Friday, April 29, 2016

Ford Interns Drive Its Talent Pipeline

Ford doesn’t necessarily try to appeal to every student. Instead, managers are tasked with working closely with the career office and deans at the schools they visit to pre-select students the company wants to connect with, Worthem said.
This pre-selection process is what brought Brian Khoury, a junior at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh to Ford. Khoury is at the top of his class. During his freshman year, he was member of the Carnegie Mellon Solar Racing team that built a boat that competed at the Dong World Energy Challenge Monaco Solar One Grand Prix. His abilities qualified him, but his background made him the perfect candidate for a Ford internship.

Ready for self-driving technology? PennDOT already looking at the challenges

"It's a step-by-step process. The adaptive cruise control, the blind spot notification, those types of things are technologies that will get us to that next level," Kurt Myers, PennDOT's deputy secretary for driver and vehicle services, said recently.
Between 2020 and 2030 (again, being conservative) the first mass-market semi-autonomous vehicles will hit the streets. Most likely, said Aaron Steinfield, a researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, the technology will initially be limited to freeway or limited access highway environments.
"Keep in mind, autonomous vehicles on highways were done in the mid-1990s," he said. "Highways are easier because they are more structured environments. So it's a lot easier to do safely because there's fewer unexpected events."

Do smart cars and Massachusetts drivers mix? State officials look to the future

How long will it be before self-driving cars hit Massachusetts streets? Does Massachusetts need to change its roads or repaint its lane markers? Should Massachusetts government invest money to grow the industry?  These were the types of questions posed Wednesday by two Massachusetts cabinet secretaries — Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash — to around 50 advocates and experts connected to the self-driving car industry.

Google wants to build its own futuristic, smart city

Sidewalk Labs, a division run under Google's parent company Alphabet, is looking to buy large swaths of land in different cities to create its own high-tech, futuristic municipalities, the Wall Street Journal reported. The aim is to transform parts of economically struggling cities into a proving ground for cities of the future.
Google's "Smart City" would provide an area to test everything from self-driving cars to a more efficient way to deliver water and electricity.

"Smokin Robot in 1939" - Pittsburgh has always been a leader in the robotics revolution

“It’s 1939 and Westinghouse wants to show off for the World’s Fair in New York City,” says Andy Masich, president and CEO of the Heinz History Center, where a replica of Elektro resides. “So they build this robot called Elektro. He can walk, talk and recognize colors. He can smoke cigarettes like it’s going out of style. He’s the hit of the World’s Fair...”
Today, the Robotics Institute at CMU is regularly in the headlines for its work with transportation company Uber. The two have joined forces to develop self-driving car technology, and CMU reportedly has already created a prototype. Pittsburgh is set to be a testing ground for this technology.
“This technology represents the natural progression of automation and will have a major positive impact on society, since transportation is a hub of modern economies,” said Raj Rajkumar, co-director of the General Motors-Carnegie Mellon Autonomous Driving Collaborative Research Lab, in a 2014 statement.

Forget Cars, This Company Has Self-Driving Forklifts Figured Out

Engineers and designers at Seegrid have spent the last decade perfecting technology that allows automated forklifts to travel through warehouses and move heavy product without a human behind the wheel. The machines roll about like robots, making noises that sound like beeps, bells and sirens as a means of communicating with one another and employees.
At the Seegrid headquarters in Coraopolis, workers assemble and program hundreds of self-driving industrial trucks before they’re shipped to warehouses nationwide...
The company was created by students at Carnegie Mellon University and with funding from Giant Eagle.

DARPA's Latest Concept Video Looks Like a Bad 90s Movie in an Awesome Way

DARPA just awarded contracts to eight different organizations to work on various aspects of the project: Carnegie Mellon University, Honeywell, Leidos, Pratt & Miller, QinetiQ Inc., Raytheon BBN, Southwest Research Institute, and SRI International.
The question that remains is whether these vehicles are going to have humans inside. The possibility of them being unmanned isn’t mentioned in the press release, but one has to imagine that part of the reason they’re less concerned about these things lacking armor might have to do with the fact that they’ll likely be driverless.

New law allows for driverless cars on Florida roads

The annual transportation budget bill includes specific language that allows for "autonomous vehicles" to be driven and tested on Florida roads, eliminating the requirement that a driver be present in a vehicle, as long as the autonomous vehicles meet applicable federal safety standards and regulations.
This change is expected to bring in millions, maybe billions, of dollars in federal money to encourage this technology development, and could lead to more jobs for Florida.

Illinois launches drive to become first 'smart state' using IoT

Illinois is hoping to become a “smart state” and begin adopting the types of connected technologies, including the Internet of Things, that have been propelling so-called “smart cities.”
The state’s Department of Innovation and Technology, in partnership with the Smart Cities Council and Chicago-based business incubator UI Labs, hosted a gathering of leaders from the public and private sectors Monday to lay out a new framework for how the state will tackle IoT issues in the coming months.

New report shows how connected autonomous vehicles could transform the UK

A new report says introducing autonomous vehicles in the UK could free up to 15-20% of developable land worth billions to build homes, workplaces and green spaces, as well as completely transform the look and operations of the country’s road network.  Published by the international infrastructure consultancy WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff (WSP-PB), and the internationally-recognized architecture and planning practice, Farrells, the report Making better places: Autonomous vehicles and future opportunities claims this would be made possible as parking requirements will be vastly reduced once the country has access to shared autonomous vehicles (AVs) for everyday journeys.

China's Deadly Advantage in Driverless Cars

Transport safety advances the same way physicist Max Planck saw science progressing: one funeral at a time.
That's bad news for the people of China, whose roads are some of the world's most dangerous. But it's an advantage for the slew of Chinese companies racing to overtake Silicon Valley and Detroit in developing self-driving vehicles.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

It isn’t just Uber: Carnegie Mellon’s computer science dean on its poaching problem

Andrew Moore was a professor of computer science and robotics at Carnegie Mellon University for a dozen years when Google hired him away in 2006 to lead some of its efforts around ad targeting and fraud prevention. CMU lured Moore back in 2014, making him the dean of its computer science school. But he still understands well what goes through his colleagues’ minds when industry comes calling, and he says the battle to keep them in academia grows fiercer by the year.  Earlier today, we talked with Moore about Uber, which famously raided the school’s robotics department a year ago, poaching 40 of its researchers and scientists. We also talked about how Moore entices people to stay, and the newest new thing his 2,000-student school is focused on right now. Our chat has been edited for length.

Volvo wants families to cruise around London in its driverless cars

Volvo is looking for families to take part in a new driverless car experiment that will take place in London next year.
The Swedish car giant said in a press release on Wednesday that its "Drive me London" experiment will be different to other autonomous vehicle tests because it will include "real families" in autonomous cars on public roads.

The Swedish car giant said in a press release on Wednesday that its "Drive me London" experiment will be different to other autonomous vehicle tests because it will include "real families" in autonomous cars on public roads.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

City of Pittsburgh Launches Pilot Program for Local Startups

Mayor William Peduto, the City of Pittsburgh Department of Innovation & Performance and Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh today announced a new initiative, PGH Lab.
PGH Lab is a pilot program designed to connect local startup companies with the City of Pittsburgh, to explore new ways to use technology and new services to make municipal government more efficient, transparent, sustainable and inclusive. Through the program, local startup companies will be connected with various City departments to test new technologies and services for a period of three months.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Smart grids can help electric vehicles tick

While several states in India continue to face high energy and peak-time power deficits along with unreliable supply, the demand for electricity is growing consistently. Under NEMMP 2020, India envisages a deployment of 6-7 million Electric Vehicles (EVs) by 2020. Considering the possibility of increased EV penetration in the coming years, it is critical to evaluate its impact on the electricity grid. Is the present grid ready to handle the additional load demand from the planned fleet of EVs?

Video: City gives in to people who text and walk, embeds traffic lights in sidewalk

As the Washington Post reports, the burgermeisters of Augsburg have taken pity on all those who walk along while staring at their screens. They've installed traffic lights in the sidewalks, so that the walkers don't ever need to look up.
Yes, lights in the concrete. Yes, on the ground. Yes, the world has gone charmingly potty. (You can see the lights in action here.)
Tradition has it that Germans like to follow rules. But how can they see and obey traffic signals when their heads are permanently bent toward Facebook?

Automated and Connected Vehicles: Summary of the 9th University Transportation Centers Spotlight Conference

TRB's Conference Proceedings on the Web 19: Automated and Connected Vehicles: Summary of the 9th University Transportation Centers Spotlight Conference highlights a November 4-5, 2015 conference held in Washington, D.C. on Automated and Connected Vehicles. This conference was the 9th in a series of Spotlight Conferences funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (U.S. DOT) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology (OST-R), which sponsors the University Transportation Centers (UTC) Program.

This conference highlighted connected and automated vehicle research, testing, and deployment activities under way at the national, state, and local levels. Presenters also provided perspectives from the insurance industry, self-driving technology and mapping companies, and carsharing businesses.

2017 TRB Annual Meeting and Transportation Research Record: Call for Papers

TRB standing committees have issued calls for papers for the 96th TRB Annual Meeting, January 8-12, 2017, in Washington, D.C, and the Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board (TRR). The deadline to submit papers to be considered for the 2017 TRB Annual Meeting and TRR is August 1, 2016. Papers must be submitted in PDF format via the paper submission website.

Google, Ford, Uber join coalition to further self-driving cars

Alphabet Inc's Google unit, Ford Motor Co, the ride-sharing service Uber  and two other companies said on Tuesday they are forming a coalition to push for federal action to help speed self-driving cars to market.
Sweden-based Volvo Cars, which is owned by China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co, and Uber rival Lyft also are part of the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets. The group said in a statement it will "work with lawmakers, regulators and the public to realize the safety and societal benefits of self-driving vehicles."
The coalition said David Strickland, the former top official of the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the top U.S. auto safety agency that is writing new guidance on self-driving cars, will be the coalition’s counsel and spokesman.

What Is a Smart City?

Some smart city advocates emphasize efforts to engage and connect with residents, others emphasize infrastructure. But the general goal — something no city has yet achieved — is to collect immediate data on everything from traffic patterns to home water use, analyze it, and use that information to make the city work better.
“We have some cities moving in that direction, but a lot more doing little one-offs, really,” said Stephen Goldsmith of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, a former mayor of Indianapolis and former deputy mayor of New York.
Advocates say smart city technology will save cities money and energy, while better connecting cities and citizens. The White House announced $160 million in spending to research and develop smart city technology.

Monday, April 25, 2016

USDOT to host webinar on adapting to climate change using ITS

The USDOT's ITS Professional Capacity Building program will host a free Talking Technology and Transportation Webinar, Adapting to Climate Change Using Intelligent Transportation Systems on Tuesday, 10 May from 1300 pm to 1430 pm EST.

New report examines Michigan's transportation safety workforce

A new report from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute's Center for Advancing Transportation Leadership and Safety utilized occupational analysis by the Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan to identify more than 90 occupations and more than 500,000 Michigan workers with employment that could be relevant to transportation safety-related careers.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx Concludes Visit to Three “Smart Cities”: Copenhagen, Denmark; Amsterdam, The Netherlands; and Oslo, Norway

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx last week completed a multi-day visit to Copenhagen, Denmark; Amsterdam, The Netherlands; and Oslo, Norway, as part of an ongoing effort to learn from international partners about innovative ways to meet the transportation challenges of the future.

How the Daily Commute Is Going to Change

The modern commute may be heading for a big upgrade, thanks to carpool ride-sharing services and advances in automotive electronics and smart transportation systems...
Early results have encouraged public-transit experts to start considering Uber and Lyft apps as potential means for reducing congestion. A recent study by the American Public Transportation Association suggests that ride-sharing trips using Uber and Lyft are replacing trips made with personal vehicles more than trips using public transport. The report recommended that public-transit officials start working on ways to make ride-sharing part of their services.

Why Cities Aren’t Ready for the Driverless Car

When it comes to adopting self-driving cars and trucks, the easiest part may well be building them. The far more difficult task will be maintaining our urban transportation infrastructures for autonomous vehicles to be functional, safe and practical.  Consider that last year, a modified Audi completed a 3,400-mile cross-country trip, driving itself 99% of the time. The 1% of roadway the car couldn’t navigate on its own: construction zones and other complicated traffic situations—hallmarks of urban traffic.

Building a Bikeable City for All

A small group of bike advocates gathered at a cafe in the Woodlawn neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side in November 2014. There’s nothing unusual in a few cyclists meeting over coffee, but this particular group was on a mission. Frustrated with what they saw as the city’s lack of investment in bike infrastructure and bike-share in low-income communities and communities of color, they decided to make a big push for change...
Yet according to a League of American Bicyclists report, people of color accounted for the fastest cyclist growth from 2001 to 2009. In that period, African-American ridership increased by 100 percent, Asian ridership grew 80 percent and Latino ridership grew 50 percent while white ridership grew just 22 percent.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Driverless cars may hit road in Singapore in next 12 months

And now, SMRT Services, the country's privatized public transportation company, is planning to launch driverless Group Rapid Transit (GRT) cars by the end of next year.
The vehicles would hold 24 people, seating approximately 12 people while allowing for standing room for 12 more. Essentially, they would operate as mini buses, akin to automated shuttles that could be used to transport people across the city. The GRTs would be fully automated and 100 percent electric. They would operate using a magnet based navigation system and obstacle detection system.

Chinese firms accelerate in race toward driverless future

Last week, ahead of the Beijing Auto Show opening on Monday, two self-driving Changan cars made a mountainous 2,000 kilometre (1,200 mile) journey from Chongqing in the southwest to the capital in the country’s first long-distance autonomous vehicle test...
Public concerns over the safety of driverless cars are far lower than elsewhere, according to a survey by Roland Berger consultants in 2015, which found 96 per cent of Chinese would consider an autonomous vehicle for almost all everyday driving, compared with 58 per cent of Americans and Germans.

One In Three Would Take A Nap In A Driverless Car, Survey Says

Questioning motorists in the United Kingdom on their future activities inside driverless cars, WhatCar came up with a few interesting answers.
The survey reveals that 26 percent, or nearly one out of three, would feel comfortable enough to be driven around autonomously while taking a nap...
At the opposite end, 51 percent stated that they would feel "unsafe" or "very unsafe" behind the wheel of a car that drives itself, while 45 percent found the idea "very unappealing".

Elon Musk Is Working On Some Kind Of Self-Driving Bus

Sure, an affordable electric car can go a long way towards helping Australia achieve energy independence and wrestling its citizens away from fossil fuels. But if Elon Musk really wanted to solve our transportation problems, he’d be designing an electric bus. If his comments at a conference today are true, Musk is doing exactly that.  At a transportation event sponsored by the Norwegian government, Musk revealed (in his signature coy way), that Tesla was working on a secret project to solve urban mobility: "We have an idea for something which is not exactly a bus, but would solve the density problem in intercity situations. I think we need to rethink the whole concept of public transport and create something that people are actually gonna like a lot more. I don’t want to talk too much about it."

Toyota Driving for 5G in Cars by 2020

Toyota is hoping to deploy 5G mobile technology in its cars as soon as 2020, a researcher at the company told Light Reading here Wednesday.
The Brooklyn 5G Summit gets started properly Thursday but the event showed off exhibits and had a meet and greet on Wednesday. One thing was clear from the get-go: 5G has people in the communications industry, and in the wider world, looking beyond the smartphone.

LaunchCMU A Technology Startup and Research Showcase in the Silicon Valley

A Technology Startup and Research Showcase
Theme: Smart Cities
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Oracle Conference Center
350 Oracle Parkway Redwood Shores, CA 94065

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Event: Women Transportation Leaders of the Northeast

2:00-3:30 PM Thursday, April 28, 2016
Please join us for an engaging discussion with the four women heads of state departments of transportation in the northeastern states. They will share with us their experiences advancing in transportation organizations and we’ll have a dialogue with them about transportation leadership.

  • Jennifer Cohan Secretary of Delaware Department of Transportation 
  • Stephanie Pollack Secretary of Massachusetts Department of Transportation 
  • Leslie Richards Secretary of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 
  • Victoria Sheehan Commissioner of New Hampshire Department of Transportation
  • Anna Barry, Deputy Commissioner of Connecticut Department of Transportation 
  • Celia Blue, Chief of Staff, Rhode Island Department of Transportation 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Adelaide primed for driverless car research by Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University has put a five­-year, $25 million plan to develop driverless car technology to the South Australian government, capitalising on 30 years of industry research and development at its Pittsburgh headquarters. The university’s Australian campus executive dean Emil Bolongaita said the project would include establishing an engineering department in Adelaide by the middle of next year, partnering with the University of Adelaide, information technology companies and Holden, and students undertaking research degrees in both countries.

CMU in final round of SpaceX Hyperloop competition: 30 minutes from here to NYC

Led by Anshuman Kumar, a graduate student at the Integrated Innovation Institute, the CMU Hyperloop team began its work last May, and has since grown to include over 75 members from a variety of backgrounds in engineering, design and business. Iyer, a freshman who currently studies economics and statistics, joined the team last November, months after the design process had already begun.“It’s a really low-pressure environment, and the pod essentially levitates in the tube, kind of like a puck on an air hockey table,” says Iyer. The CMU Hyperloop information session will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Rashid Auditorium.

YPT Autonomous Vehicle Event Featuring a Presentation from Traffic21, Tuesday, 4/19, 6pm

University Club | 123 University Place | Pittsburgh, PA 15260

$25 for Members | $30 for Non-Members | Free for Student Members |$10 for Student Non-Members
 Come join YPT Pittsburgh for an evening of networking and food! Social hour with food and drinks (cash bar) from 6 to 7 PM; Presentation to begin at 7 PM.
The event will feature a presentation about autonomous vehicles by Courtney Ehrlichman, the Deputy Executive Director of Traffic21. This is a great opportunity to learn about developments in autonomous vehicle technology while networking with professionals and students in the transportation industry!

WTS PGH Hosts Women's Forum with PennDOT Sec. Leslie Richards, 4/20

The Women’s Forum will include female leaders in the A/E/C industry and will encourage an interactive, “Town Hall” discussion. Women in all stages of their careers are encouraged to save the date for this event!
Light refreshments will be served.

To encourage an open dialogue, we are requesting that attendance be women only.
Panelists Include:
Leslie Richards, PennDOT Secretary of Transportation
Tammi Halapin, Principal, Collective Efforts
Courtney Ehrlichman, Deputy Executive Director, Traffic21 Institute at Carnegie Mellon University
Lisa Cooper, Vice President, JMT
Beth Nury, Owner, Beth’s Barricades
Jan Oliver, ALCOSAN, Director of Regional Conveyance
MODERATOR: Cheryl Moon-Sirianni, PennDOT District 11-0 ADE-Design

Transit Agencies Might Partner with Uber, Lyft to Provide Paratransit Services

"I understand there are budget concerns. But for me this is a quality-of-life issue," said Sarah Kaplan, 32, who was born with cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. She rides a vehicle operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to get to and from her job as internship coordinator with the Boston Center for Independent Living. "I want the right to leave my house like everyone else," Kaplan said. In 2012, the MBTA doubled fares from $2 to $4 for The Ride, triggering protests; several people chained their wheelchairs together and blocked traffic. Fares were later rolled back to $3 for most rides.

Why Transit Agencies Are Finally Embracing Uber

“There’s a lot of opportunity there to figure out ways to integrate the marketing and the payment systems so that you actually can solve transit agencies’ biggest problem, which is the first and last mile,” says Sharon Feigon, who led the study and runs the Shared-Use Mobility Center in Chicago. “That’s the part that a fixed transit system just can’t deal with.”

Car makers ask US to slow down on allowing self-driving cars

NHTSA held a public hearing Friday to get different viewpoints. Paul Scullion, safety manager at the Association of Global Automakers, warned that issuing guidance instead of writing regulations could allow dangerous cars on the road. "While this process is often time-consuming, these procedural safeguards are in place for valid reasons," Scullion said, according to the Associated Press. Scullion also said that NHTSA "should not bind itself to arbitrary, self-imposed deadlines at the expense of robust and thoughtful policy analysis," according to Reuters. The Association of Global Automakers represents Aston Martin, Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Isuzu, Kia, Maserati, McLaren, Nissan, Subaru, and Suzuki, and Toyota.

USDOT Smart Cities: Connecting People to Opportunity

Low-income Americans spend nearly a quarter of their annual income on transportation while high-income Americans spend about one-tenth. To combat these challenges, cities must find ways to foster the emergence of new technologies that have the potential to transform transportation. And a number of trends in technology are already taking place. We are seeing Improvements to how we collect and analyze data, how communications and mobile platforms evolve, how rapidly connected and automated vehicle technologies emerge, and how soon all modes of transportation transition to using clean forms of energy. These all hold the promise of making our future transportation system safer, more accessible and efficient, and more environmentally sustainable. Throughout the Department we are thrilled that The Smart City Challenge is serving as a catalyst for proactive and innovative transportation planning that fosters the integration of, and access to, advanced technologies.

Taking the fight out of sharing: Juno let's drivers be employees and offers equity in company

Juno will give its drivers the option of being employees so long as they agree to work exclusively for its service; whereas Uber skims 20 to 25 percent off the top of each fare, Juno will take 10 percent. And Juno patrons will have the ability to tip their drivers if they do choose. Most notably, Juno is offering everyone who signs up to drive for the service equity in the company, as long as they stay active with the company for two years. In fact, Marco said it is setting aside half of the founding shares to give to drivers over the next decade.

Ford Redefines it's Culture, Goes Green and Declares Personal Mobility is the New Black

Last fall, the Ford Motor Company announced a $4.5 billion investment in EV and battery R&D, and now the company has upped the ante on itself. For the first time since the 1950s, Ford is embarking on a complete do-over of its product operations and global headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, that seems aimed at soaking the entire company in EV culture. The effort will transition the company’s current roster of 70 buildings into two “green” campuses that will double as showcases and test beds for cutting edge mobility products, much of which revolves around EV technology and connectivity.

And yes, Ford’s eBikes will be part of it.

Beverly Hills, Calif., moves toward self-driving public transit

City council members in Beverly Hills, Calif., have unanimously approved a program to develop a public transit system that uses autonomous vehicles. The city is designing a fiber-optic communications network for future smart cars, and it plans to partner with Google and Tesla. 

Toyota takes Ann Arbor Connected Vehicle Test Environment to the Streets

The partnership aims to help the newly launched Ann Arbor Connected Vehicle Test Environment (AACVTE) deploy 5,000 vehicles in the area that are equipped with a vehicle awareness device that will transmit speed and positioning data to other vehicles that are equipped with the same device as well as the surrounding environment where research equipment will be located on the roadside and at intersections. Participation in the AACVTE is not exclusive to Toyota team members and their families, however. The AACVTE with allow the research to be conducted on the entire 27 square miles of the city. Plans are to add 1,500 vehicles a year to the program.

Regarding Tesla sales to regular people: CMU Prof says it will take a lot

Surveys by Carnegie Mellon show that getting from the tech savvy to regular folks will take a lot. Most U.S. consumers don't even know what an electric car does, said Jeremy Michalek, a professor of engineering and public policy. Electric cars currently are only 1 percent of U.S. sales. "Winning over the enthusiast is just fundamentally different from winning over mainstream consumers," he said.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Autonomous Parking Garages May Come Before the Cars

While autonomous driving gets the buzz, some experts say that autonomous parking garages may come years earlier. "Since you're dealing with low speeds and garages that would be closed off to foot traffic, liability issues can be resolved in a much more straightforward way," says Aaron Steinfeld, an associate research professor at Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute. Steinfeld helped develop a self-parking system in 2010, and he says autonomous parking will change urban planning. "In time you will see less square footage dedicated to parking and more space for pickups and drop-offs," he says.

US bike-share programs extend public transportation

Bike-share programs are operating in 65 US cities, according to a report from the US Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Most offerings are near bus or train stations, extending public transportation networks. 

'Smart cities' tap technology as remedy for inequity

At first glance, Pittsburgh's proposal is similarly traditional, with a new electric, autonomous bus route planned to run from downtown to the poor Hazelwood neighborhood. But the city also plans to work with the community college and workforce development board to train residents to help manufacture connected infrastructure sensors that would be placed across the city to ease transportation flow. "We spent a lot of time talking about the social return on our investment, and part of that is making sure all of the aspects of our system have an equity component," said Alex Pazuchanics, a policy adviser to the mayor.

Friday, April 8, 2016

CMU Prof on Tesla Delivery Snag

Costa Samaras, an assistant professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University, said that Tesla's sales in 2015 were 51 percent higher than in 2014.
If the company delivers its estimated 90,000 vehicles this year, that will be a 260 percent growth rate from last year, he said. But he noted that in Tesla's annual report, or 10-K SEC filing, the company said that it's going to make significant investments in its Fremont, Calif., plant to start Model 3 production in late 2017. "They have to make all 3 lines in Fremont," Samaras said in a message. So if Tesla sold 90,000 this year and wanted to build 283,000 Model 3s, and the same combined 90,000 of the Model S and X in 2017, "they'd have to grow another 314 [percent] in 2017. This is a massive scale-up. Is it doable?"

Thursday, April 7, 2016

PGH Department of Innovation & Performance launches Resilient Pittsburgh Newsletter

This year the City of Pittsburgh's Department of Innovation & Performance is taking strides to help our city become more resilient by addressing the stresses we face today and preparing for potential future shocks, ranging from a lack of affordable housing to poor air quality and severe storms to hazardous materials incidents. As one of the 100 Resilient Cities - Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, Pittsburgh strives to ensure that all residents have the have the same opportunities to live well and succeed.  This monthly newsletter will give updates on the process as we develop Pittsburgh's Resilience Strategy, share opportunities to get involved, and will also feature some of the projects that are already improving resilience in the region.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Amazon and Microsoft will reportedly invest in Here, the self-driving car mapping unit

The amount of interest in Here signals the centrality that high-definition maps will play to the automotive world, especially as more and more manufacturers get into the autonomous game. Uber is building up its mapping division in parallel to its self-driving unit, the former staffed with ex-Google employees and the latter with Carnegie Mellon University engineers. Google Maps product manager Manik Gupta jumped to Uber's mapping division last December. His new boss is Brian McClendon, the former head of Google's entire mapping division. Meanwhile, TomTom has recently started to work with auto parts maker Bosch to develop road maps for self-driving vehicles.