Sunday, March 30, 2014

PA Shale Gas Wells Cost Thousands in State Road Damage, Study Alleges

For every natural gas well in Pennsylvania targeting the Marcellus Shale, the heavy truck traffic it requires could be causing up to $23,000 in damage to state roadways, according to a study commissioned by the Rand Corp. and conducted in part by Carnegie Mellon University...
 While the costs are significant, “they look like they’re manageable with the right policies,” said Constantine Samaras, who led research as a senior engineer at Rand and now teaches engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.

Expert: California Car Data Privacy Bill ‘Unworkable’

New California legislation aims to give car owners control over who gets to view data generated from their vehicles. But one expert thinks the bill is fundamentally flawed and potentially dangerous.
Fred Cate, privacy expert and law professor at Indiana University's Maurer School of Law, called California Senate Bill 994 – the Consumer Vehicle Information Choice and Control Act – “completely unworkable in practice.” He noted that the bill requires a car manufacturer to provide the registered owner with “access from the motor vehicle to the vehicle information.” But while technologically possible to bring that data up on a console screen, Cate doesn’t think it’s realistic.

U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to Host Free Webinar on the New Features of the Trajectory Conversion Algorithm (TCA) Version 2 Software

The USDOT will host a free webinar on the new features of Version 2.2 of the TCA software. This webinar provides an overview of the software, which was recently released cost-free and under open source license at The objective of the TCA Version 2 software is to simulate the generation, capture, and transmission of vehicle-based data under a range of configurable messaging strategies, including the SAE J2735 Basic Safety Message (BSM). 

Transit + Technology: Revitalizing Public Transportation for Smarter Communities

Neil Roberts shares details of Melbourne's Yarra Trams, which has exceeded its service delivery and punctuality goals by the use of intelligent transit technology like sensors, the tramTRACKER app, and mobile work stations for employees.

Women are making a difference in transportation

To help improve women’s participation in transportation careers, the industry must do its best to link them to role models and opportunities; show them how their efforts can have a great impact on local and national communities; and create an adaptable workplace that’s fair, flexible, and collaborative for all employees.
This month, we celebrate National Women’s History by looking back at past role models – their accomplishments and the avenues for progress their pioneering efforts helped create.

You Can Already Buy a Driverless Vehicle

While Google and other companies test their driverless cars while angling for governments to regulate them and consumers to demand them, one company dove headfirst into the market and is already selling a driverless "car" to businesses and universities.
To be fair, the vehicle, called the Navia, isn’t exactly a car—it’s more of a trolley or shuttle and looks a bit like an oversized golf cart. It’s made by a French company called Induct and is already operating at Oxford University, in city centers in Singapore, and in a couple small European cities such as Strasbourg, France. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Smart Cities Council launches apps gallery for smart cities

The Smart Cities Council, an industry coalition to advance smart city development and innovation, announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind Smart Cities Apps Gallery showcasing smartphone apps created by, and for, cities around the world. This gallery adds to its growing list of hands-on resources for the world's city leaders and planners.
Featuring nearly 200 apps, the gallery demonstrates how cities, both large and small, are using them to connect with citizens around the clock. In total, the gallery includes 10 separate app collections: Citizen Reporting, Economic Development, Environment, Health and Human Services, Inside City Hall, Local Government Services, Property and Neighborhoods, Public Safety, Recreation and Entertainment, and Transportation.

Teaching Cars to Read Our Emotions

It may be years before we’re all zipping around the roadways in driverless vehicles. But cars are already gaining some control over the behavior of their owners. Several automakers and research groups are developing facial recognition technology that will allow cars to read and influence drivers’ emotions and alertness levels. And a team of engineering students at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, has even developed technology to detect road rage and defuse drivers’ anger by playing soothing music.

A robo-car speed bump? Toyota, GM defects cast new light on push for self-driving autos

Computers are slowly taking over one of the most potent symbols of human independence: Driving.
The government says that shift will make the roads safer and eventually free people to work, read or even watch a movie as they travel from place to place.  But in the wake of deadly manufacturer defects at Toyota and General Motors, analysts are raising questions about whether autonomous vehicles could hurtle into dangerous territory.

How the Self-Driving Car Could Spell the End of Parking Craters

At a Congressional briefing this week, the RAND Corporation’s James Anderson, author of a recent report on the prospects for autonomous vehicles, said he is convinced that while there are advantages and disadvantages to driverless cars, “the societal benefits exceed the costs.”
The best possible scenario involves a fleet of shared driverless cars and the elimination of private vehicle ownership. Cars would be in constant use, so the amount of land reserved for parking could be greatly reduced. Even if driverless car technology comes on the market soon, however, that version of the future may never arrive.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

37 Billion Mile Challenge (Massachusetts Transportation Data Challenge)

MAPC just launched a 6-week data challenge to help unearth the lessons to be found in an unprecedented new dataset about vehicle ownership and usage. The Massachusetts Vehicle Census contains anonymized information about the make, model, age, estimated mileage, fuel efficiency, and zip code of every passenger and commercial vehicle registered in the state from 2008 to 2011 AND a spatial dataset of 250 meter grid cells with statistics on number of vehicles, vehicles per household, mileage per vehicle, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Challenge closes on April 19. 


Honda launches energy-efficient 'Smart Home' concept

Honda has launched the Honda Smart Home US, a sustainable housing project exploring the concept of zero net energy living and transportation.
Situated on the University of California, Davis campus, the self-sufficient home produces more renewable energy than it consumes and is three times more water-efficient than the typical US residence.

Smart Cities and the Technology of Walking

These tech tools facilitate the ability to walk to places and use forms of urban mobility other than cars. Technology-based solutions and information platforms include such apps as RideScout, Walkscore, Walkonomics, and Transit Screen. They’ve emerged in response to interest from both Millennials and Baby Boomers wanting information-rich mobility options to guide them to where they need to go.

CTA Operator Who Crashed Train Was 'Very Tired,' Possibly Nodded Off: Union

O'HARE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT — The operator of a CTA Blue Line "L" train that crashed at O'Hare Airport, injuring 35 people, was so tired it appeared she nodded off while operating the train and "wasn't as coherent as she should have been," a union official said Monday.

House Throttles Back On Red-Light Camera Bill

Members of the House Transportation & Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee unanimously approved an amendment by Rep. Frank Artiles, R-Miami, as they backed his measure (HB 7005). The bill now would allow new cameras at intersections but only if their use is justified through traffic engineering studies.

Traffic Safety Facts: Occupant Protection 2012

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released a fact sheet that summarizes trends in seatbelt usage from 2003-2012 and differences by vehicle type and demographic characteristics.

Monitoring Bicyclist and Pedestrian Travel and Behavior

TRB’s Transportation Research Circular E-C183: Monitoring Bicyclist and Pedestrian Travel and Behavior is designed to chronicle the most recent advancements in techniques and technology of active transportation monitoring. The circular identifies a selection of recent advancements in bicycle and pedestrian data monitoring pertaining to both traffic volumes and behavioral data. The circular also introduces a selection of ongoing projects expected to contribute to the field of bicycle and pedestrian data.

3rd International Conference on Connected Vehicles and Expo

TRB is cosponsoring the 3rd International Conference on Connected Vehicles and Expo (ICCVE 2014) on November 3-7, 2014, in Vienna, Austria. The conference is designed is to provide a forum for all the relevant communities to exchange the latest advances on connected vehicles and discuss the implications on policy and economics.

Vision of Railroading in the 21st Century

TRB is cosponsoring the Vision of Railroading in the 21st Century on August 20-22, 2014, in Altoona, Pennsylvania. The conference is designed to bring together railroad professionals, government officials, and academics to discuss the past, present, and future of the U.S. railroad industry. Particular emphasis will be placed on university led research on railroad subjects and possible career choices for those students performing railroad research.

Innovation in Mobility Public Policy Summit Shared Use Mobility Summit

TRB is cosponsoring the Innovation in Mobility Public Policy Summit Shared Use Mobility Summit on June 10-11, 2014, in Washington, D.C. The Summit is designed to explore new developments in shared use mobility and examine ways that governments and shared use providers can work together to create more seamless transportation systems. Areas expected to be explored carsharing, one-way carsharing, peer-to-peer carsharing, public bikesharing, and ridesharing.

Innovations in Travel Modeling - 2014

TRB is sponsoring a conference on Innovations in Travel Modeling - 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.

Global Symposium on Connected Vehicles and Infrastructure

TRB is cosponsoring the Global Symposium on Connected Vehicles and Infrastructure on April 21-24, 2014, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The symposium is designed to address a wide range of topics encompassing technical issues, policy implications, and public acceptance of wireless communication between vehicles and between vehicles and infrastructure. A set of special workshop sessions focusing on the energy and environmental implications of automated transportation will be held in conjunction with this event.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Vertical Hyper-Speed Train Hub Literally Flips High Speed Rail on its Head

Train stations, while critical for sustainable transportation, take up a lot of room in a city with their long platforms and tracks. Flip it vertically though and place the station, platforms and tracks in a tower and you've just freed up a ton of space. That's the concept behind this Hyper-Speed Vertical Train Hub, which could literally flip high speed rail on its head. This Honorable Mention winner in 2014's eVolo Skyscraper competition takes some imagination and creative thinking to envision, but sure would make for an exciting future.

Autonomous Cars Could Actually Make Car Sharing Work

The Atlantic reported on a study by Stanford and MIT researchers that suggests the world's cities need might need as few as a third as many cars as they have now if driverless cars are the future. Which means if you're just going to and from work or running errands, you actually can relax in a Rinspeed XchangE that you've borrowed.

New bike warning beacons installed on Barbur Boulevard

Cyclists who brave busy Barbur Boulevard now have some high-tech tools to help make them more visible. The Oregon Department of Transportation has finished installing four new bicycle warning beacons on each end of the Newbury and Vermont bridges. Cyclists have long complained about how narrow those bridges are. Bike lanes disappear over the bridge deck, forcing cars and bicycles to share the same space.

How Audi's new tech times your driving with traffic lights

What if your car displayed the precise speed you needed to drive in order to hit every green light? And what if that same system told you when the light was about to change color?
That's the future, according to Audi. And with beta testing in full force, it's a future that's rapidly approaching.
At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, Audi revealed its "Traffic Light Recognition Technology" and offered brief demonstrations around the streets of Las Vegas.

Best of ITS Awards

ITS America’s “Best of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Awards,” annually recognizes the best and brightest of the high-tech transportation community. This is a unique opportunity to be recognized at the premier ITS event of the year in the Americas amongst thousands of public sector and transportation industry professionals, policymakers, and press.
 April 9, 2014 - Best of ITS Award Nomination Period Closes

Friday, March 21, 2014

Analysis: Studies offer conflicting information about traffic cameras

Plenty of studies about the effectiveness of traffic cameras supply verbal ammunition for both sides of controversial proposals to regulate the devices -- or ban them altogether.
Although much of the debate focuses on city governments’ intent when using the devices or on fairness to motorists, studies focusing on the cameras’ merits as a safety tool show that when they hurt, or help, depends on where and why they are used.

New NHTSA Report Reveals School Buses Still Safer Than Other Modes of Transportation to School

The eight students killed onboard school buses in 2012 brought the 10-year total of such fatalities to 55, according to the latest data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. On average, six of the approximately 25 million student school bus riders nationwide are killed in crashes on the school bus each year.

Commonwealth To Begin Accepting Applications for Multimodal Transportation Fund

The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) announced today that the Commonwealth Financing Authority has adopted guidelines for the Multimodal Transportation Fund (MTF).
The Commonwealth Financing Authority will begin accepting applications for the MTF on March 21, 2014 with the application period closing on June 20, 2014. Based on projections, the CFA is anticipated to receive $40 million in Fiscal Year 2014-15.
The MTF will provide financial assistance to municipalities, councils of governments, businesses, economic development organizations, public transportation agencies, rail freight and ports to enhance communities, pedestrian safety and transportation assets.

Pittsburgh Workshop on Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) Decision Support Systems (DSS)

Please join ITSPA on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission for a workshop on Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) Decision Support Systems (DSS). This interactive, half-day workshop, designed for transportation planners, managers, and engineers in both the public and private sector, will provide insights into the fundamentals of Integrated Corridor Management (ICM), with a focus on the needs and benefits of ICM decision support systems (DSS).

RFP - Safety Center for Excellence: Rural and Surface Transportation DOT Federal Highway Administration

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) hereby requests applications for assistance from all interested parties to result in the award of a Cooperative Agreement (Agreement) to support the establishment and maintenance of a Safety Center for Excellence: Rural and Surface Transportation (Center). The primary mission of the Center is to facilitate training and educational exchange, as well as provide technology transfer and deployment to practitioners to improve the overall understanding of roadway safety data and analysis, safety effectiveness evaluations, and investment decision making in the areas of rural safety and surface transportation safety. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Electronic Logging to prevent truck crashes, protect drivers

It's no secret that tax-related filings create a lot of paperwork, but do you know the second biggest paperwork burden from federal regulations?
If you said, "hours-of-service recordkeeping for interstate truck and bus drivers," then you are correct. But not for long, thanks to a proposed rulemaking from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Last week, FMCSA proposed a rule requiring interstate commercial truck and bus companies to use Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) in their vehicles.

Zoom, zoom: Need for smart, transit oriented development accelerates

Light rail, bus rapid transit, and streetcars are chalking up huge rises in property values along Cleveland, Ohio's Euclid Corridor, the Phoenix Tempe Metro Light Rail, and Eugene, Oregon's Emerald Express. Smart transit has the potential to create jobs, ignite development, and connect a city. But is West Michigan ready for the possibilities – and the challenges – that lie ahead?

Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications is Coming to a Car Near You

The U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have recently approved vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication systems for cars to be able to talk to each other. The goal is to reduce 70 - 80% of accidents that involve the driver's impaired vision. By having every vehicle know where every other vehicle is in real time, we can avoid many accidents.

Big Data Drives The Smart Car

Lane-departure warnings, blind spot detection, auto-braking, and self-parking: These are a few examples of emerging safety features designed to make driving safer. Sorry, humans, but the message here is clear: The best way to make makes roads safer is to supplement, and eventually bypass, the weakest link in every vehicle's crash-avoidance system -- the easily-distracted, irrational, and sometimes dangerous human driver.

Magnetic roads could guide driverless cars

Self-driving cars may end up cruising along magnetic roads. At least that's what Volvo thinks.
To guide driverless cars, Volvo Car Group has been experimenting with creating a corridor of magnets that are placed in the pavement. The automaker says magnets are better than GPS or cameras for pointing the way because they are not as easily affected by poor weather.

Ontario road safety bill targets distracted drivers, ‘dooring’

Distracted drivers on their cellphones and careless motorists who knock down cyclists with their open doors will face maximum fines of $1,000 and three demerit points under sweeping new road safety rules introduced Monday.

Informational Systems, Geospatial Information, State Data, and Advanced Computing 2013

TRB’s Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2399 consists of 12 papers that explore the prediction of individual travel modes; predicting transportation time series; a stochastic network design problem with fuzzy goals; large-scale agent-based transport simulations; and the handling uncertainty in the transit project evaluation and rating process.

Pedestrians 2013

TRB’s Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2393 consists of 20 papers that examine an analysis of pedestrian performance in shared-space environments; using a smartphone application to support visually impaired pedestrians; pedestrian–vehicle traffic conflicts; automated classification of pedestrian gender and age; driver compliance with pedestrian yield right-of-way laws; and development of the Canadian Pedestrian Crossing Control Guide.

31st International Bridge Conference (IBC 2014)*

TRB is cosponsoring the 31st International Bridge Conference on June 8-12, 2014, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Topics of sessions and papers that will be presented at the meeting will cover issues such as accelerated bridge construction; design, evaluation, analysis, and inspection; foundations, substructures, and buried structures; long-span bridges; rehabilitation and preservation; and more.

TRB Webinar: Lessons Learned from State DOT Activities Addressing Data for Decision Making and Performance Measures

TRB will conduct a webinar on April 2, 2014, from 2:00pm to 3:30pm ET that will explore data and decision making tools that local agencies are using to meet the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) performance requirements. Participants must register in advance of the webinar, and there is a fee for non-TRB Sponsor or non-TRB Sustaining Affiliate employees. A certificate for 1.5 Professional Development Hours (PDHs) will be provided to attendees who register and attend the webinar as an individual.

TRB Webinar: Emergency Medical Services Response to Motor Vehicle Crashes in Rural Areas

TRB will conduct a webinar on March 20, 2014, from 12:00pm to 1:30pm ET that will explore factors that may help reduce the time needed to provide effective medical care to crash occupants on rural roads that were identified in NCHRP Synthesis 451: Emergency Medical Services Response to Motor Vehicle Crashes in Rural Areas. Participants must register in advance of the webinar, and there is a fee for non-TRB Sponsor or non-TRB Sustaining Affiliate employees. A certificate for 1.5 Professional Development Hours (PDHs) will be provided to attendees who register and attend the webinar as an individual.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Group wants to build corridor for unmanned vehicles

A trade group wants to create a pathway for self-driving vehicles from Canada, through North Dakota and other states south to Mexico.
One of the issues with the middle part of the U.S. is the lack of north-south avenues to move commerce, said Marlo Anderson of the Central North American Trade Corridor Association. Rail and major roads move east to west.
“The challenge is to find ways to better utilize our north-south routes,” he said.
The association is starting an initiative to develop regulations for driverless vehicles, whether on the ground or in the air. It will discuss the initiative Wednesday and Thursday at the Trade & Transportation Summit in Bismarck.

DC Mentor/Mentee Opportunity – apps due 3/28

Women in Transportation’s DC chapter is preparing for its 2014 mentoring program. The mentoring program pairs young professional women in transit with mid-level to senior professionals to support personal and professional growth and development. Mentors and mentees meet once a month and there are events about every other month. The program begins in April and runs through December.
Applications are now available and will be due March 28, 2014.

Cadillac opens an app store, goes 4G

Cadillac announced today that its vehicles would benefit from a built-in 4G data connection, and that an app store, called CUE Collection, would launch in its CUE (Cadillac User Experience) infotainment system later this year. The move follows similar announcements by sibling-brand Chevrolet, and builds on the OnStar telematics platform which comes standard in GM vehicles.

Automakers say they’ll begin selling cars that can drive themselves by the end of the decade

Several car companies say they’ll begin selling vehicles that can drive themselves — at least part of the time — by the end of this decade. And Florida will be right there at Ground Zero of the automotive revolution.
“We want to be the state that’s ready for innovation,” says Ananth Prasad, Florida’s transportation secretary. “We want to be the state where entrepreneurs and great minds can come to try things, rather than the state that just says no.”

Read more here:

Monday, March 17, 2014

KDOT fights under age DUIs with technology

One resource for preventing the consequences of underage drinking is a toll free phone line maintained by KDOT — 1-866-MUST-B-21. Things to report include parties involving underage drinkers, ideally before they start; anyone purchasing alcohol for someone underage; anyone giving or selling alcohol to someone underage; suspected underage drinking anywhere, including at house parties.
During each call, a dispatcher determines the nature of the suspected violation and transfers callers to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

Over Human Sports? Check Out These Winter Games Featuring Robots

The games have just begun though, and University of Pennsylvania finalists Thor and Trooper (climbing ladder below) have their robotic eyes on the grand prize. Dr. Dan Lee, a professor at U Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and director of the school’s GRASP Robotics Lab, is optimistic. “Yes, Google really set the standard,” he told us. “But as Shaun White said, if you see one competitor doing a new trick, you go back home and figure out how to do that trick.”

Friday, March 14, 2014

IIHS Puts Backup Cameras, Parking Sensors To The Test

Rearview cameras are widely regarded as one of the more essential safety features and technologies on new vehicles. Research suggests that rearview cameras do decrease the risk of backup collisions, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Transportation (NHTSA) added the technology to its list of recommended features in its safety ratings last September. Yet when the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tested whether rearview cameras help drivers avoid "backover" crashes into pedestrians, the results were less than conclusive.

Reverse Wardriving: Tracking Apple and Google Commuter Buses by Their Wi-Fi Clouds

Last week, it occurred to me that I might start monitoring the local Wi-Fi environment to determine how often the Apple Bus really comes by. My wife guessed 10 times a day. I’d have said 20.
After a week of reverse-wardriving, it appears the Apple Bus passes my house an average of 36 times a day, and is uncannily punctual, especially in the a.m., when the first bus reliably pops up on my Wi-Fi radar between 6:23:33 and 6:23:56 every morning.

Intelligent Transportation Key Technology Enabler of Smart Cities, Structural Solutions to Appear by 2025, Says ABI Research

With more than two-thirds of the global population expected to live in urban contexts by 2050, the deployment of smart cities technologies and intelligent transportation services in particular, will become key policy areas for local governments. By 2025, penetration of ITS technologies in smart cities will range from 20% (autonomous vehicles) to 98% (traffic management).

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Smart Car Will Be Hacked

Connected cars are computers on wheels, and before long they'll do most everything our phones and tablets do now—store personal data, finalize transactions, play games. Oh, and catch viruses and other malware.
Security encryption flaws left Apple and Linux software vulnerable to hacks in the last month. Similar vulnerabilities in smart cars could have far worse consequences, starting with accidents that could injure or kill drivers, passengers, pedestrians or the occupants of other vehicles.

DOT promotes Zero In Wisconsin smart phone app

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is recommending those who plan to include alcohol in their St. Patrick’s Day celebration download the free Drive Sober app for mobile phones.
A free download is available online at the WisDOT website at, according to a news release from the DOT.
The app includes a blood alcohol estimator, a designated driver selector, a Find-a-Ride feature that uses the phone’s GPS to provide contacts for nearby taxi, mass transit and designated-driver services...

Save the Date: March 29th, Pittsburgh Women & Biking Forum

Inspired by The League of American Bicyclists’ National Women’s Bicycling Forum, Pittsburgh’s own Women and Biking Forum caters to current and potential women cyclists in the Greater Pittsburgh area.

California given deadline on plan to integrate driverless cars onto public roads

California is trying to do something unusual in this age of rapidly evolving technology — get ahead of a big new development before it goes public.
By the end of the year, the U.S. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) must write rules to regulate cars that rely on computers — not the owner — to do the driving.
That process began Tuesday, when the DMV held an initial public hearing in Sacramento to puzzle over how to regulate the vehicles that haven’t been fully developed yet.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Governing Webinar: Leveraging Data to Drive Transportation Decisions

State and local transportation agencies and authorities throughout the world are tapping into new and existing data sources to help make day-to-day and long term operational and management decisions.  Data including traffic volume, average speed, toll prices, human resources and asset management can be used to support decision making about things like how to dynamically set toll prices, how to manage maintenance efforts and daily business decisions.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Request for Information - Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program. Comments due by April 12, 2014

This notice is a Request for Information (RFI) and comments that will be used to help refine the plans for one or more pilot deployments, which combines connected vehicle and mobile device technologies innovations to improve traveler mobility and system productivity, while reducing environmental impacts and enhancing safety. The FHWA anticipates a procurement action for one or more pilot deployment concepts in 2015.

How Will Driverless Cars Affect Car Insurance?

From a safety perspective, self-driving cars offer obvious advantages. “Self-driving cars, unlike human drivers, will not be distracted, and will always be cognizant of hazardous road conditions,” notes Dr. Raj Rajkumar, professor at Carnegie Mellon University and co-director of the General Motors-Carnegie Mellon Autonomous Driving Collaborative Research Lab.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Announcing our AppMyCity! contest launch

Guardian Cities and the New Cities Foundation announce the launch of AppMyCity! 2014 – a worldwide contest to find the new mobile application that makes the biggest difference to urban life. Tell us about your favourite new city apps here!

Commercial Drones Legal in US, For Now, Judge Rules

Commercial drones, for now, are legal in U.S. skies.
Judge Patrick Geraghty of the National Transportation Safety Board ruled that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has no authority over small unmanned aircrafts. Geraghty dismissed a $10,000 reckless flying fine levied by the FAA against Swiss drone operator Raphael Pirker, who used a camera drone to film at the University of Virginia.
The ruling effectively invalidates the FAA’s 2007 ban on the use of commercial drones.

Volkswagen Wants Collaboration With IT Industry And Connected Car Privacy – CeBIT 2014

Volkswagen CEO Martin Winkerhorn has called for greater collaboration between the auto and IT industries and a voluntary agreement from car manufacturers as connected and driverless cars become a reality.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of CeBIT 2014 in Hannover, Winkerhorn declared his intention to make driving more intelligent and more connected, without removing the joy of getting behind the wheel, but echoed many of his compatriots’ concerns about privacy.
He said the car was a moving data centre and that the car industry needed to protect its users aainst the misuse of data.

Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State

The Governors Highway Safety Association has released a report that compares pedestrian fatalities by state, and considers reasons for the fatalities as well as ways to increase safety.

Development of a Navigation System Using Smartphone and Bluetooth Technologies to Help the Visually Impaired Navigate Work Zones Safely

The Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota has released a report that explores the challenges that visually-impaired pedestrians encounter when navigating work zones, and considers types of information that may be helpful in providing instructions to those pedestrians when moving around work zones.

Advanced LED Warning System for Rural Intersections: Phase 2 (ALERT-2)

The Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota has released a report that presents findings of the second phase of the Advanced Light-Emitting Diodes (LED) Warning System for Rural Intersections (ALERT) project.

Human Factors Assessment of Pedestrian Roadway Crossing Behavior

The U.S. Federal Highway Administration has released a report that explores the influence of pedestrian and environmental factors in crossing location choices.

11th International Conference on Low-Volume Roads

TRB is sponsoring the 11th International Conference on Low-Volume Roads on July 12-15, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The conference, held every four years, will examine new technologies and new techniques in the planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and administration of low-volume roads. Papers on all aspects of low-volume roads and streets may be submitted using TRB's Paper Submission website until March 31, 2014.

2014 North American Conference on Elderly Mobility – Best Practices from Around the World – A Decade of Progress*

TRB is cosponsoring the 2014 North American Conference on Elderly Mobility – Best Practices from Around the World – A Decade of Progress on May 11-14, 2014, in Detroit, Michigan. The conference is designed to highlight older mobility best practices in the areas of alternative transportation; mobility management and coordination; infrastructure and vehicles; driver education and training; driver screening and assessment; and housing and land use.

TRB’s SHRP 2 Tuesdays Webinar: Roadway Information Data from the SHRP 2 Naturalistic Driving Study

As part of the SHRP2 Tuesdays Webinar Series, TRB will conduct a webinar on April 8, 2014, from 2:00pm to 3:30pm ET that will explore the Roadway Information Database (RID) component of the SHRP 2 Naturalistic Driving Study (NDS). There is no fee to attend this webinar or other webinars in the SHRP 2 Series; however, participants must register in advance. A certificate for 1.5 Professional Development Hours (PDH) will be provided to attendees who register and attend the webinar as an individual.

TRB Webinar: Emergency Medical Services Response to Motor Vehicle Crashes in Rural Areas

TRB will conduct a webinar on March 20, 2014, from 12:00pm to 1:30pm ET that will explore factors that may help reduce the time needed to provide effective medical care to crash occupants on rural roads that were identified in NCHRP Synthesis 451: Emergency Medical Services Response to Motor Vehicle Crashes in Rural Areas.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Thruway adds flashing 'Wrong Way' signs to Exit 10 in South Nyack

People driving the wrong way on the Exit 10 ramp now will receive a warning from flashing LED signs before they reach the Thruway.
The New York State Thruway Authority installed two electronic signs Thursday, making South Nyack the second site on the 570-mile highway to get them.
The move follows July’s wrong-way crash on the Tappan Zee Bridge in which Haverstraw’s Michael Schechel drove his SUV onto the northbound Thruway from Exit 10 onto the bridge and hit a car head-on, killing 56-year-old Hannah Ayeh-Brachie of Hillcrest and injuring her husband.

London's Car-Free Highway Could Transport Bikes, Boxes, And Energy

Over the next two decades, London’s population will surge by around 2 million residents, and many more people will commute to the city center from farther away. But instead of squeezing more cars onto already-crowded streets, Londoners might eventually be riding bikes on the SkyCycle superhighway.

Friday, March 7, 2014

NSF-FHWA Coordination on Cyber Physical Systems for Highway Transportation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) have a shared interest in advancing basic and applied research in Cyber Physical Systems (CPS), which are systems in which physical processes are tightly intertwined with networked computing. For transportation, CPS will provide the foundation necessary for a safe, efficient highway transportation system connecting vehicles, infrastructure, people, and goods in a vibrant, competitive economy.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Participants sought for Wireless Waterway Interoperability Test Bed

The Port of Pittsburgh Commission seeks local companies and individuals to participate in its Wireless Waterway (WW) Interoperability Test Bed (ITB) the week of June 15, 2014.
The Commission is accepting applications through April 1, 2014 from interested entrepreneurs, organizations, and vendors to conduct demonstrations of technologies and products on the WWITB. In addition it seeks volunteers both to act as professional evaluators and to assist in the operations of the event.

U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Offers Talking Technology and Transportation (T3) Webinars and On-line Training Opportunities

Did you know the USDOT'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 T3 Webinars on a wide range of topics related to ITS planning, design, procurement, deployment, operations, noteworthy practices, and lessons learned.

Cisco selects Toronto as one of four global 'Internet of Everything' labs

Cisco Systems Inc. has tapped Toronto as one of four cities around the world to house an "Internet of Everything" lab, an investment that the company says will amount to as much as $100 million for the city over 10 years.
Toronto joins Songdo, South Korea, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and a yet-unnamed German city as sites of the company’s “IoE” innovation hubs.

Next Stop: Real-Time Data | Boston, MA

Join the ITS America, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and ITS Massachusetts for the next installment of the 2014 Symposia Series in Boston, April 10-11. This two day event will focus on real-time and open data, and ITS technologies that are enhancing the transportation experience.

New in the DOT Fast Lane--Secretary Foxx: Bicycling to safety

Cities and towns across the country are taking steps to make biking an option for their residents, but we have a responsibility to make sure that it's a safe option, too. Because, even though NHTSA reports national total crash fatalities at record lows, bicyclist and pedestrian deaths have not followed suit.

TRB Webinar: Potential Use of Social Media in the NEPA Process

TRB will conduct a webinar on March 12, 2014, from 2:00pm to 3:30pm ET that will present information included in a report on the “Potential Use of Social Media in the NEPA Process.” The report identifies how social media might be used to both foster interactive dialogue and reach stakeholders who might not otherwise participate in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process.

TransportationCamp is coming to Boston and Atlanta in April

Get your tickets now for TransportationCamp New England, on 4/5 hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, at MIT's Stata Center.

 This year, TransportationCamp South is joining forces with Govathon and Code for Atlanta for a combined Camp and transportation-focused hackathon on 4/12-13, at the Clough Undergraduate Learning Center at Georgia Tech.

Pedestrian deaths drop after three-year rise

After three straight years of increases that baffled experts, the number of pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in the USA appears to be dropping.
Compared with the first six months of 2012, pedestrian deaths fell 8.7% during the first six months of 2013, the Governors Highway Safety Association says, citing preliminary data reported to the federal government by the states and the District of Columbia.

By The Time Your Car Goes Driverless, You Won't Know The Difference

There are a lot of steps, however, between Henry Ford's Model T and Google's autonomous Model X. Carmakers need to figure out how to make vehicle-to-vehicle communication work, prove the safety and reliability of new technologies, and make them cheaper. Google's cars use tens of thousands of dollars' worth of sensors. They also require a level of trust in the onboard computer that I, at least, find it difficult to muster. And let's not forget the problems of insuring a vehicle without a driver.

Most British motorists wouldn't use a driverless car

A poll of 2,038 people by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers found that just one in five would be happy to use a driverless car, and 56 per cent would not.
Around 31 per cent of drivers aged between 25 to 34 would consider a driverless car, dropping to 13 per cent for those aged 55 to 64.

U.S. Department of Transportation Green Lights $1 Million Award for VTTI Research

VTTI was recently awarded a $1 million add-on to a pre-existing $3 million contract from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The additional funds follow an announcement by the Department of Transportation last month, which will require communicative capabilities in all cars and light trucks on U.S. highways — a regulation that officials have stated they hope to go in effect before January 2017.
The contract concerns work on a technology that VTTI has been associated with for a decade that many of its researchers are more than familiar with.

Ford's Driverless Car Takes The Wheel

Ford showed an automated, or driverless car last week in Barcelona that’s equipped with infrared sensors that scan its surroundings for other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, and animals within roughly 70 metres, or 200 feet, and tracks their proximity.
Developed in collaboration with the University of Michigan and the State Farm insurance company, the car can also communicate with other automated cars.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Video: The future of driverless transport is hiding at Heathrow

Driverless vehicles are either the future of motoring or the death knell for public transport, depending on whether you take your travel news from Google or the RMT.
But tucked away beyond domestic arrivals at Heathrow is a driverless transport network that has been running successfully for nearly three years and is the first of its kind in the world, with ambitions to be one of Britain’s biggest exports in the industry.

SEPTA delays implementation of New Payment Technology

PHILADELPHIA — The time for New Payment Technology for SEPTA is coming, but just not when it had originally been scheduled.
SEPTA does not want a repeat of what happened in September 2013, when the Chicago Transit Authority rolled out its new payment system, only to have a host of shortfalls. So, while SEPTA had originally scheduled a full rollout of its new payment system for April, just when it will happen is still uncertain.

Wabtec has long held a stake in future of U.S. railroad safety

Pittsburgh - When a train carrying crude oil derailed in Vandergrift last month, it once again raised concerns about how safe the country's rail system is. No one was injured in the accident, which is still under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, but it was one of two derailments in Pennsylvania in the span of a month.
And it prompted the Association of American Railroads to introduce a slate of new, voluntary safety practices for moving crude oil by rail, including increased track inspections, lower speeds through urban areas and updates to braking systems.