Wednesday, December 26, 2012

AUVSI's Unmanned Systems 2013 - Submit your technical proposal for consideration today

We are now accepting proposals for technical presentations at AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems 2013 to be held 12-15 Aug. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

DC Parking garages turn to smartphone apps to attract night, weekend drivers

Owners of some of the District’s parking garages are turning to smartphone apps to attract the increasing number of motorists looking to park at night or on weekends, times when their facilities once sat vacant in this town dominated by weekday commuters.
D.C.-based Colonial Parking, which operates 250 parking facilities around the city, is the latest to do so. The firm plans to use an app called ParkMe, which shows drivers which garages have vacant spots and how much they cost per hour.

I-93 Corridor: Real Time Travel Smart Phone App

MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey today announced a new smart phone app that provides real time travel conditions along the Interstate 93 corridor in Massachusetts.  The Real Time Travel App, “RTTM”, displays color-coded, current travel times on I-93 to and from Boston in real time.  Boston-based transportation IT service company, KCUS Inc., developed the app, which follows the real-time travel message board traffic management system installed along I-93 earlier this year.

Were you ‘naughty or nice’ to environment?

“Around this time of year, we routinely get asked questions about how best to protect the environment during the holiday rush, so we put together this suggested shopping advice,” says Chris Hendrickson, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.
“For the average consumer, generally the two biggest sources of your environmental footprint come from your residence, and the kind of car your drive,” says H. Scott Matthews, professor of civil and environmental engineering and engineering and public policy.
“For example, our previous work shows that about two-thirds of your carbon footprint comes from these two categories.

Weekly transit passes now smart cards

Pittsburgh - Port Authority has expanded the distribution of smart fare cards to include riders who purchase weekly passes.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Parking authority studies pay-by-phone technology

With the installation of nearly 560 multispace metering devices completed, Pittsburgh Parking Authority is pursuing other modernization initiatives.
The authority board voted Thursday to consider adding a pay-by-phone feature to the multispace machines, which are used for on-street parking spaces and metered lots Downtown and in parts of 11 other neighborhoods. It also voted to develop an on-line reservation system for spaces in six of the authority's Downtown garages.

SFpark hourly meters actually saves motorists money

Since taking effect in April 2011, average hourly rates have dropped by 14 cents from $2.73 to $2.59 at the 7,000 SFpark meters. Overall, 17 percent of those meters offer hourly rates of $1 or less — prices that are significantly cheaper than the ones offered at The City’s 22,000 older meters. And 6 percent of SFpark meters go for as cheap as 25 cents an hour, according to data from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which oversees parking policies in The City. The drop in prices for on-street parking meters coincides with a 20 percent rate decrease in SFMTA-run garages.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

10 Trends That Are Changing Cities Forever

When it comes to technology and strategy, government is often behind the times, and far behind the most innovative businesses. It's slow-moving, risk-averse, and subject to many electoral and legal constraints.
Cities, on the other hand, move much faster. That was the subject of a recent panel hosted by SAP and the Brookings Institute, what Sean O'Brien, the Global Vice President Of Urban Matters and Public Security at SAP called the "secret sauce" of the best-run cities.

Wireless bike offers ride into smart-tech future

A Cambridge innovation hothouse has created a wireless bicycle that could incorporate GPS and map data to change gear in anticipation of upcoming hills and a range of monitoring tools to ensure healthy riding.

New technology helps drivers navigate traffic to decrease driving stress

Volvo is taking the next step toward building a completely autonomous car by developing a new vehicle-control system that works like cruise control in low-speed stop-and-go commuting.
This so-called traffic jam assistance feature works with existing adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping technology, manipulating a car’s accelerator, brakes and steering to automatically maintain a set distance from the traffic ahead while keeping the vehicle within the current lane at speeds under 30 mph... 
The system is expected to go into production in 2014

Car to car communications a step closer

Around three years from now vehicles should be appearing in showrooms boasting the capability of communicating with each other.
Manufacturers will have started fitting the first proprietary car-to-car driver-aid safety devices and deployment of ‘vehicle-to-x’ (V2X) cooperative vehicle communication will be underway in earnest.
That is, if the 12 major vehicle manufacturers of the European Car2Car Communication Consortium hit their self-imposed target of starting roll-out of V2X systems in 2015. There is no guarantee they will have met the deadline three years from now and there are reasons to be sceptical, but there are also signs of real progress.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What Will the Future Be Like? Nova Video featuring UPenn Professor and T-SET UTC Director Dan Lee

Meet the people building tomorrow's robots, 3-D virtual environments, mind-reading machines, and more. Aired November 14, 2012 on PBS.
The technologies that will transform our lives decades from now are already taking shape in laboratories around the world. David Pogue imagines what the Tech page of The New York Times might look like 10, 20, or 30 years from today, as he meets the innovative engineers and computer scientists working to create thought-controlled video games, robotic exoskeletons, and virtual reality that seamlessly integrates with the real world.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pentagon Sets Out to Create the Ultimate Wireless Network

DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is setting out to create an ultra-fast wireless standard that matches or beats the abilities of today's fiber-optic networks. That means a connection that can support speeds of 100 gigabits per second (Gbps). To compare, a typical real-world LTE connection provides about 30 megabits per second, or 0.03 Gbps.

New Car Features May Keep Older Drivers Out Of The Big Yellow Taxi

In some of the most potent cultural images we have of cool cars, they are being driven by young men — Ron Howard cruising in American Graffiti, cousins Bo and Luke from The Dukes of Hazzard sliding over the hood of the General Lee, James Dean behind the wheel of his Porsche.
But these days some of the coolest things about our cars aren't there to dazzle the young. They're there to accommodate the aging. With 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, it's easy to see why.

NHTSA - Estimating Lives Saved by Electronic Stability Control, 2008–2010

In 2010, electronic stability control (ESC) saved an estimated 497 lives among passenger car (PC) occupants, and 366 lives among light truck and van (LTV) occupants, for a total of 863 lives saved among passenger vehicle (PV) occupants. This lives-saved estimate is a substantial increase over the 705 lives saved in 2009 and the 634 lives-saved estimate for 2008. In recent years, the percentage of passenger vehicles equipped with ESC systems has increased significantly.

Chicago likes bikes — and it’s about to prove it in a big way

Look over your shoulder, Portland, Minneapolis, and Washington, D.C. Chicago is about to roll out plans to lay down 645 miles of bike lanes by 2020. If you’re not careful, the Windy City is going to pedal off with the title of Most Bikeable City in the U.S.

PennDOT website tries to sell public on its efforts

Mr. Schoch also wants the department to start considering the implications of self-driving vehicles and said PennDOT is joining with Carnegie Mellon University on a study of how they would effect highway design and construction.
"I have 18-month-old twins. They might not ever drive a car," he said in his remarks to the 12th annual Southwestern Pennsylvania Smart Growth Conference. "I think autonomous vehicles are going to happen, and I think PennDOT should embrace that. This is the future of transportation. We need to do the research today."

Amtrak’s Next-Generation Train Service, One Step Closer

Today’s announcement isn’t a significant shift away from that plan, but it does bring forward the timeline for faster trains, and more capacity, on the Acela service. Essentially, instead of adding new cars to the 1990s-era trains currently running the service, beginning in the second half of this decade Amtrak will start introducing brand new trains, with more seating, more modern bells and whistles for riders, and higher speeds, once upgrades to the network allow it.
Those new trains will run side-by side with the existing ones up until around 2025, when the old ones are phased out and the next-generation of trains capable of speeds of up to 220 miles per hour start to be introduced, alongside the next wave of network upgrades.

Monday, December 17, 2012

7th International Visualization in Transportation Symposium: Visualization for Big Data

TRB is sponsoring the 7th International Visualization in Transportation Symposium: Visualization for Big Data on October 23-25, 2013, in Irvine, California. The conference is designed to explore future research needs as well as recent findings, new methods, and new software related to visualization in transportation and data.
Individuals or groups interested in providing input on session topics and presentation ideas, or in submitting an abstract, may do so online by February 15, 2013.

Finally Getting Serious About Measuring How Much People Walk and Bike

As you might expect, given the billions America spends on highways, measuring the activity of motorists is practically an industry unto itself.
But data collection on walking and biking is much less rigorous. In most American cities, measuring active transportation consists of recruiting some volunteers to spend a few hours once a year standing at an intersection counting bikes. As a result, very little good data about how many cyclists and pedestrians are out there using the streets and sidewalks is available.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Volpe Center Innovation Challenge generates transportation solutions

It’s no secret that Americans love competitions with judges. American Idol is in its 12th season, and there are television shows recognizing almost every talent you can think of—dancing, cooking, fashion design, and more. But what happens if your talent is transportation research?
Then we've got just the thing. DOT’s own Volpe Center just concluded its first-ever “Innovation Challenge,” a competition where teams present ideas that help solve major challenges in American transportation.

Proximity Information Resources for Special Events

TRB’s second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) Program Final Report for SHRP 2 Reliability IDEA Project L-15B: Proximity Information Resources for Special Events describes development of a mobile application to assist in management and communications during large events.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Announcing the Apps for Vehicles Challenge

Here at the Energy Department’s Vehicle Technologies Program, we’re revved up about the next great smartphone app: yours.
That’s why we’re launching the Apps for Vehicles Challenge, which is looking for the best business plans, app ideas and product designs that use open vehicle data to help vehicle owners save fuel, save money and stay safe.

Call for Papers and Special Interest Sessions submission deadline: Jan. 11, 2013

The Call for Papers and Special Interest Sessions submission is coming to a close and we invite ITS experts to submit a paper or session proposal to be considered for presentation and publication at the Tokyo Congress before the deadline of Jan. 11, 2013. Submit your Technical/Scientific Paper or a submit a Special Interest Session proposal to now and help shape the discussion at the Congress by promoting your area of interest. Get the exposure you deserve at ITS Tokyo 2013!

Student Essay Competition for the 2013 ITS America Annual Meeting

The Student Essay Competition is designed to encourage student interest and future participation in the development of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and solutions. The objective of the essay competition is to provide an opportunity for today’s transportation and engineering students to apply their knowledge in a thought-provoking and enjoyable competition and to build awareness of ITS as a career path with unlimited potential.

ITS America Launches Leadership Circle to Advance Smart Technology Solutions to National, State and Local Transportation Challenges

There are currently 22 founding members of the Leadership Circle. Private sector members include: CH2M HILL, Eberle Design Inc., Econolite Group Inc., IBM, Image Sensing Systems Inc., Intel, Iteris Inc., Kapsch TrafficCom, Schneider Electric/Telvent, Siemens, and TransCore Holdings, Inc. Public sector members include the: California DOT (Caltrans), Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority,      Carnegie Mellon University, Contra Costa Transportation Authority, Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), Michigan DOT, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), University of California, Berkeley (California PATH), University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), and Texas Transportation Institute (TTI).

Governor Corbett Speaks During Ribbon-Cutting and Grand Opening Ceremony of the PA Turnpike's New Route 29 Interchange

The interchange will reduce congestion and contribute to an overall reduction in traffic.
"This interchange is about saving time and improving access to our transportation systems," Corbett said. "It's one step in our journey to prosperity."
"This project shows in concrete, brick and mortar and glass, the connection between transportation and our economy.

Google-Funded Drones To Hunt Rhino Poachers

First things first: No, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is not using drones to vaporize poachers. But thanks to a five million dollar grant awarded by Google on Tuesday, the organization is expanding its use of unmanned aerial vehicles to track and deter criminals who illegally hunt endangered animal species around the world.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cyclists and Pedestrians Can End Up Spending More Each Month Than Drivers

But for all of the other business types examined, bikers actually out-consumed drivers over the course of a month. True, they often spent less per visit. But cyclists and pedestrians in particular made more frequent trips (by their own estimation) to these restaurants, bars and convenience stores, and those receipts added up. This finding is logical: It’s a lot easier to make an impulse pizza stop if you’re passing by an aromatic restaurant on foot or bike instead of in a passing car at 35 miles an hour.

Gaping holes discovered in global GPS

Researchers have developed three attacks capable of crippling Global Positioning System (GPS) infrastructure critical to the navigation of a host of military and civilian technologies including planes, ships and unmanned drones.
The scenarios developed include novel remote attacks via malicious GPS broadcasts against consumer and professional-grade receivers, which could be launched using $2,500 worth of equipment.
A 45-second crafted GPS message could bring down up to 30 percent of the global GPS Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS), while other attacks could take down 20 percent of NTRIP networks, security boffins from Carnegie Mellon University and firm Coherent Navigation have said in a new paper (PDF).

Application of Bluetooth Technology to Rural Freeway Speed Data Collection

The Ohio Department of Transportation has released a report that explains the development of a Bluetooth device capable of recording the media access control addresses of target radios on an interstate and then calculating the resulting space mean speed.

FHWA Focus Magazine: November 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: Federal Highway Innovation, Wake Turbulence, and Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts

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.

Research: Cars can be safer without human drivers

Worried about how technology-enabled, driverless cars will be able to navigate through intersections without crashing into one another?   No need to, according to researchers at Virginia Tech Transportation Research. Automated intersection controllers will be able to help cars through faster and more safely than if humans were driving, they’ve found. The research by civil engineering professor Hesham Rakha and PhD student Ismail Zohdy recently won the Best Scientific Paper Award for North America at the Intelligent Transportation Society World Congress in Vienna.

Crowdsourcing Your Commute

A new study explores how commuters in one California city share travel information via specialized social networks, accessible from mobile apps.
Drivers in San Jose, California (the state’s third largest city, after Los Angeles and San Diego), not only reached their destinations faster by staying connected with other drivers, they were also less impatient about getting there, the study, released Monday by the New Cities Foundation, reported. The study provides insight into how social networking — mostly used in our downtime now — might help make cities and commuters more efficient during working hours.

City Council Tackles Our Last Existential Quandary: Countdown Clocks for Bus Stops

New York City is not a place for waiting. We’re terrible at it, and the City Council knows it. Today, joined by transit advocates and riders, a group of council members introduced a resolution calling on city agencies to install “bus clocks” in all of the 3,300 shelters across the city. Clocks that would display real-time bus arrival information, not simply those flimsy timetables many bus poles now unreliably, even flagrantly, post. It’s a move that will finally see the city catching up with such other metropolitan innovators as Albany, Syracuse, and Champaign, Ill. They’ve even got an online version in Boston—Boston!

Smarter transport: Driving

There's nothing smart about driving. Congestion costs the UK economy £12 billion every year, with road accidents adding a further £9.3 billion and poor air quality somewhere between £4.5-£10.6 billion, according to the UK Automotive Council.
It's time for some smarter driving. Lessening congestion, pollution and road accidents is key to any city's attempts to introduce 'intelligent mobility', an ambition that logically divides into three key areas; traffic management, intelligent cars, and smart, wireless charging for electric vehicles.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Black boxes in cars raise privacy concerns

Many motorists don't know it, but it's likely that every time they get behind the wheel, there's a snitch along for the ride.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Friday proposed long-delayed regulations requiring auto manufacturers to include event data recorders -- better known as "black boxes" -- in all new cars and light trucks beginning Sept. 1, 2014.
But the agency is behind the curve. Automakers have been tucking the devices, which automatically record the actions of drivers and the responses of their vehicles in a continuous information loop, into most new cars for years.

Intelligent transportation systems applied in Viet Nam

The Ministry of Transport will soon issue a set of regulations to drive forward its plans to implement intelligent transportation systems in 2013.
Deputy Minister Nguyen Ngoc Dong, said the ministry will select technologies for intelligent transportation systems which suit domestic highway routes by 2015.

Call for Papers: International Road Federation World Meeting 2nd Announcement Now Available

The 17th IRF World Meeting & Exhibition offers a unique forum for sharing the latest industry technologies, solutions and best practices from all over the world.

ERTICO partners push for standardization

ERTICO - ITS Europe and six of its partners have suppliers announced their joint work towards a common set of standards for Cooperative Mobility services, which are expected to be implemented in their future products. The future of traffic management on urban and inter-urban networks will rely on direct communication and interaction between vehicles and the infrastructure, using cooperative intelligent transport systems (C-ITS) that support real-time exchange of traffic data.

Steel City Codefest: Creating apps becomes civic duty

The city of Pittsburgh, Google and several other sponsors are asking local software developers to pull an all-nighter for the Steel City Codefest -- a day-long brainstorming and coding session that organizers hope will result in custom software apps to supplement city services...
 However much of the data -- which includes information on roads and bridges, schools and transportation -- come from partnerships the city has formed with local, state and federal stakeholders willing to share their information for the cause...
Other partners include the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Bakery Square, the University of Pittsburgh Center for Social and Urban Research, Downtown-based design firm Maya Design and Carnegie Mellon University's transportation research program, Traffic 21.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Virginia’s Transportation Officials Bring Intelligent Tech Ideas to Mobility Lab

“The success of tomorrow’s transportation system depends heavily on our ability to harness new technology today,” said Jeffrey Spencer, Intelligent Transportation Program Leader from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). He  spoke at Mobility Lab as part of Tuesday’s Tech Session for the Intelligent Transportation Society of Virginia (ITSVA). Spencer added that, around the U.S., transit is embracing new technology in exciting areas like transit ticketing, real-time service notifications, and automated steering and vehicle guidance to ease boarding for disabled riders.

ITS America is excepting entries to the Best of ITS Awards

ITS America's " Best of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Awards" recognizes the best and brightest of the transportation technology community. Winning entries will be honored at the (Opening Plenary Reception) of the 23rd ITS America Annual Meeting & Exposition on Monday, April 22 in Nashville, Tenn. This is a unique opportunity to be recognized at the premier global event on advanced transportation technologies in front of hundreds of transportation professionals, policymakers and press.