Thursday, May 28, 2015

SPREAD THE BIKE MONTH JOY ALL YEAR LONG

May is National Bike Month, sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more folks to giving biking a try.
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Electric-Car Future Is Coming, Just More Slowly Than Predicted: Consensus

Sales of plug-in electric cars in the U.S. (and around the world) will grow as battery costs fall steadily. At the same time, gasoline-vehicle prices will be rising to cover the increasing costs of technology that lets them use less fuel, to keep their makers in compliance with steadily higher corporate average fuel economy rules through 2025. Bloomberg reporter Jeff Green includes in his piece a quotation from Daniel Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign--which lobbies for regulations that require more-efficient vehicles. “The ground is being laid for an electric car future,” Becker told him. “But it’s not an electric car present.” Many observers, including this author, feel that the true "hockey stick" upswing in sales of plug-in cars won't come until they are roughly price competitive with gasoline vehicles in the same segment.

New Mich. group wants to take driverless-car mantle from Silicon Valley

The new group, MICHauto, unveiled an initiative today to promote Detroit and Michigan for development of a new generation of mobility, including self-driving cars. The coalition includes Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford and General Motors CEO Mary Barra. The effort is a response to Silicon Valley’s growing automotive influence as companies such as Google Inc. and Apple Inc. develop driverless vehicles alongside electric-car maker Tesla Motors Inc. Michigan led the U.S. last year in connected-auto projects with 45, to California’s 31, the group said.

Uber will set up headquarters at S.F.’s Mission Bay

Uber will start construction in the fall on its new Mission Bay campus, a corporate headquarters development that will eventually be able to accommodate more than 3,000 workers.

Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Deployment Coalition to host Public Workshop following ITS America's Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh


The newly formed Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Deployment Coalition will hold a workshop to form five technical working groups to focus on separate aspects of V2I deployment activities and increase stakeholder participation. The workshop is open to the public and will be held at the Omni William Penn Hotel on June 4 and 5 in Pittsburgh, Pa. Formed earlier this year, the V2I DC includes the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the Institute of Transportation Engineers and ITS America. 

Ford begins public testing of U.K. car-sharing service


Ford is asking 2,000 people to register for a free service in the next phase of testing of its GoDrive car-sharing service in London, England. The service offers one-way trip options in its fleet of zero-emission and low-emission Ford cars. Ford is reportedly also testing the service in the U.S., Germany and India.

Audi's self-driving "super car" tests future technologies


Audi's R8 e-tron "electronic super car," which debuted at CES Asia, features a suite of sensors that give the car the ability to drive itself. Audi calls the car a "high-tech mobile laboratory" intended to test technologies "that will eventually make it to production vehicles," Andrew Griffin writes.

Chevy to debut Apple, Google integration in 2016 models


Fourteen 2016 Chevrolet models will have Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto capabilities embedded in them as they roll out later this year, General Motors CEO Mary Barra said. She added that the technology will not be limited to luxury cars "because we want to make that technology available to everyone."

CMU, Pittsburgh's Surtrac program aims to ease traffic congestion

“At the city, we have to be careful about not putting something in that's not thoroughly tested,” Purcell said. “We have to make sure everything we put on the street is going to work all the time.” CMU's studies on the East Liberty intersections show vehicles spend 40 percent less time idling and reduce emissions by 21 percent. Other partners in the installation include the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission Regional Traffic Signal Program and CMU's Traffic 21.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The USDOT Seeks Applicants for an ITS Transportation Specialist


The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is seeking a Transportation Specialist for the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Joint Program Office (JPO). The position is located in Washington, DC.  This position requires experience in analyzing and reviewing ITS policies and collaborating with public and private transportation stakeholders on the implementation, commercialization, and communication of ITS policies.

Wi-Fi to account for surge in mobile traffic, analysts forecast


The amount of video traffic moving over mobile networks will increase eight-fold through 2019 and will soon account for 70% of all traffic, Juniper Research predicted. The majority of the traffic will move over Wi-Fi connections, with cellular accounting for just 41% of mobile data use. "Wi-Fi is not just being used for data offload, but also to maintain call connection quality in challenging network topologies," Juniper said.

WEBINAR: Putting America's Infrastructure Back in the Lead


Tuesday, June 9, 2015
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. (EDT)
Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center
55 Broadway, Kendall Square
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Join Rosabeth Moss Kanter, chair and director of the Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative and professor at Harvard Business School, for her talk on America's infrastructure. 

Navigant: Grid balancing could mean profit for plug-in EV owners


Plug-in electric vehicle owners who participate in frequency regulation or demand-response programs could earn back more of the cost of ownership of their vehicle, says analyst Scott Shepard of Navigant Research. He adds that "plug-in electric vehicles represent an increase in load that could be used to capture renewable electricity generation and help balance generation with demand, theoretically making electricity marginally cheaper and cleaner." 

Technology is becoming more important to infrastructure innovation


The American Road & Transportation Builders Association recently released a list of 25 innovative transportation projects, including the Interstate 4 Ultimate project in Florida that adopted dynamic toll lane technology. "The 'pick and shovel' enterprise has long been replaced with a high-tech industry that is driven by some of the nation's brightest minds," said Pete Ruane, president and CEO of ARTBA.

Analyst: Car ownership will decrease with rise of driverless vehicles


The projected migration to driverless cars could mean as many as half of American families will only own a single car by 2040, a Barclays report says. The data suggest self-driving cars will also affect automakers, with a 40% decrease in sales by 2040.

Thumbs up: Dutch solar bike path performs better than expected

Sustainable Business reports the short stretch of bike path has already produced more power than anticipated. The 230-foot stretch has produced 3,000 kilowatt-hours of power, enough to keep the juice flowing in a single-person residence.

Hybrid & electric vehicles: Unplugged logic

Commissioned by Congress and conducted by the National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council, the study found such vehicles' higher prices continue to steer buyers away and “recommended that the government do more,” Automotive News reports. The study called for more battery-research funding, extending federal tax credits for buyers “beyond the current production limits” and converting them into rebates at dealerships, and standardizing high-speed charging plugs and payment systems.
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Senate Dem wants to turn federal agencies into alternative fuel filling stations

A senior Senate Democrat wants to make alternative fuels more accessible by letting federal agencies to sell these fuels to their federal employees. Under new legislation from Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., federal agencies could install these service stations, and collect a fee for selling alternative fuels to workers and even visitors. Agencies could spend those fees however they want in the year they are collected, or the year after.

Move Aside Google Car, The Self-Driving Truck Is In Your Rear-View Mirror

In the U.S., heavy trucks represent roughly 5% of the total vehicle population, but consume 20% of total transportation fuel. This may seem like these trucks are not as fuel efficient as cars, but these trucks haul loads that are, on average, 22 times the load of a car, with engines that are six times as large as a typical car engine. This clearly proves how trucks, not just in the U.S., but also in all parts of the world, have the most fuel-efficient powertrain technologies.
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Connected Vehicle Reference Implementation Architecture Workshop

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is hosting the fourth in a series of interactive workshops to discuss and seek feedback on its Connected Vehicle Reference Implementation Architecture (CVRIA) efforts. The three-day training and workshop are designed to bring together State and local government stakeholders who are planning connected vehicle deployments, device manufacturers who need to know the overall scope of the architecture, researchers and academics, and standards developers.
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AT&T working on exclusive content for connected cars

AT&T is talking to its auto industry partners and content companies to bring new content like "special" shows or gaming levels on phones and tablets in connected cars, Penrose said. This would be in addition to subscription services such as Hulu and Netflix that users can already stream on mobile devices.

Delphi Sees China’s Demand for Connected Cars Driving Growth

The supplier of car electronics is working to develop Internet connectivity options that don’t distract drivers, Chief Technology Officer Jeffrey Owens said in an interview in Shanghai. Delphi is working on features such as reconfigurable displays and higher computing power, he said...
“...The younger demographic is more about the user experience,” Owens said on Friday. “The battleground for the millennial is the user experience, and less so about styling or horse power.”

Exclusive: Uber leases former Restaurant Depot space for Pittsburgh robotics center

"The Uber Advanced Technologies Center has leased the space at 100 32nd St. in Pittsburgh, and we expect to move in at the end of the year," Uber spokeswoman Trina Smith said in an email. "We selected this specific location because of the amenities the neighborhood has to offer as well as its proximity to (Carnegie Mellon University)."

Electric vehicle charging fee rule in Beijing causes concern

The commission responded that the move is aimed at maintaining the cost advantage of using EVs. Moreover, the introduction of service fees could encourage more companies to enter the charging service market while increased supply would be conducive to a more balanced market. Experts also say the government pricing standard will play an important role in regulating the charging service market.

Sales Of Electric Drive Commercial Trucks & Buses To Expand & Strengthen

A recent report predicts sales of electric-drive commercial trucks and buses to expand and strengthen more than 805,000 from 2014 to 2023. According to Navigant Research, the report probes and researches the global market for commercial vehicles that use electric-drive vehicle technology. The report contains world market forecasts for sales and the number of vehicles in use through 2023.

Google to Start Trial Run of Its Driverless Car

According to Google, the prototypes which will be doing these rounds, will limited to speeds of 40.2 km/h and each model will be equipped with a removable steering wheel, accelerator and brake pedal, so a driver can intervene if there is any glitch; if at all. Even Google thinks that it is a remote possibility of anything happening because the software that will be used is from its existing fleet of self-driving Lexus RX450h crossovers. Now, these cars have logged in nearly a million autonomous miles on public roads. The people at Google say that their autonomous driving fleet has already logged the equivalent of about 75 years of typical American adult driving experience, which is quite a feat.

Nissan CEO: Get ready, our auto-wagons will be ready by 2020

Nissan's CEO has said the company is on track to deliver its driverless cars by 2020, although he expects government regulation to be a stumbling block to their usage on public roads. Whether driverless car technology will achieve any sort of road-worthy licensing from different regulators around the world is still a cause for concern, according to Carlos Ghosn, Nissan CEO.
"Our cars will be ready," Ghosn laconically affirmed to reporters at Nissan's global headquarters in Yokohama.

A Robot to Help Visually Impaired Passengers Navigate Public Transit

A blind person is traveling on the subway. The train they’re riding on pulls into a stop, the doors open and the person exits. Waiting there on the platform, to help guide them through the station, is a robot.
“Making a robot do that, there are some challenges, but it’s not as challenging as it used to be,” said Aaron Steinfeld after describing the scenario involving the guide-bot during a recent interview. Steinfeld is an associate research professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute in Pittsburgh, where he specializes in human-robot interaction.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Class develops proposal to improve transportation safety on campus

Iowa State tasked Industrial Design 592, a class of engineering, design and community planning graduate students, with developing a transportation plan that benefits bikers, pedestrians and motorists. They generated a multi-phase proposal to reduce crowding and improve transportation safety on campus. Additionally, Student Government is developing a website for bike information and is planning to submit an application to be classified as a Bike Friendly University.

The Transportation Committee was formed by Student Government to review the proposal and explore implementation options. The three-phase bid concentrates on increasing awareness, incorporating bike lanes and programs into existing infrastructure and connecting areas of campus through bike-specific paths.
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Automatic launches an app store for cars

Two years ago, Automatic released a $100 Bluetooth-enabled car adapter along with an accompanying smartphone app to give you all kinds of insight about your vehicle. You could use it to track your trips, figure out your fuel consumption, locate your parking spot and even find out what that Check Engine light really means. Today, Automatic is taking that whole smart driving assistant thing one step further: It's opening an app store so that third-party apps can harness some of that same metadata too. And since Automatic's adapter works with any car with an OBD-II (Onboard Diagnostics) port -- that's all vehicles built and sold in the US since 1996 -- that means this store will be compatible with a great majority of vehicles out there. Likely one you already own.

Uber poached Carnegie Mellon's robotics lab to make self-driving cars (updated)

Remember how Uber forged a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University to get its ambitions for self-driving cars off the ground? It turns out this deal wasn't exactly balanced.The Verge understands that Uber poached much of the autonomous vehicle team fromCarnegie Mellon's robotics lab, including top staff who'd been there for more than a decade. There's a transition period that keeps these researchers around to finish existing work, but the rash of departures is reportedly creating a vacuum at the school -- and it's not clear if those soon-to-depart people are working on academic projects or Uber technology.

Big data to change urban mobility habits across the globe

Imagine having a city-wide picture of transportation operations, much like Travic, but where schedules, car park availability or passenger flux come together. Phil Blythe, Professor of Intelligent Transport Systems at Newcastle University and IET Fellow, said: “Applications to support public transport, travel and parking have widespread use and offer the possibility to develop smarter and more user-friendly services, which will promote more sustainable transport use in major cities.”

Toyota Safety Sense, Lexus Safety System + Pricing Announced

The optional Toyota Safety Sense system, which initially rolls out on the Toyota RAV4 andToyota Avalon this year, will be priced from $300-$500, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A said on Monday ahead of the 2015 New York Auto Show. Three additional Toyota models will also be available with the Toyota Safety Sense system. The models will be announced later this year. The optional Lexus Safety System+ will be priced from $500 to $635. It initially will be offered on the Lexus RX 350 and four additional models to be announced later this year.

Apple buys GPS startup as location-based services take off


Apple has acquired GPS company Coherent Navigation as demand for location-based services increases. Coherent takes advantage of both GPS and Iridium communications satellites to improve the accuracy and reliability of location data. 

Budget constraints force Army to prove usefulness of driverless vehicles


The Army's budget cuts have forced it to prove how useful autonomous vehicles are in the field, says Bryan McVeigh, force projection project manager. Other obstacles include the expense of designing vehicles that can cover a variety of terrain as well as determining what specific jobs these vehicles would perform.

Technology is becoming more important to infrastructure innovation


The American Road & Transportation Builders Association recently released a list of 25 innovative transportation projects, including the Interstate 4 Ultimate project in Florida that adopted dynamic toll lane technology. "The 'pick and shovel' enterprise has long been replaced with a high-tech industry that is driven by some of the nation's brightest minds," said Pete Ruane, president and CEO of ARTBA. 

Chinese car hire app Yidao Yongche hints at Uber tie-up

A partnership could help the two firms tackle the tough China car hire market. Both are facing regulatory uncertainty and fierce competition from deep-pocketed rivals, with Yidao Yongche lagging much bigger domestic rivals. In February, Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache, who count Chinese Internet giants Tencent Holdings Ltd and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd respectively among their backers, announced a $6 billion tie-up to create one of the world's largest smartphone-based transport services. The merger prompted Yidao Yongche to file an anti-monopoly violation complaint with regulators, saying the two firms may have broken Chinese law by subsidizing taxi rides to sell their service at prices lower than cost in order to push out rivals.
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Uber test-flies 'Uberchopper' at Cannes

If you're looking for the ultimate way to get to Cannes, forget about taking a cab, with the car-book app "Uber" you can now hail a helicopter. CNN's Neil Curry reports.

Why Hasn’t Another Car Company Built a Viable Tesla Competitor Yet?

Tesla’s most important feature, however, isn’t battery range or driving dynamics. It’s the charging network. Tesla has invested heavily in making sure its owners can drive across the U.S. using its Supercharger corridors, and other manufacturers simply can’t compete. Between the 200-plus mile driving range the Model S offers and the Supercharger setup, the fear of not being able to drive outside of the city is essentially erased. Until other manufacturers can offer similar nationwide charging capability, it’s going to be hard to convince most people to buy an electric car that isn’t a Tesla.

Driving into the future

IN A limited sense, cars have been “driverless” for a long time — ever used cruise control? — but they are about to become far more capable, and soon, revolutionizing the way people get around. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx promised last week that the federal government will smooth the rollout of driverless vehicle technologies, removing unnecessary regulatory roadblocks and delays. But realizing the benefits of driverless technology will require more than smart regulation; companies and the government will have to convince the public that driverless cars are safe.

How Apple and Google could reshape the connected car sector

Industry watchers say that one way Apple and Google could reshape the connected car sector is by using their substantial financial firepower to significantly speed up the time it takes to develop new in-car technology. That means they could conceivably develop solutions before automakers do.
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Beep-beep: US government wants cars to talk to each other pronto

Vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communication may be the next major step in the modern evolution of automobiles, and the US government wants to see more of it. US Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has a specific vision in mind for the future of V2V and driver safety, one he outlined in a DOT blog post earlier this week.

The Best Cities for Electric Cars

To determine where (and if) electric vehicles make financial sense, SmartAsset compared total costs of ownership for three of the most popular EVs--the Tesla Model S, the Ford Focus EV and the Nissan Leaf--to ownership costs of their gasoline-powered equivalents. In our analysis, we considered retail price for a new vehicle (although buying used may be the smarter choice), fuel and energy prices, state and local taxes, state and federal subsidies and average miles driven.

Lyft Just Secured a Major Investor Against Uber

Icahn told the paper that investing in Lyft was a “no-brainer,” given that it’s being valued at just $2.5 billion compared to Uber’s $41 billion. Icahn appears to be trying to cash in on the difference between the two companies, or to start a fight with Uber. Yet he appears unfazed: “If you look at the way the market evaluates Uber and then look at the valuation of Lyft—Lyft is a tremendous bargain,” Icahn said in an interview. “There is room for two.”

California man sues, says Uber was his idea

All of Halpern's agreements with the founders of Uber were "oral agreements" and there were no written non-disclosure agreements or other paperwork, his lawyer, Christopher Dolan said. Instead Halpern has what Dolan termed "a poor man's copyright" -- a sealed envelop he mailed himself in 2005 which included information about his idea. That envelope is still sealed and now resides in his safe, Dolan said.

Crash revives push for automated trains

"The Amtrak disaster shows why we must install Positive Train Control technology as soon as possible,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who sponsored the original legislation containing the 2015 mandate, along with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). “We need to ensure that railroads are held accountable and are working quickly to adopt this life-saving technology,” she added. “That is why I oppose efforts to give railroads an unconditional five-year waiver from the PTC requirements in the 2008 Feinstein-Boxer law."

Government jumps aboard driverless car push

The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will move ahead of its timetable for its proposal to require vehicle-to-vehicle communication devices in new cars. That means it will send in a proposal by the end of 2015 rather than in 2016. It also will work to accelerate testing necessary to ensure that vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure transmissions are free from radio interference within 12 months after the industry makes production-ready devices available for testing.

Alaska Air To Operate Flights On Alcohol

Last week, Alaska Air entered into a strategic alliance agreement with Gevo , a chemical company, to purchase its renewable jet fuel and fly the first-ever commercial flight on its alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ). Gevo’s patented ATJ is a clean burning, homegrown, drop-in jet fuel, which has the potential to deliver aviation biofuel at scale and at competitive costs. Alaska Air, which has set a target to use sustainable aviation biofuel at one or more of its airports by 2020, plans to fly a demonstration flight to test Gevo’s renewable jet fuel, once the company receives certification from the standards group – ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) International – which is expected to come in the second half of the year.

Report: Toyota and Mazda to work together on electric cars

Toyota and Mazda could be close to signing an agreement to work together in pursuit of efficiency. The Nikkei Asian Review reports that the two Japanese giants will extend an existing agreement to combine technical expertise in a strategy dubbed "competitive cooperation". As the world's largest producer of hybrid cars, Toyota would pass on its knowledge of batteries and electrical systems for use in Mazda vehicles. Mazda, meanwhile, would allow Toyota to make use of its Skyactiv technology designed to maximise the efficiency of internal combustion engines without the use of an electric motor.

Electric cars bound for Cuba – from Cayman Islands

“The vehicles will be used mostly by tourists, but key government officials are also expected to use these vehicles while on island,” he said.  “The Cuban government would like Cayo Largo to be a fully eco-friendly tourist destination. They want to make it the first test market for electric vehicles,” Mr. Felder added.

Electric Vehicles Can Last Longer, Says LBNL Scientist

"We showed that even after substantial battery degradation, the daily travel needs of most people are still going to be met," Saxena added. The findings were published online in the Journal of Power Sources. The researchers took into account nearly 160,000 actual driving itineraries from the National Household Travel Survey conducted by the Department of Transportation.

The Future of Electric Vehicles Is Golf Carts, Not Tesla

In 2013 alone, Chinese consumers purchased over 200,000 low-speed EVs, almost four times Tesla’s cumulative production through 2014, from hundreds of small manufacturers. These sales are overlooked because they take place in small cities, far from the high-profile showrooms of Shanghai and Beijing, but the category is growing rapidly. Low-speed EVs typically sell for half what a comparable combustion-powered car would cost, and because they’re not considered “real” cars, they’re exempted from expensive licensing and registration fees.

Tesla turn signal solves autonomous car liability issues

When passing a car or turning a corner, sources familiar with the matter say drivers trigger the function by hitting the turn signal button instead of allowing a car to complete the maneuver without human intervention. Not only does this signal to the car it can complete the turn, but by manually triggering the move, this indicates the driver has given thought to the maneuver and believes it is safe. A small tweak with big implications. By passing on control of such maneuvers to the driver, once the move is activated responsibility also shifts from car system to driver -- as pressing the button signals intent.

Intelligent Telematics brings 3G cameras to U.K. taxis


Transport for London has authorized Intelligent Telematics and Taxiworld to install 3G forward-facing cameras in public and private fleets in the city. The cameras' 3G capabilities will allow fleet operators and insurers to receive data and respond quickly to incidents.

New Google self-driving car to hit roads this summer


Google will begin rolling out test versions of its second self-driving car prototype this summer, a pod-like two-seater specifically designed to navigate streets mapped by the company. Google will put 25 of the short-range electric vehicles on the road, with as many as 100 planned as it lobbies California's transportation authorities for more flexible guidelines for self-driving vehicles.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Google’s two-seater driverless car to hit public roads this summer

Google will initially build and test 25 pods, mostly in neighbourhoods surrounding its Mountain View headquarters. It will eventually build between 50 and 100, and will broaden testing to sites that are hillier and rainier. The ultimate goal, says Google co-founder Sergey Brin, is computer-controlled cars that can eliminate human error, which is a factor in an estimated 90 per cent of the 1.2 million road deaths that occur worldwide each year. Self-driving cars could also improve traffic congestion and transport the elderly and disabled.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

U.S. DOT secretary pushes for faster V2V testing, integration


Anthony Foxx, secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, announced plans to accelerate the testing and integration of vehicle-to-vehicle communications across the country at a conference at Delphi Labs in Silicon Valley. "We are in a race against time, and it is critical that technologies like V2V make it onto our roadways as soon as possible," he said.

Rendell cites Liberty Bridge in Pittsburgh, urges improved infrastructure

The support structure of the Liberty Bridge linking Downtown to the Liberty Tunnels shows rust creeping up the sides and paint chipping from the deck. Trucks loaded with more than 30 tons of cargo are prohibited from crossing. The structure is set to undergo an $85 million renovation this year, but those improvements won't happen, former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said, if Congress doesn't authorize federal highway money soon.
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Consumers have big appetite for Apple Car

Market research and consulting firm Morpace polled more than 250 U.S. owners of hybrid or electric cars for its study. It asked them about their interest in a car that Apple is rumored to be developing for release by 2020. The results showed that 9% are "extremely likely" to buy the Apple car, with 25% "very likely" and 43% "somewhat likely" to purchase it. The rest are "not very likely" to purchase the Apple Car (13%) or "not at all likely" to buy it, Morpace said. The vast majority of consumers expect the design of an Apple electric vehicle to "be better" than other electric vehicles (79%).

BMW offers dynamic hybrid experience


Board member Klaus Fröhlich of BMW says the company will offer drivers an enhanced driving experience in their electric motor, plug-in hybrids and convention combustion engines. Plans include improvements to electric and conventional traction, as well as electric wheel motors to increase acceleration.

Pittsburgh smart system to reduce traffic jams


A new intelligent transportation system being installed on a Pittsburgh highway will warn drivers of accidents and closures, and allow them to choose alternate routes. The system uses cameras to detect slowdowns and will relay messages to drivers via dynamic messaging signs as well as the state's Department of Transportation website.

With Robot Taxi, Japan Firms Eye Driverless Transport

Spare a thought for the world’s taxi and bus drivers. Japanese mobile Internet companyDeNA Co.will join the race to make human drivers obsolete. DeNA said it will launch a joint venture with Tokyo-based ZMP Inc., known for developing autonomous vehicle technology, with an eye toward building a driverless transportation business. DeNA said it will provide two-thirds of the capital for the new company, tentatively named Robot Taxi, and ZMP would come up with the rest. The two companies said in a statement Tuesday that the venture will combine DeNA’s “Internet services know-how with ZMP’s automated driving technology” to realize robot taxis and buses.

Crossrail to Hyperloop: The World's Most Innovative Public Transport Systems


Mass transportation is making significant technological progress on a number of fronts. Spencer Hart cites a few notable examples, including London's 85-mile-long Crossrail project, Shanghai's Maglev train and work by several companies on the next generation of supersonic transports.

Crawling, flying drone could find cracks in bridges


Fujitsu has developed a drone with wheels that can also fly. It can fly up bridge walls to inspect for cracks or other problems and can crawl along the undersides of bridges to look for problems there. A camera is set on the drone at a fixed distance from the infrastructure being evaluated. Only a prototype version has been developed, and the company plans to improve the product. It will most likely be introduced in Japan first. 

First V2I Deployment Coalition Workshop (Pittsburgh, June 4-5, 2015)


As many of you may be aware, ITS America, AASHTO, and ITE are partnering in forming the Vehicle to Infrastructure Deployment Coalition. This first workshop will provide interested stakeholders with a background and mission of the V2I Deployment Coalition, as well as establish five Technical Working Groups and develop a work plan for each one.

Tesla to modify electric vehicles for China to meet new charging standard

Tesla Motors Inc said it will modify new electric vehicles it produces for China to fit the national charging standard in the world's biggest automobile market once that standard has been set. The American electric car maker is also actively involved in the process of setting that standard in China, the company said in a statement on its website on Monday.

Why Driverless Cars Don't Need Windows

Windows won't be necessary when there's no human inside who needs to see to pick a path. The autonomous cars will use five, 10, or even more cameras looking at every angle and these cameras don't need to be much bigger than the dots on the back of a phone. Some may use elaborate laser range finders that currently live perched on the roof of some of the prototypes but these whirling gadgets don't need windows either.

AT&T details connected-car seat


The idea for the Connected Car seat started as way to monitor a baby in the back seat. Intern, Nancy Dominguez configured heat, motion and CO2 sensors that faced the child car seat in the back seat. When the car would get too hot, the sensors were programmed to detect a child in seat and send a text message to the parents. The idea has been expanded to include a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot and remote car functions. Potential plans for Car Seat’s development include adding sensors for more car entertainment options. AT&T Foundry, lead developer Michael Albrecht reports that the sensors could be used to detect if a child, elderly person or baby is int he car and turn on the air conditioning when it is too hot. The Connected Car seat is a prototype and may come to market in the next few years.

Israeli ADAS designer wins contracts for EyeQ4 installs


Mobileye CEO Ziv Aviram said the advanced driver assistance systems company has secured two contracts with automakers to install its EyeQ4 chips as standard by the end of the next decade. Aviram did not specify which carmakers, but says Mobileye is now working with a total of 13 companies.

Infiniti's 'Auto Pilot' Driving Straight Into the Future

Nissan Motor Cos Infiniti Q50 offers a suite of technology that allows a driver to take hands off the wheel and feet off the pedals when traveling more than 45 miles an hour. Other car companies have similar technology, but if the driver releases the wheel entirely in competitors’ vehicles, the car will start bleating until the driver takes control again. Infiniti is careful to not advertise the feature as autopilot. And company officials get nervous when you call their $3,200 technology package a “driverless car” feature—because the system definitely requires a driver.
Even so, the feature is a glimpse into the auto industry’s future.

Coming Soon To A Highway Near You: A Semitruck With A Brain

You still have the driver in the driver's seat, ready to take over at all times in case something goes wrong or the system encounters a situation it's not really well prepared for," says Alex Davies, associate editor for Wired, who was at the demonstration and rode in the big rig. The driver controls the rig on surface roads, but on the highway, engages the autopilot mode. Cameras detect the lane lines to keep the truck headed in the right direction, Davies tells NPR's Rachel Martin.

GM counts on electric cars being the future

General Motors declared that the auto industry’s future is electric just as Americans’ rekindled demand for pickup trucks, SUVs and crossovers are driving the bulk of the automaker’s profits.
“The company believes the future is electric, with billions (of dollars) of investment to support an all-in-house approach to the development and manufacturing of electrified vehicles,” GM said in its annual sustainability report released Thursday.

Google Acknowledges 11 Accidents With Its Self-Driving Cars

The top priority so far is not avoiding fender benders, but teaching them to avoid causing a serious accident that could set back acceptance of the technology for years, said Raj Rajkumar, a pioneer of the technology with Carnegie Mellon University.
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Call for Nominations: 2015 ARTBA Women Leaders in Transportation Design & Construction Awards

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s (ARTBA) Women Leaders in Transportation Design and Construction (WLTDC) Council is now accepting nominations for its annual awards program, which honors the “extraordinary efforts of individuals, companies and public agencies that have demonstrated leadership and dedication to innovation in the transportation construction field as well as the promotion of women leaders within the industry.”
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Obama chooses new highway administration leader


Gregory Nadeau has been selected by President Barack Obama to head the Federal Highway Administration when Victor Mendez steps down. Mendez will move to a position as deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Transportation. Nadeau is currently acting head of the interstate system agency.

Oregon experiments with road user fee for EVs


OReGO, a program launched by the Oregon Department of Transportation, will assess volunteer participation of a 1.5 cent per mile usage fee instead of paying fuel tax. The program is an effort to boost funding for transportation infrastructure. Critics point out that the program doesn't offer any incentive to participate for those who don't currently pay a fuel tax.

INRIX launches smart cities platform to exploit connected cars

Currently, two services are available on INRIX Insights: INRIX Insights Trips and INRIX Insights Volumes. According to the company, these products have the ability to provide government and its agencies with more scalable, cost-effective and immediate ways to predict, plan and prioritise investment in roads and transits across their entire transportation network infrastructure. It claims its services allow the government to rely on road-side counters and automated traffic records much less, as Insights Volume can understand traffic volumes by day of the week, time of day and by vehicle type.

Government report says electric cars don’t make economic sense

Hybrid and electric cars are significantly more expensive to purchase up front compared to their conventional counterparts. Total cost of ownership starts out higher. So manufacturers typically make two common pitches to get you to buy...
...They need you to imagine all the money you can save on gasoline if you pay a little more for the technology. You’ll be driving past another gas station, singing along to some up-beat ditty on that totally integrated sound system that came standard, reminding yourself that those people tethered to the pump are a bunch of suckers. But are they?

The EIA 2015 Energy Outlook Report begs to differ.

AirPod, A Car That Runs On Air Has 3 Wheels And Steering Joystick; Air-Powered Vehicles Now For Sale In U.S.

Zero Pollution Motors is the U.S. licensee with exclusive rights to manufacture the Airpod. The Airpod fueled by compressed air has a retail price of $10,000. According to Zero Pollution Motors, "the AIRPod vehicle, developed by MDI, is the solution to urban pollution and urban mobility. With its small size, a tiny price, zero pollution, and a fun and futuristic design, AIRPod marks a turning point in the range of urban vehicles. It is a real breath of fresh air in cities and the prelude to travel without pollution."

How MIT's SENSEable City Lab is working to predict epidemics before they happen

Google is working on a driverless car. So areTesla and Uber. And BMW and Audi. Not so far into the future, cars will be driving us to our destinations without any help from humans. As these driverless cars whiz by, they will have the power to detect other vehicles, pedestrians, avoid collisions, accelerate, slow down doing away with the need for traffic lights and possibly even waiting at junctions.

Uber Fund-Raising Points to $50 Billion Valuation

The mobile car-hailing application is in early talks to raise a new round of financing that could value the start-up at $50 billion, according to a person familiar with the discussions, who spoke anonymously because the process is confidential. Uber could raise around $1.5 billion, given the amount of interest from investors in the company, the person said.
The new capital will not be used primarily for expansion purposes, unlike Uber’s previous financing rounds. Instead, the funding is strategic, with an eye on partnerships, the person said.
Uber declined to comment. The fund-raising was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

U.S. DOT Accessible Transportation Technologies Research Initiative (ATTRI) Applications Workshop


The U.S. Department of Transportation will be hosting a free public workshop to inform and engage stakeholders on the progress, applications, and next steps of the USDOT's Accessible Transportation Technologies Research Initiative (ATTRI). This public workshop is scheduled for May 18-19, 2015, from approximately 8:00 am to 5:30 pm in Washington, DC. 

Why More And More States Could Start Considering Fees On Electric Cars

“There is a continuing trend among states to offer some type of incentive to support electric vehicle adoption,” Hartman said. These incentives are still in their early years, as are the studies to measure their effectiveness, but according to Hartman, “it appears that states that offer a variety of incentives tend to have higher rates of electric vehicle adoption.”
Still, the failed proposal in Michigan represents the concerns some state officials have with regard to funding infrastructure. In most states, gas taxes are used to fund transportation infrastructure. With Americans driving increasingly fuel-efficient vehicles and driving less overall, states are experiencing decreases in gas tax revenue while facing constant transportation infrastructure demands. The American Society of Civil Engineers’Infrastructure Report Card notes that there is an estimated $80 billion shortfall in funding for American roads.

BMW Says Moral Dilemmas Delay Development of Self-Driving Cars

Difficult moral situations that we face every day as drivers–and are difficult enough for us to figure out–are even harder to program into self-driving automobiles. While automakers like BMW have already developed and released features that allow vehicles to independently move through stop-and-go traffic and park themselves, they’re not ready for unexpected stimuli that involve ethical choices.
“Fully-automated driving is in my view still a long way off,” said Ian Robertson, BMW’s head of sales, in an interview with Bloomberg. “The technology will be held back by the ultimate moral question on who’s responsible.”

Here’s why Uber would spend $3 billion on maps

There’s another factor at play here, too. Uber executives haven’t been shy about their fondness for driverless cars; the company is partnering with Carnegie Mellon University to work on the technology. After all, robots don’t strike for higher wages, nor do they assault passengers.
Driverless cars need two things to work. The first is on-car sensors, which constantly monitor for changing road conditions that require an immediate response, like pedestrians and stop signs. The second is maps, which tell the car where to go on a bigger scale.

Audi Uses Water and Air to Make Cleaner Fuel for Cars

Audi has revealed that it has managed to use water and air to create its own synthetic diesel fuel, or liquid "e-diesel," as an alternative fuel source for cars. The German automaker worked with clean technology company Sunfire to create the fuel at its plant in Dresden through a "power to liquid" process that uses carbon dioxide, according to CNN. Carbon dioxide, created mostly through the burning of fossil fuels, is the most common of greenhouse gases and is a major contributor to global warming.

Self-Driving Cars Would Slash Traffic, End Street Parking

According to the Paris-based OECD’s International Transport Forum (ITF), one of the neat bonuses of driverless, computer-driven cars, will be a return of empty side streets. The streets will be free of parking simply because nobody will actually own a car any more. They will simply rent them when the need arises. There will be a massive cut in the number of vehicles on the roads too.

“A fleet of self-driving, shared cars could make 90 per cent of conventional cars in mid-sized cities superfluous. Even during peak hours, only one third of the current number of cars would be needed to provide the same number of trips as today,” the report said.

Tesla's batteries could be bigger business than electric cars – Elon Musk

Tesla’s new energy storage systems could become a bigger business for the company than selling cars, Elon Musk has said. The company has taken 38,000 orders for its Powerwall, which was first announced last week, meaning the devices are sold out until mid-2016. The two versions of the “Powerwall” – a 7kWh and a larger 10kWh unit – cost $3,000 (£1,975) and $3,500 (£2,300) respectively. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Report: Google, Delphi Self-Driving Cars Careening Into Trouble in California

Google and Delphi Automotive are responsible for the self-driving test vehicles involved in the minor collisions. Three of the 23 Lexus SUVs that Google modified into “autonomous driving” rigs and a self-driving test vehicle belonging to Delphi Automotive crashed in separate incidents. Both companies dismissed the bangups as minor and claim their cars aren’t to blame. It’s worth noting that drivers are still required to be behind the wheel when in motion in California. The accidents came to light after the AP confirmed that California DMV records for the incidents existed.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Uber Joins the Bidding for Here, Nokia’s Digital Mapping Service

Uber, whose backers include Google’s venture capital arm, has taken steps in recent months to hedge against its heavy reliance on the search giant. This year, for example, the company unveiled the Uber Advanced Technologies Center that, in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, is working on mapping and autonomous vehicle technology.

Elon Musk Welcomes Apple’s Rumored Electric Car

Musk’s statement was in response to an analyst asking if the company was worried that Apple could somehow threaten Tesla’s business model, in which Musk replied by saying, “I actually hope Apple gets into the car business, that would be great.” So why is Musk so relaxed about this? As it turns out part of his confidence is the fact that Tesla appears to be hiring more Apple employees than Apple is Tesla employees.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Jaguar's windshield wiper tech works by monitoring your eyes

Initially, it was assumed the tech would simply be used to monitor the facial and eye movements of drivers to detect drowsiness and alert them when that happened. Now, according to GizMag, Jaguar Land Rover has filed a patent for eye-tracking software that would allow drivers to activate their rear window's wiper, simply by looking at it.

Audi, BMW, Daimler consider bidding on Nokia map service


Auto manufacturers in Germany such as BMW, Audi and Daimler are considering a joint bid on Nokia's Here mapping service to keep the company in Europe. U.S.'s Apple, Facebook and Uber are also thinking about placing a bid for the mapping unit. Analysts predict Nokia's sale of Here could fetch as much as $5.6 billion.

Autonomous car market to be worth US$102bn by 2030 – report


The market for autonomous cars will rise nearly 50 times over the next 15 years from this year's projection of $2.4 billion, bringing it to $100 billion by 2030, a Lux Research report said. Completely driverless vehicles will not be implemented by 2030, the report said, despite the increasing market, due to regulations and other factors. 

REPORT: Urban Mobility System Upgrade

How shared self-driving cars could change city tra ffic.

This report examines the changes that might result from the large-scale uptake of a shared and self-driving fleet of vehicles in a mid-sized European city. The study explores two different self-driving vehicle concepts, for which we have coined the terms “TaxiBot” and “AutoVot”. TaxiBots are self-driving cars that can be shared simultaneously by several passengers. AutoVots pick-up and drop-off single passengers sequentially. We had two premises for this study: First, the urban mobility system upgrade with a fleet of TaxiBots and AutoVots should deliver the same trips as today in terms of origin, destination and timing. Second, it should also replace all car and bus trips. The report looks at impacts on car fleet size, volume of travel and parking requirements over two different time scales: a 24-hour average and for peak hours only.
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New autonomous Freightliner rolls across Hoover Dam, really


Daimler Trucks launched its newly developed autonomous transport truck, the Freightliner Inspiration, at an event that turned the Hoover Dam into a large projection screen. The Level 3 autonomous truck uses Highway Pilot sensors and hardware with cameras and radar to safely operate under a range of highway conditions, and has been granted a license to operate in Nevada.
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Move over, Tesla: electric vehicles are about to be super-sized

Gone are the days of commercially-viable electric vehicles being limited to the realm of flashy sports roadsters and passenger cars. The work-a-day worlds of public transit buses and municipal garbage trucks are offering their own glimpses into a future of zero emissions vehicles....
...“It is dramatically cheaper on a total cost of ownership basis for transit operators,” said Michael Linse, the Kleiner Perkins partner who led the firm's nearly $30 million investment in Proterra. “I’m highly confident that within the next five to 10 years, the majority of buses sold in the United States will be electric."

Electric Vehicles to Push Gas Cars Off U.S. Roads: Report

“The U.S. stands at the crossroads of the largest technology shift in personal transportation in its history,” says principal researcher Kirk Brown, Plug In America’s director of strategic partnerships.
During 2014, Plug In America researchers assessed overall promotional efforts for EVs by interviewing key stakeholders across industry, government and allied organizations.
“The question ahead is how do we capture this early market growth and deliver the benefits of these vehicles to all consumers, everywhere,” Brown said.

Tesla is now selling used electric cars for lower prices

Used cars on sale via the program are available for between $60,000 to $90,000 — generally cheaper than the same vehicles can be found from individual resellers. The cheaper used cars, which are currently available for purchase via Tesla's official site, make the barrier for electric vehicle ownership lower, a move aimed to help the manufacturer snare new customers at the same time as it disposes of older vehicles that would otherwise clutter up its parking lots and facilities. The new program also gives Tesla a nice new revenue stream: the sale of used cars traditionally yields higher profits than the sale of brand new vehicles.

How Smart Traffic Lights Could Transform Your Commute

As city leaders increasingly turn to data for insight into running their metros more efficiently, adaptive signals have emerged as a 21st century strategy to chip away at a longstanding scourge. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, almost 11 million Americans commute more than an hour each way to their job while 600,000 U.S. residents have one-way “megacommutes” of at least 90 minutes or 50 miles.

Google patents a way for self-driving cars to understand a cyclist’s hand signals

The patent describes using a combination of sensors — a camera, LIDAR and RADAR — to collect a mountain of data on the environment surrounding the car. From this data, Google’s algorithms can determine whether a cyclist is present, and then identify parts of his or her body. Once Google has identified a cyclist’s hands and arms, it can recognize signals and act accordingly. So if a cyclist sticks out his or her arm to indicate a left turn, Google can recognize the motion and adjust the car’s speed or direction as necessary.
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TomTom: from satnavs to driverless cars

TomTom will face tough competition in this market from technology giants like Google, Apple and Nokia, all of which have expressed an interest in the developing mapping technology for driverless cars. However, Ms Vigreux believes that TomTom's "live mapping" service is ahead of its competitors. "We’ve been working on this for a long time. It’s a very complex thing to do, because maps change all the time, so you need to get that data, validate it and broadcast it," she said. ”It’s very difficult technology that goes into that and we are very advanced there, so we want to play a big role.”

Ford F-150 Pickup Trucks Go All Out for Natural Gas, Propane

Already a leading provider or natural gas-powered light-duty pickup trucks, Ford Motor Co. said Monday its 2016 F-150 pickup models will have a 5.0-liter V8 engine offering natural gas and propane as fuel options. Ford said the popular pickups will have the option of a "gaseous-fuel prep," making them capable of running on compressed natural gas (CNG) or propane. The auto giant claims it makes the only half-ton pickup with the option of running on CNG or propane.

A survey by the automaker of its existing customers turned up that 72% indicated they wanted the F-150 with alternative-fuel capabilities. "We expect the gaseous-fuel prep package will be even more popular than it was on the 2014 F-150 with the 3.7-liter V6 engine," said Jon Coleman, Ford's fleet sustainability/technology manager.

UPS Becomes Nation's Largest User of Renewable Natural Gas in Shipping Industry

"Renewable natural gas is critical to our effort to minimize UPS's environmental impact while meeting the growing demand for our services," said Mitch Nichols, UPS senior vice president of transportation and engineering. "Our rolling laboratory approach provides a unique opportunity for UPS to test different fuels and technologies. Today's RNG agreement will help mature the market for this promising alternative fuel. This commitment also positions UPS to use RNG in its extensive natural gas fleet which includes more than 2,500 medium and heavy duty vehicles."

The People Have Spoken: Put Parental Controls in Our Cars

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering—a hotbed of autonomous vehicle development—have surveyed 1,000 Americans to see which of those parental controls might be of most interest.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Self-driving truck hits the road

Nevada officials have approved have approved a self-driving truck that was developed by Daimler Trucks North America.  Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) said the automatic trucks would revolutionize the nation’s shipping business.  "Nevada is proud to be making transportation history today by hosting the first U.S. public highway drive for a licensed autonomous commercial truck,” he said in a statement.

EVENT: Bringing driverless cars from research to international markets

On May 8, the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings and the U.S. Department of State will convene industry experts and research scientists to discuss how the United States and Germany, two of the world’s leading markets for advanced automobiles, are leveraging research and development to promote innovation and inform regulation of driverless cars. Panelists will also explore the balance between competition and cooperation when transforming the global technological landscape for next generation automobiles.
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Denver “Smart Parking” Startup Parkifi Raises $2M, Readies Rollout

Parkifi announced Monday it has raised a $2 million round that is the company’s first. Investors include Galvanize Ventures, Access Venture Partners, and the Foundry Group Angels syndicate. The company said in a release it will use the money to support growth in select markets and build its team in Denver. The startup is developing software that drivers would be able to use to view the real-time availability of parking spots. The app also includes a visual aid to help drivers find an open space.

Utah DOT to examine connected-vehicle benefits


The Utah Department of Transportation's Intelligent Transportation Systems Director Blaine Leonard says the state will participate in experiments to connected-car systems, coordinated trucking tests and transit tests. The vehicle tests would allow cars and trucks to communicate with each other with hopes that the tech would reduce accidents, pollution and fuel consumption.

Uber has delivered 30 million rides in New York City since launching four years ago

Four years ago, Uber launched in New York City. At the time, Uber was still a small company. Today, New York is one of its biggest markets. Uber announced on its blog Monday that the company has delivered 30 million rides in New York City since 2011. To put that number in perspective, that's over 82,000 Uber rides per day.

What Self-Driving Carmakers Can Learn From the Smartphone Wars

Mark Fields, CEO of Ford Motor (F), hopes to re-imagine the Detroit carmaker as an information services company. The transformation involves the incorporation of existing semiconductor, mobile and other technologies into cars, which in turn will force companies to grapple with the legal challenges raised by the use of those technologies -- ones covered by thousands of patents held by a broad array of entities. The rise of smartphones posed a similar problem, at the beginning of the decade, and its resolution was dramatic and expensive. Apple (AAPL) led a group of tech companies that paid $4.5 billion to Nortel Networks for 6,000 patents, in 2011, and a few months later Google responded by agreeing to buy Motorola Mobility for $13 billion.

Group seeks ways to improve transit infrastructure through data, mapping

A March meeting of transportation officials and transportation-industry members in Crystal City, Va., began to lay the groundwork for a new movement in digital asset data collection. This effort is designed at systematizing the process of network asset data collection and 3-D virtual design while possibly laying the foundation for a highway base map to assist in ushering in the first generation of autonomous vehicle technologies.  Imagine a 360º “cloud” traveling at highway speeds, digitally capturing and recording everything in its path—including road geometry, pavement cracking, signage, levels of retroreflectivity, location of guardrails, roadway markings, rumble strips and virtually any other safety device that is present on the roadway.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES ACCELERATE IN EUROPE

Siemens has significantly expanded its electric powertrain plant as the take-up of electric vehicles and hybrid cars accelerates throughout Europe.  The German conglomerate has more than doubled its 1,200sq m site at Erlagen, Germany, which produces converters for electric car powertrains and has built new offices to house the headquarters of its “eCar Powertrain Systems” business.

Hands-Free Cars Take Wheel, and Law Isn’t Stopping Them

But the innovations have prompted the question: Is it legal? The vast majority of states do not have any rules at all. The few that do passed the laws primarily to allow research and testing. Only New York specifically requires that drivers keep one hand on the wheel, but that dates to a law from 1967.
As a result, automakers are pushing into a regulatory void.

“Where it’s not expressly prohibited, we would argue it’s allowed,” said Anna Schneider, vice president for governmental relations at Volkswagen, which owns Audi.

“We don’t need any change in legislation to put Super Cruise on the road,” said Dan Flores, a spokesman for General Motors. Tesla declined to comment on the issue.

Tesla’s PowerWall can help change Electric Vehicles

Mad Billionaire Elon Musk and, his electric car company, Tesla are now expanding a bit further than automobiles, with Tesla Energy. Determined to help end our energy problems in America, Musk has set out to create a more efficient means of storing solar energy. What Tesla Energy has done, is create an in-home battery pack, called the Tesla Powerwall, which can store energy in a far more efficient and economic manner than the conventional battery, which Musk doesn’t seem to care for much. “The issue with existing batteries is that they suck,” says Musk.
Authorities in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou have raided the local office of online taxi-hailing service Uber, on suspicion of "unlicensed operation". "The company is suspected of unlicensed operation and conducting illegal business by allowing private car owners to offer taxi services," an official with the city's traffic authority told Xinhua.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Taking Bridj in D.C. Offers Great New Option, and Maybe Even Some Time Savings

I switched up my usual commute this morning and ditched my bike for the chance to try out Bridj, a Boston-based “pop-up bus transit” startup company that launched this week in Washington D.C. The company offers flexible shuttle routes that adapt based on the locations of who has booked a ride during a given period of time. Bridj so far is offering limited morning service between the greater Capitol Hill and Dupont Circle areas and currently runs at 20-minute intervals. Depending on who is using Bridj in your neighborhood on a particular day, your pickup location can be relocated to optimize efficiency while making sure that you never have to walk more than 10 minutes for your stop.

Cities Must Understand Bikeshare Is Transit

If bikeshare is going to take its rightful place as a bonafide transportation option in more and more of our cities, advocates have got to stop selling the notion that you can build and operate a robust bikeshare system at no cost. It just isn’t so, and selling it as such sets everyone up for failure. Witness what’s going on in San Antonio.
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RampCrawl: Unique Bar Crawl Highlighting Accessibility May 5

The goal of this event is to raise awareness about accessibility in the Oakland community in Pittsburgh. 

New report explores the Global intelligent transportation system market that would register a healthy growth rate during the forecast

The DOT has started a Federal ITS program that would make research initiatives, investigative study and support the deployment of the system through systematic investment. Additionally, an efficient transport system would assist in controlling traffic congestions and increase environmental benefits by reducing pollution, and these factors act as other major drivers for the market.
However, the major restraint for the market growth is the slow growth of infrastructure, especially in the developing regions of the world due to the high cost of installation.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Microtransit: good or bad for cities?

The question about all these private operators, seeking to create something between large-scale transit and the private car, is this: Are they going to work with high-capacity transit or try to destroy it? There are signs both ways. If microtransit co-ordinates with conventional big-vehicle transit, we get (a) lower overall Vehicle Miles Traveled, emissions, and congestion, and (b) stronger cases for transit-oriented land use and thus (c) better, more humane and inclusive cities. If they compete with it, drawing away customers from big vehicles into smaller ones, we get the opposite.
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New Study Examines Alternative Fuel Vehicles’ Impact

Alternative Fuel Technology adoption could affect long-term state fuel tax revenues with Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFVs) accounting for 13 percent of the domestic passenger fleet and 11 percent of the commercial fleet by 2040, according to a new study from TTI’s Transportation Policy Research Center. Associate Research Scientist Trey Baker and his team conducted an analysis of Alternative Fuel Vehicle Forecasts that explores trends in the AFV industry, factors impacting AFV adoption, and potential revenue impacts for the State Highway Fund from those trends.

7 Benefits and 1 Huge Problem With a World of Driverless Taxis

Martínez and collaborators used real trip data to model what life would be like in Lisbon, Portugal, if shared autonomous vehicles of various size ruled the streets. Some scenarios had these taxibots partnering with high-capacity public transit—in Lisbon's case, a subway network—while others considered a transit-less city. (Though taxibots replaced local buses in all cases.) At half a million city and 2.8 million metro area residents, Lisbon is a pretty typical midsized city, though it's car-ownership rate (217 per 1,000 people) is on the lower end of the global scale.

Toyota Mirai “Fueled by Bullsh*t” Ad Is Total BS

Toyota won’t let those pesky facts get in the way of a good greenwashing campaign, co opting Musk’s comments to try and prove the Mirai FCV is green in one of the worst ways possible. The video above, entitled “Fueled by Bullsh*t”, attempts to showcase how the hydrogen gas used to power the Mirai can be found, well, everywhere. And it’s true, hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, found in just about every piece of organic matter we’ve ever discovered…and yes, that includes cow manure. The cow crap is collected, left to dissolve at a special fermentation pit, and then brought to a steam reformation center where the raw biogas has the hydrogen stripped away, which can then be used to fuel the Mirai. Sounds pretty green, right?

Girls on Pittsburgh-area robotics team win international awards

Rote works as a business consultant in the robotics industry. Her reason for wanting to start the team was simple. “There are not enough women in the field,” Rote said. She teamed with George Kantor of Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute to form Girls of Steel, a group of 50 Pittsburgh-area high school students interested in computer science.
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Freight and Sustainable Communities Policy Forum - Tuesday, May 12th 9am-4pm


Register now to join local, regional, and state leaders and practitioners from industry, government, academia, and environmental organizations to dig deeper into the pivotal challenges facing the region in the context of a rapidly growing population, expanding freight industry, and mounting environmental and public health concerns.

Holograms Could Bring Videogame-Like Navigation to Your Car


A prototype from Switzerland-based WayRay called Navion projects holographic navigation and safety information from a dash-mounted device that can be installed in any vehicle. The device is controlled by a driver's hand gestures. Pre-orders are expected to begin this year.

Car headlights of the future won't blind other drivers

Carnegie Mellon's work on headlights has made an appearance here before, where it's near-future smart headlights would parse raindrops and 'cancel' them out, projecting light around the rain drops, substantially improving visibility. But that's just one of many tricks that the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute's smart headlights are now capable of.

Secretary of Transportation highlights tech at CMU

With the Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx coming to a school like Carnegie Mellon — a school with huge ties to robotics and technology — it was not far-fetched to think that he would talk about autonomous vehicles. He joined students at the university’s National Robotics and Engineering Center (NREC) in Lawrenceville last Thursday for a round table.
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