Friday, May 30, 2014

Canton resident creates app for trading parking spots in Baltimore

When Eric Meyer's car was booted last year after being ticketed one too many times in Canton, he thought, "Man, there must be a better way to find parking."
So, the 24-year-old began brainstorming with friends over pizza and beer at Verde Pizza. They conceived of a smartphone application that would allow neighbors to alert each other to open parking spots, and got family and friends to invest.

Ford to License Patented Inflatable Safety Belt Technology to Encourage Expanded Adoption

Ford Motor Company is offering its patented inflatable safety belt technology to other companies and industries, including competitive automotive manufacturers. The availability of licenses may lead to the wider adoption of inflatable safety belts as other automakers seek to enhance passenger safety. The technology is potentially applicable to other forms of seated-passenger transportation, including military use, and airborne passengers traveling by helicopter or airplane, and even for water travel.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

San Diego region benefits from Integrated Corridor Management, 5-1-1 App

In the past few years, Americans have enjoyed more and more information at our fingertips, available any time and accessible anywhere...
And recently, the San Diego region launched an advanced 5-1-1 app that can provide this information and more through a groundbreaking integrated corridor management (ICM) initiative funded by DOT. Through technology, the ICM program seeks to help travelers get the most use from our existing transportation infrastructure and to relieve congestion without communities having to build additional infrastructure.

Here's An Early Look At Volvo's Self-Parking, Driverless Car, Due To Hit Streets In 2017

Most of the technologies needed to equip your car with a self-parking capability are available today--adaptive cruise control, mitigated braking, steer-by-wire, the whole deal. The only element missing is the intelligent driving software, the artificial intelligence that will allow a car to think and react like a human would behind the wheel. Now Volvo says that’s only a few short years away, and invited me to Gothenburg, Sweden, the company’s hometown, to prove it.

Google is to start building its own self-driving cars

The car will have a stop-go button but no controls, steering wheel or pedals.
Pictures of the Google vehicle show it looks like a city car with a "friendly" face, designed to make it seem non-threatening and help people accept self-driving technology.
Co-founder Sergey Brin revealed the plans at a conference in California.
"We're really excited about this vehicle - it's something that will allow us to really push the capabilities of self driving technology, and understand the limitations," said Chris Urmson, director of the company's self-driving project.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

This app makes the NYC subway system come alive

Subway maps aren’t exactly the most gripping thing to look at while killing time. But if you’re in New York, the free app Tunnel Vision wants to use data to make the minutes go by a little faster.  Point Tunnel Vision at any MTA map, and augmented reality gives you nuggets of info about arrival times, turnstile activity (!), and even census data like rent prices and median incomes in various neighborhoods. It doesn’t even need wifi to work.

Kids with wheels: Should the unlicensed be allowed to ‘drive’ autonomous cars?

Earlier this month, when we asked people about your general thoughts on autonomous cars, we found that one of the main advantages of autonomous cars is that those who are not licensed to drive will be able to get to places more conveniently. This led us to wonder more about who should be able to drive an autonomous car. We asked three questions through Robohub to find out more. Here’s what you, dear readers, have said.

Review: Apple's CarPlay headed in right direction

The ambitious project, called CarPlay, implants some of the iPhone's main applications in automobiles so drivers can control them with voice commands, a touch on the steering wheel or a swipe on a display screen in the dashboard.

Are You Making It Easy for Visitors to Travel in Your City? 5 Apps That Do

A lot of folks in the U.S. will take to highways and byways this Memorial Day weekend. Elsewhere the upcoming summer vacation season will have the same effect. Will travelers be stopping in your city? Do you make it easy for them to find their way around? Scroll down for five apps from our Smart Cities Apps Gallery that take some of the pain out of getting around in a strange city.

2014 ITSPA Annual Meeting

Please join ITSPA this August 5th and 6th for our Annual Conference and Technical Workshop at the Holiday Inn – Stadium in Philadelphia. The two-day event will include a workshop provided by FHWA, a networking event, technical presentations, and vendor exhibits. A block of hotel rooms have been secured. Accommodations came be made at the Holiday Inn by calling 215-755-9500. Mention the event to receive the group rate.
We are interested in abstracts for presentations for our Technical Sessions on Wednesday, August 6, 2014. If interested in being a speaker please send an abstract with your name, organization, and topic to Keith Mullins by June 1, 2014 for consideration. 

Vodafone’s new digital platform for ‘Smart City’

Qataris can now participate in making their country a Smart City with the launching of Vodafone’s new digital platform yesterday, bringing together their inputs through a website, mobile site and social media.
At the same time, Vodafone also showcased some of the world’s most advanced and innovative technologies under its Smart Transportation, Smart Homes, Smart Health, and Smart Business development areas...
 For its Smart Transportation, Vodafone has partnered with Alfardan Automobiles to come up with the first BMW car in Qatar with a wi-fi connection.

FHWA Focus Magazine: April 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.

Partnership to Develop an Integrated Advanced Travel Demand Model with Fine-Grained, Time-Sensitive Networks

TRB’s second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) Capacity Project C10B has released a prepublication, non-edited version of a report titled Partnership to Develop an Integrated Advanced Travel Demand Model with Fine-Grained, Time-Sensitive Networks that an integration of a disaggregate activity based model with a traffic simulation model in order to to create a new, completely disaggregate model.

LOI: Roundabout Design, Operations, and Safety Practices

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Synthesis Program has issued a request for letters of interest to document and summarize the current roundabout policies and practices within state departments of transportation. The study will also present examples of local agency roundabout design policies. The scope includes roundabout operations and safety performance measurement.

LOI: Traffic Control Device Application at Pedestrian Crossings of Streets and Highways

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Synthesis Program has issued a request for letters of interest to synthesize pedestrian treatments that will enable engineers to make objective safety and operational design-decisions at intersections and crossing in a uniform and consistent manner that produces an effective outcome for users.

Paris to Set Default Citywide Speed Limit Below 20 MPH

Slow-speed zones are an increasingly widespread tactic to improve street safety and urban livability. Inspired by a German town that limited motor vehicle speeds to 30 kilometers per hour — or roughly 19 miles per hour — British activists have made 20 mph zones a core street safety policy across the nation.  The movement has begun to catch on in the United States, where New York City has been implementing 20 mph zones on neighborhood streets.

State plans to replace turnpike toll booths with automated system

Toll plazas on the nation’s oldest superhighway will likely be a thing of the past within a decade.
The state Turnpike Commission expects to spend roughly $319 million on a massive project to replace 65 toll plazas along 545 miles of road with an automated collection system within five to seven years, turnpike officials said.
The move would make the turnpike the nation’s oldest highway also the country’s largest highway with an electronic only tolling system, of which officials hope to recoup the cost over more than a decade.
Approximately 800 toll collector, manager and auditor jobs could be eliminated or impacted by the proposal, which is the major thrust of cost savings projections, said turnpike spokesman Bill Capone.
The move will save an estimated $28.7 million to $47.2 million per year in annual operating costs, according to a 2011 feasibility study the turnpike conducted.

Solar Roadways: See Video

A nationwide system could produce more clean renewable energy than a country uses as a whole ( They have many other features as well, including: heating elements to stay snow/ice free, LEDs to make road lines and signage, and attached Cable Corridor to store and treat stormwater and provide a "home" for power and data cables. EVs will be able to charge with energy from the sun (instead of fossil fuels) from parking lots and driveways and after a roadway system is in place, mutual induction technology will allow for charging while driving.

Robot Cars To Get California Licenses

The new licenses will officially legalize self-driving vehicles like Google's fleet of Priuses and Lexuses that have now logged some 700,000 miles in test runs, including shuttling some Google employees to work in something other than a bus. The licenses will only cost $150 and will cover up to 10 vehicles and 20 test drivers. According to the DMV's license terms only designated employees of select vehicle manufacturers can apply. Google, of course, has the most high-profile robo-fleet, but it seems we're still a long ways off from Sergey Brin's dream of hands-free driving for everyone.

Google’s Project Tango used to make drone fly on its own

The aim of Project Tango is basically to help a machine go beyond its usual flat, 2D picture of the world around it and see and understand things as they really are, in full three dimensions. It is basically helping machines see things the way we see them and make decisions based on that. And that can be truly seen in this experiment headed by University of Pennsylvania's Vijay Kumar.

Carnegie Mellon Researchers Use Autonomous Airboats To Monitor Hippo Dung in Kenya’s Mara River Basin

Small, autonomous airboats, disguised to look like crocodiles, helped scientists measure water quality this spring in Kenya’s Mara River. An estimated 4,000 hippos use the river as a toilet with potentially deadly effects for fish living downriver.
The airboats, developed at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute and operated by a CMU spinoff, Platypus LLC, skimmed over the surface of several hippopotamus pools in the river, where they scanned the river bottom for deposits of hippo dung and made various measurements of water quality.

Congress Thinks the FAA Is 'Not Well Positioned' to Regulate Drones

A new report from the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee suggests lawmakers are "concerned that the FAA may not be well positioned to manage effectively the introduction of UAS in the United States" and that many in Congress believe the FAA will miss its deadline. They specifically note that the task has been complicated by the recent National Transportation Safety Board ruling that commercial drones are at least temporarily legal.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Making a city smarter: Transportation and the built environment

Two developments becoming increasingly normal in the city transportation landscape are Bus Rapid Transit and Smart Parking technology. "Bus Rapid Transit is an efficient, high capacity and cost effective transit solution that many C40 Climate Leadership Group cities are using," according to the C40 BRT Network. "Well-planned and delivered BRT systems with clean buses can provide 'metro-quality' service at a fraction of the cost." BRT can be configured specifically for the physical environment in which it operates. C40 cities in Brazil and Colombia have published their own BRT lessons [PDF].
Smart Parking is a hot issue. IBM's 2011 global parking survey "confirms what we know: parking matters," says Shawn Conrad, executive director of the International Parking Institute.

4 Innovation Trends That Could Change The Way We Design Roads By 2020

In the US, the city of Pittsburgh embraced SURTRAC (Scalable Urban Traffic Control) after years of struggling with intense traffic conditions. The project, executed with Carnegie Mellon University’s Transportation Center, showed tremendous promise. Officials estimated that the system reduced travel time by 25% and vehicular emissions by 21%. Data collection, another intensely debated arena, seems to be the need of the hour for government bodies to analyse, improve and facilitate evidence-based interventions to reduce fatalities.

The Sidewalk of the Future Is Not So Concrete

On the higher end of the technology spectrum is a growing interest in using sidewalks — and the people who walk on them — as energy generators. A U.K. company called Pavegen has created a recycled rubber paving tile that converts the pressure of pedestrian footsteps into kinetic electricity. The tiles have been installed in train stations, playgrounds, and offices throughout the U.K. and France, and are used as an off-grid power source for street lamps, harvesting the energy of thousands of footsteps.

Prepare for Nightmarish Swarms of Google Robot Cars, Says Zipcar Founder

With its driverless car project, Google aims to create an automobile that’s ultimately safer, because it sidesteps human fallibility. Though Chase admits autonomous cars might very well cut down on accidents, she believes that the more pressing issue is the amount of congestion and pollution that cars produce in big cities. Autonomous cars, she says, will only exacerbate these problems.

U.S. Energy chief says driverless car suppliers may qualify for tech loan funds

Detroit —Energy Department Secretary Ernest Moniz hinted Thursday that auto suppliers developing driverless-car features could be next in line for more than $16 billion in unspent vehicle technology loan funds.
Moniz said in an interview that auto suppliers have expressed renewed interest in the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program. The loans are administered by the Energy Department, but the department hasn’t approved a loan in three years, following the collapse of solar panel start-up Solyndra LLC in 2011.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx Set to Address Data Conference

When transportation data collection, management and visualization professionals gather for their three-day annual meeting in Crystal City June 2-4, they will be joined by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. Secretary Foxx is kicking off the conference sessions that include a U.S.-DOT sponsored Data Palooza workshop track.
The Secretary's remarks will be followed by a panel discussion on the "future role of data in transportation," moderated by USA Today's Transportation Reporter Larry Copeland.

Toyota develops chips for hybrid cars to boost fuel efficiency

Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) has developed a computer chip for its gas-electric hybrid cars that could boost fuel efficiency by 10 percent and allow the automaker to install the hybrid system on more of its vehicles.
The maker of Prius hybrids and auto parts maker Denso Corp (6902.T) have jointly developed a semiconductor using a silicon and carbon compound that limits power loss and allows for a smaller hybrid system, Toyota said on Tuesday.

Top 5 driverless cars projects to watch in 2014

The companies bringing the future a step closer.
With Google planning to introduce its driverless cars for public use over the next three years, it should come as no surprise that other car manufacturers around the world are attempting to do the same as well. Here are five of the most interesting full-size driverless cars hoping to hit the market soon.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

FCC marks automated train safety progress

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) moved forward with two actions to help automatically control trains and avoid accidents.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said that the twin moves, which will help manage the rollout of the safety technology and preserve historic sites, was an important step forward for the effort.
“This agreement is an acknowledgement by the freight rail industry of the importance of environmental protection and historic preservation,” he said in a statement.
The Positive Train Control system, he added, “is a transformative technology that has the power to save lives, prevent injuries, and avoid extensive property damage.”

Volvo Group plans wirelessly charged bus line

If all goes according to plan, Volvo Group will build a 300- to 500-meter (roughly 1000 to 1640-foot) strip of electric road in central Gothenburg as early as 2015. This should complement Volvo's upcoming all-electric “ElectriCity” bus line, allowing the company to study the benefits and drawbacks of wireless charging as it applies to heavy vehicles.

Skylock, created by ex-Boeing and Jawbone engineers, is an intelligent device that keeps cyclists, and their property, safe and secure.

Skylock pairs with a smartphone allowing it to remain contextually aware. The device contains an accelerometer so that it can alert the owner to any unexpected movements (don’t worry the sensitivity is adjustable), and by comparing its readings to those of a rider’s phone Skylock is able to recognize spills and impacts. In the case of an accident the rider will receive a push notification. If there’s no response within a set time, this bike lock will assume the worst and alert emergency responders as well as specified contacts.

Drivewyze Adds Indiana, Alabama, Texas Locations

Indiana and Alabama have added the Drivewyze PreClear weigh station bypass service to 10 new locations while 12 more sites have been added in Texas, bringing the total number there to 18...
Drivewyze leverages cellular networks and the internet to add transponder-like functionality to tablets, smartphones and select electronic on-board recorders. Unlike traditional methods that use dedicated short-range communication transponders in every truck, Drivewyze doesn’t require the installation of additional equipment.

Driverless cars could cripple law enforcement budgets

Approximately 41 million people receive speeding tickets in the U.S. every year, paying out more than $6.2 billion per year, according to statistics from the U.S. Highway Patrol published at That translates to an estimate $300,000 in speeding ticket revenue per U.S. police officer every year.

Robot suit helps paraplegic patients

For most paraplegic patients, being able to walk again remains a dream. The HAL robot suit can help them regain a certain degree of mobility and activity. An expert team at the Centre for Neurorobotic Movement Training (ZNB) in Bochum has been testing the exoskeleton that was originally developed in Japan since 2011. With excellent results.

GM partners with Google for ride-sharing pilot program

General Motors Co. has partnered with Google to conduct a ride-sharing pilot program on Google’s main campus in Mountain View, Calif., the Detroit automaker said this week in its latest sustainability report.
The automaker said it is using its energy-efficient four-passenger Chevrolet Spark EV in the program, as it develops vehicle-sharing plans for corporate campuses, colleges and other outlets.

Self-driving cars pushed closer to reality in Europe

But moving from test drives to marketable products was held back by Article 8 of the 1968 Convention on Road Traffic, which stipulates: "Every driver shall at all times be able to control his vehicle or to guide his animals."
The amendment agreed last month by the U.N. Working Party on Road Traffic Safety would allow a car to drive itself, as long as the system "can be overridden or switched off by the driver". A driver must be present and able to take the wheel at any time.

10 Ways Intelligent Transportation Makes a Difference

Congested roadways, rising gas prices, deteriorating infrastructure, highway safety, escalating costs, and tight state and federal budgets -- these challenges, along with growing population, strain US roadways. This strain is why Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) are needed to help government and industry make better use of the current roadway network, while building a smarter infrastructure to meet future demands. To understand better the benefits ITS delivers, here are ten ways ITS can improve our lives.

Illinois Lawmakers Advance Ridesharing Rules

Illinois lawmakers have advanced a plan to create rules for unregulated ridesharing companies such as Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar.
An Illinois Senate committee voted to approve two pieces of legislation this week. The proposals would create two tiers of regulations for the ridesharing industry, which operates primarily in larger cities like Chicago.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Survey of Public Opinion About Connected Vehicles in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia

The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute has released a report that examines public opinion of connected vehicle technologies, including levels of awareness of the technologies and the perceived benefits.

Exploring Racial Bias in Drivers' Behavior at Pedestrian Crossings

The Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium has released a report that explores drivers’ behavior when African American and White research team members crossed the street as pedestrians.

RFP: IDEA Program Announcement 2014: Funding Proposals Now Being Accepted

TRB’s Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) annual program announcement solicits funding proposals for the upcoming review cycles. The announcement explains the IDEA programs, describes the types of eligible projects and their funding structures, suggests general areas for which IDEA proposals can be submitted, and provides guidelines and forms for submitting proposals.

NCHRP IDEA proposals are due September 1st and March 1st, depending on which of the two funding cycles is targeted.
The Safety IDEA program has only one review cycle per year; Safety IDEA proposals are due September 16, 2014.

TRB Webinar: Roundabout Accessibility – What Designers Should Know About National Research and Policy

TRB will conduct a webinar on May 28, 2014, from 1:00pm to 3:00pm ET that will cover accessibility challenges at roundabouts for pedestrians with vision disabilities. Webinar panelists will present a framework for evaluating accessibility at a complex intersection and discuss the impacts of site geometry and operational characteristics on the accessibility of the site for blind pedestrians. Participants must register in advance of the webinar, and there is a fee for non-TRB Sponsor or non-TRB Sustaining Affiliate employees.

2014 Student Essay Competition

The deadline for the 2014 Student Essay Competition is fast approaching. There are just 10 days left to submit your essay! ITS America and the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) are proud to once again sponsor this opportunity for students to win cash and gain international recognition for their innovative ideas on the future of ITS. Winners will be invited to attend the 2014 ITS World Congress in Detroit, Michigan September 7-11 and rub elbows with the industry's elite.

Ohio Department of Transportation Begins New Social Media Campaign for Roadway Safety

The Ohio Department of Transportation has joined in, on a social media campaign to protect the safety of construction, and maintenance workers operating on roadways.
They say 23 workers across the nation are killed every month while working on the side of the road.
Ohio's "Move Over Law" now requires motorists to slow down and shift lanes when approaching construction, maintenance and vehicles parked on the roadside with flashing lights, whenever possible.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Oshkosh works to develop driverless trucks for Marine Corps

The Pentagon's goal of having thousands of driverless military vehicles for use in combat zones and supply missions is closer to becoming reality as Oshkosh Corp. and others develop the technology aimed at keeping troops out of harm's way.
This week, Oshkosh is displaying some of its autonomous vehicle technology — such as sensors and computer systems that can control driverless trucks — at a trade show in Orlando, Fla., sponsored by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International...
 "They picked up on the system really fast, and the unmanned convoy was able to keep up with the manned vehicles," said Thomas Pilarski, a principal investigator with the National Robotics Engineering Center at Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Carnegie Mellon is working with Oshkosh and others in developing autonomous military vehicles.

Friday, May 16, 2014

ARTBA’s Student Transportation Video Contest

The 2014 contest is now open and accepting applications.
Submit a video for a chance to win a $500 cash prize!
There has been a lot of talk about transportation and infrastructure lately, ranging from debates in high school to debates in Congress. The American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) would like to know what you think. Now in its fourth year, the Transportation Video Contest has just opened, and students of all ages are encouraged to apply!
Video Submission Deadline: August 1, 2014

Surveillance cameras save SEPTA $11 million

The 17,659 surveillance cameras SEPTA has in its vehicles and stations have contributed to a significant decrease in the amount of money SEPTA spends on injury and damages claims, and in a climate where every dollar counts, that savings is especially significant.
Between fiscal years 2012 and 2013, the payout SEPTA made on claims dropped by $11 million, and in this fiscal year, SEPTA is looking to save an additional four or five percent, meaning they’ll spend about $2 million less than they paid out last year.
“Not only is the pay out going down, but somewhat more importantly, the number of claims and the number of lawsuits is also going down,” said SEPTA's Acting General Counsel Gino Benedetti.

Who’s responsible when driverless cars run amok?

Here is what to expect. In cases of parking or traffic tickets, the owner of the car would most likely be held responsible for paying the ticket, even if the car and not the owner broke the law.
In the case of a crash that injures or kills someone, many parties would be likely to sue one another, but ultimately the car’s manufacturer, like Google or BMW, would probably be held responsible, at least for civil penalties.
Product-liability law, which holds manufacturers responsible for faulty products, tends to adapt well to new technologies, John Villasenor, a fellow at the Brookings Institution and a professor at University of California, Los Angeles, wrote in a paper last month proposing guiding principles for driverless-car legislation.

Bicycle share fact sheet

The prevalence of bicycles in a community is an indicator of our ability to provide affordable transportation, lower traffic congestion, reduce air pollution, increase mobility, and provide exercise to the world’s growing population. Bike-sharing programs are one way to get cycles to the masses.
In early 2014, some 600 cities in 52 countries host advanced bike-sharing programs, with a combined fleet of more than 570,000 bicycles.
Spain leads the world with 132 separate bike-share programs. Italy has 104, and Germany, 43.
In 2013, China was home to 82 bike-sharing programs, with a whopping combined fleet of some 380,000 bicycles.

UDOT Upgrades Signal Detection for Active Transportation Use

Motorists in St. George, Hurricane and Cedar City may notice new pavement markings at select intersections this week featuring a two-foot tall bicycle rider with a helmet. The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) is painting the symbols in conjunction with upgraded signal systems that detect not only motorized vehicles but also bicycles.
As UDOT works toward more comprehensive ways to optimize mobility and reach a goal of Zero Fatalities, the detection systems are making their way into urbanized areas where active transportation alternatives are becoming more common.

Auto industry revamp as a digital business work in progress

The auto industry is being revamped by connectivity and every part of the vehicle buying cycle is being affected, according to a Capgemini report.
The report, Cars Online 2014, is notable because it highlights the intersection of the auto industry, connectivity, the Internet of things and customer experience. The report also shows how a key industry is becoming digital.

Carnegie Mellon Will Test New Internet Architecture in Vehicular Network and for Delivering Online Video

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and three other institutions will test a next-generation Internet architecture they've developed in a vehicular network in Pittsburgh and in delivering online video on a national scale.
These deployments of the eXpressive Internet Architecture (XIA) are made possible by a two-year, $5 million award from the National Science Foundation's Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE). It is one of three new awards announced by the NSF that will allow research groups funded through NSF's Future Internet Architectures (FIA) program to extend the research they started in 2010 and move their architectures from the design stage to piloted deployments.

What Mobility and Transportation Associated Products and Apps Would be Helpful for People with Disabilities?

This online event is seeking input on mobility and transportation technology preferences and needs from transportation riders who have disabilities. By participating in this dialogue, you will assist us with identifying technology - based products and apps that enable all transit riders, especially people with mobility, hearing, vision, or intellectual disabilities to plan, navigate, and use transportation options in their communities including safely walking around as well as getting from one station to another.

Is this the safest bicycle ever? Smartbike brings GPS directions to your handlebars and even has a blind-spot detector

There are plenty of smartwatches and even self-driving cars, but now there is a smartbike.
The distinctive pushbike will connect with a smartphone app to put GPS technology on the handlebars, allowing riders to keep their eyes on the road.
Because the bike is connected, it will be able to track your performance and provide feedback to improve a journey.
Scroll down for video

Thomasville Tourism unveils computerized train tracking system

For several years, Thomasville Tourism director Mark Scott has had to estimate when a train would be chugging past the historic visitors' center in downtown.
Not anymore.
Thanks to an old police scanner and a computer program created by a railroad enthusiast in Charlotte, Scott can now pinpoint exactly when a train will pass by the oldest passenger depot in the state.

Backed By Google Ventures And Eric Schmidt, Urban Engines Wants To Solve Urban Congestion Using Data Intelligence

Prabhakar and Shivakumar have created a SaaS that any transportation authority can implement in order to track congestion.
Urban Engines’ software uses existing data from city transit systems and generates insights from spatial analytics to create a dynamic digital replica of a city’s transportation system. The software also helps cities implement incentive systems rooted in behavioral economics, which help increase commuter engagement and alleviate congestion during peak travel times with rewards for commuter shifts.
The data comes from a simple marker: when people swipe their cards or tokens to enter and exit a train or bus. This data is collected by subway systems and buses for payments processing but isn’t used to actually determine congestion. Urban Engines’ algorithms mash-up this data at scale, and can determine how crowded every bus or train is within a system, wait times, historical data and more. As Prabhakar explains, this is “crowd sensing” at its best.

Actuaries Grapple with Insurance Questions on Self-Driving Cars

The dream of a fully automated car stretches back to the 1939 World’s Fair, Stienstra said. The first actual autonomous car was called Stanley, Stanford University’s experimental vehicle that won the 2005 DAPRA Grand Challenge, traveling 132 autonomous miles through the Mojave Desert in six hours and fifty-four minutes.
Most automakers say they will have a version by 2020. Google says it will have a fully automated car by 2017. Some, such as Raj Rajkumar, director of the Carnegie Mellon-GM Autonomous Driving Collaborative Research Lab, estimate an autonomous package “might only add $5,000 to $7,000 to the sticker price.”

Volvo “Drive Me” Autonomous Cars Hit The Streets Of Sweden

If you live in Sweden and see a car with no driver, don’t freak out. It’s just the latest autonomous vehicle from Volvo, part of a project called Drive Me that is in full swing. The project is centered around Gothenberg, with the first of 100 planned pilot cars just taking to the streets.
Of course Volvo is not the first company to get their driverless car on the roads, as the Google Car has been in action on American roads for around five years now. Other car manufactures, ranging from Mercedes to GM, are working on their own autonomous car projects.
So, like it or not, the machines are coming – well actually, I guess they’re already here!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

GSA and NHTSA Launch Partnership to Test Vehicle Safety Devices

General Services Administration (GSA) and the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced they have teamed up to test and evaluate potential vehicle safety devices on all GSA leased vehicles. GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini and NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the initiative's launch this morning, delivering on the Administration’s commitment to ensuring driver and vehicle safety.

The Gi-Bike Is Electric, Foldable, And Looks Like The Future

The feature list is huge and includes a one second folding time, a carbon drive belt, electrical assistance for hills, and 40 miles of riding without recharging. It also includes a GPS tracking system that locks the bike when it’s out of a certain range and the battery can recharge your cellphone.

Car technology driving more sustainable transport system

Technology is enabling improvements in production and fuel efficiency, but also encouraging us to drive more sustainably and change the way we use and think about the car.
Our passion for autonomous mobility has seen global car production rise remorselessly from 38 million in 1997 to more than 65 million in 2013, according to the International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA), with all the pollution, climate change and health implications that has entailed.
While European production may have stagnated, emerging markets such as China and India are booming, as newly affluent middle-classes embrace the car as a symbol of material success.

Ericsson wins smart city integration deal with Vivo

Sweden’s Ericsson has won a contract from Brazilian operator Vivo that will see the vendor manage the deployment of smart parking and lighting solutions as part of Vivo’s digital city project in São Paolo. Ericsson will partner with specialist providers as the project’s lead systems integrator and will assume responsibility for design, installation and deployment as well as post-deployment managed services, operations and maintenance.
The new lighting system will monitor the power consumption of each street light and switch them on and off accordingly, Ericsson said. Remote monitoring will also enable cost efficiencies for the municipal authorities. Meanwhile the parking solution will monitor available parking spaces in the city.

Intel Invests in Self-Driving Car Technology

ZMP, a Japanese robotics company who in 2006 released the humanoid robot ‘nuvo’ and who is working on autonomous vehicle technology, has gained investment from Intel Capital.
While the exact amount invested hasn’t been disclosed the investment made from the Intel Capital Connected Car Fund will be used to help ZMP accelerate the development of autonomous and assisted driving technologies.

AT&T unveils Mobile Share plans for connected vehicles

AT&T announced Mobile Share Value plans for connected vehicles. Under the deal, cars will be treated as yet another device that can be connected to shared plans for additional $10 a month.
The first car maker to take part in this scheme is GM which 2015 Chevrolet Malibu will be its first car with AT&T-enabled LTE connectivity; 30 other Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles will follow up by the end of the year.

Why Smart Parking is a Cornerstone of Smart Cities

Here at FutureStructure part of our editorial mission is to explain the concept of the city as a system and to tell the stories of not only what cities build but how things are built and how the things cities build connect with everything else. As it turns out, parking is connected in some way to every facet of the city – water, waste, energy and transportation are all factors of a sustainable parking system. FutureStructure spoke to Rachel Yoka, Vice President, Strategic Business Planning and Sustainability at Tim Haas, a Philadelphia engineering and architectural design firm that specializes in developing unique and effective parking strategies for vibrant and sustainable communities.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Safety Technologies: The New Frontier

While we’re still years, if not decades, away from “driverless trucks,” many of the latest safety technologies on trucks and cars may help us get there – and even if they don’t, they’ll save a lot of lives in the meantime.
Yet despite all the collision avoidance, rollover prevention and other safety technology available today, the most important part of a safe trucking operation remains the person behind the wheel, the driver.

De Blasio Looks Toward Sweden for Road Safety

In a bid to reverse generations of roadway unruliness, Mayor Bill de Blasio has put the strategy, known as Vision Zero, at the forefront of his transportation and policing agendas, targeting 2024 as the first year with no traffic deaths.

The Robot Car of Tomorrow May Just Be Programmed to Hit You

Suppose that an autonomous car is faced with a terrible decision to crash into one of two objects. It could swerve to the left and hit a Volvo sport utility vehicle (SUV), or it could swerve to the right and hit a Mini Cooper. If you were programming the car to minimize harm to others–a sensible goal–which way would you instruct it go in this scenario?
As a matter of physics, you should choose a collision with a heavier vehicle that can better absorb the impact of a crash, which means programming the car to crash into the Volvo. Further, it makes sense to choose a collision with a vehicle that’s known for passenger safety, which again means crashing into the Volvo.

Driverless cars may boost binge drinking, destroy jobs, says latest ‘Freakonomics’ book

Driverless cars could turn out to be a scourge on humanity.
They may lead to a worldwide surge in binge drinking since drunk driving would no longer be a worry. They also could be vulnerable to hacking by terrorists who send every self-driving vehicles in the western U.S. plunging into the Grand Canyon.
And by making car travel easier, driverless vehicles could lead to more congestion and pollution.
Those are a few of the points made by economist Steven D. Levitt and journalist Stephen J. Dubner, known for their book “Freakonomics”, in their latest tome, “Think Like A Freak,” which was released Monday...
After having their fun with the many potential negatives of self-driving cars, the authors note a big potential benefit: reducing traffic deaths.

Speed and Red Light Camera Laws

The Council of State Governments has released a report that reviews associated laws and uses of traffic cameras around the United States.

Bicycle Safer Journey

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center has released a series of children’s educational videos and supplementary materials that introduces bicycle safety skills.

Innovator: March/April 2014

The U.S. Federal Highway Administration has released the latest issue of its Innovator newsletter, which is designed to help advance widespread implementation of innovations and technologies in the highway community and help chronicle a nationwide movement to improve the way highways are built.

2012 Pedestrians Traffic Safety Fact Sheet

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released a fact sheet that summarizes the number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities in the United States in 2012.

2015 TRB 94th Annual Meeting and Transportation Research Record Call for Papers

TRB standing committees have issued calls for papers for the TRB 94th Annual Meeting, January 11-15, 2015, in Washington, D.C, and the Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board (TRR). While papers addressing any relevant aspect of transportation research will be considered, some committees are soliciting papers in specific subject areas to help potential authors identify topics for their papers.

Monday, May 12, 2014

GPS big data: making cities safer for cyclists

Urban planners in cities around the world, including London, are buying data from the cycle-logging website Strava to gain insight into where and when people ride and help to design better, safer infrastructure.
Strava uses GPS bike computers or smartphones to log where and how fast people ride, then compiles league tables for thousands of “segments” - sections of road anything from a few hundred metres to tens of miles long.

Now Available! Presentations from the Public Meeting and Webinar on the Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program (April 30, 2014)

The PowerPoint presentations from the recently held USDOT free public meeting and webinar on Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program are now available on the ITS JPO Website (see below). This public meeting was held on April 30, 2014, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm in Washington, DC.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Modes Less Traveled—Bicycling and Walking to Work in the United States: 2008–2012

The U.S. Census Bureau released the report, “Modes Less Traveled — Bicycling and Walking to Work in the United States: 2008-2012,” which highlights the trends and socio-economic and geographic differences between motorized and non-motorized commutes. This report — the Census Bureau’s first focusing only on biking and walking to work — is one of many that examines specific aspects of commuting, including workplace location, working from home, long commutes and specific travel modes. The figures in this release come from data collected from questions in the Census Bureau’s 2008-2012 American Community Survey (ACS).