• January 18, 2022 - Clarience Technologies Prepares for Smart Future - "Kupchella said the trailer has to get smart in dealing with tires, rolling resistance and battery life, for instance, as the industry transitions into electrification, and eventually autonomous vehicles a little further out... He suggested the whole supply chain is going to change to some extent over the next 10 to 15 years, as it figures out what to manufacture to support the electrification and autonomous vehicles... Ensuring that happens prompted Clarience to move its R&D center to Pittsburgh near the campus of Carnegie Mellon University and its headquarters to Southfield, Mich. — both formerly located in New York. The company also noted it forged strong relationships with several other top-tier universities, including Michigan State University and Lawrence Technological University in Michigan and Penn State Behrend in Pennsylvania, which will serve as key enablers to foster future innovations." Link to Article

  • January 18, 2022 - Hybrid Powertrain Could Replace Dirty Diesels - "Diesels are efficient and inexpensive, but they are also a prime source of nitrogen oxide and greenhouse gases. The Department of Energy is investing heavily in electric and hydrogen-based engines, but such alternatives aren’t quite ready for primetime. According to Daniel Cohn, a research scientist for the MIT Energy Initiative, we can’t afford to wait... Fleet owners may discover that the flex-fuel hybrid concept offers an affordable option to bridge the gap between traditional carbon-burning technologies and practical clean energy solutions. Cohn and a group of researchers at MIT are working on just such an evolutionary solution: a flex-fuel gasoline-alcohol engine design in a hybrid powertrain complemented by battery power. Their approach combines already existing engine systems to preserve the efficiency and economy of diesel for long-haul trucks while drastically reducing the polluting downsides of diesels. " Link to Article

  • January 18, 2022 - Nuro’s new delivery robot will include external airbags for pedestrians - "Nuro, the autonomous delivery company, announced its third-generation autonomous vehicle with a host of new improvements, including a bizarre-looking external airbag for pedestrians... For the new vehicle, the external airbag is certainly the most eye-catching new feature. A rendering of the airbag makes it look like an inflated mattress strapped to the front end of the vehicle. Since the vehicle is not intended for human drivers or occupants, Nuro installed the airbag on the outside for pedestrians in case of a collision. It’s the latest attempt by an autonomous vehicle company to account for the safety of people outside of the vehicle, such as pedestrians and cyclists. And while it may look silly on the surface — and who knows whether an external airbag will make a difference when the vehicle is traveling over 25mph — the fact that Nuro is thinking about how people interact with self-driving cars is refreshing." Link to Article

  • January 18, 2022 - Circularity factors big in Goodyear’s ‘sustainable’ tires - "As I reported last year, the U.S. alone discards something like 6 billion pounds of tires annually. Some of that material is finding its way back into other tires through circular manufacturing processes, but a lot of it is burned or turned into things such as surfaces for playgrounds. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. was front and center last week with something to say about all of these topics. The centerpiece of its news was a demonstration tire (meaning that it\'s being road-tested by the company) that is made of 70 percent sustainable materials — its goal is to reach 100 percent by 2030. For perspective, most tires on the market today are made with 25-30 percent sustainable materials. What the heck does that mean in plain English? I’m not a tire engineer, but one big focus for Goodyear is simply decreasing the amount of unsustainable material — especially virgin petroleum and polyester — and finding viable replacements. " Link to Article

  • January 17, 2022 - DMV ‘revisiting’ its approach to regulating Tesla’s public self-driving test - "The agency has in the past pointed to California state law in defense of its current approach. California’s laws on autonomous vehicle technology use definitions derived from a document published by the Society of Automotive Engineers, which breaks down vehicle automation into six levels, from Level 0 to Level 5. The DMV has said it considered Full Self-Driving to be Level 2, because, according to Tesla, it requires a human driver to assure safety. But so do test cars from the other robotaxi companies developing Level 4 vehicles, said Phil Koopman, an engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University who has assisted the SAE on its standard-setting documents. “The DMV concludes that FSD is not an automated vehicle because a human driver must monitor to intervene. That is a description that fits any AV test vehicle with a safety driver, which FSD is,” Koopman said in an email to The Times." Link to Article

  • January 17, 2022 - What will be the biggest milestone or news for the autonomous vehicles industry in 2022? - "Featuring: Chris Urmson - Aurora Matthew Lipka - Nuro Charlie Jatt - Waymo ?Ernestine Fu - Alsop Louie Partners Alex Rodrigues - Embark Trucks Anthony Cooke - Luminar Bibhrajit Halder - SafeAI? Matt Rekow - Velodyne Lidar In today\'s edition, we asked the experts to think about the future of autonomous vehicles. The path to their development and adoption hasn\'t been as linear as some of the early sweeping declarations about the technology may have suggested, so we asked the group what the milestone moments for AVs might be in the coming year." Link to Article

  • January 17, 2022 - Exploding growth: Autonomous delivery market set to take off - "At $860 million last year, the global autonomous delivery market seems quite large, yet it remains in its infancy. A new report from consultancy MarketsandMarkets predicts the sector will grow to $4.9 billion by 2030, growing at a 21.5% compound annual growth rate. The report, “Autonomous Last Mile Delivery Market by Platform,” cited the advancement of sense and avoid systems in aerial delivery drones, expansion of e-commerce and increased use of low-cost and light payload drones by startups for product delivery. The report breaks the growth down by platform, combining ground delivery vehicles such as self-driving trucks and vans and delivery robots into one group and cargo and delivery drones into another. Use of autonomous vehicles, regardless of platform, could reduce last-mile delivery costs for the retail industry between 80% and 90%, the report suggested. " Link to Article

  • January 17, 2022 - In-ground traffic lights installed across Seoul for ‘smartphone zombies’ - "A growing number of crosswalk traffic signals are finding their way onto the ground in Seoul as a way to enhance the safety of pedestrians glued to their smartphones, according to the city\'s ward offices Tuesday. Nearly 1,200 in-ground crosswalk traffic signal systems were in operation across the city\'s total 25 boroughs as of Tuesday, led by the southern ward of Gangnam, which was operating 138 of them. Installed on the ground at the foot of a crosswalk, the supplementary LED traffic lights are designed to guide pedestrians distracted by their smartphones, called \"smartphone zombies.\" Seoul\'s ward offices are trying to expand such in-ground traffic light systems to deal with growing traffic safety hazards facing smartphone zombies. Some have complained of nighttime glaring, but the system has been positively received across the city, especially in school zone areas, officials said. " Link to Article

  • January 17, 2022 - States carve out billions in budgets for electric vehicle surge - "State governments are carving out billions of dollars to adapt to surging demand for electric vehicles in a new push to accommodate such vehicles that require new infrastructure to operate. The growth of the electric vehicle market has already spurred billions in tax breaks and spending incentives as states race to attract new manufacturing plants. In recent months, the electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian has announced plans to open a major facility in Georgia, and Ford has said it will open a multibillion dollar facility in Tennessee. Toyota said last month it would build its first North American battery plant in North Carolina. The flood of new electric vehicles that consumers will purchase in the coming years has states thinking about how they will handle the demand for charging stations, both at homes and in public places." Link to Article

  • January 14, 2022 - Robot Trucks Get U.S. Tests, Raising Self-Driving Safety Stakes - "J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc.., Uber Technologies Inc.’s freight division and FedEx Corp. are among the operators testing automated big rigs as a lack of drivers has caused ports to back up and intensified the supply-chain squeeze gripping the U.S. economy. While self-driving trucks are still years from winning regulatory approval, pioneers of the technology see it as a long-term solution to an increasingly intractable labor problem... Labor leaders say that lawmakers need to address the impact on safety and the workforce before allowing automated trucks to be widely used. “We would be naive to to think we could stop the technological advancement. That’s never been our goal,” said Greg Regan, president of the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department. “But we have to make sure it’s implemented in a safe way and we have to make sure that we’re also looking at the economic impact of deployment.” " Link to Article

  • January 14, 2022 - Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg praises smart city innovation at CES - "Smart cities and the capabilities of connected infrastructure were a focal point of U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg\'s virtual address to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week. \"In our lifetimes, we could see truly smart cities built on the connected technology showcased at CES, where cars, buses and infrastructure all communicate with each other to plot safer routes and use less energy,\" Buttigieg said. He also praised cities and states for their innovative responses to the pandemic, noting that \"some of the most important innovations were deceptively low-tech.\" He pointed to the ways that local leaders have encouraged more walking and biking, in addition to the new ways that cities have used outdoor space for dining. He also said that small solutions like self-healing pavement to reduce potholes \"may do more for Americans in our lifetime\" than highly exclusive commercial space travel. " Link to Article

  • January 14, 2022 - There’s no evidence electric vehicles fare worse than gas-powered cars in long traffic jams - "Jeremy Michalek, co-founder of the Vehicle Electrification Group and an engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University, said cold weather can cut an electric vehicle’s range, in miles, by as much as half, citing a study he co-authored. But range is a function of a moving car. While idling, a gas-powered vehicle, assuming a full tank of 15 to 18 gallons, could take anywhere from about a day to up to a week to burn through that gas, Michalek said. A stationary Tesla Model 3, he said, could exhaust its battery in as little as eight hours or as much as a few days, depending on the wattage of the heater. So which would fare better stuck in a daylong traffic jam like the one in Virginia? It depends, Michalek said, on how comfortable someone needs to be, whether the car has a heat pump and other factors. " Link to Article

  • January 14, 2022 - All change please? GILLIG finds tech partner for self-driving buses - "RR.AI, a unit of self-driving technology startup Robotic Research, and U.S. bus maker GILLIG said on Monday they will jointly develop driver assistance systems and self-driving technology for commuter buses in the United States. Making taxis autonomous has proved more difficult and expensive to develop than expected, but investors have pumped money into trucks and other commercial vehicles where automation could be viable sooner. read more RR.AI and GILLIG said they would jointly develop Level 4 autonomous vehicle technology for buses, which would allow a vehicle to drive itself under certain circumstances, such as in a depot, but most of the time a human driver would be needed. They said the technology could protect drivers through safety features, including automatic emergency braking, precision docking, blind spot detection and pedestrian avoidance." Link to Article

  • January 14, 2022 - Amazon and Stellantis partner to deploy smarter cars, cleaner vans - "Amazon.com Inc and Stellantis NV (STLA.MI) said Wednesday they will collaborate to develop cars and trucks with Amazon software in the dashboards, and deploy electric vans made by Stellantis on Amazon\'s delivery network. The agreements expand Amazon\'s efforts to get a bigger foothold in the transportation industry, and could help Stellantis close the gap with Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) in developing vehicles with sophisticated, software-powered infotainment features that are connected to the data processing cloud... Amazon and Stellantis said they will work together to develop software for the \"digital cockpit\" infotainment systems of Stellantis vehicles that will start launching in 2024. Stellantis said it will use Amazon\'s Alexa technology for voice controlled features, \"navigation, vehicle maintenance, ecommerce marketplaces, and payment services.\" Big ecommerce delivery fleet operators such as Amazon will be key to determining winners and losers as established automakers compete with startups to electrify the world\'s package delivery system." Link to Article

  • January 12, 2022 - Can blockchain tokens drive smarter commuting choices? - "As part of its 2022 Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program, the Department of Transportation is looking for research on using blockchain-based apps to incentivize more efficient use of transit. In a Jan. 6 presolicitation, the Federal Transit Administration described using a gamified blockchain concept that would make more efficient use of scarce resources like parking spaces and reward commuters who consider alternatives to driving. This proposed SBIR research project, called \"blockchain-enabled transit incentivization,\" calls for evaluating the feasibility and effectiveness of managing transit options with blockchain-based incentives, such as a tokenized gamification through a smart phone application... Should the technology be commercialized, state and local transit agencies could use it to encourage use of public transit and other mobility options and manage their scarce parking or curbside resources. Businesses, building complexes and universities could use it to promote more efficient use of on-site parking and transit options. " Link to Article

  • January 12, 2022 - As the world looks to electrify vehicles and store renewable power, one giant challenge looms: what will happen to all the old lithium batteries? - "Abbott\'s team at the Faraday Institution in the UK is investigating the robotic disassembly of Li batteries as part of the ReLib Project, which specialises in the recycling and reuse of Li batteries. The team has also found a way to achieve direct recycling of the anode and cathode using an ultrasonic probe, \"like what the dentist uses to clean your teeth,\" he explains. \"It focuses ultrasound on a surface which creates tiny bubbles that implode and blast the coating off the surface.\" This process avoids having to shred the battery parts, which can make recovering them exceedingly difficult. According to Abbott\'s team\'s research, this ultrasonic recycling method can process 100 times more material over the same period than the more traditional hydrometallurgy method. He says it can also be done for less than half the cost of creating a new battery from virgin material." Link to Article

  • January 12, 2022 - After I-95 fiasco, a ‘road weather’ expert digs into snow, ice and jackknifed trucks - "As a senior research associate at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute working on freight, transit and heavy-vehicle safety, Alden has explored the physics, environmental considerations and technologies affecting this specialized realm... Q: What does your research show us about ways that these kinds of situations might be prevented? Is there hope on that front?... Foremost is probably good communication. We’ve been working for years at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute on what’s called “connected vehicle systems,” where a device in your car could provide information about these types of things in real-time, inside the vehicle. So you’re not relying upon your cellphone or any other way of getting that information. You don’t have to worry about the signs above the road. That’s really important. Not only does it tell you you’ve got problems ahead, it lets you know where you can go. And if you encounter slippery roads, you can report that. " Link to Article

  • January 12, 2022 - Volvo To Start Selling Its First Autonomous Vehicle This Year - "In collaboration with Luminar Technologies, Volvo announced an autonomous driving system called Ride Pilot on Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show. Volvo customers in California will have access to Ride Pilot as a subscription service at some point after 2022. Based on comments made by Volvo’s Chief Technologies Officer Henrik Green, Ride Pilot would exceed the Society of Automotive Engineers criteria for Level 3 vehicle autonomy. Green told The Verge, “We will not require hands on the steering wheel and we will not require eyes on the road.” This would put the Swedish automaker’s autonomous system more than a step above Tesla’s Level 2 FSD Beta, which requires a driver to be prepared to take control of the vehicle at a moment’s notice." Link to Article

  • January 12, 2022 - How Indy Autonomous Racing Got Real at Las Vegas Motor Speedway - "“Ladies and gentlemen, start your software.” And with those history-making words, uttered by Karen Chupka, EVP of CES, Consumer Technology Association, the world’s first ever race for autonomous race cars got booted up at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Officially this was the second round of the Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC) but as it turned out the first “race” held last October at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was only time trials where nine autonomous race cars drove one-at-a-time around the famous oval. This time the organizers created a head-to-head elimination race with two cars on the track at a time—somewhat similar to how drag races are conducted... A jubilant Prof. Sergio M. Savaresi, founder of the winning team from Politecnico di Milano in Italy, said “We’re Italians—racing is in our blood” What’s the betting some of these students end up working for Ferrari’s F1 team? Several students and faculty from the University of Alabama also assisted the Italians. " Link to Article

  • January 11, 2022 - A new bill could put fully autonomous vehicles on PA roads. Does it pass the business ethics test? - "With a disruptive tech that still lacks widespread public trust, there remain questions of the ethics behind fully allowing driverless trucks and cars on the road. John Hooker, a professor of business ethics and social responsibility at CMU’s Tepper School of Business, told Technical.ly that this is a subject his classes discuss frequently. “In the ethics world, we have two principles that apply to an issue like this,” he said. “One we call utilitarian principle and the other is the autonomy principle.” The utilitarian principle has to do with maximizing benefit with respect to releasing this level of autonomous vehicle on the road. That principle should be easy enough to satisfy, he said, given the incredible danger that human-operated vehicles pose today. " Link to Article

  • January 11, 2022 - Smart cities, self-driving race cars and space travel: Buttigieg wants innovative tech and the government to work together - "Buttigieg said the public sector needs to be intentional about the role it plays and announced that his department is establishing a set of six principles, the first of its kind, to support and regulate innovation in the transportation sector... One of Buttigieg\'s principles addresses safety issues such as these. Specifically, the DOT will create new testing standards and a national incident database for crashes involving self-driving cars. The principles also ensure equitable access to transportation and support communities and workers impacted by the technological shift in the industry. In the case of electric and autonomous vehicles, the DOT is working with organized labor groups to evaluate and address the consequences such vehicles might have on the workforce. Under the new principles, public, private and academic sectors will collaborate with one another, Buttigieg said, noting that policies should have the flexibility to change as technology continues to advance. " Link to Article

  • January 11, 2022 - Via, city of Arlington launch on-demand service to provide transportation to discharged hospital patients - "The city of Arlington, Texas, and Via have launched of a new on-demand transportation service to provide rides home for discharged hospital patients who otherwise would lack the resources to travel home independently. The program will serve patients of a major North Texas hospital and is an extension of the city of Arlington’s Via Rideshare service, which has provided affordable on-demand rides as part of the city’s public transit network since 2017. Via says this service marks a first-of-its-kind initiative in the U.S. between a publicly funded microtransit service and a major hospital, and provides a model for how public transit and healthcare organizations can collaborate to address health inequities and reduce barriers to accessing care. The service is a stride forward in the city of Arlington and Via’s shared vision to enable local healthcare providers to leverage the city’s public on-demand microtransit service." Link to Article

  • January 11, 2022 - Self-Driving Vehicles Are Here—If You Know Where to Look - "According to two women leading efforts to commercialize autonomous vehicles, the technology has well and truly arrived—and while it might be limited to certain niches for now, they believe it could become a lot more common in the next few years. Jody Kelman oversees the autonomous driving division of the ride-sharing company Lyft, which has been testing self-driving taxis in Las Vegas since 2018. Aubrey Donnellan is a cofounder and the chief operating officer at Bear Flag Robotics, which retrofits tractors to make them autonomous... Both Kelman and Donnellan say that understanding how humans interact with autonomy will be crucial to guaranteeing both safety and successful adoption. “The companies that are doing this, that are worth their salt, kind of ironically put the human at the center of their robotic innovation,” Donnellan says. " Link to Article

  • January 11, 2022 - Electric, autonomous delivery vehicle boom expected on city streets as inventories and orders grow - "Thousands of new electric delivery vehicles will be humming through city and suburban streets, according to announcements made at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week. FedEx said it reserved priority production for 2,000 BrightDrop vans, adding to the 500 the company ordered from the General Motors subsidiary last year. Walmart wants 5,000... Indigo Technologies, also exhibiting at CES, showed designs for two urban electric vehicles for the rideshare and delivery markets, one that\'s similar to a minivan and the other like a small SUV... Silicon Valley startup Udelv released a video debuting its autonomous delivery vehicle, which it said can carry up to 2,000 pounds and make 80 stops per delivery cycle... Swedish electric truck manufacturer Volta Trucks is taking pre-orders for its electric 16-ton Volta Zero, which it markets for city-center freight delivery. The company announced that its vehicles will integrate HERE Technologies\' navigation services, which include route planning, precise geolocation and battery range prediction. " Link to Article

  • January 10, 2022 - A Chinese Company Says It Will Be Selling Driverless Cars by 2024 - "This week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, two companies announced development of a car with Level 4 autonomy, with plans to put the vehicle on the Chinese market in 2024. Mobileye is an an Israeli subsidiary of chipmaker Intel (who knew?) that develops self-driving cars and advanced driver-assistance systems... Geely, meanwhile, is a carmaker based in Hangzhou, China. Founded in 1997, the company’s full name is Zhejiang Geely Holding Group; they’re the largest private automaker in China, and reportedly sold over 1.3 million cars in 2020. Among Geely’s holdings is Swedish carmaker Volvo, as well as an electric vehicle brand called Zeekr that was launched in March of 2021. The new self-driving car will be a collaboration between Geely and Mobileye, and will be produced under the Zeekr brand. To be clear, the car still won’t quite approach the put-your-feet-up driverless vision." Link to Article

  • January 10, 2022 - John Deere’s Self-Driving Tractor Stirs Debate on AI in Farming - "DEERE & CO. helped mechanize agriculture in 1837 with the first commercially successful steel plow. On Tuesday, the company unveiled a machine that could prove just as transformative: a fully autonomous tractor. John Deere’s new 8R tractor uses six pairs of stereo cameras and advanced artificial intelligence to perceive its environment and navigate. It can find its way to a field on its own when given a route and coordinates, then plow the soil or sow seeds without instructions, avoiding obstacles as it goes. A farmer can give the machine new orders using a smartphone app... Self-driving tractors could help save farmers money and automate work that is threatened by an ongoing agricultural labor shortage. But automating more of farming, and adding AI, may also stir debate around replacing workers as well as ownership and use of the data it generates." Link to Article

  • January 10, 2022 - Pa. transportation secretary, senator unveil bill to allow self-driving cars to be tested without someone behind the wheel - "Forty years ago, Pennsylvania became a leader in self-driving vehicles when it deployed one to help clean up the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island in Harrisburg. Now, Carnegie Mellon University President Farnam Jahanian said Wednesday, it’s important to change state law to allow continued development of self-driving cars and trucks in Pennsylvania. Mr. Jahanian spoke in strong support Wednesday of bi-partisan legislation that will allow companies to test self-driving vehicles on Pennsylvania roads without a driver available to take over in an emergency. State Transportation Secretary Yassmin Gramian and state Sen. Wayne Langerholc, R-Johnstown and chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, unveiled the proposed legislation at a news conference at Mill 19 at Hazelwood Green. The bill, Senate Bill 965, was introduced Wednesday with nine co-sponsors, including two Democrats." Link to Article

  • January 10, 2022 - What the Pandemic’s ‘Open Streets’ Really Revealed - "To get a better understanding of the relationship between Covid-era open streets and urban inequality, myself and Yuqing Zhang, a student at Cornell’s Department of City and Regional Planning, examined the geography of pandemic-inspired road closures. In our research, we found a total of 163 different programs during 2020 and 2021 across 157 U.S. municipalities (41 cities contained multiple programs, and several counties organized programs). California launched the most programs, with 37, but 35 states ultimately closed off streets to vehicular traffic. Of these, the majority (84%) were designated as temporary (a total of 18 are being considered for permanent status, as of summer 2021), and the vast majority (94%) lasted less than six months. These findings comport with the 2020 Menino Survey of Mayors from Boston University, which found that of the mayors surveyed, “very few … plan to make these closures permanent.” " Link to Article

  • January 10, 2022 - GM aims to launch personal self-driving car by mid-decade -CEO - "General Motors Co (GM.N) aims to introduce a \"personal autonomous vehicle\" by mid-decade, Chief Executive Mary Barra said on Wednesday. The self-driving vehicle for personal use is being co-developed with GM\'s majority-owned Cruise, Barra said at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, in a remote keynote message focused on the twin themes of vehicle electrification and autonomy. Barra said GM\'s expanding portfolio of electric vehicles, including the 2023 Chevrolet Silverado electric pickup and the BrightDrop commercial vehicle range, also features two new Chevrolet crossovers, a $30,000 Equinox EV and a slightly larger Blazer EV, both of which will be introduced in 2023. GM\'s new Ultra Cruise hands-free driving system will also debut in 2023 on another new EV, the Cadillac Celestiq ultra-luxury sedan. Barra said Ultra Cruise will use Qualcomm\'s (QCOM.O) new Snapdragon Ride compute platform for advanced driver assistance. " Link to Article

  • January 7, 2022 - Tesla Delivers Over 300,000 Cars in Q4 2021 Beating Wall Street Estimates by a Margin - "Tesla on Sunday reported record quarterly deliveries that far exceeded Wall Street estimates, riding out global chip shortages as it ramped up China production. It was the sixth consecutive quarter that the world\'s most valuable automaker posted record deliveries. Tesla, led by billionaire CEO Elon Musk, delivered 308,600 vehicles in the fourth quarter, far higher than analysts\' forecasts of 263,026 vehicles. Tesla\'s October-December deliveries were up about 70 percent from a year earlier and nearly 30 percent higher from record deliveries the preceding quarter." Link to Article

  • January 7, 2022 - Mack Trucks begins production of LR Electric - "Mack Trucks’ first fully electric Class 8 vehicle, the Mack LR Electric, has entered serial production at Mack’s Lehigh Valley Operations facility in Macungie, Pennsylvania. Mack announced the launch of the LR Electric in 2018 and delivered its first demonstration truck to the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) in September 2020 to undergo real-world testing. Having passed its evaluation cycle, the LR Electric is now greenlit for production and delivery to customers... The LR Electric has a GVWR of 66,000 lbs. and a stated range of 70 miles (113 km), with a charge time of 90 minutes at a rate of 150 kW. The company also claims that the LR Electric’s energy consumption can be as low as 0.3 kWh/ton-mile." Link to Article

  • January 7, 2022 - Largest electric vehicle charging station in Western Pennsylvania installed - "The largest electric vehicle (EV) charging station in Western Pennsylvania was recently installed in Pittsburgh. The station, in the city’s Second Avenue Parking Plaza, includes 15 dual-hose Level 2 chargers. The chargers can fully charge a vehicle in six to eight hours and can charge 30 EVs simultaneously. By 2026, the Second Avenue Parking Lot will be the city’s main electric fleet charging depot. A total of 70 electric vehicles will be charged. Currently, the city operates 26 fully electric sedans and recharges them using five level 2 solar charging units. With the completion of the new charging station, the solar units are to be installed throughout the city for public use. By the end of 2023, the city plans to install multiple charging sites and purchase 70 additional EVs. This will help the city reach its goal of converting to a 100 percent fossil-fuel-free fleet, increasing vehicle electrification, and reducing transportation-related emissions by 2030. " Link to Article

  • January 7, 2022 - Why putting solar canopies on parking lots is a smart move - "This is how it typically goes with solar arrays: We build them on open space rather than in developed areas. That is, they overwhelmingly occupy croplands, arid lands and grasslands, not rooftops or parking lots, according to a global inventory published last month in Nature. In the United States, for instance, roughly 51 percent of utility-scale solar facilities are in deserts; 33 percent are on croplands; and 10 percent are in grasslands and forests. Just 2.5 percent of U.S. solar power comes from urban areas... A typical Walmart supercenter, for instance, has a five-acre parking lot, and it’s a wasteland, especially if you have to sweat your way across it under an asphalt-bubbling sun. Put a canopy over it, though, and it could support a three-megawatt solar array, according to a recent study co-authored by Joshua Pearce of Western University in Ontario." Link to Article

  • January 7, 2022 - Autonomous Truck Trends for 2022 and Beyond: Can Autonomy Safely Address the Driver Shortage? - "When does a technology really grow? When it is attached to a need. When it comes to the movement of freight, one megatrend driving the need for better technology is the driver shortage. What would most revolutionize trucking over the next few years? The most obvious answer is autonomous trucking. But when will this technology become operational? Will it take decades? A decade? Or can we get there in the next few years? That is the core question. And the answer to that question depends upon just what type of autonomous technology you are talking about. Are we talking about assisted driving technology? Autonomous trucks in truck yards? Autonomous truck conveys? Or autonomous trucks moving on the Interstate? Those technologies all have different timelines surrounding their viability." Link to Article

  • January 5, 2022 - Anti-drunk driving technology could be in all new cars by 2026 - "The mandate is part of President Joe Biden\'s bipartisan infrastructure law, which he signed in November... But how would it work? WISN 12 talked with a software engineer at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Dr. Walter Schilling said the technology itself isn\'t new but instead how it would be used. \"One of the initial ideas is some sort of a sensor that would either be embedded in the start button or on the steering wheel. And what it would do is shine infrared light into your finger and basically look for the telltale signs of alcohol in the blood,\" Schilling said. \"Other systems that have been talked about would potentially look at breath and measuring alcohol content basically in the air. And other systems that are down the road would look at basically camera photos of the drivers are driving to see what is where they have signs of being impaired.\"" Link to Article

  • January 5, 2022 - Pennsylvania Turnpike planning steps to reduce $105 million in unpaid tolls - "The numbers are large and sound awful: The Pennsylvania Turnpike failed to collect just under $105 million in tolls last year, up about $24 million from 2019. The uncollected tolls are mostly from drivers who don’t have an E-ZPass transponder and failed to pay a bill they received in the mail after the agency took a photo of their license plate. Other delinquents are drivers who purposely cover their license or take other steps to avoid paying turnpike tolls, or who live out of state and feel no obligation to pay Pennsylvania’s piper... One reason the amount of uncollected tolls has increased is the switch away from toll collectors to all-electronic tolling. The amount of bills unpaid by those who use the Toll By Plate system has remained consistent at about 33%, but the number or motorists using that system grew substantially when the turnpike eliminated toll collectors." Link to Article

  • January 5, 2022 - How Digital Twins Are Transforming Manufacturing, Medicine and More -

    In Pittsburgh, Ding Zhao, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon, has been working with carmakers to use digital twins to improve the safety of self-driving vehicles. In his lab, he leverages vast quantities of data collected from real tests of self-driving cars to build complex digital-twin simulators. The simulations, he says, help predict how a car’s AI will react in dicey situations that could be dangerous and difficult to re-create IRL: when merging onto a dark snowy highway, for instance, or when jammed in between two trucks.

    Crucially, digital twins also allow researchers to run crash-test simulations countless times without having to destroy cars or endanger real people. That means digital-twin technology is becoming essential to the development of self-driving cars. “Real-world testing is too expensive and sometimes not even effective,” Zhao says. Digital twins are also being used in other complex and potentially dangerous machines, from nuclear reactors in Idaho to wind turbines in Paris.

  • January 5, 2022 - How green is your electric car really? New battery ‘passports’ will reveal all - "When you\'re shopping for a new electric bike, e-scooter, or electric car, a new \'passport\' for batteries will soon help you understand the effect of its battery on the environment. As ebiketips reports, the scheme is due to start at the end of 2022, and will tell you all about how and where a specific battery was made, and even how it could be reused once it reaches the end of its life – all of which are becoming increasingly important as electric vehicles become mainstream... The battery passport system will give much more transparency, helping identify batteries that are best and worst in class, and provide minimum standards for ethical and sustainable batteries. It won\'t just be for car makers and bike builders, either. According to the Global Battery Alliance, which is the organization behind the scheme, key info will also be available for customers so you can make an educated choice when picking a new car, bike, or scooter." Link to Article

  • January 5, 2022 - Indiana Toll Road Debuts Smart Parking Network for Truckers - "The private consortium that operates the Indiana Toll Road has launched a smart parking network to help guide truckers to places to rest while they’re out on the road. ITR Concession Co. has installed smart signage that uses sensors and cameras to allow commercial drivers to see how many parking spaces are available at upcoming exits. Truckers normally get sleep while parked in their trucks at rest stops, truck stops and similar spots. IRT Concession said the smart parking network\'s goal is to “create a safer and more efficient travel experience” for truckers by letting them better plan for rest stops on trips through Indiana, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported." Link to Article

  • January 4, 2022 - Chinese lithium prices hit records as EV sales take off; nickel at 7-year high - "Chinese lithium carbonate prices soared in 2021, due to a surge in demand for lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries in the country, according to the end-of-year analysis by Benchmark Minerals Intelligence. Transacted prices in China began to breach the RMB 200,000/tonne mark in November—a historical milestone for lithium pricing. Battery-grade lithium carbonate ended the year at an average price of RMB 250,000/tonne ($39,250), well above any previous records. Benchmark added that despite the rise of LFP batteries, nickel prices hit a seven-year high in 2021 as a series of supply curtailments, in tandem with a stronger-than-expected recovery in stainless-steel production and robust growth in the battery sector pushed the market into a deficit. Cobalt prices also hit a three-year high during the year. Finally, Benchmark said, graphite prices are starting to reflect the growth in demand for battery anodes." Link to Article

  • January 4, 2022 - TuSimple claims success on 80-mile driverless Class 8 pilot in Arizona - "TuSimple claims it successfully completed an 80-mile nighttime run on Interstate 10 in Arizona with no driver in the cab — the first to reach the goal in the U.S. among many competitors working on robot-driven trucks. San Diego-based TuSimple (NASDAQ: TSP) kept secret the timing of the first driverless pilot, announcing Wednesday that the upfitted Class 8 truck left a large rail yard in Tucson, Arizona, on Dec. 22 and covered surface streets and highways for an hour and 20 minutes before safely arriving at a high-volume distribution center in the Phoenix metro area. The autonomous driving system navigated surface streets, traffic signals, on-ramps, off-ramps, emergency lane vehicles and highway lane changes in open traffic while naturally interacting with other motorists, TuSimple said in a press release. The Arizona Department of Transportation and law enforcement collaborated on the initial run, which had no remote control or traffic intervention. But it wasn’t without precautions." Link to Article

  • January 4, 2022 - Autonomous car developers lobby to defang safety data regulations - "The fast-rising autonomous vehicle industry is lobbying federal safety regulators to limit the amount of data companies must report every time their cars crash, arguing that the current requirements get in the way of innovation that will benefit the public. The industry’s efforts to make driving safer and more accessible are at risk of being “drowned out by misinformation, inflation or dubious data without context” under reporting rules issued last summer by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, says Ariel Wolf, general counsel for the industry lobbying group Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets. Among its members: Alphabet-owned Waymo, Argo, Ford, General Motors, Cruise, Volvo, Aurora, Motional, Zoox, Uber and Lyft. “The reporting process may generate flawed data while placing a heavy reporting burden on [automated vehicle] developers that unintentionally impedes deployment of safety-enhancing AV technology,” the coalition said in a separate media release." Link to Article

  • January 4, 2022 - Ride-hailing companies must provide insurance coverage for Oregon drivers and passengers starting Jan. 1 - "Starting New Year’s Day, ride-hailing companies and taxis, also known as transportation network companies (TNCs), will be required to provide personal insurance protection for drivers and passengers in Oregon. The bill that requires the new coverage, HB 2393, was introduced last January and signed into law in June. TNCs are an increasing part of people’s daily lives. In 2019, over 10 million rides were completed in Portland alone. But until now, those Oregonians who’d been in accidents while riding in a car hailed from a taxi or services like Uber had to wait until their cases concluded to collect lost wages or get medical bills paid." Link to Article

  • January 4, 2022 - AT&T, Verizon CEOs reject U.S. request for 5G deployment delay - "The chief executives of AT&T (T.N) and Verizon Communications (VZ.N) rejected a request to delay the planned Jan. 5 introduction of new 5G wireless service over aviation safety concerns but offered to temporarily adopt new safeguards. U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Federal Aviation Administration chief Steve Dickson had asked AT&T CEO John Stankey and Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg late Friday for a commercial deployment delay of no more than two weeks. The wireless companies in a joint letter on Sunday said they would not deploy 5G around airports for six months but rejected any broader limitation on using C-Band spectrum. They said the Transportation Department proposal would be \"an irresponsible abdication of the operating control required to deploy world-class and globally competitive communications networks.\" The aviation industry and FAA have raised concerns about potential interference of 5G with sensitive aircraft electronics like radio altimeters that could disrupt flights." Link to Article

  • January 3, 2022 - Aptiv’s tech makeover being tested by Silicon Valley’s push into autos - "When General Motors Corp. filed for bankruptcy and reorganized in 2009, the makings of a Wall Street darling emerged from the wreckage. Aptiv Plc, which grew out of the parts unit spun off from the iconic automaker, soared to $48 billion in market value earlier this year after transforming into a savvy technology company built for the shift toward electric, autonomous vehicles. Now, though, the industry is being upended anew in ways that could challenge Aptiv. Carmakers, taking lessons from the chip shortage and the playbook of insurgent rival Tesla Inc., are moving software and engineering tasks in-house. Silicon Valley giants are elbowing into the sector, with the likes of Intel Corp., Qualcomm Inc. and Nvidia Corp. seeing opportunity in cutting-edge vehicles that are essentially giant computers on wheels. Those forces are reordering the $1.3 trillion auto supply chain, creating openings for newcomers and threatening an entrenched industry pecking order that is dominated by carmakers and their direct, or tier one, suppliers such as Aptiv." Link to Article

  • January 3, 2022 - Why autonomous vehicles won’t be taking over Ontario’s city streets in 2022 - "\"We are way far from that level where a machine can drive like humans in any conditions,\" said Amir Khajepour, a professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering at the University of Waterloo. \"Whether that will happen in my lifetime, I\'m not sure.\" The biggest, according to Khajepour, is making machines that mirror brain functioning when we drive, and that is far from easy. Add in debates about insurance and ethics, and it\'s clear there\'s a lot more to the industry than just technology... Raed Kadri, the vice president of strategic initiatives and head of the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN), which connects researchers with industry, points out there is another factor: electric vehicles, which presents other challenges. A 2020 paper published by Carnegie Mellon University researchers found driverless cars use more energy than cars requiring drivers, which reduced driving range and required more charging. Researchers are now looking at how drivers feel about the decreased range." Link to Article

  • January 3, 2022 - Will Autonomous Vehicle Makers Get Back into Gear in 2022? - "Moving into 2022, many AV manufacturers hope to build trust with increasingly skeptical lawmakers and consumers. Phil Koopman, a Carnegie-Mellon University associate professor with appointments in the department of electrical and computer engineering and with the Robotics Institute, believes that Tesla\'s use of vehicle owners as “beta testers” is reckless and damaging to the image of the entire autonomous vehicle industry. “Reckless, because [drivers] are running stop signs, running red traffic lights, and veering across centerlines on public roads,” he explains. “Tesla is using civilian drivers who are neither specifically trained in testing safety nor operating according to best practices for road testing safety.” Koopman says that the stance taken by the entire AV industry “to push back hard against any requirement to follow safety standards” further erodes public trust. He notes that manufacturers face a choice in 2022 and beyond. “They can continue to take an adversarial approach with regulators and have a problem when a high-profile crash forces regulators to intervene, or they can take a cooperative approach now while they still have time.”" Link to Article

  • January 3, 2022 - Port Authority of Allegheny County installs purifiers to sanitise vehicles - "The Port Authority of Allegheny County is installing air and surface purification devices in its fleet of 700 buses and 80 light rail cars to improve the customer experience by creating an even healthier and safer environment for its passengers and employees. The installation of NFI Parts® Proactive Air and Surface Purification (PASP) units began autumn 2021, and more than half of the bus fleet is now equipped with them. Installations in rail cars will begin early next year (2022). “The safety of our riders and employees has always been our top priority, and we remain committed to following every precaution to ensure our vehicles are safe,” said Port Authority CEO, Katharine Kelleman... The PASP units use technology to create advanced purification by producing High Energy Clusters that are distributed throughout the interior of the vehicle, safely sanitising both air and surfaces." Link to Article

  • January 3, 2022 - 2021’s most transformational deals in trucking - "Deal flow was heavy in the trucking industry during 2021. Most players in the space have seen multiple quarters of record earnings and cash flows. Whether it was looking for a place to put newfound cash to work, adding drivers and equipment in a capacity-constrained market or bolting on a new mode to the transportation offering, many carriers were actively vetting deals and buying assets. Here’s a recap of a few of the most transformational deals in trucking during 2021. Knight-Swift goes all in on LTL... The biggest LTL acquisition lands in Canada... XPO locks in on LTL, brokerage with GXO spinoff... ArcBest becomes a top-15 broker... From not making deals to dealmaker... Watch: How will Uber Freight’s newest acquisition help push things forward?" Link to Article

  • December 31, 2021 - How Insurance Coverage Benefits Electric Vehicles like Tesla - "There’s no such thing as Tesla insurance policies directly from the manufacturer, so Tesla drivers must search for their own coverage plans. Tesla does provide liability insurance on its website if your Tesla EV injures someone while it’s in motion. But what happens if you want to purchase an insurance product for lower costs? You’ll have to find an independent company that offers these types of policies for Tesla vehicles. Electric vehicle owners face many different challenges due to the new technology they use. One challenge is finding affordable car insurance since Tesla doesn’t provide any type of coverage themselves. Another challenge is ensuring that your battery doesn’t die while you’re out on the road or having battery-related accidents." Link to Article

  • December 31, 2021 - Learn what makes a self-driving car autonomous - "One of the smartest carmakers out there, Toyota, has an interesting take on all this. It embraces both Level 3 and Level 4, rather than seeing the latter as a necessary graduation from the former. Toyota\'s concept of \"guardian\" describes a Level 3 car that acts as an exoskeleton of driver assists, shaping our human driving behavior and saving us from most of the dumb things we do behind the wheel. Their \"chauffeur\" concept is essentially Level 4 autonomy. Both are valuable concepts that are offered as choices rather than assuming we all abandon manual driving as soon as technically possible... Check out the video as I try to make clear distinctions about each level of self-driving and put them in context against the current state of technology. You might be surprised to learn how many of the building blocks of future \"driving\" you have in your current car." Link to Article

  • December 31, 2021 - Self-Driving Startup Robotics Research Raises $228 Million In Funding - "Self-driving technology startup Robotic Research said on Thursday it has raised $228 million from investors including SoftBank to scale up its commercial division\'s solutions for trucks, buses and logistics vehicles. The fundraising round also included an investment from Luminar Technologies, which makes lidar sensors used in self-driving cars. Robotic Research has been working on a variety of military applications for the U.S. Department of Defense for 20 years, including self-driving road clearing vehicles used in Afghanistan, and an autonomous shuttle for wounded soldiers at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. The company also runs \"platooning\" cargo services - where driverless trucks follow a lead truck at a set distance on highways - for the U.S. Army." Link to Article

  • December 31, 2021 - Waymo plans fleet of self-driving, all-electric robotaxis with Chinese automaker Geely - "Alphabet’s self-driving car company Waymo is partnering with Chinese automaker Geely to create a fleet of all-electric, self-driving robotaxis. The cars will be designed in Sweden (where Geely owns Swedish carmaker Volvo) and will be adapted from Geely’s all-electric five-door Zeekr. Waymo will then outfit the cars with the hardware and software necessary for autonomous driving. Waymo said in a blog post that it plans to deploy the vehicles in the US as part of its existing fleet of self-driving robotaxis some time “in the years to come.” Concept images of finished vehicle shared by Waymo show a car that is designed specifically for autonomous ride-hailing trips. It has a flat floor, low step-in height, and B-pillarless design for easy entry and exit, as well as sliding doors, reclining seats, and plenty of headroom. Waymo says future models will have an interior without steering wheel or pedals — just a screen (presumably to let riders check on the progress of their journey)." Link to Article

  • December 31, 2021 - Big Tech’s Next Monopoly Game: Building the Car of the Future - "When Ford announced that starting in 2023 its cars and trucks would come with Google Maps, Assistant and Play Store preinstalled, CEO Jim Farley called the partnership between his iconic U.S. automaker and the search giant a chance to “reinvent” the automobile — making it an office-on-wheels, with more connectivity than any phone or laptop... The deal gave Ford some much-needed cachet and Google a chance to showcase its products for millions of drivers and their passengers. But many tech-industry watchdogs looked at the Ford-Google car of the future with different eyes. They fear that tech companies will soon be doing to cars what they did to phones: Tying their exclusive operating systems to specific products to force out competitors and dominate a huge swath of the global economy. Indeed, the smartphone wars are over, and Google and Apple won. Now they — and Amazon — are battling to control how you operate within your car." Link to Article

  • December 29, 2021 - Bus or train? World’s first ‘dual-mode vehicle’ to begin operating in Japan - "It\'s a bus, it\'s a train, it\'s a DMV! The world\'s first dual-mode vehicle, equally at home on road and rail, is set to make its public debut on Saturday in the town of Kaiyo in Japan\'s Tokushima prefecture. The DMV looks like a minibus and runs on normal rubber tires on the road. But when it arrives at an interchange, steel wheels descend from the vehicle\'s underbelly onto the rail track, effectively turning it into a train carriage. The train wheels lift the front tires off the track while the rear wheels stay down to propel the DMV onto the railway. The CEO of Asa Coast Railway company, which operates the DMVs, said the vehicles could help small towns like Kaiyo with an aging and shrinking population, where local transport companies struggle to make a profit." Link to Article

  • December 29, 2021 - EUROPE MANDATES AUTOMATIC EMERGENCY BRAKING - "In  2022, cars in many countries must start carrying automatic emergency braking... The European Transport Safety Council, a not-for-profit advocacy group in Brussels, estimates that automatic braking can reduce traffic death rates by as much as 20 percent. That’s about 4,000 lives saved each year. The system—which uses cameras or radar to tell when danger’s up ahead and, if need be, hits the brakes—will be required in May in the European Union. In the United States all models that are new in 2022 come with it, although compliance is voluntary, pending formal rulemaking. Similar rules are also going into effect this year in dozens of other countries. The EU’s regulations, conceived in 2019, seem to go the furthest, requiring as they do a number of other advanced driver assistance systems—notably emergency lane-keeping assist, drowsiness and distraction recognition, and intelligent speed assistance." Link to Article

  • December 29, 2021 - No seats, windshield or cupholders in new electric AI delivery vehicle - "The City, which is hard enough for a long-time resident to drive through, has somehow become Autonomous Car Central, thanks to Google’s Waymo and Cruise, with Pony.ai and Plus.ai nearby. Udelv, which is just down the Peninsula a bit in Burlingame, may be the most driverless of all. No people ride in it. There are no seats, seatbelts, air bags — not even a cup holder. The company is unveiling what it says is the world’s first cab-less electric vehicle for multi-stop delivery, the Transporter, at the Consumer Electronics Show. (Yes, CES is still on in Vegas in two weeks. For now.) The Transporter can make up to 80 stops per delivery run, and gets its brains from Intel’s Mobileye self-driving sensor technology." Link to Article

  • December 29, 2021 - Tesla to Halt Games on Screens in Moving Cars - "Under pressure from U.S. auto safety regulators, Tesla has agreed to stop allowing video games to be played on center touch screens while its vehicles are moving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the company will send out a software update over the internet so the function called “Passenger Play” will be locked and won’t work while vehicles are in motion. The move comes one day after the agency announced it would open a formal investigation into distracted driving concerns about Tesla’s video games, some of which could be played while cars are being driven. An agency spokeswoman said in a statement Dec. 23 that the change came after regulators discussed concerns about the system with Tesla." Link to Article

  • December 29, 2021 - Baidu gears up for imminent metaverse app launch - "Chinese tech giant Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) is not looking to be left out on the metaverse race. The company has officially begun internal testing of its first metaverse-based app called XiRang... The conference is China\'s first metaverse conference and will hold via the metaverse platform XiRang. Dubbed the “land of hope,” the metaverse app will host up to 100,000 people in a 3D virtual environment. Participants will be able to interact with others and explore the iconic features of places like the Shaolin Temple and the Sanxingdui Museum during the three-day event. Meanwhile, the metaverse conference has one main forum and 20 sub forums. Baidu aims to unveil its technological advances and applications in areas like artificial intelligence, intelligent transportation, biocomputing, quantum computing, and autonomous driving. Developers and creators from all over the world are invited to participate in the conference." Link to Article

  • December 28, 2021 - Georgia schools adding EV career pathway after Rivian announcement - "The state Department of Education is responding to last week’s announcement that a major electric vehicle manufacturing plant will be built in Georgia by creating an EV career pathway. The department’s Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) staff will work with industry representatives and educators to develop courses to prepare students for careers in the electric vehicle industry. The curriculum will include EV-specific coursework along with instruction in engineering, manufacturing, drafting/design, and automotive technology. “As educators, it is our responsibility to prepare students for successful futures, so it’s essential that we mount a rapid response to emerging workforce needs within the state of Georgia,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said." Link to Article

  • December 28, 2021 - Public Streets Are the Lab for Self-Driving Experiments - "Any future regulation will be hammered out between diametrically opposed camps. On one side are safety advocates, who say autonomous driving features, like those that control speed, steering and braking, should be proved safer than drivers before they are allowed on public roads. On the other side are car and tech industry backers, who say those features cannot become safer than humans without unfettered testing in the real world. The question facing regulators, carmakers and the public is: Does regulation makes us safer, or will it slow the adoption of technology that makes us safer? Safety proponents may disagree over what testing should be required, but they agree there should be some standard. “You can’t anticipate everything,” said Phil Koopman, an expert on safety standards for autonomous cars. “But the car industry uses that as an excuse for doing nothing.”" Link to Article

  • December 28, 2021 - Ford Mustang Mach-E joins New York City’s yellow taxi fleet - "The Ford Mustang Mach-E is hitting the streets of New York City as the latest electric vehicle to join the ranks of the city’s iconic yellow taxi fleet. The Mustang Mach-E, with its fresh coat of Rally Yellow paint and classic taxi iconography, is being operated by Gravity, a startup focused on EV fleets and charging infrastructure. This is the first time that Ford’s new, mass-market EV is being deployed as a taxi. But it won’t be the last — Gravity says it hopes to eventually operate a fleet of 50 electric vehicles comprised of both Mustang Mach-Es and Tesla Model Ys." Link to Article

  • December 28, 2021 - Transit-tech firm Via confidentially files for U.S. IPO - "ravel technology company Via said on Tuesday it had confidentially filed for an initial public offering in the United States. The New York-based firm develops public mobility systems by building a network of buses, shuttles, wheelchair-accessible vehicles, and autonomous and electric vehicles. Via is the latest to join a clutch of companies looking to cash in on high investor appetite for technology stocks this year in the United States. Enterprise software makers Samsara Inc (IOT.N) and HashiCorp Inc (HCP.O) recently floated their shares in New York at valuations above $10 billion each. Via did not reveal the number of shares or the price range for its proposed offering. Founded in 2012, some investors in the company include accounts managed by BlackRock (BLK.N), ION Crossover Partners, Koch Disruptive Technologies and Exor. As of Nov. 30, Via said it had forged partnerships with 500 companies and expanded its footprint to 35 countries." Link to Article

  • December 28, 2021 - Japan to create legal framework for level 4 self-driving cars - "Japan\'s National Police Agency is set to create a permitting system for the use of level 4 self-driving cars for transportation services in rural areas, Nikkei has learned. Level 4 self-driving vehicles operate completely autonomously in certain conditions. A bill amending the road traffic law will be submitted to the ordinary Diet session next spring. If approved, the road to practical use of level 4 self-driving cars will be open for the first time in Japan. Authorities are considering applying the permitting system for buses operating on designated routes in depopulated areas. Under the plan, prefectural public safety commissions will examine operators\' plans and grant permission for them to offer automated transportation services. The government aims to put level 4 automated driving systems to practical use in areas, aimed mainly at elderly passengers, by the end of the fiscal year ending in March 2023, expanding them to more than 40 locations nationwide by around 2025." Link to Article

  • December 27, 2021 - What Is Lane-Keep Assist? Everything You Need to Know About LKA - "Lane-keep assist (LKA) is a feature that we hear about a lot in today\'s driver-assistance technologies. It\'s also known as lane-keeping assist or a lane-keep assist system (LKAS), and it\'s one of the foundational components of completely driverless vehicles. A crucial feature of fully autonomous or driverless automobiles is staying within the confines of a lane. Although self-driving cars will not be on the roads for decades, lane-keeping assist is a significant element of driverless technology. So, if you want to learn everything there is to know about lane-keeping assist, read on." Link to Article

  • December 27, 2021 - Worker critically injured in driverless bus collision - "One worker was critically injured when a driverless bus crashed into a tree in Whitby in Ontario Thursday, according to reports. The vehicle – known both as Olli and the WAVE (for Whitby Autonomous Vehicle Electric) and operated by Durham Region Transit in Whitby – crashed on Watson Street, near the Whitby GO station it services. Durham police said the collision happened at 4 p.m., according to a CTV News report. The male operator was badly hurt and was taken to a trauma centre, where he remains in life-threatening condition, according to reports. \"There was one operator on board,\" said Acting Sgt. George Tudos, according to CBC. \"No pedestrians or any passengers so that one person did suffer critical injuries.\" According to Durham Region Transit, the worker on board can manually take control of the vehicle at any time if required. The cause of the crash is still unknown." Link to Article

  • December 27, 2021 - Caltrans to require ‘complete streets’ features in planning and design of all new projects - "Caltrans announced Monday its new policy for all new transportation projects it funds or oversees to include “complete street” features that provide safe and accessible options for people walking, biking and taking transit. This policy will expand the availability of sustainable transportation options to help meet the state’s climate, health and equity goals. “California must reduce dependence on driving without sacrificing mobility and accessibility,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “As Caltrans and local transportation agencies prepare for the influx of new federal infrastructure funding, it is important that we provide safe, convenient, sustainable and accessible alternatives to driving to achieve our climate goals while equitably serving all Californians.” A complete street provides mobility for people of all ages and abilities, particularly those who are walking, biking, using assistive mobility devices and riding transit." Link to Article

  • December 27, 2021 - Five Ways Technology Will Change Transportation In 2022 - "As we reflect on two consecutive years of community disruption, one area has remained a critical lifeline: our transportation systems. From personal cars to buses and trains, Americans have relied on transportation to get to work, access critical amenities or care for their families. Although the pandemic presented new challenges for the transportation industry, it also created new opportunities for innovation. In turn, we’ve seen significant progress in upgrading vehicles, enhancing transit accessibility, creating better rider experiences and even reducing emissions — and technology is at the core of all these improvements. In 2022, innovators must ensure new technologies — such as autonomous vehicles (AV), electric vehicles (EV), on-demand services and smart city integrations — pave the way for enhanced transportation systems that will drive the industry and our communities forward." Link to Article

  • December 27, 2021 - Cars are getting better at driving themselves, but you still can’t sit back and nap - "While no personal vehicles are 100% self-driving, the amount of driving these systems can handle on their own is impressive, compared to what was available on the market just a few years ago. And it\'s not just pricey, cutting-edge Cadillacs and Teslas that have seen significant progress in this area. Kelly Funkhouser, who runs automated vehicle testing for Consumer Reports, says car shoppers might be surprised to learn just how many new cars can do some driving for you. More than 50% of new vehicle models can control speed and/or steering in highway driving situations, she says – even if they can\'t navigate for you from start to finish, handle highway lane changes or allow you to (hypothetically) paint your nails on the freeway." Link to Article

  • December 24, 2021 - DISABLED PASSENGERS WERE PROMISED AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES — THEY’RE STILL WAITING - "One of the biggest automakers in the world, Volkswagen, is already taking steps to ensure its AVs are designed to serve a broad range of people. By talking to groups like the American Association of People with Disabilities, Volkswagen said it is well aware of the engineering challenges they face. The automaker’s Inclusive Mobility team, based in Santa Clara, California, is working on how an autonomous vehicle could communicate on multiple levels with users who are d/Deaf or have low vision... One of the most complex challenges Jayant faces is the lack of industry-wide standards for how wheelchairs can be secured in a vehicle. Jayant says that this issue requires collaboration between wheelchair makers, insurance companies, users, and governments. Even with the design obstacles, Jayant remains enthusiastic: “[Inclusive design] is very exciting to work on,” she said. “This is really groundbreaking design research.”" Link to Article

  • December 24, 2021 - Autonomous Delivery Service Program Comes to Michigan - "In another signal that autonomous grocery delivery is part of the future, electric vehicle manufacturer EV Transportation Services, Inc. (evTS) of Boston, Mass., is piloting a new program in suburban Detroit designed to determine opportunities and challenges of such services. The company is teaming up with sustainable design and engineering firm Stantec GenerationAV to test actual and simulated autonomous delivery by an all-electric lightweight utilize vehicle called the Firefly ESV. Data from the pilot will be used throughout the autonomous delivery ecosystem that includes grocers, fulfillment centers and delivery services. Among other goals, the program will help those in the industry understand consumers’ shopping experience, test different vehicle form factors and assess various technologies and operations in the public domain. Information from the program, which is funded in part by the State of Michigan, will also be shared with public transportation efficiencies to help guide them as they determine policies and regulations." Link to Article

  • December 24, 2021 - The 5 Biggest Connected And Autonomous Vehicle Trends In 2022 Bernard Marr Bernard MarrContributor Enterprise Tech Follow - "Robotaxis become a more frequent sight Most people\'s first experience of autonomous driving most likely won\'t be in a vehicle they own themselves, but one that is part of a fleet of private hire or ride-sharing cars... Autonomous deliveries picking up the pace “Last mile” delivery via autonomous vehicle is already big business, with Starship’s fleet already making 1.6 million deliveries... AI monitoring driver behavior There are many use cases for artificial intelligence (AI) in vehicle engineering outside of self-driving cars, and one of the most potentially beneficial is monitoring driver awareness. Autonomous shipping sets sail Shipping makes sense as a first use case for autonomous vehicles – after all, don\'t most boats travel in more or less a straight line, from port to port, and encounter much less in the way of congestion than, say, cars or trucks? A new wave of collaboration and consolidation? Developing autonomous vehicles – particularly the concept’s flagship product – the self-driving car – is a hugely expensive and resource-intensive business to be involved in." Link to Article

  • December 24, 2021 - Autonomous car tech from FAU can mimic driving styles of passengers - "The idea of a self-driving car can be intimidating to people who question what their experience as a passenger would be like in an autonomous vehicle. So what if the passenger could choose exactly how their vehicle would behave? That\'s the idea behind new self-driving car technology coming out of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. The tech, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to mimic driving behavior, just earned its second patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Inventor Mehrdad Nojoumian, a professor at the college\'s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, said enabling a car to learn and imitate the driving style of the vehicle owner or another driver can help passengers feel more comfortable with the prospect of traveling in an autonomous vehicle." Link to Article

  • December 24, 2021 - Brightline launches new technology to keep railways safe for drivers and pedestrians - "In three weeks, 500 violations were caught on camera. On Friday, Local 10 News cameras were rolling at a crossing in North Miami Beach and caught some drivers stopped on the tracks. “That means that more than 500 have driven around the gates. They stopped on the tracks before they were moving forward,” said Robert Gatchell, Brightline Chief of Safety. The company is sending warnings about the violations for now. Brightline trains travel across 67 miles, with about 180 crossings along their paths. The company has spent millions of dollars updating signage and adding fencing to keep pedestrians off the tracks. New technology like drones and thermal cameras are also being added to spot any problems, like disabled vehicles near or on crossings. “We are looking at a lot of different technologies to help us in the safety realm as the environment starts to grow. We want to be able to grow as well on the technology route,” said Gatchell." Link to Article

  • December 22, 2021 - Driverless cars? Meet the autonomous truck - "Move over, driverless cars. The push to one day make autonomous trucks a common highway sight is coming through. Aurora Innovation Inc., a Strip District-headquartered self-driving tech startup that offers products including an autonomous trucking service, says it is exploring the integration of its trucking technology into Uber Freight\'s brokerage network. Aurora — which has offices in the San Francisco Bay Area; Dallas; Seattle; Bozeman, Mont.; Louisville, Colo.; and Wixom, Mich. — announced the move Wednesday. Already, as part of a multistage commercial pilot, Aurora’s Horizon trucking products are autonomously hauling cargo between Dallas and Houston for Uber Freight customers. It began last week, a company spokesman said." Link to Article

  • December 22, 2021 - Intel’s Mobileye Takes On Parisian Traffic in Test of Driverless Cars - "Mobileye and its competitors must push forward with pilot programs that show the technology’s reliability and help secure the approval of regulators if they are going to reach their goal of making self-driving vehicles available to a mass market. The Intel unit also needs to garner attention and show progress as it works towards an initial public offering next year. Mobileye is working with Paris metro operator RATP to let employees of Galaries Lafayette hail a robotaxi from anywhere in the city using the Moovit app. It will be the first time Mobileye is using Moovit’s technology after Intel acquired the mobility data startup for about $900 million in 2020. The vehicles in the Paris program will include a safety driver behind the wheel for the time being. Intel and Mobileye are testing a self-driving car fleet without passengers in Munich and have announced plans to launch pilot programs in Detroit and Tokyo." Link to Article

  • December 22, 2021 - Electric vehicles ask a lot of their tires—here’s why - "For one thing, EVs are generally heavier than an equivalent-sized, conventionally powered vehicle. And because range is so important to the EV-buying market, low rolling resistance is essential. In fact, a 20 percent increase in rolling resistance can reduce range by 5–8 percent. But the tire still needs to have plenty of grip because electric motors make so much torque—and from so low in their rev range... And there\'s one more problem: EV powertrains are almost silent, so tire noise that could be unnoticeable in a conventionally powered vehicle becomes significant at the same speed in an EV. \"Now there\'s a variety of technologies out there. [Tread] pattern is one aspect. There has been a big uptake in noise-cancellation systems, which [involves] an open cell structured foam [being] placed inside the tire; the sponge absorbs the noise, and [the noise cancellation] stops it from being carried through,\" he explained." Link to Article

  • December 22, 2021 - G.M. says Dan Ammann is out as chief of Cruise, its driverless-car unit. - "The high-profile head of Cruise, General Motors’ autonomous-driving unit, is leaving the company, the carmaker said Thursday. The executive, Dan Ammann, a former investment banker who is from New Zealand, gave up his job as G.M.’s president to take over Cruise at the beginning of 2019. Since then, expectations for autonomous driving have cooled as the magnitude of the technical challenge has become clear and as serious accidents have highlighted the risks. Although G.M. did not provide an explanation for Mr. Ammann’s unexpected departure, the terseness of the company’s statement — lacking even perfunctory praise for his work — hinted at tension between him and top management." Link to Article

  • December 22, 2021 - Torc Robotics takes the long view as Daimler Truck’s autonomous insider - "Most of the autonomous vehicle pioneers Michael Fleming assembled more than 15 years ago at Virginia Tech to form Torc Robotics are still with the independent subsidiary of Daimler Truck, charged with leading the company to profitable driverless trucks. They face less pressure than some of their startup competitors that raised money via special purpose acquisition companies and now face the filing of quarterly financial reports and other demands that can distract from technology development. All Torc has to do is keep its manufacturing partner happy. Now that Daimler Truck is a standalone company following the conclusion of the “Operation Focus” spinoff from Daimler AG, interference from its longtime parent is unlikely. Since merging with Daimler in 2019, Fleming has claimed that Torc will be the first autonomous truck developer to profitably scale robot trucks. But it is not obsessed with being first to market. Others predict they will remove the human driver as soon as late 2023." Link to Article

  • December 21, 2021 - German car-rental startup Vay raises $95M - "German mobility startup Vay says it has raised $95 million from investors such as Kinnevik, Coatue and Eurazeo, as it plans to launch its first car-rental service in Hamburg next year. Customers will be able to use a mobile app to book an electric car that will be delivered to the pick-up location by a driver steering the vehicle remotely. The customer will then drive the car normally and the remote operator will move to steering a different vehicle. While lots of companies are testing driverless cars using expensive sensors, Vay uses an array of cameras and other features that make it cheaper to aid a person to remotely drive a car. The service would be cheaper for the customers than ride-hailing services and will be the stepping stone for Vay to slowly introduce fully autonomous features, co-founder and CEO Thomas von der Ohe said." Link to Article

  • December 21, 2021 - Battery Pioneer Suggests Letting EVs Power the Grid to Go Green - "Electric vehicles that allow power grids to tap their batteries when parked will be key for nations like Japan to add more clean energy, according to a Nobel Prize-winning developer of lithium-ion technology. Rising adoption of battery-powered transport and the further development of vehicle-to-grid, or V2G, systems -- which allow the two-way flow of electricity -- could offer a potentially better option to store renewable energy than expensive, dedicated battery facilities, Akira Yoshino said in an interview. Japan, which has been criticized over the slow pace of its transition away from fossil fuels, is constrained by limited space for solar power, onshore wind farms and battery storage hubs. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s government is seeking to cut greenhouse emissions by 46% from 2013 levels by 2030." Link to Article

  • December 21, 2021 - Toyota commits $70 bln to bolster electrification, shares rally - "Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) on Tuesday committed 8 trillion yen ($70 billion) to electrify its automobiles by 2030, half of it to develop a battery electric vehicle (BEV) line-up, as it looks to tap a growing market for zero-emission cars. But the world\'s biggest carmaker, which is a relative latecomer to full electric cars, said it expected annual BEVs sales to reach only 3.5 million vehicles by the end of the decade, or around a third of its current vehicle sales." Link to Article

  • December 21, 2021 - Alone at Sea - "Whether tethered or autonomous, most ocean-going drones have one thing in common: They operate beneath the surface. Saildrone is different. As the name suggests, its kayak-shaped full is fitted with a sail and spar and bolstered with solar panels and artificial intelligence to navigate the surface of the ocean by itself. As the name suggests, its kayak-shaped hull is fitted with a sail and spar and bolstered with solar panels and artificial intelligence to navigate the surface of the ocean itself. The alternative design has proven robust and successful. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other government agencies are using the Saildrone design for lengthy marine data gathering missions, and one became the first uncrewed vessel to successfully circumnavigate Antarctica." Link to Article

  • December 21, 2021 - Omaha Will Launch ‘Smart Loading Zones’ to Maximize Curb Use - "Parking officials in Omaha, Neb., plan to use video analytics to better manage city curbsides. The move toward the new tech comes as drivers vie for a spot at what is considered one of the most sought after pieces of urban rights of way. Behind this rising demand is the blizzard of new on-demand services — from food deliveries to new forms of mobility... Omaha will begin a partnership with Automotus to deploy up to 100 “smart loading zones,” which will include cameras gathering data related to who’s using the curb, length of parking duration, type of vehicle and other data. The technology works much like automated toll roads, reading license plates, automatically billing the driver and eliminating the need to pay a meter or open an app." Link to Article

  • December 20, 2021 - Alarmed by Tesla’s public self-driving test, state legislators demand answers from DMV - "DMV spokeswoman Anita Gore told The Times in a prepared statement that Tesla need not report FSD beta crashes because Tesla informed the agency that Full Self-Driving is a “Level 2\" system that requires driver attention... The levels were never intended to serve as legal definitions or be encoded into law, said Phil Koopman, an engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University, one of the world’s top driverless-vehicle research centers. He also suggested that regulators study the full SAE document that describes the levels. It contains a line that Koopman calls crucial: “The level of a driving automation system feature corresponds to the feature’s production design intent.” In other words, if you are testing a car with the intent to develop it into a Level 4 robotaxi, then it’s a Level 4 system, according to Koopman. “Intent is key to categorizing the autonomy level for Tesla Full Self-Driving,” he added." Link to Article

  • December 20, 2021 - Gaming while driving: Tesla allows it, Mercedes announces recall - "A few days after reports surfaced that Tesla allows drivers to play video games on dashboard touch screens while vehicles are moving, Mercedes-Benz has issued a U.S. recall for a similar issue. The German automaker said in documents posted today by U.S. regulators that the issue affected 227 vehicles and already has been fixed by updating an internal computer server. But the fact that Mercedes did the recall over concerns about distracted driving, and Tesla has not, raised questions about whether federal auto safety standards are being applied equally by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “MB is following the regulatory rules as they are supposed to — in sharp contrast to what we’ve been seeing from Tesla,” said Philip Koopman, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. If NHTSA doesn’t take action against Tesla, the agency will have one standard for Tesla and another for Mercedes and other automakers, Koopman said." Link to Article

  • December 20, 2021 - PennDOT will provide $1.4 million for Pittsburgh Pedestrian Wayfinding Project - "City officials are moving forward on a project to help residents and visitors more easily navigate four business districts in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Pedestrian Wayfinding project will set up 50 kiosks and 110 directional signs in Oakland, the North Shore, the North Side and Downtown to highlight landmarks and reinforce “a sense of place,” according to an announcement from Mayor Bill Peduto’s office. On Tuesday, Mr. Peduto introduced a resolution to City Council to provide $1.4 million to the project. The resolution would authorize a reimbursement agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, through the Southwest Pennsylvania Commission’s Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside program. The initiative provides funding for programs and projects defined as “transportation alternatives,” including things like off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities, environmental mitigation and recreational trail projects." Link to Article

  • December 20, 2021 - These EV chargers can plug in anywhere—and double as renewable energy storage - "But rolling out EV chargers—especially fast chargers that can quickly power up cars but demand as much electricity as 300 homes, each—isn’t easy to do. “We want to unlock mass EV adoption, but the grid is simply not in a position to accommodate that,” says Vince Wong, chief operating officer for ElectricFish, a startup pioneering a new type of charger. Instead of pulling power from the grid whenever a car plugs in, the new device uses a large battery. Throughout the day, the battery charges when excess renewable energy is available. “We can store that energy and then detach the EV charging load from the grid itself,” says Anurag Kamal, the company’s CEO. The approach helps solve a second problem: As more renewable energy is added to the grid, producing power at only certain times of the day, more storage is needed." Link to Article

  • December 20, 2021 - AI Is Helping to Stop Animal Poaching and Food Insecurity This professor is using game theory to tackle these problems - "When Fei Fang was a graduate student she was introduced to game theory—mathematical models that describe strategic interactions among rational decision-makers. The IEEE member knew she had found her calling. She has combined the modelling technique with machine learning to thwart terrorist attacks and reduce animal poaching. For Fang’s work in the field, she was named one of IEEE Intelligent Systems magazine’s “AI’s 10 to Watch in 2020.” Fang, an assistant professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon, is now working with 412 Food Rescue, a nonprofit in Pittsburgh, to improve its system for alerting volunteers when surplus food is available for pickup." Link to Article

  • December 17, 2021 - NJ Gov. Murphy announces project to create autonomous vehicle-based urban transit system - "New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) announced a Request for Expression of Interest (RFEI) for the Trenton Mobility & Opportunity: Vehicles Equity System (MOVES) Project – an on-demand automated transit system to serve the 90,000 residents of Trenton. Trenton MOVES will deploy 100 autonomous vehicles throughout the state’s capital to provide safe, equitable, affordable, and sustainable high-quality mobility in the city... The project, the first large-scale urban transit system in America to be based entirely on self-driving shuttles, is being developed by the Governor’s Office, NJDOT, the City of Trenton, and Princeton University. Each vehicle in the project will carry four to eight passengers at a time. Low cost to users in underserved neighborhoods, the system will allow Trenton’s households to get acclimated to the presence of AVs on the streets of the state capital. Seventy percent of Trenton’s households have limited access to a single automobile or no access at all." Link to Article

  • December 17, 2021 - Cars Of The Future Probably Won’t Have Horns - "Self-driving and autonomous vehicles do not have a perfect safety record, they have several strange accidents under their belt. Lights, sounds, and patterns could soon be replacing all the street honking with a more complex language, major car brands like Ford, VW, and Zoox say. Other companies including, Apple, BMW, GM, Mercedez Benz, Uber, and Toyota are also looking for common grounds. They have all voluntarily disclosed their safety self-assessments with the NHTSA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration... We set out to develop a common language that vehicles can share with other road users,” Ford says. The company presented a proposal for a white light bar mounted near the top of the windshield. The bar is visible to pedestrians or cyclists. The bar alerts if the car is driving itself, braking, or dropping off, and can even track moving people." Link to Article

  • December 17, 2021 - Why The U.S. Infrastructure Crisis Will Get Worse In 2022 Before It Gets Better - "Karen Lightman is the executive director of the Metro21 Smart Cities Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. She said that, \"The American Society of Civil Engineers gives American infrastructure a C- [and notes] that there’s a water main break every two minutes in the U.S. and 43% of our roadways are woefully deficient. Carnegie Mellon University’s Lightman said, “My hope is that the [recently approved federal funding] will also support more collaboration with private and non-profit sectors. The funding from the U.S. government is meant to be a catalyst for other private sector funding, whereby it reduces the risk and will encourage developers to make improvements on their properties, for companies to grow and expand. “I look for infrastructure investments that are mindful of sustainability goals such as focusing on electrification and the use of renewable sources of energy (wind, solar, etc.) and also is focused on enhancing digital infrastructure such as equitable deployment of broadband— at the last mile as well as the very-important middle-mile infrastructure needed,” she recommended." Link to Article

  • December 17, 2021 - The Rivian R1T Is the 2022 MotorTrend Truck of the Year - "Ever since Tesla redefined what an electric car could be with the Car of the Year-winning 2013 Model S, we\'ve waited, wondering about the inevitable application of the EV formula to America\'s best-selling vehicle class four decades running: the pickup truck. Initially that was a question of time, but as of late, it\'s been a question of who. In the past few years, credible challengers have arisen, enough of them with sufficient financial backing and technical expertise that we realized we would soon have an answer to both questions. The Rivian R1T would win praise if it were merely a credible pickup truck that is also an electric vehicle, but it\'s far more. Not content to simply mount an electric motor or two under the hood or box of a traditional pickup, Rivian used the opportunity to re-examine what a modern pickup truck could be." Link to Article

  • December 17, 2021 - Pony.ai’s permit to test driverless vehicles in California is suspended after crash - "The permit was suspended after the company reported a crash to the DMV. (All AV permit holders are required to file reports after a collision.) According to the report, Pony’s vehicle was in autonomous mode, turning right onto Fremont Boulevard from Cushing Parkway when it “came into contact” with a center divider containing a traffic sign. “The Pony.ai AV suffered moderate damage to the front of the vehicle and the undercarriage,” the report states. “There were no injuries and no other vehicles involved.” Fremont Police were called to the scene. Pony said that it later reached out to local authorities to “resolve all issues” related to the damaged street sign." Link to Article

  • December 15, 2021 - Electric vehicle and ‘compact’ city combo could reach emissions targets - "Getting more people into electric vehicles needs to happen alongside a shift to more “compact” cities where fewer car journeys are needed if governments want to stave off the most dire effects of global warming, researchers said on Thursday... The research looked at four scenarios for transport: “business as usual,” massive electrification of public and private vehicles by 2050, a major shift in cities to non-car transport, and a “high EV + shift” combination. The “EV + shift” scenario was the only one whose estimated 2020-2050 emissions were in line with targets of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, which aims to limit global temperature rise to “well under” 2 degrees Celsius. The key is minimizing the overall number of vehicles on the road and electrifying the rest, said Thompson, whose nonprofit group developed and released the research in concert with the University of California, Davis." Link to Article

  • December 15, 2021 - Working families battling worsening transportation barriers, which drive away employment interest - "According to a recent study out of The Ohio State University, more low-income people were forced to find work further away from their homes during the pandemic and especially during the state shutdown last year, compared to individuals who are better off financially. “Results showed that people living in low-income areas reduced their travel 41% during the lockdown significantly less than the 51% reduction found for people living in high-income areas and 49% reduction for those from middle-income neighborhoods.)” Cornelia Martin, a single mother of one, says without reliable transportation there’s no way she would be able to keep food on the table and take care of her family. Though the reality of using public transportation still has its challenges on her daily routine, STNA job requirements, grocery shopping and other errands are at the mercy of pre-determined schedules." Link to Article

  • December 15, 2021 - Mercedes-Benz self-driving car technology approved for use - "Mercedes-Benz has received approval for a self-driving system paving the way for it to be able to offer the technology to customers where national legislation allows its use... The German manufacturer is the first automotive company in the world to meet the demanding legal requirements of UN-R157 for a Level 3 system, which was granted by the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA). Level 3 refers to the automated driving function taking over certain driving tasks. However, a driver is still required and must be ready to take control of the vehicle at all times when prompted to intervene by the vehicle. Mercedes-Benz says that customers will be able to buy an S-Class with the Drive Pilot technology in the first half of 2022, enabling them to drive in conditionally automated mode at speeds of up to 60 km/h (37mph) in heavy traffic or congested situations on suitable stretches of motorway in Germany." Link to Article

  • December 15, 2021 - Trucks catch up in the self-driving vehicle race - "We\'d all be whizzing round in robotaxis by now if Elon Musk had been right. Instead, fully self-driving cars are struggling to get away from the starting grid and some investors are betting that driverless trucks will reach the chequered flag first. Only a year ago, startups developing robotaxis were pulling in eight times more funding than firms working on autonomous trucks, buses and logistics vehicles, but the gap has narrowed dramatically in 2021. With fewer regulatory and technological hurdles, trucks operating on major highways, fixed delivery routes or in environments far from cyclists and pedestrians such as mines and ports are now being seen as a faster way to generate returns. In the year through Dec. 6, total investment activity for self-driving logistics vehicles leapt fivefold to $6.5 billion from $1.3 billion in the same period in 2020, according to startup data platform PitchBook." Link to Article

  • December 15, 2021 - On a Mission from Dog: Staffer, Dog Map Pittsburgh Parks - "One staffer in Pittsburgh, Pa., took it upon himself to collect data on the city’s public trails during the pandemic in order to improve local infrastructure access and public planning. Experts are continuously exploring what equity-focused urban planning looks like. For example, a recent California project launched a website to inform Los Angeles County residents about the available parks and amenities. Some local governments, like that of Buffalo, N.Y., have even turned to augmented reality to bring more people into their parks. In Pittsburgh, a particularly unique project in this realm was led by the Department of Performance and Innovation’s senior enterprise applications administrator, Matt Jacob. He mapped all of the park trails in the city with his dog, Porter, and a GPS unit." Link to Article

  • December 14, 2021 - Oklahoma Department of Transportation expands Drive Oklahoma app ahead of winter weather -

    Oklahoma’s transportation and turnpike agencies are gearing up to help keep things moving, with updates to weather and construction notification systems as well as updates to the Oklahoma Drive application for public use.

    Advanced traveler notification systems is a critical component of the intelligent transportation system (ITS), said ODOT director Tim Gatz at the ODOT Commissioners meeting in Oklahoma City Monday morning. “It provides real time data,” Gatz said.

    Information about current traffic and travelling conditions is available for the entire state, including speed and flow information as well as construction and work zones. The system also includes connectivity to 533 closed circuit cameras positioned around the state, 103 dynamic message boards, and 167 road weather sites.

    The interactive mapping system available at oktraffic.org has now been recognized as the best in its class at the ITS 2021 Heartland ITS conference.

  • December 14, 2021 - Carnegie Mellon University: CMU’s Roborace Team Launches Virtual, Autonomous Racing Challenge -

    A virtual, autonomous racing challenge launching this week will enable aspiring drivers to head to the track without leaving their computer.

    The Learn-to-Race Autonomous Racing Virtual Challenge started Monday, Dec. 6. Competitors use the Learn-to-Race environment to teach an artificially intelligent agent how to race. The challenge is coupled with a workshop on Safe Learning for Autonomous Driving, which is accepting research paper submissions.

    “We want people to use Learn-to-Race, make improvements to the environment, push it to the limit and create an agent that could run on a track,” said James Herman, a CMU alumnus who wrote the Learn-to-Race framework and is part of the team launching the challenge. “Hopefully, people will have fun with it and come up with creative ideas.”

    Herman graduated this past May from the Master of Computational Data Science (MCDS) program in the Language Technologies Institute (LTI) at CMU’s School of Computer Science.

  • December 14, 2021 - Daimler, Waymo Outfitting Custom Chassis for Autonomous Driving -

    Daimler Truck, which envisions autonomous trucking arising first in North America, reported a custom Class 8 chassis specifically intended to support SAE Level 4 driving is being outfitted through its partnership with the autonomous technology company Waymo.

    The Freightliner Cascadia model includes backup systems for steering, braking, low-voltage power net and communication network. It reflects more than 1,500 new and unique requirements from Waymo Via, the autonomous goods delivery unit of Waymo, according to the Stuttgart, Germany, company. Freightliner is a brand of Portland, Ore.-based Daimler Trucks North America.

    Daimler’s announcement follows one in October where Volvo Autonomous Solutions announced its first major steps toward the autonomous Volvo VNL model in North America, drawing on its partnership with Aurora Innovation Inc., a self-driving vehicle technology company.

  • December 14, 2021 - Stellantis wants to outfit cars with AI to drive up revenue -

    Carmaker Stellantis announced a strategy Tuesday to embed AI-enabled software in 34 million vehicles across its 14 brands, hoping the tech upgrade will help it bring in 20 billion euros ($22.6 billion) in annual revenue by 2030.

    CEO Carlos Tavares heralded the move as part of a strategy that would transform the car company into a “sustainable mobility tech company,” with business growth coming from features and services tied to the internet. That includes using voice commands to activate navigation, make payments and order products online…

    New products will include the possibility to subscribe to automated driving features, purchase usage-based car insurance or even increase the power of the vehicle with a tune-up to add horsepower.

    Artificial intelligence will be able to automatically park a vehicle when a driver looks at an empty spot and nods their head, or it will close the garage door when the driver forgets to do so, the company said.

  • December 14, 2021 - Save Mart Expands Reindeer Robot Grocery Delivery Service -

    This year Save Mart is once again partnering with robot delivery company Starship Technologies to bring its fleet of reindeer robots to life. The retailer has also expanded its reindeer robot grocery delivery from its flagship Modesto store at 3401 Oakdale Road to serve 10,000 households.

    Save Mart first partnered with Starship Technologies in September 2020, while last year marked the first time the grocer gave its on-demand grocery delivery robots a festive makeover.

    But this year, Save Mart’s reindeer robots are delivering more than food, beverages and household supplies. Adding to the festive experience, Save Mart shoppers now have the option of musical deliveries, choosing from a selection of top seasonal hits for the reindeer robot to play upon arrival. The singing reindeer robots will be making deliveries until Dec. 31.

  • December 13, 2021 - Utilities announce collaborative electric vehicle charging network -

    A coalition of dozens of U.S. electrical utilities on Tuesday announced plans to collaborate on a charging network for electric vehicles (EVs) with a goal of charging ports along all major U.S. travel corridors by 2023.

    The project, the National Electric Highway Coalition, comprises 51 members of the Edison Electric Coalition (EEI), as well as cooperative Midwest Energy Inc, and the Tennessee Valley Authority, according to an announcement Tuesday. Other participants include the Midwest Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Collaboration and the Electric Highway Coalition…

    The coalition has not set a specific target for number of charging ports, but said its goal is to back the construction of enough for EV owners to travel major corridors “with confidence” by the end of 2023.

  • December 13, 2021 - Philadelphia tests new technology to prevent delivery drivers from parking illegally -

    The city’s transportation authorities have set goals to better manage curb spaces and update fines and tolls to reflect today’s parking clashes. The latest initiative is a request for proposal for smart zones issued last month, testing technology that allows cities to digitally map curb spaces and create reservation-based loading zones.

    Philly’s Smart Loading Zone Pilot Project will test the use of five software applications aimed at making loading activities more efficient and user-friendly, according to the RFP.

    The pilot will start in March 2022 and will end a year later.

    “We are open to working with companies that can bring some big data approaches to manage this,” Puchalsky said. “For example, if you are a shipper, you may have information about available spots and may be able to book those spots in advance in that area, which allows you to plan your route.”

  • December 13, 2021 - Toyota to build lithium battery plant in North Carolina, creating thousands of new jobs -

    Toyota USA will invest billions of dollars into a new automotive battery plant in North Carolina — a project that amounts to the largest capital investment in state history, sources told ABC11 on Monday.

    The lithium battery manufacturing plant will be built at the 1,800-acre plot called the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite, which is located in Randolph County near US 421. Gov. Roy Cooper formally welcomed Toyota at a Monday afternoon news conference…

    In an October announcement, Toyota said it would invest approximately $3.4 billion in automotive batteries in the United States through 2030. Specifically, the investment is for developing and localizing automotive battery production, including those for battery electric vehicles, and is part of the global total of approximately $13.5 billion (1.5 trillion yen) set aside for investment in battery development and production announced last month by Toyota Motor Corporation.

  • December 13, 2021 - Electric charging and natural gas fueling options at condominiums -

    With the increased interest in electric charged, and now natural gas fueled cars, Chapter 718.113(8) and (9), Florida Statutes was amended effective July 1, 2021 to accommodate unit owners desiring ownership of such alternative vehicles. We have seen demand so far for electric charging stations but not yet for natural gas fueling stations.

    First, such owners can install electric charging or natural gas fueling stations within the boundaries of their assigned limited common element parking spaces. The stations must be separately metered or metered by an embedded meter and payable by the unit owner installing such…

    As a second option, some Associations are determining they would rather install communal stations on the common elements to be used by multiple unit owners rather than numerous individual stations at the individual assigned parking spaces.

  • December 13, 2021 - Blockchain and the Future of Road-User Charging -

    One of the key issues transportation organizations are facing when it comes to implementing road-user charging (RUC) systems is what to do with all that data—how to collect it, how to process it, and, most importantly, how to keep it all safe.

    On that last point, one way to ensure data security that seems tailor-made for road pricing can be found in the form of blockchain technology—the oft-discussed, rarely-understood way of organizing data that could help toll operators institute RUC systems and increase interoperability all at once.

    So what is blockchain? Think of it as a ledger that everyone on a particular network has access to, recommends Kevin Ko, a data architect with Milligan Partners. Ko and some of his colleagues led an IBTTA webinar last month on the ins and outs of blockchain technology and how it can be useful for tolling operators.

  • December 10, 2021 - Intel plans to take self-driving car unit Mobileye public -

    Intel Corp (INTC.O) said on Monday it plans to take self-driving-car unit Mobileye public in the United States in mid-2022, a deal which could value the Israeli unit at more than $50 billion, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

    Chip giant Intel, the largest employer of Israel’s high-tech industry with nearly 14,000 workers, expects to retain Mobileye’s executive team and hold on to a majority ownership in the unit after the initial public offering (IPO) of newly issued Mobileye stock…

    “Amnon and I determined that an IPO provides the best opportunity to build on Mobileye’s track record for innovation and unlock value for shareholders,” Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said in the statement.

    Gelsinger has been under pressure from activist investors such as Third Point LLC to consider spinning off its costly chip manufacturing operations, even as the company has looked to expand its advanced chip manufacturing capacity in the United States and Europe amid a global semiconductor shortage.

  • December 10, 2021 - Inside Tesla as Elon Musk Pushed an Unflinching Vision for Self-Driving Cars -

    Elon Musk built his electric car company, Tesla, around the promise that it represented the future of driving — a phrase emblazoned on the automaker’s website.

    Much of that promise was centered on Autopilot, a system of features that could steer, brake and accelerate the company’s sleek electric vehicles on highways. Over and over, Mr. Musk declared that truly autonomous driving was nearly at hand — the day when a Tesla could drive itself — and that the capability would be whisked to drivers over the air in software updates.

    Unlike technologists at almost every other company working on self-driving vehicles, Mr. Musk insisted that autonomy could be achieved solely with cameras tracking their surroundings. But many Tesla engineers questioned whether it was safe enough to rely on cameras without the benefit of other sensing devices — and whether Mr. Musk was promising drivers too much about Autopilot’s capabilities.

  • December 10, 2021 - Uber will now let drivers and riders record audio during trips for safety -

    Uber is releasing its audio-recording feature to three US cities later this month, Uber said in its press release.

    At the beginning of a trip, riders and drivers can enable this feature by clicking the shield icon in the app’s Safety Toolkit and selecting “Record Audio.” While both riders and drivers can record individual trips, drivers have the option to leave the feature on while they’re actively seeking rides. The app will notify the rider if the driver is using the feature. Uber first launched audio recording in Latin America in 2019.

    The move is the first in-app feature that provides audio documentation of rides. Uber allows drivers to use their own dashcams to record rides on their own if local laws permit it.

  • December 10, 2021 - Argo AI partners with the League of American Bicyclists to establish autonomous vehicle guidelines protecting cyclists -

    Pittsburgh-based AV company Argo AI is hoping to make roads safer not only for other humans who use vehicles for transportation but also for bicyclists and others as part of its development of self-driving technology. As part of that commitment, it announced it teamed up with the League of American Bicyclists, a national advocacy group, to establish a series of guidelines the company hopes will serve as an industry standard for all AV companies to follow.

    “Argo AI and the League of American Bicyclists share a common goal to improve the safety of streets for all road users,” Ken McLeod, policy director, the League of American Bicyclists, said in a release. “We appreciate Argo’s proactive approach to researching, developing, and testing for the safety of people outside of vehicles.

  • December 10, 2021 - SK On develops battery diagnosis technology that allows EV drivers to self-check -

    The battery diagnosis service measures the changes in battery in every use setting in which the EV operates and charges. The collected data is examined using SK On’ self-developed “BaaS AI” (Battery as a Service Artificial Intelligence). It informs users of the battery’s longevity, abnormalities, driving habits, risky situations, driving habits that will help extend the battery’s lifespan, and so on.

    SK On has cooperated with Soft Berry Inc. to launch the first EV battery monitoring pilot service in Korea. Soft Berry Inc. is among companies selected for the “EGG”, an eco-friendly startup fostering program supported by SK Innovation in September of this year. The company is operating “EV Infra”, an application that provides payment services and information of most charging stations in the country. It has already secured 200,000 subscribers, which is the largest scale in Korea.

  • December 8, 2021 - Smart Bandages, Vehicle-Damage Trackers and More Data-Collecting Devices of the Future -

    A team of researchers at Stanford University and the University of Michigan is developing sensors that, when placed on the floor, capture and analyze vibrations created by footsteps in a roughly 60-foot range and assign a signature to a person’s unique footprint. The sensors can capture a range of nuanced data, such as the force applied by a foot to the ground, so they provide more detailed information about gait balance or other subtle features than wearables, says Hae Young Noh, who initially worked on the project as an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon and is now at Stanford. Coupled with algorithms, they can then pick up on anomalies in an individual’s gait and transmit data wirelessly to a cloud-based platform or app accessible to patients that doctors could consult to make a diagnosis, says Dr. Noh.

  • December 8, 2021 - Transit-tech startup Via valued at $3.3 bln after latest funding round -

    Via said on Tuesday it has raised $130 million in fresh capital as part of a late-stage financing round led by asset manager Janus Henderson, valuing the transit-tech startup at $3.3 billion.

    The Series G funding also includes investments from accounts managed by BlackRock, ION Crossover Partners, Koch Disruptive Technologies and existing investor Exor.

    The New York-based company develops public mobility systems by building a network of buses, shuttles, wheelchair-accessible vehicles and autonomous and electric vehicles. It plans to use the funding to fuel expansion into new markets, hire employees and improve its products.

  • December 8, 2021 - Ford, GM race to brag ‘We’re Number 3!’ in electric vehicle market -

    GM on Wednesday announced plans to form a joint venture with South Korea’s POSCO (005490.KS) to build a battery cathode materials plant in North America by 2024. The deal is part of the automaker’s long-range plan to carefully construct a proprietary, vertically integrated EV machine that it will fully turn on only when costs fall and demand grows in the second half of the 2020s…

    On Friday, Ford will elaborate on its markedly different EV strategy. It plans to quickly launch several higher-volume models such as the Mustang Mach-E and the F-150 Lightning, using modified combustion vehicles. Ford will follow up in the middle of the decade with a broader portfolio of electric SUVs and trucks, designed from the ground up to run on batteries…

    Despite their activity, both Detroit automakers are expected to lag well behind EV market leaders Tesla and VW through 2028, according to data provided by AutoForecast Solutions, whose production estimates are widely used across the industry.

  • December 8, 2021 - New tire system technology installed at Florida’s Turnpike plaza to help keep drivers safe -

    New technology meant to keep Florida roads safer was installed along Florida’s Turnpike on Thursday.

    The WheelRight Tire Safety System will measure your tire pressure in real time. It was installed at the Turkey Lake service plaza.

    Drivers will drive down a lane and in a flash the system will measure the car’s tire air and tread levels.

    Seconds later, drivers will get a printout of the results.

    “I do think it is beneficial. It saves you have accidents and blowouts on the road,” said Scott Windell.

    The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the system’s developer held a ribbon-cutting event on Thursday.

    Officials said low tread and tire pressure can lead to crashes and effect braking.

  • December 8, 2021 - GM Moves to Button Down EV Battery Supply Chain with New Joint Venture -

    General Motors forged a new joint venture with South Korean battery maker Posco. The move is part of its efforts to bolster its EV supply chain for North American electric vehicle production.

    Ultium Battery Pack
    GM’s announced plans for a joint venture to produce the cathode active materials used for battery production.
    GM Executive Vice President Doug Parks made the announcement Wednesday, without providing much additional detail, such as what percentage of the company will GM own and how much it’s investing. In fact, technically the deal isn’t done, although he did note the new venture is expected to begin during the first quarter of next year…

    The new venture, which doesn’t yet have a name as it’s not a formal entity yet, will produce the cathode active materials, or CAMs, for EV batteries. CAMs account for about 40% of the cost of a battery cell.

  • December 7, 2021 - Watch: This New Hybrid eVTOL Flies Like an Airplane and Hovers Like a Chopper -

    Thanks to lightweight carbon honeycomb construction, the two independent battery packs create enough juice to push the eMagic to a top speed of 106 mph, and a cruise of 90 mph with a one-hour range. Hover time is just four minutes. Still, the combination of “an aircraft with a multicopter gives five times the range compared with a pure multicopter,” says the company.

    The eMagic One’s aerodynamics and lightweight landing gear allow it to execute energy-saving, short-runway takeoffs and landings when they are optional. A video that accompanied the introduction showed the eMagic getting airborne from a runway with a pilot at the controls, then pictured it launching vertically while piloted remotely. It didn’t show the craft transitioning from one mode to the other; apparently those tests are yet to come.

  • December 7, 2021 - New Radar Sensor Technology for Intelligent Multimodal Traffic Monitoring at Intersections -

    Some agencies use cameras to monitor traffic modes, but cameras are limited in rainy, dark or foggy conditions. Some cities use radar instead of cameras, which works better in low-visibility but typically can’t provide as rich a picture of what’s going on. Conventional radar gives movement and position data for all approaching entities, but it’s very hard to tell the difference between modes with any reliability.

    In the latest report funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), Development of Intelligent Multimodal Traffic Monitoring using Radar Sensor at Intersections, researchers Siyang Cao, Yao-jan Wu, Feng Jin and Xiaofeng Li of the University of Arizona have tackled the issue by developing a high-resolution radar sensor that can reliably distinguish between cars and pedestrians. This sensor also supplies the counts, speed, and direction of each moving target, no matter what the lighting and weather are like.

  • December 7, 2021 - California is getting its first real autonomous delivery service thanks to Nuro and 7-Eleven -

    Nuro, a leader in autonomous delivery vehicles, is kicking off a new service in California in partnership with 7-Eleven. The company will deliver convenience store products to customers in its autonomous Toyota Prius vehicles, which will include a safety driver behind the wheel, before eventually shifting over to its fully driverless R2 delivery vehicles.

    The service will only be available to residents who live in proximity to the 7-Eleven store at 1905 Latham Street in Mountain View, from 8AM–9PM, seven days a week. Customers can order items like pizza, chips, beverages, and household items through 7-Eleven’s “7NOW” delivery app, although age-restricted items, like alcohol and cigarettes, won’t be available.

    Orders will be delivered in 30 minutes or less, and customers will have to leave their home to retrieve the items from the delivery vehicle while it’s parked on the street.

  • December 7, 2021 - Electric vehicle battery cost falls to $132 per kWh, but it might go up from there -

    The cost of electric vehicle battery packs has fallen to $132 per kWh – continuing decades of cost improvements. However, it might go up over the next year as increased material prices are catching up to incremental cost improvements.

    Price per kWh is the metric used to track the price of batteries. It can be used to talk about the cost of battery packs or battery cells.

    For example, if Tesla were achieving a cost per kWh of $150 for its Model S battery pack, it would mean that the battery pack costs $15,000 since it has a capacity of 100 kWh.

    In the auto industry, it is generally accepted that $100 per kWh for battery packs is the price point needed for electric vehicles to be cost-competitive with gasoline-powered vehicles.

    Of course, this is relative to the type of vehicles since you can make cost-competitive EVs in many segments with higher battery costs.

  • December 7, 2021 - Volvo Penta to Power Hurtigruten Hybrid Vessel -

    Hurtigruten Svalbard said it has teamed up with Volvo Penta to test a new hybrid vessel that will allow guests to experience the wonders of the Arctic archipelago without disturbing the habitat around them.

    The near-silent, Marell M15 cruiser called Kvitbjørn (polar bear in English) will allow for fully electric operation in the environmentally sensitive waters around Svalbard, which is hugely popular with nature-loving adventure travelers. Hurtigruten Svalbard plans to test the Marell M15 day cruiser starting in May 2022…

    Powered by Volvo Penta’s twin D4-320 DPI hybrid with its Aquamatic DPI, the Marell M15 boat has a top speed of 32 knots and a cruising speed of 25 knots. It is robust enough to operate in the demanding Arctic environment and to run in sub-zero temperatures, with an extensive range of 500 Nm.

  • December 6, 2021 - Seegrid announces advancements to its first fully autonomous forklift -

    Seegrid Corp. announced a new set of advancements to its Palion Lift autonomous mobile robot (AMR), which the Pittsburgh-based company now says is the only autonomous forklift of its kind with industry-leading 3D perception.

    According to a company press release, Seegrid IQ, the technology that powers the company’s Palion Lift and other robots, has enhanced perception and productivity improvements capable of combining data from cameras, LiDAR and machine learning models with the company’s proprietary 3D computer vision system. The result, Seegrid said, is a safer and more reliable material handling experience for its warehousing customers and others who use the forklift.

    The Palion Lift is capable of transporting payloads up to 3,500 pounds and can retrieve and place them at heights up to six feet, Seegrid said.

  • December 6, 2021 - Autonomous shuttle service trial uses satellite comms in addition to 4G and 5G -

    Darwin will maintain and monitor the service, tracking the shuttle’s location and gathering information about its operation as it travels. Telematics data will be transmitted from the shuttle in real time using Hispasat’s satellite communication channels and O2’s 4G and 5G networks.

    The use of satellite communications in this trial is significant. In previous trials, autonomous vehicles have relied on terrestrial wi-fi to stay connected. By making use of satellites in addition to 4G and 5G, autonomous vehicles can operate in rural or remote areas that may not yet have complete cellular coverage.

    This shuttle service will help demonstrate the potential of self-driving vehicles to operate in a real-world setting, serving as a step towards the wider use of this technology in the UK. Similar Navya shuttles have been used in an urban setting in Switzerland, and have safely transported tens of thousands of passengers.

  • December 6, 2021 - The 6 terms you need to know to understand self-driving cars -

    For Levels 3-5, the person sitting in the driver’s seat is not driving the car—the automated system is, if it is engaged. But this can be tricky. Phillip Koopman, an electrical engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University, points out on his autonomous vehicle blog that a vehicle’s Level 3 system may not notify the driver when human intervention is needed, as we’ve already seen from videos of people wrenching steering control from Tesla’s ostensibly Level-2 Full Self Driving beta system when it attempts to steer the car into danger.

    This is why, Koopman adds, that the driver in vehicles with Level 3 systems activated cannot perform non-driving activities, such as napping or watching a video. “J3016 does not say that Level 3 means ‘eyes off road’ anywhere,” he emphasizes.

  • December 6, 2021 - Level-Setting: Why Drivers Still Don’t Understand Self-Driving -

    American car and truck owners have shaky knowledge of what constitutes a fully autonomous vehicle (AV), says the 2021 J.D. Power Mobility Confidence Index (MCI), released November 30. In the survey, only 37% of respondents correctly identified Levels 4 and 5 (based on SAE definitions) as referring to fully automated self-driving. In fact, more than half (55%) pointed to descriptions that are actually aligned with more modest driver-assist technology…

    Raj Rajkumar, a Carnegie Mellon professor who has collaborated with General Motors and others on autonomous technology, said he was “not surprised” by the numbers in the survey. “Since AVs are not being sold right now, it’s not shocking that people don’t know what the levels mean,” he said.

    Rajkumar added that the enthusiastic marketing of Level 2 vehicles from companies such as Cadillac and Tesla can also create false impressions. “Tesla’s Full Self-Driving [FSD] system is nowhere near full autonomy,” he said. “With some companies, the information on what the systems can actually do is in the fine print.”

  • December 6, 2021 - North Carolina tests the future of traffic management on a stretch of I-85 -

    The North Carolina Department of Transportation says one of the first permanent traffic systems in the state is officially up and running on Interstate 85 in Mecklenburg and Gaston counties.

    It’s called an Integrated Corridor Management System, and it’s in place between I-85 between exits 10 and 33.

    It uses cameras, electronic signs and remote-controlled traffic lights. When an accident is picked up on a traffic camera, operators in a control room activate electronic signs and stoplights to guide drivers onto U.S. 74 and other alternative routes.

    NCDOT upgraded 94 traffic signals along U.S. 74 and I-85 ramps, put up two new electronic signs and added 11 cameras, then integrated them into the statewide traffic management system.

    The goal is to relieve backups when there’s an accident, but also make the drive between Charlotte and Kings Mountain more predictable.

  • December 3, 2021 - Robots outnumber human workers in this autonomous truck yard north of Denver -

    In a truck yard the size of a football field several miles north of Denver, a fleet of robotic trucks ferry semi-trailers between assigned spots and warehouse doors for 16 hours each day. A few humans keep watch…

    Moss works as a test technician for Outrider. It’s a Golden-based robotics developer whose mission is to automate the bustling truck yards outside of tens of thousands of distribution warehouses across the world, where most everyday goods are boxed and shipped to customers.

    Outrider lauds its main test site in Brighton as one of the most automated in the country. Analysts say it’s a glimpse of what future shipping and freight yards will look like — a place where more robots than humans work, rendering people nearly obsolete.

    Traditional human-run yards are dangerous and inefficient, said Andrew Smith, Outrider’s founder and CEO. Over-the-road truckers can waste hours dropping off and picking up trailers in the busy hubs, he said.

  • December 3, 2021 - Seoul launches commercial self-driving shuttle service -

    South Korea’s capital city unveiled a commercial driverless car service Monday, the first step in an ambitious plan to bring autonomous vehicles into everyday life over the next five years.

    Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon led a ceremony Monday afternoon to launch the pilot project of three self-driving sedans in the western neighborhood of Sangam-dong.

    “Autonomous driving is not a technology of the future anymore,” Oh said. “It is already here with us. Today, public self-driving vehicles have started to serve our citizens.”

    The three cars will carry passengers on a pair of routes over roughly 2.3 square miles, covering a busy subway station, apartment complexes and office buildings. The city said it will expand the fleet by three more vehicles, including a bus, by the end of December.

  • December 3, 2021 - Cycling surge here to stay in many cities, report suggests -

    Dive Brief:
    Bike activity in the U.S. was up 10% in the summer of 2021 compared to 2019 and was virtually flat compared to the summer of 2020, according to a report this month from Streetlight Data. The report relies on data from Streetlight’s InSight Multimode Metrics, which records and analyzes ridership of different transportation modes.

    The increase in cycling was a nationwide trend, but some cities showed greater increases than others. Atlanta and Las Vegas, for example, saw bicycling traffic rise by 25% in 2021 compared to 2019 despite showing modest gains in 2020, while the mid-sized cities of Birmingham, Alabama; Charleston, South Carolina; Jackson, Mississippi; and Little Rock, Arkansas all had gains of 50% or more.

    Between 2020 and 2021, some West Coast and Midwest cities actually saw cycling activity decrease and some large cities even saw a decrease compared to 2019. Still, Streetlight Data called the findings “Good news for cycling overall” and evidence of the role new infrastructure plays in promoting biking.

  • December 3, 2021 - Could Roads Recharge Electric Cars? The Technology May Be Close. -

    Other challenges may slow the electric road of the future. “To put this in context, inroad charging while driving is not likely to be a broad solution for all electric vehicles, but it could play an important role for some applications,” said Jeremy J. Michalek, professor of engineering and public policy and director of the vehicle electrification group at Carnegie Mellon University.

    “For passenger cars, most drivers will leave home on most days with a full tank of electricity, and EV range is growing large enough that most drivers won’t need public charging except on rare long-distance travel days,” he said.

    But there is a bigger problem that these kinds of roadways can solve. “For long-haul trucking, inroad charging aims to address a real problem with electrifying trucks,” Mr. Michalek said. Electric trailer trucks require large battery packs that reduce payload; inroad charging could help, though that amount of long-distance travel would require a huge investment in infrastructure.

  • December 3, 2021 - Is the public ready for autonomous vehicles? Motional launched a survey to find out -

    The Hazelwood Green-based company, which specializes in robotaxi services through partnerships with industry leaders like Lyft and Via, released its second annual Motional Consumer Mobility Report, which collects responses from 1,000 people across the country to better understand public perception of autonomous vehicle technology.

    Like many other companies in the industry, Motional plans to commercially launch its robotaxi tech in the next couple of years. But to do that successfully, it knows that public trust in the safety of the highly disruptive technology is key. But the report’s findings show there’s still a lot of work to do around that.

    Only one in three respondents to the survey said they think autonomous vehicles are safer on the road for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, the report said. And a mere 15% of those surveyed think that AVs today are safe and reliable. Specifically, respondents expressed concerns around the lack of control that they perceive autonomous vehicles to have as well as a need for more testing of the tech.

  • December 1, 2021 - Baidu, Pony.ai approved for robotaxi services in Beijing -

    hinese tech group Baidu Inc and self-driving startup Pony.ai have won approval to launch paid driverless robotaxi services that will see the firms deploy not more than 100 vehicles in an area in China’s capital Beijing.

    The state-backed Beijing Daily newspaper reported on the approvals on Thursday, citing a ceremony held by the Beijing Economic and Technological Development Zone, where the 60 square kilometre-large area (23 square miles) is located.

    Baidu said in a statement that this would be its Apollo Go service’s first commercial deployment on open roads.

    Customers will be able to hail one of the daily service’s 67 cars at more than 600 pick-up and drop-off points in both commercial and residential areas, it said. It will charge fares similar to the level of premium ride-hailing services in China, a Baidu spokesperson added.

  • December 1, 2021 - First driverless vehicle approved to operate on public roads in Europe -

    Since first popping up back in 2015 with its box-on-wheels EZ10 people mover, we’ve seen EasyMile test out its vehicle in trials in more than 30 countries around the globe, many of which don’t feature a human onboard but are overseen by a remote operator. This includes testing in Singapore, the US , Finland and Australia, as the company works to position its vehicle as an autonomous transport solution for private campuses, factories, airports and planned communities…

    EasyMile has been trialing its driverless shuttle at the Oncopole medical campus in Toulouse, France, operating between the main entrance and a parking lot 600 m (2,000 ft) away along a mixed traffic route shared with bikes, pedestrians, cars and buses. Having proved the safety and reliability of the service, the company has now become Europe’s first to receive authorization for Level 4 autonomy on public roads, handed down by the French government.

  • December 1, 2021 - Nissan unveils US$18B electric-vehicle strategy -

    Nissan Motor Co. will invest 2 trillion yen (US$17.6 billion) over the next five years to electrify more of its lineup and turn battery-powered cars into a pillar of its long-term growth.

    The Japanese automaker will introduce 23 new models by fiscal 2030, including 15 new electric vehicles, and aim for more than half of its sales to be electrified by then, the company said Monday.

    Nissan, on track to return to annual profit for the first time in three years, is seeking to use know-how it amassed as an early entrant into the EV market as a foundation for growth. The Yokohama-based carmaker was an early leader, releasing the world’s first mass-produced EV in 2010. The Leaf is still one of the world’s top-selling EVs, though in recent years its annual sales have been outpaced by Tesla Inc.’s models.

  • December 1, 2021 - NAWA Racer e-motorbike dynamic prototype revealed, featuring the world’s first ‘hybrid’ battery system -

    NAWA Technologies (NAWA) has revealed the first fully rideable prototype of its NAWA Racer electric motorbike at the world’s biggest two-wheeled show, EICMA 2021 in Milan.

    First unveiled in concept form at CES 2020, NAWA has joined forces with expert technical partners to rapidly accelerate development of the revolutionary new machine; a zero-emission motorbike that illustrates how NAWA’s nano-based ultracapacitors, called NAWACap, can be applied to a real-world electric vehicle powertrain, by combining them with conventional lithium-ion cells to create a ‘hybrid’ battery system.

    Optimising both energy sources, the innovation opens up new possibilities for all e-powertrains, greatly improving efficiency, reducing charging times and extending entire system life. Entirely modular and scale-able, the system is applicable to any electric vehicle and can reduce the size of the lithium-ion battery by up to half, or extend the range by up to double – or a combination in between.

  • December 1, 2021 - White House creates new energy division to help craft climate change policies -

    The White House has launched a new energy division of its Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and appointed Sally Benson, a well-known energy expert at Stanford University, to a high-level position to contribute to climate change policy…

    In addition to Benson, the White House is bringing in another heavy hitter in climate policy circles: Costa Samaras has joined OSTP as the principal assistant director for energy. Samaras most recently served as an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, where he directed an effort to track the country’s progress in deploying clean energy.

    Eric Lander, the OSTP director and Biden’s science adviser, said in a statement that Benson and Samaras are “leading experts in the energy field who will help us realize an emission-free future where clean electricity is the cheapest and most reliable electricity, where clean fuels are the cheapest fuels, and where we enable equitable access to clean energy services to everyone across the country.”

  • November 30, 2021 - Yandex Self-Driving Cars Rely On In-House Sensor to See the Road -

    The self-driving company founded by Russian technology giant Yandex NV said Tuesday its new generation of vehicles will rely on sensors developed in-house to better see the road in the country’s often harsh driving conditions.

    A software-defined lidar system capable of seeing 500 meters (547 yards) away and operating in frigid weather will be the main sensor on new cars from the Yandex Self-Driving Group, the company announced in a blog post. About 70 cars in Russia, the U.S. and Israel will be equipped with the sensors, which bounce light off of objects and compare the results to a 3D map in order to create a real-time image of the road…

    Yandex’s move comes as some plans to deploy autonomous cars have stalled, despite billions of dollars in investment globally. Alphabet Inc.’s self-driving unit Waymo stopped marketing its lidar to other companies and was considering both internal technology and external suppliers for its next-generation sensors, Reuters reported in August.

  • November 30, 2021 - Streetlogic launches computer vision-based e-bike collision warning system, raises $2.1M -

    Streetlogic wants to help e-bike riders have a safer experience on the road. The company announced a $2.1 million pre-seed raise, as well as the launch of its flagship product, a surround-view camera that can predict front, side and rear collisions and notify riders in order to prevent accidents.

    Starting Tuesday, customers in the U.S., Canada and Europe can preorder Streetlogic’s advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) for e-bikes with a down payment of $30. The final retail price will be around $300 to $400, and the first batch of mass-produced systems is expected for delivery by the end of 2022, according to Jonathan Denby, CEO and founder of Streetlogic. Customers based in San Francisco, where Streetlogic is based, will be eligible to try one of the systems sooner via a limited, invite-only beta deployment program beginning early next year.

  • November 30, 2021 - Building a Regulatory Case for Autonomous Vehicles -

    Commercially or privately owned and operated autonomous (AVs) vehicles will slash the number of deaths and injuries on United States roads and bring other benefits; but only if the AVs are well regulated.

    That’s the recent conclusion of an interdisciplinary panel of experts that assessed the risks and benefits associated with AVs, which are sometimes called self-driving vehicles. The panel studied four possible implementation scenarios to determine the best strategies for the coming AV adoption, said Veljko Dubljevi?, an associate professor in the Science, Technology, and Society program at North Carolina State University.

    He and his team published the study in the August 2021 in edition of the oprn-access journal PloS One.

  • November 30, 2021 - NIST seeks evidence on economic impact of 8 emerging technologies - "The National Institute of Standards and Technology wants input on the marketplaces, supply chain risks, and policy and investment needs of eight emerging technologies, according to a request for information issued Monday. NIST plans to refine its approach to the current and future states of artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), IoT in manufacturing, quantum computing, blockchain, new and advanced materials, unmanned delivery services, and 3D printing based on responses. The American Competitiveness of a More Productive Emerging Tech Economy (COMPETE) Act of 2020 called for NIST to complete a “Study to Advance a More Productive Tech Economy,” which the agency plans to deliver by the end of 2022 based on responses to the request for information (RFI)." Link to Article

  • November 30, 2021 - Freight Rail Wants Smarter, Greener And Safer Shipping. Its Regulators Have Other Ideas. -

    Port slowdowns and empty store shelves have prompted policymakers investigation of supply chains and shipping networks at a recent hearing of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. One witness from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Transportation and Logistics blamed chronic under-utilization of truck drivers and sub-optimal loading/unloading policies at warehouses. Another from the transportation intermediaries industry said it is a perfect storm of factors including shortages in labor, chips, warehouses, and container storage combined with historic demand for freight magnified at a global scale. Ian Jefferies of the Association of American Railroads detailed how pandemic-driven shifts in consumer spending and retail inventory can whiplash freight patterns.

    The key questions are whether regulation can improve the status quo (and for whom) and to what degree can providers be allowed flexibility to adjust to difficult market conditions. Moreover, it is difficult to discern cost and energy efficiency because of regulatory distortions.

  • November 29, 2021 - Southwestern Pa. residents can help boost the area’s broadband haul from the infrastructure bill -

    First, they want to get a better idea of the region’s connectivity needs, so they’re asking residents to complete a survey about the quality of their internet access.

    The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, a planning agency for the 10 counties that make up the state’s southwest corner, is leading the study with Carnegie Mellon University and the Pittsburgh-based child advocacy nonprofit Allies for Children. They’ve called the initiative “Southwestern Pennsylvania Connected.”

    The state will get at least $100 million to invest in broadband, according to federal officials. Vincent Valdes, executive director of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, said the amount the Pittsburgh area receives will depend on its level of need.

    “That’s certainly important to be able to access that money since I think it’ll be competitive,” he said. “We’re launching a survey to really kind of get a granular sense as to what the needs are in our region.”

  • November 29, 2021 - Apple reportedly wants to launch a self-driving EV in 2025 with a custom chip -

    Apple has completed “much of the core work” on a new processor meant to power its secretive autonomous electric car project known as Titan, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports. The milestone comes as Apple is reportedly now accelerating its timeline for the autonomous car it’s developing, with a new target of launching it in just four years.

    Apple’s own silicon team designed the chip, which Gurman says is the “most advanced component” that’s been developed for the project so far. The company is apparently getting ready to put the chip through its real-world paces in its fleet of test vehicles in California and hopes to make a vehicle with “stronger safeguards than what’s available from Tesla and Waymo,” according to the report.

    The goal now for Project Titan, after multiple pivots, is to create an autonomous car that does not have a steering wheel.

  • November 29, 2021 - Ford partners with GlobalFoundries to increase chip supplies -

    Ford Motor plans to increase its short- and long-term supply of semiconductor chips through a new partnership with GlobalFoundries.

    The Detroit automaker and New York-based chip supplier on Thursday announced the signing of a nonbinding agreement for a strategic partnership that aims to increase the supply of chips to Ford from GlobalFoundries.

    Officials said the tie-up could eventually result in new chip designs specifically for Ford and an increase in the domestic production and supply of chips for the overall automotive industry…

    The companies declined to discuss financial details of the agreement or how much GlobalFoundries will increase supplies to Ford in the near term. This collaboration does not involve cross-ownership between the two companies. Gray described the talks as being in their “early days.”

  • November 29, 2021 - Governors of Washington and Oregon, Premier of BC sign MOU for ultra-high-speed transportation system -

    Governor Jay Inslee of Washington state, Governor Kate Brown of Oregon, and Premier John Horgan of British Columbia signed a Memorandum of Understanding that establishes ultra-high-speed transportation as a regional priority. The agreement reaffirms the shared commitment to developing a sustainable Cascadia Innovation Corridor.

    A 2018 study from the Washington State Department of Transportation projected that a high-speed rail system linking Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland would spark up to $355 billion in economic growth in Cascadia while reducing harmful emissions and creating downstream benefits for affordable housing, environmental sustainability, and more.

    In the United States, the recently signed infrastructure law presents new opportunities to pursue federal funding to advance the development of an ultra-high-speed transportation system. In addition, Congress is currently working on a dedicated high-speed rail funding program.

  • November 29, 2021 - TomTom shares rise 9% after European Union decision -

    Shares in Dutch navigation and mapping company TomTom (TOM2.AS) closed 9.3% higher on Wednesday, after the European Union published rules specifying that cars must incorporate a technology that the company supplies, starting in 2022.

    TomTom works with carmakers to provide the technology that helps drivers comply with speed limits, called “intelligent speed assistance.”

    The publication in the Official Journal of the European Union specified that new car models must use the technology starting in July 2022, and all cars sold must have it by 2024…

    Sebastian Marland, an equity research analyst at AFS Group, said he believed the news was the trigger for the stock’s surge.

    “This creates a momentary opportunity for TomTom as it provides the tech required to ‘add-on’ to the cars,” he said.

    However, “from 2024 onwards, all cars in the EU must have it installed, making TomTom’s tech redundant in the long term.”

  • November 26, 2021 - EVs need to be lighter, profs urge -

    Electric vehicles are too heavy, creating a greater risk for death in a collision, a trio of professors warned in a recent paper.

    Electric vehicles are growing in popularity with expectations of them making up half of all vehicles sold in the U.S. by 2035. Canada announced a sales ban on fuel-powered vehicles for 2035 as well.

    But, bulk batteries replacing internal combustion power means that the rest of the vehicle needs to be heavier to provide the needed structural support, say Blake Shaffer, an assistant professor in the department of economics and school of public policy at the University of Calgary, Maximilian Auffhammer, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley and at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Constantine Samaras, an associate professor in the department of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

  • November 26, 2021 - Visualizing data for on-demand transit planning -

    A new cloud-based tool lets transit agencies visualize data to learn where on-demand transit can supplement their existing fixed-route public transportation network.

    The tool, called On-demand Planning, is the first joint product to be offered by startup Remix since Via, a transit technology company, acquired it in March. It combines data from Via’s more than 500 global partnerships and nearly 100 million rides with Remix’s intelligent transportation-planning software to reveal service gaps, evaluate demographics and determine how on-demand programs can augment fixed-route services…

    Fixed-route transportation services use vehicles such as buses and trains that operate on regular routes at set times. By contrast, on-demand services are city- or county-provided ride-sharing that could replace underperforming fixed routes. According to the company, On-demand Planning lets users model on-demand transit operating costs, service-area demographics and service quality scenarios before implementation.

  • November 26, 2021 - Amtrak’s $117B Northeast Corridor revamp expected to benefit local cities -

    Dive Brief:
    The Northeast Corridor Commission plans a $117 billion, 15-year upgrade of Amtrak’s Washington, D.C.-New York-Boston route to increase capacity and reduce end-to-end travel time by up to an hour. Prior to the pandemic, the Corridor handled 260 million passenger trips on eight commuter railroads and Amtrak.

    The Connect 2035 program includes 150 projects and will require the collaboration of Amtrak, state governments, commuter rail agencies and the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Commission calls it “the most ambitious reinvestment program in the NEC’s history.”

    Cities along the Northeast Corridor could benefit from improved connections and travel time, new stations and transit-oriented development (TOD). But the program does not include regional rail projects beyond the limits of the Corridor.

  • November 26, 2021 - Special forces testing Black Hawk helicopter with side-mounted electric motorcycles -

    Electric two-wheelers have become an area of intense research and testing for special operations forces around the world. The latest example we’re seeing is a novel application of a helicopter outfitted with a pair of electric motorcycles for stealthy insertion…

    They are often used in military roles where their low-noise electric motors make them a much stealthier option than gas-powered dirt bikes. Their low sound signature and lack of gas smell make them nearly as stealthy as a bicycle while still offering the benefits of a powerful motorbike…

    Electric motorcycles and even electric bicycles have been attracting significant attention from armed forces around the world.

    Last month we covered multiple special operations forces that were undergoing testing of high-powered electric bikes for tactical use, some even outfitted with solar panels for charging in the field.

  • November 26, 2021 - US National Parks to test green park transportation -

    Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg signed a joint initiative on Wednesday to test green travel technology in national parks with the aim of better conserving the land and improving tourists’ experiences…

    The programs involved in the initiative are receiving funding from the $1 trillion infrastructure bill President Biden signed into law on Monday, along with other federal grants and funding.

    Some parks have already been testing the use of autonomous vehicles to transport visitors from one site to the next to cut down on the number of cars traveling through the area and the need for more parking.

    The initiative will include attempting to replace the National Park Services’ 20-year-old shuttles with green-friendly electric vehicles, adding additional electric charging stations, and an app that will alert visitors to road closures, parking availability, and ride-share locations.

  • November 24, 2021 - The U.S. e-bike industry wants to do something about all those e-bike batteries -

    Getting people to swap their short car trips for electric bike rides could drastically reduce transportation emissions. But widespread e-bike use poses another downside for the environment: What to do with all the lithium-ion batteries that eventually will need to be replaced.

    E-bike battery recycling programs are common in Europe, where e-bike use has been more popular, but in the U.S., the infrastructure is lacking. In 2022, though, that will change, with the launch of an industry-wide electric bicycle battery recycling program, a joint effort from PeopleForBikes, a bicycle trade association and advocacy organization, and Call2Recycle, a battery recycling nonprofit—and one both organizations say is a first for uniting a transportation sector under one battery recycling solution.

  • November 24, 2021 - AutoX operates China’s largest fully driverless RoboTaxi service area in Shenzhen -

    Chinese start-up AutoX, backed by e-commerce giant Alibaba, announced on Tuesday that it now operates the country’s largest service area for fully driverless RoboTaxis across 168 square kilometers of Shenzhen, the leading tech hub in South China’s Guangdong Province.

    Being able to navigate all the public roads in Pingshan district in Shenzhen, AutoX has become the first RoboTaxi service to cover an entire district in a major Chinese city…

    In January this year, AutoX became the second company in the world to offer a fully driverless RoboTaxi service when it launched a pilot service in Shenzhen…

    In tandem with the announcement, AutoX released a new video of its driverless RoboTaxi navigating the expanded service area – driving through the commercial center of Shenzhen, arriving at its high-speed train station, and pulling up to the curb in front of a long line of parked vehicles dropping off passengers.

  • November 24, 2021 - Baidu beats Waymo as biggest robotaxi service provider -

    Baidu has become the world’s largest autonomous mobility service provider, with over 115,000 rides completed via its Apollo Go platform in the third quarter this year, said CEO Robin Li. Statistics show that Waymo offers 20,000 to 40,000 rides in a quarter on average.

    Li made the announcement in an internal letter to Baidu employees on Wednesday after the company released its quarterly financial results.

    The company’s third quarter revenue ended Sep 30 reached 31.9 billion yuan ($4.95 billion). Non-GAAP net income attributable to Baidu was 5.1 billion yuan, beating market expectations.

    Li said Baidu’s progress in autonomous mobility is part of its continuous investment in research and development.

    Its statistics show that R&D expense in the third quarter was 6.2 billion yuan, increasing 35 percent year-on-year, but Baidu did not offer investment details in the autonomous driving sector.

    The Apollo Go service is now available in five cities including Beijing and Shanghai, where people can hail a robotaxi via a smart phone application.

  • November 24, 2021 - Crosswalk in East Austin has new tech that alerts drivers of pedestrians -

    Drivers of connected vehicles – connected to wireless networks – will be notified when someone is trying to cross the street after they push the signal button when the driver is still about a block away from the crossing…

    TAPCO, the company that creates the technology, has tested it in about a half-dozen other cities, according to Mike Long, the company’s manager of product management. He said Austin is on the cutting edge as it deploys this type of technology and starts learning from it.

    TAPCO and Siemens are funding the project while the ATD is monitoring the results of the pilot.

    It’s currently unclear how many connected vehicles are on the roads in Austin. Not a lot of car manufacturers have standardized the technology in every new car either. But through the pilot, the City hopes to get at least some preliminary data on how many are already here.

  • November 24, 2021 - Harvard Think-Tank Releases Latest Research On The Safety Of Autonomous Vehicles -

    A newly released research report entitled “Developing Urban Mobility Policy in Response to Autonomous Vehicles” has been posted by the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) via the Taubman Center for State and Local Government. Doing so under the auspices of their Autonomous Vehicles Policy Initiative (AVPI) program, this latest paper is part of an ongoing and overarching analysis that explores the practical and pragmatic considerations underlying the implementation of AVs at the city, state, and federal government levels…

    In addition to the in-depth research and instructional efforts, the AVPI is also known for undertaking intense policy scrums that bring together governmental policymakers with AV experts, policy analysts, and legal experts. These are exhilarating face-to-face interactive sessions that immerse the participants into candid and quite fruitful dialogue about how to prudently and proactively cope with emerging AVs and self-driving efforts within their respective communities.

  • November 23, 2021 - The Detroit Smart Parking Lab: Mobility Meets Infrastructure -

    Imagine using an app to set a pre-determined location, arriving there, and simply stepping out of your car and going about your business while your vehicle automatically identifies its own parking spot in a nearby lot or parking garage, drives itself there, and parks. And when you are ready to move on, the same scenario occurs, effectively eliminating the frustration of parking altogether.

    Enter the Detroit Smart Parking Lab.

    Ford, Bosch, Bedrock, and the State of Michigan recently launched this first-of-its-kind real-world test site lab, allowing mobility and smart infrastructure innovators to test automated valet parking, automated parallel parking, EV charging technologies, and much more.

    And it’s the only one of its kind in the country – fittingly in the Motor City.

    The lab – opened last month to innovators and with a public unveiling November 10 – is strategically located at the Bedrock Assembly in Corktown where Ford is developing a mobility innovation district anchored by Michigan Central Station.

  • November 23, 2021 - Time Magazine – THE BEST INVENTIONS OF 2021 – Relief for Straphangers MTA Live Subway Map -

    Even diehard New York City subway devotees will admit that keeping up with service changes on the system’s 36 lines and 472 stations is nearly impossible. But now there is hope: the new MTA Live Subway Map is a web-based visualization that shows subway service in real time, redrawing itself when lines or stations are down or trains are running on alternate lines. Created in partnership with digital agency Work & Co, the map is a design feat, retaining the iconic, four-decade-old look while bringing it up to the minute with live data. “What you’re seeing is actually the current state of the subway—you don’t need to read all those posters anymore,” says Work & Co design partner Felipe Memoria.

  • November 23, 2021 - Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission plans regional approach to broadband improvements -

    The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission is teaming with Carnegie Mellon University, Allies for Children and others to take a regional approach to improving broadband service in the 10-county area in an effort to take best advantage of $65 billion in recently approved federal infrastructure funds…

    Through funding from the Hillman Family Foundations, the group has held a series of meetings throughout the region to hear from residents about broadband service and developed a series of maps showing the level of broadband service in each neighborhood.

    Carnegie Mellon’s role will be to help develop the technical needs and craft proposed policies for using the federal funds, said Karen Lightman, executive director of the university’s Metro 21: Smart Cities Institute. Funds are expected to pass through the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development.

  • November 23, 2021 - As infrastructure funding comes in, will there be enough workers? The unions say they’re ready -

    Richard Stafford, a professor of public policy at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College, is looking to the longer tail of job growth that could come from this bill.

    Construction jobs will create “spinoff” jobs, he said, because those workers need to eat, for example. Manufacturing jobs that don’t have a defined start and end date could create three times as many spinoff roles, he said.

    “This is really about much more than construction,” Mr. Stafford said.

    The “new economy” that politicians, economists and tech leaders so often speak of is also dependent on infrastructure, Mr. Stafford said.

    Without broadband, people living in Greene County can’t participate in remote work. Without workforce development, the people needed to maintain and fix self-driving vehicles won’t be prepared for work on these new kind of engines…

    “The information highway is almost as important as the physical highway.”

  • November 23, 2021 - LA Metro Installs Early-Warning Earthquake Alerts -

    L.A. previously debuted ShakeAlertLA, a smartphone app that alerts users about a detected earthquake in their area seconds before it occurs. Those few seconds are long enough to prepare oneself for shaking and quickly move away from large furniture and other objects that can fall. The app had over 1 million downloads before it was replaced with a statewide MyShake app in 2020.

    The ShakeAlert technology will now be deployed at the county’s bus and train maintenance centers and facilities, and warn employees, drivers, and patrons about oncoming shaking. The early warning system detects earthquakes of magnitude 4.8 or greater. And once ShakeAlert is deployed, it’ll be the largest deployment of any U.S. transit agency.

  • November 22, 2021 - Billions of dollars in infrastructure bill for charging could supercharge electric vehicle adoption -

    Most estimates call for battery and plug-in hybrid EVs being between 30% and 50% of the U.S. fleet by 2030. EV charging is still an emerging business model, and no one yet knows which one is going to be the most successful.

    That’s part of the significance of the $7.5 billion earmarked for EV charging, said Stan Caldwell, executive director of Traffic21 Institute and Mobility21 at Carnegie Mellon University.

    “This can start to fill the gaps where the market is not going to come quickly,” he said. And not just in terms of urban, where market forces have concentrated the stations, vs. suburban and rural areas, he said.

    There are access equity issues at play as well, around EV owners who may not have access to private charging, Caldwell said. “This is where the money (in the bill) can be strategically placed … Technology is not the biggest hurdle, the business model is,” he said.

  • November 22, 2021 - Electric vehicles could fully recharge in under 5 minutes with new charging station cable design -

    Purdue University engineers have invented a new, patent-pending charging station cable that would fully recharge certain electric vehicles in under five minutes – about the same amount of time it takes to fill up a gas tank.

    Today, chargers are limited in how quickly they can charge an EV’s battery due to the danger of overheating. To charge an EV faster, a higher current needs to travel through the charging cable. The higher the current, the greater amount of heat that must be removed to keep the charging cable operational. The cooling systems that chargers currently use remove only so much heat.

    Using an alternative cooling method, Purdue researchers designed a charging cable that can deliver a current 4.6 times that of the fastest available EV chargers on the market today by removing up to 24.22 kilowatts of heat. The project was funded by a research and development alliance between Ford Motor Co. and Purdue.

  • November 22, 2021 - Drone Startup Plans Drug Deliveries to Homes in Salt Lake City -

    California drone startup Zipline plans to begin delivering medicine, blood and other supplies to homes in Salt Lake City, Utah. The company, whose fixed-wing drones have been transporting medical supplies to rural clinics in Rwanda and Ghana since 2016, has signed a service agreement with Utah-based Intermountain Healthcare to make deliveries to its patients in the city. Zipline said it expects to make its first deliveries in the spring of 2022 and to reach hundreds per day within four years of launching the service…

    Zipline plans to target yards and driveways for drops. It will need approval from the Federal Aviation Administration before it can begin. The company has applied for certification under the FAA’s program, known as Part 135, for unmanned package delivery.

  • November 22, 2021 - Can travel make you happy? Many Americans plan to find out as they plan trips for 2022 -

    These travel trends could affect your happiness in 2022
    It’ll be more unpredictable than ever. “I expect restrictions will continue to be very dynamic based on both local COVID vaccination and infection rates,” predicts Stan Caldwell, executive director of Carnegie Mellon’s Traffic21 Institute. If you like adventure, this may be your year.

    Prices will rise. As more people book trips, rates will increase. Fare analysts at the airfare app Hopper forecast that ticket prices to Europe will jump about 12% this fall and will average $750 round trip. Roland Rust, a professor at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, sums up the outlook in a few words: “High prices and fewer options.” So book now if you see a rate you can live with because it’s not getting any cheaper.

  • November 22, 2021 - Rut means more deer on the highway, and now truckers have help avoiding them -

    Insurance researchers have calculated that each deer-vehicle collision costs Americans more than $8,000, including vehicle damage, insurance claims, medical bills, funeral costs, removal of carcasses and loss of the recreational value of the deer. Near misses are not recorded.

    There are likely fewer near misses by trucks. Lytx, a tech firm that provides safety and routing options for companies operating big rigs, smaller trucks, buses, vans and other commercial and public sector vehicles, keeps track of animal activity and other hazards for thousands of commercial fleets and more than 1.4 million drivers worldwide.

    The San Diego-based company combines and analyzes algorithms from machine vision and artificial intelligence technologies to advise drivers in real time about road hazards including seasonal, lunar and weather-related increases in animal crossing activity. The cab-mounted Lytx units record the vehicle’s location and speed as well as sudden braking and swerving.

  • November 19, 2021 - Kodiak Robotics to expand autonomous trucking with $125M -

    Kodiak Robotics, a startup developing self-driving truck technologies, today announced that it raised $125 million in an oversubscribed series B round for a total of $165 million to date. The tranche — which includes investments from SIP Global Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Battery Ventures, CRV, Muirwoods Ventures, Harpoon Ventures, StepStone Group, Gopher Asset Management, Walleye Capital, Aliya Capital Partners, and others — will be put toward expanding Kodiak’s team, adding trucks to its fleet, and growing its autonomous service capabilities, according to CEO Don Burnette…

    While autonomous trucks could face challenges in commercializing at scale until clearer regulatory guidelines are established, the technology has the potential to reduce the cost of trucking from $1.65 per mile to $1.30 per mile by mid-decade, according to a Pitchbook analysis. That’s perhaps why in the first half of 2021, investors poured a record $5.6 billion into driverless trucking companies, eclipsing the $4.2 billion invested in all of 2020.

  • November 19, 2021 - Experts say tires may have hidden danger -

    Tires are treated with chemicals that slow oxidation and delay deterioration. But outside of an X-ray, experts said it’s difficult to measure interior wear and tear.

    “You don’t have tire health monitoring for things like deterioration, things like tread abrasion,” said Carnegie Mellon engineering professor Swarum Kumar.

    But Kumar is working to change that. His lab is trying to develop something like a tire pressure monitor that detects internal and invisible damage.

    “Anything that we can do to help prevent these types of accidents can make a huge impact,” Kumar said.

    Milford and Donna Stevens hope something can be done to make tires safer.

    “This put the screws to my life,” Milford said.

    Kumar said a tire can decay even while sitting on a store shelf. He said it is important for drivers to know how old their tires are and how long the manufacturer says they are supposed to last.

  • November 19, 2021 - Logistics provider makes headway in autonomous trucking -

    Autonomous trucking may help logistics companies save up to 40% in transport costs, according to a joint study from researchers at Georgia Tech and Ryder System, Inc.
    Researchers developed an Autonomous Transfer Hub Network (ATHN) based on data from Ryder’s dedicated transportation network in the Southest to determine how a network of driverless trucks may affect the transportation and logistics provider’s operations. The proposed network is made up of a series of transfer points where level 4 autonomous trucks—which are completely driverless and primarily designed for highway use—can hand off loads to conventional trucks for the first and final miles. The team used optimization models for routing and dispatching, and evaluated the proposed autonomous network by comparing it with Ryder’s existing operations.
    The research team determined that an ATHN with optimization technology can reduce costs by 29% to 40% for a large network.

  • November 19, 2021 - Motional and Lyft to launch fully driverless ride-hail service in Las Vegas – and other cities -

    Motional’s next-generation robotaxis, the all-electric Hyundai Ioniq 5-based robotaxi, will be available on the Lyft app in Las Vegas, starting in 2023. The implementation is part of a partnership between Motional and Lyft which started last year.

    The service will be the first time fully driverless cars for use in a ride-hailing service are available to the public in Nevada. Launched by Aptiv in 2018 and now as Motional, the company has operated a public self-driving service with Lyft in Las Vegas for over three years.

    The 2023 launch represents a significant expansion, will use Motional’s next-generation robotaxi, and will be the first time passengers experience a fully driverless Lyft and Motional ride.

    With plans to launch in multiple markets, the service is also designed to be scalable and positions both Motional and Lyft to introduce millions of riders to driverless technology in the future.

  • November 19, 2021 - Second-life EV batteries find use in railway crossings -

    Eventually the battery packs at the heart of electric cars are going to reach the end of their useful lives, but their story doesn’t necessarily end there. They can still retain enough charge for other applications, such as energy storage, boating and even classic car conversions. Now Nissan has found another use for such batteries, replacing lead acid units in emergency power supplies at railroad crossings with second-life Leaf batteries – something the company says was previously unheard of.

  • November 17, 2021 - General Motors Heads to Rural Areas to Install EV Chargers -

    General Motors says it will invest in electric-car-charging infrastructure by installing as many as 40,000 Level 2 chargers across the U.S. and Canada.

    The GM announcement is unique because the automaker is targeting “underserved, rural, and urban areas” for its investment. Public EV charging stations tend to stand in dense, urban areas and suburban shopping center parking lots. Smaller towns and inner cities are so devoid of charging infrastructure GM called them “charging deserts.”

    The automaker says it will work with its dealership network to identify locations for the Ultium-branded public chargers. While GM hasn’t announced specific sites for new chargers, they listed the following potential spots:
    Multi-unit dwellings
    Sports and entertainment venues
    Colleges and universities

  • November 17, 2021 - Bosch Ridecare helps fleet owners know when shared cars are dirty -

    We’ve all heard the phrase “drive it like a rental.” Unfortunately, some people don’t see the value of property they don’t own and are just borrowing or renting. Sometimes these people will take a rental car and purposely abuse it, leave it filthy, or smoke inside it, causing problems for the vehicle owner. Bosch is one of the largest manufacturers of sensors and electronic systems for vehicles and other platforms globally. It has revealed a new system called Bosch Ridecare.

    Ridecare is a single sensor box able to detect damage to a vehicle or smoke inside the vehicle. The goal of this system is to help keep shared vehicles roadworthy and to ensure they’re clean and don’t smell like smoke. Few things are more annoying to non-smokers than a vehicle that smells like cigarettes. New Ridecare solutions being developed for fleet operators and service providers will prevent this issue from being a problem in fleets of the future.

  • November 17, 2021 - Near Earth Autonomy now able to deliver medical supplies autonomously to locations hundreds of miles away with drones -

    Pittsburgh-based autonomous aircraft company Near Earth Autonomy and Melbourne, Florida-based defense contractor L3Harris Technologies (NYSE: LHX) announced the successful demonstration of a drone system capable of delivering whole blood and other medical supplies autonomously across distances spanning hundreds of miles.

    The two companies said the demonstration will further enhance supply availability and health outcomes for those using the new system, the most likely of which will be military personal in remote areas.

    To accomplish this feat, Near Earth said it integrated its autonomous flight systems into L3Harris’ FVR-90 hybrid VTOL aircraft. The system is now capable of transporting supplies autonomously and deciding on its own if it should land upon arrival or deposit transport pods containing the supplies should terrain conditions prove to be too hazardous for landing.

  • November 17, 2021 - Life is a highway, full of autonomous vehicles -

    Last month Travelers released its position paper titled ‘Insuring Autonomy: How Auto Insurance Will Lead Through Changing Risks’ in Canada, highlighting the company’s assessment of how the current auto landscape will benefit from the adoption of autonomous vehicles (AVs).

    Caleb Earnest, VP and personal insurance product manager at Travelers spoke to Insurance Business about some key findings of the study and what the auto insurance industry should keep top of mind as AVs become a larger part of Canadian’s lives…

    It is easy to believe that all vehicles on the road will be autonomous sooner than later, but Earnest explained that there will be a long transition period where both autonomous and non-autonomous vehicles will be on the road…

    Product liability is one of the most important questions when it comes to AVs. The role of insurance deals with both liability and the property insurance aspect.

  • November 17, 2021 - Redesigning public spaces to accommodate social distancing -

    The COVID-19 pandemic has made gathering in public spaces a challenge, with physical distancing recommended as a means of minimizing exposure. Much of existing public shared spaces cannot accommodate social distancing. As a result, infrastructure owners/operators have adopted different design strategies to promote physical distancing in public shared spaces. But have they been effective at improving public compliance?

    A project implemented by the city of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, that repurposed several travel lanes served as a case study. Using video data, researchers Maged Gouda, S.M.ASCE; Jie Fan; Kelly Luc; Shewkar Ibrahim, Ph.D., P.Eng.; and Karim El-Basyouny, Ph.D., P.Eng., investigated the effectiveness of the redesign, usage patterns, physical distancing violations, and the impact the redesign had on traffic safety. The video footage covered all the shared spaces, and the team was able to account for accurate measurement of distances to check compliance.

  • November 16, 2021 - Biden’s $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill Hastens Beacons For Bicyclists And Pedestrians Enabling Detection By Connected Cars -

    The mammoth bill includes a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it section on “research on connected vehicle technology.”

    This states that the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, along with the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office and the Federal Highway Administration, will “expand vehicle-to-pedestrian research efforts focused on incorporating bicyclists and other vulnerable road users into the safe deployment of connected vehicle systems.”

    Within two years, says the bill, a report will be submitted to Congress including the findings of the research along with an “analysis of the extent to which applications supporting vulnerable road users can be accommodated within existing spectrum allocations for connected vehicle systems.”

  • November 16, 2021 - Walmart is using fully driverless trucks to ramp up its online grocery business -

    Walmart said Monday it has started using fully driverless trucking in its online grocery business, aiming to increase capacity and reduce inefficiencies.

    Walmart and Silicon Valley start-up Gatik said that, since August, they’ve operated two autonomous box trucks — without a safety driver — on a 7-mile loop daily for 12 hours. The Gatik trucks are loaded with online grocery orders from a Walmart fulfillment center called a “dark store.” The orders are then taken to a nearby Walmart Neighborhood Market grocery store in Bentonville, Arkansas, where Walmart is headquartered.

    The program began in December 2020 after getting approval from the Arkansas State Highway Commission. The safety driver was pulled over the summer. The partnership is focused on the so-called middle mile — the transport of goods within the supply chain most often from a warehouse to a fulfillment center or a warehouse to a retailer.

  • November 16, 2021 - Ford E-Transit pilot program launched in the US -

    The 2022 Ford E-Transit van, the all-electric version of America’s best-selling van, Ford Transit, is getting to work early. Through a Ford Pro pilot program, companies nationwide, such as Penske Truck Leasing and National Grid, have taken delivery of preproduction units of the E-Transit van with plans to use early learnings that will help deployment into their operations when the vehicle arrives to market early next year.

    Operating in fleets that span industries such as rental, delivery, service, maintenance, telecom and utilities, these E-Transit pilot vans will give companies the opportunity to experience how battery-powered vehicles coupled with Ford Pro Intelligence and Ford Pro Charging solutions can help improve fleet efficiencies.

    Penske plans to evaluate and validate E-Transit van capabilities, driving experience and charging strategy for specific applications, including rentals to small- and medium-sized commercial businesses.

  • November 16, 2021 - EV Charging Shifts Gears From Range to Speed -

    Limp up to a public charging station in a thirsty Chevrolet Bolt and in 20 minutes you can add somewhere around 73 miles of range. However, do the same in a Ford Mustang Mach E — at the same charger — and you’ll probably make it twice as far. The Porsche Taycan driver is good for another 200 miles and change. Danke schoen.

    Range anxiety is slowly giving way to charging speed as the critical metric among the swelling crowd of EV-curious consumers. On this front, the machines vary wildly. But like many things in EV-land, it’s a little wonky. Time needed to top up isn’t simply a specification as much as an equation that depends largely on two variables: the capacity of the charger and the capacity of the car itself to take a charge. The Bolt, for example, can take on 55 kW, which is the limiting factor at a 100 kW charger. If one thinks of the stream of electrons as a liquid, this would be the width of the hose and the size of the funnel.

  • November 16, 2021 - E-scooter startup Lime raises $523 mln, eyes going public in 2022 -

    Urban mobility company Lime said on Friday it had raised $523 million from investors to scale up production of its latest e-scooters and e-bikes and its top executive said the startup is aiming for a stock market listing in 2022.

    The San Francisco-based company said the money it had raised from convertible debt and term loan financing included fresh capital from ride-hailing company Uber (UBER.N), which became an investor in 2020. The funding round was “significantly oversubscribed,” Lime Chief Executive Officer Wayne Ting told Reuters…

    Lime said its latest funds will go to scaling up its “Gen4” e-scooters and e-bikes that include “swept handlebars for a more comfortable ride”, additional reflectors to improve rider visibility and a swappable battery between both vehicles.

  • November 15, 2021 - Flying cars: coming soon to your city? -

    Companies creating flying electric taxis are attracting a lot of attention in Silicon Valley these days. But are their nascent lithium-ion powered aircraft actually viable, or are they simply the latest overhyped fad for techno-optimist venture capitalists to sink their copious cash into?

    A recent report from engineers at Carnegie Mellon University, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds that battery-powered urban aircraft are well within the bounds of technological reality and could appear in everyday life surprisingly soon.

    Co-authors Shashank Sripad and Venkatasubramanian Viswanathan are likely entranced by the notion of flying cars, along with many others excited for future science and technology. But, as scientists, they must temper their optimism with evidence-based skepticism.

  • November 15, 2021 - Boise Transit Adopts Digital Fare Payment Technology -

    Even smaller transit systems like Valley Regional Transit in Boise, Idaho, are turning to account-based fare payment systems in a push to modernize the transit experience and integrate it with other mobility options…

    The Valley Regional Transit, in partnership with Cubic Transportation Systems, launched the City Go Wallet, an account-based fare payment system to support both mobile devices and cash-loadable “smart cards” for a tap-and-pay transit experience…

    Aside from the bus system, this could include van pool, car pool and parking networks, “and hopefully in the future, micromobility like scooters and bike-share as well,” said Rysavy.

    The new digital fare payment system uses the Umo platform, an app riders download to their smartphones. The app also supports trip-planning, real-time bus information and offers a seamless segue to ride-sharing platforms Lyft and Uber.

  • November 15, 2021 - EDITORS’ PICK|Nov 4, 2021,03:10pm EDT|1,850 views Aurora Joins Nasdaq As Supply-Chain Crunch Boosts Robot Truck Interest -

    Aurora, a developer of autonomous cars and trucks that started trading on Thursday, sees growing awareness among investors that its technology has potential to improve freight-hauling and deliveries and ease a U.S. truck driver shortage that contribute to supply-chain headaches.

    Shares of the company, which splits operations between Silicon Valley and Pittsburgh, listed on Nasdaq after completing a merger with special purpose acquisition company Reinvent Technology Partners Y, trade with the ticker AUR. They closed at $9.60, down 3.1%. The SPAC deal secured $1.8 billion of funds, CEO Chris Urmson tells Forbes…

    Aurora, which has robotic truck partnerships with PACCAR and Volvo, as well as working with Uber and Toyota on robotaxi projects, follows rival truck tech developer TuSimple which listed shares in August and is trading about a week ahead of San Francisco-based Embark which also goes public this month.

  • November 15, 2021 - Houston METRO: The future of transit is an inclusive one -

    The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (Houston METRO) is continuing its efforts to make its system and facilities accessible for all.

    Bluetooth bus beacons, Braille signage and better bus stops are just a few examples of how Houston METRO is improving mobility access.

    While Houston METRO’s entire fleet of buses and trains is already accessible to people living with disabilities, improvements to bus stops, bus shelters and public facilities make it easier for riders to use the system — giving all customers greater access to mobility.

    In 2017, Houston METRO launched a universal design philosophy that ensures compliance with requirements set by the ADA and maximizes benefits to all people, regardless of their age, size or ability. To advance that goal, the authority developed and adopted eight fundamental principles.

  • November 15, 2021 - USDOT calls for a national roadway strategy to curb rising traffic fatalities -

    The federal Department of Transportation is talking about radically changing federal roadway safety policy after new stats showed the largest six-month increase in roadway fatalities ever recorded by the agency.

    A shocking 18.4% more people died on US roads in the first six months of 2021 compared to the same period last year — a death toll that represents roughly 20,160 lives lost and innumerable bereaved families, according to early estimates released last week by the US DOT. The department did not reveal how many vulnerable road users were killed in that surge, but if trends mirror the historic 22% spike in pedestrian fatalities between 2019 and 2020, advocates fear it may have been one of the deadliest years ever for people outside motor vehicles, too.

    New research that accompanied the estimates suggests that the surge was largely attributable to increased rates of speeding, which spiked on quarantine-emptied roads but remained endemic even as Americans returned to their driving commutes.

  • November 12, 2021 - Pennsylvania Awards $8.7MM for ‘Green’ Power -

    Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Nov. 1 awarded $8.7 million to three Marine and Rail Freight Movers Grant Program projects that will replace older diesel-powered switchers with “green” power…

    • U.S. Steel Corp. (Allegheny County, Pa.): $4,529,104 to improve air quality and reduce emissions by scrapping two older diesel-powered switchers that were built in 1964 and 1974, and replacing them with new lithium-ion, battery-electric locomotives. U.S. Steel Corp. operates the Clairton Steel Works and coke plant, where metallurgical coke is produced from coal. U.S. Steel also operates the Edgar Thompson Plant, where high-carbon steel is produced. The Clairton Plant currently operates a switcher fleet of two diesel-powered units, and the Edgar Thompson Plant operates a switcher fleet of eight diesel-powered units.

    • Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad Co. (B&LER, owned by CN; Mercer County, Pa.): $2,900,000 to replace an older diesel-powered switcher built in 1973 with a new lithium-ion, battery-electric unit. B&LER operates a fleet of six long-haul locomotives and four switchers.

  • November 12, 2021 - TuSimple readies autonomous runs to UPS hubs in Florida, North Carolina -

    Dive Brief:
    TuSimple is working with UPS Supply Chain Solutions to expand its Autonomous Freight Network and begin commercial runs to UPS North American Air Freight terminals in Orlando, Florida, and Charlotte, North Carolina, TuSimple announced Wednesday.

    TuSimple and UPS have been partners for nearly three years, accumulating more than 160,000 autonomous miles, according to the technology maker. The autonomy system has yielded more than 13% fuel savings, compared to human drivers, “when operated in the optimal long-haul operating band from 55 to 68 miles per hour,” TuSimple said.

    There are still some kinks to work out, when it comes keeping the equipment moving, TuSimple CEO Cheng Lu told Transport Dive. “Carriers, shippers — they expect very high uptime,” which is a benefit of autonomy in general, he said, as the technology isn’t beholden to human limitations. But “the truth is, we have some ways to go to make sure that uptime is … where we want it to be.”

  • November 12, 2021 - Tech Can’t Fix the Problem of Cars -

    After decades of putting the automobile at the center of America’s transportation plans and policy, we’re now dealing with the downsides, like air pollution, traffic, road deaths, sprawl and the crowding out of alternative ways to move people and products. The solution to problems caused partly by cars may not only be using different kinds of cars, but also remaking our world to rely on them less.

    I’ve been thinking about the risk and reward of faith in technology recently because of a new book by Peter Norton, an associate professor of history at the University of Virginia. Dr. Norton detailed decades of unfulfilled promises by carmakers and tech companies that some invention was just around the corner to free us from the worst aspects of our car dependency.

  • November 12, 2021 - City of Portland considers electric cargo bike delivery hubs -

    The City of Portland is considering a new type of use for streets that would lead to cleaner and greener deliveries: They call them “micro delivery hubs”.

    At a meeting of the Old Town Community Association land use and transportation committee in mid-September, Portland City Planner Rachael Hoy with the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability outlined several initiatives under consideration. Along with more public plazas and food cart pods, Hoy said the delivery hubs could be one project funded by federal Covid relief grants. “We’re trying to figure out ways to reduce truck traffic into the downtown area,” Hoy shared. “So we’re looking at options for micro hubs in different parts of the city that would allow for some of these last-mile deliveries to be done by trikes and bikes.”

  • November 12, 2021 - Why classic cars are the next big thing in electric vehicles -

    Electric vehicles, or EVs, offer a variety of benefits, says Dominic Dattero-Snell, an engineering PhD researcher at Cardiff University with expertise in sustainable transport. With no tailpipe emissions, EVs are less polluting and cheaper to refuel than petrol or diesel cars.

    But according to 2018 analysis from UK non-profit Zemo, while a new EV will produce overall lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than a petrol car over its lifetime, manufacturing can account for anywhere between 20% to 95% of the emissions associated with an electric vehicle (depending on the source of electricity). A 2021 report from the non-profit International Council of Clean Transportation says that overall EV manufacturing in Europe for a medium-sized car creates two metric tons more in CO2 equivalent than manufacturing a conventional car.

    Converting an existing vehicle bypasses manufacturing, and upcycling old cars is a more efficient use of resources, says Dattero-Snell. “Not having to extract new raw materials in the production of a mostly new, functional vehicle is a huge win,” he adds.

  • November 10, 2021 - Aurora unveils first version of flagship product ahead of IPO debut, Aurora Driver Beta -

    Aurora Innovation Inc. is showing no signs of slowing down before it crosses the finish line to becoming a public company. The Pittsburgh-based startup unveiled the beta version of its Aurora Driver, the company’s flagship product that combines data captured from cameras, lidar and other sensors into a perception system that’s capable of autonomously controlling and driving vehicles…

    Aurora said the beta product is already being deployed in Texas on a 30-mile section of highway, itself part of a larger 400-mile freight corridor, as part of its previously announced commercial pilot partnership with FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and Washington-based truck manufacturer Paccar Inc. (NASDAQ: PCAR).

  • November 10, 2021 - Lithium-ion batteries made with recycled materials can outlast newer counterparts -

    Lithium-ion batteries with recycled cathodes can outperform batteries with cathodes made from pristine materials, lasting for thousands of additional charging cycles, a study finds.

    Growing demand for these batteries — which power devices from smartphones to electric vehicles — may outstrip the world’s supply of some crucial ingredients, such as cobalt (SN: 5/7/19). Ramping up recycling could help avert a potential shortage. But some manufacturers worry that impurities in recycled materials may cause battery performance to falter.

    “Based on our study, recycled materials can perform as well as, or even better than, virgin materials,” says materials scientist Yan Wang of Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts.

  • November 10, 2021 - Tesla Fixes Recall Issue Involving Full Self-Driving Beta Software -

    Tesla issued a recall of nearly 12,000 vehicles operating its Full Self-Driving Beta software version 10.3, which was released Saturday, October 23, because false collision warnings and unnecessary auto emergency braking events might occur. The company released an update two days later and now says that more than 99.8 percent of cars have been updated as of October 29.

    2021 model year Model S, X, 3, and Y electric vehicles, which is every model in Tesla’s current lineup. The company says that the update introduced a software disconnect between two on-board chips where one is in a low power mode when used during Sentry Mode, a security feature, and Summon, which brings the parked car to you via the mobile app. The disconnect can cause the chips to inconsistently detect moving objects, resulting in the false braking scenarios. Tesla says it is not aware of any crashes or injuries involved with the issue.

  • November 10, 2021 - U.S. autonomous delivery startup Nuro raises $600 mln for $8.6 bln valuation -

    Autonomous delivery vehicle maker Nuro raised $600 million in its latest funding round, the Silicon Valley-based startup said on Tuesday, bringing on board Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google as an investor.

    The funding round, led by Tiger Global Management, lifted Nuro’s valuation to $8.6 billion from $5 billion previously, according to a person close to the deal.

    Toyota Motor Corp’s (7203.T) Woven Capital, SoftBank Group Corp’s (9984.T) Vision Fund 1, Kroger Co. (KR.N) were among other investors.

    Self-driving startups are racing to build war chests to develop and commercialize technology, an expensive and time-consuming process. Alphabet’s self-driving unit Waymo in June raised $2.5 billion. read more

    Nuro, whose R2 unit has no pedals or steering wheel and only room for packages, said it has signed a five-year strategic partnership with Google Cloud to support self-driving simulation and data management.

  • November 10, 2021 - Autonomous Vehicle Myths: The Dirty Dozen -

    Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) have the potential to improve road safety, provide mobility for those unable to drive and yield other benefits. Today these goals remain aspirational. However, AV testing on public roads poses serious risks to vulnerable road users. Despite these risks, the AV industry campaigns for favorable regulatory treatment for both current testing and future general deployment. This campaign to limit meaningful regulation relies on a number of myths about AVs that are easily debunked.

    Safely operating immature, developmental technology on public roads, even with safety drivers, requires transparency and cooperation. Yet the industry’s stance towards regulatory authorities is all too often one of stonewalling, empty rhetoric, and opacity. To make matters worse, few regulatory agencies have deep expertise in the area of AVs, and so can struggle to counter unreasonable AV company statements.

    To help level the playing field, here is a “Dirty Dozen” list of myths commonly used by the industry in discussions regarding regulatory oversight for AVs.

  • November 9, 2021 - FAA has ‘deep concern’ about 5G network plan on aviation safety — letter -

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has raised significant concerns about a plan to use spectrum for 5G wireless networks on aviation safety and is planning to issue a formal warning about the issue, according to sources and a letter seen by Reuters.

    The aviation industry has voiced alarm about the plan to use C-Band spectrum for more than a year. Network carriers are expected to begin using the spectrum starting Dec. 5 starting in 46 markets.

    FAA Deputy Administrator Bradley Mims in a previously unreported Oct. 6 letter said the agency shares “the deep concern about the potential impact to aviation safety resulting from interference to radar altimeter performance from 5G network operations in the C band.”

    An FAA spokeswoman said Friday it “continues to engage with other agencies so that aviation and the newest generation of 5G cellular technology can safely coexist.”

  • November 9, 2021 - Are digital twins the future of urban planning? -

    Researchers at Oak Ridge and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory partnered with Chattanooga to build a digital twin that helps anticipate and alleviate traffic congestion. Sanyal is the technical and strategic lead on the project.

    Information from 500 different sources, such as traffic cameras, 911 data, radar detectors and weather stations, feeds into Chattanooga’s digital twin. Traffic congestion experiments done within this virtual realm have shown an improvement of up to 30% in traffic flow, resulting in greater energy efficiency, Sanyal said.

    Researchers use the findings from these digital twin experiments to enact changes in the real world…

    Chattanooga has one of the country’s busiest freight corridors, so the digital twin also allows for longer-term decisions. For example, the city wanted to know, are there certain times of day when it makes sense for drivers to use the shoulder as a travel lane?

  • November 9, 2021 - Sensor ships: Why smart containers are the future of shipping -

    Smart containers are one way to create a more efficient, safe, and sustainable shipping supply chain. These are much like regular containers, but are pre-installed with sensors.

    “A smart container is just a regular container, but you put a little chip in it that has a connection with a network,” explains Jules Kollmann, managing director, Containers and Logistics, ING.

    The idea behind equipping containers with an array of sensors is that they can collect real-time data about everything from the temperature inside a container to its exact location—thanks to GPS tracking…

    But success will depend on more than startups. According to Kollmann, it will require the rest of the transport and logistics industry to undergo a digitalization process that will allow data to be shared effectively between all parts of the supply chain.

  • November 9, 2021 - Watch this futuristic hoverbike take a tentative test flight -

    A flying motorbike that’s been in development since 2017 recently took a public test flight to prove that it really works.

    Designed and built by Japanese firm A.L.I. Technologies, the futuristic-looking Xturismo hoverbike flew over a racetrack near Tokyo, with members of the media and other guests looking on.

    While its creators claim Xturismo can reach speeds of up to 60 mph (100 kph) and fly for up to 40 minutes at a time, the recent demonstration flight was a rather cautious affair, with the pilot flying slowly along the track and performing a couple of 180-degree turns close to the ground.

    The 660-pound (300 kg) single-seat aircraft is powered by six sets of propellors and an internal combustion engine. It looked stable enough during its brief flight, though we’d like to have seen a few more maneuvers and a bit more speed.

  • November 9, 2021 - Let self-driving trucks ease US driver shortage, says Obama’s transport chief -

    A supply chain crisis crippling US ports has been described as a “powerful opportunity” to introduce autonomous trucks to the country’s motorways.

    Backlogs of thousands of containers are waiting to be offloaded from cargo ships at Los Angeles, Long Beach, New York and Savannah, Georgia.

    Ports are overwhelmed because there are not enough lorry drivers to move the freight.

    Now, the man who laid the groundwork for regulating autonomous technology under Barack Obama’s administration says self-driving trucks are the answer.

    Former US secretary of transportation Anthony Foxx said autonomous vehicles could make faster gains on the backlogs burdening ports and causing shortages of everything from Apple chips to potatoes.

    The US has a record-high shortage of about 80,000 lorry drivers, data from the American Trucking Associations shows, as reported by CNN last month.

    Mr Foxx, outgoing chief policy officer at ride-hailing company Lyft, said the “easiest, fastest integration of autonomous vehicles” is on long-range trips over major roads that “are not stop-go situations”.

  • November 8, 2021 - Yeager Airport looking into operations of electric infrastructure -

    On Wednesday, the airport’s board approved entering into a contract with The Thrasher Group. Airport Design Consultants Inc. and Marshall University Center for Business and Economic Research will be sub-consultants. The agreement means a team of consultants will be fully engaged to prepare the airport (CRW) and West Virginia for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) infrastructure, a release said…

    The contract signed Wednesday will build on work conducted over the last six weeks where Thrasher and CRW, along with Marshall University, and the Robert C. Byrd Institute, have been working on, including: establishing air Taxi intrastate air service and an eVTOL Center of Excellence, creating the first aerospace battery research center, identifying potential sites and conduct design work for aerospace components manufacturing facilities, and designing electric infrastructure including charging stations, landing pad facilities, vertiports, heliports, and flight simulators.


    Buzzy projects like “mobility-as-a-service” (MaaS) are gaining traction in a few cities. Pittsburgh, which has long been a hub for autonomous vehicle testing thanks to Carnegie Mellon University, has recently embarked on an experiment to integrate multiple transportation services, like public transportation, car share, electric scooters, and ride-hailing, into a single smartphone app in the hopes of making it easier for users to get around without a car.

    “We’re making it super intuitive to open up a single app, with everything in one place,” Karina Ricks, director of Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, told CityLab in July.

    It’s still early days for MaaS. It won’t be clear whether it’s working in Pittsburgh for at least a decade, as city officials have said their goal is to halve tailpipe emissions and vehicle miles traveled by 2030. The key to their success? Frequent, reliable public transportation.

  • November 8, 2021 - DOE Announces $209 Million for Electric Vehicles Battery Research -

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $209 million in funding for 26 new laboratory projects focusing on electric vehicles, advanced batteries and connected vehicles.

    Advanced, lithium-based batteries play an integral role in 21st century technologies such as electric vehicles, stationary grid storage, and defense applications that will be critical to securing America’s clean energy future.

    Additionally, DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory announced the Li-Bridge, a new public-private partnership to bridge gaps in the domestic lithium battery supply chain. Both announcements support the Biden-Harris administration goals to make America a global leader in electric vehicle and battery innovation, advance the development of these technologies to save families money, lower carbon pollution, and create high-quality jobs.

  • November 8, 2021 - Rad Power Bikes lands $154M, its second mega round this year, to boost e-bike business -

    Seattle-based Rad had already established itself as the largest e-bike brand in North America, and reported $100 million in revenue for 2019. That number has surely risen — Rad did not provide an updated metric — and the fresh cash will help Rad triple the number of physical locations by the end of next year (it currently has 20 service stations and five retail stores). The company had 325 employees as of February; its headcount is now 625.

    Rad has differentiated from a flurry of e-bike competitors with its direct-to-consumer model, diverse product offering, accessible price points, and more. Its bikes top out at 20 MPH and range from $999 to $1,999, across 11 models.

    The company also innovated around its distribution strategy. To combat industry-wide supply chain woes, earlier this year Rad bought 64 containers and worked closely with a logistics partner to charter its cargo into the Port of Everett near Seattle.

  • November 8, 2021 - Autonomous race cars compete for $1 million prize -

    After two years of development (and one pandemic), nine teams comprising students from 21 universities gathered at the speedway on October 23 to put their autonomous race cars to the test.

    The initial plan of a head-to-head race was scrapped in favor of a two-round fastest lap competition, during which the driverless cars needed to demonstrate an ability to avoid inflatable barriers and exit the pitlane.

    With a two-lap average speed of 135.944 mph in the final round, a group from Technical University of Munich (TUM) walked away with the $1 million prize.

    “We’re totally thrilled by the results,” team manager Alexander Wischnewski said. “Our objective was to break 200 kmh [~124 mph], and we did exactly that.”

    Growing pains: The challenge included its fair share of drama, with 4 of its 11 runs including significant crashes.

  • November 5, 2021 - Gigawatts of solar could be built in the open land around U.S. interstate highways -

    Sure, there are challenges to developing solar PV in federal highway rights of way. But in the past year, some of the biggest roadblocks have been cleared away. Most notably, the Federal Highway Administration in April instructed state agencies to put those rights of way to use for ?“clean energy and connectivity” projects like high-voltage transmission, broadband internet, EV charging and solar and wind power…

    Figuring out just how big solar could get along the U.S. interstate highway network has been one of The Ray’s missions since its 2014 founding as a test bed for technology along an 18-mile-long stretch of Interstate 85 in western Georgia. The group’s first project was a 1-megawatt solar array and an EV charging station at a rest stop near the Alabama border.

  • November 5, 2021 - Autonomous Vehicles in Public Transit Today…and in the Future -

    From the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) to Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) to Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) and beyond, the Sunshine State has taken bold first steps in learning how autonomous mobility can add immediate and long-term value across its existing complex public transit systems.

    Close collaboration with autonomous mobility-as-a-service pioneer, Beep, has been enabling various regions to prove out the technology safely through purpose-built solutions in real-world shuttle deployments, servicing real microtransit needs. Logically starting off with what’s referred to as first and last mile use cases that complement existing means of connecting people to arterial routes and existing core transit services, Florida authorities and Beep are already at a stage where they’re integrating autonomous mobility deep into communities.

  • November 5, 2021 - First GPS-Free Device Developed with Quantum Mechanics Could Start New Era of Navigation -

    Sandia National Laboratory expert Peter Schwindt said in a Florida News Times report that the small equipment is made to be the most efficient quantum sensor that will be reliable for its function…

    GPS is the most-used navigational technology in the modern-day, as it currently has the most advanced program such as the atomic clock that synchronizes to the satellite networks in real-time. Because of this, every device relies on GPS for implementing the most accurate navigational functions. But the main problem of GPS devices is that it is vulnerable to signal disruption and location spoofing…

    The new navigational core is developed to give solutions regarding the conundrum. Schwindt said that by equipping the device, vehicles in the future would be able to track their own position without relying on satellites.

  • November 5, 2021 - Researchers develop unmanned technology to prevent falls in bridge construction -

    South Korea’s state-funded research body has developed a remote unmanned construction technology that can prevent falls at bridge construction sites. The technology allows remote control robots to install girders and construct piers without putting human workers into high-place work.

    The bridge superstructure consists of the deck for roadway or walkway surface, concrete or steel supporting structure, and bearing pads that allow the superstructure to move somewhat independently. Girders made of concrete or steel are used as the means of supporting the deck.

    The Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT) said that robots moving on commands transmitted through a remote control system can replace human workers who have manually adjusted the direction and position of girders by pushing and pulling them. Depending on the type of work, tools can be detached or attached to ready-made robot arms.

  • November 5, 2021 - What Do SAE Automated Driving Levels Mean Anyway? -

    A crucial observation is that the SAE J3016 is not like an Underwriters Laboratories seal of approval. It defines certain capabilities, but it does not provide any assurance that the vehicle is safe in any way, points out Carnegie Mellon University professor Phillip Koopman.

    He also warns against designations like “Level 2+” or “Level 3.5.” “Fractional or “+” terminology is specifically prohibited by J3016 8.3,” Koopman notes. Such vehicles may well have additional technology beyond that required to meet the specification, but there is no way to describe that within SAE definitions…

    While Level 3 states that the car can drive itself, it does not say that the driver is relieved of responsibility while it does so. “J3016 does not say that Level 3 means “eyes off road” anywhere,” Koopman notes. “That is a concept that is entirely outside the scope of the standard.”

  • November 3, 2021 - Autonomous transit? Years away, locally, but EP sets itself up for pilot project -

    A system of driverless cars that help get Eden Prairie workers from transit stations to their companies’ front doors, and back again, might be 5-10 years away. But, SouthWest Transit and City of Eden Prairie officials are working now to make sure EP is first in line when it’s time for a federal- and state-funded pilot project…

    That very concentrated business area is also on existing bus lines and will host a transit station when the 15-mile-long, Minneapolis-to-Eden-Prairie Southwest Light-Rail Transit (LRT) project is finally complete in 2025 or 2026.

    But even with that bus and LRT service, the real challenge for workers and companies in the Golden Triangle and other Eden Prairie employment centers is what planners call “the last mile”: getting workers from transit stops to their office desks when walking isn’t convenient.

    That’s where driverless or autonomous vehicles – also called “connected and automated vehicles,” or CAV’s – will be valuable: able to transport workers those few blocks, continuously circulating on a dynamic schedule, and without the high labor costs that come with vans or buses with drivers.

  • November 3, 2021 - Amazon’s broadband satellite venture Kuiper teams up with Verizon to expand 5G coverage -

    Amazon’s ambitious satellite venture, called Kuiper, is teaming up with Verizon to further expand 4G / LTE and 5G coverage to remote areas of the globe. Through the new partnership, Kuiper’s future satellites could provide connectivity to future Verizon cell towers that don’t require as much costly infrastructure to build.

    Kuiper is Amazon’s $10 billion initiative to launch a constellation of 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit to provide broadband internet coverage to the Earth below. With satellites flying at altitudes between 366 miles and 391 miles high (or 590 kilometers and 630 kilometers up), the plan is to provide connectivity to remote and rural areas, where it is difficult to provide internet coverage through traditional fiber. During prototype testing, Kuiper claims its system can produce throughput speeds of up to 400Mbps.

  • November 3, 2021 - Hertz enlists Tesla for ‘largest electric vehicle rental fleet’ -

    As consumer interest in electric vehicles (EVs) starts to accelerate, Hertz announced in Estero, FL, yesterday a significant investment to offer the largest EV rental fleet in North America and one of the largest in the world. This includes an initial order of 100,000 Teslas by the end of 2022 and a new EV charging infrastructure across the company’s global operations.

    Hertz is also teaming up with seven-time Super Bowl champion and entrepreneur Tom Brady to showcase how it is making EV rentals fast, seamless, and more accessible, as the company accelerates its commitment to lead the future of mobility and travel…

    Hertz also is installing thousands of chargers throughout its location network. Customers who rent a Tesla Model 3 will also have access to 3000 Tesla supercharging stations throughout the U.S. and Europe.

    Hertz will offer a premium and differentiated rental experience for the Tesla EVs.

  • November 3, 2021 - The $3.50 go-anywhere ticket to fight climate change -

    Fifteen years after it was first proposed, Austria’s new Klimaticket, or climate ticket, goes live on October 26. Offering seamless travel across all modes of public transport it is intended to galvanize the Alpine nation’s fight against climate change.

    The annual pass, priced at $1,267 (€1,095), works out at just $24 (€21) per week or $3.50 a day. If all goes according to plan, it should encourage people to swap their cars for more climate-friendly forms of getting around.
    Public transport is already popular in Austria. Its combination of reliable, high-quality, integrated services, simple ticketing and attractive pricing have long made it a winner for commuters and leisure travelers.

    Yet even though Austrians travel more kilometers by train every year than everyone in Europe except the Swiss, according to official government figures only 16% of journeys in 2018 were made by public transport.
    It’s hoped that Klimaticket will change that by making it much more affordable and convenient, especially for regular users.

  • November 3, 2021 - Pittsburgh’s $16 million streetlight replacement program includes ‘substantial’ job training -

    The City of Pittsburgh announced a three-pronged, $16 million program Tuesday to replace streetlights, reduce their brightness on the night sky and train workers for union jobs installing and caring for them.

    The program, paid partially through American Rescue Plan funds, will replace 35,000 city street lights with LED fixtures that are expected to be 40% to 50% more energy efficient, saving the city as much as $1 million a year in energy costs. The city also will install 15,000 lights in areas that don’t have them now.

    The contractor for the program, Duquesne Light holding company The Efficiency Network, is developing and will fund training through the Pittsburgh chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute for construction staging and energy analysis for the project and with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers for apprenticeships for seniors at Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Career and Technical Education program at Allderdice High School in Squirrel Hill.

  • November 2, 2021 - Hyundai Mobis unveils successful ‘e-corner’ wheel module with crab driving and 0º turns Scooter Doll – Oct. 26th 2021 9:35 am PT -

    In a press release from Hyundai Mobis, the Korean automotive supplier shared that it has successfully developed an e-corner module prototype that combines steering, braking, suspension, and driving systems into each wheel.

    A unique feature of the e-corner module design is the lack of mechanical connection between parts, particularly the steering column. When integrated into an EV platform, for example, Hyundai Mobis will be able to more easily change its wheelbase, offering more space efficiency in the overall design.

    Where traditional mechanical axis’ are limited to about a 30º wheel rotation, the e-corner offers a 90º rotation. As you can see in the video below, this allows for unique vehicle movements such as sideways “crab” driving and zero-turn rotations.

    Hyundai Mobis stated that its e-corner modules are currently undergoing reliability verification and a feasibility study on mass production.

  • November 2, 2021 - Colorado city says big autonomous-shuttle pilot is ‘super valuable’ -

    Nearly three months after a suburb of Denver launched one of the largest deployments of autonomous vehicles in the United States, riders are reporting that the self-driving shuttles have been “super valuable,” said Tyler Svitak, the director of the nonprofit Colorado Smart Cities Alliance, the organization behind the vehicles.

    The alliance, a group of cities, businesses and communities promoting connected infrastructure across Colorado, partnered with the City of Golden and the Colorado School of Mines earlier this year to test an autonomous shuttle system serving the school’s 5,000 students. The pilot will eventually include seven active autonomous shuttles — the most EasyMile has ever deployed in one place, Svitak said.

    Most projects testing the nascent transportation technology typically deploy only one or two vehicles.

  • November 2, 2021 - EV Drivers Save Big When They Charge Smart -

    Drivers of battery-electric vehicles are more than able to move charging times to suit the grid and in doing so can save over $1,000 annually on charging costs compared to gas fueling. This is according to data from more than one million home charging sessions provided by ev.energy.

    The power consumption of some battery-electric vehicles can be as much as some homes, with data showing vehicles with larger batteries consume more energy and drive further than those with smaller batteries. Indeed, Tesla models are estimated to drive further annually than the average gas vehicle in the U.K., and close to the annual distance of gas vehicles in the U.S. Electric vehicles are therefore proven to not limit total distance traveled.

  • November 2, 2021 - Jetson Personal eVTOL Now On Sale -

    A Swedish company has unabashedly adopted the pop culture name synonymous with flying cars and is now taking orders for what might be a viable personal eVTOL. The production model Jetson One was unveiled last week and the 12 ultralight and drone-like single-seat aircraft being built in 2022 have already been sold at the introductory price of $92,000…

    The actual operation of the aircraft blurs the line between passenger and pilot, however. The occupant steers and decides how fast to go (up to a limit of about 50 knots) but the computer looks after mundane details like keeping it in the flight envelope and away from objects thanks to a suite of LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors.

    Like a drone, the aircraft will automatically hands-free hover over a point. Endurance is about 20 minutes. Because it’s an ultralight, no certificate is required.

  • November 2, 2021 - GM to boost EV profile with 40,000 charging stations in U.S., Canada -

    General Motors (GM.N) said on Tuesday it would install up to 40,000 electric-vehicle charging stations in the United States and Canada, as part of the automaker’s $750 million commitments to bolster its presence in the rapidly growing sector.

    The announcement comes just months after the No. 1 U.S. automaker said it had signed agreements with some companies to offer its customers access to nearly 60,000 charging points across the same regions.

    The company said on Tuesday it would expand home, workplace and public charging infrastructure through its Ultium Charge 360 ecosystem, adding that it would focus on installing them in rural and urban areas with limited access to support widespread adoption of EVs.

    The charging stations will be available to all EV customers, and not just those who purchase vehicles from GM, the carmaker said.

  • November 1, 2021 - Orlando crosswalk uses infrared heat technology to detect pedestrians -

    A new crosswalk in Orlando uses infrared heat technology to detect when a pedestrian or bicyclist is approaching the crosswalk and automatically turns on the flashing lights to warn drivers to stop.

    The crosswalk is near the Central Florida Leadership Academy and many students use it to cross the busy Primrose Drive throughout the week.

    “It creates a safe environment for our students from the time they get off our bus until they get in the building,” said Assistant Principal Mike Serra. “In the past, as you can it’s a little hectic.”

    This crosswalk is part of the City of Orlando’s Vision Zero initiative to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2040. So far in 2021, there have been 404 pedestrian crashes, 45 people have died and 345 were injured.

  • November 1, 2021 - How Nondestructive Testing and Structural Health Monitoring Technologies are the Key to Creating the “Smart Cities” of the Future -

    Improving the way the structural health of roads, bridges, and other elements of infrastructure are monitored could not only result in less wasted time and money for motorists and a safer environment for engineers and road workers, but it could also play a major role in building the “smart cities” of tomorrow. Transtek International Group (TIG), a technology spin-off housed in the University of Central Florida’s Business Incubator, came to life after the team completed the National Science Foundation I-Corps program and was encouraged by the university to turn our years of nondestructive testing and structural health monitoring research into a viable product. Yet, recognizing that this type of revolutionary innovation needed more than just our team, we formed a unique cross-regional partnership with Dr. Rasim Guldiken at the University of South Florida (USF) through our partners at the Florida High Tech Corridor Council.

  • November 1, 2021 - Bridge Vibration Monitoring -

    In recent years, engineers and bridge managers have started to deploy structural health monitoring (SHM) systems to supplement visual examinations. SHM employs various sensors, such as accelerometers, strain gages, displacement transducers, acoustic sensors, and GPS systems, to name a few. These instruments remotely and automatically collect structural response data that can be processed to obtain information on the condition of the bridges. SHM can reduce inspection time and costs, provide objective data, and mitigate access difficulties and safety hazards…

    In the following, an overview of state-of-the-art techniques and an outline of emerging technologies are presented to ultimately offer a primer on the objectives, methodologies, and potential applications of bridge vibration monitoring.

  • November 1, 2021 - NHTSA Hires Tesla (TSLA) Autopilot Critic as Safety Advisor; Musk Claims Bias -

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Tuesday that they hired Missy Cummings as a senior safety advisor. Cummings is a former Navy fighter pilot, Duke University professor, and has been a vocal critic of Tesla’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) Autopilot software. Tesla CEO, Elon Musk weighed in on the appointment via Twitter following the announcement.

    “Objectively, her track record is extremely biased against Tesla,” Musk tweeted…

    “It’s difficult to believe that it’s a coincidence NHTSA asked for detailed information on vehicle automation deployment and crashes from both Tesla and other companies, and then hired Missy,’’ said Phil Koopman, who studies AV safety at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. “I’d expect her to play a role in using that data to determine what safety issues, if any, need to be resolved in vehicles with Level 2 and higher automation features.”

  • November 1, 2021 - Technology Helping Melissa ISD Retain School Bus Drivers During Nationwide Shortage -

    Many school districts across North Texas and the country are dealing with a bus driver shortage. Carroll, Garland and Princeton ISD are some examples.

    Melissa ISD is one district that said it has not been affected.
    About half of the school district’s students rely its transportation services and district leaders believe they have found a way to retain drivers while attracting new ones.

    After years of relying on printout directions, bus driver David King is now using technology from the Plano-based company Tyler Tech. It stores all of his routes on his tablet and offers GPS turn-by-turn navigation.

    Additionally, every student that rides the bus has been given an ID card that corresponds with the tablet and tracks when they enter and exit the bus.

  • October 29, 2021 - Where Is Electric Truck Charging Energy Coming From? -

    To truly tackle the climate change crisis, the cycle of energy has to be sustainable.

    “We’re not just thinking about the chargers and the infrastructure to make those work in terms of underground electrical interconnection. We’re thinking about where they draw their electrons,” said Nicole Geneau, senior vice president of development at AlphaStruxure, an “energy as a service” provider.

    What is energy as a service? The phrase caught my attention as well. The trucking industry is well aware of software as a service (SaaS—think telematics services), and energy as a service is similar, but instead of data-driven software solutions, it’s the electrons with which you’re charging your trucks.

    But it’s about more than just providing energy. An energy as a service provider finances, develops, owns and operates EV charging infrastructure for the customer, eliminating the upfront cost and risk for fleet owners and operators looking to electrify.

  • October 29, 2021 - Amazon, Ikea and other big companies commit to zero-emission shipping by 2040 -

    In an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in global trade, a coalition of companies that includes Amazon and Ikea has pledged to use only ocean shippers that use zero-carbon fuel by 2040.

    The cargo ships that ferry as much as 90 percent of the world’s products also produce nearly 3 percent of man-made carbon dioxide emissions each year — an estimated nearly 1.1 billion tons that rivals the annual output of Germany, the world’s sixth-largest emitter.

    Organized by the nonprofit Aspen Institute, the initiative counts Amazon, Unilever, Michelin and Patagonia among its signatories. “By setting this target and signaling our dedication to decarbonize this part of our supply chains, we hope to inspire a surge in investment by ocean freight carriers and producers of zero-carbon shipping fuels,” the companies said in an announcement Tuesday.

  • October 29, 2021 - Amid air quality concerns, districts embrace electric buses -

    Roughly 25 million children ride school buses every year. And though only about 1% of 480,000 U.S. school buses are electric, there are signs the push to abandon diesel buses is gaining momentum:

    — Late last year, the World Resources Institute announced a $37.5 million Bezos Earth Fund grant to help electrify all school buses in the country by 2030. The nonprofit will work over the next five years on the project with school districts, communities, environmental justice groups, utilities, bus manufacturers and policymakers.

    — This year, a suburban Maryland district became the country’s largest to commit to going completely electric. It plans to replace 1,442 diesel buses by 2035. The first 326 electric ones will be leased from Massachusetts-based Highland Electric Transportation.

    — California, the country’s electric school bus leader, has funded the purchase of 1,167 and budgeted for another 1,000 over the next three fiscal years.

  • October 29, 2021 - Verizon and Nissan demonstrate edge computing for improved connected-vehicle communication -

    Verizon has announced the completion of its cellular vehicle-to-everything communication (C-V2X) research with Nissan North America’s Research and Advanced Engineering team. The companies demonstrated how sensor data from vehicles and surrounding infrastructure can be processed at the edge of Verizon’s wireless network and communicated back to the driver in near real time.

    The research was aimed at creating “a multi-viewpoint picture of safety hazards” that might be lurking beyond the vehicle and the driver’s line-of-sight. This was accomplished by testing a variety of vehicle-based and infrastructure-based sensor configurations. Then, sensor data gathered from Nissan vehicles and surrounding infrastructure was processed at the edge of Verizon’s network using the carrier’s 5G Edge with AWS Wavelength, a capability first launched in Boston and the Bay Area in August 2020. Once processed, insights are communicated back via the cellular network to vehicles in near-real-time, prompting Nissan’s Intelligent Shared World platform to initiate driver notifications.

  • October 29, 2021 - University of Pittsburgh Woman Leads Indy Autonomous Challenge Team Into Historic Competition -

    Nayana Suvarna has several unique distinctions heading into Saturday’s Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC) at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    Suvarna is the lone female captain of the nine teams entered in the competition, as well as being the only undergrad captain (actually, co-captain) and the youngest (22 years old) team captain overall.

    But there’s one distinction that is perhaps the biggest irony of all.

    In a competition utilizing specially-prepared driver-less Indy Lights cars that are expected to exceed 100 mph, Suvarna, a senior engineering student at the University of Pittsburgh who has spent the last two years working on the four-wheeled autonomous vehicle, doesn’t even have a driver’s license…

    But even without a driver’s license, Suvarna is at the helm of one of the most significant contenders in the Challenge. Her teammates come from some of the most prolific technological schools in the world, including MIT, Rochester Institute of Technology and Canada’s University of Waterloo.

  • October 27, 2021 - Why this Amazon-owned company is bringing its autonomous vehicles to Seattle -

    Seattle residents can start keeping their eyes out for matte black Toyota Highlanders, clad with a wealth of sensors on their roofs, plying the streets of their drizzly city. These retrofitted SUVs belong to Zoox, a self-driving car company owned by Amazon that wants to one day operate autonomous taxi services—like Uber, but with no driver behind the wheel…

    The industry goal isn’t solely to build robo-taxis: other sectors involve autonomous trucking, self-driving shuttles, and the also the kind of driver assistance features that are designed for regular cars, like GM’s Super Cruise.

    Currently, the self-driving car industry has reached a type of “reality phase,” says Raj Rajkumar, who directs the Metro21: Smart Cities Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He noticed a “massive hype cycle” that peaked around 2018, and then industry “doldrums” in 2019.

    “I think it’s beginning to bounce back,” he says. “Right now, the hype is a lot more muted.”

  • October 27, 2021 - Aviation Fans Are Excited About the New Airport Terminal Being Built in Pittsburgh -

    Design-wise, the terminal aims to make experience for passengers more efficient, and—dare we say it?—even fun. Features include shorter walking distances for arriving and departing passengers that reduce the time it takes to get from the curb to the plane by 50%, pre- and post-security outdoor terraces adorned with plants, an abundance of greenery indoors, and art displays. Other significant elements include clean air technology and more efficient and faster baggage delivery because the baggage claim devices will be longer, and bags will need to travel less distance from the planes to passengers.

    And that’s just for now. The airport is currently collaborating with Carnegie Mellon to test AI-enabled technologies such as self-driving cars, robots that clean, and autonomous baggage delivery.

  • October 27, 2021 - Why People Are Terrible at Navigating Cities -

    People are always looking for the shortest route to reach somewhere — think coffee shops, university, work. Turns out, we may not be programmed to take the quickest route while navigating within cities.

    According to a study published in Nature Computational Science this week, people are more likely to continue walking down the direction they are facing — irrespective of whether that’s the shortest way. Researchers called this following the “pointiest path,” one that’s pointing the way on our eye line. The findings put together why people choose certain paths while driving or walking, over others.

    The researchers, led by M.I.T., tapped into the mobile data of 14,000 people, examining how they traveled around Boston, Cambridge, and San Francisco for a year. Out of the web of 550,000 pathways, pedestrians chose to travel the direction they were facing as much as possible.

  • October 27, 2021 - Volvo’s new in-car app squeezes every last mile out of your EV’s battery -

    Many electric car drivers are aware of tricks to wring every last drop of range from their cars, but Volvo thinks it can take that load off people’s shoulders. It’s updating Volvo and Polestar EVs with a Range Assistant app that both helps you make smart choices and, in one case, makes the decisions itself. The app can automatically tweak the climate control system to extend your range at the (slight) expense of comfort.

    The update is rolling out now to the XC40 Recharge, and will be coming to the Polestar 2. All compatible EVs should have the update by the end of October. And don’t worry if you’re eyeing a C40 Recharge — that coupe-like SUV will include the Range Assistant from the start. Future updates should add driver coaching on driving habits and speed, among other tweaks.

  • October 27, 2021 - Improving Accuracy In Satellite Navigation Systems -

    Increasing dependency on the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) constellations is raising concerns about what happens when signals are unavailable, even for short periods of time.

    GNSS systems affect our daily lives in ways we often don’t see, from location services to cell phone timing. In fact, these satellites have become a necessary part of critical infrastructure, and higher accuracy is now making its way into mass-market applications. But increased dependency on GNSS also makes us vulnerable to any situation – intentional or not – if connections are interrupted…

    Improvements to both signal structure and terrestrial equipment are helping to improve accuracy and redundancy. Recent developments have focused both on improving positioning accuracy and timing availability for wider consumer and industrial deployment.

  • October 26, 2021 - Wireless electric vehicle charging explained -

    It is still early days for wireless EV charging, but progress is being made on numerous fronts. Vehicle manufacturers like BMW have already experimented with the technology, and today there are trials already in operation where specially-equipped cars can be charged wirelessly in public parking spaces.

    There’s even a car about to go on sale, the Genesis GV60, that has wireless charging hardware fitted, ahead of a pilot kicking off in 2022…

    This is the holy grail of electric car technology; the ability to power a car as it drives over chargers embedded into the surface of the road.

    As part of its development of the Halo system, Qualcomm proved in 2017 that charging while driving is possible, even with the vehicle traveling at up to 70mph.

  • October 26, 2021 - ‘Mobility Justice’: How cities are rethinking public transportation after COVID -

    The COVID-19 pandemic exposed long-standing inequities in public transportation networks across the United States. In city after city, suburban trains ran nearly empty while neglected bus systems continued to carry essential workers to their jobs in hospitals, grocery stores, and warehouses. Costly new and expanded rail lines, built over the past two decades, suddenly went unused. The long-standing underinvestment in urban transit only added to racial injustice exacerbated by a pandemic that disproportionately killed Black and Latino people.

    In U.S. urban areas, 23 percent of Black people and 15 percent of Latino residents use public transit, compared to just 7 percent of white people. Buses are the most-used form of public transit, yet from 2010 to 2019, less than 8 percent of the money spent nationally on transportation went to bus lines, according to data compiled by Yonah Freemark, a researcher at the Urban Institute, a policy think tank based in Washington, D.C.

  • October 26, 2021 - Simulation illustrates how COVID-19 social distancing creates pedestrian ‘traffic jams’ -

    Along with the use of face masks, social distancing in public remains one of the most practiced front-line defenses against the spread of COVID-19. However, flows of pedestrians, including those practicing the 6-foot rule for distancing, are dynamic and characterized by nuances not always carefully considered in the context of everyday, public spaces.

    In Physics of Fluids, researchers from Carnegie Mellon University examine the dynamics of social distancing practices through the lens of particle-based flow simulations. The study models social distance as the distance at which particles, representing pedestrians, repel fellow particles.

    “Even at modest pedestrian density levels, a strong preference for 6 feet of social distance can cause large-scale pedestrian ‘traffic jams’ that take a long time to clear up,” said Gerald J. Wang, of Carnegie Mellon University.

  • October 26, 2021 - Central Ohio Sees Itself as ‘Lab’ for Connected Vehicles -

    Central Ohio continues to reassert itself as a destination for transportation innovation. The region is home to the Beta District, a coordinated network of transportation tech testing and deployment opportunities…

    Marysville, the city of Dublin, the U.S. 33 Smart Mobility Corridor and the Transportation Research Center make up the Beta District, which is, in part, an effort by the region to attract transportation tech companies and secure the Columbus area as a leader in developing connected vehicles, intelligent traffic management, electric vehicles and other technologies.

    Marysville, which sits in the middle of the Beta District, is home to a large Honda manufacturing facility and has connected vehicle technology embedded in all 31 of its traffic signals. Meanwhile, Dublin, with its 100 gigabit fiber network, has helped to create “an open playground to safely test and deploy technology in real-world scenarios,” said Megan O’Callaghan, deputy city manager and chief finance and development officer for Dublin.

  • October 26, 2021 - Cadillac Tells Us How 3D Printing Is Revolutionizing Car Manufacturing -

    Three-dimensional printing, or additive manufacturing, promises us an unlimited supply of hard-to-build parts for our aging vehicles (it’s the only way you’ll find a clean gauge bezel for your Lamborghini Miura), and eventually the process will be used our modern vehicles too. Take GM and its Cadillac brand, who have been partnering with Carnegie Mellon University for the more than a decade on the technology. The group’s latest venture brought us four complicated parts for the new Cadillac CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwing, but the more important piece, for now, is how it helps the manufacturing process. But first, we need to get our terms straight.

    “3D printing is the building of a part, layer by layer, by a machine. Additive manufacturing is the entire ecosystem it takes to bring a product to industrialized fruition through 3D printing,” said Brennon White, additive design and manufacturing application engineer for General Motors.

  • October 25, 2021 - A bevy of battery and fuel-cell electric truck reveals -

    As one should expect from an industry event called Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, several truck OEMs revealed their latest battery-electric and fuel-cell-electric offerings in Long Beach, California, both in prototype and production form.

    Navistar used the occasion to launch its new fully-electric International eMV Series trucks, which are available to order…

    Hino Trucks announced less than a year ago that it was building a Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell electric truck in collaboration with Toyota…

    BYD unveiled two battery-electric heavy-duty trucks, the Gen3 8TT and 6F, that feature cabs styled by Wolfgang Josef Egger, the renowned former Audi chief designer…

    Hexagon Purus and Ballard Power Systems announced a new collaboration to produce Class 6 and 7 fuel cell electric trucks powered by Hexagon Purus’ turnkey electric drivetrain and hydrogen storage system and Ballard’s 8th generation fuel-cell module, the FCmove.

  • October 25, 2021 - Stellantis, LGES strike battery production deal for North America -

    Stellantis NV (STLA.MI) has struck a preliminary deal with battery maker LG Energy Solution (LGES) to produce battery cells and modules for North America, as the world’s No. 4 automaker rolls out its 30 billion euro ($35 billion) electrification plan.

    Global automakers are investing billions of euros to accelerate a transition to low-emission mobility and prepare for a progressive phase-out of internal combustion engines.

    Stellantis and LGES’s joint venture will produce battery cells and modules at a new facility with an annual capacity of 40 gigawatt hours (GWh), the two firms said on Monday. No financial details of the deal were provided.

    The plant is scheduled to start production by the first quarter of 2024, with groundbreaking expected in the second quarter of 2022, the companies said in their statement. Its location is under review and will be announced later.

  • October 25, 2021 - How IoT and AI are helping keep truck drivers safe -

    Historically, fleet operators managed safety risks with training programs, manual coaching sessions and manager ride-alongs with drivers…

    Then, in the early 2000s, fleet managers looked for an alternate approach that would be more effective. They began to introduce telematics that used Internet of Things sensing and recording devices. These IoT devices automatically measured characteristics of driving based on vehicle motion such as speed, acceleration and braking, and reported that data to centralized databases and applications in the corporate office…

    The missing ingredient was analytics. As fleet managers realized this, they began to augment telematics and IoT with AI and computer vision. AI, and also more big data technology like computer vision, gave fleet managers the more complete and comprehensive picture of driver safety and road conditions that they had been looking for.

  • October 25, 2021 - 7 Universities that are pushing the boundaries of autonomous driving -

    Big companies and cutting-edge start-ups often dominate the driverless car headlines. But the rapid acceleration of the technology would not be possible without the passionate work of academics around the world. We bring you seven universities that stand out from the rest.

    Selecting the universities that have the biggest impact on driverless car research – by no means an easy task. There are many institutions doing remarkable work that just barely didn’t make our list. We would like to know what you think: what universities do your miss on our list? Send us an e-mail or let us know in the comments section below the article!


  • October 25, 2021 - Electric car makers ready to jump into battery recycling amid stuttering supply chains -

    Car makers are electrifying fleets at such a pace that battery makers can’t keep up. So Tesla, GM, Ford and others are investing in battery recycling to cut costs and mitigate risks posed by an erratic international supply chain.

    Batteries are basically high-grade ore and a cheaper and more environmentally friendly way for materials to be extracted and reused, said Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, during a shareholder meeting last week…

    There are about two billion cars and trucks used in the world, and electric cars are well under 1 per cent of the fleet, Musk said. Tesla can’t get enough batteries from their suppliers to meet the demand for its cars so recycling batteries is one way to address the shortage.

  • October 22, 2021 - For Uber and Lyft, the Rideshare Bubble Bursts -

    Piece by piece, the mythology around ridesharing is falling apart. Uber and Lyft promised ubiquitous self-driving cars as soon as this year. They promised an end to private car ownership. They promised to reduce congestion in the largest cities. They promised consistently affordable rides. They promised to boost public transit use. They promised profitable business models. They promised a surfeit of well-paying jobs. Heck, they even promised flying cars.

    Well, none of that has gone as promised (but more about that later). Now a new study is punching a hole in another of Uber and Lyft’s promised benefits: curtailing pollution. The companies have long insisted their services are a boon to the environment in part because they reduce the need for short trips, can pool riders heading in roughly the same direction and cut unnecessary miles by, for instance, eliminating the need to look for street parking.

  • October 22, 2021 - Autonomous trucking startup Locomation to collaborate with Indiana company -

    Locomation, an autonomous trucking company based in Lawrenceville, is collaborating with Cummins to test, integrate and commercialize its self-driving technology.

    Through the deal announced Wednesday, Locomation will integrate its software with Cummins’ powertrain systems. The Columbus, Ind., company designs, manufactures, sells and services engines, filtration and power generation products. The powertrain system, in simple terms, consists of all the components that propel, or power, a vehicle forward.

    The combination of the products — Locomation’s software and Cummins’ firmware — will increase fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions, officials said.

    Locomation estimates the partnership will reduce fuel consumption per truck by 10%…

    Locomation’s co-founders — brothers Çetin and Tekin — are veterans of Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center. They founded the company in 2018 and have since raised $63 million in funding, according to Crunchbase.

  • October 22, 2021 - Long Beach tests traffic lights that respond to real-time congestion -

    The city will work with Mercedes-Benz and Xtelligent, deploying a fleet of up to 50 smart vehicles and artificial intelligence software that will communicate real-time traffic data to an intelligent intersection control system. The vehicles will primarily be sharing location data, a common feature in most cars with onboard navigation systems. However, in this case, the vehicles will share data with each other and with city infrastructure.

    City planners and engineers will be able to use the shared data to measure traffic congestion and even calculate emissions based on the type of vehicle and distances travelled, city officials said. Data analysis from connected test vehicle fleets and existing physical sensors around the city may also inform future transportation policy and traffic engineering decisions.

  • October 22, 2021 - New Numbers Show ODOT’s Alternative to the Gas Tax Is Struggling -

    New figures from the Oregon Department of Transportation show that hardly anybody is taking part in the agency’s pilot program to shift away from charging drivers a gas tax.

    Twenty years after ODOT began exploring an option to have drivers pay a tax based on miles traveled—currently 1.8 cents per mile—fewer than 1,000 Oregonians have made the shift. That’s out of 3.1 million registered passenger vehicles…

    Critics, including Portland economist Joe Cortright, say there’s no incentive to join the program as it’s currently constituted and, in fact, the way ODOT set the rules creates a disincentive for many drivers. That’s because, for vehicles that get more than 20 miles to the gallon, OReGO becomes more expensive than the gas tax…

    ODOT says OReGO works fine: Lawmakers just have to require motorists to enter the program. The only flaw with the mileage tax, says Godfrey, is that it’s voluntary.

  • October 22, 2021 - The Airport Of The Future Is In… Pittsburgh? -

    Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) breaks ground on its new $1.4 billion “terminal modernization” project today, which is expected to be completed by 2025…

    The Gensler-led design includes a new 700,000-square-foot terminal, parking garage and transportation complex designed to adapt to the latest “technological improvements and automated systems” in airport technology (the airport’s CEO anticipates AI-driven cleaning robots, autonomous baggage delivery and fleets of self-driving Ubers…eventually).

    “I got here six years ago with the idea that we’re going to make a difference in the industry. U.S. airports aren’t traditionally at the leading edge of innovation. I wanted to see if we could put the assets of the community to work,” said Cassotis. Currently, the airport is partnering with Carnegie Mellon to test use cases involving robotics, clean tech, and autonomous vehicles. “More and more AI-enabled technology will help us make decisions around operating and customer service. This is just the beginning,” she adds.

  • October 20, 2021 - Bird Scooters Will Now Annoy Riders Into Getting Off the Damn Sidewalk -

    Bird says it will be able to detect sidewalk riding “almost instantly” with this new system. When it happens, the rider will get a phone notification letting them know they’re uh, on the literal sidewalk, and the scooter itself will emit an incessant “audible alert” alongside that notification. Bird doesn’t describe what that alert might sound like—others have said it will consist of annoying beeps, which makes sense: we’ve seen other e-scooter companies test devices that angrily beep at riders when they’re caught on sidewalks, too.

    In Bird’s case, if neither the cellphone alert nor the beeping does the trick (not to mention the piles and piles of research pointing to how dangerous sidewalk-bound scootering can be), the scooter will simply just slow down and stop.

  • October 20, 2021 - US regulators seek answers from Tesla over lack of recall -

    In a letter to Tesla, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told the electric car maker Tuesday that it must recall vehicles if an over-the-internet update deals with a safety defect.The letter asks for a list of events that motivated the software update, as well as what vehicles it was sent to and whether the measures extend to Tesla’s entire fleet…

    It also asks the Palo Alto, California, company whether it intends to file recall documents. “If not, please furnish Tesla’s technical and/or legal basis for declining to do so,” the agency asks.

    Philip Koopman, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, said NHTSA clearly wants Tesla to issue a recall. “They’re giving Tesla a chance to have their say before they bring the hammer down,” said Koopman, who studies automated vehicle safety.

  • October 20, 2021 - How Los Angeles is preparing for the air taxi takeoff -

    To help prepare Los Angeles for the new tech, a nonprofit organization spun out of LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office is working with air taxi developers and local residents to develop a policy toolkit in advance of commercial operations later this decade.

    There’s a lot to be hammered out before then. Foremost, the aircraft must be certified with the Federal Aviation Administration — a mammoth task in and of itself. But even beyond aircraft certification, companies will also need to plan for infrastructure, namely vertiports, or where the air taxis will take off and land. And these come with real issues like noise pollution and zoning laws that have the potential to affect not only city residents but other transportation networks, too.

    Urban Movement Labs was spun out of the mayor’s Office of Economic Development in 2020 to become a standalone 501c(3) nonprofit aimed at shaping the future of mobility in the city.

  • October 20, 2021 - Colleges to deploy sensors to help monitor Vermont infrastructure -

    Heavy rain events are taxing Vermont’s infrastructure. So how do you keep track of cracks and crumbles in roads and bridges? A new grant aims to help.

    The University of Vermont, Vermont Technical College and the University of Maine were recently awarded $4 million from the National Science Foundation to place small sensors around different structures. Those could be bridges, dams, turbines, stormwater systems, roads or more. They might be new structures or older ones.

    Those sensors will then feed back data.

    “It’s really context-dependent on the structure, but it can range from temperature to cracking to chemical environment to accelerations, tilt, tilt is a big one for certain structures,” said Dryver Huston, a mechanical engineering professor at UVM.

  • October 20, 2021 - Route to revenue: Autonomous vehicle startup Aurora releases details on its future subscription plans for carriers, fleets -

    The company said the subscription services will be available under two different names; Aurora Horizon for goods delivery and Aurora Connect for ride-hailing.

    With Aurora Horizon, the company is targeting carriers and private fleets that deliver goods, be it the trucking industry that traverses hundreds of miles of highway per trip to last-mile delivery vans that operate in rural and urban environments alike. The company said the suite of tools it will offer with this subscription model will allow customers to integrate the services into existing operations…

    As for Aurora Connect, the AV company is looking to attract customers that operate ride-hailing fleets, like Uber Technologies Inc., to transport people wherever it is that they’d like to go but with vehicles that drive themselves. The company said its goal is to provide fleet operators with a predictable supply of Aurora-powered vehicles capable of responding to fluctuating demand from humans in need of a ride.

  • October 19, 2021 - Plug-in cars are the future. The grid isn’t ready. -

    Converting the nation’s fleet of automobiles and trucks to electric power is a critical piece of the battle against climate change. The Biden administration wants to see them account for half of all sales by 2030, and New York state has enacted a ban on the sale of internal combustion cars and trucks starting in 2035.

    But making America’s cars go electric is no longer primarily a story about building the cars. Against this ambitious backdrop, America’s electric grid will be sorely challenged by the need to deliver clean power to those cars. Today, though, it barely functions in times of ordinary stress, and fails altogether too often for comfort, as widespread blackouts in California, Texas, Louisiana and elsewhere have shown.

  • October 19, 2021 - Make electric vehicles lighter to maximize climate and safety benefits -

    With heavier vehicles on the road, safety becomes even more important. Some vehicles already use cameras, radar and other sensors to avoid collisions by monitoring blind spots and driver alertness. These devices keep vehicles in lanes, adjust speeds, control headlights and apply the brakes if there’s a threat of a crash. Deploying such technologies across the entire US vehicle fleet could avoid thousands of fatalities, more than one million crashes and billions of dollars in social costs annually9.

    Old ideas to improve street safety should still be encouraged — speed limits, traffic calming road designs and pedestrian-focused infrastructure. Paris, Brussels, Bilbao and other cities have limited speeds on most roads to 30 kilometres per hour.

  • October 19, 2021 - Remora is ready to roll with carbon capture for trucks -

    That’s why it’s invigorating to see a solution such as Remora, which reduces emissions from long-haul trucking by sucking up carbon dioxide directly from the tailpipe. The company has been incorporated for less than a year, but it’s poised to install its first devices on commercial trucks at the start of 2022…

    An impressive group of investors and customers has already bought into Remora’s vision. In August, Remora announced it had raised a $5.5 million seed round led by venture capital heavyweight Union Square Ventures, along with other major climate tech players such as Lowercarbon Capital, Y Combinator, First Round Capital, Neo Ventures and MCJ Collective.

    On the customer side, Remora has a long list of multibillion-dollar logistics corporations (16 and counting) that have signed up to pilot the technology on part of their fleets — including trucking companies Ryder, Werner, Arcbest and NFI Industries, as well as agribusiness giant Cargill.

  • October 19, 2021 - With NASA partnership, Orlando begins planning for air taxis, flying cars -

    Orlando is preparing for when flying cars are an option for those who want to soar over congested highways or between nearby cities. And they may arrive far sooner than 2062, as The Jetsons predicted.

    The city has signed onto a partnership with NASA to develop strategies for welcoming electric oversized drones, which take off vertically from landing pads called vertiports. The city’s first vertiport, to be built by the German company Lillium, is planned for the Lake Nona area.

    Though officials suspect the mode of transportation could take off in coming years, so far the Federal Aviation Authority hasn’t approved any such vehicles for use. But a recent study found that a piece of a projected $2.5-billion market could be in play for early adopters of the technology.

  • October 19, 2021 - Allstate Wants to Track Your Driving to Determine Your Car Insurance Rate -

    Since late summer, car insurer Allstate Corp. has been talking to state regulators about helping to lead an industrywide effort to transition in the coming years from sizing up risk in applicants with factors including credit scores to largely using telematics to determine rates, the company and regulators said.

    With telematics, insurers monitor policyholders’ driving behaviors either through smartphone applications or devices embedded in their vehicles. Insurers slice the tracking data to tailor individual rates.

    While a switch could be unsettling to many people with privacy concerns, it would hold out the possibility of lower rates for vehicle owners who are excellent drivers or don’t drive that much, and who might now be overpaying for the risk they pose.

  • October 18, 2021 - Turnpike ready to profit from excess broadband space in Eastern Pennsylvania -

    The turnpike has been planning to upgrade its communication system for more than five years because the microwave towers it has been using have nearly reached capacity. The system provides a variety of internal services to the agency, including telephone service, radio communications among offices and maintenance workers, financial information such as electronic toll collections from E-ZPass users and Toll By Plate customers, traffic cameras, electronic road signs and the turnpike computer network.

    The need to upgrade the system became more acute in May 2020, when due to the pandemic the agency quickly switched to a cashless, electronic tolling system to eliminate contact between drivers and toll collectors. That greatly increased the number of tolls recorded by the system as well as photographs of the license plates of motorists who don’t use E-ZPass and receive a bill in the mail for their tolls.

  • October 18, 2021 - Feds predict at least 200 automated vehicle crashes annually -

    Self-driving cars and trucks under testing or being deployed commercially will likely be involved in at least 200 crashes annually over the next three years, according to estimates by federal regulators.

    In seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget to gather new autonomous vehicle (AV) crash-data information, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed on Wednesday what it considers accurate estimates – based on automated driving system (ADS) crashes reported in California – on what to expect from 110 AV manufacturers and operators that have been ordered to report additional and more current crash data.

    “There were 105 ADS crashes reported to California in 2019,” according to the agency. “NHTSA believes that it is reasonable to assume that about half of all ADS testing in the United States is occurring in California. Therefore, NHTSA expects that there will be approximately 200 ADS crashes in a year that manufacturers and operators will be required to report to NHTSA.”

  • October 18, 2021 - ‘West Lafayette Smart City Challenge’ aims to improve transportation safety -

    Innovation Partners Institute at the Purdue Research Foundation partnered with the city of West Lafayette, the Indiana 5G Zone and US Ignite to announce the West Lafayette Smart City Challenge, a competition designed to provide innovative solutions that improve transportation safety, most specifically in the Discovery Park District.

    “Through this challenge, the streets of West Lafayette can become a safer place for vulnerable road users like pedestrians, bicyclists, scooter riders, skaters and motorcyclists who share the roadway with autonomous and larger vehicles,” said Erin Easter, director of development for the city of West Lafayette, in a press release. “Improving the safety for West Lafayette residents and visitors is a top priority, and we are enthusiastic about the outcomes of this competition.”

  • October 18, 2021 - Smart bus technology helps keep students safe in Manatee County -

    CFO Tim McMurray says it’s equipped with Doppler radar, Wi-fi, GPS and more. He says it makes the ride to and from school safer.

    “This is a game-changing technology for the safety of the children,” McMurray said.

    At the start of the school year, drivers rolled out with $2 million worth of technology to keep students safe and give parents peace of mind.

    Each can be tracked in real-time using a phone app. A swipe of a card alerts parents when their child gets on and off the bus. Radar and anti-collision technology giving drivers a 360 view of their bus at all times. They also have GPS and student Wi-Fi.

    These super buses help protect other drivers too. An alarm goes off if someone tries to pass a stopped school bus. Lane drift control helps drivers manage distance from other cars. Finally, it tells the drivers the correct bus stop for the kid.

  • October 18, 2021 - As E-Scooters and E-Bikes Proliferate, Safety Challenges Grow -

    Even before the pandemic, electric scooter share programs had spread to over 100 cities, including Los Angeles, Washington and Atlanta, since 2017, according to the National Association of City Transportation Officials. Total rides surged 130 percent to 88.5 million in 2019 from 38.5 million the year before.

    Many cities saw scooter ridership soar during the pandemic. Seattle’s scooter share program has grown to 1.4 million rides since beginning just over a year ago. In Portland, Ore., rides nearly doubled to 762,812 this year through September from 385,422 rides for the same period in 2020.

    Still, the e-mobility boom has brought significant safety challenges to New York’s already congested streets. At least 17 people have been killed while riding electric mobility vehicles this year, according to city officials. Revel, which operates an electric moped share program in the city, voluntarily shut it down for a month last year after three riders were killed.

  • October 15, 2021 - Penn researchers identify transit weak spots for SEPTA’s rebranding initiative -

    A team of researchers from Penn’s Center for Safe Mobility is working with SEPTA on the transportation agency’s $40 million effort to rebrand its transit network and improve its ease of use.

    Using data from eye-tracking glasses, Stuart Weitzman School of Design associate professor Megan Ryerson and her team of urban planners partnered with the transportation agency to determine which of the city’s stations were most confusing to riders of different transit familiarity, native languages, and physical abilities. The Center’s experimental study is part of SEPTA’s broader “Wayfinding” initiative to create a more intuitive transit system in response to complaints from riders about the lack of consistent branding and route signage. The Penn faculty and alumni involved in the study hope the rebranding changes the way Penn students think about SEPTA.

  • October 15, 2021 - NUAIR, Thruway Authority announce pilot program to use drones for bridge inspections -

    New York’s Thruway Authority announced Monday Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance Inc., or NUAIR, will take part in a pilot program utilizing drones to assist with highway bridge inspections.

    Headquartered in Syracuse, NUAIR manages operations at the New York UAS (unmanned aerial systems) Test Site at Griffiss International Airport in Rome.

    State officials said the partnership will improve the effectiveness of bridge safety inspections, and the pilot program will come at no cost to the Thruway Authority…

    If the program is successful following rigorous field testing and detailed evaluation, the Authority could expand the role of drones to assist with mapping and surveying the 570-mile superhighway system, cataloguing Thruway inventory and infrastructure, documenting damage and repairs, along with supporting general maintenance activities, according to a release on the pilot program.

  • October 15, 2021 - One way to cut down air pollutants: call an Uber -

    Vehicles used for ride sharing apps “can reduce cold-start emissions from internal combustion engines. Vehicles emit far more conventional air pollutants when started ‘cold’,” researchers wrote.

    A car’s cold start is when a 12 hour period passes where the vehicle was not used and is turned off—then you start it back up. This is when vehicles emit the most pollution, more than half of a ride’s pollutant emissions, making privately owned cars much more polluting because individual owners are turning their cars on and off frequently throughout the day. TNC car trips represent an about 50 percent decline in air pollutants including fine particulate matter mostly because there are less cold starts in between rides.

    But, there’s a catch, says Jeremy Michalek, a professor of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University and an author of the study. Driving your own car may lower the amount of carbon emissions you emit, since carbon emissions directly correlate with how much fuel is burned.

  • October 15, 2021 - Researchers Hope to Improve Access to Public Transit in Camden -

    The city has strong connections to regional public transit and a robust bus network but still has challenges servicing residents in outlying neighborhoods.

    The issue, called the “first and last-mile gap,” centers around the difficulty people have either getting to public transit or going from public transit to their final destination.

    That’s why the Camden Community Partnership (CCP) is partnering with Rowan University’s Center for Research and Education in Advanced Transportation Engineering Systems (CREATEs) to brainstorm creative solutions.

  • October 15, 2021 - GM unveils a hands-free driving system that works in nearly all of the US and Canada -

    GM and Cadillac drivers have spent traveled than 10 million miles with their hands in their laps since General Motors introduced its Super Cruise driver assist system back in 2017. On Wednesday, the company unveiled its next-generation hands-free system — one that GM claims will “ultimately enable hands-free driving in 95 percent of all driving scenarios” — dubbed, Ultra Cruise.

    What sets Ultra Cruise apart from similar systems, such as Ford’s BlueCruise, is that Ultra is designed to work virtually everywhere in the US and Canada. At launch, the system is expected to work on 2 million miles of North American roads — that includes highways, city and subdivision streets, and paved rural roads — and will eventually expand to encompass some 3.4 million miles of asphalt.

  • October 13, 2021 - How Local and Regional Transit Authorities are Embracing MaaS: A Global Review -

    Mobility as a Service (MaaS) has become a word synonymous with the sharing economy. In a world of massive disruption, based upon environmental, economic, social, and cultural shifts, the trend toward sharing (whether it be housing, transportation, or other commodities) is increasing at a rapid pace. Considering this trend toward sharing, mobility is a key component in understanding our consumer habits, needs, and preferences…

    The purpose of this blog is to analyze and provide best practices into how local and regional transit authorities are embracing MaaS on a global scale. We will primarily focus on the following three areas:

    1. Formal assessment of the opportunities and barriers to implementing a multi-modal MaaS journey with payment systems across local and regional transit authorities

    2. Lessons learned on a global and national (United States) scale, and

    3. Recommendations for fostering an environment for a successful long-term, sustainable multi-modal journey with payment system

  • October 13, 2021 - Street Smarts: How Sensors Help Virginia Beach Monitor Its Environment -

    Virginia Beach’s 2016 U.S. Department of Transportation Smart City Challenge application envisioned the city in 2045 would be viewed as a well-planned community where “neighborhoods and residents will be interconnected” — hopefully “the most livable coastal community in the world.”

    Although the southeastern Virginia city is still more than 20 years away from reaching that target date, the city appears to be on its way to making that vision a reality, with recent smart tech implementations offering timely flooding risk information, increased internet access and other quality-of-life benefits.

    Through a data-sharing partnership announced in 2019, for instance, Virginia Beach provides transportation mobile app Waze with planned construction and road closure data to share with its users, along with parking information from Wi-Fi-enabled sensors situated in and above spaces in the city.

  • October 13, 2021 - Can bats help us design a better driverless car? -

    Fruit bats aren’t the first words that comes to mind when you think of driverless cars. But in their nightly forays for fruit and nectar, they routinely solve many of the engineering challenges that have stalled efforts to develop safe, reliable and efficient autonomous vehicles.

    The bats’ navigation system was designed by the world’s top engineer: evolution. Michael Yartsev, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering and Neuroscience, studies the patterns of wiring and firing in the bats’ brains that nature has devised to get them from here to there in the pitch dark. And without flying into obstacles or each other.

    The Bakar Fellows Program supports a new effort in his lab to translate the bats’ neurological “rules of the road” into computational algorithms to guide development of navigation systems for driverless cars.

    Dr. Yartsev describes the neurobiological principles his lab has uncovered and how the insights may provide a roadmap to the future.

  • October 13, 2021 - Electric Mercedes eActros Truck Production Starts This Week -

    The first electric Mercedes-Benz eActros trucks are already headed to work, with the automaker sending the first pre-production trucks from the truck plant in Wörth, Germany, into the real world days ahead of the start of series production later this week. Four trucks assembled as part of trial runs in the production facility—itself scheduled to start on October 7—will each undertake very different jobs.

    The eActros trucks, first revealed in production form at the end of June earlier this year, are based on Daimler’s eArchitecture with a rigid electric axle featuring two integrated electric motors, along with a two-speed transmission…

    So each truck will have enough batteries on board to offer either a 315 or 420 kWh capacity, with the latter giving it a range of up to 400 kilometers, or 249 miles.

  • October 13, 2021 - Long Beach partners with Mercedes-Benz on connected vehicles, supporting local Smart City Initiative -

    Dive Brief:
    The city of Long Beach, California, partnered with Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America and artificial intelligence firm Xtelligent to deploy and test transportation management systems.

    The 10-month project will include the deployment of an intelligent intersection control system, connected vehicle test fleets and sensors to gather mobility data around the city. The private partners will also help sponsor a community youth workshop and science education opportunities for Long Beach residents and students, especially in underserved communities.

    Ryan Kurtzman, smart cities program manager for Long Beach, said the new project represents the city’s first partnership with Mercedes-Benz Research and Development, which has a testing and certification facility in the city. The program, he said, will further the city’s goals to “explore emerging technology and advancements in data management to make sure they improve quality of life, make services more efficient and ultimately advance equity and other values.”

  • October 12, 2021 - VIDEO: Deere Unveils Its First Electric Backhoe, the 310 X-Tier -

    At Utility Expo 2021 John Deere took the wraps off its prototype electric backhoe, the 310 X-Tier.

    Deere announced development of this machine back in January. But Utility Expo was the first time anyone has had a chance to see and hear this extremely quiet backhoe up close.

    It’s also the first time we’ve seen this model name: 310 X. The X is the highest tier in Deere’s new performance tiering nomenclature for its machines. It’s used to denote hybrid and electric machines and represents Deere’s latest and greatest technology.

    And beyond the fact that this is a battery-powered machine, the other interesting aspect of the machine’s development is that it’s being tested with the help of National Grid, one of the world’s largest utility companies, serving 20 million+ customers throughout the northeast U.S.

  • October 12, 2021 - Connecting the DOTs: How Data Improves Work Zone Safety -

    In an effort to both improve safety and future-proof their infrastructure investments, the Indiana DOT (INDOT) partnered with Purdue University and the team at Wejo to advance their understanding of how connected vehicle data could make their roadways safer.

    One of the goals of the team at INDOT is incorporating 21st century technology into their long term road plans. By using CVD like the data Wejo provides, INDOT is able to better manage their road assets…

    INDOT wanted to take this use of data one step further and deploy resources to their work zones.

    The team partnered with Purdue University and studied the why and how behind the accidents that were occurring near work zones. They analyzed accident reports and used vehicle movement insights to understand when hard braking events were happening. Through data analysis, the team quickly uncovered a strong correlation between accidents and hard braking events.

  • October 12, 2021 - Qualcomm snaps up self-driving software provider to poach business from Nvidia -

    Chipmaker Qualcomm took its boldest step yet in the race to develop self-driving technology, swooping in to snag a prized asset out from under the nose of a major auto parts supplier.

    Qualcomm and New York–based private equity firm SSW Partners agreed to acquire Veoneer in a deal that values the Swedish componentry manufacturer’s shares at $4.5 billion in total, an 18% premium over the July offer from rival North American bidder Magna.

    Best known for its dominance in smartphone chips, Qualcomm aims to carve out the prime piece for itself: Veoneer’s self-driving software development unit, Arriver, as part of a plan to best rivals like Nvidia. The leftovers will go to SSW Partners, which intends to sell off the remaining assets over time to competitors.

  • October 12, 2021 - Uber Faced a Nightmare. This 1 Brilliant Move Made It Billions. -

    In what might appear to prove a counterintuitive lesson, Uber offloaded its self-driving technology to Aurora for $4 billion, and Lyft sold its self-driving car division to Toyota for $550 million. But the two didn’t sell off their autonomous technology to simply make a quick buck in light of a new opportunity or as means to quickly gain capital to combat slowed growth or declining revenues…

    On the face, it may appear as though Uber and Lyft changed their minds on driverless cars, giving up completely. But their standpoint didn’t change–where they stand to enter the market did. What they saw was an opportunity to make an immediate short-term return on their investment of the technology that powers autonomous vehicles, which fuels their long-term game plan. In other words, Uber and Lyft won’t be the first to market, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have plans to go to market.

  • October 12, 2021 - GM envisions electric vehicles with 600 miles of range with new battery research center -

    General Motors is building a new 300,000-square-foot battery research facility in Michigan to help it realize its mission of building electric vehicle batteries that are longer-lasting, quicker to charge, and more sustainable for the environment. Through this new center, GM is setting the stage for a battery breakthrough that will help it build electric vehicles that can travel as much as 600 miles on a single charge — roughly twice the range of most EVs on the road today…

    The innovation center will be “one of the only ones in North America that can use large format prototype cells, up to a meter wide or even wider than that, with uniform stacked electrodes,” said Ken Morris, vice president for electric and autonomous vehicles at GM.

    The goal is to produce batteries with an energy density of “up to 1,200 watt-hours per liter,” Morris said — a staggering number that some experts have questioned.

  • October 11, 2021 - GM-Backed Cruise Sees Robotaxi Unit Growing Past $50 Billion -

    Cruise LLC, the autonomous vehicle startup majority-owned by General Motors Co., will tell investors this week that it sees a path for its ride-hailing business to reach $50 billion in revenue as the company ramps up over the next couple of years, people familiar with the matter said. GM’s shares jumped.

    Cruise Chief Executive Officer Dan Ammann is expected to say the company plans to charge for rides as soon as next year and could expand the business in 2023 if Cruise gets the green light from the California Public Utility Commission. Cruise will take a starring role this week as GM makes its case to investors on Oct. 6 and 7 that its push into electric vehicles, self-driving software and connected technologies will soon start increasing the automaker’s revenue, said the people, who asked not to be named because the details haven’t been revealed.

  • October 11, 2021 - Milpitas to spend $1.3 million on minivan ‘micro-transit’ program -

    For those who take public transit in Milpitas, their rides are expected to “dramatically” get better under a new pilot program.

    Milpitas plans to spend $1.3 million on an “on-demand” shuttle program to improve public transit for riders by making it more convenient and easier to connect between existing transit services in the city, such as BART and VTA light rail trains.

    The city is contracting with RideCo, an Ontario-based consultant, to launch the “micro-transit” program dubbed Milpitas OnDemand.

    It’s intended to last 18 months, and will allow people to hail a shuttle ride at nearly 100 “virtual stops” around the city — near spots like community mailboxes, specific intersections, and existing bus stops — “ensuring that no passenger is ever more than a five-minute walk from their nearest virtual stop,” according to a city staff report.

  • October 11, 2021 - 5 Midwest States Form Electric Vehicle Pact -

    Governors from five Midwestern states, including four Democrats and one Republican, pledged this week to collaborate on developing an electric vehicle charging network across their region, and on other steps to support a shift towards electric-powered cars and trucks.

    Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin are part of the pact. It is outlined in a voluntary memorandum of understanding that cites both environmental and economic reasons for embracing the technology. The governors are calling the initiative the Regional Electric Vehicle Midwest Coalition, or “REV Midwest.”

  • October 11, 2021 - How 3 college friends built a $1 billion business selling used cars -

    While the auto resale market was flourishing in the U.S., the same couldn’t be said for Southeast Asia. It was famously opaque, with several middlemen making it difficult for buyers and sellers to get the best deals.

    Tan wanted to change that. So, returning to Singapore in 2015, he teamed up with his classmates from Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science to create an algorithm that would do just that.

    “I wouldn’t say that I tricked my co-founders into founding the company together, but I think I sold the opportunity that this could be much more interesting than whatever they were doing,” said Tan.

    The trio was onto something. In a region with a vast and growing, digital-savvy middle class, price-sensitive consumers were increasingly opting for second hand models.

  • October 11, 2021 - Self-driving cars: The 21st-century trolley problem -

    If the goal is to get autonomous driving assistance to the masses, Tesla is closer. If the goal is to have cars that safely drive themselves, Waymo is winning…

    But by selling its vehicles to the general public, Tesla is able to collect lots of real-world driving data that will be useful in helping solve autonomous driving challenges. Raj Rajkumar, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University and an autonomous vehicle pioneer, calls Tesla’s data collection an “incredible advantage” but warns that data is “part of the answer, but it’s not the entire answer.” Still, he thinks Waymo ought to collect more of it from regular drivers in regular conditions.

    “We should be driving them whenever they can drive themselves and, when they do not, humans drive themselves,” Rajkumar said. “And for a time we collect experience. We understand what works, what does not work, and we refine.”

  • October 8, 2021 - Locomation partners with professional services firm Aon to develop risk management plan for autonomous trucking -

    Autonomous vehicle company Locomation announced it entered into a new strategic partnership agreement with Chicago-based professional services firm Aon to develop a risk management plan for autonomous trucking.

    According to Locomation, the completed plan will allow the Pittsburgh-based AV company to then work with insurance carriers to assess risks in autonomous technology and to better align with insurance industry best practices…

    Locomation also hopes that having such a plan will reduce its customers’ operating costs via lower insurance rates for carriers, shippers, truck manufacturers and others using its autonomous truck technology.

  • October 8, 2021 - Toyota’s new electric three-wheeler is designed to do the walking for you -

    Toyota unveiled its new C+walkT today as a shiny new solution to the age-old problem of walking.

    The C+walkT (don’t ask us how to pronounce that) is a standing electric scooter with three wheels.

    Unlike other three-wheeled electric scooters we’ve seen, this one wasn’t designed to do double-duty as a fun form of alternative transport. The C+walkT is strictly business and strictly for walking.

    It’s being billed as a walking replacement – but before you start sharpening your pitchfork and heading to the comment section, keep in mind that Toyota is largely targeting those with mobility issues.

    This isn’t meant to be a Wall-E style lazy mobile, but rather is intended to make it easier for those who have trouble walking to get around large complexes like shopping malls and airports more easily.

  • October 8, 2021 - Tesla Deliveries Surge, Defying Supply-Chain Woes -

    Tesla Inc. overcame snarled global supply chains to deliver a record number of vehicles in the third quarter.

    The Silicon Valley electric-vehicle maker delivered 241,300 vehicles to customers in the three months ending in September, it said Saturday, up from 139,593 vehicles during the same period last year. Analysts surveyed by FactSet forecast Tesla would deliver roughly 227,000 vehicles in the quarter…

    Tesla meanwhile has been preparing to expand public access to an advanced driver-assistance tool that is designed to help people navigate cities, adding to a suite of features that has mainly been intended for highway driving.

    The promise of Tesla’s advanced driver-assistance software has attracted customers and investors, helping to transform Tesla into the most valuable auto maker in the world.

  • October 8, 2021 - Qualcomm Wins Veoneer Bid to Advance Self-Driving Car Ambitions -

    Qualcomm Inc. QCOM +1.24% is teaming with an investment firm to further its autonomous-driving ambitions, snatching Swedish auto-technology company Veoneer Inc. VNE -1.19% from a competing bidder in a $4.5 billion takeover.

    Qualcomm, which is best known for its chips that go into hundreds of millions of cellphones, said the investment firm, SSW Partners, would acquire Veoneer for $37 a share and then sell the Stockholm company’s Arriver sensor and driving software platform to Qualcomm.

    The deal plucks Veoneer from Canadian automotive supplier Magna International Inc. MGA +0.80% after Magna in July agreed to buy Veoneer for $31.25 a share to bolster its own autonomous-driving efforts.


    “The modern roundabout is simply safer than the traditional intersection,” PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said in a statement. “Though not the right option for every intersection, data shows that when installed, roundabouts save lives and reduce crash severity.”

    PennDOT recently reviewed data for 26 roundabouts on state routes at intersections that were previously stop or signal controlled. These roundabouts were selected based on having at least three years of crash data available before and after the roundabouts were built. Department data based on police-submitted crash reports spanning the years 2000 through 2020 shows that fatalities at these locations were reduced by 100% and the total number of crashes decreased by 22%, according to a news release.

    Additionally, suspected serious injuries were reduced by 81%; suspected minor injuries were reduced by 36%; possible/unknown severity injuries were reduced by 76%; and property damage-only crashes increased by 13%.

  • October 6, 2021 - Commerce secretary signals feds could invest in Pittsburgh’s bid to become self-driving powerhouse -

    As trade and technology talks between the U.S. and the European Union came to a close in Pittsburgh Thursday, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said EU leaders left the city “blown away by what they saw.”

    “Anyone who comes to Pittsburgh and sees it, it’s not just one robotics company. It’s not just that [Carnegie Mellon University] is here. It’s a vibrant and deep ecosystem of technology innovation,” Raimondo told reporters…

    Raimondo said she chose Pittsburgh as the meeting site to highlight the city’s technology sector.

    “I am a believer in how unbelievably innovative, productive and leading-edge that Pittsburgh is,” she said.

    Pittsburgh has become a center for the autonomous mobility sector, thanks largely to technological breakthroughs at local universities. Today, the region is home to about 70 firms or corporate divisions that specialize in autonomous systems such as those found in self-driving cars, according to a recent study.

  • October 6, 2021 - Pop Up Metro aims to provide affordable passenger operation -

    Rail entrepreneur Henry Posner wants to make passenger service more affordable and more available. He calls it Pop Up Metro, and to do it, he’s betting on batteries, remanufactured British multiple unit cars, and a bold business model to reduce the risk to potential rail operators.

    If it were anyone but Posner, this project might be seen as a crackpot idea with little chance of success. But Posner is the co-founder of Railroad Development Corporation (RDC), which owns Iowa Interstate Railroad along with operations in England, France, Germany, Belgium, and Peru…

    The Pittsburgh entrepreneur sees a variety of opportunities for low-cost passenger operations. A lightly-used branch line or short line railroad could co-exist with transit by running freight at night and passenger service during the day, a concept he calls temporal separation. Smaller communities and transit agencies, or larger agencies looking to extend service to less-populated areas, are candidates for Pop Up Metro.

  • October 6, 2021 - Ford Will Build 4 Factories in a Big Electric Vehicle Push -

    Ford Motor significantly increased its commitment to electric cars and trucks on Monday by announcing that it would spend billions of dollars to build three battery factories and an electric truck plant in the United States, creating 11,000 jobs over the next four years.

    The company described the investment, which it said would enable it to produce more than one million electric vehicles a year in the second half of this decade, as the single largest in its 118-year history. All told, Ford and a South Korean supplier will spend $11.4 billion on the project…

    Established automakers like Ford and General Motors are racing to catch up to Tesla, which is on track to sell more than 800,000 electric cars this year. Tesla has become the most valuable automaker in the world by far, with a market capitalization of nearly $800 billion. Ford’s market value is $56 billion.

  • October 6, 2021 - Alphabet’s Waymo and GM’s Cruise get California DMV approval to run commercial autonomous car services -

    The California Department of Motor Vehicles approved autonomous vehicle deployment permits for GM-backed Cruise and Alphabet’s Waymo on Thursday. It allows the companies to charge a fee and receive compensation for autonomous services offered to the public, such as ride-hailing, in certain areas.

    The companies still need approval from the California Public Utilities Commission, according to the California DMV, but it means the companies are one step closer to providing services to the general public outside of a testing program…

    Under the new authorization, Cruise vehicles can operate on public roads in designated parts of San Francisco between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., including in light rain or light fog, but cannot exceed 30 miles per hour, the department said. Waymo can operate its fleet in parts of San Francisco and San Mateo counties at or below 65 mph, including in the rain or light fog.

  • October 6, 2021 - De Blasio Vowed to Make City Streets Safer. They’ve Turned More Deadly. -

    Traffic deaths have surged this year to their highest level in nearly a decade. Officials blame an excess of reckless driving, but critics say the city has failed to make streets safer…

    Even with traffic deaths on the rise, New York’s fatality rate was still far lower than the national average, according to Erick Guerra, an associate professor of city and regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania. “In some ways, Vision Zero is aspirational,” Professor Guerra said. “Even in cities that have success, you still see traffic fatalities.”

    Mr. de Blasio insisted that Vision Zero will eventually transform the city’s unruly streets. “It is the right model,” he told reporters. “It’s changed the behavior of drivers and we need to do a lot more to build upon it.”

  • October 5, 2021 - Nexar and Las Vegas tackle traffic with digital twins -

    Nexar is partnering with Nevada public road transit authorities to create digital twins to reduce traffic and improve safety. In effect, crowdsourced dashcam image data is used to feed digital twins that represent virtual models of road work.

    The partnership is another sign of consumer dashcam maker Nexar’s pivot to AI-infused digital twin-as-a-service offerings like its CityStream platform for governments and businesses…

    The partnership with Southern Nevada’s Regional Transit Commission (RTC) partnership will weave real-time camera data into a comprehensive digital twin of the Las Vegas area that reflects the impact of work zones, changes in traffic signs, and road quality on traffic patterns.

  • October 5, 2021 - Miovision Secures an Adaptive Partner -

    Miovision, which helps municipalities get more out of their road network by providing solutions that collect multimodal traffic data and uncover actionable insights, announced today that it is partnering with Rapid Flow Technologies to become the exclusive Canadian solution provider of the Surtrac adaptive traffic signal control system.

    Surtrac adapts the timing of traffic signals – how long they stay green to serve different directions of traffic – second-by-second using advanced artificial intelligence optimization. Seamless integration allows Surtrac to use real-time multimodal traffic data from Miovision’s TrafficLink system to create an optimized plan for how to move vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists through the intersection as efficiently and safely as possible…

    “The advantage of partnering with Miovision is the ease of integrating Surtrac into the TrafficLink devices,” said Greg Barlow, CTO of Rapid Flow Technologies. “The combination of the two systems creates a powerful tool for traffic management, capable of detecting and optimizing traffic flows in real-time.”

  • October 5, 2021 - IACP Quick Take: Could NASA’s AI platform for space exploration improve officer safety? -

    The sheer volume of data from next-generation communication tools and sensors risks overwhelming or distracting first responders from critical activities…

    Identifying this as an issue, JPL – which has been developing artificial intelligence (AI) platforms for use during space exploration – has been experimenting with transitioning these into the public safety space for the last three to four years. JPL contends that its developed AI products could enhance officer safety through enriched 360-degree situational awareness.

    To provide solutions, JPL is conducting a project funded by the US Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to study technology for improving the safety of first responder and roadside crews in and around active traffic. This resulted in the creation of the Trusted and Explainable Police Artificial Intelligence (TruePAL) AI assistant, which provides real-time warnings of risks by analyzing the environment and traffic patterns to generate a timely warning to drivers and roadside crews to avoid crashes.

  • October 5, 2021 - TBARTA, Hillsborough County partner with NASA on vertiport study -

    St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman’s announcement that he has engaged in talks with air taxi company Lilium was not the only news concerning this new method of transportation to come out of Friday’s Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority (TBARTA) meeting.

    Brian Pessaro, principal planner and project manager for TBARTA, closed the meeting with a presentation from NASA on its innovative model built to collect information and determine the feasibility of vertiports around Hillsborough County. Several factors and data points went into the regional suitability simulation to determine the best locations for launch and landing pads, which can be created on top of existing buildings and parking garages. Air taxis can also use existing helipads.

  • October 5, 2021 - What will mobility equity look like in practice? -

    As cities start to build back after the pandemic, equity is emerging as one of the most pressing concerns for transport policymakers.

    With a 2015 Harvard study pinpointing access to reliable transportation as the biggest factor for determining economic mobility, it’s not hard to see why.

    At a recent Cities Today online roundtable, transit leaders from across North America discussed the shift in how cities interpret equity, and how this might impact and influence decisions on the ground.

    “Transportation mobility is the key to social and economic mobility, and transportation mobility is wildly unequal across our city and many other cities in the US,” said Karina Ricks, who until last week was Director of Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) and is moving on to serve as the Associate Administrator for Research, Innovation and Demonstration with the Federal Transit Administration in Washington, D.C.

  • October 4, 2021 - Perch Mobility announces nationwide micromobility charging partnership with LAZ Parking -

    Perch Mobility has launched a nationwide partnership with LAZ Parking to deploy its Community Charging Portals in LAZ locations at the request of local logistics partners who charge vehicles for Bird, Lime and other operators; and fleet managers so that they can charge collected scooters in centrally located micromobility hubs…

    Perch Mobility owns and operates a network of proprietary micromobility charging centers (portals), which it leases to professional chargers, scooter operators and business owners who use the company’s Community Charging Portals to bulk-charge scooters and maximize profit potential. The company is accelerating and operationalizing its plans to build an optimized micromobility charging ecosystem to keep up with the growing demand for shared micromobility transportation in a growing number of cities.

  • October 4, 2021 - ASU transportation study supports expanded autonomous vehicle use -

    A new study conducted by Arizona State University reveals public enthusiasm for greater use of autonomous vehicles, or AVs. Participants in a six-month experiment among older and disabled residents in the Phoenix metro area said they felt AV services were safe, convenient and even preferable to traditional taxis or ride-share options.

    The positive results are part of a report authored by transportation experts from the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at ASU. The work was sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration and conducted for the Valley Metro Regional Public Transportation Authority of Greater Phoenix, in partnership with the Waymo autonomous-driving technology company.

  • October 4, 2021 - Researchers develop a new robot that can efficiently navigate sidewalks in urban environments -

    To operate efficiently in urban environments, mobile robots and other autonomous systems should be able to move safely on sidewalks and avoid collisions with pedestrians or other obstacles. This is particularly true for delivery robots or systems that are specifically programmed to patrol urban environments.

    Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology and Stanford University have recently developed AlienGo, a quadruped robot that can follow specific routes generated by public map services while remaining on sidewalks and avoiding collisions with obstacles or humans. This robot, presented in a paper pre-published on arXiv, is based on a new, highly performing two-staged learning framework for safe sidewalk navigation.

    “As part of this project, we developed an intelligent quadrupedal robot that can navigate sidewalks in the real world,” Sehoon Ha, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told TechXplore.

  • October 4, 2021 - Toyota’s autonomous division just bought the company that made a self-driving DeLorean do donuts -

    Woven Planet Holdings, a subsidiary of Toyota, acquired Renovo Motors, a startup that makes operating systems for autonomous vehicles. It’s the latest acquisition that aims to accelerate Toyota’s mission to develop autonomous vehicles with connected software. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Toyota established Woven Planet in January 2021 to invest in and develop mobility with artificial intelligence. Since then, the company has been on a shopping spree, acquiring Carmera, a firm that provides real-time, high-definition maps and data for driverless vehicles, and Lyft’s Level 5 autonomous vehicle division.

    Renovo, which is based in Silicon Valley, makes operating systems that integrate all the software needed to run fleets of autonomous vehicles. Founded by Chris Heiser and Jason Stinson in 2010, Renovo has been involved in a number of interesting automotive projects over the years.

  • October 4, 2021 - Pittsburgh Pilots New Smart Loading Zones To Ease Congestion And Air Pollution From Delivery Vehicles -

    As the amount of stuff you can order online becomes more abundant, something else has grown very scarce: curbside parking for delivery vehicles. According to the World Economic Forum, the number of delivery vehicles in the top 100 cities worldwide will increase by 36 percent by 2030. That new traffic will bring with it more air pollution and congestion to urban centers.

    But the city of Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Transportation is trying a new approach to managing curbside delivery parking.

    “We’ve seen a dramatic uptick in commercial curb activity in recent years, and that has only increased more dramatically during the pandemic,” said Erin Clark, a policy advisor with the department…

    With the help of two grants, Pittsburgh is piloting “smart loading zones,” which use pole-mounted video cameras, machine learning, a short-term fee structure and an app to help drivers get in and out of loading zones more efficiently.

  • October 1, 2021 - Carnegie Mellon University robotics team earns 4th place in search-and-rescue competition -

    Carnegie Mellon University’s team of students, faculty, staff and robots placed fourth in a major competition testing how well their robots could navigate an underground course simulating a search-and-rescue mission.

    Called Team Explorer, the university’s team traveled this week to the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) challenge in Louisville, Ky., which wrapped up Friday. DARPA challenges give teams the chance to tackle problems with real-world implications — in this case, by exploring new ways to use autonomous subterranean robots to aid in search-and-rescue efforts…

    The first place team, called CERBERUS, was a collaboration between the University of Nevada, Reno, ETH Zurich, Sierra Nevada Corporation, University of California, Berkeley, Flyability, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the University of Oxford.

  • October 1, 2021 - Arctic autonomy -

    In what is billed as “the most extensive pilot [program] in challenging weather conditions, ever,” a trio of Nordic companies is prepping an autonomous public-transport service in Bodø, a Norwegian city north of the Arctic Circle, to begin in February 2022. The program plans to field two modified Toyota Proace electric vehicles (EVs) operating on a 3.6-km (2.2-mile) route in the city center as a supplement to the conventional public-transportation network.

    Norway’s Mobility Forus will operate the vehicles, which use Finland-based tech company Sensible 4’s “all-weather” automated-driving software and a data and supervision platform from Danish company Holo, which manages and implements autonomous-vehicle projects in Europe. The companies are collaborating to demonstrate that combining their unique abilities will help development of automated-driving technology for inclement-weather regions.

  • October 1, 2021 - Central terminal, aerial trams and new bridges: Pittsburgh unveils ambitious long-term transportation blueprint -

    Picture Pittsburgh 50 years from now with these transportation changes: a terminal in a central location to handle a hyperloop system, vehicles for vertical takeoffs and landings, and high-speed trains; aerial trams linking neighborhoods; and new bridges crossing the Monongahela River at Hazelwood for motorized vehicles and at the former Wabash rail bridge piers for bikes and pedestrians.

    Those might sound like something from a science fiction novel, but they are among the ideas the city says it must consider in a 50-year Mobility Vision Plan released Thursday by Mayor Bill Peduto and Karina Ricks, director of the city’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure.

    “It may be tempting to dismiss the 2070 Mobility Vision Plan as fantastical or audacious,” Ms. Ricks said during a news conference in the Strip District, “but that would be a mistake. Fifty years is a long time, and a lot will change. Look back at how much has changed over the last 50.

  • October 1, 2021 - Embark collaborating with Cummins, ZF on powertrain and steering controls for self-driving trucks -

    Embark Trucks, a developer of autonomous technology for the trucking industry, is collaborating with Cummins to accelerate the integration of next-generation truck components and controls in self-driving trucks.

    Under this collaboration, Embark is testing Cummins’ automated driving system (ADS) powertrain interface to manage powertrain operations. The integration of the platform-agnostic Embark Universal Interface (EUI) with Cummins’ powertrain interface will enable Embark to leverage Cummins’ ADEPT powertrain features, resulting in improved fuel efficiency and performance of the self-driving system.

    The EUI is a platform-agnostic approach that enables carriers to begin trialing and deploying Embark self-driving software on trucks from the carrier’s preferred OEM. The EUI is a set of standardized self-driving components and flexible interfaces necessary to integrate Embark’s autonomous technology onto truck OEM vehicle platforms. The EUI is currently in development for trucks from the four major OEMs in the US—Freightliner, Navistar International, PACCAR, and Volvo—representing the vast majority of the Class-8 trucks on the road nationwide.

  • October 1, 2021 - Tesla drivers can now request Full Self-Driving Beta with the press of a button, despite safety concerns -

    Tesla rolled out a long-awaited software update late Friday that allows customers to request access to its controversial, Full Self-Driving Beta (FSD beta) program. Drivers who get a high safety score from Tesla will get access.

    FSD Beta gives drivers early access to new features that aren’t debugged yet, including “autosteer on city streets” which enables drivers to automatically navigate around complex urban environments without moving the steering wheel with their own hands.

    After CEO Elon Musk announced details about the FSD beta button, National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy voiced concern over the company’s plans.

  • September 29, 2021 - Taking an Uber is worse for the climate than driving in your own car -

    Trips in ride-share cars are more damaging to the climate, and impose a greater cost to society in terms of traffic congestion and public safety, than journeys in private vehicles, according to a new study from engineering and public policy researchers at Carnegie Mellon University.

    The researchers gathered public data on rides with Uber, Lyft, and other services in Austin, Chicago, New York, and cities in California. Using a computer model to simulate 100,000 trips, they painted a representative picture of journey lengths, the time spent in between rides (known as “deadheading”), and the types of vehicles used by drivers…

    The main reason for the difference is deadheading, said Jeremy Michalek, one of the study’s authors. On average, deadheading accounted for 43% of total drive time—time spent producing carbon emissions, blocking traffic, and being at risk of accidents that a person driving their own vehicle would avoid.

    Ride-shares did beat personal vehicles on one key metric: Air pollution.

  • September 29, 2021 - How LiDAR is Making Roads Safer for Pedestrians and Cyclists -

    Installed at roads and intersections, LiDAR sensors monitor and autonomously collect traffic data, including how and when people and vehicles use this critical infrastructure. For example, the LiDAR sensors can identify and count pedestrians jaywalking, measure vehicle traffic volume, identify speeding vehicles and other hazards and much more.

    This data can then be compared by time of day, day of the week, to identify patterns, predict safety hazards and ultimately inform transportation policies to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety. For example, data from LiDAR sensors is currently being used in cities to inform decisions and understand key metrics like:

  • September 29, 2021 - Transit Riders Expect Tech, Other Improvements Post-COVID -

    “When agencies are looking to where they should put in investment, I think we’ve got a lot of clear indications,” said Brett Wheatley, CEO of TransLoc, a transit technology firm operated by Ford Mobility.

    Wheatley’s observations come following a survey of some 1,200 working adults who regularly used transit prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was a chance to hear from riders related to their concerns, wants and general state of the industry.

    The feedback follows months of significant disruption across public transit when ridership abruptly fell in March 2020. Transit ridership nationally is still down to 64 percent of pre-COVID levels, according to statistics provided by the Transit app. Agencies are taking a number of different steps to lure riders back, which often include free or reduced fares.

  • September 29, 2021 - Ford, Redwood form ‘circular’ supply chain for EV battery materials -

    Ford Motor Co (F.N) and startup Redwood Materials said on Wednesday they are partnering to form a “closed loop” or circular supply chain for electric vehicle batteries, from raw materials to recycling.

    The aim is to lower the cost of EVs by reducing the dependence on imported materials, while also narrowing the environmental impact from mining and refining of battery materials.

    Ford and Redwood will work closely with Korean battery maker SK Innovation, which has a joint venture with Ford called BlueOvalSK to make EV battery cells in the United States, Ford executive Lisa Drake said at a media briefing…

    The issue of battery life-cycle management has taken on increasing importance in the plans of both vehicle and battery manufacturers.

    General Motors Co President Mark Reuss, at a conference on Tuesday, said recycling and reuse of EV battery materials is a crucial issue for the auto industry as it ramps up production of electric vehicles.

  • September 29, 2021 - For Self-Driving Cars, the Hot New Technology Is… Radar -

    Radar, which bounces radio waves off objects—the term was born as an acronym for “radio detection and ranging”—has been used on some first-generation safety systems in vehicles since the 1990s. Automotive radar systems have a number of advantages. They’re tough enough to survive years of jostling and temperature swings when mounted on cars. They’re much, much less expensive than lidar, good at instantaneously measuring the velocity of objects, and able to peer through the kinds of inclement weather, like fog and rain, that can foil both cameras and lidar systems. But they have until recently had one major drawback: They have only a fraction of the resolution of those other systems, which means in essence that the images they produce are much blurrier.

  • September 28, 2021 - FedEx Partners With Self-Driving Car Startup Aurora in Texas -

    Aurora Innovation Inc. will help move cargo for FedEx Corp. in a pilot project in Texas that uses the startup’s technology in a self-driving Paccar Inc. truck. The arrangement marks FedEx’s first trial of autonomous driving.

    The vehicles will carry several loads a week for FedEx between Dallas and Houston, with a safety driver behind the wheel and a co-pilot in the passenger seat. The trucks will make the 500-mile (about 800 kilometers) round trips along the Interstate Highway 45 corridor, the companies said Wednesday…

    FedEx is playing catch-up in autonomous driving to rival, United Parcel Service Inc., which took a stake in startup TuSimple in 2019 and has been testing the technology since then.

    The Aurora-FedEx venture’s first delivery runs will start this week and the package giant will own the vehicles, Sterling said.

    Aurora plans to launch a full commercial trucking business, which won’t use safety drivers, in late 2023.

  • September 28, 2021 - Is Self-Driving Technology The Best Thing To Hit Pittsburgh Since Steel? Local Business Groups Think So -

    Major economic development groups in Pittsburgh recently released a hefty report that outlines a plan for turning southwestern Pennsylvania into a global powerhouse in the autonomous mobile systems industry…

    The technology itself is also relevant, Carnegie Mellon civil and environmental engineering professor Corey Harper noted. And it remains an open question how autonomous vehicles will impact communities, he said. Passengers could use the vehicles as part of a more accessible and efficient transit system – or the vehicles could overcrowd roadways and impede public transportation systems.

    “One thing we don’t want to do is make some of the same mistakes we made in the past,” Harper said. The interstate highway system, he noted, uprooted entire communities when it cut through predominantly low-income and minority neighborhoods.

    This time around, he said, “We want to make sure that we’re not … exacerbating social inequalities that already exist in our transportation system. There’s a big need for input and engagement from community organizations.”

  • September 28, 2021 - CCC Data Shows Collision Repairs 3% More Expensive For Electric Vehicles -

    Auto body repairs to late-model electric vehicles after minor collisions cost about 3% more than for gasoline cars, even though less time is required for the work.

    Customers are also less likely to be satisfied with electric vehicle repairs, while replacement parts are more expensive and will more likely have to be purchased from the original equipment manufacturer. On the other hand, electric cars are more likely to be able to drive away after a collision.

    Those were among the findings in CCC Intelligent Solutions’ first-ever side-by-side analysis of repair costs for electric vehicles compared to repair costs for the gasoline-powered version of the same model. CCC industry analyst Susanna Gotsch examined one year of data from direct repair program appraisals for repairs to non-luxury small cars, each one to three years old, submitted for crashes that the vehicle was able to drive away from.

  • September 28, 2021 - GM reveals three new Ultium motors for future EVs -

    General Motors Co. President Mark Reuss revealed three new motors for the automaker’s Ultium-based electric vehicles Tuesday at the 2021 Mackinac Policy Conference.

    The motors — a 180-kilowatt front-drive motor, a 255-kW rear and front-drive motor, and a 62-kW all-wheel-drive assist motor — are designed in-house by GM and “built as a scalable family, sharing design principles as well as similar tooling and manufacturing strategies,” GM said…

    GM used artificial intelligence and machine learning to determine the most efficient ways to distribute torque in three-motor systems. And the software on GM’s EV motors can be reused in other applications from a complete lineup of vehicles to power electronics components like the power inverter module.


    The U.S. National Science Foundation has awarded the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) and Georgia Tech Research Cooperation a $1 million grant to pilot an On-Demand Multimodal Transit System Solution (ODMTS).

    The Civic Innovation Challenge Award supports community-based initiatives to address mobility and disaster challenges.

    ODMTS is a hybrid of traditional public transit and ride-sharing that offers real-time routing that fills in service gaps left by a fixed bus route, according to a MARTA press release. Instead of waiting at a traditional bus stop, a person needing a ride to the grocery store could use a smartphone app to summon a vehicle to a nearby location also picking up other passengers nearby.

  • September 27, 2021 - Airbus Takes The Next Step Toward eVTOL Progress -

    As part of its “Pioneering Sustainable Aerospace” summit earlier this week, Airbus announced plans for its CityAirbus NextGen urban air mobility (UAM) aircraft. The fully electric, four-seat, V-tail fixed-wing aircraft is configured with eight motors optimizing the “distributed propulsion” advantage. Perhaps most to its credit, the new program combines data and experience from Airbus’s 242 flight and ground tests with two lead-in designs—the Vahana and the first-generation CityAirbus program.

    Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters, said, “We have learned a lot from the test campaigns with our two demonstrators. The CityAirbus NextGen combines the best from both worlds with the new architecture striking the right balance between hover and forward flight. The prototype is paving the way for certification expected around 2025.”

    Initial performance targets are a modest 43-NM range flying at 65 knots’ cruise speed, said Airbus. Low noise signature is another, often underestimated, advantage of electric flight.

  • September 27, 2021 - A life and death question for regulators: Is Tesla’s Autopilot safe? -

    The current NHTSA investigation of Autopilot in effect reopens the question of whether the technology is safe. It represents the latest significant challenge for Elon Musk, the Tesla chief executive whose advocacy of driverless cars has helped his company become the world’s most valuable automaker…

    Musk has said a Tesla with eight cameras will be far safer than human drivers. But the camera technology is affected by darkness and sun glare as well as inclement weather conditions such as heavy rain, snow and fog, experts and industry executives say.

    “Today’s computer vision is far from perfect and will be for the foreseeable future,” said Raj Rajkumar, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.

  • September 27, 2021 - Three Ways AI Is Improving Assistive Technology -

    Accessible mobility is another challenge that assistive technology can help tackle. Through AI-powered running apps and suitcases that can navigate through entire airports, assistive technology is changing how we move and travel. One example is Project Guideline, a Google project helping individuals who are visually impaired navigate their way through roads and paths with an app that combines computer vision and a machine-learning algorithm to aid the runner alongside a pre-designed path.

    Future runners and walkers may one day navigate roads and sidewalks unaccompanied by guide dogs or sighted guides, gaining autonomy and confidence while accomplishing everyday tasks and activities without hindrance. For instance, developed and spearheaded by Chieko Asakawa, a Carnegie Mellon Professor who is blind, CaBot is a navigation robot that uses sensor information to help avoid airport obstacles, alert someone to nearby stores and assist with required actions like standing in line at airport security checkpoints.

  • September 27, 2021 - FedEx to Spend $100 Million on Improving Delivery Vehicle Safety -

    FedEx Corp. plans to spend more than $100 million to improve delivery van safety and reduce costs from accidents, potentially dragging on short-term earnings as the courier faces pressure from rising wages and other expenses.

    The company’s ground unit is offering $1,500 per vehicle to reimburse its contractors for installing cameras and sensors that warn drivers of obstacles or other vehicles, according to documents viewed by Bloomberg News. The unit’s contractors operate about 72,000 vehicles, FedEx said.

    “As e-commerce continues to drive substantial growth in our industry, the number of resources needed to meet this demand is increasing, which requires even greater focus on motor vehicle safety,” the Memphis, Tenn.-based company said by email.

  • September 27, 2021 - 10 teams from 21 universities compete for $1.5 million in Indy Autonomous Challenge -

    The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host the first autonomous racecar competition on October 23 with algorithms driving the cars instead of humans. College students are writing the software to power the cars.

    There are 10 teams representing 21 universities competing in the Indy Autonomous Challenge:

    AI Racing Tech – University of Hawai’i, University of California San Diego
    Autonomous Tiger Racing – Auburn University
    Black & Gold Autonomous Racing – Purdue University, United States Military Academy at West Point
    Cavalier Autonomous Racing – University of Virginia
    EuroRacing – University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy), University of Pisa (Italy), ETH Zürich (Switzerland), Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland)
    IUPUI-IITKGP-USB – Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (India), Universidad de San Buenaventura (Colombia)
    KAIST – Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (South Korea)
    MIT-PITT-RW – Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Pittsburgh, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Waterloo (Canada)
    PoliMOVE – Politecnico di Milano (Italy), University of Alabama
    TUM Autonomous Motorsport – Technische Universität München (Germany)

  • September 24, 2021 - Arm lays the groundwork for the software-defined vehicle -

    Cars are increasingly driven by code, from Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) to infotainment systems. Yet as these features and capabilities evolve, the software that needs to be developed, managed, deployed and updated becomes increasingly complex.

    Arm is leading a collaborative effort to build a common development framework for the software-defined car to solve this problem. It’s working with major technology and automotive partners to develop standards, software, developer resources, and specialized processing platforms designed for automotive applications’ safety and real-time needs…

    There are three key elements to Arm’s approach, starting with new software architecture and open-source reference implementation. Next, it includes new reference hardware platforms. The last element is close collaboration with partners including AWS, Continental, CARIAD and more.

    The new software architecture and the reference implementation is called SOAFEE (Scalable Open Architecture for Embedded Edge).

  • September 24, 2021 - Baidu Unveils Electric Robot Truck With Smart Cabin and Advanced Self-Driving Tech -

    The joint venture company established by Baidu and Lionbridge in 2020, called DeepWay, was intended to manufacture smart heavy-duty trucks for freight transportation. Its first-generation model was recently unveiled as a truck that delivers upgraded performance, high-level autonomy and an optimized interior.

    Xingtu, the robot-truck, boasts a computing power of over 500 Tera operations per second (TOPS), and an ultra-long range detection of more than 1 km (0.62 miles). It’s designed to support Level 3 self-driving on high-speed freight routes, and eventually go up to Level 4, in the following years. Besides a “highway intelligence system (HIS)”, Xingtu also features ten cameras, three infrared detectors and several radars…

    According to Baidu, DeepWay will manufacture this “smart new energy heavy-duty truck” in the near future, with the plan of bringing Level 4 self-driving technology to the China freight market.

  • September 24, 2021 - Rivian beats Tesla, GM and Ford to build the first electric pickup truck -

    There is a winner in the race to build the first consumer ready electric pickup truck, and it isn’t Tesla, Ford or General Motors.

    It’s Rivian. Who?
    The startup truck maker’s first R1T pickup come off the line in a former Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois on Tuesday, company CEO RJ Scaringe announced in a tweet…

    Rivian has also received necessary clearances from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board to start delivering R1Ts to all 50 states. Customers can only buy the trucks online, as there are no showrooms yet available to see or test drive the vehicle.

    The company said it is holding events around the country where customers can see the vehicles in person, and that buyers will have seven days or 1,000 miles to return the truck after it’s delivered.

  • September 24, 2021 - China rolls out autonomous driving standards as carmakers work towards making self-driving a reality -

    China’s six-level standards, called “Taxonomy of Driving Automation for Vehicles”, provides official definitions for self-driving cars from level zero (L0), which relies largely on human drivers, to L5 that achieves “full driving automation”.

    Before its introduction, local carmakers used the United States-based Society of Automotive Engineers’ (SAE) definition. While it is similar to the Chinese version, the mainland standards give technology a slightly larger role, experts said.

    The new criteria “provides a strong foundation for the future launch of relevant laws, regulations and mandatory classifications and a prerequisite for autonomous driving technology to commercialise its implementation on a large scale,” said Wang Zhenbo, analyst at automotive industry consultancy WAYS Information Technology…

    It was drafted by 11 major carmakers and suppliers, including Ford, BMW and Volkswagen’s China units as well as some domestic giants like Geely and GAC Group, and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) will oversee its adoption.

  • September 24, 2021 - Oshkosh invests in Carnegie Foundry to build upon autonomy and robotics capabilities -

    Oshkosh Corporation, a leading developer and manufacturer of mission-critical vehicles and essential equipment, and Carnegie Foundry, a robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) venture studio headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., announced a strategic partnership and Oshkosh Corporation investment in Carnegie Foundry to accelerate innovation in autonomy and robotics.

    Carnegie Foundry has an existing relationship with the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) at Carnegie Mellon University, a world leader in autonomous robotics and artificial intelligence. The new partnership will build upon this relationship and will complement Oshkosh’s ongoing work in autonomous vehicles and equipment.

  • September 22, 2021 - How Boston is embracing smart tech to make its roads safer, close the digital divide, and combat climate change -

    Partnerships with the many universities in the Boston area are essential in helping Boston reach its digital transformation goals. Esquivel said the city coordinates with local universities on research projects for students and to “answer some of the questions that we have.”

    Universities bring “extra capacity” in the form of skills, expertise, and even labor to help cities design and execute research studies, Daniel O’Brien, director of the Boston Area Research Initiative, told Insider.

    BARI is a multiuniversity partnership with the city that participates in urban research and public policy. The organization is housed at Northeastern University and each year hosts a conference to bring together researchers, policymakers, and community leaders.

    “We aim to identify opportunities for data technology to reshape communities in the 21st century,” O’Brien said. “We’re thinking about how do we use these tools to enhance the things we really care about in society, including equity, justice, democracy, sustainability, and resilience.”

  • September 22, 2021 - Ohio cuts ribbon on World’s Most Connected Highway: The 33 Smart Mobility Corridor -

    Scissors in hand, public and private sector partners from across Ohio and around the globe opened the world’s most connected highway Wednesday in central Ohio. The 33 Smart Mobility Corridor, a living lab of The Beta District, runs from the City of Dublin on the east end through the City of Marysville, past industry partner Honda’s manufacturing and vehicle development operations, and concludes at the gates of the Transportation Research Center (TRC) Inc. in East Liberty. The 33 Smart Mobility Corridor is the premier location for developing and testing smart mobility technology that has the potential to enhance safety, reduce congestion, and improve fuel economy.

  • September 22, 2021 - Route 33 Smart Mobility Corridor is live: Start your (connected) engines -

    The 33 Smart Mobility Corridor has gone live after five years of planning and development for testing connected-vehicle technology.

    State and local officials announced the opening of the project Wednesday at the Transportation Research Center in East Liberty – one anchor of the 35-mile stretch of state Route 33 through Marysville and Dublin. Crews have installed 432 strands of fiber-optic broadband cable in a redundant loop, plus 63 roadside units to communicate with onboard equipment on the first 200 vehicles of a planned 500…

    State and local government agencies and Ohio State University teamed up to win a $5.9 million federal grant for the project in 2016. The scope has since moved away from testing autonomous trucks in favor of equipment that can send safety and traffic alerts to drivers.

    Honda R&D Americas Inc., the research arm of Honda Motor Co., has deployed more than 200 connected vehicles on the corridor. Honda has extensive operations along the stretch.

  • September 22, 2021 - What would it take to power airliners with batteries? -

    Before that happens, the industry must overcome a very real technical problem: replacing turbine-driven airliners with similarly sized electric aircraft will require a monumental leap in battery technology.

    That’s the conclusion of several Carnegie Mellon University researchers who created hundreds of thousands of design iterations to determine the battery energy density required for electric versions of three aircraft classes: regional airliners, narrowbody jets and widebodies aircraft. The American Chemical Society published the results of the study in a 2020 paper called “Performance Metrics Required of Next-Generation Batteries to Electrify Commercial Aircraft”…

    Even small regional aircraft would need batteries with significantly more energy density than exists with today’s technology. Current-generation lithium-ion batteries have an energy density of about 250Wh/kg, according to the paper…

    Yet, it’s not until around energy density of 480Wh/kg that a significant number of regional aircraft designs start becoming viable, says Venkat Viswanathan, an associate professor in the department of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon who co-authored the research.

  • September 22, 2021 - Volocopter teams with Urban Movement Labs to explore Los Angeles market -

    The German eVTOL developer announced the collaboration this week, along with its upcoming presence at the CoMotion LA conference in November. According to a press release, its work with Urban Movement Labs will help inform a policy framework that envisions urban air mobility (UAM) “as a safe, sustainable, and equitable multi-modal transportation component in Los Angeles” — part of the UAM Partnership that Urban Movement Labs announced in December 2020…

    “We are executing a community-first strategy to engage with community-based organizations and inform a policy framework that will guide the development of UAM infrastructure in the City of Los Angeles,” explained Sam Morrissey, Urban Movement Labs executive director. “Through our partnership with Volocopter we can explore specific pilot projects to advance a future UAM network that reflects what we hear from Angelenos and establishes standards for future UAM operation.”

  • September 21, 2021 - Longest AV Shuttle Route in North America Launches in Canada -

    Whitby, a township near Toronto, has launched a 6-kilometer (roughly 3.7 miles) AV shuttle route along its waterfront, making the route the longest in North America. Known as the Whitby Autonomous Vehicle Electric (WAVE), the pilot project has entered its testing phase, and will begin service with transit riders later this year…

    The pilot represents the first of its kind in Canada to integrate an AV shuttle with an existing transit service and smart infrastructure, and will function as a learning opportunity to study the operational, financial and technical integration of autonomous and transit systems.

    One area of study, said Austin, is to examine how effectively AVs can be used to extend transit service into areas with less housing and business density, which are not always suitable for large, fixed-route buses.

  • September 21, 2021 - Why We Can’t Afford to Ignore the Needs of Non-Drivers With Disabilities -

    People with disabilities who don’t drive are being left behind by accessibility efforts that ignore their unique and diverse needs — and centering them can carry benefits for everyone, a new study argues.

    After interviewing more than a hundred Washington state residents with mobility challenges who can’t or don’t use a car, researchers at the Disability Rights Washington found that respondents “overwhelmingly” cited “the poor condition or absence of sidewalks” as the biggest barrier to getting where they needed to go, followed closely by problems with curb cuts, crosswalks and intersections.

    What they want: Frequent and reliable fixed-route transit; zoning changes to make a range of accessible housing options abundant in well-connected neighborhoods; and a revamped planning processes to center the needs of non-drivers.

  • September 21, 2021 - Walmart picks up Argo AI for retailer’s first multi-city autonomous delivery service -

    Walmart Inc., the world’s largest retailer, is looking to start delivering goods autonomously to customers, and it’s partnering with Pittsburgh-based autonomous vehicle (AV) company Argo AI and the Ford Motor Co. to do so.

    When it launches as a pilot program in Austin, Texas, Miami and Washington, D.C. later this year, the new service will be the first in the nation that spans multiple cities, Argo AI said. The service will use modified Ford Escape vehicles equipped with Argo’s self-driving software and hardware to deliver goods and groceries to customers who request the service during checkout on Walmart.com.

    And while Walmart’s inventory includes items of varying sizes, only those that can fit in the back portion of the vehicle will be able to be delivered autonomously as Argo will have safety drivers in the front seats of the vehicles.

  • September 21, 2021 - NASA Lab Studies Sleepiness and Use of Automated Systems -

    Drowsy driving accounts for a large proportion of car crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. So, you might think self-driving cars would fix that. After all, computers just don’t get sleepy.

    But today’s vehicles are only partially automated, requiring the human driver to stay alert, monitor the road, and take over at a moment’s notice. A new study conducted by the Fatigue Countermeasures Lab at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley suggests this passive role can leave drivers more susceptible to sleepiness – especially when they’re sleep deprived.

    The research was carried out to help understand how humans interact with autonomous systems, such as those used in aircraft and in spaceflight systems. The findings will contribute to the agency’s research around the safe introduction of automation in aviation and the growing complexity of advanced systems. They also suggest drowsy drivers may be an important consideration for safe introduction of self-driving features in cars.

  • September 21, 2021 - Walmart, Ford, Argo announce plans to launch autonomous vehicle delivery service -

    Walmart, Ford and self-driving startup Argo AI are collaborating on a plan to deliver customer orders in autonomous vehicles.

    Using Ford’s vehicles, Argo’s self-driving technology and Walmart’s retail and customer base, the three companies plan to offer an autonomous vehicle delivery service in Miami; Austin, Texas; and Washington, D.C.

    Argo has headquarters in the Strip District, but Pittsburgh isn’t on the list of cities where the initial integration testing will roll out later this year.

    The partnership, announced Wednesday, is meant to speed up last-mile delivery service — the part of the delivery process where the product moves from a store or warehouse to a customer’s doorstep. The team-up will help each company learn how autonomous tech can play a role in customer’s expectations for next-day or same-day delivery, officials said.

    Argo, Ford and Lyft are partnering to deploy autonomous vehicles on ride-hail networks in Miami this year.

  • September 20, 2021 - Whether Coding Bootcamps Or College Programs Are The Future For Automotive Or Aerospace -

    According to a Mayuko – a YouTuber who frequently posts on the topic – there are bootcamp campuses in over 85 cities across the United States and Canada with 83% of graduates being employed in programming jobs with an average starting salary of just under $67,000 USD. On average, the tuition is $13,584 with programs taking approximately 15 weeks…

    And so the assumption is that the better money is spent on traditional, university programs where the experienced staff and defined coursework blaze a path toward enlightenment and stable earnings.

    Maybe so. Maybe not.

    According to US News and World Report, 2021’s top five universities for undergraduate degrees in Software Engineering are Carnegie Mellon University, MIT, UC-Berkeley, Georgia Tech and Illinois. The average out-of-state tuition for these fine institutions surpasses $45,400 per year, thereby ringing up a 4-year, total tab of nearly $250,000 after room, board, books, etc.

  • September 20, 2021 - CMU preps its fleet of autonomous robots for a search and rescue mission in final round of DARPA challenge -

    The challenge: Collect as many objects as possible in one hour while navigating a cave in Louisville, Ky.

    The goal: Create autonomous robots to help with search and rescue missions for military and first responders.

    The kicker: There’s only one operator and a fleet that could include a dozen robots, so the machines must be able to move and make decisions on their own.

    It’s hard enough to make autonomous robots useful above ground. This CMU team is trying to do it in the depths below.

    “At the heart of this challenge, it’s really a problem of exploration,” said Sebastian Scherer, the co-lead for CMU’s team and an associate research professor at the Robotics Institute. “You’re going into an environment that you’ve never been into, so with that comes a lot of uncertainty and the robot needs to be able to decide what do I do when I face uncertainty.”

  • September 20, 2021 - GM invests in Oculii, radar software maker for self-driving cars -

    General Motors Co’s venture capital arm has invested millions of dollars in Oculii, a U.S. startup maker of software for radar sensors used in self-driving cars, Oculii co-founder Steven Hong said.

    GM can use Oculii’s low-cost software to boost the resolution of radars and scale up its partially automated vehicles and full self-driving cars, he told Reuters in an interview…

    Tesla Inc eliminated radar sensors from its volume models this year, rekindling questions about the safety and performance of its advanced driver assistant system.

    Radars, which measure the distance between objects, enable a car to accelerate or brake to match its speed with that of the vehicle in front. Radars also work well in adverse lighting and weather conditions.

  • September 20, 2021 - Robotic vehicle firm plans manufacturing facility -

    A robotics company that produces driverless vehicles for grocery, pizza and prescription deliveries said Aug. 26 it intends to spend $40 million to put a manufacturing facility and test track in the Las Vegas area.

    Nuro, a firm founded in 2016 and based in Mountain View, California, announced it will build the manufacturing plant for the company’s next-generation autonomous vehicle in North Las Vegas and its closed test track at the nearby Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

  • September 20, 2021 - Enterprise Teaming With Microsoft on Connected Car Technology -

    Enterprise Holdings announced an expanded partnership with Microsoft to bring connected car technology to the company’s car rental, exotic vehicles and commercial truck rental fleets in the United States.

    The car rental giant has already added the technology to hundreds of thousands of vehicles, with as many as 350,000 vehicles expected to be connected by the end of the year. The company plans to fully convert its U.S. fleet to connected vehicles over the next five years…

    Enterprise Holdings believes connected car technology enhances the overall customer experience through streamlining tasks, including checking fuel levels, odometer readings and improving the check-in and checkout processes.

    Through onboard sensors, connected cars have the technology to share specified vehicle information to Enterprise’s systems, which streamlines communications with connected vehicles from its Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) partners.


    In the end, how do we take advantage of technology in the field of bridge asset management and inspection?

    Have a plan in place. Where will the drone be most effective and what is the end goal for the drone? Is it something that an inspector could not accomplish?

    How will this be used in future asset management? For overall structure modeling, specific defect tracking, or maybe gaining access to specific locations?

    Understand the end documentation goal. How will files be organized and post-processed? Do clients want to see or use the digital twin model for asset management, rehabilitation, or new design purposes?

    Ensure the bridge and site are both put to consideration. Will it be possible for the drone to obtain the data inspectors and engineers need given potential site constraints such as traffic or weather?

  • September 17, 2021 - Wabtec, Genesee & Wyoming, Carnegie Mellon form consortium for rail sustainability effort -

    Pittsburgh-based Wabtec Corp.; Carnegie Mellon University, known for its engineering curriculum; and shortline and regional railroad operator Genesee & Wyoming announced Friday, Sept. 10, that they have signed a memorandum of understanding to work to create a more sustainable rail freight network.

    The parties will work on two fronts — developing locomotive fleets using alternative energy sources such as batteries and hydrogen fuel cells, and advancing current signaling and digital technologies to increase rail capacity and safety.

    Elected officials and other speakers hailed the effort as a first step toward “decarbonizing rail freight transport.” U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-Pa.) noted Pennsylvania’s longstanding transportation leadership role, from the Main Line of Public Works canal-and-rail system of the 1830s to the consummate railroad town, Altoona, Pa., which once employed 16,000 workers in the Pennsylvania Railroad shops complex there.

  • September 17, 2021 - Locomation convoy plan doubles down on autonomous trucking challenge -

    Autonomous trucking startup Locomation is pursuing with two Class 8 trucks what others are trying to accomplish with one: ultimately operating without a driver in either cab.

    The 3-year-old company is based in Pittsburgh, home of Carnegie Mellon University, a launch point for many of the brightest minds in robot cars and trucks. Founder Cetin Mericli is one of that group…

    TuSimple (NASDAQ: TSP) and other Level 4 high-autonomy competitors are focused on robot trucks that eventually will have no human driver in the cab. Locomation is literally doubling down on that, starting with its human-guided autonomous convoy.

    The company eschews the term platooning, which has been used for decades to describe leader-follower trucking, Locomation expects to launch the first of four phases — 250 pairs of trucks and drivers — in 2022, with 60,000 Locomation-equipped trucks by 2025.

  • September 17, 2021 - Your Batteries Are Due for Disruption -

    The battery, built by a California start-up, Sila, provided the tiny fitness tracker with more power than older batteries while maintaining the same battery life…

    While he said this approach gave Sila a significant advantage over his many competitors, Dr. Viswanathan, the Carnegie Mellon professor, said other companies were taking different routes to refining the way lithium-ion batteries are built.

    Companies like Sila and QuantumScape already have partnerships with carmakers and expect that their batteries will reach automobiles around the middle of the decade. They hope their technologies significantly reduce the cost of electric cars and extend their driving range.

    “If we want to get electric cars into the mainstream, we have to get them down to the $30,000 price point,” said Mr. Singh, the QuantumScape chief executive. “You can’t do that with today’s batteries.”

  • September 17, 2021 - Rise of the Smart Trailer -

    Advances in telematics and data analytics are redefining the technology-enabled freight trailer.

    The proliferation of inexpensive sensor tags, cameras and data collection hubs combined with real-time reporting and the transition to faster wireless networks have greatly enhanced trailer monitoring capabilities.

    These changes are driving a new generation of “smart” trailers that are gathering far more data and business intelligence than just a few years ago.

    And with that has come a significant shift in how fleets can manage, measure, allocate and optimize an asset that was once dismissed as “just a dumb box” but is now increasingly recognized as a key factor in supply chain velocity — one that is ripe for improvement.

  • September 15, 2021 - Cities Have New Tool to Improve Transportation Data Privacy -

    New forms of mobility, and the growth of movement and other data generated and collected by the thousands of bikes, scooters, ride-hailing vehicles and even delivery bots, has led to new concerns around personal privacy.

    As such, the Mobility Data Collaborative — made up of public- and private-sector organizations, in partnership with the Future of Privacy Forum — has developed a new tool to help cities navigate the shifting world of transportation data.

    “The main goal of this is to enable mobility data sharing, but in a responsible way that takes into consideration individual privacy, which may or may not be regulated by privacy laws, depending on the jurisdiction,” said Chelsey Colbert, policy counsel at the Future of Privacy Forum. “It also takes into consideration community interests and community equities, and encourages that transparency to the public.”

  • September 15, 2021 - Driverless cars to arrive on European streets next year -

    From next year, you’ll be able to ride in a driverless car in Europe. It won’t be driven by a lidar-equipped computer, however, but piloted remotely by a human ‘teledriver’ sitting in a control room somewhere distant.

    This, at least, is the vision of Vay, a Berlin-based startup that is today emerging from stealth mode to unveil its plans for the future of mobility.

    Its concept is a way of getting at least some of the benefits of autonomous vehicles out to customers faster, says Thomas von der Ohe, cofounder and CEO.

    Vay hasn’t yet revealed which city it will roll out the service in first — but says it has been working with regulators in multiple cities, and is “super close” to receiving the necessary permissions to roll out a fully-remote fleet. It’s been testing the technology for two years on Berlin streets, with safety drivers still present in the cars.

  • September 15, 2021 - Nissan tests an EV motor-magnet recycling breakthrough -

    Nissan and Waseda University in Tokyo have been working together since 2017, and today, they announced that they are starting the testing of a recycling process that recovers high-purity, rare-earth compounds from electric vehicle motor magnets…

    Nissan claims that it’s been able to recover 98% of a motor’s rare-earth elements using their new recycling process.

    The automaker also says the method slashes the recovery process by around 50%, compared to the current method, because there is no need to demagnetize, remove, or take apart the magnets.

    Nissan is aiming to launch its new recycling process by mid-decade.

  • September 15, 2021 - There is no Li-ion battery recycling standard, but that may be about to change -

    Lithium-ion battery development and production is rapidly escalating worldwide, yet there’s no standard when it comes to battery designs, materials, and chemistries. And that affects the ability to recycle Li-ion batteries – a vital final stage of their life cycle. But this may be about to change in the US.

    The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory yesterday announced that it’s signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), which represents US energy storage manufacturers. Or as NEMA describes itself, “We are the US electroindustry.”

    Under the MOU, Argonne and NEMA will work together to develop recycling standards for Li-ion batteries in order to help manufacturers understand what materials and designs will be more recyclable. To date, manufacturers have focused on producing Li-ion batteries cheaply and efficiently, so they now need to turn their attention to batteries’ end-of-life.

  • September 15, 2021 - Hyperloop prototype to be built, tested in Colorado -

    A new testing facility for an experimental transportation technology known as hyperloop is set for Pueblo, Colorado.

    Swiss-American startup Swisspod recently announced an agreement with Transportation Technology Center Inc. (TTCI) to build and test a full-scale prototype of its hyperloop system at a facility near the city.

    TTCI will provide engineering insight and operational and test plan support. The partnership with TTCI will advance Swisspod’s global expansion strategy, company officials said…

    The test track in Pueblo will study Swisspod’s technology patents that are part of the hyperloop’s propulsion system. Swisspod will also build a full-scale capsule and operational infrastructure for cargo transportation at the site.

    TTCI is a railroad equipment testing and training facility located in Pueblo and is a subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads.

    The test track will be built at the 23,000-acre PuebloPlex, a decommissioned U.S. Army chemical depot on land about 20 miles east of Pueblo.

  • September 14, 2021 - Autonomous driving tech causes alarm in China following fatal NIO car accident, but experts say training mitigates risks -

    Drivers in mainland China are looking at driver-assistance systems with jaundiced eyes following a fatal car accident that has sparked debate about the possible misuse of the technology meant to be a pit stop on the way to fully autonomous driving.

    As police continue to investigate the case involving electric carmaker NIO’s Navigation on Pilot (NOP) system, mounting worries about safety could put a dent in electric vehicle (EV) sales despite the accelerated pace of EV adoption in China.

    Industry officials and analysts remain unfazed, however, saying better education for drivers could help avoid tragic accidents and offer more time to leading players like Tesla and Shanghai-based NIO to develop next-generation autonomous driving…

    The accident that has captured the nation’s attention happened on Aug 12, when a 31-year-old entrepreneur was killed while driving NIO’s ES8 SUV. The accident occurred while the NOP system was turned on, NIO said in a statement.

  • September 14, 2021 - This Company Has The Battery Technology To Beat Tesla -

    In association with its manufacturing partner EVE Energy in China and Warwick University in the UK, StoreDot has created these prototype cells with silicon-dominant chemistry in the 4680 format that can be charged to 100% in just 10 minutes. This would make “refueling” a battery-electric vehicle take around the same time as an internal combustion one and solve one of the issues that currently makes some people think hydrogen might be a better solution (despite its many other drawbacks). Imagine arriving at a recharging spot in your Tesla Model S Plaid and driving away 10 minutes later with 390 miles of range available again. There would be no impediment at all to driving extremely long distances.

  • September 14, 2021 - In 8 US states, Apple will begin storing driver’s licenses on the iPhone -

    Apple is rolling out the ability to add driver’s licenses and state IDs to the Wallet app on the iPhone and Apple Watch in select US states, the company announced this week.

    The first states to introduce this functionality will be Arizona and Georgia, but Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah will follow. However, neither the states nor Apple have said exactly when the rollouts will begin other than giving a general fall 2021 target…

    Much of Apple’s newsroom post announcing the new driver’s license or state ID feature focuses on one specific use case: airports. The post highlights quotes from the Transportation Security Agency supporting the move and a commitment from the TSA to accept digital IDs at airports in participating states.

  • September 14, 2021 - Why Tesla Is Designing Chips to Train Its Self-Driving Tech -

    At a promotional event last month, Tesla revealed details of a custom AI chip called D1 for training the machine-learning algorithm behind its Autopilot self-driving system. The event focused on Tesla’s AI work and featured a dancing human posing as a humanoid robot the company intends to build.

    Tesla is the latest nontraditional chipmaker to design its own silicon. As AI becomes more important and costly to deploy, other companies that are heavily invested in the technology—including Google, Amazon, and Microsoft—also now design their own chips…

    “If you believe that the solution to autonomous driving is training a large neural network, then what followed was exactly the kind of vertically integrated strategy you’d need,” says Chris Gerdes, director of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford, who attended the Tesla event.

  • September 14, 2021 - Opensignal clocks New York as fastest state for 5G downloads -

    The state of New York has the fastest 5G download speeds, according to an Opensignal analysis looking at the 5G experience across 50 U.S. states, with other East Coast locations rounding out the top five.

    New York came in at 114 Mbps, the only one to surpass the 100 Mbps benchmark. It was followed by Maryland (99.8 Mbps), New Jersey (98.3 Mbps), Virginia (92.3 Mbps) and Rhode Island (89.4 Mbps)…

    “Our data therefore suggests that mobile operators have been focusing on deploying their 5G networks in highly-populated states where the vast majority of the population lives in urban areas,” wrote Opensignal in its analysis. “This means people in less populated states, or those with a significant rural population like Maine and West Virginia, will likely have to wait further before seeing 5G bridge the urban-rural mobile experience divide.”

  • September 13, 2021 - Pothole predicting programme and self-healing roads spearhead National Highways digital revolution -

    A virtual twin of the road network that can predict the time and location of potholes and other maintenance issues is just one of the innovations poised to transform National Highways’ future operations.

    Other initiatives that could lead the charge on a digital revolution for roads include intelligent road materials able to repair themselves and more connected and autonomous plant.

    These are some of the systems set to be rolled out as part of National Highways’ Digital Roads strategy which is being outlined today on a new website and ‘virtual learning environment’…

    The road twinning system is being developed in collaboration with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the EU MSCA COFUND programme, Costain and the University of Cambridge.

    It will combine ‘live’ data from intelligent materials in the existing road surface with a digital twinning system that visualises the road and its condition will identify when maintenance work is needed, with roads able to repair themselves using self-healing materials.

  • September 13, 2021 - Toyota looks to lead world in smart city tech with focus on mobility -

    Toyota Motor Corp. is aiming to become a world leader in smart city technology with its ambitious project to build Woven City, a fully-connected, human-centered city at the base of Mt. Fuji.

    The coronavirus pandemic has prompted a rethink of how people move and live, and reinforced the need to create technology that supports “happy, healthy” human life, Toyota Chief Digital Officer James Kuffner said…

    For countries like Japan, it is an urgent task to address the challenges posed by the graying of society such as mobility and healthy living. In Woven City, autonomous buses will transport people and smart homes with sensors will check the health of their residents.

    Sustainability is also another key theme across the globe in the struggle for decarbonization to bring carbon dioxide emissions to net zero before or by 2050.

  • September 13, 2021 - Volkswagen CEO: smart cars, not e-cars, are ‘gamechanger’ -

    Volkswagen head Herbert Diess on Sunday said autonomous cars, not electric vehicles, were the “real gamechanger” for the auto industry, which is facing the end of combustion engines in Europe by 2035.

    Diess’ comments signal the pace at which the 62-year old tries to transform Europe’s largest carmaker by basically saying that the shift towards battery-powered electric vehicles (EV), which still needs to be backed up by actual sales, was sealed.

    “Autonomous driving is really going to change our industry like nothing else before,” Diess said in Munich ahead of the official opening of the IAA car show, adding the shift towards electrified cars was “kind of easy” in comparison.

    “The real gamechanger is software and autonomous driving.”…

    He also wants to make software services for autonomous cars a key pillar of the group’s future business, which is why Volkswagen has bought into self-driving software startup Argo AI, a competitor to Alphabet Inc’s Waymo.

  • September 13, 2021 - 3 cities enter accelerator program to help achieve 100% zero-emissions commercial vehicles by 2030 -

    Dive Brief:

    The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the International Council on Clean Transportation and other nonprofits and industry groups have awarded Chicago, San Diego and San Jose, California, each with a $100,000 grant to support local partners working to achieve 100% zero-emissions commercial vehicles in their cities by 2030…

    Chicago aims to achieve zero-emissions commercial vehicles in “overburdened communities” through its Drive Clean Chicago program, a cargo e-bike pilot and an incentive program to encourage businesses to transition to electric fleets.

    San Diego leaders will create a medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicle infrastructure blueprint that transitions decision-making power to the communities most impacted by diesel pollution while identifying obstacles and solutions in the move toward electric vehicles.

    San Jose, California, will design a zero-emissions neighborhood pilot program, launch an equity task force that includes local residents, aim to pass a “zero emissions resolution” with the city council and establish an urban freight working group with private-sector partners.

  • September 13, 2021 - Autonomous trackless trams for up to 307 passengers to commence testing in Cyberjaya from January -

    A trackless tram system, known as an automated rapid transit (ART) system will run in Cyberjaya as a pilot programme for a period of three months from January 2022, a report by The Vibes quoted Sepang municipal council president Datuk Abd Hamid Hussain as saying.

    The pilot running of the ART will be conducted along Persiaran Rimba Permai and Persiaran Bestari as a test of the trackless trams’ capabilities, as well as to demonstrate the use of green technology, the municipal council president said. This trackless tram can accommodate up to 307 passengers at once, travel at a top speed of 70 km/h and can be operated both manually with a driver or autonomously, said Hamid.

    “The three-carriage green vehicle as public transportation suits the council’s vision of low-carbon and smart city concept well, as it offers green mobility,” Hamid said, adding that trackless trams could be the future of public transport in Cyberjaya;

  • September 10, 2021 - Rainbow road sign film would be easier for autonomous vehicles to read -

    Even outside of fully autonomous vehicles, traffic sign recognition has been part of driver assistance systems for over a decade. Normally the technology is based on recognizing colors or shapes of signs, but it doesn’t always get it right in the real world, where readability can be affected by lighting, weather, obstacles, damage, or something as simple as stickers on the sign.

    So for the new study a team of researchers investigated a promising new material that could make the job easier. It’s a new form of retroreflective material, already commonly used to highlight signs and road markings by bouncing light from a vehicle’s headlights straight back at a driver. But rather than focus that light, the new material scatters it to create eye-catching patterns.

    It’s called a microscale concave interface (MCI) and is made up of a thin film of tiny polymer spheres embedded in tape.

  • September 10, 2021 - Tesla must deliver Autopilot crash data to federal auto safety watchdog by October 22 -

    A professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, Phil Koopman, characterized NHTSA’s data request as “really sweeping.”

    He noted that the agency asked for information about Tesla’s entire Autopilot-equipped fleet, encompassing cars, software and hardware Tesla sold from 2014 to 2021 (not just the 12 vehicles involved in the emergency responder crashes).

    He said, “This is an incredibly detailed request for huge amounts of data. But it is exactly the type of information that would be needed to dig in to whether Tesla vehicles are acceptably safe.”

    The National Transportation Safety Board, another federal safety watchdog, has called on NHTSA to impose stricter standards on automated vehicle tech including Tesla Autopilot.

  • September 10, 2021 - Cruise Engineers Balance Safety With Experimentation In The Pursuit of Autonomous Vehicles -

    On the surface, the concept of a self-driving car seems deceptively simple. But after a decade of splashy announcements and enormous investments from Silicon Valley’s most influential organizations, few people understand the dichotomy between the idea and its execution better than Mohamed Elshenawy. As senior vice president of engineering teams at autonomous vehicle company Cruise, he spends his working life neck-deep in the challenges that come from building a self-driving car…

    While some self-driving contenders have opted to test their technology on quieter roads in the hopes of solving “easier” driving conditions before venturing into complex urban driving, Cruise has jumped straight into the deep end — in this case, the hilly streets of its hometown. The theory goes that once you’ve solved city driving — with its construction sites, pedestrians, cyclists and haphazard traffic — it will be easier to scale out and expand the service elsewhere.

    To support its engineering work, Cruise has organized its teams around the concept of psychological safety.

  • September 10, 2021 - Your Next Car May Be Built With Ocean Rocks. Scientists Can’t Agree If That’s Good -

    As the global push for electric transportation grows, these metals have converted a remote underwater plain into a battleground over the hard decisions required to address climate change. A nascent industry of deep sea mining is growing to harvest these rocks. The industry’s first commercial mining applications may be filed in as little as two years despite incomplete regulations and unsettled science about mining’s effects.

    Industry proponents say deep sea mining is more environmentally friendly than land-based mining, making it the best option in the face of looming mineral shortages for electric vehicles and a tight timeline to decarbonize transit. Marine and climate scientists counter that there’s scant data on the deep sea to gauge potential consequences for oceanic biodiversity and carbon sequestration, and that it would take decades of study to get a holistic assessment.

  • September 10, 2021 - Aurora parks itself in Pittsburgh, now its sole corporate headquarters -

    Aurora Innovation Inc. announced it will be adopting Pittsburgh as its sole corporate headquarters, dropping its dual headquarters status with Mountain View, California, as the autonomous vehicle company races to go public toward the end of the year.

    As part of that announcement, Aurora also said it will be donating $65,000 to fund STEM-related requests solicited from Allegheny County teachers via the DonorsChoose platform to further support future generations of those looking to enter the science and technology industry.

    “With its incredible universities and focus on innovation, Pittsburgh has been home to Aurora since we were founded and we’re committed to continued growth right here in this community,” said Aurora VP of Government Relations Gerardo Interiano in a prepared statement. “With a firm belief in the future of this city and its workforce, we’re excited to have our corporate headquarters here and be making a donation that will help fund the city’s next generation of technologists and roboticists.”

  • September 8, 2021 - Amazon’s favorite electric vehicle company is going public at a very tricky time -

    Late last week, Rivian filed for an initial public offering. The 12-year-old electric vehicle manufacturer, which is backed by Amazon and considered one of the biggest threats to Tesla, is seeking a valuation as high as $80 billion…

    But as the world continues to struggle with the pandemic, Rivian faces some serious challenges. A shortage of semiconductors has caused delays and production halts across the auto industry. There also aren’t that many charging stations available across the US, leaving some potential EV buyers worried about running out of juice.

    “It’s a big deal that more public infrastructure is available,” Jeremy Michalek, an engineering and public policy professor at Carnegie Mellon, told Recode.” Probably the first priority is making sure there are enough fast chargers available on highway rest stops so that you can take your vehicle wherever you want to go.”

  • September 8, 2021 - Self-Driving Car Industry, Promising Safety, Pushes Back on DOT Plan to Regulate Testing -

    A cross section of representatives of autonomous vehicle companies demanded that the city Department of Transportation loosen proposed rules that would require driverless cars to operate “more safely than a human driver” before they can be tested on the mean streets of this town.

    At a hearing on Wednesday, about a half-dozen autonomous car makers and their advocates said the proposed rules would turn New York City from an engine of innovation into a backwater that would set back the evolution of the potentially life-saving technology of computer-controlled cars and trucks that can move around without inferior human beings messing everything up.

  • September 8, 2021 - L.A. Prepares to Welcome First Test Fleet of Robotaxis -

    Hyundai and Motional are working closely together to integrate hardware — sensors and the car itself — with a driverless software system. The Ioniq 5 will be fitted with 30 sensors including radar, lidar (which is like radar but uses laser beams in place of radio waves), ultrasound and cameras. “A lot of people think autonomy is just a software game, but integration with a vehicle is a complex task,” said Motional Chief Executive Karl Iagnemma.

    The main reason for Motional’s L.A. expansion, though, is the need to attract scarce technical talent. “When most people think of Los Angeles, they think of Hollywood. I think of engineers,” Iagnemma said. “Some of the best machine learning engineers are in L.A.”

    Of course, there are even more of them in Silicon Valley, where Motional is also setting up its first research and development office. But recruitment of the limited number of machine learning specialists there is highly competitive.

  • September 8, 2021 - Millions of electric car batteries will retire in the next decade. What happens to them? -

    A tsunami of electric vehicles is expected in rich countries, as car companies and governments pledge to ramp up their numbers – there are predicted be 145m on the roads by 2030. But while electric vehicles can play an important role in reducing emissions, they also contain a potential environmental timebomb: their batteries.

    By one estimate, more than 12m tons of lithium-ion batteries are expected to retire between now and 2030.

    Not only do these batteries require large amounts of raw materials, including lithium, nickel and cobalt – mining for which has climate, environmental and human rights impacts – they also threaten to leave a mountain of electronic waste as they reach the end of their lives.

    As the automotive industry starts to transform, experts say now is the time to plan for what happens to batteries at the end of their lives, to reduce reliance on mining and keep materials in circulation.

  • September 8, 2021 - How electric autonomous planes could change the logistics industry -

    Will fleets of hybrid-electric ghost planes replace trucks as the delivery’s dominant vehicle? Stan Caldwell, Carnegie Mellon University’s Adjunct Associate Professor of Transportation and Public Policy, thinks it’s feasible. “We’re seeing rapid increase in serious consideration of drones for freight delivery, especially last-mile freight,” he says. ‘Last mile’ is the part of a delivery process that reaches the consumer – normally from a distribution center. Some of the world’s biggest retailers and logistics companies – like Google, UPS and DHL – are already experimenting with drone delivery.

    Caldwell thinks delivery systems are becoming less centralized through a few companies, aiding the drone logistics boom. There are many players on the market. “Distribution of systems is a trend in the freight industry. Walmart has delivery drones, and next, your local independent grocery store gets its own.”

  • September 7, 2021 - Autos and semiconductors are at the heart of the global supply chain crisis. Here is what experts say is next for the pivotal sectors. -

    But there is a bright side: necessity is breeding invention, especially in the chip-starved auto sector. Companies like Ford are trying to find opportunities in developing a built-to-order business model, one that might be more resilient to external crunches.

    Toyota, likewise, is re-evaluating the merits of its “just in time” business, which tries to maximize efficiency by having all parts delivered only when they are needed and not a moment sooner.

    “Toyota is the best-known company for the just-in-time model,” said Soo-Haeng Cho, professor of operations management and strategy at Carnegie Mellon University. “Just-in-time is more doable when [companies] have local suppliers.”

    Toyota traditionally relied heavily on local Japanese suppliers, but as supply shifted to Chinese firms, the company became “more exposed to these kinds of disruptions,” Cho added.

  • September 7, 2021 - Chattanooga to Explore Smart City Research with NSF Funds -

    Chattanooga, Tenn., has already carved out a place for itself as a smart city focused on providing broadband connectivity to all of its residents and a pioneer in testing pedestrian safety and other smart transportation technologies.

    Now, the city is planning to initiate another smart city project. Researchers at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Center for Urban Informatics and Progress won a $1.37 million grant from the National Science Foundation to create a Test Bed as a Service on top of the city’s existing smart corridor in its downtown area. Researchers will be able to collect and share transportation data from the connected infrastructure…

    Now, the city will use the new grant money to create “Smart Corridor+” along the same stretch of roadway to study traffic flow, public safety and transportation, environmental impacts and other quality-of-life issues.

  • September 7, 2021 - Radical new electric bike drive system requires no chains or belts, entirely ride-by-wire -

    German company Schaeffler has just revealed an innovative new drive system for electric bicycles that eschews traditional bike chains and belts for an entirely electrical-driven system. The new system is known as the Schaeffler Free Drive and marks the entry of one of the most divergent electric bicycle drivetrains we’ve seen in years.

    The Free Drive, which was co-developed with electric bicycle drivetrain specialists Heinzmann, is based upon a generator installed at the bike’s bottom bracket.

    The rider’s pedaling action powers the generator and converts the energy from mechanical to electrical energy.

    That removes the need for any form of mechanical power delivery to the rear wheel, such as chains, belts, or driveshafts.

    Instead, the electricity is sent to the motor in the rear wheel, where it is converted back into mechanical energy to power the bike forwards. This “bike-by-wire” system is all controlled with CAN communications between the motor, battery, generator, and control electronics.

  • September 7, 2021 - Here’s the robotaxi that will be available on the Lyft app in 2023 -

    Motional, the autonomous vehicle company that is a joint venture between Hyundai and Aptiv, revealed more details about its forthcoming robotaxi as well as some of the first images of the vehicle. The company is also working with Lyft and says that by 2023, customers in certain cities will be able to hail rides in this vehicle using the Lyft app…

    The Ioniq 5 is an interesting choice for Motional’s robotaxi. Hyundai claims it has nearly 300 miles of range on a single charge and a two-way charging feature that can supply up to 3.6kW of power. It will also be built on Hyundai’s new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) that the automaker says will serve as the basis for an entire family of planned EVs.

    Motional says that E-GMP will provide “passengers with a spacious, comfortable place to work, relax, or socialize during their driverless ride.”

  • September 7, 2021 - CDOT Pledges To Track Air Quality As Part Of I-270 Rebuild, But Pollution-Choked Commerce City Residents Are Skeptical -

    The haze hung thick in the late June air as Joe Griffin, a Colorado Department of Transportation electrical tradesman, strapped a bread loaf-sized box to a signpost about 8 feet above Interstate 270 in Commerce City.

    Standing below, Gordon Pierce opened an app on his phone. A blue signal indicated the solar-powered air monitoring sensor was already connected.

    “It doesn’t take long,” said Pierce, a technical services program manager for the Air Pollution Control Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

    The two agencies have installed a series of sensors along the often-congested interstate in anticipation of its planned reconstruction and expansion. CDOT wants to expand the highway’s capacity and upgrade aging structures that weren’t designed to carry modern-sized trucks. The project could get underway in 2023 and last until 2026.

    The sensors will provide the state with enough detailed data to answer a “big burning question” for Pierce.

    “What’s the air quality like before versus after construction?”


    Urban Air Mobility manufacturers regularly face the challenge to argue how research, development, and certification costs of approximately USD 2 billion per certified aircraft should be financially attractive and reasonable. To answer this question, we spoke with Gary Gysin, CEO of Wisk, and Chris Brown, Communications Lead at Wisk. According to both, aircrafts need to become autonomous in order to reduce costs and allow attractive returns on investment from operation onward…

    In terms of the industry, we’ll most likely see the launch of cargo services, followed by passenger transport, starting with piloted and followed soon after by autonomous. Globally, we’ve seen that Asia has created an environment where Advance Air Mobility (AAM) will go to market first (e.g. China, South Korea, Singapore). However, the US, EMEA, and others will not be far behind that, on similar timelines.

  • September 6, 2021 - Hydrogen-powered vehicles may be key to cleaner energy -

    Within three years, General Motors, Navistar and the trucking firm J.B. Hunt plan to build fueling stations and run hydrogen trucks on several U.S. freeways. Toyota, Kenworth and the Port of Los Angeles have begun testing hydrogen trucks to haul goods from ships to warehouses.

    Volvo Trucks, Daimler Trucks AG and other manufacturers have announced partnerships, too. The companies hope to commercialize their research, offering zero-emissions trucks that save money and meet stricter pollution regulations.

    In Germany, a hydrogen-powered train began operating in 2018, and more are coming. French-based Airbus, the world’s largest manufacturer of airliners, is considering hydrogen as well.

    “This is about the closest I’ve seen us get so far to that real turning point,” said Shawn Litster, a professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University who has studied hydrogen fuel cells for nearly two decades.

  • September 6, 2021 - Toyota suspends use of self-driving vehicle in Olympic Village after collision with Paralympic athlete -

    A self-driving Toyota vehicle was barely moving, but it still managed to collide with a visually-impaired athlete at the Paralympic Games, raising potential concerns about the limitations of autonomous driving technology.

    Toyota’s CEO on Friday apologized in a video posted to YouTube after one of the company’s self-driving vehicles hit the athlete while driving at 1 to 2 kilometers per hour around the Olympic Village in Tokyo.
    “It shows that autonomous vehicles are not yet realistic for normal roads,” CEO Akio Toyoda said in Japanese in the video, according to Reuters.
    The use of the vehicles at the Paralympics has been halted amid an investigation of the incident by the police and the company, Toyota confirmed to CNN Business.

    Toyota (TM) has been providing a specially-designed version of its battery-powered, automated “e-Palette” vehicles to transport athletes and staff during the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, which began earlier this week.

  • September 6, 2021 - Kiwibot to deploy additional semi-autonomous delivery robots in Pittsburgh -

    Kiwibot, a Medellín, Colombia-based robotics company that maintains its U.S. headquarters in Berkley, California, announced it will have up to 10 of its small personal delivery devices operating on the sidewalks of Bloomfield over the course of the next few weeks. The news comes as part of a larger expansion nationwide, which will also see the company’s efforts grow in Detroit, Michigan; San Jose, California; and Miami-Dade County in Florida.

    In June, the company first launched a pilot program of its robots in Pittsburgh. Then, only two or three Kiwibots could be operational and running at one time…

    Kiwibot’s presence in Bloomfield isn’t the first time delivery robots have come to Pittsburgh, however. In January 2020, San Francisco-based Starship Technologies said it had 30 of its autonomous robots deployed on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh in Oakland after first launching a smaller batch of them in August 2019.

  • September 6, 2021 - Seaglider: This boat-plane hybrid could transform inter-city commutes -

    Billy Thalheimer and Mike Klinker have raised $9.5 million from the likes of Y Combinator, Mark Cuban and Peter Thiel, among other investors, to reimagine the wing-in-ground effect (WIG) concept and turn it into a mainstream means of transportation with zero emissions.
    Wing-in-ground effect vehicles are a kind of boat-aircraft hybrid.
    They make use of an aerodynamic principle known as “ground effect” to skim the surface of the sea at very high speeds, hovering just a few meters above water. When in port, they simply let their hulls rest on water, like any other boat…

    The ground effect vehicle concept isn’t new. The Soviet Union even produced some huge ones for military use, usually referred to as “ekranoplans,” and, more recently, a number of startups, such as Wigetworks in Singapore, the Flying Ship company in the US and RDC Aqualines in Russia, have been working on a new generation of ground effect craft for commercial use, both manned and unmanned.

  • September 3, 2021 - Cruise Looks to Solar Panels to Power Self-Driving Cars -

    Cruise, the San Francisco autonomous car company backed by General Motors, is launching a new initiative to support renewable energy efforts in California’s Central Valley.

    Through a program called Farm to Fleet, Cruise will source solar power for its all-electric fleet from two farms: Sundale Vineyards outside Tulare and Moonlight Companies in Reedley.

    Sundale Vineyards grows table grapes, and Moonlight is a citrus and stone fruit grower. Both of them also have solar panel installations — and they’ll now support Cruise as it tries to expand the number of electric cars on the road in California.

    Executives at the self-driving car company say paying the farms for solar power is intended to further the state’s progress in fighting climate change while providing a benefit to communities that likely won’t have a massive number of electric or autonomous cars anytime soon.

  • September 3, 2021 - Toyota will build heavy-duty truck fuel cell modules in Kentucky -

    Toyota Motor North America will add a dedicated production line for heavy-duty truck fuel cell modules to its assembly complex in Kentucky, moving its zero-emissions technology from prototype to production.

    Toyota (NYSE: TM) doesn’t make heavy-duty trucks. However, it is betting a market exists for hydrogen-powered fuel cell systems, which it initially created for its Mirai fuel cell passenger sedan.

    Combining two Mirai fuel cell systems creates sufficient power to move a loaded 80,000-pound heavy-duty truck more than 300 miles between fill-ups with liquid hydrogen., said David Rosier, Toyota Kentucky powertrain head.

    Daimler Truck and Volvo Group recently finalized a fuel cell joint venture that expects to begin making fuel cells for both companies’ heavy-duty trucks around the middle of the decade. South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Corp. has delivered dozens of fuel cell trucks to Switzerland and plans to begin demonstrations in the U.S. as soon as this year.

  • September 3, 2021 - Groundbreaking Solar-Powered Train Goes On Sonoma County Test Run, Sets Speed Record -

    Houston is co-inventor of a 40-foot long solar array on wheels that is the world’s first locomotive powered by the sun. It weighs 3,400 pounds and has no battery, converting sunlight directly into horsepower—10 to be exact.

    So, over the weekend, Eric and co-inventor Marco Fucci di Napoli decided to see how fast it could go. And because it’s the first of its kind, “anything over zero would have been the record,” Houston said with a smile.

    Despite overcast skies, the team took the STX-22, short for “solar train with 22 panels,” onto a quiet section of track and opened it up.

    While it doesn’t look fast at all on video, Marco, who was driving that day, said the structure was actually shaking quite badly.

    “That was kind of the little worrisome part,” di Napoli said, “hey, now I’m pushing a little bit above the limit, what we have tried before.”

  • September 3, 2021 - A New York debut for e-scooter sharing -

    A pilot program for e-scooter sharing has gone live in the East Bronx — offering New York City’s streets for the first time to venture capital-backed scooter companies.

    Bird and Lime, two of the startups taking part in the pilot and some of the biggest competitors in the e-scooter marketplace, have raised more than $1.5 billion from investors collectively over the past half-decade, despite being locked out of the largest U.S. market.

    “What happens in New York reverberates globally,” said Phil Jones, senior government relations director with Lime. “It’s an amazing opportunity to serve New Yorkers and show what Lime can be.”

    E-scooters became legal in New York state last year, and the city this year selected California companies Bird and Lime, as well as the Chicago-based Veo, to operate a scooter-sharing program in the Bronx, which kicked off on Tuesday.

  • September 3, 2021 - Massive mine truck and a Baja off-road racer both find use for fuel cells -

    At first glance, an open-pit platinum mine in South Africa and the Baja 1000 off-road race don’t have much in common other than an excess of dust. But both have been chosen by a company called First Mode to be test sites for hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV). The sites will stress-test the technology…

    The platinum mine, located in northeastern South Africa, is called Mogalakwena. The mine’s owner, Anglo American, has been looking for ways to decarbonize its operations and identified that the largest source of emissions pollution was the site’s massive Komatsu 930E trucks…

    First Mode is working with Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus on the off-road racing attempt. The two organizations first made contact over a possible lunar surface project, as Voorhees was impressed by SCG’s determination to build successful racing cars that can also be made road-legal.

  • September 1, 2021 - AutoX releases video of its unmanned Robotaxi navigating a busy Shenzhen village at night -

    In the official video released, the fully driverless Robotaxi was seen gracefully navigating the dense, chaotic public roads in a Chinese urban village. The car deftly maneuvered its way around various potential impediments in the form of pedestrians, pets, motorists, and static roadside barriers during evening rush hour.

    The video which was filmed in a Shenzhen urban village shows several onlookers catching a glimpse of the driverless cars without passengers moving through the streets. A few of the pedestrians were seen filming or taking photos of the spectacular car.

    The RoboTaxi was seen to come out tops when it was faced with a tricky situation. It maneuvered through an extremely narrow lane that is only wide enough for one vehicle while also facing an oncoming human-driven vehicle. In such situations, the RoboTaxi had acted intelligently to come out unscathed.

  • September 1, 2021 - UPS uses Matternet drones to deliver COVID-19 vaccines -

    UPS has begun using Matternet drones to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to a hospital in North Carolina.

    Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist medical center is believed to be the first in the country to receive COVID-19 vaccine deliveries by drone.

    This new initiative — operated by UPS and its subsidiary, UPS Flight Forward — expands Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist’s existing drone program, which was launched in July 2020. The World Health Organization estimates that up to 50% of vaccines are wasted globally every year, largely due to temperature control failure, Matternet CEO Andreas Raptopoulos said in a statement.

    When transporting the COVID-19 vaccines, the Matternet M2 drone is outfitted with a special cargo box that contains Cold Chain Technologies’ customized PCM Gel solution, a temperature-sensitive packaging mixture that maintains the COVID-19 vaccine at 2 degrees to 8 degrees Celsius (35.6 degrees to 46.4 degrees Fahrenheit).


    Recent studies have shown that people have negative attitudes about using autonomous systems because they don’t trust them. Moreover, research shows a human-centered approach in autonomy is perceived as more trustworthy by users. This begs the question: “Do passengers want self-driving cars to mimic their personal driving behaviors or do they hold these autonomous vehicles to a different standard?”

    To explore this quandary, researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science conducted a study asking 352 participants about their personal driving behaviors such as speed, changing lanes, distance from a car in front of them, accelerating and decelerating and passing other vehicles. They also asked them the same questions about their expectations of a self-driving car performing these very same tasks. The objective of the study was to examine trust and distrust to see if there is a relationship between an individual’s driving behaviors and how they expect a self-driving car to behave.

  • September 1, 2021 - Waymo starts offering autonomous rides in San Francisco -

    Waymo is going to start shuttling a wider group of passengers around in its autonomous vehicles in San Francisco, California — though they’ll have to sign nondisclosure agreements, and there still will be a human safety driver behind the wheel.

    It’s the second city where the company has expanded its nascent autonomous vehicle offering, as the Google sibling has been performing fully driverless rides rides without a safety driver in parts of Phoenix, Arizona for more than a year now. Waymo is one of a handful of companies trying to get a commercial service off the ground built around autonomous vehicles, like Argo AI (which is backed by Ford and Volkswagen) and Cruise (which is backed by General Motors).

    Waymo has been testing self-driving cars in San Francisco for a decade, dating back to when it was still just a quirky-looking project inside Google.

  • September 1, 2021 - Seeing the light: Peduto administration aims to reduce light pollution in proposed ordinance -

    An effort to see the Milky Way is underway with a potential new city law that requires softer, subtler lighting in Pittsburgh’s public parks, buildings and along the streets.

    Mayor Bill Peduto’s office on Tuesday introduced a “dark sky” ordinance in an effort to reduce light pollution that often upstages the stars, disrupts wildlife and wastes energy…

    Currently, the city’s roughly 35,000 LED streetlights blaze at a color temperature of 5,000 Kelvins — a cool daylight-like brightness that disperses a blue light that is much brighter than the warmer, softer 2,700 to 3,000 Kelvins recommended by the International Dark Sky Association.

    Streetlights are now available in the lower color temperature thanks to the evolving LED technology, according to Steve Quick, an architect and adjunct instructor with Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Architecture, who also spoke at the press conference.

  • August 31, 2021 - Nikola Awarded DOE Grant to Research Hydrogen Refueling -

    Nikola Corp. announced the U.S. Department of Energy awarded it a grant of $2 million to advance research into autonomous refueling technologies for future hydrogen fueling stations.

    The project is expected to address this goal by working to develop an autonomous fueling system that can rapidly refuel heavy-duty fuel cell electric trucks, while minimizing labor and challenges relating to ergonomics and maintenance of equipment compared with an equivalent manual fueling process. The Phoenix-based company is developing heavy-duty commercial battery-electric vehicles, fuel cell-electric vehicles and energy infrastructure solutions.

  • August 31, 2021 - Trucking automation is here (but not as sexy as you think) -

    Unfurl the banner, sound the bugle, pop the cork: Automation has arrived in commercial trucking! (Although like many hyped technologies, the reality is more nuanced — and less sexy — than the headlines suggest.)

    Outrider, which is making a name for itself bringing autonomy to yard operations for logistics hubs, is rolling out automated tractor-trailer hitching capabilities. It’s not a self-driving big rig, but this is actually a big deal, and it’s yet another great case of how automation actually is taking over a sector, albeit in incremental ways. Automation creeps, it doesn’t conquer.

    Trucking is a really interesting canary in the coal mine for automation. Trucks are the go-to mode of transport for much of the U.S. economy. In fact, over 10 billion tons of freight moves across the US each year. On its way to its destination, just about all of it makes a stop at distribution yards, where trailers are unhitched from trucks.

  • August 31, 2021 - Helping engineers better predict clay landslides -

    Engineers in Norway have been working for several years to develop a computer model that can predict such catastrophes. But the mechanisms involved are complex, and modeling them involves quite a bit of research, trial and error. Metral’s Master’s thesis entailed testing the robustness of the engineers’ model by seeing how well it could replicate the 2009 and 2016 landslides. She performed back calculations, running the model based on the parameters used at the time to determine what the model would have predicted and what was still needed for an accurate prediction.

  • August 31, 2021 - Musk says Tesla likely to launch humanoid robot prototype next year -

    Chief Executive Elon Musk on Thursday said the electric automaker will probably launch a “Tesla Bot” humanoid robot prototype next year, designed for dangerous, repetitive, or boring work that people don’t like to do.

    Speaking at Tesla’s AI Day event, the billionaire entrepreneur said the robot, which stands around five foot eight inches tall, would be able to handle jobs from attaching bolts to cars with a wrench, or picking up groceries at stores…

    “Is the ‘Tesla Bot’ the next dream shot to pump up the hype machine?” said Raj Rajkumar, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.

    “I can safely say that it will be much longer than 10 years before a humanoid bot from any company on the planet can go to the store and get groceries for you.”

  • August 31, 2021 - Why Are Uber And Lyft So Expensive Right Now? -

    Why have Uber and Lyft become so expensive?

    It has everything to do with the pandemic.

    “The pandemic demonstrated the volatility of the ride-hailing industry with early sharp reductions in passenger demand and subsequent reductions in driver supply,” said Stan Caldwell, executive director of Carnegie Mellon’s Traffic21 Institute.

    Peter C. Earle, an economist at the American Institute for Economic Research, explained that owing to a shortage of drivers, surges (and the higher prices associated with them) have become more common.

    Goodbye, Seafood? Inflation and Shortages Have Restaurants Taking Items Off the Menu

    Why haven’t all previous Uber and Lyft drivers gotten back behind the wheel as the world has opened back up? One reason could be that they’re actually making more money being unemployed than they are being a gig worker.

  • August 30, 2021 - Spin Scooters Spark Outrage As Users Abandon Them in Dangerous Places -

    On one hand, they’re an accessible and eco-friendly alternative to cars in a city where parking is often a chore. They also provide a viable alternative to a crowded bus or an expensive Uber for residents who don’t drive, or simply don’t own a car…

    But nonetheless, the program is popular, and despite all its growing pains, it seems to do what it set out to do. With about 1,000 scooters currently on the streets of the Steel City, riders are taking full advantage of them as an equitable way of getting around without having to wait for a potentially crowded bus — a potential concern as COVID-19 cases continue to spike.

    Although Spin doesn’t release its daily ridership figures, Shoman said the company will be working with Carnegie Mellon University and the Urban Institute to do a research study on the Pittsburgh pilot program in order to learn more about who, exactly, has been using the scooters the most.

  • August 30, 2021 - Amazon is using a custom logging device to track the trucks moving its freight -

    Amazon has developed electronic tracking technology for the trucks used by its partners to monitor their movement and hopefully improve driver safety, according to The Information. Electronic logging devices (ELDs) are federally required to prevent fatigue-related accidents on trucks, but now it seems Amazon will offer its partners a custom ELD offering, possibly giving Amazon direct access to a lot more data from a tool it maintains itself.

    Amazon’s Relay ELD — named after the company’s Relay platform for booking delivery jobs — works by plugging hardware into the diagnostics port of trucks to directly digest information from the engine, The Information writes. It then communicates that data over Bluetooth to be logged in an accompanying app.

  • August 30, 2021 - Pittsburgh insurance startup for autonomous robotics companies raises $2.5 million seed round from Silicon Valley VC firms -

    Koop Technologies, a Pittsburgh-based insurance technology startup focused on bridging the gap between autonomous mobility and robotics companies and the insurance companies that represent them, announced it raised $2.5 million in seed funding from several Silicon Valley venture capital firms. It’s looking to use the funding to help build out its product and intellectual property by focusing on acquiring new clients with a future goal to then use those relationships to engage with higher-level insurance professionals…

    Founded in the summer of 2020 by graduates from the University of Pittsburgh and employees of the former Uber ATG autonomous vehicle division, Koop said it has since gone on to attract the attention of leading insurance companies and autonomous robotics companies around the nation and maintains a presence in 13 states as a licensed broker of property and casualty insurance.

  • August 30, 2021 - PennDOT Aims To Deploy Work Zone Reservation System -

    Doug Tomlinson, PennDOT’s highway safety and traffic operations chief, explained in a blog post that his agency’s “Lane Reservation System” would function much like the “OpenTable” online reservation system for restaurants. For example, if a table is not available at 7 pm on a Saturday evening, the system provides other options, such as a 4:30 pm or 9 pm table reservation.

    He said PennDOT’s Lane Reservation System – expected to go live in 2022 – would function in a similar fashion for making work zone reservations. If a work crew wants to reserve a lane on Interstate 76 near King of Prussia at 5 pm on a Thursday night, they will find no reservation options are available. However, they will be able to make a reservation to perform that roadwork during off-peak hours as defined within the system.

  • August 30, 2021 - Forget autonomy: Here’s how driving becomes safer -

    Traffic accidents are a misnomer. In fact, over 95% of what happens on roadways is perfectly predictable.

    That’s according to Stefan Heck, PhD, CEO of Nauto, a leader in AI-powered advanced driver assistance systems. With a belief that fully autonomous driving is still years away, Heck’s answer to the mounting number of collisions and fatalities in 2020 is to help drivers, not replace them. To that end, Nauto’s technology underpins sophisticated safety systems for hundreds of the world’s top large-scale fleets and customers are achieving up to 80% reduction in collision loss. The company estimates that has translated into over $300 million in savings.

    So how can fleets operate safer and more predictably? And what does that mean for non-commercial drivers and pedestrians? I caught up with Heck, who shared interesting insights on the very human future of driving.

  • August 27, 2021 - Transit App to Make Some Features Subscription-Only -

    Transit, an app that helps people plan, book and pay for rides on public transit and other mobility options, is introducing a subscription model.

    The company’s subscription plan will be called Royale, and it will put up a paywall in front of certain features that have long been free. Namely, after a two-week grace period, users will have to pay to see schedules far into the future or transit lines that are distant from their current location. The subscription will cost $2 per month on an annual plan or $4.99 on a monthly plan.

    In a blog post, Transit’s co-founders wrote that the change is necessary to make the business sustainable without resorting to other methods that users might find distasteful.

    “Here’s what we refuse to do: blast you with distracting ads, mine your personal data, sell it to the highest bidder. Making you our product, rather than our customer. We think that’s wrong,” the post reads.

  • August 27, 2021 - Ryder storms deeper into trucking autonomy in tie-up with Waymo Via -

    Ryder System Inc. will provide maintenance for Waymo Via as the Google-backed autonomous driving software developer begins revenue-generating freight runs in Texas from a new transfer hub that Ryder helped design.

    Miami-based Ryder (NYSE: R) also is working with Waymo Via rival TuSimple to share some of its 500 maintenance facilities to help TuSimple expand its autonomous freight network nationwide…

    Ryder and Waymo will partner on servicing and maintenance practices for autonomously driven trucks across Waymo Via sites in Texas, Arizona, California, Michigan and Ohio, as well as roadside service between hubs.

  • August 27, 2021 - Aurora releases tool to gauge safety of self-driving systems -

    Aurora, the Silicon Valley self-driving startup founded by former Tesla, Uber and Google executives, has released what it says is the industry’s first tool for evaluating whether and when autonomous trucks and cars are safe to deploy on public roads without a human behind the wheel.

    “We think this is the only way you can get to a safe, commercializable product,” said co-founder and CEO Chris Urmson of Aurora’s new Safety Case Framework.

    Aurora, working with partners PACCAR (PCAR.O) and Volvo Group (VOLVb.ST), aims to put its self-driving system in commercial service in heavy-duty trucks in late 2023.

    The release of the safety tool, which provides a methodology and metrics for gauging progress from development to deployment, comes days after the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation of Tesla’s (TSLA.O) Autopilot driving assistance feature following a series of crashes involving Tesla models and emergency vehicles.

  • August 27, 2021 - The “Car Condo” Is Becoming a New York City Fixture -

    Way back in 2014, we reported that a parking space in a luxury Soho condominium had sold at a price that cracked the mythical $1 million barrier. Three years later, a humble garage in Brooklyn’s Park Slope was selling spaces for the bargain price of just $300,000 that came with all the typical condo amenities, including a $240 monthly maintenance fee and $51 in monthly taxes.

    Today, with a boost from the coronavirus pandemic, the expression “car condo” has cemented a place in the lexicon of New York City real estate. The parking company Centerpark has converted an Upper East Side garage at 301 E. 69th St. into a car condo, Crain’s reports. It’s selling 23 parking spaces, and has hired a luxury real estate broker to market them for sale to the public starting at $199,000 and possibly going as high as $350,000 each.

  • August 27, 2021 - Michigan and Ontario form smart-mobility pact -

    Michigan and the province of Ontario, Canada, will work together to find more energy-efficient and multimodal methods of shipping goods across their shared border, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Wednesday.

    The two governments signed an agreement to turn their shared bridge and tunnel crossings into a testbed for new mobility technologies. Officials said the goal is to create a roadmap for easily implementing automated- and connected-vehicle pilot programs, which starts with analyzing data on traffic safety and congestion at the border…

    The two governments first collaborated on an automated-vehicle pilot in 2017 that saw a pair of semi-autonomous vehicles drive back and forth across their border to see if automated vehicles could reduce gridlock around border crossings. Michigan also last year began to test unmanned, automated boats and drone programs throughout the Great Lakes through its Future Mobility office, with a goal of improving freight delivery.

  • August 25, 2021 - Waymo is building a hub for its autonomous trucks in Texas -

    Waymo announced plans to build a hub for its autonomous semi-trailer trucks on a nine-acre site near Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. The Alphabet-owned company also said it is partnering with rental truck company Ryder on fleet management as it looks to grow the delivery and logistics portion of its business.

    The hub in South Dallas will be Waymo’s “primary operations center” in the state for its fleet of autonomous trucks. The hub will be built to accommodate “hundreds of trucks and personnel” as the company gets closer to launching a full-scale freight-hauling operation using its fully autonomous vehicles — though Waymo has yet to say exactly when that will be.

    Currently, Waymo is testing the fifth generation of its “Driver,” which is the term used to describe its combination of hardware, sensors, and AI software, on its fleet of Class 8 trucks.

  • August 25, 2021 - Mercedes adds to Car-X functionality with new driver warnings -

    Mercedes says it has increased the capability of the Car-to-X functionality available in a range of vehicles produced since 2016, with the addition of pothole and speed bump detection.

    According to the company, if a vehicle’s chassis control unit registers it passing over either of these road features, and the ‘Car-to-X Communication’ service is activated, the information is sent to the Mercedes-Benz cloud in real time via the cellular network, together with positional data. Other similarly connected Mercedes-Benz passenger cars in the vicinity are informed, and the events are displayed as icons on the navigation map. About 10 seconds before the relevant lane section is reached by a following car, an audible warning is given to the driver and the icon is visually highlighted.

  • August 25, 2021 - U.S. Will Investigate Tesla’s Autopilot System Over Crashes With Emergency Vehicles -

    The U.S. auto safety regulator said Monday that it had opened a broad investigation of the Autopilot system used in hundreds of thousands of Tesla’s electric cars.

    The investigation was prompted by at least 11 accidents in which Teslas using Autopilot, an assisted-driving system that can steer, accelerate and brake on its own, drove into parked fire trucks, police cars and other emergency vehicles, the safety agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, disclosed. Those crashes killed one woman and injured 17 people…

    “Driver monitoring has been a big deficiency in Autopilot,” said Raj Rajkumar, an engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University who focuses on autonomous vehicles. “I think this investigation should have been initiated some time ago, but it’s better late than never.”

    Tesla, the world’s most valuable automaker by far, and its charismatic and brash chief executive, Elon Musk, have said Autopilot is not flawed, insisting that it makes cars much safer than others on the road.

  • August 25, 2021 - Why Teslas Keep Striking Parked Firetrucks and Police Cars -

    The NHTSA is narrowing in on the company’s Autopilot system, noting that the Teslas in these incidents “were all confirmed to have been engaged in either Autopilot or Traffic Aware Cruise Control during the approach to the crashes.” The investigation will cover Tesla models Y, X, S, and 3 that were released between 2014 and 2021. Autopilot’s difficulties with sensing firetrucks and other emergency vehicles has been a known problem for years, and the feature has also been criticized as encouraging drivers to rely on it as though it is a self-driving system when in fact it is only meant to assist an engaged driver. To better understand the issue, I spoke with Raj Rajkumar, an electrical and computer engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University who specializes in self-driving vehicles. Our conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity.

  • August 25, 2021 - For Robot Trucks, Navigating Highways Is Just One Bump in the Road -

    In the past four months, four prominent self-driving trucking companies collectively valued at about $26 billion, including TuSimple and Plus, have rushed to tap public markets, leveraging the robust market for initial public offerings and the popularity of a vehicle known as a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, in bids to raise large sums of money.

    Investors have poured roughly $5.7 billion into TuSimple, Plus, Embark Trucks Inc. and Aurora Innovation Inc. in the past year, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal. The shift to public markets adds greater scrutiny to these companies, and urgency to demonstrate that they can map a path into commercial markets.

    There is a lot still to do: test-drive billions of miles, lobby regulators to permit trucks to run without drivers, and convince a skeptical freight-hauling industry to put autonomous technology to work in daily operations.

  • August 24, 2021 - Pittsburgh ranks 3rd best for “15-minute city” in America -

    Pittsburgh’s hilly terrain, car-filled roads, and abundance of bridges can present a challenge to walkers and bicyclists trying to get from neighborhood to neighborhood, but the city might be closer to a strong walking and bicycling metropolis than expected.

    A new report from moveBuddha ranks Pittsburgh third for having the greatest potential for transitioning into a “15-minute city.” A 15-minute city aims to provide everything — including education, work, health care, food, and recreation — within a 15-minute walk or bike trip.

    The report created composite scores for the U.S.’s 78 largest cities based on walk and bike scores; dining, parks, and community scores; childcare density; and density of health care providers; and housing affordability…

    Pittsburgh scored an overall 5.81, trailing only Miami, which scored 7.83, and San Francisco, which scored 6.10.

  • August 24, 2021 - Spin’s electric scooters are coming to Google Maps -

    Google Maps users will be able to find and rent Spin’s electric scooters after the Ford-owned company announced a new global integration on Tuesday.

    Starting Sunday, anyone who uses Google Maps will be able to see the nearest available Spin e-bike or e-scooter in real time, including how long it will take to walk to the vehicle, as well as battery range and expected arrival time.

    But to pay for the scooter, unlock it, and take their ride, users will be redirected to Spin’s app. Google Maps users will be able to see Spin’s availability in 84 cities, campuses, and towns in Europe and North America, the company said…

    Spin is the latest e-scooter company to integrate its products into Google Maps. Users have been able to find and rent Lime’s scooters since late 2019. Depending on the city, the popular navigation app also includes available bike-share, public transportation schedules, and fare information for using Uber and Lyft vehicles.

  • August 24, 2021 - ITS America picks Laura Chace as new president and CEO -

    The Intelligent Transportation Society’s (ITS America) Board of Directors has unanimously elected Laura Chace as president and CEO, effective August 30, 2021.

    Chace, who currently serves as the association’s chief operating officer, has been with ITS America since 2015 in increasingly responsible roles and brings 15 years of association management to her new position. She is also a founding member of the MobilityXX initiative, which is focused on increasing the number of women in transportation by 10% in 10 years.

  • August 24, 2021 - U Oregon researchers use machine learning algorithms to provide bicyclists with Green Wave capability; communicating with traffic signals -

    A team at the University of Oregon is working to give bicyclists smoother rides by allowing them to communicate with traffic signals via a mobile app. The latest report to come out of this multi-project research effort introduces machine-learning algorithms to work with their mobile app FastTrack.

    Developed and tested in earlier phases of the project, the app allows cyclists to passively communicate with traffic signals along a busy bike corridor in Eugene, Oregon. Researchers hope to eventually make their app available in other cities…

    The FastTrack app requires a real-time feed from upcoming traffic signals on the bicyclist’s path. Cities with older equipment or with older Traffic Management Systems (TMS) may not be able to provide this feed. However, as cities replace older equipment and bring on a modern TMS, they will be fully capable of using a FastTrack app that is effective with both fixed and actuated intersections, giving their biking community green-wave opportunities.

  • August 24, 2021 - Cities to test commercial EV fleets, smart traffic, curbside management using federal funds -

    Dive Brief:
    The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) will study zero-emission delivery and electric vehicle (EV) use by commercial fleets with the support of a $3.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), part of a broader federal grant program to decarbonize transportation.

    The DOE’s $60 million grant program will fund 24 projects targeting the electrification of passenger cars and light- and heavy-duty trucks, part of the Biden administration’s goal to move the country toward electric vehicles. The projects include research into new battery technology, vehicle materials, traffic management and mobility tools.

    The LACI grant will support work exploring commercial electric trucks in three cities — Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Santa Monica, California — including an expansion of an ongoing pilot in Santa Monica. In Pittsburgh, the funding will support a curbside parking pilot on smart loading zones in high-traffic areas and examine the role electrification could play in those areas.

  • August 23, 2021 - NFI, Robotic Research sign agreement to bring automated driving systems to North American transit agencie -

    NFI Group Inc., and Robotic Research, LLC (Robotic Research) have signed an agreement to increase the deployment of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) in transit agency fleets across North America.

    The agreement expands the partnership between New Flyer of America Inc. (New Flyer) and Robotic Research originally announced in 2019, and builds on the unveiling of North America’s first automated transit bus, the Xcelsior AV™, to pursue integration of Robotic Research’s AutoDrive® technology into new and existing public transit vehicles.

    The technology, which will incorporate Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Standard J3016 capabilities up to Level 4, will add ADAS features to help prevent pedestrian and cyclist collisions…

    The technology can also enable leader-follower behavior, where multiple buses can be electronically linked together to help ease congestion at peak transit times.

  • August 23, 2021 - Automated trucking, a technical milestone that could disrupt hundreds of thousands of jobs, hits the road -

    You know that universal sign we give truckers, hoping they’ll sound their air horns? Well, you’re gonna be hearing a lot less honking in the future. And with good reason. The absence of an actual driver in the cab. We may focus on the self-driving car, but autonomous trucking is not an if, it’s a when. And the when is coming sooner than you might expect. As we first reported last year, companies have been quietly testing their prototypes on public roads. Right now there’s a high-stakes, high-speed race pitting the usual suspects – Google and Tesla and other global tech firms – against start-ups smelling opportunity. The driverless-semi will convulse the trucking sector and the two million American drivers who turn a key and maneuver their big rig every day. And the winners of this derby, they may be poised to make untold billions; they’ll change the U.S. transportation grid; and they will emerge as the new kings of the road.

  • August 23, 2021 - Driverless? No, But How About the Car as Co-Pilot? -

    Advanced driver-assistance systems — known as ADAS — help drivers park, stay in their lane or avoid objects using cameras, radar and other electronic sensors. They alert drivers or briefly take control of the car to avoid collisions. One of the first such tools was the ABS anti-skid braking system introduced more than four decades ago that’s now standard. More recent systems include features like emergency braking and automated parking.

    What’s the advantage over driverless?
    There are a few things:

    Keeping humans involved isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sure, people tend to make more mistakes than a computer, but it’s good to have an actual person ready to intervene if technology fails.

    Driverless ethics are a tricky subject, given that robot cars would have to make life-or-death decisions in some scenarios — like choosing which person to crash into if a collision can’t be avoided.

    Autonomous driving is far more difficult and expensive to commercialize at scale, requiring billions of dollars in capital.

  • August 23, 2021 - No account needed: With Pittsburgh rollout complete, Meter Feeder looks to simplify paying for parking -

    Jim Gibbs wants to make parking in Pittsburgh easier and simpler to do, so he, alongside his co-founding partner Daniel Lopretto, launched Meter Feeder ? a mobile payment app for parking that officially became usable at all metered spaces governed by the Pittsburgh Parking Authority at the beginning of August.

    While the app is designed to be simple to use at its core, Gibbs stressed the lack of needing to make an account is critical so that the Braddock-based startup can offer customers true user security. The app doesn’t require an email address or password to work, and any data that is stored, be it payment methods or vehicle license plate information, is all kept locally on the phone and not on the app’s servers.

  • August 23, 2021 - Spoke is Working Together with Qualcomm Technologies to Transform Safety for Bicyclists and Light Mobility Users -

    Spoke, a mobility platform for safety, connectivity and rich rider experiences, today announced plans to bring connected technology to vulnerable road users (VRUs), including bicyclists and scooter riders, using Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) solutions from Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. A first-of-its-kind, the Spoke hardware and software suite, which features the C-V2X solutions, is designed to be the industry’s first reliable, robust connected system to offer secure, direct communication for contextual awareness and alerts between drivers and riders, enhancing safety for VRUs.

    Spoke transforms safety for bicyclists, motorcyclists and scooter riders with C-V2X connected technology from Qualcomm.

  • August 20, 2021 - San Diego Signal Modernization to Guide Mobility Efforts -

    The modernization project, paid for largely by the university, will cover 26 intersections, and involves the collaboration with the city of San Diego as well as the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). The technology will be supported by the SynchroGreen adaptive software by Cubic, and involve updated controllers, GRIDSMART video detection and communication upgrades to improve the existing infrastructure, said Gabriel McFadden, senior business development manager at Cubic.

    The project represents a trend in transportation to use data and analytics to optimize movement and mobility across all modes. It is a departure from decades of transportation planning that simply centered on building more roadways to serve cars. The system in the UC San Diego neighborhood will consider data points gathered from all modes of transportation, and could serve as a template for a broader expansion across the city.

  • August 20, 2021 - Infrastructure bill could boost EV charging stations, but who’s in charge of the stations? -

    The trillion-dollar infrastructure bill cleared a big hurdle this week with Senate passage. If approved, several billion dollars would go towards electric vehicle charging stations. But who should install and maintain those stations?

    In addition to charging their cars at home, future EV owners are going to want to do that on long treks too, said Carnegie Mellon professor Jeremy Michalek.

    “If I go to rent a cabin up in … a rural area, I want to make sure I can charge my car there too,” he said.

    Industry groups like the National Association of Convenience Stores have been lobbying Congress. They want to remain a necessity for road trips of the future, said the group’s general counsel Doug Kantor.

    “You plug into a high-speed charger. You go inside to use the restroom and grab a drink … and pretty quickly you’re on your way,” he said.

  • August 20, 2021 - Hydrogen-powered vehicles: A realistic path to clean energy? -

    Hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, is increasingly viewed, along with electric vehicles, as one way to slow the environmentally destructive impact of the planet’s 1.2 billion vehicles, most of which burn gasoline and diesel fuel. Manufacturers of large trucks and commercial vehicles are beginning to embrace hydrogen fuel cell technologies as a way forward. So are makers of planes, trains and passenger vehicles…

    “This is about the closest I’ve seen us get so far to that real turning point,” said Shawn Litster, a professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University who has studied hydrogen fuel cells for nearly two decades.

    Hydrogen has long been a feedstock for the production of fertilizer, steel, petroleum, concrete and chemicals. It’s also been running vehicles for years: Around 35,000 forklifts in the United States, about 4% of the nation’s total, are powered by hydrogen. Its eventual use on roadways, to haul heavy loads of cargo, could begin to replace diesel-burning polluters.

  • August 20, 2021 - Joby Powers Up eVTOL Program with $2B IPO -

    Joby Aviation today became the first U.S.-based eVTOL developer to go public with a flotation on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), trading under the symbol JOBY. This follows an extraordinary general meeting days ago that approved the California-based startup’s merger with special purpose acquisition company Reinvent Technology Partners. According to Joby, the transaction values the business at $4.5 billion.

    The estimated $2 billion in fresh capital from the merger and initial public offering will support Joby’s plans to complete the type certification of a four-passenger all-electric eVTOL that can be flown single pilot on routes of up to 150 miles. Joby said this should more than cover the projected $1.4 billion cash flow requirement to take the aircraft to FAA certification and service entry, which is pegged for 2024.

  • August 20, 2021 - Singapore’s Future Decacorn? Carro Has Big Ambitions For The Online Car Market In Southeast Asia -

    After finishing a master’s in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University in 2010, Tan moved back to Singapore to work for Innov8, the investment arm of Singapore’s telecom giant Singtel. The next five years helped him to make connections within the VC community and understand investors’ priorities, he says. He headed the fund’s investments in Southeast Asia before moving to San Francisco with the firm, returning to Singapore in 2015.

    The genesis of Carro can be traced back to Tan helping a former colleague find a used car online and finding little transparency in quality or pricing. In the U.S., on the other hand, used car dealer Carvana, launched in 2012 by billionaire Ernest Garcia III, had found success operating almost entirely online, offering its customers photo-heavy profiles of pre-inspected cars with history reports a click away. Seeing an opportunity, Tan founded Carro in 2015 with Carnegie Mellon classmates Aditya Lesmana and Kelvin Chng.

  • August 18, 2021 - Digital Twin Maturity white paper offers guidance on digital twin adoption -

    igital Twin Consortium released the Infrastructure Digital Twin Maturity: A Model for Measuring Progress whitepaper.

    The document is meant to guide infrastructure stakeholders as they incorporate digital twins in their projects. It outlines a five-stage process organizations can follow based on their digital twin maturity level.

    “Real estate owners recognize the importance of digital transformation of their processes, and digital twin adoption is on the rise. To measure progress, business leaders need to know where they are and where they are going,” said John Turner, vice president, innovative solutions, Gafcon, and one of the authors of the document. “Digital twin adoption is a marathon, not a sprint, and the maturity model provides a long spectrum for leaders to measure their progress.”

  • August 18, 2021 - City of Albuquerque to install “smart” stoplights along Lead and Coal -

    The City of Albuquerque has been trying to slow down drivers along Lead Ave. and Coal Ave. for years. Now, they have a new idea a first-of-its-kind “smart” stoplight. City Councilor Pat Davis said the Lead Ave. and Coal Ave. corridor sees far too many crashes that could’ve been prevented if people were driving the speed limit.

    Davis is optimistic these new smart lights will work. “It would be a first for New Mexico,” said Davis. “It’s called “Rest on Red.” So instead of the light being green when you’re approaching the light is red on every approach. If you’re going the speed limit or under it turns green and lets you go. If you’re speeding you stop.”

  • August 18, 2021 - Biden Wants More EVs on Roads. What About Charging Stations? -

    But creating more charging stations, and especially more publicly accessible ones, is “the holy grail,” says Mike Nicholas, a senior researcher who studies electric vehicles at the International Council on Clean Transportation, a nonprofit research organization. A recent analysis by Nicholas and his colleagues estimates that the country will need 2.4 million public and workplace chargers by 2030 if it wants to meet its goals. Today, it has 216,000…

    But the country also needs to focus on a more complicated issue—how to make charging viable for people who live in apartments or use on-street parking. A few years ago, Jeremy Michalek used a plug-in hybrid car for work. At the time, he lived in an apartment in Pittsburgh. If he wanted to charge his car at home, he had to snag the parking spot in front of his house, then snake a long extension cord up a flight and a half of stairs, to an outlet he could call his own. The thing created a tripping hazard on the sidewalk. Fortunately, he could mostly charge at work, at Carnegie Mellon University, where he studies electric vehicle policy as a professor.

  • August 18, 2021 - Pentagon Advances Experiments with Autonomous Barges to Replenish Aircraft -

    The Defense Department is set to trial a full-scale autonomous ocean-going replenishment system comprised of technology-driven kits that transform existing barges into self-moving platforms that can land and refuel military aircraft.

    They’ll make up a network of smart, floating military gas or resupply stations.

    Autonomous marine navigation company Sea Machines is the prime contractor steering the work. On Thursday, the Boston-based business announced the advancement of a multi-year other transaction agreement between it and the Defense Innovation Unit, or DIU, which focuses on rapid prototyping of autonomy projects for the department.

    This move to the second phase of this OTA-based work commits up to $3.1 million to the experimentation and deployment of this work. Through it, Defense and industry officials aim to push forward the military’s operational capabilities at sea—with help from autonomous technologies.

  • August 18, 2021 - Regional Leaders Say The Infrastructure Bill Is, Mostly, A Win For Western Pennsylvania -

    The legislation also includes funding to make the country more resilient to both natural disasters and to cyber attacks. Vyas Sekar is a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He said that cyber security is complicated work that involves safeguarding software, hardware, cloud infrastructure, the algorithms that run systems, and the people who interface with all of them. In addition, all of those components need to be continuously assessed for risk.

    “Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet here,” Sekar said. “We should be really investing in foundational capabilities and long-term research across these dimensions to build future resilience.”

  • August 17, 2021 - Food Delivery Robots Are Going Back To School This Fall -

    There’s a reason these bots are taking over college campuses. With a dangerous new COVID-19 variant going around, the touchless delivery option may be more popular with students and nervous college administrators. They may not solve all the world’s problems, but they are quickly finding a place in the hospitality industry…

    Leah Lizarondo, an entrepreneur in residence at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College, is the founder and CEO of Food Rescue Hero, a technology platform and mobile app. She says food delivery robots show a lot of promise.

    “The load capacity of these are limited and suitable for some things,” she says. “But if we are thinking of a typical weekly grocery delivery or anything as substantial, robots are not yet there.”

  • August 17, 2021 - Self-driving car startup Pony.ai scraps listing plans amid China crackdown -

    Chinese self-driving car technology startup Pony.ai reportedly has scrapped plans to go public in the U.S. as the Chinese government continues to crack down and regulate various sectors of the country’s economy.

    Reuters reported today that Pony.ai had planned to go public through a special-purpose acquisition company in the U.S. in a $12 billion deal, but those plans have been put on hold after the company failed to gain assurances from Beijing that it would not become a target of a crackdown against Chinese technology companies.

  • August 17, 2021 - How Many Cars Needed in ‘Smart Cities’ of Future? -

    Cities can get smart about improving transportation, traffic, parking and emissions, and shared mobility is a key component of that future, says Gabe Klein, a partner at CityFi, a consultancy that seeks to eliminate civic complexity in a rapidly urbanizing world.

    Speaking remotely during a panel session at this week’s Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, MI, Klein says transportation plays a crucial role in how cities can improve “climate, equity, jobs, opportunity and access.”

    But his solution may have rattled an audience whose livelihoods are pegged to the auto industry…

    He proposes solutions including a dramatic increase in the use of shared mobility technologies and micro-transportation modes such as shared scooters and e-bikes.

    Klein and other panelists suggest public and private parties need to come together and act quickly by merging smart policy with technological advances to identify pain points and devise solutions.

  • August 17, 2021 - Nation’s largest self-driving electric shuttle network launches -

    The country’s biggest fleet of low-speed, self-driving electric shuttles hit the road on Tuesday in a major step forward for the electric vehicle sector.

    The unveiling here adds momentum to an industry that is poised to get a significant boost from the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress.

    “We will write the next chapter in the world’s transportation history — in a time when we need a new chapter desperately,” said Tyler Svitak, executive director of the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance, a sponsor of the shuttle system.

    The fleet of nine driverless, zero-emission vehicles will shuttle Colorado School of Mines students and staff, as well as members of the public, from key spots in the city to various points on campus for at least the next year.

    The six-passenger miniature trolley-type vehicles from French company EasyMile are a sharp contrast to the large, diesel-burning buses known on many crowded college campuses.

  • August 17, 2021 - Daimler & Bosch Give Up On Their Robotaxi Dreams -

    Daimler and Bosch are giving up on their robotaxi partnership, a joint project called Athena, Süddeutsche Zeitung reports. The article notes that both companies confirmed the news with Süddeutsche Zeitung and that they are still discussing bringing the entire project to an end. Once the end has been finalized, the two companies will part ways.

    In 2018, the two companies teamed up to create a car that would drive people without a driver — you may have heard of this concept before. They named the project Athena after the Greek goddess of wisdom, art, and war. The plan was for engineers and programmers from both companies to collaborate, and presumably to catch up to Tesla’s apparent lead in this industry.

  • August 16, 2021 - Next-Generation Battery Pioneer Sees Breakthroughs Coming -

    About every eight minutes in Venkat Viswanathan’s laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University’s mechanical engineering department, two robots—Otto and Clio—complete an experiment that could help accelerate breakthroughs in lithium-ion batteries. Viswanathan, 35, studied mechanical engineering in Chennai at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras before turning to fluid dynamics and batteries at Stanford. Now he leads a group at Carnegie Mellon focused on improvements that could help power passenger aircraft with a technology that, 30 years ago, was only for camcorders…

    Viswanathan also has insights into looming advances as an adviser to QuantumScape Corp., the developer in San Jose that raced to a $20 billion valuation with a promise to increase the range of battery-powered electric cars by 50%, and as chief scientist for Aionics Inc., which is using artificial intelligence to speed up battery development.

    He spoke with Bloomberg Markets in June about what he sees coming next.

  • August 16, 2021 - Microgrids + mass transit = resilient mobility in a future clouded by climate change -

    Microgrids — combinations of solar PV, batteries, on-site generation and the technologies to integrate their operations with EV charging and the larger grid — could play a key role in transitioning public transit to clean power. The infrastructure package specifically mentions microgrids and would provide significant funding for microgrid components. The Biden administration has also expressed support for microgrids.

    Well-designed microgrids can significantly cut the upfront and ongoing costs of switching from fossil fuel to electric vehicles for bus depots, airports and other public transit hubs. They can also optimize the value of on-site renewables, energy storage and backup generation.

    A small number of public transportation agencies have developed microgrids for their systems. The numbers are growing, with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and Montgomery County Department of Transportation in Maryland among the new entrants.

  • August 16, 2021 - Nonprofit Adds Nearly 3,000 Miles of Bike Routes in 5 States -

    What does it all mean, this numerically quantified bluster from the ACA and the USBRS? In short: better bike touring in more of the United States.

    So, what is the USBRS? Short version: a national network of officially recognized, numbered, and signed bicycle routes, oriented toward supporting bike travel by adding rider safety measures and promoting tourism. Created with public input, U.S. Bicycle Routes help cyclists navigate through cities, counties, or states.

    The information is laid out to riders relatably via route descriptions and maps. The website is easy to navigate, and the bike route designations are as simple as the numbers on Interstates.

  • August 16, 2021 - Cleveron conducts ‘world’s first’ driving exams with a driverless semi-autonomous last-mile delivery vehicle -

    Cleveron, an Estonian-based technology company, partnered with LRK Driving School to conduct what they say are “the world’s first driving exams with an unmanned semi-autonomous car”.

    The exams were carried out with Cleveron’s last-mile delivery vehicle Cleveron 701. All four Cleveron specialists passed the exam and received the world’s first tele-operated vehicle certificates.

    To receive the certificate, drivers first had to undergo special tele-operated vehicle training, followed by field exercises and city driving, in accordance with the Estonian examination standards.

    The field exercises consisted of six different exercises with a time limit of 15 minutes. On average, the drivers completed the exercises in five minutes.

  • August 16, 2021 - Pittsburgh’s mobility platform aims to expand transportation options -

    The app also provides the location of the city’s mobility hubs — 25 physical hubs, congregated around the Port Authority bus and light rail systems — where residents can access a range of last-mile services and see real-time transit and mobility information on TransitScreens. The goal is to increase the number of hubs to 50 by the end of the year.

    The placement of these hubs was informed by the existing transportation infrastructure, but the needs of lower-income communities were also considered. Data from a 2017 project that assessed the city’s annual progress toward equitable opportunities was combined with “an aggregate value of [transit] stops, frequency of service and routes being served,” said CMU graduate research assistant Allante Whitmore, who helped develop DOMI’s mobility principles. Based on these factors and socio-demographic profiles, the team was able to compare current transportation services with areas of the city where there might be larger demand, she said.

  • August 13, 2021 - Arrival Delivery Van Shows Off Autonomous Skills -

    This week the company has completed a successful demonstration of Level 4 operation at a parcel depot, with an Arrival van completing maneuvers around an industrial site without a driver behind the wheel. All the actions that it performed in the demo were ones that are performed by a commercial fleet driver on a daily basis, the company noted.

    Arrival’s autonomous driving system, currently under development, is dubbed Robopilot, and has been largely developed in-house, making the company a bit of a rarity among EV developers. The system relies primarily on vision sensors, shunning some more expensive sensor tech that it says is unnecessary for operating on public roads.

  • August 13, 2021 - Detroit lets automakers test smart parking technology in a real garage -

    The Detroit Smart Parking Lab is designed to continue work showcased last summer, when Ford and Bosch showed off a self-parking Ford Escape in that same building. The vehicle was able to drive through the car park without human assistance, find a space, and reverse park into it without any stress. It’s hoped that, in some far-flung future when climate change doesn’t kill us all, that this sort of automatic valet parking could free people up to spend more time doing anything other than fighting for a space in a multi-storey car park.

    As well as Ford and Bosch, rental company Enterprise is going to test how this technology could streamline its own processes. It hopes that cars that drive themselves to a valet station, then recharge themselves before parking back on the lot ready for pickup will reduce dead time between rentals.

  • August 13, 2021 - A Groundbreaking Self-Driving Test Track Could Be Coming To Central Illinois -

    An autonomous test track may soon be on its way to the village of Rantoul and the decommissioned Chanute Air Force Base.

    An intergovernmental agreement, which establishes the lease and purchase of the land, is expected to be reached on Tuesday between the village of Rantoul and the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

    The Illinois Autonomous and Connected Track, or I-ACT, is part of UIUC’s Smart Transportation Infrastructure Initiative. The project, spearheaded by Dr. Imad Al-Qadi, Bliss Professor of Engineering at UIUC’s Grainger College of Engineering, has been in the works since 2019 and will serve to simulate different environmental conditions for various types of self-driving vehicles, or smart transportation.

  • August 13, 2021 - John Deere doubles Silicon Valley and robots -

    On Thursday, John Deere announced that it would acquire Bare Flag Robotics, a Silicon Valley startup that manufactures fully autonomous tractors for farms, for $ 250 million.

    Bear Flag modifies a regular tractor with the sensors, control system, computer, and communication system needed to operate autonomously. The company’s technology allows lonely farmers to remotely monitor the fleet of robotic tractors plowing fields.

    George Kantor, a roboticist who specializes in the use of robots in agriculture at Carnegie Mellon University, said: He adds that autonomous tractors are especially important because machines are used in so many different areas of agriculture.

    While some tractors can already autonomously follow GPS-guided paths, Bear Flag technology completely eliminates people from the tractor’s cab. The company has borrowed development and commoditized innovations throughout the self-driving car industry. Use lidar and computer vision to not only navigate, but also analyze the soil behind the tractor.

    “The fact that John Deere is stamping this kind of completely autonomous technology means that it really is coming.”

  • August 13, 2021 - Rust? Trains? Why clean energy is turning to exotic ideas to fix its storage problem -

    Traces of rust on iron have been a sign of decay for thousands of years. But now this chemical process — the oxidation of iron into iron oxide — forms the basis of a battery that Jaramillo said could offer a way to store energy on power grids for more than 100 hours, but at about one-tenth of the cost of an equivalent facility powered by lithium-ion batteries, the leading battery technology…

    “Cost-effective, durable and reliable energy storage opens up whole new areas of possibility for grid decarbonization,” said Costa Samaras, an associate professor of environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh who studies efforts to create a power grid with effectively no carbon emissions. “It reduces the stress on the grid during peak times, and it stores renewable energy in the times where you have a lot of it to the times where you don’t.”

  • August 11, 2021 - Transit Leaders Praise Innovative On-Demand Programs -

    On-demand transit projects that started before COVID-19 have led to robust ridership and speak to innovation that the public will need in a post-COVID world, according to experts during an event last week.

    “From the start of the pandemic, the public transportation industry pivoted to meet a new world of never-before-seen challenges,” said Paul Skoutelas, president and CEO of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) during a July 28 press briefing. “Innovation became survival.”

    APTA organized the briefing to underscore transit innovation during the pandemic and to present a new report titled “Mobility Innovation: The Case for Federal Investment and Support.”

  • August 11, 2021 - Philly has the best roads in the country, according to AI study of major US cities -

    Philadelphia’s roads — those in Center City, at least — are the best in the country, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce determined by using artificial intelligence to survey conditions in 20 metropolitan areas.

    Here’s how the study worked: Analysts with Pittsburgh-based RoadBotics mounted smartphones to cars’ windshields and drove roughly 75 miles through cities across the country. The phones’ captured video of pavement, from which artificial intelligence identified potholes, cracks and other distresses. Cities were then ranked based on an aggregated score.

    The survey of Philly spanned only 72 miles of the 2,575 miles that comprise the city. Cars traveled as far south as Catharine Street in Bella Vista and as far north as Wylie Street in Francisville. Fifth Street served as the eastern boundary, and cars went as far west as Pennsylvania Avenue just past the Museum of Art…

    Translation: Philadelphia’s spot on the rankings could have been very different — or nonexistent — had the cars traveled outside Center City onto roads that are not as frequently maintained.

  • August 11, 2021 - Volansi completes first-ever autonomous ship-to-ship drone delivery -

    Volansi, one of the leading companies in autonomous, point-to-point deliveries using fixed-wing Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) drones, is today announcing a huge milestone: It completed the first-ever autonomous drone delivery between two ships.

    The cargo deliveries – there were three of them – took place July 18 off the coast of Key West, Florida. Both its VOLY 10 and VOLY 20 series of drones were involved, with two flights covering 15 nautical miles and one flight covering one nautical mile.

    Volansi says this is the first time ever that an autonomous drone has carried out such missions, carrying cargo between two moving US government vessels. That’s quite an accomplishment.

  • August 11, 2021 - What if Highways Were Electric? Germany Is Testing the Idea. -

    There’s a debate over how to make the trucking industry free of emissions, and whether batteries or hydrogen fuel cells are the best way to fire up electric motors in big vehicles. Mr. Schmieder was part of a test of a third alternative: a system that feeds electricity to trucks as they drive, using wires strung above the roadway and a pantograph mounted on the cab.

    At one level the idea makes perfect sense. The system is energy efficient because it delivers power directly from the electrical grid to the motors. The technology saves weight and money because batteries tend to be heavy and expensive, and a truck using overhead wires needs only a big enough battery to get from the off-ramp to its final destination.

    And the system is relatively simple. Siemens, the German electronics giant that provided the hardware for this test route, adapted equipment that has been used for decades to drive trains and urban street cars.

  • August 11, 2021 - Startups map out strategies to augment or backup GPS -

    Companies investing billions of dollars in autonomous cars, delivery drones and urban air taxis are counting on precise and reliable location data being available when they need it.

    GPS-level accuracy of 4.9 meters for a smartphone operating under clear skies won’t be good enough. Before autonomous cars can speed down highways, they will need to know their location within around 10 centimeters with roughly one error every billion miles…

    TrustPoint, founded in 2020, is not alone in seeing skyhigh potential for a 21st century GNSS augmentation system or alternative. Xona Space Systems, founded in San Mateo, California, in 2019, is working toward the same goal…

    The U.S. Transportation Department delivered a report to Congress in January after testing alternative location and timing technologies. And the Department of Homeland Security is working with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to ensure the electric grid, emergency services and other components of the nation’s critical infrastructure are not solely reliant on GPS.

  • August 10, 2021 - DOT moves to regulate self-driving car tests on NYC streets -

    The de Blasio Administration wants to force companies that road-test self-driving cars on the streets in spots around the five boroughs to apply for permits, according to recently proposed changes to city rules.

    The tests would be preliminary, and only be allowed with a person sitting behind the wheel to take over if anything goes wrong, according to the changes,which were published in the City Record on Monday.

    The new rules would require companies that want to test autonomous vehicles on NYC streets to apply for and receive a $5,000-per-year permit from the city Department of Transportation.

    New York state already allows self-driving car companies to test-run in the city; the proposed rule change would require them to apply for permits before doing so.

  • August 10, 2021 - Waymo delivering food to help feed seniors in the East Valley -

    The Waymo self-driving cars are on a new mission. You’ve seen them carrying passengers. Now, a special fleet of vans and trucks have been dedicated to making deliveries; everything from mail to commercial goods, and now food bags to serve seniors in the East Valley.

    Once a week volunteers at AZCEND put together dozens of food bags to drop off at the Gilbert Senior Center. Paula Knight, the food bank manager, then calls for a ride. What shows up is a bright blue self-driving car, with Waymo Via plastered on the side. Staff load up the car then it’s off to the senior center to make the drop-off.

  • August 10, 2021 - Volkswagen breaks new ground in automotive quantum computing -

    Quantum computing is still very much in its nascent phase with only a handful of organizations across various industries in the world making strides beyond research and into practical applications. Notably, German automaker Volkswagen has been working on applying it to the automotive industry for over five years now.

    In fact, the motor vehicle manufacturer was the first automaker to demonstrate a practical application of quantum computing for route and traffic management. “Everything we learn now can give us an advantage in the future,” director of Volkswagen Group Data, Florian Neukart, said once about the potential applications of quantum computing. “Some challenges and questions in fields like material science may only be solvable through quantum computing. In other areas, we can take a problem that might require a week of classical computing power and finish it in a day or less.”

  • August 10, 2021 - Chattanooga’s ‘Smart Corridor+’ to feed researchers street-level data -

    The National Science Foundation will fund research to create a “smart corridor” of internet-connected sensors within downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga announced on Monday. They’re calling it Smart Corridor+.

    The $1.37 million grant funds research at the university’s Center for Urban Informatics and Progress, a center that uses data, artificial intelligence, statistical modeling and machine learning to study how cities can improve mobility, health care, energy consumption and access to the internet.

    Officials said they’ll use the funding to provide researchers access to data steams from sensors installed in a 1.2 mile stretch of the city’s downtown area. A spokesperson from the center said the project may also integrate video feeds from more than 20 cameras, but the project is still “in its infancy” and that functionality isn’t certain to be included.

  • August 10, 2021 - Colorado Smart Cities Alliance Announces Revive! Winners -

    Six technology providers have been selected as the winners of the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance Revive! Challenge.

    The competition, which came to a close July 29, was structured to have smart city technology applied to areas like transportation or economic development as communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “We saw plenty of innovations in the space before COVID,” said Tyler Svitak, executive director of the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance, referring to transportation and economic development.

  • August 9, 2021 - How Ground-Penetrating Radar Could Help Self-Driving Cars ‘See’ Better -

    WaveSense is one of those on the edge of the GPR trail, using a radar system designed to penetrate the ground and take measurements at centimeter-level accuracy. Its application for GPR was spun out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory, where it was being developed to automate military vehicles. They quickly realized it filled the same gaps for commercial vehicles.

    The company’s CEO and co-founder Tarik Bolat says precise localization in any type of dynamic environment (such as poorly-marked road surfaces, off-road terrain, and inclement weather) is going to change the direction of technology for ADAS. Ultimately, GPS, lidar, and cameras map the world around you and track to that, including buildings and other markings. Bolat says WaveSense takes that deeper, measuring routes, rocks, cavities, and soil about three meters into the ground.

  • August 9, 2021 - As robotaxis arrive, Miami’s Uber and Lyft drivers fear they’ll be left at the curb -

    While experts agree that it is unlikely 100% of the platforms’ fleets will ever become autonomous, the start of the tests signals that robotaxis will be here faster than many have assumed. Asad Hussain, a senior analyst at venture data group Pitchbook who covers the autonomous vehicle industry, said that by 2030, it not before, self-driving Ubers and Lyfts would start to become more common.

    “The big value add here is that you don’t have to pay the labor cost of a human driver,” Hussain said. “…You’re reducing the cost of transportation, but on the flip side, what happens to drivers is a really important question.”

    The pressure to automate has, if anything, become more intense, he said, now that companies are facing higher wages, a trend that has coincided with a shortage of drivers amid the pandemic.

  • August 9, 2021 - Apple Rival Building Level 4 Self-Driving Car, Currently on a Hiring Spree -

    Apple’s long-term plan of expanding to the automotive industry has caught the attention of all its rivals, including those based in China who immediately noticed the potential of such a move, especially given the trends that are signaling an obvious transition to electric power.

    The Apple Car has therefore become a trend-setter before it even came to be, but on the other hand, this is without a doubt good news especially because the competition is typically the biggest boost to innovation.

    Xiaomi is one of the tech behemoths that have already confirmed plans to expand in the automotive field, with the company previously revealing it wants to spend $1.5 billion to create its very own electric car.

  • August 9, 2021 - TuSimple, Ryder Partner on Terminals for Autonomous Trucks -

    Self-driving truck developer TuSimple and Ryder System Inc. announced a partnership intended to leverage select Ryder fleet maintenance facilities to serve as terminals on TuSimple’s Autonomous Freight Network.

    “With this partnership, we believe Ryder is positioned to become a leader in the servicing of autonomous trucks,” Ryder Chief Marketing Officer Karen Jones said.

    The companies said July 29 they will work to identify existing Ryder facilities for that purpose. Terminals are secure facilities that serve as the start and end points along autonomous driving routes, and they are intended to have heavy-duty trucks and trailers come and go daily.

  • August 9, 2021 - Visa Mobility Study: Most Want Contactless Payments On Public Trans -

    The nine-market global mobility study released on Thursday (July 29) shows contactless payments, masks and social distancing are on the minds of commuters making plans to return to the workplace after more than a year of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.

    Some 84 percent of respondents that largely stopped using public transportation when the pandemic took hold in March 2020 indicated that they will get back to their pre-COVID level of ridership, but with a few caveats.

    Some 68 percent of respondents said they are very likely to wear a mask on public transit even if not mandated to do so. Some 39 percent are planning to minimize contact with common surfaces.

    Further, contactless payment methods and ticketing are important to 88 percent of transit commuters — and expected. Over one-third of Gen Z and millennial respondents use public transportation as their main way to get around — than any other demographic. Over half of millennials reported using public transit for commuting roundtrip to work and running errands.

  • August 6, 2021 - Good2Go Brings Equitable, All-Electric Carsharing to Roxbury -

    A new nonprofit carsharing business recently launched in Roxbury with the goal of offering a lower-cost, all-electric carsharing service for lower-income households.

    Good2Go started offering short-term rentals of electric cars from three charging stations in Roxbury and Jamaica Plain last month.

    The all-electric fleet isn’t the only thing that distinguishes the new business from other carsharing competitors: Good2Go also offers a tiered pricing structure in which qualified low-income members pay only half of the service’s normal rate, which is $10 per hour…

    Randall’s company has also helped similar carsharing businesses get started in other parts of the country, like Miocar, which parks its cars at affordable housing complexes among several rural farming communities in California’s Central Valley, and BlueLA, another service with income-tiered pricing, in Los Angeles.

    Randall says that Good2Go is operating as a pilot for now, and is looking for a local nonprofit that can steward the project in the long term.

  • August 6, 2021 - NSF Makes Huge Investment In Eleven New Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes. -

    NSF is partnering with federal agencies (U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Homeland Security) and private companies (Google, Amazon, Intel and Accenture) to create the National AI Research Institutes.

    Each grant provides about $20 million in support to an institute over five years. The 11 new AI Research institutes are:..

    AI Institute for Future Edge Networks and Distributed Intelligence. Also headed by the Ohio State University, this institute will use synergies between networking and AI to design new wireless edge networks. It will improve AI “applications in sectors such as intelligent transportation, remote health care, distributed robotics and smart aerospace.” It’s partially funded by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

  • August 6, 2021 - FCC Approves Smart Infrastructure Technology For Central Ohio -

    The FCC has approved a smart infrastructure plan developed by the governments of Dublin, Marysville, Union County and the Ohio Department of Transportation.

    The FCC granted licenses for short range, wireless vehicle-to-infrastructure technology to be used alongside the 33 Smart Mobility Corridor, a 35-mile stretch of highway running from Dublin and Marysville to The Transportation Research Center in East Liberty.

    The technology will allow vehicles with receivers to get safety messages, protecting drivers and improving logistics for Ohio businesses, according to DriveOhio communications and policy director Luke Stedke.

  • August 6, 2021 - Aurora Leverages Uber Ride Data To Plan High-Speed Robotaxi Service -

    Automated ride-hail services, a core goal for leading autonomous tech developers Alphabet’s Waymo and GM-backed Cruise, are being readied mainly in low-speed urban and suburban settings as the AI behind the wheel trains to deliver passengers safely while avoiding pedestrians, cyclists, potholes and other vehicles. But rival startup Aurora says its robotaxi service will focus on higher-speed highway rides such as airport runs when it launches in 2024…

    Aurora, whose other founders include CEO and ex-Google Self-Driving Project chief Chris Urmson and Carnegie-Mellon University computer scientist Drew Bagnell, had seemed to shift its focus from robotaxis to trucking in the past year, an application for autonomous technology that looks to be both more attainable and lucrative in the near-term than ride services. Yet when it announced plans to list shares publicly via a SPAC merger this month, the company emphasized that its robotaxi development work continues and should be ready by 2024.

  • August 6, 2021 - How an AV car company is helping keep the lights on -

    As dozens of companies have worked to bring autonomous vehicles (AVs) to life, most of the outside focus has been directed at safety and legal concerns. While engineers are fine-tuning sensors, cameras and artificial intelligence systems to ensure vehicles properly recognize objects, brake when they are supposed to and safely deliver passengers and cargo to their proper destination, others are looking at what other benefits AVs could bring to the world.

    It boils down to this question: Is there a greater societal good that can come from AVs?

    Motional thinks so. The Boston-based company, which is a joint venture between Hyundai Motor Group and technology company Aptiv, is running a pilot program with Eversource, New England’s largest utility. The program is using Motional vehicles operating within Eversource’s service territory of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut to collect data and information on Eversource’s utility infrastructure and report that data back to the utility.

  • August 4, 2021 - Arrival and its automated driving system reach major milestone -

    Autonomous vehicle manufacturer Arrival (NASDAQ: ARVL) announced on Monday a successful test run of its automated driving system (ADS) at a fully functioning parcel facility. It’s the first time one of its Arrival Vans has driven around a facility without a driver in tow, performing all daily operations of a commercial fleet driver. The driverless vehicles are intended to boost both safety and efficiency in depots.

    The Arrival Van is the most recent addition to the company’s Robopilot project, intended to increase market knowledge, functionality and public perception of its ADS. Other iterations of the project, including the Arrival Bus and the Arrival Car, can be rolled out using the same technology as the Arrival Van.

  • August 4, 2021 - Report details how Alaska Airlines is using AI to better map flight routes and save time and fuel -

    In a new story this week, Fortune reports on how Seattle-based Alaska Airlines is pioneering the use of software to better predict weather and air traffic and help flight planners map out routes. The technology, called Flyways, is made by Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup Airspace Intelligence, whose website only says that it’s “the future of flight control.”

    Fortune reports that Alaska has been using the AI alongside its flight planners for the past year, from the company’s new headquarters facility in SeaTac, south of Seattle, called “The Hub.” The trial produced big savings in jet fuel and lower carbon dioxide emissions, and improved on-time performance. And now Alaska will be the first airline to use the software more extensively as it rolls out the system to help dispatch all of its flights — more than 1,000 daily departures — in the lower 48 states.

  • August 4, 2021 - Musing On That Rising Speculation About Wanting To Ditch The Vaunted Topmost Level 5 Of The Self-Driving Cars Autonomous Rating Scale -

    Here’s again the SAE standard definition for ODD (we covered this earlier, but handy to repeat again here): “Operating conditions under which a given driving automation system or feature thereof is specifically designed to function, including, but not limited to, environmental, geographical, and time-of-day restrictions, and/or the requisite presence or absence of certain traffic or roadway characteristics.”

    One could presumably craft an ODD for Level 4 that is as dangerous or perhaps more so dangerous than Level 5, though we would not expect anyone to do this. The assumption by some is that ODDs are going to be nicely and neatly devised into rather tight quarters that are assuredly safe boundaries, which is what most of today’s efforts are seeking to do. That doesn’t though stop someone from doing otherwise. One would hope that this isn’t a direction taken, but it is conceivable.

    Now that we’ve covered the ongoing jawing about whether to ditch Level 5, you get to be the judge.

  • August 4, 2021 - Advanced Trucks Could Increased Driver Retention -

    Fleets are realizing a significant return on their investment (ROI) into more advanced trucks when more of these trucks are placed into service. In fact, the cost for all safety equipment (including collision avoidance, disc brakes, lane change, and electronic stability control) decreases overall collision repairs and yields a return on the original safety technology investment in about 18 months (collision repairs cost avoided). These are hefty savings combined with the cost of on-boarding new drivers.

    Since more fleets and transportation organizations are replacing older trucks with more advanced, safer equipment on the roads, these companies will quickly realize they will keep their drivers and others on the road safer. This will also allow them to retain their drivers at a higher rate and enjoy generous savings in reduced accident and litigation costs, along with lower maintenance and repair expenses.

  • August 4, 2021 - Chicago bus shelters monitor air quality -

    Outdoor advertising company JCDecaux has partnered with Microsoft Research’s urban innovation group to deploy air quality sensors on 100 bus shelters in Chicago.

    JCDecaux says the sensors will measure and record air quality, temperature, and humidity across the city and throughout various weather conditions.

    The public can access the data on their smartphones by scanning a QR code on each bus shelter referring to a website designed by Microsoft. This information will also be fed into the Chicago Open Data portal…

    The project also involved input from the Array of Things team, a collaborative effort in which scientists from Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago collect real-time data on the urban environment for research and public use.

  • August 3, 2021 - Ford to open new electric vehicle battery facility in Michigan -

    Ford will refurbish an existing 270,000-square-foot facility, which will house up to 200 engineers, researchers, purchasing and finance leaders. The facility will feature “world-class pilot-scale equipment for electrode, cell and array design and manufacturing engineering and innovation.”

    The new collaborative learning lab, dubbed Ford Ion Park, represents $100 million of the automaker’s total $185 million investment in developing, testing and building electric vehicle battery cells and cell arrays. It is also part of the company’s $30 billion investment in electrification by 2025.

  • August 3, 2021 - New urban tech coalition weighs in on US infrastructure plan -

    As President Biden’s flagship infrastructure bill advances, the Coalition for Urban Innovation has formed to fight the corner for emerging and advanced technologies, from data platforms and sensors to smart transport and buildings.

    The founding members, comprising more than a dozen organisations and advisors from the public, private and non-profit sectors, include Sidewalk Labs, Smart Cities Council, Accelerator for America and Via Transportation. They are urging federal and local government leaders to look to the “cutting edge of what is possible” as infrastructure is upgraded.

    The group will advocate for enhanced federal investments, coordination, research and technical support to “ensure urban innovation is prioritised in infrastructure spending to make our cities more sustainable and equitable”.

  • August 3, 2021 - Amazon Rolls Out Electric Delivery Trucks Across Metro Detroit -

    This week, Amazon begins testing and training delivery drivers on how to operate and optimize a fleet of up to 100,000 electric delivery vehicles. The signature two-tone blue trucks were designed in partnership with Rivian, an EV manufacturer based in Plymouth Township.

    Detroit is one of 16 cities where Amazon will be using EV vehicles for customer deliveries in 2021. The online retailer states Detroit was selected for the initial rollout because of its broad customer base, infrastructure, and climate variation. Amazon plans to operate 10,000 of these vehicles as early as next year.


    As Roy Amara’s eponymous law famously states, “we tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.”

    That is where we are today. People are overestimating how quickly level-5 autonomy will come and overestimating how widespread level-4 autonomy will become in the near future. They see only the technical possibilities, not the resistance that will come when autonomous agents invade human spaces, be they too rude or overly deferential.

    Certainly this new way of driving will eventually come. It will creep up on us, finally reducing manual driving to a recreation confined to specialized entertainment zones. The day of the robocar is inevitable, but that day will not come soon.

  • August 3, 2021 - Investigation: No review of Amazon Churchill project impact on Parkway East -

    Developer Hillwood Investment Properties did a 600-page traffic study last year and a 55-page followup study last month. The studies said there will be more than 5,000 vehicle trips per day at the Amazon site, including nearly 700 trucks.

    But the Parkway East impact was not part of either study…

    Action News Investigates asked Carnegie Mellon University engineering professor and transportation expert Sean Qian to review the traffic studies. He said he was surprised they did not look at the impact on the parkway or nearby communities like Monroeville and Forest Hills.

    “I think the impact to the parkway in both directions as well as for some of the arterials connecting to those neighborhoods should also be carefully studied,” Qian said.

    He said if 100 Amazon trucks hit the parkway during rush hour, commuters will feel it.

    “Ten percent more traffic added on top of an already very congested Squirrel Hill tunnel, I think it’s a lot,” he said.

  • August 2, 2021 - AI Startup Idelic Raises $20 Million To Make Trucking Industry Safer, Less Costly -

    While Hayden Cardiff was finishing his M.B.A. at Carnegie Mellon, he started consulting for Pitt Ohio, large trucking company headquartered in Pittsburgh. Though he had already worked with his classmate Thomas Healy to launch electric truck startup Hyliion—which went on to go public last fall—Cardiff never expected that trucking would become his thing. “If you had asked me 10 or 15 years ago if I would’ve gotten into trucking, I would’ve told you absolutely not,” Cardiff, 31, says.

    Now, Cardiff, along with his cofounders and former CMU classmates Nick Bartel, 36, and Andrew Russell, 30, is set to announce a $20 million series B raised by Idelic, a startup that applies AI and machine learning to data from trucking fleets in order to ensure driver safety and streamline logistics. As the threat of “nuclear verdicts”—jury awards in accident lawsuits that exceed $10 million—continues to drive up insurance costs for commercial auto, Idelic also hopes to use its software to reduce them.

  • August 2, 2021 - 70% of Seniors Embrace Self-Driving Cars, Says New Study -

    The National Council on Aging (NCOA) and Volkswagen Group of America released the results of an online survey that reveals approximately 70% of older adults said they have trust in SDRH services and believe that such services could help them complete tasks outside the home…

    According to the study, 75% of respondents said they expect to use SDHR technologies in the future. Seventy-one percent agreed it would help them keep their independence.

    Public transportation, taxis, and ride hailing services can be options for older adults. Alternatives to driving are not available in many rural areas.

    An estimated 2,500 people over the age of 55 responded to the NCOA survey. The average age of respondents was 60. Sixty-four percent were male.

    Seventy-five percent of the respondents were white, while 15% were Black/African American, 4.3% American Indian/Alaskan Native, and 30% Hispanic/Latino. Eighty-eight percent of the respondents were from metro areas, while 8% resided in suburban areas and 4% lived in rural areas.

  • August 2, 2021 - Autonomous vehicles will be here soon. What about the environmental consequences? -

    Autonomous vehicles have a long history in Pittsburgh, starting with Carnegie Mellon University’s winning team in the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge. Since then, several companies in the sector have built their headquarters here, continually bringing jobs, wealth and engineering prowess to the area. Pittsburgh, for its part, has welcomed the new technology, starting with Mayor Bill Peduto’s early work in allowing Uber to test its initial fleet of autonomous cars.

    While a full commercial launch of the technology is still yet to come, recent announcements from two area companies indicate that momentum is building. But for all of the new convenience and efficiency these cars might offer, their environmental advantages are somewhat more nuanced than those of electric vehicles, leaving some to wonder how they will operate in a world that is de-emphasizing the trend of automobile transportation in the name of climate change.

    The main environmental benefit that autonomous vehicles offer is their efficiency: “Autonomous vehicles, in general, operate more optimally,” Neil Donahue, the director of CMU’s Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research told Technical.ly. “They’re less lead-footy.”

  • August 2, 2021 - Forget Smart Cities, ‘Stupid’ Infrastructure Is The Solution For Future Transportation -

    As the potential for a digital revolution in transportation has risen, many people have pondered the question of how we might make our roads and cities “smart” to enable this revolution, and what types of new infrastructure we should build to be ready for it.

    The answer I give, which naturally disturbs those in the infrastructure world is, “not much.” The true answer is not so facile, but relies on several fundamental lessons from the core digital technologies which have already vastly changed the world, computers and networking. That’s the world I come from and it has worthwhile lessons for all those trying to follow on the exponential revolution pathway.

    The rise of the internet teaches vital lessons for how to prepare what you do, particularly in infrastructure, to make it ready for the future.

  • August 2, 2021 - Smart City Tech Is Being Built Into Planned Communities -

    Some of the smart city technologies being made available to residents include drone delivery by DroneUp, ferrying goods from the New Haven Marketplace — a new retail area — to resident homes. New Haven will also feature “robot carts” by gita, a self-operating enclosed cart about the size of a wheelbarrow, that can follow pedestrians with groceries or other items. Residents can also hop on a three-wheeled electric scooter by Clevr Scooters.

    New Haven, which is part of the larger Ontario Ranch, was developed as a “gigabit community,” offering super high-speed broadband to support any number of smart city applications as well as the increasing work-from-anywhere trends following the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The move to build in high-speed communications infrastructure is similar to other developments like National Landing, another planned community to be developed in the Washington, D.C., metro region. National Landing is being developed in partnership with AT&T with 5G to support next-gen smart city technologies.

  • July 30, 2021 - ‘Move fast and break things’ won’t work for autonomous vehicles -

    Recently-proposed legislation to authorize a “Highly Automated Systems Safety Center of Excellence” intended to review the safety of automated technologies is a good idea. But other proposals would grant the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the power to initially exempt 15,000 self-driving vehicles per manufacturer from safety standards written with human drivers in mind. This would escalate to 80,000 per-manufacturer within three years. This is a bad idea.

    Suppose that each of the 80,000 autonomous vehicles deployed by a given manufacturer for testing carries an average of 1.5 passengers. This means that 120,000 people are experimenting with this new technology on public roads, not counting the pedestrians, cyclists and others who unwittingly share those roads in this experiment…

    So, let us fund a center tasked to develop the appropriate safety and security standards for autonomous vehicles. But let’s not put those vehicles on the road until they can meet those standards.

  • July 30, 2021 - Electric trucks can travel (short) distances -

    The state of California passed the regulation in June 2020, mandating that most of the heavy-duty trucks sold by 2035 have zero emissions. The state also has an extensive voucher system to subsidize the cost of purchasing a new electric vehicle…

    Other US states follow California’s initiative. In July 2020, 15 states signed new regulations requiring all new medium and heavy vehicles to have zero emissions by 2050.

    Short-range electric trucks appear to be relatively close to commercial reality, but some researchers say that expanding the range of electric trucks may not be technically or economically feasible in the short term. I warn you that there is no such thing.

    Venkat Viswanathan, a mechanical engineer at Carnegie Mellon University, said: And as batteries get cheaper and lighter, trucks that can travel up to about 500 miles between charges look more realistic, says Viswanathan.

  • July 30, 2021 - EV startup Rivian announces $2.5 bln funding round led by Amazon, Ford -

    Electric car startup Rivian said on Friday it has closed a $2.5 billion fundraising round led by investors Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), Ford Motor Co (F.N) and T. Rowe Price.(TROW.O)

    The announcement came the day after the California-based company said it was exploring building a second U.S. assembly plant. Reuters, citing unnamed sources, reported on Thursday that Rivian’s planned plant, dubbed “Project Tera,” will include battery cell production…

    Rivian, which has a plant currently in Normal, Illinois, said it has raised about $10.5 billion to date. It will seek a valuation of well over $50 billion in a potential public listing later this year, a source previously told Reuters.

    Automakers are racing to develop EVs as China, Europe and other countries and regions mandate lower carbon emissions. Rivian aims to compete when it rolls out its R1T pickup and R1S SUV, as well as a delivery van for Amazon.

  • July 30, 2021 - Streetlight sensors to monitor pedestrian safety arrive in Arlington -

    Smart technology streetlight sensors have been installed in the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington, as part of a pilot program to improve public safety in the area.

    The sensors can’t identify personal information about someone. Instead, optical, audio and environmental sensors collect information about the radius of location between pedestrians…

    The data will help implement changes, such as improved pedestrian safety and flow, and better safety response times through detection of environmental events.

    “I think the opportunity for us to tread very carefully into this space, to make sure we’re looking at the privacy aspect…to make sure we’re looking at the value that we’re getting very carefully and thoughtfully, helps the county to have a real life example of, ‘Is this useful to us?’” said Hartell.

    The goal is to have the findings from the sensors posted to an open data portal by the fall.

  • July 30, 2021 - WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE — Floods. -

    But there’s a divide among climate change experts about whether fortifying infrastructure against the impact of climate change detracts from the larger fight: stopping climate change.

    Much of our current infrastructure is already past its prime and should be repaired so that it can withstand extreme weather, said Constantine Samaras, director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Engineering and Resilience for Climate Adaptation. When aging roads and bridges get washed out in a flood, rebuilding them amounts to a sort of climate tax. It’s better to upgrade things ahead of time, he said.

    Even if lawmakers and the administration don’t want to admit it, much of the spending on roads and bridges and transit and waterways is a climate bill in disguise, he said. “The infrastructure we have right now was generally designed for the weather and climate of the 20th century,” Samaras said.

  • July 28, 2021 - Parking Startups Are Cashing In on America’s Traffic Surge -

    Before the pandemic, the industry was in crisis, says Eran Ben-Joseph, a professor of urban planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of ReThinking a Lot: The Design and Culture of Parking. The rise of such ride-sharing services as Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. had meant that many parking garages at stadiums and the like were forced to retrofit their spaces for other uses, such as mini-distribution centers for packages.

    Post-pandemic, though, parking companies are benefiting from a renewed love of personal space. “I do think right now there’s a little bit of a psychological issue with taking public transit or taking Uber,” Ben-Joseph says. He also thinks parking apps in particular may be benefiting from the lack of desire to touch kiosk screens or hand over cash to an attendant.

  • July 28, 2021 - Tesla Semi electric truck is finally about to go into production -

    After years of delays, Tesla is finally about to start production of Tesla Semi, its all-electric semi-truck.

    The whole truck industry is watching.

    While there are already a few electric trucks on the road, none of them have the specs enabling longer range hauling in a class 8 semi-truck, like the Tesla Semi is promising.

    When launching Tesla Semi in 2017, the automaker said that the electric truck’s production versions, a class 8 truck with an 80,000-lb capacity, will have 300-mile and 500-mile range options for $150,000 and $180,000, respectively.

    It would also have the lowest cost of operation of any semi-truck, making it extremely disruptive in an industry where every cent counts…

    Now sources familiar with the matter told Electrek that the drive axle production line is ready and the general assembly line is going through its final debugging before starting production.

  • July 28, 2021 - Self-driving project Waymo to open Pittsburgh office in Bakery Square -

    Waymo, the former Google self-driving car project, is opening an office in Pittsburgh.

    It plans to collocate with Google’s local headquarters in Bakery Square and hire a team of about 20 workers to focus on its autonomous technology for moving people and goods. To kick off its new office, Waymo is bringing on expertise and employees from Shadyside-based RobotWits, which provides planning and decision making technologies for self-driving vehicles…

    “I am absolutely thrilled that the RobotWits team will be joining Waymo,” said Mr. Likhachev. “I am equally excited about the fact that this initiates Waymo’s presence in Pittsburgh, a city of robots that has vast research and development in robotics in general and autonomous vehicles in particular and produces massive engineering talent.”

    Mr. Likhachev and two other employees from RobotWits will be joining the Waymo team, Mr. Chandra said.

  • July 28, 2021 - New algorithm may help autonomous vehicles navigate narrow, crowded streets -

    It is a scenario familiar to anyone who has driven down a crowded, narrow street. Parked cars line both sides, and there isn’t enough space for vehicles traveling in both directions to pass each other. One has to duck into a gap in the parked cars or slow and pull over as far as possible for the other to squeeze by.

    Drivers find a way to negotiate this, but not without close calls and frustration. Programming an autonomous vehicle (AV) to do the same — without a human behind the wheel or knowledge of what the other driver might do — presented a unique challenge for researchers at the Carnegie Mellon University Argo AI Center for Autonomous Vehicle Research…

    While at CMU, Killing teamed up with research scientist John Dolan and Ph.D. student Adam Villaflor to crack this problem. The team presented its research, “Learning To Robustly Negotiate Bi-Directional Lane Usage in High-Conflict Driving Scenarios,” at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation.

  • July 28, 2021 - Microgrids gaining interest, Pittsburgh International Airport the latest to build one -

    Pittsburgh International Airport recently built its own microgrid to generate solar power and natural gas on site. Over the years, microgrids have grown more and more popular.

    “Microgrids are local power grids that can disconnect from the traditional centralized grid and operate autonomously,” explains Destenie Nock, assistant professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.

    The airport will use the microgrid as its primary power source but remain connected to the main grid in case of emergency.

    “As we see more extreme weather events with climate change and more instances of deep freezes like we saw in Texas, more businesses, companies, hospitals, airports want to make sure they all reliably have power when they need it and they’re not dependent on some power plant really far off in the distance,” she says.

    Nock says microgrids make facilities like airports more resilient and protect public safety.

  • July 27, 2021 - Argo AI teams up with Lyft to offer driverless ride-hailing service -

    Pittsburgh’s self-driving startup Argo AI is partnering with Ford Motor Co. and ride-hail company Lyft to offer robotaxi service in Miami by the end of the year and in Austin in 2022.

    Initially, the Ford Escape hybrids will have a safety driver and Lyft users will be able to choose whether they want a self-driving vehicle.

    Argo AI will gather data from the rides to improve its service. In exchange, Lyft will receive a 2.5% stake in the company. Ford will fuel, service and clean the robotaxi fleets under the partnership.

    “This collaboration marks the first time all the pieces of the autonomous vehicle puzzle have come together this way,“ Lyft Co-founder and CEO Logan Green said in a statement.