnGuard,™ the first radar based collision safety system to include Collision Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Active Braking and a Collision Mitigation System (CMS). The system assists the driver in maintaining a safe following distance and reduces the risk of rear-end collisions.

Google Maps Now Features Schedules For More Than 1 Million Transit Stops Worldwide

Google Maps now features public transit schedules for more than 500 cities and one million transit stops worldwide. To make all of this information more accessible to its users on the go, Google today launched an update to Google Maps for Android. The updated Google Maps app now, for example, allows users to choose which specific mode of transportation (train, bus, tram or subway) they want to see on their maps.

Robert Hampshire selected to participate in Frontiers of Engineering symposium

Hampshire teaches management science courses at Heinz College for the School of Public Policy and Management. He is the author and illustrator of Super Operations Manager, a graphic novel that looks at key issues in the area of management science. Hampshire has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award for research in smart mobility services. "It is fortuitous that the symposium is being held at the General Motors Tech center," Hampshire said. His research program develops systems engineering insights for urban mobility systems and services.

Text-and-drive teens ratted on by AT&T mobe tech

The demonstrated tech provides parents with a real-time facsimile of their teenager's car dashboard, so they can see the current speed and fuel level, and the inevitable Google Maps mashup. SMS alerts can be set up for those who don’t want to spy on their kids all the time.

PA courting CA tech companies

Interest in Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania among technology firms and investors in Silicon Valley is strong, said Audrey Russo, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Technology Council on the final day of trade mission to the valley. Russo was speaking from the West Coast campus of Carnegie Mellon University where she was visiting along with Gov. Tom Corbett, Pittsburgh tech entrepreneurs and other economic development officials.

Google’s Driverless Car Is Now Safer Than the Average Driver

How safe a driver is your average robot? Safer than your average American, at least by one measure. Google announced Tuesday that its self-driving cars have completed 300,000 miles of test-drives, under a “wide range of conditions,” all without any kind of accident. (The project has seen a few accidents in the past — but only with humans at the wheel.)

Transportation Data Visualization: Innovations in Performance Measurement and Real-time Situational Awareness. A Live Demo!

T3 Webinar
This live demo and presentation will focus on emerging and ever-improving visualization and information management technologies that are fueling innovation and improved services for the public, decision makers, and our own transportation partners...

These tools, created by the University of Maryland Center for Advanced Transportation Technology Laboratory, focus heavily on usability and ease of access. With a few quick mouse clicks, a user can produce interactive reports, incident heat maps, animations of past traffic conditions, detailed incident response graphics, rank statewide bottlenecks, and derive a variety of other interesting and useful information.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Simple Way to Help Cities Monitor Traffic More Accurately

One common error is called "splashover" because it usually involves an over-sensitive detector picking up the presence a vehicle in the next lane over -- as if the signal from the car "splashed over" into the adjacent lane. Now Ohio State University researchers have developed software to help city managers easily identify detectors that are prone to splashover and reprogram them to get more accurate numbers.

Innovator: July/August 2012

The U.S. Federal Highway Administration has released the latest issue of its Innovator newsletter, which is designed to help advance widespread implementation of innovations and technologies in the highway community and help chronicle a nationwide movement to improve the way highways are built.

Trends of Transportation Simulation and Modeling Based on a Selection of Exploratory Advanced Research Projects

The U.S. Federal Highway Administration has released a report that summarizes an August 2011 workshop that examined advancements in simulation and modeling and their application to transportation research and practice.

Exploratory Advanced Research Program Broad Agency Announcement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a Broad Agency announcement (BAA) soliciting proposals that address Exploratory Advanced Research topics. FHWA is moving forward with the following three topic areas that had a strong scientific and technical basis through the issuance of a broad agency announcement: Topic 1, Innovative Alternative Binders for Highway Structures and Pavements; Topic 2A, Low-Powered Wired Sensors for Asset Management or Health Monitoring of Structures and Pavements; and Topic 2B, Low-Powered Wired Sensors for Environmental Stewardship, Impact Avoidance, or Mitigation Monitoring.

DARPA Lays Down New Robotics Gauntlet

This fall, the Pentagon's top science and research organization officially launches the DARPA Robotics Challenge. The goal, according to DARPA's broad agency announcement posted on FedBizOps, is "to develop ground robotic capabilities to execute tasks in dangerous, degraded, human engineered environments."...
This isn't the first time that DARPA has used a prize challenge to encourage scientific innovation and development. In 2004, the DARPA Grand Challenge asked researchers to develop autonomous vehicles capable of traversing mountainous and desert terrain; a successful team from Stanford University took the $2 million prize. In 2007, a combined team from Carnegie Mellon University and a private firm, Tartan Robotics, earned $2 million in the DARPA Urban Challenge, in which competitors had to successfully navigate a simulated urban traffic environment.

OpenTripPlanner redefines public transit navigation

For traditional automobile commuters, the loss of public transit directions in Apple’s iOS 6 upgrade doesn’t cost much. For urban commuters who depend on the iPhone’s navigation system to make sense of public transit, however, the loss is significant...
Fortunately, a solution may not be far off. OpenPlans, a New York-based nonprofit, is currently in the midst of a KickStarter fundraiser for an app that will fill the void — and then some. OpenTripPlanner won’t just deliver the public transit directions of Google Maps. It also gives users the ability to combine multiple forms of transportation in a single journey, said Kevin Webb, principal of transportation at OpenPlans:

Ministries to launch an Intelligent Transportation System collaboratively

The Ministries of Communications and Transportation plan to restructure the transportation system in Egypt by launching an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) in a number of Egyptian governorates. Preliminary cost estimates put the project at EGP 1 billion to be implemented over two phases.

Request for proposals for a National Center for Mobility Management under FTA’s National Research Program

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA), as the primary staff agency to the Federal Interagency Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility (CCAM), is soliciting proposals under FTA’s National Research Program to fund a National Center for Mobility Management (NCMM). The NCMM will carry-out activities to further mobility management and to improve and enhance the coordination of Federal resources for human service transportation, and especially transportation for people with disabilities, older adults and people with lower incomes.

Five roads to a Smarter City

But city-wide transformations are not the only approach to changing the way that cities work – they are just one of the five roads to a Smarter City. Four other approaches have been shown to work; and in many cases they are more straightforward as they are contained within individual domains of a city; or exploit changes that are taking place anyway.

Intelligent, autonomous robots set to change combat landscape

Autonomous ground vehicles, meanwhile, still have difficulty negotiating obstacles that a human driver wouldn’t give a second thought, said Pilarski, a staff member at Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center in Pittsburgh.For example, a Marine driver would plow through a windblown shopping bag and keep going. A robot, peering at the world through its infrared and laser sensors, has no way of telling if the looming object weighs a few grams or 100 pounds, or whether it’s inanimate or living.

ITS Pennsylvania To Host Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh

“ITS Pennsylvania is excited to hold this year’s annual meeting in Pittsburgh,” said ITS PA President Steve Rozyckie. “In this region we have seen great examples of intelligent transportation applications such as PennDOT posting estimated travel times on the Parkway East, Carnegie Mellon’s Traffic21 providing travelers with real time parking and transit information and Cranberry Township’s state-of- the art traffic management center, just to name a few.”

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Electric vehicle range extension innovation

The latest research into electric vehicles suggests that range extensions of 10% or even more can be achieved through the utilization of smart traffic technologies. By combining information gleaned from real-time traffic information, road type and gradient and also vehicle payload, researchers at the University of California, Riverside believe they can optimize route and performance to extend the range of electric vehicles.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

TriMet's multimodal trip planning tool now out of testing mode

After 10 months of testing, TriMet has officially moved their multimodal trip planner out of beta mode. Here's more from their announcement: Now riders can combine transit with biking and walking using the newest version of the online trip planner. This open source trip planning tool is the first produced by a transit agency in the U.S. that allows users to combine multiple modes of transportation.

Report: Red light cameras likely not worth the cost in Philly suburbs

Municipalities in the Philadelphia suburbs might find red light cameras are not worth their costs, according to a state report. While Philadelphia has generated more than enough money from violations to cover the $6 million price tag of their camera system, a report from the state Transportation Advisory Commission warns that smaller municipalities would not make enough money to pay for a similar program.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sky’s The Limit For CMU Robotics

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With the words “touch down confirmed,” Mission Control in Houston erupts in a frenzy of elation and relief, as Land Rover “Curiosity” settles safely on the surface of Mars. NASA’s latest venture into space has a picture perfect landing. Photos from Mars are quick to follow. Many of those who worked on this project learned their craft at the Planetary Robotics Lab at Carnegie Mellon University.

Video: Software That Can Tell What City It's In By Looking At The Architecture

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and INRIA/Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris have designed software that combs over thousands of Google street view images from Paris, London, New York, and more, then learns to tell the difference based on, say, the number of fire escapes (Hello, NYC). If it picks up on a lot of cast-iron balconies, that's a good indication of Paris. Meanwhile, it takes a record of what nuances are shared by the cities, then eliminates those from the equation.

Upcoming SHRP 2 RFP on Establishing Monitoring Programs for travel Time Reliability

This page contains supporting information for project L38, Pilot Testing of SHRP 2 Reliability Analytical Products. An RFP for this project will be announced in mid-September. We will be looking for transportation agencies to pilot test data, analysis, and project prioritization products from SHRP 2; agencies can pilot test these products alone, or in partnership with a consulting firm or university.

FHWA R&T Now - July 2012

The U.S. Federal Highway Administration has released the latest issue of its Research and Technology (R&T) Now news update. The update reports on research, technology, and development activities taking place within the U.S. Department of Transportation.

FHWA Focus Magazine: July 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.

Volpe News: August 2012

Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center, has released the latest edition of its newsletter designed to feature events and research produced by the center. Part of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Volpe’s mission is to improve the nation's transportation system by anticipating emerging transportation issues and to serve as a center of excellence for informed decision making.

TRB Accepting IDEA Proposals for Railroad Safety or Performance

TRB’s Safety Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) program is currently accepting proposals to receive funding for projects that support innovative approaches to improving railroad safety or performance. Proposals are due by September 7, 2012.

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.

NCHRP Highway IDEA proposals for the next review cycle are due September 1, 2012. Safety IDEA proposals for the next review cycle are due September 7, 2012. Transit IDEA proposals for the next review cycle are due November 1, 2012.

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.

Call for Papers – SAE 2013 World Congress

Abstract Deadline: September 1, 2012
Authors are invited to submit abstracts including the title and author’s contact information by September 1, 2012. Abstracts can be submitted online at to one session only. Paper acceptance will be based on organizer moderated peer review of a review ready manuscript.

Do Advanced Safety Systems Make Drivers Lazy?

Jim Nickolaou, an engineer for General Motors, tested the advanced driver-assistance systems in the new Cadillac XTS and upcoming ATS, including the Automatic Collision Preparation and Front and Rear Automatic Braking systems that are used in Cadillac’s Safety Alert Seat to deliver warnings to drivers via a pulse through the seat cushion. Previously in his career, Nickolaou developed and tested radar and other systems for F-14 and F-15 fighter jets, and he also worked on the GM team that built autonomous vehicles for the DARPA Grand Challenge in conjunction with Carnegie Mellon University.

Ford Begins Real-World Testing Of Future Car-To-Car And Car-To-Infrastructure Communication Technologies

Ford Motor Company today begins real-world testing of future technologies as part of a research programme aimed at advancing car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication to European roads...
Ford is contributing 20 specially equipped S-MAX models to a 120 vehicle fleet being used to test 20 experimental driver assistance technologies as part of the four-year research project “Safe Intelligent Mobility – Testfield Germany” or simTD. The project’s goal is to better understand the potential for car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure to improve traffic safety and personal mobility.

IBM - 6 finalists announced for SmartCamp Beijing Kickstart

iTarge – iTarge offers intelligent transportation system solutions for smarter cities by using HD cameras distributed throughout the city combined with cloud computing technologies.\

App encourages commuters to ride their bike

Integrated Marketing Communications in the University of Tennessee's College of Business Administration is a senior-level, marketing elective for undergraduate students. Students are asked to apply their four years of business knowledge training to develop a real-world marketing plan for an area organization.

SEPTA Receives Gold Recognition Level for Sustainability --- Fourth Public Transit System to Receive this Honor

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) recognized SEPTA today for its sustainability achievements by presenting SEPTA General Manager Joseph Casey with the Gold Recognition Level of the APTA Sustainability Commitment program...
SEPTA was recognized for many notable projects, including the implementation of the Wayside Energy Storage program, which is both a cutting-edge strategy to reduce energy consumption and an innovative revenue-generating opportunity.

Iowa Department of Transportation Releases iPad Driver's License Practice Test

Iowa Interactive and the Iowa DOT have made it easier to be prepared for getting a driver’s license in Iowa for those with an iPad, thanks to the new “IA Driver Test for iPad” application. This app serves as a practice test for the driver exam that must be taken to get an Iowa driver’s license.

PennDOT working to upgrade technology along major highways

A $5.1 million project is underway in Clearfield, Centre and Clinton counties. In an effort to help provide up-to-date information on roadways in the three counties, PennDOT started an upgrade project on Tuesday. The project is the construction and relocation of Intelligent Transportation System devices along I-80 and I-99.

Friday, August 3, 2012

All cars to be fitted with autonomous emergency braking

New regulations soon to be brought in by the European Commission will mean that all new cars will be fitted with autonomous emergency braking technology (AEB). It works using radar, lidar (laser) or video technology, which sends a signal to warn the driver of a collision about to occur and primes the brakes. This essentially works as an emergency stop and is useful in frontal collisions such as those in slow moving traffic.

Public Transportation: An Untapped (so to Speak) Mobile Marketing Venue

Much of the attention and research into smartphone and tablet usage today has justifiably focused on consumers in multiscreen (e.g., mobile plus TV) mode. However, other moments in the day are also important in terms of mobile media consumption. Among those key media moments, reaching consumers on public transportation stands out as an opportunity worth serious consideration.

Amtrak enhances passenger convenience with mobile ticketing on all trains

Following a successful test on five routes, Amtrak is expanding a digital ticketing program to all trains, enabling passengers to use their smartphones to present tickets to the conductor...
“Mobile technology is the foundation upon which the eTicketing program is built,” said Christina E. Leeds, media relations manager at Amtrak, Washington.

MDOT survey to assess autonomous vehicles

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is surveying the automotive industry to help the agency prepare for the eventual testing of self-driving or autonomous vehicles in the state. MDOT’s online survey is being performed in collaboration with the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor. MDOT is hoping that survey responses from automobile, robotics and technology manufacturers that are involved in the autonomous vehicle industry, will help determine what is needed for a successful testing environment in southeast Michigan.

Safety Pilot Model Deployment will start August 21

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has announced that the world’s largest test of connected vehicle technology in a real-world, multimodal operating environment, will start on August 21. The Safety Pilot Model Deployment will use approximately 3,000 cars, trucks, and buses, together with some infrastructure, which will be equipped with wireless communications devices.

Embracing the Wider Connected Car Environment Key to Fulfilling the ITS Vision, Says ABI Research

Vice President and practice director Dominique Bonte comments: “It is essential the ITS debate shifts to encompass the wider framework of the connected car environment which offers a nearly continuous spectrum of connectivity options offering a variety of range, line of sight, and response time characteristics.” Synergies between three connectivity categories will need to be established:

  • Very short range – ADAS sensors – Radar / Sonar / Laser / Lidar / Video
  • Short range – V2V & V2I – DSRC 5.9 GHz– IEEE 802.11p
  • Wide area connections – Cellular / Wi-Fi / Satellite (Traditional Telematics)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

High tech sensors track peformance of I-35W bridge

MINNEAPOLIS — Five years after the bridge over Interstate 35W collapsed into the Mississippi River, killing 13 people and injuring 145, officials say the bridge that replaced it is performing well.
Fitted with hundreds of high-tech sensors that track how the span reacts to weight, vibration and temperature, the new bridge allows researchers to collect data from the span that could change how bridges are designed in the future. In a science lab on the University of Minnesota campus, researchers scroll through a list of numbers on a computer screen. The numbers are raw data produced by 500 so-called "smart bridge" sensors on the new bridge, which opened to traffic in September 2008.

August 2012 ITS JPO Newsletter

Last month, Congress passed the latest federal aid highway law (MAP-21), which continues the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) research program at similar funding levels.

In addition, we are excited about the impending launch of the Safety Pilot Model Deployment this August, which will be the largest test to date of connected vehicle technology in a real-world, multimodal operating environment. This newsletter highlights this launch as well as several other initiatives, such as the preliminary results of the Safety Pilot Driver Clinics, the upgraded Connected Vehicle Test Bed, and the Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) initiative, among others.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

New transport plan driven by technology

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Transport announced a national plan for the transportation sector in 2012-20, aiming to promote the development of China's intelligent transport system, known as ITS. The government believes the plan will provide solutions to the increasing urban traffic congestion issues as well as nurture a new economic growth engine. The government will encourage more private investment in the field, Hong Xiaofeng, deputy director of the science and technology department under the Ministry of Transport, said at the opening ceremony of the third ITS Conference in Beijing on Tuesday.

New Google service lets users "zoom" through years of time-lapse satellite photos

A combined effort between researchers at the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Google provides users with easy access to 13 years of NASA Landsat imagery of the Earth’s surface. The new capability within Google Earth Engine lets users zoom in and out on any spot on the globe, moving back and forth in time between 1999 and 2011.