Tuesday, April 30, 2013

On January 12, 2013, U.S. transportation leaders met in Washington, D.C. for the 22nd Annual Council of University Transportation Centers banquet to award university students who are conducting cutting-edge research. At this year's event, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) doctoral student Yeganeh Mashayekh was awarded an Outstanding Student of the Year Award by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). The award was presented by Greg Winfree, Research and Innovative Technology Administration deputy administrator.

Eighth SHRP 2 Safety Research Symposium

We are pleased to invite you to attend the Eighth Annual SHRP 2 Safety Research Symposium and First Data Sharing Workshop on July 11-12, 2013, at the Keck Center of the National Academies, 500 Fifth Street NW, Washington, DC 20001.  The Symposium on July 11th is a one-day event this year and will include a working reception. The workshop which will take place on Friday July 12th from 8:30AM – 12:00PM is a separate event and requires a separate registration from the symposium.
The purpose of this symposium is to share our progress on SHRP 2 Safety projects and to serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas among researchers and practitioners from the private and public sectors. 

Is It Invasive Tracking Or Just Smart Transportation?

The Gordon County School District located about an hour north of Atlanta is set to launch a high-tech student tracking system that combines the use of GPS location technology and RFID chips that give off a radio frequency. The system would be used to track 7,00 students as they use the school bus system. Critics however fear there could be additional uses coming down the pike. This system is billed as an ‘attendance management’ plan and the full meaning of that label is open to interpretation.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Smart car headlights that make rain almost invisible to drivers could 'save lives on the roads"

In the worst thunder storm, a motorist in a car traveling at around 20mph would notice a 70% improvement in visibility using the prototype developed by Intel and Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, USA.
The system becomes less accurate at faster speeds but creators say it would still have a marked improvement on visibility.
Developers hope the technology could be fitted in cars within a decade.
The research has been developed by Intel and academics at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science.

SHRP 2 Products Chart

Click on a topic in the Products Chart to see a brief description of a product and how its use can help transportation agencies and their partners realize agency, community, and policy goals. Click within the chart for more detail.

IEEE ITS Society Newsletter

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

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Carnegie Mellon Civil and Environmental Engineers Work To Develop Tools for Dam Safety Risk Assessments

 A team of Carnegie Mellon University civil and environmental engineering faculty and students is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help assess the risk of dam failures nationwide...
Akinci along with James H. Garrett, Jr., the Thomas Lord Professor and dean of CMU's College of Engineering are leading a research team that includes several professors who also are working on research in the IBM Smarter Infrastructure Lab - part of the Pennsylvania Smart Infrastructure Incubator - that supports the computational modeling and visualization aspects of this project. They include CEE Assistant Professor Mario Berges and CEE Assistant Research Professor Semiha Ergan.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

FHWA Transportation Data Palooza

A Showcase of Innovative Technology Solutions
The United State Department of Transportation (U.S.DOT) is pleased to announce the Transportation Data Palooza. This event will be held on Thursday, May 9, 2013 at USDOT Headquarters in the West Atrium.

Intelligent motorcycle warns rider of hazards

An instrumented motorcycle is on display at ITS America as part of a joint project with Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and the US Motorcycle Foundation. The Honda Goldwing motorcycle has been fitted with smart display which warns the rider of vehicles ahead braking sharply, vehicles in the blind spot, approaching intersections and other hazards.

New in-vehicle technology guidelines are latest effort in fight against distracted driving (Secretary LaHood)

Secretary LaHood - Many carmakers are now developing in-vehicle electronics systems that can post to social networking sites, text message, search the internet, and give directions. And while there’s no doubt that drivers appreciate these amenities, we have an important obligation to balance the innovation consumers want with the safety we all need.
That's why, today, we're issuing voluntary guidelines for in-vehicle electronics systems.  These safety guidelines were first proposed last year and now include feedback from stakeholders across the country.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Thailand deploys smart transportation system to increase safety on highways

The ITS uses microwave radar to detect locations and speed of the vehicles. The data captured are then transferred via Internet to the control centre before automatically sending out warning messages to the alert boards on the highways and inform relevant officers via SMS.
The system is capable in detecting over-speeding vehicles and those that violate the traffic regulation. The automatic warning messages will alert and remind motorists to reduce the speed and be more careful at some critical spots on the highways.

iCar? Volkswagen’s iBeetle Has Deep iPhone Integration

There have been rumors and dreams for year of an iCar – a car made by Apple. Volkswagen’s iBeetle isn’t the iCar, but it might be the closest thing we’re going to get.
Apple and Volkswagen have teamed up to bring special iPhone connectivity to the iBeetle. (Yes, that’s really the name of the car.) Announced today at the Shanghai Auto Show, the car has a unique docking station for the iPhone on the dashboard.

RFI: TCRP FY 2014 Research Problem Statements Sought

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program has issued a request for problem statements identifying research needed for TCRP’s FY 2014 program. Research problem statements for the TCRP FY 2014 program are due June 15, 2013. These submittals form the basis for selection of the annual TCRP research program. The TCRP undertakes applied research and technical activities focusing on the needs of transit operating agencies. Research is conducted in all areas of public transportation, including operations, policy, planning, service configuration, engineering of vehicles and facilities, maintenance, human resources, and administration.

RFI: NCRRP FY 2014 Research Problem Statements Sought

TRB’s National Cooperative Rail Research Program (NCRRP) has issued a request for problem statements identifying research needed for NCRRP’s FY 2014 program. Research problem statements for the NCRRP FY 2014 program are due June 15, 2013. These submittals form the basis for selection of the annual NCRRP research program. As an applied research program, NCRRP examines problems important to intercity and commuter rail, and freight rail practitioners.

Online Traffic Simulation Service for Highway Incident Management

TRB’s second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) Final Report for SHRP 2 Reliability IDEA Project L-15C: Online Traffic Simulation Service for Highway Incident Management describes Relteq Harmony, a decision support system that transportation network operators may use to help determine possible responses to traffic events. The system is designed to help in the evaluation of operational strategies including improved traffic signal timing, freeway ramp metering, variable speed limits, flexible lane assignments, and alternative routing.

National Congestion Pricing Conference

TRB is cosponsoring the National Congestion Pricing Conference on July 9-10, 2013, in Seattle, Washington. The conference is designed to raise the awareness, advance the state-of-the-practice, and identify potential research and technology transfer needs related to congestion pricing deployment strategies in the United States.

Automotive innovation: big data driving the changes

The world of automotive has long been a ripe breeding ground for telematics – communicative devices which transmit data back and forth between two points. When big data and real-time analytics are thrown into the mix, the opportunities for innovation are endless.

Monday, April 22, 2013

AssetViewerUSDOT Launches Geographical View of National ITS Deployment

The USDOT is launching the first-ever ITS Asset Viewer at the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) Annual Meeting and Exposition from April 22 to 24, 2013, in Nashville, Tennessee. The ITS Asset Viewer visually displays the location of ITS deployments nationwide, providing a geographic picture of the status of ITS deployment.
The ITS Asset Viewer complements the USDOT's ITS Deployment Tracking Survey, developed for the ITS JPO by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Conducted 10 times since 1997, the survey measures the extent of ITS deployment within 108 metropolitan areas across the United States.

Convergence of DSRC and WiMAX Technology for Intelligent Transportation System

Abstract—The geographical coverage area of communication is increased for the efficiency of the intelligent transportation system (ITS) customers. The maximum extent of coverage area provides the beneficiary of satisfying the customers with the desired needs of the customers, as it keeps changing rapidly. The noble technology WiMAX helps to achieve the desired goal for mobile users. This convergence of two Nobel techniques like DSRC and WiMAX system can be applied to transport infrastructure and vehicles for an efficient communication of the mobile units on the road.

Friday, April 19, 2013

ITS America - Complete Streets Symposium

July 25-26, 2013
Chicago, Illinois
The Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America), in partnership with the Chicago Department of Transportation, Chicago Transit Authority and ITS Midwest, are excited to announce the next installment of ITS America’s regional event series.

Webinar - Accelerating ITS Implementation – Applying Past Experience to Achieve Future Success

Date:   May 8, 2013
Time:  1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET
The Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Joint Program Office (JPO) is placing increasing emphasis on transferring ITS technology from research to practice, and accelerating the rate of ITS technology adoption. Understanding the motivating factors for implementing technologies is critical to accelerating deployment of the next generation of ITS and moving toward the connected vehicle environment of the future.
To advance this effort, The ITS JPO commissioned the Study of ITS Implementation.

Intelligent machines will be normal within 10 years says Komatsu

It has started the roll-out of its intelligent machines with the D61EXi/PXi-23 dozer and a prototype PC210LCi-10 excavator.
The Japanese manufacturer has teamed up with Topcon to produce an automated control system, which is built into the machine at the factory.
On the dozer, the system not only senses the machine’s position and cuts to grade, it also detects the load on the blade and will automatically reduce the cut to prevent track slip.

Carnegie Mellon Civil and Environmental Engineers Work To Develop Tools for Dam Safety Risk Assessments

Akinci along with James H. Garrett, Jr., the Thomas Lord Professor and dean of CMU's College of Engineering are leading a research team that includes several professors who also are working on research in the IBM Smarter Infrastructure Lab -- part of the Pennsylvania Smart Infrastructure Incubator -- that supports the computational modeling and visualization aspects of this project. They include CEE Assistant Professor Mario Berges and CEE Assistant Research Professor Semiha Ergan.

Collective intelligence gridlock fight key

Harnessing collective intelligence is one way to help mitigate traffic gridlock, points out a new report released by the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO)...
The report, “Congestion Management in the GTHA: Balancing the Inverted Pendulum” authored by a team from the University of Toronto’s Intelligent Transportation Systems Centre, led by its director professor Baher Abdulhai, makes a case for investing in technology to improve the capacity of existing and new infrastructure. 


Thursday, April 18, 2013

ITS PA and DVRPC Workshop at the University of Pennsylvania

Topic: Delaware Valley Regional Transportation Operations Master Plan
Date: Friday, April 26th, 2013
Time: 9:00 AM to 11:00 AMLocation:
University of Pennsylvania
Myerson Hall, B-334th
Street South of Walnut

ITS America 2013 Annual Meeting April 22-24 in Nashville

It is our privilege to invite you to join the nation’s leading transportation officials, technology providers, policymakers and researchers at the Intelligent Transportation Society of America’s (ITS America) 23rd Annual Meeting and Exposition from April 22 - 24, 2013 at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. ITS America is proud to partner with the Tennessee Department of Transportation and ITS Tennessee to host this important event.

Just Released! New Book Explores the Future of Unmanned Vehicles and Their Impact on the Road

Self-driving cars are no longer in the realm of science fiction, thanks to the integration of numerous automotive technologies that have matured over many years.

The papers in this compendium were carefully selected to bring the reader up to date on successful demonstrations of autonomous vehicles, ongoing projects, and what the future may hold for this technology. It is divided into three sections: overview, major design and test collaborations, and a sampling of autonomous vehicle research projects.


CMU startup PayTango, dancing as fast as it can

Tired of digging through backpacks and messenger bags for their student IDs and debit cards, four Carnegie Mellon seniors started to investigate ways to consolidate all the cards in their wallets and pay with a swipe of a finger.

They knew they were onto something when, recalls Brian Groudan, "we heard gasps" while demonstrating at a University of Pennsylvania hackathon last fall.

CEA Announces Intelligent Transportation Systems Discovery Group Meeting

Today, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)(R) announced it will hold a Discovery Group meeting to explore the need for consumer electronics (CE) industry standards related to intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and broadband access in vehicles. The ITS Discovery Group meeting will be held Wednesday, May 22, 2013, at the JW Marriott Cherry Creek in Denver.
The event will include speakers from the federal government and the CE industry. The presentations will be followed by an open discussion to determine what CEA should do to further the advancement of ITS systems and broadband access in vehicles.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Registration now open for Transportation Data Palooza at U.S. DOT Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is pleased to announce a Transportation Data Palooza event on Thursday, May 9, 2013 in the West Atrium of the U.S. DOT Headquarters Building. Registration is now open and space is limited. The purpose of the event is to showcase innovative technology solution.

Pitt student Sossena Wood heads National Society of Black Engineers

She also became involved with the National Society of Black Engineers chapter based at Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering. Through meetings, seminars and service projects, she was able to share her experiences as a minority in a profession traditionally populated primarily by white males.
At the NSBE's annual convention last month, Ms. Wood was elected national chairwoman for a one-year term. She is only the sixth woman to head the society since a group of black students launched the organization in the 1970s at Purdue University.

AUVSI Webinar - Behind the Wheel and Ahead of the Curve – A Look at the Future of Automated Transportation

Predictions for when fully automated vehicles will hit the road in mass vary widely with some estimates predicting integration as soon as 2020 and others not envisioning driverless cars operating freely on our roadways until well beyond the next decade. Regardless of timelines, the automotive industry is moving full speed ahead with automated technology development; and, the legal community and insurance companies are taking note in an effort to prepare for this game changing advancement in transportation.

The Top Paying College Diplomas

For those aiming higher than minimum wage and having to wear a paper hat, Forbes recently reported on a study from NerdWallet.com on the 25 college diplomas that have the highest pay.
The top grads are from Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science, who make an average salary of $84,400.

PSU’s Intelligent Transportation Systems Lab is recognized nationwide

Selected data from the Portland Oregon Regional Transportation Archive Listing (PORTAL) will be part of a new national data sharing platform. The US Department of Transportation has released the first version of this platform, called the Research Data Exchange, which collects and publishes archived and real-time transportation data from multiple sources.  In the language of their home page, the Research Data Exchange (called the RDE for short) was primarily developed to “support the development, testing, and demonstration of multi-modal transportation mobility applications being pursued under the USDOT ITS Dynamic Mobility Applications (DMA) Program and other connected vehicle research activities.” More>>

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pittsburgh Mayor Announces 50-Station, Solar-Powered Bike Sharing Programme

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl recently announced plans for Pittsburgh’s first-ever bike share system. Pittsburgh Bike Share will include 500 bikes available for point-to-point trips to any of the 50 solar-powered stations planned throughout the City of Pittsburgh.

The system is intended to enhance mobility within the city, promote tourism and provide a fun and healthy way to visit Pittsburgh’s diverse and exciting neighbourhoods. Similar citywide systems have proven to be extremely successful in Washington, DC, Boston, Denver, Minneapolis and elsewhere.

Self-driving cars aren't too far off

Representatives from Google, Toyota and Texas Instruments were on Capitol Hill to review the development of self-driving vehicles — which are poised to enter the transportation world if federal regulations will allow.
"Self-driving vehicles were always 20 years out on the horizon," said Chris Urmson, an engineer for Google's Self-Driving Car Program. But now, after testing a series of successful prototypes, he said technology for a fully autonomous, self-driving car is "more like five years away."

Apps help U.S. consumers rent from each other

Getaround, which is available for iPhone users and on the web, is a free car-sharing app that allows users to rent vehicles from other people. Users can find nearby cars, reserve them and unlock them with the app. Another free app called RelayRides provides a similar service.
For consumers interested in ride-sharing, SideCar and Lyft, both available for iPhone and Android, help people hitch rides for a fee. The service can be less expensive than taxis and gives riders an opportunity to meet new people.

CMU-Q student unveils car safety programme

DOHA: A sophomore at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q) has devised an effective and creative way to raise awareness on car safety and the dangers of irresponsible driving.
Business Administration student Mohammed Al Matwi, along with some volunteers, has been conducting dramatic ‘flash mob’ performances depicting one of Qatar’s pressing problems which has taken many lives.
“I felt that car safety is one of the issues that we are facing right now and that we should take action,” Al Matwi told the audience at the Doha Community Engagement Program (DCEP) recognition night yesterday.
He is the winner of this year’s DCEP for his unique car safety campaign Ahmeek (I’ll save you).

Young Professionals in Transportation (Pittsburgh)

Join YPT Pittsburgh for an evening with David Wohlwill, AICP, Manager, Longer-Range Planning, Port Authority of Allegheny County.  David will discuss the current BRT initiatives with the Port Authority and be available for questions & answers for attendees.
The event is free for YPT Pittsburgh members and only $5 for non members.

Pittsburgh to split $1.2 million grant for rapid bus transit

Officials announced Wednesday that Pittsburgh will split a $1.2 million grant from the Rockefeller Foundation with three other cities to promote bus rapid transit, or BRT, a transportation option proponents say combines the flexibility of buses with the speed of light rail at a fraction of the cost...
The plan would convert portions of Forbes and Fifth avenues in the Hill District and Uptown to a bus-only lane. The Port Authority would upgrade selected stations, posting arrival times for incoming buses on electronic displays and raising the platform to door height, giving the BRT the air of a subway on wheels.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Travel Reliability Inventory for Chicago

Illinois Center for Transportation at the University of Illinois has released a report that discusses how state departments of transportation can document and monitor the reliability performance of their highway networks by using a computer tool called the Travel Reliability Inventory for Chicago.

Impacts of Technology Advancements on Transportation Management Center Operations

The Federal Highway Administration has released a report that provides guidance to transportation management centers and transportation management agencies on how to better position themselves for future technology changes and advancements.

Women in Transportation Video Series

The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) has launched a new series of videos about women in transportation. The new series shares the stories of women who are working in the transportation field by focusing on what they do each day, how they’re making a difference, and how they got where they are today. According the U.S. DOT, “by showcasing the exciting career opportunities available, and the tremendous possibilities for success, we hope more women and girls will consider choosing careers in transportation.”

Legal Issues Surrounding the Use of Digital Intellectual Property on Design and Construction Projects

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Legal Research Digest 58: Legal Issues Surrounding the Use of Digital Intellectual Property on Design and Construction Projects is designed to provide an understanding of various legal issues surrounding the use of building information models on transportation design and construction projects. Those legal issues include ownership; updating and distribution rights; software interoperability; liability; copyright protection, nondisclosure agreements, trade secrets, and public information disclosure laws; protection of digital intellectual property; and digital signatures.

With Smart Parking Comes Smarter Transportation

In 2007, city drivers in a pint-sized 15-block district in Los Angeles drove more than 950,000 miles, emitted 730 metric tons of carbon dioxide, and burned 47,000 gallons of gas … searching for parking.
There’s a good bit of irony at work in those numbers, considering that there are an estimated 4.5 parking spaces per vehicle in the U.S., including 3 surface parking spaces per vehicle. Of course, don’t tell that to an urban driver searching for a parking spot in a busy city.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mobile Video Goes on the Road

Luca DeAmbroggi, senior analyst for automotive infotainment at IHS, says that the decision of wired versus wireless hinges on "cost, long-term semiconductor support from suppliers, readiness for integration within the vehicle, and issues related to performance and quality."
The automotive industry is already choosing sides. Deutsche Telekom AG is working with BMW to embed Wi-Fi in vehicles, while Verizon is part of the LTE car consortium comprising BMW, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Motors and Toyota. Sprint and Chrysler are planning the full suite of wireless, with 3G, LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity. Others, like big dog General Motors, are holding off on embedded connectivity for now, instead relying on smartphones to interface.

Bill takes aim at work-zone speed: Use of cameras causes some concerns

Legislation to introduce speed cameras to Pennsylvania highway work zones was recently submitted to the state House, as evidenced by language injected into a transportation bill in the state Capitol.
In short, go too fast in a work zone – areas where traffic fines are already doubled – and a camera will snap a photo of your license plate. You can then expect to be mailed a photo of your car’s backside, along with a ticket...
 “We have concerns about the accuracy of these cameras,” said AAA spokeswoman Jennifer Robinson, who said although her company doesn’t have an official stance on the legislation, it’s important that motorists are not paying a steeper price than is justified.

Three Rivers Waterkeeper Partners with Platypus, LLC to Expand Monitoring and Enforcement Capabilities

Three Rivers Waterkeeper is partnering with Platypus, LLC, formed by a team of CMU Robotics Institute researchers, to bring another tool to the citizen clean water watchdog. Platypus was formed to commercialize the use of small, low cost autonomous boats that are powered remotely through Android phones.  The boats include sensors to measure water properties and respond to cues of contamination or danger. 

HopStop Live brings real-time crowdsourced transit information to the iPhone

Popular transit app HopStop today announced the launch of HopStop Live, a crowdsourced platform for reporting and seeing when trains, subways, and buses are delayed. While a couple of apps like NextTrain have tried crowdsourced transit delays before, none have the scale of HopStop: over two million monthly active users, 700 transit agencies, 20,000 lines, and 750,000 stops in total. The free update hits iPhones today, and will land on iPad, Android, and web in the near future. HopStop CEO Joe Meyer says, "It's the biggest product launch in company history."

Monday, April 8, 2013

Drivers, you're being tracked; Bluetooth makes road trips easier with traffic control

It's wireless technology embedded in your new smartphone and in many newer cars. It's Bluetooth, and traffic engineers in Palm Beach County — and likely soon all of South Florida — are using it to track you.
It's all part of a growing effort to use technology to manage traffic on roads and highways as federal and state money to expand or build more roads continues to shrink.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Women in Transportation Annual Conference in Philadelphia, PA, May 15 - 17, 2013

The Annual Conference is the WTS annual networking event of the year.  It attracts more than 500 corporate and governmental industry leaders worldwide.  For the full duration of the conference, private corporations, public agencies and government officials invested in every transportation mode will exhibit, present, learn and network.  Eight distinct events, including an opening night reception and a banquet dinner, will showcase the tremendous leaders represented.

U.S. DOT Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office offers FREE training and web-based resources

Did you know the U.S. Department of Transportation's Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO) offers FREE training and web-based resources? Throughout the year, the ITS JPO's Professional Capacity Building (PCB) Program offers on-line training opportunities and regularly hosts Talking Technology and Transportation (T3) Webinars on a wide range of topics related to Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) planning, design, procurement, deployment, operations, noteworthy practices, and lessons learned.

CMU receives $30 million energy research grant

Carnegie Mellon University today announced a gift of $30 million from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, the university's largest private foundation grant ever.
The grant will be used to "dramatically expand its strategic initiative to address energy research, education and innovation" and will enhance the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation's efforts to coordinate activities throughout the university aimed at "improving energy efficiency and developing new, clean, affordable and sustainable energy sources," a news release stated.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

ITS America Annual Meeting in Nashville

Intelligent Transportation Society of America’s (ITS America) 23rd Annual Meeting and Exposition from April 22 - 24, 2013 at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. ITS America is proud to partner with the Tennessee Department of Transportation and ITS Tennessee to host this important event. This year’s Annual Meeting theme “ITS: Real Progress, Great Future” will showcase how far we’ve come as a nation in the deployment of ITS technologies, while also illustrating just how much further we can go to create a safer, more efficient and sustainable transportation system.

US DOT Connected Vehicle Reference Implementation Architecture (CVRIA) public workshop meeting

To gain important feedback from the stakeholders who will be involved in manufacturing, developing, deploying, operating, or maintaining the connected vehicle technologies and applications, the USDOT is hosting a CVRIA workshop from April 30-May 1, 2013, to discuss and solicit feedback on preliminary architecture viewpoint drafts and initial findings. The project is sponsored and led by the USDOT’s ITS JPO, under the management of the ITS Architecture and Standards Programs and in cooperation with the Systems Engineering and Test Bed Programs.

Surveying Roads at 100 Km/H

Germany's road network has a hard time dealing with wind and weather, tires and steel. Until now, however, surveying the damage caused to asphalt and concrete was laborious and expensive. A new laser scanner is cheaper, faster and more precise.

To cut L.A. traffic woes, city installs synchronized traffic lights

The LA system is probably the most comprehensive today, but it’s not the only one. In Pittsburgh, three foundations have worked with Carnegie Mellon University to create coordinated lights for the busy East Liberty part of the city. They’re claiming 40 percent reductions in vehicle wait times, 26 percent cuts in travel time, and 21 percent drops in emissions from idling cars. The best improvements were at mid-day, with 32 percent improvements in travel time, and a 52 percent reduction in the number of stops. The next step is expanding the pilot program, the city said last year.
 “The idea is to optimize the movement of traffic through each intersection, and the results have been startling,” said Allen Biehler, executive director of Carnegie Mellon’s University Transportation Center.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Driverless car for the elderly launched in Japan

Japanese engineering giant Hitachi have launched a self-driving car designed to pick up and drop off passengers automatically.
The Robot for Personal Intelligent Transport System, or simply the Robits, is designed to use pavements and public footpaths instead of roads.
The car has been designed to cater specifically for the elderly as well as disabled or less abled drivers.

Ag Industry Warms to Robotic Technology, Speakers Say

Members of the farming industry are beginning to see the potential of using robotics technology to save money and improve efficiency, said speakers at the AUVSI Atlanta Chapter's Conference on Unmanned Systems in Agriculture.

Industry officials have been expecting an unmanned systems boom for two decades, said Eric Corban of Guided Systems. Now, however, the technology has improved and "there is a nice selection of vehicles and a nice selection of automated technologies," he said. "I believe the time is now, and we need to all join together and redouble our efforts to solve the regulatory problems and bring this vision that's been around a long time to a reality."

TRB Webinar: Guidelines for the Use of Mobile LIDAR in Transportation Applications

TRB will conduct a webinar on April 11, 2013, from 1:00p.m.- 2:30 p.m. ET (note the updated time) that will highlight TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program report: Guidelines for the Use of Mobile LIDAR in Transportation Applications. 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.

Carnegie Mellon University Establishes New Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)’s Tepper School of Business and School of Computer Science will partner to establish a new, joint Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) in an effort to help transform university research and projects into commercial enterprises, the university announced last month. The new CIE will combine Tepper’s Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship and the School of Computer Science’s Project Olympus, continuing the successful programs of each while also growing an extensive network of alumni entrepreneurs.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Making Robots Mimic the Human Hand

As part of a national research project to develop low-cost artificial hands, the Pentagon has released a video of a robot that can change a tire — almost.
 In the video, the two-armed robot uses a tool to remove a tire from a car.
“We’re almost at the stage where we can put the the nuts back onto the bolts,” said Gill Pratt, a program manager at the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa..

 It has selected the National Robotics Engineering Center at Carnegie Mellon University, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of Southern California to continue development of high-level software for the next generation of robot arms. 

Ford Offering $50K for App That Best Measures Fuel Efficiency

Developers, start your engines — Ford Motor Company is calling for mobile and Web applications that help drivers easily access personal fuel-economy performance data.
At this week's 2013 New York Auto Show, the company announced the Personalized Fuel Efficiency Apps Challenge, aimed at encouraging the creation of a better consumer miles per gallon (MPG) calculator.