Big strategy: Innovation campus may finally launch development near Pittsburgh’s airport

December 12, 2018
Posted in News

While the site work takes place, the authority will be working on a strategy to attract companies and business to the campus, CEO Christina Cassotis said.

It also will be collaborating with local universities to help chart a course for the development, she said.

Carnegie Mellon University already is partnering with the authority to make Pittsburgh International “the smartest airport on the planet” through the use of apps, sensors and other technology.

“This is really a big vision for the airport in terms of bringing the manufacturing that will take advantage of the region’s destination as a leader in [artificial intelligence] and robotics,” Ms. Cassotis said.
More>>

Startups collecting data about Pittsburgh roads think they can shake up city infrastructure

December 11, 2018
Posted in News

The challenge? Integrating various datasets, said Alex Pazuchanics, assistant director of planning, policy and permitting at the city’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure…

Usually such data is siloed and used for a specific purpose, such as when a city comes up with bus routes, explained Zhen Qian, director of CMU’s Mobility Data Analytics Center in Oakland.

And even though startups like Gridwise and LaneSpotter could enable better infrastructure decisions, the “old-fashioned way” is still popular, he said.

To predict traffic on the Parkway East, for example, city planners rely on inductive loop detectors, buried in the pavement, and radar detectors set up on the shoulder to count cars.

“It’s very useful, but it misses a lot things,” Mr. Qian explained. “It’s a fixed location number. You don’t know where people are going, where they’re coming from, what route they take, why they take Uber over the bus. This is what I’m missing.”
More>>

GHSA Visits CMU for AV Tour

December 11, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

December 11, 2018

The Government Highway Safety Association visited Carnegie Mellon University to learn more about Mobility21’s policy, technology, people in autonomous vehicles. They spent time learning more about the AV’s here on campus and visiting the Navigation Lab where a lot of AV research is done.

Mobility21 Director Shares Expertise on Autonomous Vehicles in Axios Article

December 7, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

December 6, 2018

Raj Rajkumar, Director of Mobility21, the National USDOT University Transportation Center for Mobility, shares his expertise on autonomous vehicles in Axios article “1 big thing: The price of driverless cars.”  Read the article here:  https://www.axios.com/newsletters/axios-future-e692a32f-6272-4add-bd11-2e450c1f5967.html?chunk=0#story0.

 

 

Mobility21 Program Manager Attends PAIC Groundbreaking

December 6, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

December 6, 2018

Mobility21 Program Manager, Lisa Kay Schweyer, joined Carnegie Mellon’s Chief of Staff and Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, Daryl Weinhert at the Pittsburgh Airport Innovation Campus (PAIC) Groundbreaking. The PAIC will provide space at the airport for innovation testbeds for aviation and customer service technologies.    

Elsie Hillman Honors Scholar Presents Research at PennState

December 6, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

December 6, 2018

Teresa Leatherow, an Elsie Hillman Honors Scholar working with Traffic21, presented her semester’s research on automation and long-haul trucking at the Pennsylvania State University Transportation Engineering and Safety Conference. Other topics that were presented on by students include dedicated bus lanes, network resilience, and parking demand models for urban areas. Conference attendees were able to participate in various breakout sessions on safety, operations, planning, design, and technology and had the opportunity hear from Pennsylvania Secretary of Transportation Leslie Richards!

Waymo launches nation’s first commercial self-driving taxi service in Arizona

December 6, 2018
Posted in News

Waymo, part of Alphabet Inc., is starting small, rolling out the service first to hundreds of the company’s local volunteer testers, and only in part of this sprawling region of almost 5 million people. But the move is a major — and potentially revealing — step in the tightly controlled and hype-filled realm of self-driving vehicles.

“It’s a big leap between testing this stuff and booking and transporting a passenger who’s paying money for a service,” said Costa Samaras, an automation and infrastructure expert at Carnegie Mellon University who worked as an engineer on a New York subway expansion early in his career. “This is real.”
More>>

Journey: the picture history of the driverless car

December 4, 2018
Posted in News

The first attempts at removing humans from the act of driving were made in the 1920s.
Since then, the technology used to control driverless cars has varied greatly but the main goals have remained surprisingly constant. Driverless and autonomous cars are a way to reduce traffic congestion on crowded roads, improve safety and, last but not least, make money…

NavLab 1 (1986)
Carnegie Mellon University promoted research in the field of self-driving cars before most American schools. In 1986, a pivotal year in the history of the autonomous car, researchers from the School of Robotics turned a Chevrolet van into a prototype named Navlab 1. The cargo compartment was big enough to comfortably house a team of researchers plus the computers and controllers needed for the van to drive itself. The ability to override the system was programmed into the prototype early on.

More>>

Transportation Club Hosts Career Panel

November 29, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

November 29, 2018

CMU’s Transportation Club hosted a career panel with leaders from Mobility21’s deployment partners including Uber, Port Authority, Healthy Ride, Propel IT and Noblis. The audience learned about opportunities for transportation-related careers in addition to the challenges and rewards of the industry.

Why aren’t there electric airplanes yet?

November 28, 2018
Posted in News

Venkat Viswanathan, Carnegie Mellon University; Shashank Sripad, Carnegie Mellon University, and William Leif Fredericks, Carnegie Mellon University

(THE CONVERSATION) As electric cars and trucks appear increasingly on U.S. highways, it raises the question: When will commercially viable electric vehicles take to the skies? There are a number of ambitious efforts to build electric-powered airplanes, including regional jets and planes that can cover longer distances. Electrification is starting to enable a type of air travel that many have been hoping for, but haven’t seen yet – a flying car.

A key challenge in building electric aircraft involves how much energy can be stored in a given amount of weight of the on-board energy source. Although the best batteries store about 40 times less energy per unit of weight than jet fuel, a greater share of their energy is available to drive motion. Ultimately, for a given weight, jet fuel contains about 14 times more usable energy than a state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery.
More>>

Five Big Ways the United States Will Need to Adapt to Climate Change

November 28, 2018
Posted in News

Much of the nation’s infrastructure, including things like roads and sewers, was built with historical weather conditions in mind. But as extreme weather becomes more frequent, the report says, the past is no longer a good guide to the future.

In Hampton Roads, Va., nearly half of residents reported being unable to drive out of their neighborhoods at some point last year because of flooding at high tide as sea levels have risen. In the Northeast, sewer systems built for the storms of the past are expected to overflow more frequently as climate change brings heavier rainfall.

“It’s still not standard practice for engineers to think about future climate,” said Costa Samaras, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. While a few cities, like New York and Baltimore, have begun using climate forecasts in their infrastructure planning, he said, “it’s not as widespread as it needs to be.”
More>>

Pittsburgh expanding system of ‘smart’ traffic lights to ease congestion

November 28, 2018
Posted in News

About a third of Pittsburgh’s 610 intersections will be equipped over the next two years with smart traffic signals designed to ease congestion and allow for a smoother commute along key city corridors, an official said.

Karina Ricks, who heads the city’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, said the city will add more than 150 new signals along five “smart spines” that mostly lead in and out of Downtown…

Fifty intersections in the East End since 2012 have been equipped with sensors as part of a program of Traffic21, a CMU research institute. CMU’s research indicates vehicles in East Liberty intersections spend 40 percent less time idling, resulting in a 21 percent emissions reduction.

“There’s greater efficiency,” Ricks said. “I wouldn’t necessarily guarantee that traffic is going to move quicker. It depends on which route you’re using, but vehicles should move more smoothly.”
More>>

TriState Infrastructure Summit

November 27, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

November 27, 2018

160 industry and public sector representatives attended the 2018 TriState Infrastructure Summit, presented by the TriState Infrastructure Council and its partners, at the Regional Learning Alliance in Cranberry Township, Pa.

Traffic21/Mobility21 Director participates in Paving the Way for AV hosted by Babst Calland

November 27, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

November 27, 2018

Stan Caldwell, CMU Executive Director of Traffic21 and Mobility21 participated with Justine Kasznica of law firm Babst Calland’s Mobility, Transport and Safety practice on the panel Paving the Way for Autonomous Vehicles hosted by Babst Calland.  The presentation included a discussion about autonomous vehicles in the broader context of infrastructure design and development, and issues related to urban infrastructure and research and advancements in mobility technologies.

RoadBotics, a computer road maintenance analyst firm in East Liberty, raises $3.9 million to expand

November 22, 2018
Posted in News

An East Liberty company that has designed a cheaper, more efficient way to evaluate the condition of roads has raised nearly $4 million to expand the company.

RoadBotics, founded in 2016 as a spinoff from Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, announced Wednesday it has raised $3.9 million in venture capital. CEO Mark DeSantis said about half the money would be used to refine and expand the system’s analytic capabilities and the other half would be used to expand the 34-member operation with more sales and marketing staff…

The venture capital came from a variety of sources, including Boston-based Hyperplane Venture Capital, and includes BMW and Innovation Works of Pittsburgh. The firm raised about $1 million in fall 2017 and may seek another round of funding in the spring or summer, Mr. DeSantis said.
More>>

Ohio State helps introduce new smart shuttles to Columbus

November 21, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

November 11, 2018

Engineers from Ohio State’s Center for Automotive Research are playing a key role in a new line of self-driving shuttles expected to debut in Columbus next month. Maryn Weimer, senior associate director of CAR, said DriveOhio goes to CAR for research purposes to make sure safety and efficiency goals are met.

Read the full article

 

UTC Spin-off company, RoadBotics has raised $3.9M in its series seed round of financing

November 16, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

November 16, 2018

UTC Spin-off company, RoadBotics, developer of advanced computer vision technology for inspecting roads and infrastructure, has raised $3.9M in its series seed round of financing, led by Boston-based Hyperplane Venture Capital. The capital will help the company revolutionize the way engineering firms, local governments and municipalities manage and maintain roadways and other infrastructure. RoadBotics, headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, is a rapidly-growing two-year-old company that uses deep learning to assess roadways for 78 cities, towns and counties across the US and Australia. The company emerged from the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in December 2016 and grew out of Carnegie Mellon’s extensive research in autonomous vehicles. Read more here: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/roadbotics-secures-3-9m-to-transform-road-management-300750045.html.

CCAC Presents Mission Critical: Filling Tomorrows Jobs

November 15, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

November 15, 2018

CCAC hosted an event titled “Mission Critical: Filling Tomorrow’s Jobs” where they discussed how business and labor can collectively address the rising challenges of the growing skills gap and anticipated worker shortage.

Mobility21 Exec. Director Gives Lecture at Osher

November 15, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

November 15, 2018

Mobility21 Executive Director Stan Caldwell provided a guest lecture at the Urban Planning Choices course of the Carnegie Mellon University Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.   He presented Mobility21 research and highlighted the policy implications of new technologies disrupting transportation and urban planning.

UTC Professor’s Group Published 6 Papers for ITSC Conference

November 14, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

November 2018

Two CMU PhD students, Mansur Arief and Jiacheng Zhu, from Mechanical Engineering ME presented at the ITSC conference. UTC Professor, Ding Zhao and his group published 6 papers in this conference, which is considered to the top conference in the autonomous vehicles field.

Mansur Arief, Peter Glynn, Ding Zhao, ”An Accelerated Approach to Safely and Efficiently Test Pre-production Autonomous Vehicles on Public Streets,” Proceedings of the IEEE 20th International Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference (ITSC), Hawaii, USA, November 4-7, 2018.

Jiacheng Zhu, Wenshuo Wang, Ding Zhao, ”A Tempt to Unify Heterogeneous Driving Databases using Traffic Primitives,” Proceedings of the IEEE 20th International Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference (ITSC), Hawaii, USA, November 4-7, 2018.

Xun Gong, Yaohui Guo, Yiheng Feng, Jing Sun, Ding Zhao, ”Evaluation of the Energy Efficiency in a Mixed Traffic with Automated Vehicles and Human Controlled Vehicles,” Proceedings of the IEEE 20th International Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference (ITSC), Hawaii, USA, November 4-7, 2018.

Zhiyuan Huang, Mansur Arief, Henry Lam, Ding Zhao, ”Synthesis of Different Autonomous Vehicles Test Approaches,” Proceedings of the IEEE 20th International Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference (ITSC), Hawaii, USA, November 4-7, 2018.

Yan Chang, Weiqing Yang, Ding Zhao, ”Fuel Economy and Emission Testing for Connected and Automated Vehicles Using Real-world Driving Datasets,” Proceedings of the IEEE 20th International Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference (ITSC), Hawaii, USA, November 4-7, 2018.

Songan Zhang, Huei Peng, Eric Tseng, Ding Zhao, “Accelerated Evaluation of Autonomous Vehicles in the Lane Change Scenario Based on Subset Simulation Technique,” Proceedings of the IEEE 20th International Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference (ITSC), Hawaii, USA, November 4-7, 2018.

It’s Not All Hyperloops: Elon Musk Wants To Dig Your City’s Next Sewer

November 14, 2018
Posted in News

Elon Musk’s big ideas usually involve revolutions in clean power, electric cars, Mars colonies and high-speed tube travel, but the billionaire entrepreneur wants U.S. cities to know that when it comes to the Boring Company he has a practical side, too. In fact, his new tunnel-oriented endeavor will do a lot more than just make vacuum-tube Hyperloops—it’ll build your new sewer lines…

“Moving cars underground in cities is expensive, but having power, water, sewer, communications and other utilities underground in cities is essential. And a lot of these systems are old and in bad shape,” said Constantine Samaras, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. “Often fixing utilities means cutting open the street and disrupting traffic.”

“If the Boring Co. can use their tunneling technology to make it faster and cheaper to install and upgrade underground utilities, it will be a big benefit to cities,” he said.
More>>

How MINI’s startup accelerator URBAN-X is reimagining city life

November 12, 2018
Posted in News

URBAN-X’s goal – shared by MINI and Urban.US – is to find the best startups and most creative founders working on urban innovation and help scale those ideas to 100 cities over the next five years. The program offers startups an immersive five months of help, including business and technical support, product development and branding support, as well as mentorship and connections to customers and investors. “Cities are where the growth is and where the majority of the world’s population currently lives,” says Micah Kotch. “If you want to solve the world’s problems, you have to solve urban problems.”…

The URBAN-X programme worked for RoadBotics, a startup with a simple solution to a long-running problem: maintaining road surfaces. Ever since the Romans laid down roads, someone has had to drive along inspecting the concrete for telltale cracks – first it was via chariot, and now it’s trained pavement engineers in the back of a pickup-truck, notes Mark DeSantis, CEO of RoadBotics.
More>>

Traffic21 Director Chris Hendrickson Presents at CMU Transportation Energy Monthly Lunch

November 8, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

November 8, 2018

Traffic21 Director, Chris Hendrickson and Rick Grahn from the Mobility Data Analytics Center Rick Grahn presented a talk for discussion titled “Travel Behavioral Trends in the United States: Evidence from the 2017 National Household Travel Survey. “

What Jaguar says about the battery in its new electric car

November 8, 2018
Posted in News

Earlier this year, Jaguar launched a premium electric car, the I-PACE, introducing a new luxury competitor to Tesla. The I-PACE has received good reviews, and its larger battery gave it a longer range on a single charge than the Tesla Model X, based on European standardized tests. A few weeks ago, however, US standardized tests results were published and the I-Pace performed worse than the Model X.

Quartz asked Venkat Viswanathan and his team at Carnegie Mellon University to explain the discrepancy—you can read the story here. For transparency, below are the answers we received from Jaguar in response to our questions.
More>>

TESLA’S AUTOPILOT NOW CHANGES LANES—AND YOU’RE GONNA HELP IT OUT

November 7, 2018
Posted in News

“Tesla and other vehicle manufacturers really need to understand how humans interact with different levels of autonomy,” says Costa Samaras, a civil engineer who studies electric and autonomous vehicles at Carnegie Mellon University. Do drivers use the suggestions? How confident are they in them, and how quickly do they notice and accept them?

Which setting do they use for how aggressive lane changes are?

“These types of partially automated features, where there’s a very visible human in the loop, enables them to get data and eventually make their systems better,” says Samaras.
More>>