Monday, September 29, 2014

Nashville airport first in U.S. to allow Uber, Lyft

Uber and Lyft drivers currently pick up passengers at many major U.S. airports, but airport operators and taxi services have consistently claimed that they are operating illegally. The service is banned at airports in LosAngeles, San Francisco, Memphis and Raleigh-Durham.

"This is a major milestone to embrace ever-evolving technology and accommodate new app-based transportation service operators," said Rob Wigington, MNAA president and CEO.

Forensics and the Internet of Things: the car of the future will be a data goldmine

Telematics and communications capabilities open up opportunities for shoring-up security for fleet management, protecting the occupants of the car and improving safety for individuals in high-risk situations – such as those working in law enforcement or for government agencies.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Combine Uber With Driverless Cars, and Nine Out of Ten Vehicles Become Obsolete

A pair of researchers from the University of Texas have published a report outlining the possible impacts of Shared Automated Vehicles (SAVs). For the study, the team simulated a hypothetical cab service of self-driven cars like the kind Google has already developed. They found that in a dense enough urban area — this example used Austin, Texas — the system would replace about nine out of ten vehicles while “maintaining a reasonable level of service,” as measured by the time people spent waiting for a ride. The test was run entirely on paper, modeled mathematically using Austin’s existing daily traffic data.

Personal Rapid Transit Is Probably Never Going to Happen

The most impressive personal rapid transit system to date is the one built (as a government-funded experiment) on the West Virginia University campus in Morgantown back in the 1970s. The Morgantown PRT reaches five stations on more than eight miles of dedicated track, with pods that each seat eight people. Riders indicate their destination, and the pod can skip intermediary stops to get there (though during off-peak hours it waits a few minutes for others going to the same place). During the school year, some 15,000 people ride each day.

Computer-driven trains returning to Metro’s Red Line five years after deadly rail crash

Starting early next month, in a process known as automatic train operation, computers will take over driving a half-dozen Red Line trains daily during non-peak hours, Metro General Manager Richard Sarles said. By March, all Red Line trains will be driven by computers, a move Sarles called “a milestone accomplishment.”

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Google Airports and Cities Could Follow Driverless Car Project – Google 2.0

If the idea of a self-driving car from Google gave you the creeps, how about an entire city custom built by the search engine giant? It sounds a bit far-fetched, but is nonetheless exactly what could come to pass if Google’s long-term vision becomes anything more than a distant dream.

Natural Gas Vehicles Subject to Large Recall

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has acknowledged a safety recall notice from General Motors that affects more than 3,000 GMC Savana and Chevy Express vans with compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel systems.

Safety experts to pedestrians: Put the smartphones down and pay attention

What is billed as the first mobile phone sidewalk in China was recently installed in Chongqing. The marked sidewalk is an attempt to reduce pedestrian accidents, local media reported.

Driverless cars to ease city campus parking in Newcastle, Australia

Dr Ellem acknowledged the university faced a problem with limited transport options available from many suburbs but likened building more car parks to "buying bigger pants to lose weight".

"If you start supplying parking spaces, people will demand them, and you'll never be able to build enough," said Dr Ellem, whose views do not represent those of the University or the Tom Farrell Institute.

The autonomous vehicles, which are already being developed by most car manufacturers, would provide "low-cost access from the suburbs to the city at a price that is competitive with private passenger cars", he said.

Auto insurance questions abound

While car crashes may decrease due to drivers not being distracted, speeding or following cars too closely, the costs of replacing damaged parts is likely to increase because of the complexity of the components. Therefore, it is not yet clear whether the reduction in the number of crashes will lead to a decrease in the cost of auto insurance overall.

MIT-bred technology would let cars help each other avoid traffic jams

RoadRunner is designed to solve the problem of congested roads, with or without a government charging tolls for driving in crowded areas during rush hour. Once it detects that a particular route is crowded, RoadRunner generates driving directions to approaching cars that recommend a different way to go.

Mobility Transformation Center focuses on connected-car safety tech

“(MTF) is a simulated city and a controlled environment where we can actually test vehicles,” Sweatman said. “It is a dense, urban environment where we can do repeatable testing. MTF will enable U of M to be a leader in developing standards for these vehicles as we go forward.”

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Carnegie Mellon's NREC Takes Autonomy to the Water!

Carnegie Mellon's NREC is riding a new wave of autonomy research! We’re acquiring a 30 foot boat as a development platform for autonomous maritime systems. Our goal is to expand our unparalleled expertise in autonomous ground vehicles to autonomous surface ships.

Honolulu Is Building America's First Fully Driverless RAIL Transit System

HART is working on an alternative to that miserable commute: a 20-mile elevated rail line—a first for the islands—that will whisk passengers between downtown and outlying communities in a fraction of the time it currently takes to crawl through rush hour traffic. With the first trips planned for 2017, the $5.2 billion Honolulu Rail Transit Project is expected to reduce congestion by 18 percent, taking as many as 40,000 automobiles off the road and replacing them with a fleet of four-car trains that can accommodate up to 800 riders, with racks for both bicycles and surfboards.

Tesla CEO Musk Sees Fully Autonomous Car Ready in Five or Six Years

Tesla chief Elon Musk is touting the increased safety of autonomous vehicles, saying that they will improve safety by "a factor of 10." Musk also believes that driverless cars will be fully operational in the next six years, saying the need to perfect "machine vision," and advancements in sensor technology are the only obstacles to seeing the cars fully operational. Musk says the company hopes to build more charging and service stations to keep up with expected demand.

Self-Driving Cars Face Serious Roadblocks, Experts Say

"The technology to validate software systems this complex does not exist today," said Raj Rajkumar, a professor in the robotics department at Carnegie Mellon University. "If we were to switch to completely automated vehicles [everywhere], that would be one thing," he says. "But it's another when they have to coexist with many vehicles of varying capabilities."

USDOT Secretary Foxx talks about CMU's Transportation Deployment Success

Carnegie Mellon University was the only university represented at last week's Infrastructure Investment Structure Summit hosted at the U.S. Treasury Department by the Secretaries of Transportation and Treasury. Secretary Foxx talks about CMU's successful model in Pittsburgh researching, developing and deploying technology-based solutions for region's infrastructure, including reducing traffic congestion and reducing the cost of road and bridge maintenance.  CMU's Traffic21 Institute and Technologies for Safe and Efficient Transportation, The USDOT National University Transportation Center for Safety, work together to solve real world traffic problems in Pittsburgh. 

CMU's Raj Rajkumar to speak at Washington Post's America Answers Forum

Driverless cars are coming. At America Answers: Fix My Commute, hear Carnegie Mellon University's Raj Rajkumar talk about how they will work and State Farm CEO Edward Rust on how they will change insurance. Join us on Tuesday, October 21st to hear perspectives from these and other speakers from around the country.

Audi gets first permit to test self-driving cars on California roads

“Audi is a driving force behind the research taking automated driving from science fiction to pre-production readiness,” Scott Keogh, president of Audi of America, said in a statement. “Obtaining the first permit issued by the state of California shows that we intend to remain the leader in this vital technology frontier.”

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Lessons From the Past for a Future in Smart Cars

How did cars become “computers on wheels,” so automated that some are about to start driving themselves? The story begins 45 years ago with a quest to make cars safer and the battle over the air bag.

Google's driverless car avoids bump in the road with temporary steering wheel

Google says it "had a plan ready", and that plan was to fit a temporary steering wheel to its cars. That obviously contradicts Google's master plan for a totally autonomous vehicle, but after testing it should be able to ditch the wheel - or at least that's the hope.

Emerging apps designed to promote traffic safety compete in AT&T-sponsored contest

Starting Wednesday, the public can vote for their favorite entries in the AT&T-sponsored challenge. Eight winners will share prize money totaling $50,000, and ten prizes will be awarded in all. Voting ends Sept. 30; winners will be announced Oct. 21.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

EMS will benefit from smartphones and connected vehicles

With mobile technology in the pockets of both patients and EMS providers, Dia Gainor, executive director of the National Association of State EMS Officials, sees a future that digitally connects roadways, infrastructures, emergency response systems and responders in new ways.

Up-to-the-minute maps will be critical for autonomous cars

"Mapping is going to be critical in the future," Keller said during an interview at the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress here. "It's almost a symbiotic relationship between the auto companies and what we need and what we're asking from the maps.

Ford and Automatic sync up to improve car connectivity

Ford Sync-equipped vehicles will soon connect to the Automatic Smart Driving Monitor and app, with eyes-free Siri one of the new perks. Automatic Labs has partnered with Ford, allowing its Automatic Smart Driving Monitor to integrate with the Ford Sync voice-command system and enabling new features and increased driver safety.

Google Driverless Future Vision at Odds With Automakers

While Google’s cash pile tops that of individual automakers, Toyota’s $41 billion, Volkswagen’s $44 billion and GM’s $29 billion ensure they can fund technology advances. That gives manufacturers the resources to provide a counterbalance to Google, said William “Red” Whittaker, director of the Field Robotics Center at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh.

“No one has a monopoly on this technology,” Whittaker said. “The big global OEMs, they run deep, they run strong, and they aren’t fooling around.”

LaunchCMU: A Technology Startup and Research Showcase

Carnegie Mellon's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship cordially invites you to

A Technology Startup and Research Showcase
Roboburgh, the Sequel

Friday, October 3, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

Toyota's New Transit Idea Is Like A Bikeshare For Tiny Electric Cars

Small, weird-looking smartcars are nothing new; there are plenty of them on the road, especially in cities where space is at a premium. But Toyota has launched something that makes great use of its zippy three-wheeled i-Road vehicles: a new car-sharing service that integrates with a city’s existing transit system.

Cars that drive themselves starting to chat with each other

An Acura RLX sedan demonstrated an unusual way to tow another car this week: the vehicles were not physically attached. The second car drove itself, following instructions beamed over by the first in a feat of technology that indicates a new stage in automation is happening faster than many expected.

So What Exactly Is a 'Road Diet'?

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced an 18-month campaign to improve road safety across the country. One of the things DOT plans to do is create a guide to "road diets" that it will distribute to communities and local governments. DOT says that road diets can reduce traffic crashes by an average of 29 percent, and that in some smaller towns the design approach can cut crashes nearly in half.

Friday, September 12, 2014

[INFOGRAPHIC] Autonomous Cars Could Save The US $1.3 Trillion Dollars A Year

All the hype aside, what real impact will autonomous cars have in the coming years? ...

...Using data from Morgan Stanley, the guys at NeoMam Studios put together this infographic to explore the issue:

Bike City

Courtney Ehrlichman makes the commute to her Carnegie Mellon University job with her young daughter on an Xtracycle fitted with a Hooptie. That’s a bicycle designed to haul cargo with a child carrier attached. And it’s part of the changing street scene in Pittsburgh...

...Pittsburgh has become a top city for bike and pedestrian commuters, according to a recent national benchmarking report by the Alliance for Biking and Walking ... Only Boston, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco have higher rates of combined bike and pedestrian commuting.

GM makes a U-turn on the connected car highway: Goodbye, MyLink, hello Apple and Google

If you bought a new 2015 Chevy, you’ve probably noticed it didn’t come with any of the streaming and infotainment apps GM promised. The reason? GM has decided to leave that development work to Apple and Google.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Pros and Cons of Driverless Cars [#Infographic]

Autonomous cars could bring faster commutes, fewer crashes and greater fuel savings to motorists. So far, California, Florida, Michigan, Nevada and Washington, D.C., allow testing of driverless cars. If you’re curious to know how these cars operate on the road, The Washington Post chronicled the adventures of an autonomous car on the streets of D.C.

5 smart technologies that could save time and lives on highways and at intersections

Cellphones that warn drivers when people are crossing in front of them. Bicycles and cars that communicate with traffic lights. Sensors in cars that quickly alert other drivers to black ice, potholes or other hazards. A low-priced camera system that brings high-tech automatic braking to the masses.

Foxx: New U.S. DOT Bike/Ped Initiative “Critical to Future of the Country”

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx just announced to the Pro-Walk Pro-Bike Pro-Place conference in Pittsburgh that the department is “putting together the most comprehensive, forward-leaning initiative U.S. DOT has ever put forward on bike/ped issues.” He said the initiative “is critical to the future of the country.”

San Francisco looks to car-share to reduce city vehicle fleet

“Anytime we can reduce our carbon footprint and potentially realize savings as a city, we should pursue those ideas aggressively,” said Supervisor Mark Farrell, who introduced the ordinance along with Supervisor John Avalos.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

WTS International Policy Symposium

What are the critical transportation topics being discussed at the highest levels in the public and private sectors? To find out, join WTS International on October 1, 2014, for the 2014 Agenda for Moving Forward, a dynamic policy symposium to explore transportation issues in an ever-changing transportation world. Examining major trends, leading industry experts will present their latest thoughts and findings on the future of transportation at this pivotal moment in time.

CMU-developed smart headlights help drivers cut down on glare

While the headlight has been around for more than 130 years, a new smart headlight developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute could have the potential to curb late night accidents by allowing drivers to take full advantage of their high beams without fear of blinding other motorists and reducing the glare that can occur when driving in snow or rain at night.

Srinivasa Narasimhan, associate professor of robotics, said with the system, headlights can actually be made brighter than they are today without causing distractions for other drivers on the road.

Universal map accuracy will be crucial to autonomous vehicles, transport official says

Maxime Flament, head of sector for SafeMobility at ERTICO-ITS Europe, said the sourcing, processing and maintenance of mapping data in this digital space will need to be standardized. ERTICO is “a network of Intelligent Transport Systems and Services stakeholders in Europe,” according to its website.

Letting Your Car Find a Spot and Park Itself

Technology being honed by French auto parts maker Valeo uses a dozen ultrasonic sound-wave sensors, 360-degree cameras and a laser scanner to safely park within a few centimeters of other vehicles. Then, when you're done with dinner or a business meeting, the car will return to you after another swipe of the thumb.

IBM Helps Sao Paulo Unify Traffic Data and Services for Nearly 4,000 Miles of Highways

IBM and The Agencia de Transporte do Estado de Sao Paulo (ARTESP), the regulatory agency that oversees public transportation for the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil, are announcing the opening of the Information Control Center designed to help ensure the quality of service provided by local operators of the state's highways. The center will unify traffic data, incident management and service delivery through the use of advanced analytics to help ensure safer and more efficient travel for a population of 20 million across 271 cities.

UI waiting for approval on driverless vehicle institute

The proposal comes the same week Carnegie Mellon University made headlines with a driverless Cadillac SRX. The 2011 car modified by university engineers successfully transported a Pennsylvania congressman 33 miles to the Pittsburgh International Airport last week. Development for the vehicle, which uses radar, laser rangefinders and infrared cameras to detect traffic, started in 2008 after Carnegie Mellon won $2 million in a competition hosted by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Ford says industry must look at global gridlock

Car-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, and better public transportation and bicycle-friendly cities can help, said Ford, who has cultivated a reputation for environmental stewardship that might appear unusual for an auto executive.

USDOT: Connected vehicles promise safer, more responsive travel

This winter, USDOT wrapped up the largest V2V pilot program ever, with 3,000 cars on the road. Some were tested on the streets of Ann Arbor over the past two years. This effort brought together major automakers, technology companies, and leading academic research programs.

This pilot program provided us with such valuable data that we then took a key step forward in implementing V2V; in February of this year, we announced that DOT will begin work on a rule that will require V2V technology in all new vehicles.

Toyota Steers Away From Driverless Cars, Toward Safety-Enriched Cars

"Toyota will not be developing a driverless car," Seigo Kuzumaki said. Instead, various Toyota executives discussed the company's efforts toward what they call an "Automated Highway Driving Assist" (AHDA) system at the fourth annual Toyota Advanced Safety Seminar, held yesterday in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The system would use three key technologies to bolster a driver's capabilities during a typical commute.

Cameras on metro Detroit freeways will assist safety technology research

MDOT officials said work would start with installation of special communication equipment on 50 miles of I-96 and I-696, stretching from U.S.-23 near Brighton to I-94 in St. Clair Shores. The project will eventually cover portions of U.S.-23 and I-75, altogether covering 120 miles.

Monday, September 8, 2014

San Francisco's Public Transit Agency Is In Talks To Build A Smartphone Ticketing App

The San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency is in negotiations with vendors to build a mobile app that can take payments and replace fare cards for the Muni light rail system, two agency officials told BI Intelligence, Business Insider's subscription research service. 

Barra commits GM to car-to-car link

The company will deploy so-called vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems as standard on the 2017 Cadillac CTS sedan, and a brand new Cadillac will get "super cruise" technology controlling the vehicle's acceleration, braking and steering on the freeway.

World of intelligent vehicles meets in Detroit this week

The world’s top minds on vehicle-to-vehicle communication converge in Detroit today for the Intelligent Transportation Systems World Congress.

There will be hundreds of presentations, panel discussions and exhibits at Cobo Center through Thursday. The mission: to better understand how intelligent cars, trucks, buses, trains and governments can accelerate the infrastructure needed to avoid accidents and reduce congestion.

Will NASA Ames workers be 'guinea pigs' for Google?

Ames Federal Employees Union president Leland Stone says Ames employees will be subjected to the "potentially risky" experiment this fall, when Google is slated to begin running its self-driving car prototypes -- without live drivers to take the wheel if needed -- around the Ames campus, where more than 2,000 people work for NASA.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Toyota Not Expecting Driverless Cars Soon

Your car soon will do more to help avoid a crash. As for one day leaving all the driving to the vehicle while you relax in back, don’t get your hopes up. That’s the message from safety executives at Toyota, who on Thursday promised by 2017 to have collision-prevention technology installed across its U.S. line-up, in both mainstream and luxury vehicles.

Ohio, Pennsylvania and West VirginiaTraffic Incident Management (TIM) Conference

Registration is now available for the (FREE) October 15th tri-state TIM conference in Wintersville, Ohio. This is a first-of-its-kind event that will include national speakers as well as TIM leaders from Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia.

Collegiate Student Safety Technology Design Competition

The 24th International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles (ESV) Conference Organizers welcome you to a competition that offers unique opportunities to students who compete. The SSTDC is open to all teams consisting of university - level seniors and/or graduate students, guided by one faculty advisor within our ESV member countries.

São Paulo introduces Internet-enabled buses as part of transport overhaul

As well as Wi-fi, the new buses have travelcard validation gates equipped with cameras with facial recognition features that match the ticket holder's face with the photo registered with the city bus authority. This is to prevent fraudulent use of temporary or travelcards reserved for older or disabled passengers.

The Most Important Transportation Innovation of the Decade Is the Smartphone

Almost all movement in a major city now begins with a phone. Mobile apps and interfaces help people do everything from sort through route options to locate an approaching bus or hail a taxi or for-hire vehicle. While cities and transportation regulators have released data and encouraged innovation through contests and hackathons, no U.S. city has aggressively pursued development of an integrated app that enables users to plan, book, and pay for trips across multiple travel modes. Instead, it's the likes of Uber and Google Maps and CityMapper and RideScout that have demonstrated what is possible, and controlled the movement market to date.

Redesigning transportation: can drivers end their love affair with cars?

Joe Simpson, research lead at Car Design Research, who supervises student research for the college’s vehicle design master’s program, tells his students to “forget about the current architecture of the car and think more systemically about how it fits into cities of the future”.

New driverless car technology – such as Google’s – is causing a paradigm shift in design, he said. Driverless cars no longer need a steering wheel. The interior and exterior might be designed differently and the space can be “multi-functional and multi-personal”, he explained.

Autonomous drive expert says self-drive cars are a “living laboratory”

Practice makes perfect, and constant testing and evaluation is bound to make self-drive vehicles a reality. That’s the opinion of Alberto Broggi, a respected expert in autonomous drive vehicles who spoke with the NY Daily News Autos about Google’s self-drive car, and what lies ahead in this cutting-edge field of transportation.


The US-EU SWG is conducting its 1st joint workshop to solicit feedback on the topics concerning the deployment, evaluation, standards and adoption of sustainable transportation practices. The participants will be introduced to the white papers by the US and EU experts, followed by an open discussion session, with topics and questions designed to identify gaps in research and challenges and opportunities for co-operation between the US and EU activities related to the topics mentioned above.

Robot Dramas: Autonomous Machines in the Limelight on Stage and in Society

Congressman Bill Shuster, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, invited researchers from Carnegie Mellon University to bring their NSF-supported autonomous Cadillac SRV -- one of the most advanced in the world -- to Washington. There, the driverless car chauffeured a few dozen U. S. Congressmen (and a couple of reporters) from Capitol Hill to the Pentagon and back, on urban roads and congested highways - a non-trivial task even for a human.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

ITS America Complete Streets Symposium 2014

Complete Streets Symposium
October 20-21, 2014 | Atlanta, Georgia

In states, cities and local communities across the country, a movement is underway to make our nation's transportation network safer, smarter and more livable for all users -- including drivers, bicyclists, commercial vehicle operators, transit operators and riders, and pedestrians of all ages. Attend the next installment of ITS America's regional event series, the Atlanta Complete Streets Symposium, to learn firsthand about the latest developments in Complete Street technology, ITS solutions and public space applications.

MIT highlights benefits of cab sharing

A team led by visiting researcher Paolo Santi and Carlo Ratti, head of the group, explains that that such a system would translate to cuts in emissions and traffic congestion, as well as untold improvements to the sanity of commuters stuck in rush-hour traffic.

Autonomous braking 'biggest safety improvement since seat belt'

Edmund King, president of the AA, added: “It is incredibly impressive technology. If you look at things in the past from the seat belt to airbags to anti-lock braking systems, every so often a technology comes along that breaks the mould and is a great advancement in road safety and we certainly believe this is one of the future technologies that will make a great difference.”

How Car Companies Are Trying to Win Back Millennials

If Millennials are too busy taking selfies to care about cars, then perhaps an ability to snap selfies in cars could lure them back? That's the insight of Loumidi's app, and it's this third trend—tech obsession—that the VW Electronics Research Laboratory I'm touring is meant to address. Based in Belmont, California, ERL is just a 20-minute drive up Route 101 from the campuses of Facebook, Google, and Apple. VW has decided that if it can't beat the smartphone set, it will join them; indeed, it works hand-in-hand with several nearby companies, even having one employee embedded full-time with the chipmaker Nvidia.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


At its meeting in Pittsburgh, PA, November 2012, the AASHTO Board of Directors established the AASHTO Transportation Vanguard Award 2014, to acknowledge a young leader who exemplifies a commitment to excellence in the implementation of innovative technologies and processes.  The award was created in honor of the late Jim McMinimee, a leader in the field of transportation who developed cutting-edge solutions both in his work at Utah DOT and as AASHTO’s SHRP2 Implementation Manager.  We hope to honor someone who also embodies this spirit and commitment in their work.

CMU receives $5.6M NSF grant for cybersecurity education

Carnegie Mellon University was awarded a $5.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation through the CyberCorps Scholarship for Service, a federal program that aims to strengthen the workforce charged with protecting the nation’s critical information infrastructure.

Siemens Launches Mobility IDEA Contest to Accelerate Development of Intelligent Traffic Technologies

Siemens Road and City Mobility announced the launch of its Mobility IDEA (Improving Design and Engineering for All) Contest, an initiative to find innovative ideas to help solve five of the toughest challenges facing the traffic industry. Contest winners will be invited to participate in a product prototyping workshop with Siemens technology experts. Siemens will also reward the top three universities by number of submissions with a traffic control software grant worth $150,000 to help train future traffic engineers.

Driverless vehicles: The end of the road for the trucker?

"We are facing completely new models for freight traffic," said Prof. Sabina Jeschke, director of the faculty of information management in mechanical engineering at RWTH Aachen University in Germany. These new intelligent cars "are able to initiate and organize their collection, transport and delivery at their destination. They are thus able to react flexibly to spontaneous situations like traffic jams or increased cargo volumes by negotiating new delivery times with each other or customers."