Tuesday, April 29, 2014

How Helsinki mashed up “open data” with regionalism

If there's something you'd like to know about Helsinki, someone in the city administration most likely has the answer. For more than a century, this city has funded its own statistics bureaus to keep data on the population, businesses, building permits, and most other things you can think of...
Helsinki may be Finland’s capital and largest city, with 620,000 people. But it’s only one of more than a dozen municipalities in a metropolitan area of almost 1.5 million. So in terms of urban data, if you’re only looking at Helsinki, you’re missing out on more than half of the picture.

Helsinki and three of its neighboring cities are now banding together to solve that problem. Through an entity called Helsinki Region Infoshare, they are bringing together their data so that a fuller picture of the metro area can come into view.

If there's something you'd like to know about Helsinki, someone in the city administration most likely has the answer. For more than a century, this city has funded its own statistics bureaus to keep data on the population, businesses, building permits, and most other things you can think of. Today, that information is stored and freely available on the internet by an appropriately named agency, City of Helsinki Urban Facts. - See more at: http://www.citiscope.org/story/2014/how-helsinki-mashed-open-data-regionalism?utm_source=Citiscope&utm_campaign=fc19fce36c-Mailchimp_2014_01_21&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ce992dbfef-fc19fce36c-71041125#sthash.Dj6zgQYC.dpuf

Google: Driverless cars are mastering city streets

Google says that cars it is programming to drive themselves have started to master the navigation of city streets and the challenges they bring, from jaywalkers to weaving bicyclists — a critical milestone for any commercially available self-driving car technology.
Despite the progress over the past year, the cars have plenty of learning to do before 2017, when the Silicon Valley tech giant hopes to get "autonomous driving" technology to the public.

2014 Alliance for Biking and Walking Benchmarking Report

The Alliance for Biking and Walking has released its biannual that examines data on bicycling and walking in all 50 states, the 52 largest U.S. cities, and a select number of midsized cities. According to the Alliance, the report combines original research with over 20 government data sources to compile data on bicycling and walking levels and demographics, safety, funding, policies, infrastructure, education, public health indicators, and economic impacts. The report may be downloaded for free after registering on the site.

Efficient and Safe Merging Solutions - Advanced Freeway Merge Assistance: Harnessing The Potential of Connected Vehicles

The U.S. Federal Highway Administration has released a fact sheet that describes an exploratory advanced research program project designed to improve the efficiency and safety of freeway merges using connected vehicle technology.

Guidance on the Level of Effort Required to Conduct Traffic Analysis Using Microsimulation

The U.S. Federal Highway Administration has released a report that provides guidance for analysts and modeling managers on successfully applying traffic simulation analyses. The report presents systematic ways to determine the appropriate scope and budget for traffic analysis efforts using microsimulation, resulting in better project and program decisions on transportation improvement projects.

Characteristics of Premium Transit Services that Affect Choice of Mode

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 166: Characteristics of Premium Transit Services that Affect Choice of Mode explores the full range of determinants for transit travel behavior and offers solutions to those seeking to represent and distinguish transit characteristics in travel forecasting models.

NHTSA Honors the Contributions of Devoted Safety Advocates at Annual Lifesavers Conference

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) presented 12 individuals and organizations with the NHTSA Public Service Award at today’s 32nd Annual Lifesavers Conference. The agency’s top public service award recognizes the tireless efforts people make to advance highway safety throughout the country.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Philadelphia Receives $525K Grant for Pedestrian Safety

Philadelphia is one of three cities nationwide that will be the recipient of a federal grant to enhance pedestrian safety, officials announced Friday.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Highway Administration selected Philadelphia for the $525,000 grant. Philadelphia was the only city in Pennsylvania that met the criteria to be considered for the grant.

Why Driverless Cars Don't Require a Bunch of New Laws

Anyone who’s encountered the debate about driverless cars has probably heard that it’s legal questions as much as technology that’s keeping the autonomous vehicles from broad production.
Specifically, if my car hits your car but neither of us is driving, then who’s to blame?
A new report from the Brookings Institution argues this concern is likely overblown and that “subject to a few narrow exceptions, existing tort and contract law frameworks are generally very well equipped to address these questions.”

Friday, April 25, 2014

DoT technology research to lead to safer drivers, roadways

The Transportation Department is trying to make cars smarter and drivers safer. Connected vehicle technology is the next big thing coming to intelligent transportation.
Greg Winfree, the assistant secretary for research and technology at the Transportation Department, said government-funded research into vehicle-to-vehicle infrastructure is key to making it safer to be on the road.


Finally, we’re backing Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), which maximize the use of technology to encourage improved decision making, safety and better resource allocation 
You’ll learn all about those initiatives if you join us at the 17th Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference come September. But most importantly Pittsburgh – and the Project for Public Spaces – will learn from you. And now I’m going to sit down and start doing exactly that. Thank you."

Driver Assistance Systems and the Transition to Automated Vehicles: A Path to Increase Older Adult Safety and Mobility?

For the foreseeable future, automated vehicle technologies, including ADAS, will continue to rely on a “responsible” driver to oversee the technology, capable of resuming control and having the foresight to make many (yet to be defined) strategic operational decisions. But because of their transformative promise and heavy news coverage, the prospect of automated cars has become a source of great hope for many. Some believe that fully automated cars, capable of navigating the roadways while the “operator” reads a paper or takes a nap, will be available within a few years. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Instead, there is work to be done to increase the awareness and education necessary to spur the purchasing of ADAS available today, which will support many older drivers’ mobility and safety needs.

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Winners of Pedestrian Safety Grants

The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today announced that Louisville, Philadelphia and New York City will receive grants totaling approximately $1.6 million for public education and enforcement initiatives to improve pedestrian safety. The new grants are part of the Department's Everyone Is a Pedestrian campaign to help communities combat the rising number of pedestrian deaths and injuries that have occurred from 2009 through 2012.

Silicon Valley Event - LaunchCMU A Research and Technology Startup Showcase Revealing Roboburgh

Join the investment experts who look to Carnegie Mellon University for technology breakthroughs. Come meet the creators of:
RED Rover
Anki Drive

Thursday, June 5, 2014
2:30 pm Demo & Poster Session
3:30 pm Showcase of Talks
6:00 pm Networking Reception
Oracle Conference Center
350 Oracle Parkway
Redwood Shores, CA 94065

T3 Webinar Overview - National Connected Vehicle Field Infrastructure Footprint Analysis

The Footprint Analysis project team has developed a preliminary general concept of a national connected vehicle (CV) field infrastructure footprint. The team was co-led by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), in cooperation with partners in the CV field. The Footprint Analysis helped the team to conceptualize a policy foundation for the CV environment, including a set of desired outcomes, which include:
Date: Thursday, May 22, 2014
Time: 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET

T3 Webinar Overview - Innovative Approaches to Real-Time System Management Information

The purpose of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) Section 1201, Title 23 in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 511 is to establish a Real-Time System Management Information Program (RTSMIP) to monitor in real time the traffic and travel conditions on the major highways across the U.S. In addition, the RTSMIP shares this data to address congestion problems through enhanced operations and facilitates traveler information. Date: Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Time: 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET

Robot Ridesharing to the Rescue of An Aging Citizenry

In Japan, which has the fastest aging population in the developing world, Hitachi recently demonstrated the Ropits, pictured above. Is it a single seat, self-driving electric vehicle intended precisely to address the problem of senior mobility. It doesn't drive on the street and its top speed is that of a brisk walk, but by pointing to your destination on a tablet, the little self-driving 'car' will take you there, at least in theory. Using a combination of GPS, cameras and laser range-finders, Ropit sees and avoids obstacles, including pedestrians. It's designed to operate in tight spaces and turns on a yen.

High-tech road safety network moving ahead

Dubbed the Intelligent Transportation System, the $24 million Northwest Florida network will include 183 traffic cameras, 135 microwave vehicle detectors, 40 travel time sensors, 17 overhead message signs, eight highway advisory radios, and three road and weather information sensors, FDOT spokesman Ian Satter said.
Satter said the Intelligent Transportation System will allow the agency to monitor the highway for crashes in real time and be able to detect incident locations and assess the severity of accidents. The network also will improve response time by emergency responders and equipment.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Webcast: The Rise of Vision Systems: Turning Point for Robotics

This webcast, together with its upcoming companion research report, focus on vision systems that are leading to the creation of a generation of robots that will intelligently react to changes because they understand the world around them. The webcast, sponsored by Vision Ventures, will present a breakdown of machine vision and vision-guided robotics market:

Wireless (Waterways) Interoperability Testbed June 2014 Exercises

On June 15-21, 2014 the Port of Pittsburgh Comission (PPC) will be conducting Wireless Waterways Interoperability Test Bed (WWITB) experimentation along the Ohio, Allegheny, and Monongahela Rivers on the North Shore in downtown Pittsburgh. These tests bring together government, acaemia, private industry, and investors to see how recent developments in technology can help the maritime industry. Currently, the PPC is looking for participants in this year's WWITB experimentation.

BYU team develops traffic safety model

PROVO — For the past six years a team at Brigham Young University has been developing one of the most advanced traffic safety models in the country.
“It was developed specifically for Utah and Utah drivers and we were excited to think that over the long term that this might in a small way contribute to Utah`s goal of zero fatalities,” said Shane Reese, Professor of Statistics BYU.
The system predicts how many crashes are expected on a roadway and compares that to the number of accidents that actually occur there.

How 5 Cities Are Using Smart Technology to Drive Better Mass Transit

Another study, this one from the Harvard Center for Risk Assessment, predicts that emissions from vehicles idling in traffic jams will result in 1,600 premature deaths and $13 billion in “total social costs” in the U.S. by 2020.
Such sobering statistics — coupled with staggering population growth that sends 60 to 70 million new residents to urban areas each year — have cities seeking transportation solutions. Some are finding them. By deploying advanced analytics and "smart technologies," pioneering cities are demonstrating how to make mass transit more appealing and roadways less congested.
Given budget constraints, costly transportation overhauls rarely happen in a year or two. But even incremental adoption of smart technologies can help. Here are five examples.

GM Super Cruise self-driving car tech gets virtual playpen

GM is ramping up its self-driving car tests, using a new high-speed 360-degree simulator to test its upcoming Cadillac Super Cruise tech without having to fully build the vehicles first. Cadillac expects the first Super Cruise equipped models - which will take on some of the responsibility when on highways and in traffic - to appear in showrooms within the next 5-6 years, and has in fact already begun real-road testing of some prototypes.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How Smart Cities Adapt to Growing Populations

Communities invest in intelligent infrastructure to improve everything from transportation to conservation.

Next Battlefield: Global IT Giants Eyeing Smart Car Market

According to market research firm Strategy Analytics, the market is estimated to reach approximately US$274 billion in size by 2017, and the ratio of electronic components to vehicle manufacturing costs is expected to amount to 40 percent in 2015 and 50 percent in 2020.
“It is said that those dominating the smart car market will hold a dominant position in the global IT market in the future,” said an industry expert, adding, “It is only a matter of time that electronics companies like Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics enter the smart car industry on a full scale.”

Institutional Labyrinth: Designing a Way out for Improving Urban Transport Services - Lessons from Current Practice

The World Bank has released a report that highlights the experiences of cities that have set up lead transportation institutions to coordinate improvements in urban transportation services.

FHWA Focus Magazine: March 2014

The Federal Highway Administration has released the latest version of its Focus magazine, which highlights efforts designed to accelerate infrastructure innovations in order to build better, safer roads.

E-tool for Business Processes to Improve Travel Time Reliability

TRB’s second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) Reliability Project L34 has released a prepublication, non-edited version of a report titled E-tool for Business Processes to Improve Travel Time Reliability that explores an e-tool to assist transportation agencies when evaluating their processes to improve travel time reliability. The report details the functional requirements, software architecture, and content development for the e-tool.

Roadway Safety Data Interoperability Between Local and State Agencies

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Synthesis 458, Roadway Safety Data Interoperability Between Local and State Agencies provides an overview of the state of the practice regarding the interoperability between state and local safety data. The report also highlights agency practices that supporta data-driven safety program on all public roads.

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. The TCRP undertakes applied research and technical activities focusing on the needs of transit operating agencies. Research is conducted in all areas of public transportation, including operations, policy, planning, service configuration, engineering of vehicles and facilities, maintenance, human resources, and administration.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Talk to your smart phone to unlock car!

What about giving a voice command to your smart phone to post Selfies, play songs or even unlock your car!
Four students from University of Pennsylvania have developed a technology called GoogolPlex that allows users to get more from Apple's iPhone by simply talking to it.
The technology uses Apple's voice-sensitive personal assistant called Siri to make it capable of playing specific songs, taking photos and even adjusting lights in your house.

MTA expanding camera use

NEW YORK — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has authorized its two commuter railroads to install cameras in their trains to assist incident investigations and monitor crew performance.

Highway medians inexpensive and effective – but still not required

WASHINGTON — Hundreds of interstate highway fatalities have been prevented in multiple states by relatively inexpensive safety devices that were not in place at the site of a fiery bus-truck collision in Orland that killed 10 people.
While interstates are statistically the country's safest roadways, they're also vulnerable to one of the deadliest kinds of crashes, where one vehicle crosses the median at a high speed and strikes another traveling the opposite direction.

At a time when states are pinching their transportation pennies, the installation of steel cable median barriers has helped states improve highway safety without a lot of investment.

Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO) ITS Newsletter | April 2014

Latest DOT news on connected vehicle pilots, NHTSA connected vehicle guidelines, road weather management and more.

Suresh: 36 companies expected to spin out of Carnegie Mellon this year

One notable presence at the groundbreaking for a new 217,000-square-foot office building at Bakery Square was Subra Suresh.
Suresh, who is a little more than a year into his tenure as president at Carnegie Mellon University, joins CMU at a time when Bakery Square is in its final stages of redevelopment. He spoke Thursday morning along with the leadership of Walnut Capital Partners and local politicians.

Accelerating Sustainability: Maximizing the Benefits of Connected Cars

ITS America is partnering with the Information Technology Industry Council, Digital Energy & Sustainability Solutions Campaign, Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, and Center for Clean Energy Innovation to host a Capitol Hill briefing on Accelerating Sustainability: Maximizing the Benefits of Connected Cars from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 8. Every day new technologies are being announced that allow us to save time, fuel, and emissions when we travel.