Friday, February 28, 2014

Morgan Stanley reports on the economic benefits of driverless cars

In November 2013 Morgan Stanley announced their blue paper report: “Autonomous Cars: Self-Driving the New Auto Industry Paradigm.” The authors predicted trillions in savings but the announcement provided little data on where those savings would come from. However, thanks to a research note released yesterday on Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA’s New Path of Disruption) Morgan Stanley provided an extract from the initial report which provides an outline of how they arrived at the annual $1.3 trillion in savings.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

President Obama, DOT Secretary Foxx Announce $600 Million for Sixth Round of TIGER Funding

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will join President Barack Obama today to announce that $600 million will be made available to fund transportation projects across the country under a sixth round of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s highly successful Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) competitive grant program. The announcement will be made at the Union Depot in St. Paul, which received $35 million in the first round of TIGER to renovate the facility and restore tracks. Combined with roughly $480 million in federal funding for the Central Corridor light rail transit line, St. Paul’s Union Depot is proof of the impact that transportation investment can make, leading to job creation, downtown revitalization and economic growth.

Big Data in the Driver's Seat

The development of the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s made the car the preferred individual mode of ground transportation. This upended residential patterns, creating suburbs and exurbs, and relegated rail to the background.
Sixty years later, however, America has changed. City centers have been revitalized and are once again desirable residential areas. Traffic congestion and pollution are recognized as significant problems, as is the inability to evacuate cities in an emergency. Car-sharing and bike-sharing are on the rise. And technology is in the early stages of reinventing roads in ways that can save lives, cut costs, raise revenue, reduce congestion and build businesses that create jobs of the future. The oldest of infrastructure -- the Romans built roads -- will soon begin to offer a very different experience.

Congress hears dispute about automatic train braking

Railroads warned Congress again Wednesday they wouldn't meet a 2015 deadline for automatic braking on trains, but engineers and safety officials urged adoption of the technology that might have prevented the fatal Metro North crash in New York this past December.
Freight railroads have spent $4 billion for braking equipment for trains to sense speed limits and track signals automatically, but the effort could ultimately cost that industry $8 billion, according to Edward Hamberger, CEO of the Association of American Railroads.

These Real-Time Transit Screens Belong in Every Lobby

Most of us have such strong loyalty to one specific transportation mode that we rely on it without considering any of the others. But Matt Caywood envisions a day when we drop these allegiances and choose the best travel option for the moment. The big thing standing between us and this alternative reality is having all the information present when it's time to make a travel decision.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

March 4th Webcast on Self-Driving Vehicles: The Road from Automation to Autonomy

Please join us for a fascinating hour of technology, robotics and business. Our first offering in this year’s educational webcast series: Self-Driving Vehicles: The Road from Automation to Autonomy.
Register now to attend this webcast live on Tuesday, Mar 4, 2014 11:00 AM EDT
Join Jim Nash, author of Robotics Business Review’s research report, Safe at Any Speed, and guest analyst Prana Tharthiharan Natarajan from the distinguished research firm of Frost & Sullivan as they take a closer look at the market for self-driving vehicles.

USF researchers shape policy for driverless vehicles

A self-driving car is the future reality  that USF’s Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) envisions with its new Automated Vehicle Institute. 
Stephen Reich, the transportation finance and management program director for CUTR, said the group faces challenges on the road ahead. 
As progress toward creating the technology ensues, there are more questions than answers, he said.
“If one crashes, who’s to blame?” he said. “The car manufacturer? The driver? The road owner?” 

Michigan Leads the World’s Research on Driverless Cars

“We are the state to put the world on wheels,” said Kirk Steudle, Michigan Department of Transportation director.
Michigan lawmakers, including Governor Rick Snyder, say they’re determined to keep Michigan at the forefront of automobile development.
While the thought of driverless cars can bring the futuristic idea of “The Jetsons” to mind, driverless car technology is already here. You may have seen it in this year`s Super Bowl ad where automatic brakes override distracted driving.

Comprehensive Study to Reduce Pedestrian Crashes in Florida

The Florida Department of Transportation has released a report that explores pedestrian safety on Florida’s state roads by identifying crash patterns and contributing factors, and then proposing potential countermeasures to reduce pedestrian crashes.

Framing Surface Transportation Research for the Nation’s Future

TRB has released the final version of Special Report 313: Framing Surface Transportation Research for the Nation’s Future explores opportunities for improving the productivity of U.S. expenditures on surface transportation research by building on lessons learned from the strategic approach to developing priorities and investing in transportation research in other countries and nontransportation sectors in the United States

RFP: FloodCast: A Framework for Enhanced Flood Event Decision Making for Transportation Resilience

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) has issued a request for proposals to develop a strategic framework and a prototype tool for enhanced flood event decision making. Proposals are due by April 10, 2014.

Innovations in Travel Demand Forecasting - 2014

TRB is sponsoring a conference on Innovations in Travel Demand Forecasting - 2014 on April 27-30, 2014, in Baltimore, Maryland. The event will allow researchers and practitioners to share knowledge and experiences on the latest developments in travel modeling and identify research and implementation challenges and issues associated with deploying cutting-edge computational methods. The conference will also review advances made possible by the integration of social, land-use, transportation supply, and technology into the modeling process.

TRB Webinar: DOT Climate Change Adaptation and Local Resilience Coordination – An Operations Perspective

TRB will conduct a webinar on March 6, 2014, from 1:00pm to 3:00pm ET that will explore the climate change adaptation challenges facing federal, state, and local governments as they coordinate and promote resilient transportation systems. Webinar presenters will describe how different transportation agencies are incorporating potential climate change impacts into their decision-making, planning, and investment processes.

Fourth International Symposium on Naturalistic Driving Research

The National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence (NSTSCE) at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) is hosting the Fourth International Symposium on Naturalistic Driving Research at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center in Blacksburg, Virginia on August 25-28, 2014.
The two-day international symposium (preceded and followed by full-day workshops on Monday, 8/25 and Thursday, 8/28) will gather experts in the field of naturalistic driving research to discuss a wide range of topics.

US DOT: Data Innovation Challenge

Do you have what it takes to create innovative tools to address our nation’s transportation challenges or revolutionize the way Americans see and understand the transportation system they use every day?  Your challenge is to create a tool to address systemic challenges by accessing publicly-available federal and/or local DOT datasets.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Call for Papers: Workshops on Big Data and Urban Informatics

CALL FOR PAPERS: Big Data has opened up several opportunities to obtain new insights on cities. We invite papers at the intersection of the urban social sciences and the data sciences to be presented in an NSF-sponsored workshop to be held on Aug 11-12, 2014, in the University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.

Monday, February 24, 2014

New Safety Standards Proposed For Car Seats To Protect Children In Side-Impact Crashes

Statistics are prompting change on the road. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), side-impact car crashes kill at least five small children and leave about 60 with serious injuries each year. "The data we have, in hospitals, in children's hospitals, trauma centers like ours, we know we could be doing better," says Marisol Feliciano, Violence and Injury Prevention Program Coordinator at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford. So, NHTSA is proposing new safety standards, requiring car seat manufacturers to offer better side-impact protection for babies, toddlers and children.

Tollway to add 'smart highway' features too

The Illinois Tollway is planning to create one of the nation's most sophisticated "smart highway" systems, one designed to reduce congestion and improve safety by flashing real-time messages to motorists, officials say...
The system to be installed on the Addams is known as "active traffic management," or ATM, which is designed to improve mobility and safety as well as cut congestion, experts say.
ATM will also help the Tollway and Pace partner on their first-of-its-kind plan to incorporate mass transit on the Addams. The overhead signs will designate the inner lanes of the Addams exclusively for the express buses that Pace will run between park-and-ride lots and the CTA's Blue Line station in Rosemont.


Woes of Megacity Driving Signal Dawn of ‘Peak Car’ Era

In the globe’s growing megacities, pollution and gridlock are putting a damper on driving. In India, some commuters are leaving their cars at home to avoid traffic snarls and long prowls for parking. More young Americans are forgoing the dream of auto ownership for public transport, bikes and vehicle-sharing. Cars on the road are lasting longer than ever.

DOT’s Call to Action Results in Safety Changes for Transport of Crude Oil

As part of DOT’s comprehensive response to recent derailments of trains carrying crude oil, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx held a call-to-action meeting with the rail community last month to identify immediate steps that could be taken to improve safety. Today, little more than a month later, DOT and the nation's major freight railroads announced steps to help ensure that crude oil transported by rail moves safely from its origin to its destination.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Graduate Student Research Competition / Undergraduate Essay Contest

The 21st National Conference on Rural and Intercity Bus is scheduled for October 26-29, 2014 in Monterey, California. Student participation is being encouraged by offering students the opportunity to take part in a research paper competition. Two winning student research papers will be awarded and the authors will receive cash prizes and travel funds to attend the conference.
Research Paper Winners: 1st place $1,000 and 2nd place is $500

Railroads make their own moves to improve safety of crude oil trains

On Thursday, BNSF, the nation's largest hauler of crude oil in trains, said it would purchase 5,000 new, better protected tank cars exclusively for such shipments.
It's an unusual move. Railroads generally don't own tank cars; rather, shippers lease them from freight car manufacturers or financial institutions.

Cisco and AGT partner to provide ‘smart cities’

Cisco Systems and Swiss analytics firm AGT have formed an alliance in an effort to transform a number of cities into 'smart cities' over the next five years.
The partnership follows in the footsteps of IBM, who was the first major tech company to set up a Smarter Cities division in order to use its technology to tackle urban problems such as carbon dioxide emissions and traffic congestion.

A new app aims to assist blind people navigate Perth's public transport network

It's the brainchild of Perth software designer Voon-Li Chung, who was inspired by a radio program on rail access in NSW.
He heard a story on Radio National about the human rights commissioner in NSW taking legal action against the rail operators.
The Commissioner claimed the voice announcements were not sufficient for visually-impaired people to navigate the train network.
"So basically you would have to sit there and focus on every time the train stopped in order to keep track of where you were and if you got distracted or you didn't count that was it," he said.

HOME Trending News View Archives Smart Car Audi A 7; 16 Sensors, 12 ultrasound sensors and 2 radars; Detects Danger Ahead, Vehicles In Proximity, & Road Navigation; Increases Road Safety But Driver Needs To Be Alert

This kind of sensing technology enables smart cars to detect its surrounding environment and exactly what is going on around it. The Radar is designed like a rifle to shoot narrow and straign and it has a range of 250m along with an angle of 15 deg.
The laser scanner is more of a shotgun, sensing a broader range of 140 deg with a short range of 80m.
These are precisely the kind of instruments that enable the smart car aware of danger ahead, the travel of path of nearby automobiles, and its navigation on the road.
These sensors are safe for Audi to go up to 60 kph.
There are two interior cameras directly on the driver. These cameras pack face recognition, 3D tracking along with motion sensing to check if the driver is sleeping while driving.

NTSB Issues Safety Recommendations To Metro-North

NTSB officials say event recorder data showed the train was going 82 mph as it entered a 30-mph turn. While Metro-North has since installed so-called approach permanent speed restriction signs at the derailment location, the NTSB urges the railroad to survey its entire system and install such signs at other locations. The NTSB also recommends the use of inward- and outward-facing audio and image recorders to help with safety compliance and accident investigations.

USDOT preps for TIGER VI funding round

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is prepping for the sixth round of Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program funding. The department plans to soon issue a notice of funding availability, launch a 2014 webinar series and provide applicant instructions for TIGER VI grants.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Virginia Tech receives funding to develop vehicle-to-vehicle communication framework

"Vehicle-to-vehicle technology represents the next generation of auto safety improvements, building on the life-saving achievements we’ve already seen with safety belts and air bags," said US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "By helping drivers avoid crashes, this technology will play a key role in improving the way people get where they need to go while ensuring that the US remains the leader in the global automotive industry.”
In coordination with the State Department of Transportation, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute already has a $14 million test bed in place. It contains 43 wireless infrastructure devices which, situated along two interstate highways, send basic safety messages to a fleet of test cars, trucks and motorcycles also fitted with wireless systems.

Can transportation agencies call on smartphones for traffic data?

However, some industry observers note that the federal Connected Vehicle program may already be out of date in that it doesn't include the most rapidly growing source of all traffic data – smartphones.
According to Nancy Wilochka, public affairs officer at DOT's Research and Innovative Technology Administration, "We are just beginning research into the crowdsourcing area, so at this point we don’t have information to share."

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Penn IUR Hosts Dialogue: Building Scholarship Critical to Building a Sustainable Urban Future

“Research to Practice: Building Scholarship Critical to Building a Sustainable Urban Future,” a discussion hosted by the Penn Institute for Urban Research and HUD-sponsored dialogue in advance of the U.S. delegation to the World Urban Forum 7, will cover the role research plays in understanding the present challenges of urban development and in developing on the ground innovations for urban  resilience and equity.
WHEN: Monday, Feb. 24, 2014
9:30-11:30 a.m.
WHERE: Houston Hall, Ben Franklin Room
3417 Spruce St.
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

De Blasio Outlines Steps to Eliminate Traffic Deaths

Some of the mayor’s proposals — like lowering the citywide speed limit to 25 miles per hour from 30 and expanding the installation of red-light and speed-tracking cameras that issue tickets — require approval in the state capital, where the administration is asking lawmakers to approve a tax increase on the city’s top earners to finance prekindergarten programs.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

How Dangerous Are American Buses?

As the number of bus passengers approaches the number of U.S. airline passengers, transportation experts are taking a closer look at the widely disparate state efforts to make sure buses are safe.  States are responsible for enforcing federal safety laws for buses that cross state lines, but they take very different approaches.

All Work and No Play Makes Self-Driving Cars a Dull Ploy

Back in the 1950s and 60s, self-driving cars represented the fantastic life of luxury that was supposed to be just around the corner. But here in the 21st century we can't even pretend that our driverless cars of the future will be filled with board games and light reading. No, our self-driving car of tomorrow will be for one thing: work.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Advanced System Utilizing a Data Acquisition System on Highways (FAST DASH) Safety Technology Evaluation Project #1: Blindspot Warning

The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has released a report that discusses an evaluation of promising safety technologies aimed at improving commercial motor vehicle operations.

Safety Data, Analysis, and Evaluation 2013

TRB’s Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2386 consists of 21 papers that explore hot-spot identification; the safety and operational benefits of variable speed limits; the effects of public rest areas on fatigue-related crashes; an application of stochastic gradient boosting techniques to enhance reliability of real-time risk assessment; and the feasibility of incorporating reliability analysis in traffic safety investigation; an evaluation of postencroachment time as surrogate for opposing left-turn crashes.

SHRP 2 in Transition: Moving Research Results into Implementation

A featured article in the November-December 2013 issue of the TR News describes how the Federal Highway Administration and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials are working to achieve the routine use of second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) products by state departments of transportation and other agencies by enlisting a critical mass of early adopters to use the products and to establish a model for others to follow.

RFP: TRB Accepting Proposals for 2014 Transit IDEA Program Funding

TRB is accepting proposals for the Transit Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) Program. The Transit IDEA Program provides financial support of up to $100,000 for the early stage development and testing of innovative and unproven concepts and methods for advancing transit practice. The due date for submitting Transit IDEA proposals during this submission cycle is May 1, 2014.

RFP: A Look at the Legal Environment for Driverless Vehicles

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) has issued a request for proposal to develop an overview of the legal issues generated by developments in automated vehicles, and communications related to vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to roadway technologies. Proposals are due by March 19, 2014.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Obama to propose $1 billion climate fund

The fund, according to the White House, would go to research on the projected impacts of climate change, help communities prepare for climate change’s effects and fund “breakthrough technologies and resilient infrastructure.”

New ITS America Report Examines Connectivity, Software Assurance, and Cybersecurity in Intelligent Transportation

This report is an overview of global innovations in risk management and development of safe, dependable and secure systems. Cyber security is about meeting critical assurance requirements - maintaining transportation systems that ensure the preservation of human safety, the environment, critical economic infrastructure, and the viability of commerce and maintenance of personal privacy.

Friday, February 14, 2014

USDOT Announces Second Connected Vehicle PlugFest

The U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) will hold its second Connected Vehicle PlugFest to conduct vendor-to-vendor connected vehicle device testing on March 12-13, 2014 in Novi, Michigan (venue to be announced shortly). These test sessions help to ensure that devices meet the base standard requirements and level of interoperability necessary for the Southeast Michigan Connected Vehicle Test Bed Deployment 2014 Project. 


15-17th October 2014
Hôtel de Communauté (Grand Lyon), Lyon, France
The 2014 symposium of the French Scientific Network “Urban Modelling” will be organized in Lyon by the Transport Economics Laboratory (LET, CNRS and University of Lyon). Contributions are expected in the scope of the urban modelling. This includes, without claiming to the exhaustiveness, the built environment and the physical phenomena, the urban morphologies and the spatial and temporal dynamics, the nature and the living in town. This scope mobilizes the human and social sciences, the sciences of the environment and the engineering sciences.
The main theme of the 2014 symposium is about the integrated modelling of urban systems.

CMU, Yahoo announce intuitive technology deal

A research project by Yahoo! Inc. and Carnegie Mellon University to develop advanced mobile software will span five years and cost $10 million, officials said Wednesday.
Project InMind, a partnership the Tribune-Review disclosed on Tuesday, will explore ways to bring machine learning to mobile devices. It will give Carnegie Mellon students the opportunity to use Yahoo software that anticipates user needs and produce more personalized applications.

Speed cameras reduce crashes in DC

A new report from the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) and Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) finds that speed cameras are doing a good job at reducing accidents, injuries and slowing drivers down. DDOT teamed up with PB to study 295 speed camera locations within the District of Columbia, which include existing, planned and proposed locations for the cameras. According to the executive summary findings, total crashes dropped 16.83% and the number of injuries fell 20.38% after cameras were installed.

PennDOT touts improved travel information system

On the road again? Rejoice, traveler.
Pennsylvania's 511PA traveler information system has been upgraded to provide accident and construction information for 40,000 miles of state roads — essentially, the entire system maintained by the state Department of Transportation, plus the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

With Help From Supercapacitors, Trains Are Providing New Services to the Grid

For the past two years, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority has been capturing its braking energy and then selling it back into the power grid. SEPTA’s initial project has been successful enough that it is launching into a second phase, with future expansions already being planned. Other electric modes of transportation, such as electric cars and trucks, are also participating in frequency regulation markets in PJM and ERCOT.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Imagine: A World Where Nobody Owns Their Own Car

If connected vehicle technology becomes mandatory in American cars, as the Department of Transportation recently suggested it might, the most obvious benefit would be safety. Cars that can tell other cars their speed and position are far less likely to crash. But as David Zax pointed out at Cities earlier this week, that's just the beginning. Combine connected vehicle technology with intelligent infrastructure and driverless cars and you get a commute that's both quicker and hands-free. You could even rely on autonomous taxis to chauffeur you from home to work.
In that sense, a world without car crashes may just be the first step to a world without car-ownership.

Ed Bacon competition examines Philly with driver-less cars

What would life in Philadelphia look like if cars, buses, taxis and other vehicles drove themselves around the city, communicating with each other and with the people who summon them to get to work or play?
This was the question tackled by 15 student teams competing in the Better Philadelphia Challenge – the student competition portion of the Bacon Awards, presented annually by the Philadelphia Center for Architecture. (140 teams from 80 schools and 35 countries registered for the competition, with just 15 producing and submitting a project for judging).

Who will invest in intelligent transportation systems?

The automotive industry is directly affected by two dominant trends: the integration into large information systems and the advent of shared mobility. Technological developments during the twentieth century have not significantly challenged the economic fundamentals of automotive mobility: governments make roads, manufacturers make cars and consumers... buy them. Will the ongoing technological and societal changes create a disruption? The advent of intelligent transportation systems creates opportunities for many players, from the Internet giants to the pioneers of the sharing economy... including smart, local public authorities. But who will invest? How to share costs and profits?

MAP-21 Rewards Some Tech Innovations, Requires Others

Under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), the Federal Highway Administration's is promoting state-of-the-art technology, such as 3D modeling, by awarding up to 5% additional federal project funding to state transportation departments that use the technology. Other programs under the law require state departments of transportation to have an approved highway asset management plan in place.

Shaving bucks off your ride: Lyft's pink mustache cars roll into Pittsburgh

On Feb. 11, instead of hopping in my car or calling a cab to get from my home in the Mexican War Streets to an exercise class in Bloomfield, I entered my location into the recently downloaded Lyft app on my iPhone and requested a ride.
In about five minutes, Mike was in front of my house with a pink mustache affixed to the grill of his Honda SUV. I hopped in the front seat and we fist bumped.
Mike, who works in sales by day, found out about becoming a Lyft driver through a post in his Facebook feed.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Autonomous Cars Strengthen the Case for Dedicated Bus and Bike Lanes

As Jarrett Walker notes though, mass transit is still going to remain the best way to move large numbers of people through narrow streets. The one thing we’re not making more of in cities is space on the street. So fixed guideway transit, mostly rail, will still make sense because of the space constraints. We might have fewer total cars (the Eno Center thinks a single shared AV could replace between 9-13 personal cars without sacrificing mobility) but more of them will be in motion at any given time, rather than staying parked for 23 hours a day on average as is currently the case.

Jetsons Age Beckons, But Opinion Split on Driverless Car, Drones

A new study from tech company Intel shows American opinion is split on whether "smart cities" are indeed a smart idea -- but the half who are on board are willing to trade some privacy for a more wired future. Intel, which is working on smart-city technology, surveyed 12,000 respondents in eight countries last summer. The company's report released Tuesday broke out responses for Americans in particular.
For some, the dream of the future is an interconnected utopia of self-driving cars that know which parking spaces are empty; the reality of today is that revelations like Edward Snowden's remind us personal data may be leaked or exploited.

Business: Surveying goes 3-D with Civil Design and Engineering

A Flagstaff civil engineering firm has taken a huge step into the future of surveying and design.
Civil Design and Engineering was one of the first in Flagstaff to use GPS in its work, and about six months ago it purchased a set of LiDAR surveying instruments that can create 3-D images of buildings, landscapes and even accident scenes.

Innovating Transportation Management with Technology

ITS America is pleased to partner with the National League of Cities (NLC) to present a webinar demonstrating the University of Maryland Center for Advanced Transportation Technology’s (CATT Lab) Regional Integrated Transportation Information System (RITIS), an automated data sharing, dissemination, and archiving system that is revolutionizing transportation management. 

Assessment of the Effectiveness of Advanced Collision Avoidance Technologies

The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute has released a report that describes the current state of knowledge regarding the effectiveness of advanced collision-avoidance technologies and presents an assessment of their effects on traffic safety.

Travel Behavior 2013: Volume 2

TRB’s Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2383 consists of 7 that explore dynamic route choice behavior; drivers’ perception of route alternatives; geographic distribution of e-shopping; the effects of activities while traveling on travelers’ sentiment; semantic annotation of global positioning system traces; automation of travel data collection using smartphones and sensor technologies; and peak car travel trends for six industrialized countries.

Ninth Annual Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) Safety Symposium

TRB is sponsoring the Ninth Annual Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) Safety Symposium on July 10, 2014, in Washington, D.C.  The symposium is designed to provide updates 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.

2014 IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Symposium

June 8 - 11, 2014, Dearborn, Michigan, USA
THE INTELLIGENT VEHICLES SYMPOSIUM (IV'14) is the premier annual forum sponsored by the IEEE INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS SOCIETY (ITSS). Researchers, academicians, practitioners, and students from universities, industry, and government agencies are invited to discuss research and applications for Intelligent Vehicles and Vehicle-Infrastructure Cooperation.

Is RideScout Necessary for Developing Smart Cities?

RideScout has had a really good week. The DC-based startup, which aims to make ground transportation smarter and easier for people, offers a free mobile application that aggregates real-time data on all the available public, private, and social modes of ground transportation for users, giving them access to the cheapest or shortest travel options. In the past week, the company launched major changes to its Android app, added an additional feature to its iOS app, and announced a partnership with Austin B-Cycle. With the rate at which RideScout is adding and developing features, one could argue that its quick adaptability to citizen demands for transportation data is imperative to the development of smart cities.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Port Authority to use new, real-time data in route upgrades

Pittsburgh - When the Port Authority of Allegheny County updates its routes in March, it will for the first time use real-time data from buses to make adjustments it hopes will be more responsive to rider needs...
 The Port Authority also plans to launch a real-time communications system by the end of the year, Ritchie said. A website or app would allow users to track a bus' location so they know exactly when it will arrive, instead of relying on preposted schedules that often are inaccurate.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Automakers push envelope on wearables, augmented reality despite regulatory concern

“The controversial thing is that lot of the governments and the lawmakers are very anxious about Google Glass and eyewear that they would increase distractions,” he said. “This is a panicky reaction, it is more about banning certain things to do with it, like watching a video.
“Receiving alerts about blind spots or obstacles ahead in the road - that would be a great way to use Google Glass. There is still a lot of discussion going on.”

FHWA Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a presolicitation notice.  The purpose of the notice is to make people aware that FHWA plans to issue a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program that would cover the following topics:
  • Topic 1: Virtual Nondestructive Evaluation Laboratory for Highway Structures
  • Topic 2: Applications of Massive Data and Data Mining Techniques Relevant to Safety Data
  • Topic 3A: Behavioral based (or agent based) National Freight Demand Modeling
  • Topic 3B: Freight Data Development and Enhancement to Support National Freight Transportation Analysis, Modeling, and Forecasting Practices
FHWA anticipates issuing a BAA that will open on or about February 12, 2014, and close on or about April 9, 2014.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Effectiveness of Work Zone Intelligent Transportation Systems

The Iowa Department of Transportation has released a report that develops a uniform framework that can determine intelligent transportation system effectiveness for specific work zone projects.

Samsung, Hyundai to boost auto ties

“The automotive chip solution business is a blue ocean. As automotive chips, which will mostly be logic chips for controlling entire computing systems, require high-quality safety conditions, we can’t push the business in a short time. But, with the help of Hyundai Motors, Samsung will cut its reliance on conventional memory chips,” said a senior researcher at one of Samsung’s local factories.

Pennsylvania Transportation Alternatives Program Now Accepting Applications

The Pennsylvania Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) competitive funding round application period will be open from February 3, 2014 until April 3rd.
The TAP consolidates the former Transportation Enhancements (TE), Safe Routes to School (SRTS), Scenic Byways (Byways) and the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) into a single new program.

Emanuel proposes regulations on smart phone ride-share companies

At City Hall, there's disagreement over how the city should regulate the new ride-sharing companies that will take you where you want to go when you contact them on a smart phone.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is proposing some regulations for these new ride share companies, but he doesn’t want to tell them what their fares should be. City Council Transportation Committee Chairman, Alderman Tony Beale, says the city should regulate those fares.

Joe Biden loves smart new Amtrak Locomotive

The 70 new Cities Sprinters will replace locomotives that have been in service for 25 to 35 years and have averaged more than 3.5 million miles, he said.
The Siemens-built locomotives feature "regenerative braking," which puts electricity back into the catenary (overhead wires), and computerized self-diagnosis and self-correction of technical problems.

If you haven't heard of a "sneckdown" yet, it's a clever combination of "snow" and "neckdown"

If you haven't heard of a "sneckdown" yet, it's a clever combination of "snow" and "neckdown" - another name for a curb expansion - that uses snow formations on the street to reveal the space cars don't use. Advocates can then use these sneckdown photos to make the case to local transportation officials that traffic calming interventions like curb bumpouts and traffic islands can be installed without any loss to car drivers.
One of the areas of Philadelphia with the best opportunities for pedestrian plazas is E. Passyunk Avenue, which crosses the street grid at a diagonal, creating lots of triangular intersections.More>>

Pittsburgh-area officials envision rapid transit development

The project will cost an estimated $200 million and will need the underwriting of a highly competitive federal grant to move forward. And despite the fact that many of the details are far from concrete, Mr. Fitzgerald said Tuesday that he believes the system could be complete within “three to four years.”

Utah Network of Cameras and Sensors Keeps Traffic Moving

More than 700 cameras and 1,500 in-road sensors record photos, videos and traffic data on state roads. UDOT, local news groups and national organizations use this information to communicate traffic information to the public. There are also several weather sensors, about 80 in Miller’s estimation, that deliver weather information to drivers in the same fashion.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Universities Leading the Way to Our Transportation Future

This brings us back to UPenn and DVRPC, which heralds an opportunity to forge planning partnerships too. Yes, implementing cool and popular transportation programs such as the ones profiled is useful. However, universities – specifically those with planning and design schools or departments – can also help improve the big-picture city and regional plans that envision and drive the future of transportation. There’s a lot of intellectual capital on these campuses, and it can be tapped by MPOs to add much-needed analytical and planning capacity on an ongoing basis.

On The Road To The Self-Driving Car

No more dumb cars, the Federal government decreed this week.  Or at least, no mute cars.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday it will soon require all new cars to talk to one another.  Share location, speed, direction and more, electronically.  Vehicle-to-vehicle – “V2V” – communication.  Right behind that comes the next frontier:  self-driving cars.  First they talk to one another, next they drive themselves. 

Self-driving cars are coming, and they could change everything we know about cities

Self-driving cars have the potential to reduce both car crashes and traffic congestion, and to use wasted time driving for work or entertainment. These are benefits usually attributed to transit; as a result, autonomous vehicles could strengthen arguments for designing for more cars in our cities and suburbs, instead of more pedestrians, cyclists, and placemaking.

AMAS Shows Self-Driving Smarts in Army Demonstration

Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center have shown that fully autonomous, self-driving convoys made up of different types of vehicles can operate in urban environments.
The team conducted a demonstration earlier this month at Fort Hood, Texas, to wrap up the capabilities advancement demonstration of the Autonomous Mobility Applique System program, a joint effort of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps.
In the demonstration, vehicles had to avoid obstacles, including oncoming traffic, stalled vehicles and pedestrians, and negotiate intersections and traffic circles set in mock urban and rural areas.

Ford demo of car-to-car communication shows what happens when cars talk

Forget Google's autonomous car. To really save lives on the road, vehicles will have to talk to each other.  Known as V2V or vehicle-to-vehicle communications, such technology would allow cars to warn each other of their presence. One car could alert another that, "Hey, my idiot driver isn't going to stop for the red light, look out!" or "My owner has just hit something ahead of you, stop!"

The Robots That Saved Pittsburgh

Politico Magazine Story on Pittsburgh and Robotics

Bridgit app bridges the technology gap

A cloud-based communications platform, Bridgit tackles the issue of deficiency management on construction sites. Through a smartphone app, photos of deficiencies can be taken and sent directly to the responsible subcontractor. The technology allows for real-time notifications and subcontractors are integrated via email.
Bridgit recently finished in second place in’s Canadian Startup Awards in the Accelerator Graduate of the Year category.

Intelligent Transportation Systems 2013: Connected Vehicles and Cooperative Systems, Volume 2

TRB’s Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2381 consists of 13 that explore a roadway reservation system; hazardous driving event detection and analysis systems; placement of roadside equipment for travel time estimation; modeling safe driving distance; a time-variant travel time prediction model; path clearance for emergency vehicles; a methodology for scalable dynamic vehicular ad hoc networks in a well-calibrated test bed; traffic signal control; virtual traffic lights; reservation-based autonomous intersection control; roundabout operations; life-cycle assessment of cooperative vehicle infrastructure systems; and bi-directional control characteristics of car-following models.

RFI: TCRP FY 2015 Research Problem Statements Sought

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program has issued a request for problem statements identifying research needed for TCRP’s FY 2015 program. Research problem statements for the TCRP FY 2015 program are due June 15, 2014. These submittals form the basis for selection of the annual TCRP research program.

RFI: NCHRP Seeking Synthesis Study Topics for FY 2014

TRB is seeking potential synthesis study topics as part of the upcoming activities of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP). Topics may be submitted at any time; however, the deadline for the upcoming submission cycle is February 14, 2014.

Automated Vehicles Symposium 2014

TRB is sponsoring the Automated Vehicles Symposium 2014 on July 15-17, 2014 in San Francisco, California. This symposium will focus on challenges and opportunities related to the increasing automation of motor vehicles as well as the environments in which they operate. The symposium will build on the 2012 and 2013 workshops on the state-of-the-art in road vehicle automation research and will explore automation developments that may affect the future of surface transportation and transportation organizations.

Workshop on Regional Transportation Systems Management and Freeway Operations

TRB is sponsoring a Workshop on Regional Transportation Systems Management and Freeway Operations in June 23-25, 2014 in Irvine, California. The workshop will present the current state of the practice in freeway operations and the integration of regional managed lanes into the transportation system.

TRB Webinar: Ensuring Productive Regional Freight Operations and its Economic Benefits

TRB will conduct a webinar on February 26, 2014, from 2:00pm to 3:30pm ET that will explore the role of goods movement in our nation's economic well-being and the parts that traffic engineering, transportation operations, and planning play in ensuring safe, efficient freight operations. Participants must register in advance of the webinar, and there is a fee for non-TRB Sponsor or non-TRB Sustaining Affiliate employees.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Carmakers unite for project to explore driverless car technology

A major new research project into driverless vehicles will bring together several major carmakers and leading academic institutions  to advance automated driving technology.
Leading carmakers including BMW, Fiat, Daimler, Opel, Peugeot-Citroen, Renault, Volkswagen, Volvo and Ford will all work together on the major new European project called AdaptIVE (Automated Driving Applications & Technologies for Intelligent Vehicles), assisted by a number of research institutes and universities including the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems, University of Leeds, Bundesanstalt fuer Strassenwesen and Lunds Universitet.

Driverless cars? How about a self-driving convoy of military trucks

Google might be the most famous innovator of automated cars, but it’s not the only one ‘driving’ the concept forward. With unmanned aerial vehicles already a highly formidable and controversial part of its repertoire, the US military is now turning its attention to more ‘peaceful’ applications of drone technology, in the form of driverless trucks.

New Method of Charging Electric Cars Could Bring Savings

A new study by a team of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University suggests that electric car owners can cut costs if they forfeit control over when to charge their vehicles.
The study found that allowing the power grid to control charging is more beneficial than charging the vehicles during peak electricity times.

ITS America Statement on U.S. DOT Vehicle-to-Vehicle Decision Vision of ‘Talking’ Cars that Avoid Crashes will Soon be a Reality

Scott F. Belcher, President and CEO of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America), the nation’s largest association representing the transportation and technology communities including major automakers and suppliers, responded to today’s vehicle-to-vehicle communications announcement by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and officials from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology.

Using Wireless to Find Parking: February WOW Wireless at Work - Video

Parking can be a nightmare in most urban cities, but watch some San Francisco drivers demonstrate how wireless helps alleviate these woes with the real-time parking finder app. Finding parking quickly saves fuel and time, which are obvious benefits for drivers, but it also cuts down on traffic congestion throughout the city.

Ready to Win $100 K To Fund Your Company? is visiting Carnegie Mellon University at the University of Pennsylvania to launch the 2014 $100K. CEO and serial Silicon Valley entrepreneur Michael Baum will deliver an inspiring and informative talk entitled, Building a Billion Dollar Company Takes More than Just a Big Idea.
Date: February 15, 2014
Time: 10:00 am
Location: Carnegie Mellon University, Posner Hall, Room 153

Monday, February 3, 2014

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Decision to Move Forward with Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication Technology for Light Vehicles

The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced today that it will begin taking steps to enable vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology for light vehicles. This technology would improve safety by allowing vehicles to "talk" to each other and ultimately avoid many crashes altogether by exchanging basic safety data, such as speed and position, ten times per second.
"Vehicle-to-vehicle technology represents the next generation of auto safety improvements, building on the life-saving achievements we've already seen with safety belts and air bags," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "By helping drivers avoid crashes, this technology will play a key role in improving the way people get where they need to go while ensuring that the U.S. remains the leader in the global automotive industry."

VW draws nearer to driverless cars

Volkswagen continues to be the driving force toward automated driving, with the launch the AdaptIVe (Automated Driving Applications & Technologies for Intelligent Vehicles) research project on safe and efficient driverless motoring.
Volkswagen first started exploring the idea of automated driving in 2011 with its Temporary Auto Pilot (TAP) in-car system, as part of the HAVEit (Highly Automated Vehicles for Intelligent Transport) R&D project that brought together 17 partners from the European automotive sector and scientific community. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Selmon Expressway becomes testing ground for automated vehicles

TAMPA — One day in the not-so-distant future, cars without drivers could start cruising down the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway.
The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority said Friday the Selmon Expressway has become one of 10 sites nationwide where researchers can study the safety and performance of automated vehicles.

Panel: Cyber just one part of securing critical infrastructure

When Hurricane Sandy blew through New York and New Jersey in the fall of 2012, power and transportation systems were crippled for days and weeks.
That, in part, fueled the government's efforts to make these systems, known as critical infrastructure, more "resilient" — better able to absorb and recover from natural disasters, terrorist attacks, cyber intrusions and other adverse conditions.
The Federal Transit Administration recently announced it would award $3 billion in competitive grants to protect critical transportation platforms from future natural disasters.

Securing our borders with intelligent transportation solutions

With more than 5,000 miles of international border, the U.S. walks a daily tightrope between the need for security and the ability to move goods and people as freely as possible within the parameters of smart immigration policy. In the transportation world, we are actively working to develop and implement technologies to move cross-border traffic more efficiently while ensuring secure borders.