Thursday, February 28, 2013

Putting "Rapid" into Bus Transit: Evaluating Cities Around the World

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is an example of a re-designed transportation method that has achieved a lot of positive press lately. However positive some BRT developments have been, others have not realized some of the basic principles of an effective BRT and have left riders disillusioned with the concept. As Bill Gates recently urged in his 2013 Annual Letter, measuring and assessing our work to improve cities is crucial to invention. A number of cities and organizations have done just that, and their recently released assessments of bus rapid transit systems point to areas of excellence and places where there is room to improve.

FCC Ruling Could Set Connected Cars and Wi-Fi on Collision Course

The U.S. government, automakers and safety institutions have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into getting cars talking to each other through an ad hoc Wi-Fi network. It’s a large piece of a puzzle that could nearly eliminate car crashes, but an initiative from the FCC could put it in jeopardy.
The FCC recently announced plans to open up previously restricted frequency spectra to general Wi-Fi use, although it was originally set aside for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications, along with use by government entities such as the FAA. The Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) is concerned that the federal agency is setting up a collision between competing interests.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Call for Papers - 16th International IEEE Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems October 6-9, 2013, The Hague

IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Society
16th International IEEE Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems
Intelligent Transportation Systems for All Transportation Modes
October 6-9, 2013, The Hague, The Netherlands
Important Dates
- Special Session proposal submission deadline: March 15, 2013
- Full-paper submission deadline: March 15, 2013
- Workshop/Tutorial proposal submission deadline: May 1, 2013
- Notification of acceptance: June 1, 2013
- Final paper submission deadline: July 1, 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Traffic Signal Systems 2012

TRB’s Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2311 explores 18 papers concerned with traffic signal systems including performance measures for adaptive signal control; calibration of platoon dispersion model; impacts of transit priority on signal coordination; prediction of red light running using inductive-loop detectors; modeling of auxiliary through lanes; and predicting distribution of link travel times for urban signalized roads.

TRB Webinar: Automated Enforcement for Speeding and Red Light Running

TRB will conduct a webinar on March 25, 2013, from 2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. ET that will highlight TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program report: Automated Enforcement for Speeding and Red Light Running, which provides an assessment of automated speeding and red light enforcement activity in the United States and develops guidelines for current and future programs. Participants must register in advance of the webinar, and there is a fee for non-TRB Sponsor employees. A certificate for 1.5 Professional Development Hours (PDH) will be provided to attendees who register and attend the webinar as an individual.

Monday, February 25, 2013

AT&T, General Motors to sell 4G LTE-connected cars next year

AT&T and GM's OnStar service unit struck a deal to bring millions of connected cars to the market, starting with the 2015 fleet, which comes out late 2014. GM said most Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac cars will get wireless connections.

Steel City Codefest: High-tech fanatics create apps for Pittsburgh

Some of Pittsburgh's brightest technological minds hunkered down in Google's Larimer offices over the weekend for the first Steel City Codefest, where they had 24 hours to create an app that would take civic data and make it useful to city residents...
 Another winning app, Park It, would link with the city's new Web-enabled parking meters to allow drivers to pay for their parking from their phones, meaning no more frantic, wet-headed trips from the salon to the car to feed the meter while getting a haircut.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

CMU continues to be an incubator of innovation

Romibo, like hundreds of other products, concepts or ideas, was spawned on Carnegie Mellon University's 100-acre Oakland campus. More than 300 companies have gotten their start there since the mid-1990s. The spinoff companies represent about a third of companies established in Pennsylvania based on university technologies in the past five years.
The school nationally is the “gold standard” for developing viable ideas and turning them into marketable companies, said Rich Lunak, a Carnegie Mellon graduate and president and CEO of Innovation Works, a South Oakland-based tech incubator. 

Pittsburgh officials anxiously await transportation study results

Pittsburgh officials expect good things at minimal cost from a transportation study by technology giant IBM.
Six IBM experts from across the globe spent three weeks in Pittsburgh last year, scrutinizing transportation systems, and will provide the city a detailed report of their findings and recommendations early this year.
IBM provided the expertise, valued at $400,000, for free as part of its Smarter Cities Challenge grant program...
“What they're saying is, ‘You guys are actually advanced, because you've got a smart-card program, but here's a lot of things you can do to improve that smart-card system,' ” said Stan Caldwell, deputy executive director of Carnegie Mellon University's Traffic 21 program and T-Set University Transportation Centers.

ITE Technical Conference and Exhibit: Launch of ICM Demonstration and Evaluation Research Phase

Regional, State, and local agencies in two locations (Dallas, TX and San Diego, CA) are designing and implementing the nation’s first Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) systems as part of USDOT’s ICM Research Initiative.  Participants in the upcoming ITE Technical Conference will have the opportunity to interact with site leads from both locations, to preview the decision support system that will help operate the I-15 corridor in a more dynamic and integrated fashion, and to tour the I-15 express lanes and ICM features.
Mark your calendars for these ICM-related events at the ITE Technical Conference and Exhibit (March 3 - 6, 2013; San Diego, California) to learn more about ICM and to hear first-hand about what it takes to prepare a transportation corridor for the future of operations.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

FCC Ruling Could Set Connected Cars and Wi-Fi on Collision Course

The U.S. government, automakers and safety institutions have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into getting cars talking to each other through an ad hoc Wi-Fi network. It’s a large piece of a puzzle that could nearly eliminate car crashes, but an initiative from the FCC could put it in jeopardy.
The FCC recently announced plans to open up previously restricted frequency spectra to general Wi-Fi use, although it was originally set aside for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications, along with use by government entities such as the FAA. The Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) is concerned that the federal agency is setting up a collision between competing interests.

10 worst cities for driving

The latest data comes from iOnRoad, the android and iPhone app that aims to improve driving in real time. Using computer algorithms and smartphone cameras, it detects cars in front of your vehicle, alerting you when you are in danger from a collision or sideswipe.
With data collected from drivers in one million downloads, iOnRoad has come up with a list of the worst cities to drive in. The usual suspects are here, concentrated on the East and West Coasts, but each has its own idiosyncrasies.
(Pittsburgh and Philadelphia ranked)

Pilot improves traffic in Eindhoven

IBM and NXP Semiconductors have announced the first results of a smarter traffic pilot, conducted in the Dutch city of Eindhoven. The trial demonstrates how the ‘connected car’ automatically shares braking, acceleration and location data that can be analyzed by the central traffic authority, in order to identify and resolve road network issues. The 12-month trial was designed to provide Eindhoven’s regional government with insights into how to maintain roads, reduce traffic congestion and increase road safety.

 Newsletter positions students to "Fast Forward" to transportation careers

"Fast Forward" is off and running to middle school, high school and community college students, a new national newsletter designed to pique students' interest in transportation-related careers, including civil engineering. Leading figures in transportation and engineering are interviewed in the inaugural newsletter's first part, including ASCE Executive Director Pat Natale, P.E., CAE, F.ASCE, who talked about how engineers are "unsung heroes." Part two will profile five students who are great examples of the next generation of transportation professionals. "Fast Forward" is produced by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with funding from the Federal Highway Administration.

Building cities of the future now

A smarter city may mean one that uses data on traffic to ease congestion or one that aims to join up services to provide better information for citizens. For many it is about making cities greener and more efficient.
Technology firms such such as IBM and Cisco see smart cities as a huge business opportunity but, alongside the schemes being touted by technology firms, are more grass root projects which aim to empower citizens and allow them a say in how the city will look.
(BBC Looks at the top 5 cities)

USDOT has announced a new webinar series on Connected Vehicle Data Capture Management (DCM) and Dynamic Mobility Applications (DMA)

The webinars will be held in the following order:
February 27, 2013: Data Capture and Management Program Update
March 6, 2013: Dynamic Mobility Applications Program Update
March 20, 2013: Using the Open Source Application Development Portal
April 10, 2013: The Potential of Dynamic Mobility Applications

Intelligent Transportation Systems Could Save Australia $500M/Year

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese has stated that an Australia-wide electronic freeway management system has the potential to greatly reduce congestion and save Australian families and businesses more than $500 million a year. 
Albanese said as much as he announced the $21 million contract to deliver an Intelligent Transport System (ITS) and communications infrastructure to the Westgate Freeway Managed Motorway Project in Victoria under the National Smart Managed Motorways Program.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Bombardier to test electric buses that charge wirelessly

Bombardier's electric transit technology will be tested next winter on buses in Montreal, followed in early 2014 on a route in the German city of Mannheim.
The transportation giant's Primove technology is designed to allow buses to be charged by underground induction stations when they stop to let passengers hop on and off.

The Future of Connected Cars: What to do With All That Data?

The modern automobile has become a data collection machine. As you drive down the road, sensors in the car’s various systems report your speed, engine RPM, steering angle, brake pressure, and myriad other bits of information to the computers, perhaps several dozen of them, that control the vehicle’s functions.
But there are a couple of big problems with the data as it exists today. One is that most of the information collected is used, for example, in the computer that controls the traction control system, and immediately discarded. Second, sensors and processors in cars communicate over a variety of proprietary data buses that often cannot talk to each other, let alone the outside world.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Video on Audi Piloted Driving

Watch video on Audi Piloted Driving featured at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show

Self-driving Google car a big hit at Texas Transportation Forum

Some of the best transportation thinkers in Texas and across the United States are being upstaged this week by a car that drives itself.
About 1,400 people are attending the eighth annual Texas Transportation Forum through Tuesday in Austin. But while those experts meet in Hilton conference rooms and grapple with tough issues such as how to handle an increase in freight-hauling trucks on the roads, or how to pay for highways under a tightened state budget, it’s the Google “self-driving car” parked outside the downtown Austin hotel’s entrance that’s getting the most hubbub.

Read more here:

Bad parking job? Text the driver through the license plate

Trying to find parking in San Francisco sometimes feels likes a car-based version of "Survivor." It's not pretty. Cars block driveways, drivers forget to curb their wheels, lights get left on, and meters run out. These are all reasons why you might want to contact a vehicle's owner. If everyone in San Francisco signed up for CurbTXT, then it would be easy to get in touch.
Drivers can sign up for CurbTXT by registering their license plates and phone numbers. A sticker on the car gives people an anonymous way to contact the driver through text messaging by referencing the plate number. The service forwards the message to the owner.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Volpe Webinar - Using Automated Data Collection Systems to Improve Public Transport Performance: Applications at Transport for London

Join Dr. Nigel H. M. Wilson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor, at Volpe for our next Straight from the Source event.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
12:00 – 12:45 p.m.
Management Information Center
Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center
55 Broadway, Kendall Square
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Join us in person or via webinar This engaging speaker series enables a stimulating information exchange with today's thought leaders in transportation on emerging and future transportation issues.

Improving the Safety and Efficiency of Roadway Maintenance Phase II: Developing a Vision Guidance System for the Robotic Roadway Message Painter

The University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies has released a report that considers a vision system capable of identifying existing painted pavement markings and determining their dimensions, location, and orientation in order to repaint them.

TransferJet to demo speedy wireless at MWC

The TransferJet Consortium is due to demonstrate close proximity wireless transfers at data rates that are more than 1,000 times faster than near field communications (NFC) at the Mobile World Congress being held in Barcelona, Feb. 25 to 28.

U-M students win energy contest with helicopter robots

A team of graduate students from the University of Michigan has won a $50,000 prize for work on unmanned aerial vehicle technology.
SkySpecs, LLC is developing small, robotic helicopters that could gather inspection data from hard-to-reach or dangerous places in places such as bridges and wind turbines.

Report on Red-Light Traffic Control Signal Monitoring Systems: Second Annual Report

The New Jersey Department of Transportation has released a report that describes its traffic control signal monitoring systems pilot program and analyzes safety data for all authorized systems where violations have been issued for a one-year period.

Congestion Survey

The Washington State Department of Transportation has released a report that examines the public’s use of the state’s traveler information services and describes how the public learns about freeway congestion information.

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 goal of the 2013 Symposium is to advance innovation in visualization for transportation applications through the exchange of information, to create a collaborative environment that promotes ideas for action that evolves our ability to address those needs, and to foster the integration of visualization into mainstream practice.

Abstract deadline extended! The conference planning committee is seeking input on session and presentation topics from visualization experts, transportation professionals, and researchers in all modes and domains. Submit your abstract online through the conference submission website no later than March 15, 2013.

Monday, February 18, 2013

RFP - Multistate Corridor Operations and Management (MCOM) Program

The purpose of this program is to  promote regional cooperation, planning, and shared project implementation for programs and projects to improve multimodal  transportation system management and operations. This notice seeks applications for available fiscal year (FY) 2012 funding ($7 million)  for this program, which will be provided to cover a maximum of 80 percent of proposed program/project costs. Multiple awards are possible, but not guaranteed.

The future of super-intelligent transport systems

The Futurist
Our hyper-urbanised life of the 21th century will rely heavily on urban transportation. Individual lifestyles, flexible work rhythms and unconstrained leisure time activities all encourage transportation. On top of that, think of all the cargo that needs to enter the city for us to eat, drink, work in our offices and live our private lives. That leaves no conclusion other than that the future of transportation will rely on super-intelligence in vehicles, control systems and planning tools. That was the main premise of the Dutch foresight project “Transportation of tomorrow starts today”. Let's go deeper into the super-intelligence of transport systems and find out what it could do to the future of transportation.

Friday, February 15, 2013

CMU worker’s online map of Lenten fish fries reels in viewers

In a region where fish fries go with Lent as much as black and gold go with fall Sundays, some folks still might need guidance on where to get their fried fix.
That's where Hollen Barmer's work might come in handy. Barmer, 34, of Swissvale, who moved from Memphis 13 years ago, crafted an interactive Google map to support her passion: visiting fish fries during the Lenten season...
Barmer, a writer/editor at Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute, updates the map, pulling information from emails she gets from users and posts on a Facebook page she set up.

Highway-rail intersection GPS-based in-vehicle warning systems - literature review and recommendations

In 2008, there were 2,395 incidents at highway-rail intersections (level crossings) in the United States, resulting in 939 injuries and 287 fatalities. Crossing elimination, grade separation, and the implementation of traditional warning devices are not always economically feasible. The development of new intelligent transportation systems and the advancement of such technologies could potentially provide a solution to enhance safety at these intersections.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

CMU graduate students to provide free study on Dormont parking woes

Dormont will get a study of its parking problems and recommended solutions for free, rather than having to pay consultants tens of thousands of dollars, thanks to a Carnegie Mellon University graduate program.
Borough Manager Jeff Naftal is scheduled to meet on Friday with a small group of CMU graduate students in the Sustainable Community Development course to discuss the students' 10-week project: a study of Dormont's parking woes, and ways to improve parking that could help the long-term viability of the business districts and residential neighborhoods.

The Future of Connected Cars and Intelligent Transportation Systems: An interview with US DOT Advisor Bob Denaro

This podcast is an interview with Mr. Bob Denaro. He is currently the chair of the U S Department of Transportation Intelligence Transportation Systems (ITS) Program Federal Advisory Committee; he is a member of the TRB ITS Committee, and some National Academy of Sciences, Mapping Sciences Committee. In interview focuses on connected cars, automated vehicles and what it means for location based services. He is a former Vice President Advanced Driver Assistance Systems at Nokia and an Air Force Academy graduate in Astronautics.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Whatever happened to the Power of 32?

“I think it’s fair to say this only happened because of Power of 32. It was a specific issue recommended. Nobody was taking the steps to do it; this was the push,” states Allen Biehler of the Heinz School of Policy and Public Management and executive director of the University Transportation Center. The traveler information system, similar to what's in place in New York, San Francisco and D.C., is being led by Carnegie Mellon University’s Traffic21 with a goal to connect the 511 information systems from the four states included in the Power of 32.

California bill would ban teen drivers from using Smart car technology

The aim of that change is to make sure drivers with provisional licenses don't use touch-screen or voice-command technologies that have been introduced in new car models.
Mercedes-Benz, for example, made headlines last month by announcing a new feature that provides Facebook access through a car.

Read more here:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

LightSquared’s Ghost Raised in Fight Over Talking Cars

Automakers and suppliers say a U.S. push to broaden Wi-Fi use could jam accident-prevention technology that may cost as little as $100 per vehicle and save thousands of lives annually.
The Federal Communications Commission next week may propose rules to let new users into airwaves near those allocated since 1999 to developing car-to-car wireless communications. That technology, now being road-tested in Michigan, may be the precusor to self-driving vehicles.

Evaluation of Camera-Based Systems to Reduce Transit Bus Side Collisions-Phase II

The Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida has released a report that evaluates an integrated camera-mirror system that was developed to eliminate bus drivers’ blind spots.

2012 Annual Urban Mobility Report

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute has released a report that builds on previous Urban Mobility Reports with coverage of the nation’s long-term congestion trends, the most recent congestion comparisons, and a description of congestion improvement strategies.

Commercial Motor Vehicle Parking Trends at Rest Areas and Weigh Stations

The Florida Department of Transportation has released a report that discusses truck parking trends at Florida rest areas and proposes a smart parking management system for commercial motor vehicles.

Human Performance, User Information, and Simulation 2012

TRB’s Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2321 consists of 13 papers that explore the effects of external distractions on behavior and vehicle control; driver inattention; overtaking of bicycles on rural roads; dynamic maximum speed limits; variable message sign-based route guidance; the processing spoken words while driving; simulator scenarios for assessing novice drivers; low-cost data recorders to investigate adult and teen driver differences; driver performance at high speeds; and driver response to flooded road signing.

TRB’s IDEA Programs Turn 20: Sparking Innovation Through High-Risk, High-Payoff Research

A featured article in the November-December 2013 issue of the TR News helps celebrate the 20th anniversary of TRB’s Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) programs, which offer early-stage funding for promising but unproven innovations for highways, transit, and railroad safety and performance. The programs’ goals are to promote innovations that can progress to next generation technologies and methods.

CMU Privacy Day Highlights Challenges and Showcases Research

At CMU, Data Privacy Day was recognized with a CyLab-sponsored panel discussion and poster session. Moderated by CyLab researcher Norman Sadeh, the panel included CyLab researchers Lorrie Cranor and Jason Hong, along with computer science faculty Travis Breaux. Privacy was the overarching topic, but the discussion focused on key points regarding data collection and usage practice, and regulation.

Friday, February 8, 2013 on the Internet of things of the Black Eyed Peas is happy to admit he's a tech geek. The musician, producer, philanthropist now has the title Director of Creative Innovation at the chipmaker Intel.
Here American Public Media Marketplace Tech interview.

How Virtual Traffic Lights Could Cut Down on Congestion

Every new glimpse at the future of urban transport seems to be missing something pretty big. A car without, you know, human drivers. A trains of cars commuting on the highway with human drivers who aren't, you know, actually driving. The next peek ahead, according to computer scientist Ozan Tonguz of Carnegie Mellon University, gets rid of all the traffic lights.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

NSF Director to Leave for Carnegie Mellon University

The director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced today that he is leaving the $7-billion agency to become president of Carnegie Mellon University.
Subra Suresh, an engineer and materials scientist, told NSF staff members that he would be departing at the end of March and taking up his post at the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, institution on 1 July.

Colorado driverless car bill shelved until further notice Read more: Colorado driverless car bill shelved until further notice

A bill to allow driverless cars on Colorado highways was shelved Tuesday by its sponsor, Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray.
The legislation would have made Colorado the fifth state to make automatic cars legal. However, Brophy asked the Senate Transportation Committee to postpone his bill indefinitely.
Brophy said objections to the bill from Google and "trial lawyers" would likely prompt Democrats on the transportation committee to vote against the idea.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

John Deere connectivity aim is higher profits for customers

While John Deere is enjoying success with its existing JDLink connectivity technology, it is exploring new forms of connectivity and new services to help farmers maximize profits.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Welcome New Electric Car Members!

Carnegie Mellon Racing would like to welcome all the new and prospective ECE members who are interested in our upcoming Electric Race Car! It was great seeing you all at our meeting and info session.