• October 4, 2023 - Atlanta Suburbs Will Try Again to Expand Public Transit - "After a string of tough defeats going back decades, voters in Gwinnett County, Ga., a growing suburban area bordering on Atlanta, could soon be asked again to approve new funding for public transit. Last month, the Gwinnett County commissioners approved a Transit Development Plan that would cost an estimated $17 billion to implement. While the financing has yet to be determined, county leaders say it’s likely they’ll ask voters to approve a one-cent sales tax to pay for the improvements, with a referendum coming as soon as next November... In addition to microtransit, the plan recommends building out a 26-mile bus rapid transit (BRT) line, with “features such as offboard fare payment, bus-only lanes, limited stops, queue jumps and transit signal priority.” It also calls for expanding traditional bus service and providing new “quick ride” or “bus rapid transit lite” service, with some BRT features. " Link to Article

  • October 4, 2023 - New York’s traffic congestion pricing plan: What we know so far - "Dive Brief: Details of how New York’s congestion pricing plan will affect taxi and ride-hailing vehicles, commuter buses and other drivers entering Manhattan were laid out Monday afternoon in a meeting of the Traffic Mobility Review Board. The six-member panel will issue recommendations on the program’s tolling structure this month, according to news reports. Fees for most vehicles in Manhattan entering or driving south of 61st Street could begin in May 2024, according to news reports. There would be no charges upon exiting the congestion zone or driving within it. However, the newly laid-out details failed to assuage the concerns of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, whose spokesperson told WABC, “This proposed tolling program remains a fundamentally flawed and unjust scheme to balance the MTA’s budget at the expense of hardworking New Jerseyans.”" Link to Article

  • October 4, 2023 - Uber launches new shipping and returns feature - "Uber has launched a new way to return unwanted purchases just as the holiday shopping season is getting started. Driving the news: With the new service, consumers can use the Uber or Uber Eats app to skip the trip to UPS, FedEx or the post office to drop off returns themselves. The \"Return a Package\" feature is available in nearly 5,000 cities nationwide, Uber announced Wednesday. It can also be used to drop off prepaid packages other than returns, including holiday gifts. The big picture: Returns can cost consumers big money if they forget to send products back or miss return deadlines. Returns also accounted for $816 billion in lost sales, or 18% of total sales in 2022, up from 11% in 2020, according to the National Retail Federation... What\'s next: \"Consumers should be prepared for retailers to continue to impose fees for returns or change their policies,\" Sender Shamiss, CEO of return logistics company goTRG, told Axios." Link to Article

  • October 4, 2023 - Pennsylvania receives $11.3M federal rail grant - "The Federal Railroad Association recently awarded the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) a $11.3 million Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grant. The agency will use the funding for the approximately $25 million Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad’s (BPRR) Rebuilding Western Pennsylvania project. The project will improve safety, freight reliability, and supply chain efficiency by making infrastructure improvements to the Main Line Subdivision and P&W Subdivision of the Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad in Armstrong, Butler, Jefferson and Lawrence counties. The rail line supports the transportation of multiple commodities and interchanges with Canadian National Railway, CSX, and Allegheny Valley Railroad. The CRISI grant provides 45 percent of the needed funding, PennDOT will provide $4 million and BPRR will provide $9.75 million. " Link to Article

  • October 4, 2023 - USDOT – FHWA Opens $10B in Bridge Funding - "The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration opened applications for nearly $10 billion in funding for fiscal years 2023-2026 through the competitive Bridge Investment Program’s “Large Bridge Project” category, which funds projects larger than $100 million. The Bridge Investment Program was established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which makes the single largest dedicated investment in bridges since the construction of the Interstate highway system: a total of $40 billion over five years to help ensure that some of the nation’s most important bridges remain safe and operational, meet current and future traveler needs, support local economies, strengthen our supply chains, and create good-paying jobs across the country... The FHWA plans to conduct extensive community outreach and public engagement throughout the application process that will include a Zoom Webinar. Technical assistance is also available to recipients who receive Bridge Investment Program grants. " Link to Article

  • October 3, 2023 - Self-driving vehicle testing in Pittsburgh area shifting gears to focus on trucking industry - "Not long ago, cars topped with a futuristic apparatus could regularly be seen cruising along Pittsburgh’s streets, testing technology that allowed the vehicles to get around without a person steering the wheel. But such car sightings have become rare as the autonomous vehicle sector has refocused from the hype of the 2010s... Karen Lightman, executive director of the Metro21 Smart Cities Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, called it “tech-lash.” “People react out of fear of technology,” Lightman said. Although there are challenges for passenger vehicles, Lightman said, the technology is poised to improve people’s lives. “People who are disabled or don’t have access to reliable, safe transportation can be cut off from the rest of the world. They can’t work, get groceries, go to worship, can’t see friends and family,” Lightman said. “There’s a whole chunk of our country that’s disconnected because we don’t have public transportation that serves them.” “I’m hoping that we’ll see public transportation also become more automated and autonomous, and shared mobility will be a critical part of it,” she added. “If we end up having more single-occupancy vehicles that happen to be autonomous, we’re not improving quality of life. And if it’s just for the rich elite, that’s not sustainable, either. We have to make sure there’s equity in this.”" Link to Article

  • October 3, 2023 - China moves to strengthen innovation in smart driving - "China will back firms in the smart vehicle supply chain to form groups dedicated to spreading innovation, state media said on Monday, as it races to hammer out standards for assisted and autonomous driving functions by 2025. The world\'s largest auto market, which set the target for such standards in July, has made so-called intelligent connected vehicles (ICVs) a long-term strategic focus in a drive to become the leading global player in the still nascent industry. China will support firms in forming \"innovation consortia\", that enable them to learn from each other\'s strengths in order to achieve technological breakthroughs, the official Xinhua news agency said... While level 1 is the least intelligent or automated of China\'s five categories of autonomous driving, official data shows that in the first half of 2023, just over 42% of the country\'s new passenger vehicles had already attained Level 2." Link to Article

  • October 3, 2023 - FTA focuses on rail transit collisions with cars, pedestrians at street level - "The Federal Transit Administration is working to raise awareness about transit rail safety in street-crossing and street-running environments. The agency held a webinar on Sept. 21 to discuss recent research and promote its transit safety resources webpage. Every three hours in the U.S., a person or vehicle is hit by a train, often resulting in deaths and injuries. According to University of South Florida research highlighted at the FTA webinar, trespassers account for 15% of fatalities along transit rail lines, and suicides make up 40% of deaths. The FTA found that incidents at street crossings were 10 times greater than at conventional railroad grade crossings and that transit agencies have more street intersections than conventional railroads, which are difficult to protect. " Link to Article

  • October 2, 2023 - Denver pedestrians give a collective shrug to CDOT’s ‘neon navigators’ safety campaign - "Ciera Trowell only had a minute to talk. The Denver resident was pushing a stroller and was about to catch her bus at the busy intersection of 14th Avenue and Federal Boulevard. It’s an intersection she prefers to avoid... CDOT this week recognized this and other dangerous intersections in the Denver metro as part of a safety campaign meant to raise awareness among drivers and pedestrians about rising pedestrian deaths. Four were killed over the weekend, and the state is on pace to break last year’s record high of 115 pedestrian deaths. As part of that campaign, CDOT placed short, plastic “neon navigators” at those intersections on Thursday... Research shows that many information-only safety programs do little to change road users’ behaviors for the safer... Big, structural changes are coming, Cole said, referring to CDOT safety programs aimed at lowering speed limits and rebuilding dangerous urban roads. They just take time to take effect, and can be less noticeable than a colorful safety campaign. " Link to Article

  • October 2, 2023 - Mercedes-Benz Drive Pilot: The Self-Driving Car Has (Sort Of) Arrived - "People have been joking about, “Where’s my flying car?” ever since The Jetsons hit TV screens over 60 years ago. But in more recent years people have been asking, “Where’s my self-driving car?”—and not as a joke. That’s because we’ve been hearing the rumblings of “cars will soon drive themselves” for at least 10 years... Mercedes-Benz’s Drive Pilot is the first system that crosses the boundary between “assisted” driving and “automated” driving. In Drive Pilot mode, if some specific circumstances are met, the car completely takes over, allowing the driver to take their hands off the wheel, feet off the pedals, and eyes off the road for an extended period. This means they can, for example, watch TV, read a book, or play a game with their passengers. Drivers must remain in the driver’s seat and cannot dramatically recline it, and they must be capable of retaking control of the car in 10 seconds or less." Link to Article

  • October 2, 2023 - Scoop: Driverless Cruise cars are already on Houston streets - "Cruise is testing autonomous vehicles without safety drivers in Houston ahead of a planned expansion into commercial nighttime service by the end of the year. Driving the news: A spokesperson for the autonomous vehicle company confirmed to Axios Tuesday it is offering driverless ride-hailing service to employees and their friends and family, one of the final steps in its testing process before full commercial service... A 2017 Texas law preempts local regulation of autonomous vehicles, which has made the state fertile ground for companies\' expansion. State law requires companies to follow registration requirements, equip the vehicles with a video recording system and immediately notify authorities of a crash. Carnegie Mellon associate professor Phil Koopman, an expert in AV safety, told Axios\' Joann Muller that \"cities need to have a plan for enforcing traffic laws when there is no driver.\"" Link to Article

  • October 2, 2023 - Detroit to spend $5M in federal funds on 100 license plate readers at 25 intersections - "Detroit City Council on Tuesday approved a $5 million expansion of the use of license plate readers across the city, using federal pandemic relief funds. It\'s the latest City Council vote on surveillance technology that has ignited debate in the community. Other surveillance tools Detroit police utilize include ShotSpotter — City Council last year OK\'d spending $8.5 million on the gunshot detection technology amid fierce support and opposition — Project Green Light video surveillance and facial recognition technology... With the city\'s new contract with Motorola Solutions, an additional 100 cameras will be set up at 25 intersections, according to Detroit police. There are currently 83 cameras set up at intersections, in addition to over 100 mobile cameras. The vast majority of community members who tuned in to Tuesday\'s council vote urged their city leaders to approve the $5 million dollar contract in hopes that it could address speeding on Detroit\'s roads — but using license plate readers for traffic and civil infractions goes against Detroit police policy." Link to Article

  • October 2, 2023 - Union urges US regulators to deny GM’s self-driving Cruise a safety exemption - "The International Brotherhood of Teamsters union on Wednesday asked U.S. auto safety regulators to deny a petition by General Motors (GM.N) to exempt its autonomous vehicle unit Cruise Origin from vehicle safety standards. In July, acting National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) chief Ann Carlson said it would decide \"in the coming weeks\" on the Cruise petition seeking permission to deploy up to 2,500 self-driving vehicles annually without human controls like steering wheels. The Cruise petition, filed in February 2022, seeks government approval to deploy vehicles annually without steering wheels, mirrors, turn signals or windshield wipers. \"It is dangerous for other motorists, for pedestrians, and for middle-class jobs for Cruise to make a request like this from NHTSA,\" said Sean O\'Brien, president of the 1.2-million member union citing a series of \"deeply concerning\" recent incidents in San Francisco... In December, NHTSA opened a formal safety probe into the autonomous driving system in vehicles produced by Cruise after reports of two injuries in rear-end crashes. NHTSA said Cruise vehicles \"may engage in inappropriately hard braking or become immobilized.\"" Link to Article

  • September 27, 2023 - Transportation Department seeks GPS alternatives to fortify US’s position, navigation and timing system - "The Department of Transportation is on the hunt for alternatives to GPS to better complement and support the nation’s transportation system with reliable position, navigation and timing (PNT) services. The department’s John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center issued a request for information to identify capable vendors to participate in field tests of “very high technical readiness level” complementary PNT systems. Specifically, the RFI seeks “technology capable of providing critical infrastructure users and operators positioning and/or timing information that is derived independently from Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)...” DOT’s Volpe Center in 2020 held field demonstrations of GPS alternatives, which resulted in a report on those systems. However, that event did not ” test the technology performance against stringent CI requirements and needs including resiliency to cybersecurity threats (e.g. jamming and spoofing of PNT signals).” It also allowed the participation of technologies of lesser maturity, according to the RFI." Link to Article

  • September 27, 2023 - Biden administration announces $1.4 billion to improve rail safety and boost capacity in 35 states - "The Biden administration announced Monday that it has awarded more than $1.4 billion to projects that improve railway safety and boost capacity, with much of the money coming from the 2021 infrastructure law. “These projects will make American rail safer, more reliable, and more resilient, delivering tangible benefits to dozens of communities where railroads are located, and strengthening supply chains for the entire country,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement. The money is funding 70 projects in 35 states and Washington, D.C. Railroad safety has become a key concern nationwide ever since a train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed and caught fire in East Palestine, Ohio, in February. President Joe Biden has ordered federal agencies to hold the train’s operator Norfolk Southern accountable for the crash, but a package of proposed rail safety reforms has stalled in the Senate where the bill is still awaiting a vote. The White House is also saying that a possible government shutdown because of House Republicans would undermine railway safety." Link to Article

  • September 27, 2023 - The Promise and Problems of Self-Driving Cars for the Disabled Community - "Self-driving cars—cars that drive without a human operator—are supposed to change that. For people with disabilities, autonomous vehicles (AVs) have long been a promise of greater freedom and opportunities. With no human driver, there’s no one to deny service based on prejudice. Self-driving cars could allow the disabled community greater access to employment, services, and simply leaving the house. As of 2023, about half of the requests placed by wheelchair users to rideshare apps go unanswered... With approximately 57 million disabled people in the United States, carmakers stand to profit from the disability community should they prioritize disability considerations in their self-driving cars. AVs could also help open job opportunities for people with disabilities, a group that faces an unemployment rate twice that of people who are non-disabled. A study from the Ruderman Family Foundation found that disabled people could gain two million employment opportunities with the transportation provided by AVs. " Link to Article

  • September 26, 2023 - Florida’s Brightline kicks off passenger rail service to Orlando - "Brightline began service to Orlando, Florida, on Sept. 22 with the opening of the privately owned intercity passenger rail line’s recently completed extension from West Palm Beach. Over 500 stakeholders, including elected officials and business leaders, viewed the first train’s 11:05 a.m. arrival. Passengers can now travel the 235-mile line between Miami and the new station at Orlando International Airport, with intermediate stops in Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach. The train completes the total route in 3.5 hours or less, depending on the number of stops. According to Brightline, the $6 billion Miami-Orlando project created 10,000 jobs and brought approximately $6.4 billion in direct economic benefit to the region. The Florida project was funded by $5 billion in private investments." Link to Article

  • September 26, 2023 - Raspberry Pi Monitors Traffic with AI for Urban Planning and More - "Traffic monitoring is a handy tool for a few industries, from urban planning to news stations or anyone interested in the various metrics used to monitor traffic flow. Today, we’ve got a Raspberry Pi project from a maker known over at Hackster as Naveen, who created a traffic monitoring system with some help from a Raspberry Pi CM4. The Pi in this project is working with BrainChip’s Akida Dev Kit. It has everything Naveem needed to capture images from a video traffic feed for the AI system to evaluate. Data can be stored later or made available in real time. Naveem suggests this could be useful for businesses and government agencies that need to monitor traffic patterns. The Akida Dev Kit has a custom PCB with a neuromorphic processor. If you haven’t heard of neuromorphic computing, it’s a design method for hardware and software that uses structures resembling what you’d find inside a brain. This additional PCB is responsible for taking some of the performance load off of the Pi." Link to Article

  • September 26, 2023 - Pedesting app aims to open Calgary to people with mobility challenges - "For Calgarians who don’t have mobility challenges, exiting a downtown office tower, taking a CTrain to another destination, and then being able to access that place is simply a matter of picking a convenient time. But for those Calgarians who do have challenges walking, or have to use wheelchairs, that ease of mobility becomes a real challenge. Ensuring that they can find the exit or entrance with powered door openers, having to ensure that they are taking modern CTrain cars at level instead of older style ones that have limited wheelchair-accessible doors, to finding ramps that don’t require extreme effort to navigate—all of which is even more complicated if that same person wants to find and use an accessible bathroom that is more than just code compliant... The goal of the app is to help users navigate the world, but with a pedestrian focus instead of a vehicle focus like competitor products like Google Maps—although Shilliday prefers the term pedesting instead of pedestrian because of how the later term fails to cover the challenges of users who rely on wheelchairs or other mobility aids. " Link to Article

  • September 26, 2023 - Everbridge Launches New Dashboard for Emergency Responses - "The battle of the dashboards — among the main features of government technology in 2023 — has gained a new entrant, this one from critical event management company Everbridge. The Everbridge 360 has made its debut, joining a field increasingly crowded with dashboards not only designed for public safety and hazard management, but also civic planning and a variety of other tasks. As the company put it in a statement, Everbridge 360 combines into a single platform the company’s risk intelligence, communication, collaboration and coordination tools. That provides what Everbridge calls a “comprehensive, unified view” of critical events to public officials and other users... “With dashboards, data is easier to digest, so agencies can see patterns, spot problems before they happen, and identify successes that could have gone unnoticed,” according to an article from FUSE, which works with local governments on racial issues. “In turn, people can make smarter, faster, more effective decisions.”" Link to Article

  • September 25, 2023 - Self-driving cars will be part of the future, but researchers fear we are leaving the disabled behind - "Self-driving cars will be part of the future, but researchers fear people with disabilities are being left behind in the development of the technology. Over the past two decades, transportation has become more accessible, but people with disabilities still face significant barriers to accessing these services. While self-driving cars (also known as autonomous vehicles) have the potential to dramatically improve the lives of those with disabilities, helping them to travel independently, experts fear their views are being neglected in the development of the new technology. To address this, researchers from Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) at The University of Warwick and leading disability charities have considered the impact of self-driving taxis on people with disabilities, an area that has seen limited improvement over recent years... They found that the absence of a driver was strongly correlated with feelings and perceptions of increased travel freedom, indicating that autonomous taxis could provide greater accessibility for those with disabilities—without the limitations or biases associated with their current experiences with traditional taxis and drivers. " Link to Article

  • September 25, 2023 - Chris Urmson Is a Trailblazing Technologist of the Self-Driving Car - "Chris Urmson, back when he was a grad student, found himself in Chile\'s Atacama Desert testing a robot that traveled about as fast as a person using a walker. The young Canadian thought that was pretty cool. Later, as a robotics doctoral candidate at Carnegie Mellon University, Urmson was a key part of a team that participated in the inaugural DARPA Grand Challenge, a competition in which teams built specially outfitted vehicles and attempted to \"drive\" them remotely across 150 miles of California\'s Mojave Desert. That was even cooler... That triumph caught the eye of Google, and the tech giant later hired Urmson to help it shape its emerging autonomous vehicle program then loosely known as X (it would later be spun off as Waymo). He eventually became the project\'s chief technical officer, and he and his team—many of whom also had DARPA Challenge experience—would write the code for what would become known internally as \"self-driving\" vehicles during his eight-year tenure there." Link to Article

  • September 22, 2023 - Waymo begins testing the waters for a robotaxi service in Los Angeles - "Waymo announced a “tour across Los Angeles” that allows curious residents the opportunity to ride in fully autonomous vehicles as the Alphabet-owned company begins to lay the groundwork for the launch of a commercial robotaxi service. Waymo says it will make six multi-week “tour stops” in LA neighborhoods where people can hail a self-driving car without anyone in the front seat. Interested Angelenos can snag early access tickets at several pop-up events throughout the city or sign up for a waitlist. Once they receive a ticket, riders can use Waymo’s fully driverless vehicles for free within the service area for one week during the allotted time... This is the first time Waymo is deploying a “tour” model as a precursor to a commercial service. Waymo says it plans to “partner with local businesses and community organizers” at each stop as it seeks to make a good impression among the locals. Robotaxi companies in San Francisco have been facing pushback from city officials who oppose their expansion, citing blocked intersections and obstructed emergency vehicles." Link to Article

  • September 22, 2023 - America Is Just Now Entering the Age of Tesla - "The Jeep Wrangler was built to drive out past where the power lines end. Watch any ad for the car, and you’ll surely see it surmounting boulders and conquering muck in places far from the beaten freeway. Electric-vehicle chargers may be scarce in the wilderness, but even a military-derived four-by-four must keep with the times. To the delight of Earth-loving off-roaders, Jeep has announced that the first all-electric Wrangler is in the works... “Jobs at gasoline engine manufacturing plants will shift to jobs at electric motor and battery plants.” Jeremy Michalek, Vehicle Electrification Group, is quoted in this story looking at what the rise of electric vehicles means for autoworkers. He notes assembling an EV is a simpler task than building its gasoline counterpart. There\'s still welding and painting to be done, but EVs don\'t require the spark plugs, engine cylinders and hoses and belts that are part of the typical vehicle assembly process. (subscription required; or do a free trial)" Link to Article

  • September 22, 2023 - Chris Urmson Is a Trailblazing Technologist of the Self-Driving Car - "Chris Urmson, back when he was a grad student, found himself in Chile\'s Atacama Desert testing a robot that traveled about as fast as a person using a walker. The young Canadian thought that was pretty cool. Later, as a robotics doctoral candidate at Carnegie Mellon University, Urmson was a key part of a team that participated in the inaugural DARPA Grand Challenge, a competition in which teams built specially outfitted vehicles and attempted to \"drive\" them remotely across 150 miles of California\'s Mojave Desert. That was even cooler... Today, Urmson is the co-founder and CEO of Aurora Innovation—Aurora for short—a startup dedicated to developing an integrated driverless software, data-processing, and hardware solution... \"We\'re making transportation better. We\'re making it safer. We\'re making it more accessible. We\'re making it economically better. That\'s what we\'re about. That\'s what automated vehicles are going to do,\" Urmson said. " Link to Article

  • September 22, 2023 - With commuting down, cities must rethink their transportation networks - "The past three years have been a remarkable period for household travel across America. Pandemic-era health restrictions, office closures, and surging e-commerce all contributed to striking changes in how, when, and where people traveled outside their homes. Decades-long patterns such as rush hour and holiday travel suddenly looked different... Using metropolitan-level travel data from fall 2019 and fall 2022, this report goes beyond traditional aggregate metrics to track trip purposes and what times those trips occur. This data exposes two structural changes taking shape in real time. On one hand, people have generally substituted longer commutes for shorter but more frequent trips to eat, shop, and run errands—and that pattern holds in all 109 metro areas studied.2 Yet even with consistent drops in commuting, total miles traveled are trending in wildly different ways when comparing metro areas to one another. Just as importantly, there is no single variable—such as population change, economic growth, or even the presence of telework-heavy industries—that consistently explains the differences among metro areas." Link to Article

  • September 22, 2023 - San Francisco Lawmakers Urge Collection of More AV Safety Data - "In a letter sent to the nation\'s top auto safety regulator, House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Kevin Mullin (D-San Mateo) urged the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to collect more data on autonomous vehicles, citing \"serious\" safety concerns about how they operate in \"real-world situations.\" The letter cited recent problems with Waymo and Cruise robotaxis in San Francisco. \"As sophisticated as such software is becoming, AVs on the streets of San Francisco, which we both represent, have been having challenges in addressing complex real-world situations, such as navigating road work zones and reacting to the temporary outage of signals,\" Pelosi and Mullin said in the letter sent Tuesday. \"When AVs malfunction, they frequently shut down in place, which has resulted in the vehicles obstructing public transit routes, blocking intersections and the normal flow of traffic, and preventing first responders from reaching people in need.\" " Link to Article

  • September 20, 2023 - New Orleans adds AI technology to improve traffic safety around streetcar lines - "The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority announced on Sept. 14 the completion of a traffic monitoring system powered by artificial intelligence to improve pedestrian and vehicle safety around the city’s streetcar lines. The RTA partnered with the New Orleans Department of Public Works and with NoTraffic for their AI sensors and software... In 2018, the most recent year for which data was available, streetcars were involved in 114 collisions, according to Nola.com. Injuries can include motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians and those riding the streetcars. In 2021, 173 pedestrians were injured and 21 killed in all traffic crashes in New Orleans. “Implementation of this technology will constitute a significant breakthrough in the field of communications between road users and traffic infrastructure and is a fundamental milestone in the smart mobility era for the city of New Orleans,” the companies said in a press release." Link to Article

  • September 20, 2023 - Bosch, EU and blockchain companies to build decentralized IoT: IAA Mobility - "The engineering and technology company Bosch is at the head of a forthcoming, blockchain-based digital mobility project with backing from the German government, which was demoed live at IAA Mobility 2023 in Munich, Germany. At the event, Bosch, alongside collaborators such as Mobix and Peaq Netowork, revealed a peer-to-peer parking and charging scheme utilizing moveIDs on the Peaq ecosystem. MoveIDs act as self-sovereign identities (SSIs) built on the blockchain, permitting autonomous transactions between vehicles and connected infrastructure. The demonstration at IAA Mobility highlighted autonomous transactions between connected devices: a smart car, charging station and signal for parking... When asked why mobility was the right sector to begin implementing SSI on a large scale, Dorlöchter highlighted that “with mobility especially, there’s a lot of fragmentation.” When it comes to mobility, the goal for users is to move from one point to another. This is done via public transport, micro-mobility scooters and car sharing or personal cars, which need parking spots and charging." Link to Article

  • September 19, 2023 - Traffic camera programs in Pa. are reducing fatalities and speeding, officials say - "Pennsylvania transportation officials told lawmakers that pilot programs for the automatic enforcement of traffic laws have led to improvements in traffic safety over the last three years. In a Senate Transportation Committee hearing on Monday, Pennsylvania Transportation Secretary Mike Carroll said the programs, which allow the use of cameras in work zones and on school buses to catch violators, should be extended and expanded before they expire over the next several months. “We have construction workers that we have to consider. We have school students that we have to consider. We have pedestrians and bicyclists that we have to consider,” Carroll said. “They often fall under the banner of vulnerable highway users...” The PennDOT and turnpike commission programs will expire in February, state Sen. Wayne Langerholc, R-Clearfield, said... Several pieces of legislation are pending, including a bill passed in the state House in June and now before the Senate Transportation Committee, that would extend and expand the programs to include speed cameras in new locations." Link to Article

  • September 19, 2023 - This driverless car company is using chatbots to make its vehicles smarter - "Self-driving car startup Wayve can now interrogate its vehicles, asking them questions about their driving decisions—and getting answers back. The idea is to use the same tech behind ChatGPT to help train driverless cars. The company combined its existing self-driving software with a large language model, creating a hybrid model it calls LINGO-1. LINGO-1 synchs up video data and driving data (the actions that the cars take second by second) with natural-language descriptions that capture what the car sees and what it does... In a demo the company gave me this week, CEO Alex Kendall played footage taken from the camera on one of its Jaguar I-PACE vehicles, jumped to a random spot in the video, and started typing questions: “What’s the weather like?” The weather is cloudy. “What hazards do you see?” There is a school on the left. “Why did you stop?” Because the traffic light is red. " Link to Article

  • September 19, 2023 - Smart, Mobileye Bring Advanced Automation to New EV - "Smart has become the latest automaker to pair up with Mobileye to use its SuperVision driver assistance system. The brand, jointly owned by German giant Mercedes and China’s Geely, is to launch a special edition of its Smart #1 model later this year that will feature an array of automated features facilitated by the Israeli company’s tech. The EV will offer “Smart Pilot Assist 2.0,” which will be designed to enable point-to-point automatic navigation on highways and urban expressways, automated lane changes, automated on/off-ramp assist and intelligent traffic safety functions within specific locations, or “identified operational design domains.” SuperVision uses 11 cameras – including seven eight-megapixel cameras – and radar to deliver this functionality. The system runs on two Mobileye EyeQ5 system-on-chips, which have the ability to handle AI tasks in these domains, allowing the vehicle to react similarly to a human driver. " Link to Article

  • September 19, 2023 - Pittsburgh’s top driverless carmakers are pivoting to trucks. What does that mean for driverless cars’ future? - "Bryan Salesky, Peter Rander and Brett Browning, all industry veterans and former leaders of the Pittsburgh robotaxi company Argo AI, are some of the brightest minds in autonomous vehicle development. Their pivot from self-driving cars to self-driving trucks is the latest sign of how difficult it is to fully take our hands off the wheel, industry experts and researchers said. \"It is becoming more and more evident that automating trucks and transportation on highways is a more realistic goal for AVs than solving the general urban traffic automation problem,\" said Dimi Apostolopoulos, senior scientist at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute and the National Robotics Engineering Center... Experts say a commitment to safety will be a key part of future regulatory approvals and positive public perception... “The safety problem is receiving a lot of attention in autonomous driving, but so far a definitive solution has not emerged,” said John Dolan, a principal scientist at the CMU Center for Autonomous Vehicle Research. The problem is especially acute for trucks given their size and momentum and the damage they can cause in accidents, he said." Link to Article

  • September 18, 2023 - Philadelphia’s smart cities team reflects at the 4-year mark - "When Philadelphia’s Office of Innovation and Technology published its “Smart Cities Roadmap” in early 2019, the concept of a smart city wasn’t universally understood, city officials said. OIT team members had been exploring programs with this lens — collecting and using data to pilot accessible, tech-enabled solutions within city programs — since they established the SmartCityPHL initiative in 2017. But funding from the Knight Foundation allowed them to formalize this work and dedicate a team to it in 2019... The original Smart Cities Roadmap has evolved enough that city leaders are thinking it’s time to make a new one. Malik has found that projects fall into three categories: mobility, non-mobility infrastructure and software systems. " Link to Article

  • September 18, 2023 - Curb-management innovations: Lessons from smart and zero-emission loading zone pilots - "Cities are implementing “smart loading zones” to address the growing competition for curb space, driven largely by increasing online orders, ride-sharing, outdoor dining, micromobility needs and open streets efforts. What makes the zones smart? These designated areas for delivery drivers to load and unload goods are managed by telecommunications and advanced monitoring systems that allow authorized drivers to reserve a space for a limited amount of time through a smartphone app or other mechanism. Other cities are increasing incentives for electric or human-powered delivery vehicles by implementing zero-emission delivery zones. While such efforts can encourage more orderly curbs, cities have encountered implementation challenges including local business pushback, technical challenges and regulatory barriers. Here’s what experts and city officials experimenting with curb management strategies say they’ve learned to date. -Pittsburgh’s gradual SLZ roll-out In 2021, Pittsburgh received a $100,000 grant from the Department of Energy to establish 20 smart loading zones, said David Onorato, executive director of the Public Parking Authority of Pittsburgh, which oversaw the project. " Link to Article

  • September 18, 2023 - My hands-free drive halfway across the U.S. - "I drove round-trip from Detroit to New York City over Labor Day weekend — a grueling 10 hours each way — but for a good chunk of that time, the car took the wheel for me. Why it matters: Cars with hands-free driver-assistance features are coming on the market thick and fast, but consumers are still wary of them... Where it stands: You still cannot buy a self-driving car, but more than half of the 2023 auto models on the market are available with a feature that\'s a step in that direction: an optional active driving assistance system (ADAS)... The best systems, according to Consumer Reports, use a driver-monitoring camera to ensure that the driver is paying attention. Active driving assistance is meant to be a convenience, not a substitute for the driver\'s responsibility... The bottom line: A long road trip was much better with a robot as my co-pilot. " Link to Article

  • September 18, 2023 - Expert: Expect driverless trucks on Central Pa. highways ‘within five or six years’ - "Driverless trucks are coming. But where and when? Start with where: They’ll be on interstate highways long before other roads, said Noël Perry, a transportation economist who speaks internationally — most recently this week at a conference in Indianapolis — but is based in Cornwall Township, Lebanon County. The reason? “There are no pedestrians, which is a big problem for automation,” Perry said. “It means that “Everybody is going in the same direction on one side of the road and the other. And there’s controlled access, so you don’t have to worry about somebody coming in and running a stop sign.” As for when, Perry said the world won’t suddenly flip a switch and go from manual to automatic. “You could have trucks going one after the other with a driver in front, controlling the rest,” he said. “So it’ll be a gradual thing, but we’ll start noticing it within five or six years.”" Link to Article

  • September 15, 2023 - Biden-Harris Administration Announces More Than $80 Million in Grants to Improve Highway Safety, Including Better Access to Truck Parking - "The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced more than $80 million in grant awards from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law... The High Priority grants include a 65% increase in funding for truck parking projects over last year and enhance critical efforts to support truck drivers and improve safety such as: - Expand access to truck parking by helping truck drivers locate available rest area truck parking spaces in real time via dynamic message signs along highways in Kentucky, Delaware, and Indiana. - Research to support automated, location-based driver alerts via electronic logging devices that inform drivers of upcoming work zones --- improving safety for both the drivers and the workers. - Enhancement of electronic screening technologies to detect vehicle violations (such as automated license plate readers, USDOT number readers, tire monitoring system, and hazardous materials placard readers). Outreach and education to combat human trafficking, an effort in which truck drivers can play a key role given their time and attention on the road." Link to Article

  • September 15, 2023 - Nighttime Visibility for Safety: Visible Solutions - "How can transportation professionals protect pedestrians crossing the roadway at night when drivers often cannot see them? The answer: apply the latest technology improvements where they are needed most. The nighttime fatality rate on U.S. roadways is three times higher than the daytime rate, and 76 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur at night. Nighttime visibility for safety, an Every Day Counts round seven (EDC-7) initiative, will accelerate the deployment of methods for enhancing nighttime roadway visibility that can save lives... Research indicates that continuous lighting installed on both rural and urban highways may reduce nighttime injury crashes by 28 percent. Nighttime crashes at rural and urban intersections can also be reduced by up to 38 percent using lighting." Link to Article

  • September 15, 2023 - DOT releases Complementary PNT Action Plan - "The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has unveiled its Complementary Positioning Navigation and Timing (CPNT) Action Plan, which contains steps the department is taking to drive CPNT adoption across the United States transportation system and within other critical infrastructure areas. This plan was mentioned by Robert Hampshire — Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology and Chief Science Officer, U.S. DOT — during his keynote address at the annual Civil GPS Service Interface Committee (CGSIC) meeting on September 12, at ION GNSS+, which GPS World’s Editor-in-Chief, Matteo Luccio, is attending... The U.S. DOT have selected 11 candidate technologies to demonstrate positioning or timing functions: -Two vendors demonstrated low-Earth orbit satellite PNT technologies — one L-band and one S-band; -two vendors demonstrated fiber-optic timing systems, both based on the White Rabbit Precision Time Protocol; -one vendor demonstrated localized database map matching database, inertial measurement unit, and ultra-wideband technologies; and, -six vendors demonstrated terrestrial radio frequency PNT technologies across low frequency, medium frequency, ultra-high frequency, and Wi-Fi/802.11 spectrum bands. " Link to Article

  • September 15, 2023 - Aurora CEO to Congress: Autonomous trucking is this nation’s opportunity to leverage modern technology - "The CEO of Aurora Innovation Inc. met before U.S. congressional representatives in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to explain what autonomous vehicle technology has accomplished and where it might be heading in the years to come. Chris Urmson, who co-founded Strip District-based Aurora in 2016, was joined by Autonomous Vehicle Industry Association Executive Director Jeff Farrah, American Trucking Associations President Chris Spear and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety President Cathy Chase as part of a nearly four-hour discussion hosted by the U.S. House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure... Many representatives also raised concerns about the impact this tech will have on the trucking industry\'s 1.8 million-person workforce. Farrah and Spear consistently argued that the current gap of about 80,000 workers is reason enough alone for their belief that this technology will complement and add to the workforce, not replace it. It\'s a belief Urmson held as well, though he also said his company\'s efforts will ideally bring about safer road conditions for everyone who uses them." Link to Article

  • September 15, 2023 - AI playing increasing role in managing traffic on nation’s roads -

    From traffic signals to traffic flow, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, information on what’s happening on all the roads in Delaware streams into the state’s Transportation Management Center…

    That complex system involves traffic lights, cameras and sensors, along with data coming in from weather stations and emergency responder channels, which all coalesce within A.I. The artificial intelligence then makes traffic-management decisions based on that information…

    “In any computing system, the more information a system has, the better decisions it can make,” said Stan Caldwell, executive director of the Traffic 21 Institute at Carnegie Mellon University…

    Last December, Caldwell spoke about how self-driving vehicles will be communicating with these so-called ‘smart roads’ in the near future. That testing is ongoing in a number of states, including Virginia and Ohio.

    “There will be positive impacts and there will be negative impacts,” he said. “And so being able to get that real-world data in a real-world environment is very important for the researchers to be able to help guide the policymakers in how to manage this in the future.”

  • September 13, 2023 - Intelligent Transportation Systems: Benefits Related to Traffic Congestion and Safety Can Be Limited by Various Factors - "Deploying intelligent transportation systems (ITS) is one way that state and local transportation agencies have attempted to address issues related to traffic safety and congestion. ITS consists of sensors, computer hardware and software, and communications systems that, for example, automatically change the timing of traffic signals (“adaptive signal control technology”). According to Department of Transportation (DOT) 2020 surveys of state and local agencies, some technologies are widely deployed on arterials (roads with traffic signals) or freeways, while others are less widely deployed. Examples of widely deployed technologies include dynamic message signs, which provide information to travelers; technologies that detect vehicles and other roadway users to provide information on traffic flow; and emergency vehicle preemption, which provides green lights to emergency vehicles (see figure). Examples of technologies deployed by less than 30 percent of survey respondents include adaptive signal control technology and ramp meters that control vehicle access to freeways." Link to Article

  • September 13, 2023 - TEAMSTERS AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE FEDERAL POLICY PRINCIPLES - "or the first time in our history, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters is releasing an “Autonomous Vehicle Federal Policy Principles” framework, a guiding document for federal policymakers as they continue to address issues surrounding autonomous vehicles (AVs). As a union that represents hundreds of thousands of workers who turn a key for a living, and the only union substantially representing commercial truck drivers, the Teamsters have a deep interest in the outcome of federal AV regulation and legislation. This includes consideration of safety and workforce impacts to our members, the millions of other Americans who operate a vehicle for their livelihoods, and the public, who are increasingly asked to share the road with AVs. Federal laws and regulations that do not meaningfully address the operations and effects of AVs will result in catastrophic impacts on American workers and risk increasing preventable roadside fatalities... On behalf of our members and the American people, we strongly urge the adoption of the proposals contained within the International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ “Autonomous Vehicle Federal Policy Principles.” " Link to Article

  • September 13, 2023 - Autonomous Vehicles Will Soon Be Safer Than Humans, Some Already Are - "The promise of autonomous vehicles has been a long time coming. While many are still waiting to see the fruits of all this work, there are some cities like Arizona and San Francisco where autonomous cars are starting to become a reality. Furthermore, IDTechEx\'s new industry report \"Autonomous Cars, Robotaxis and Sensors 2024-2044\" predicts a coming rapid growth in the number of cities that will offer robotaxi services in the next few years. So, with robotaxis rapidly becoming an everyday reality, the industry and experts must ask, are autonomous robotaxis safe enough?" Link to Article

  • September 13, 2023 - Apple is adding Roadside Assistance via satellite to the iPhone - "During the iPhone 15 launch event in Cupertino, Apple announced it’s adding satellite-powered Roadside Assistance to the iPhone in a partnership with AAA. Buying and activating a new iPhone 14 or iPhone 15 series device will include two years of Emergency SOS and Roadside Assistance access for free. The services they connect you to are covered under the AAA membership terms or available on a pay-per-use basis for non-AAA members. The Roadside Assistance service — which is US only — is an expansion of the Emergency SOS via satellite feature launched with iPhone 14 last year. If you have car trouble, you can text AAA for assistance for your emergencies, such as being locked out, running out of fuel, or a flat tire (you know, those times when you wouldn’t call 911 but still need help). The service works by leveraging Apple’s Emergency Text via satellite option when you have no cellular or Wi-Fi coverage." Link to Article

  • September 13, 2023 - How electrified roads could help fix America’s electric vehicle charging problem - "Electric vehicles are taking up an increasing percentage of the overall auto market share every year — rising from 4% in 2020 to 14% last year. Among the holdouts, a lack of charging infrastructure seems to be one of consumers’ most common reasons for not switching from gas to electric vehicles. But now, electric road projects are appearing across the world as a potential solution to supplement static charging, allowing EV drivers to wirelessly charge their cars while they drive... Israel-based Electreon is one wireless EV charging provider with many pilot projects and case studies in operation in Sweden, Norway and Italy, among others. One project in Sweden, which connects the airport to the town of Visby, cost about $10.5 million and was almost entirely financed by the Swedish Transport Administration." Link to Article

  • September 12, 2023 - Your Next Green Car May Run on Gas and Get 100 Miles to the Gallon - "Sayan Biswas is inventing an unusual kind of green car: one that burns gas... Squeezing more efficiency out of internal combustion engines is a difficult challenge. Engineers have been designing and redesigning car engines for more than a century, and in recent years progress has slowed. To Biswas, the problem came down to one thing: a better spark plug... Cars equipped with plasma spark plugs could have a big impact on efforts to tame climate change. But trucks, boats, planes and helicopters may be a bigger opportunity. Unlike cars, all-electric versions of heavier, higher-powered vehicles can\'t yet match the range of gas or diesel engines at a reasonable cost. \"Moving heavy vehicles like school buses. construction equipment and big trucks to electrification will definitely be slower,\" says Kate Whitefoot, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University who studies transportation. \"That\'s where improving the efficiency of internal combustion engines will be important.\"" Link to Article

  • September 12, 2023 - San Antonio retailers turning to license plate readers to help curb theft - "SAN ANTONIO - You might notice some new features at stores and shopping centers around the city: automatic license plate readers... The automatic license plate readers, or ALPRs, were installed back in July as part of a pilot program through Brookfield Properties, the company that owns The Shops at La Cantera. Here\'s how they work: The cameras capture the license plate of every car that comes and goes, but only a few get flagged. If your car is associated with previous thefts, a missing person, or other alerts, security is notified... By using this technology, security will be alerted before known thieves even get in the doors, which could be a gamechanger as we\'re seeing those types of crimes spike. \"It\'s something that large and small retailers across the country are seeing,\" said Holly Beilin with Flock Safety, the company that makes these cameras. \"And it\'s causing a lot of shrinkage for retail customers. It\'s really, really cutting into profits.\" " Link to Article

  • September 12, 2023 - Smart Cities and Digital Transformation: Building a Sustainable Future - "Urbanisation is on the rise, and it is projected that 65 percent of the global population will be residing in cities by 2040, with a staggering 1.3 million people migrating to urban areas daily... The Indian Smart Cities Mission, launched in June 2015, has been a transformative urban renewal initiative aimed at redefining the urban landscape in India... Some notable examples of progress include: Jaipur: Jaipur launched its Integrated Command and Control Center (ICCC), providing real-time data for better urban planning and emergency response. Surat: Surat focused on waste management and achieved a commendable reduction in landfill waste through efficient waste segregation and processing. Bhubaneswar: Bhubaneswar’s ambitious smart city plan aimed at improving public transportation through a modern and integrated bus rapid transit system (BRTS). Indore: Indore revamped its waste management system and became one of the cleanest cities in India through innovative waste-to- energy projects. Pune: Pune focused on developing smart mobility solutions, such as cycle tracks, improved footpaths, and a city-wide Intelligent Transport System (ITS)." Link to Article

  • September 12, 2023 - An exploratory analysis on city characteristics likely to affect autonomous vehicle legislation enactment across the United States - "As Autonomous Vehicle (AV) technology enters developmental maturity, the need for real-life testing is crucial. AV testing and deployment in a city or State must be preceded by favorable legislation in that jurisdiction. However, research on which city characteristics affect the likelihood of adopting AV legislation remains in question. In this paper, we investigate city characteristics of different urbanized areas (UZAs) in States across the US. Panel data was collected from 29 UZAs and 23 States over the span of eight years (2011–2018) on variables such as existing AV legislations, electric vehicle score, congestion, and vehicle miles traveled (VMT)... The findings reveal that an increase in electric vehicle use, GDP per capita, freeway VMT, and land use score of a UZA increase likelihood of AV testing adoption, while an increase in fatality cases negatively impact the likelihood of adoption." Link to Article

  • September 11, 2023 - Is the Driverless Car Revolution Stuck in Reverse? - "After a series of incidents in San Francisco, California authorities have asked General Motors to take some of its Cruise robotaxis off the road. It comes not long after California regulators gave the greenlight for Cruise and its competitor Waymo to charge for robotaxi rides in the city at any time of day. So what does that mean for the future of driverless cars? In today’s episode, we examine what it’s like to ride in one and why the technology has become a flashpoint in multiple cities. Guest: Veronica Miracle, CNN Correspondent" Link to Article

  • September 11, 2023 - Public Transit Systems Require Object Storage Capabilities for Video Surveillance - "On the New York City subway, crime rose 30 percent in 2022. In Washington, D.C., the Metro Transit Police Department reported a 125 percent increase in crime across its fleet of buses and trains. And in Los Angeles, crime occurring on transit properties rose 14 to 16 percent above pre-pandemic levels. Video surveillance systems “aid in the deterrence and detection of security threats,” according to the American Public Transportation Association. Surveillance “can provide video evidence of occurrences throughout a transport system, aiding in response and detection of threat targeting and reconnaissance activities assisting post-event investigations.” Such investigations may rely on dependable video object storage. In Montebello, Calif., the city recently decided to bolster its video surveillance capabilities — including storage capacity — for its bus lines." Link to Article

  • September 11, 2023 - Cars are collecting data on par with Big Tech, watchdog report finds - "An internet and privacy watchdog has a warning: Your car is tracking you, and it’s collecting far more information than it needs just to get you where you’re going. Mozilla, the nonprofit that develops the Firefox browser, released a report Wednesday detailing how the policies of more than two dozen car manufacturers allow for the collection, storage and sale of a wide range of sensitive information about auto owners. Researchers behind the report said that cars now routinely collect data on par with tech companies, offer few details on how that data is stored and used, and don’t give drivers any meaningful way to opt out..." Link to Article

  • September 8, 2023 - Your new car’s options now come with a monthly fee - "The choices for car buyers are multiplying: It\'s no longer just silver or red, sedan or SUV, gas or electric. Now buyers must also decide which connected services they want to add. Why it matters: Automakers are embracing a new business model that requires paid subscriptions to unlock everything from entertainment options to enhanced navigation and hands-free driving... Driving the news: Ford recently announced new options for accessing its top-rated BlueCruise hands-free highway driving technology... Context: Tesla just chopped $3,000 off the price of its \"full self-driving\" beta software (which, despite its name, still requires users to \"keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times\"). It\'s now $12,000 upfront or $199 a month... State of play: Car buyers are open to subscription add-ons — if they get to try the services first, according to a recent S&P Global Mobility survey... The big picture: Automakers savor the prospect of collecting recurring revenue from car owners by transforming their vehicles into connected tech platforms." Link to Article

  • September 8, 2023 - Self-driving Car Revolution Is Coming, But Slowly - "In Munich, where this week\'s IAA motor show is taking place, an interactive street survey elicits an overwhelming \"yes\" when asking passers-by if they would take a self-driving taxi from the station to the Oktoberfest beer festival. But while the number of coloured balls placed in the \"yes\" column shows no shortage of enthusiasm, experts say the long-promised future of autonomous cars remains some way off... Ahead of the pack, German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz has received international approval for its \"level three\" autonomous driving system in accordance with United Nations standards. The hands-free level three allows for autonomous driving in certain conditions such as heavy traffic or motorway speeds up to 60 kilometres per hour (37 mph). The driver can take their eyes off the road but must be ready to intervene if needed... But the vast majority of today\'s commercially available cars come equipped with \"level two\" partial automation at best." Link to Article

  • September 8, 2023 - Cruise CEO says backlash to driverless cars is ‘sensationalism’ - "Residents and city officials here are increasingly fed up with the self-driving cars that have blanketed the city, as they run into issues from getting stuck in wet concrete to colliding with a firetruck. But in an interview with The Washington Post, the CEO of the driverless car company Cruise said much of the angst should just be chalked up to anti-robot bias. “Anything that we do differently than humans is being sensationalized,” Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt said... He said, it is time for the public to eliminate the “double standard” that it has for human drivers and driverless cars, saying that more “mundane” issues — like stopping short in traffic or veering into a bike lane — wouldn’t catch any attention if it was a human driver, but would cause a firestorm if it was a driverless car." Link to Article

  • September 8, 2023 - Addressing School Transportation Challenges - "As the 2023-24 school year begins, students, parents, and school staff all understandably have many things on their minds. One thing that has become a consistent worry, especially since the pandemic, is an ongoing crisis in the school transportation system, spurred mostly from a constant shortage of school bus drivers. The Pennsylvania School Bus Association recently reported that, across the state, transportation providers are 3,500 drivers short. Allies for Children continues to address school transportation challenges, making sure that all students who need transportation are able to get to school... In June of 2022, a Joint Commission of the PA General Assembly released a report to address the overall student transportation system... All of the report’s recommendations have been summarized here by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association. Allies for Children’s work has been focused on developing regional transportation routes for charter and non-public school systems. Under such a system, students living in adjacent school districts would be transported on shared bus routes, reducing the overall number of drivers needed to transport these students to charter and non-public schools. We are continuing to work on enacting a model of regional transportation routes with partners at Carnegie Mellon University and several Allegheny County School Districts. " Link to Article

  • September 8, 2023 - Argo AI co-founders launch autonomous trucking startup called Stack AV - "The co-founders of Argo AI LLC announced the launch of a new autonomous vehicle firm based in Pittsburgh that secured financial backing from one of the world\'s leading startup investors. Stack AV, a firm with 150 employees led by CEO Bryan Salesky, President Peter Rander and Chief Technology Officer Brett Browning, has landed Japanese multinational investment holding firm SoftBank Group Corp. as its largest investor. The startup did not disclose the size of the investment from SoftBank, though sources familiar with Stack\'s formation have claimed that the funding reaches hundreds of millions of dollars. Established as an autonomous trucking business, Stack will look to address challenges relating to safety and supply chain obstacles that affect the road-based transportation and logistics industry, among other hurdles relating to efficiencies, driver shortages and vehicle uptimes." Link to Article

  • September 6, 2023 - How Smart Cities Can Leverage the Power of Digital Twins - "Municipalities generate vast volumes of data, and digitally enabled smart cities go even further. They leverage the Internet of Things to gather information about traffic flows, population trends, water, sanitation and a range of other indicators. What if you could pull all that together to make a virtual model of the whole city, with its many interconnected parts and pieces? Known as a digital twin, this approach is gaining traction as compute and storage capabilities increase. A recent report from market advisory firm ABI Research says cities could save over $280 billion annually by 2030 through the use of digital twins for urban planning... Experts point to several potential use cases for digital twins that support key elements of smart city infrastructure. For example, cities could leverage digital twins to make better choices on healthcare infrastructure, deciding where to position hospitals, emergency services and other resources." Link to Article

  • September 6, 2023 - USDOT Deputy Secretary meets CMU transportation researchers - "U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Deputy Secretary Polly Trottenberg visited Carnegie Mellon University facilities at Mill 19 on August 21 to meet with transportation researchers and officials to discuss how their research, development, and deployment (RD&D) initiatives will impact mobility. Carnegie Mellon is working closely with the USDOT to transform the U.S. transportation system through research that focuses on safety, economic growth, climate and sustainability, and equity. This spring, Carnegie Mellon was awarded $20 million over the next five years from the USDOT to lead Safety21, a University Transportation Center (UTC). This center focuses on the USDOT’s chief concern—safety. Safety21, which includes partners from across the country, aims to develop and deploy autonomous, networked, and integrated transportation technologies and systems with safety and equity in mind. Carnegie Mellon has a long history of innovation in transportation, and Safety21 is CMU’s fourth University Transportation Center since 2012. CMU will complete its third UTC focused on mobility, Mobility21 this fall. The university serves to bring together the federal, private, and nonprofit sectors to provide research and other input to help the USDOT achieve its strategic goals." Link to Article

  • September 6, 2023 - Colorado Transit District Taps Tech to Improve Ticketing Experience - "A Colorado transit agency continues the march toward making the ticketing process both easier, and at times cheaper, for riders. Mountain Metropolitan Transit (MMT) in Colorado Springs has adopted new technology, in the form of a new digital app and in-vehicle hardware from Masabi to smooth the ticketing process and ensure riders do not pay more than they should. Systems like this one are able to deliver “enhanced fare equity,” said James Gooch, head of marketing at Masabi. “And that is why we are seeing huge demand in the market, whether that be for a complete solution with smart cards, mobile app and contactless bank cards, or as a stand-alone module.”" Link to Article

  • September 6, 2023 - Future transportation: These emerging technology trends will transform our roads and skies - "What will the future of transportation look like? As technology advances, dramatic changes to urban transportation are coming to our roads and skies... What could the future of transportation look like? Innovations in transportation can lead to improvements in our lives by reducing stress, anxiety, costs, and death. Here are six transportation innovations that are already being engineered: Maglev trains... Flying taxis... Driverless cars... Delivery drones... Underground roads... Hyperloop... Here are some of the issues the future of transportation hopes to tackle: Greenhouse gas emissions... Preventable fatalities.... Security... Poverty... Speed." Link to Article

  • September 5, 2023 - New high-tech solutions that increase school bus safety unveiled - "According to federal data, buses are one of the safest ways for students to get to and from school — but getting on and off those iconic yellow vehicles can pose a serious risk because of passing cars. Now high-tech solutions designed to help save lives are being unveiled. NBC’s Vicky Nguyen reports for TODAY... <a href="http://\">Today" Link to Article

  • September 5, 2023 - This Startup Wants to Use AI to Improve Your Morning Commute - "Driverless vehicles are becoming mainstream, in part thanks to rapid advancements in artificial intelligence. More companies are now vying to add the technology to larger vehicles, including mass transit... While attending Google Cloud Next in San Francisco, Oxa officials told Decrypt about the company vision for autonomous transportation—working with fellow transportation tech firm Beep and using Google Cloud’s suite of tools... Last week, U.K-based Oxa announced a deal with autonomous shuttle developer Beep to bring Oxa’s technology to the United States, starting with a fleet of autonomous and electric shuttles in Florida with the potential rollout to other locations services already serviced by Beep including California, and North Carolina... One of the problems Oxa aims to solve is the congestion caused by many single-occupancy vehicles on the roads. The company says it hopes to make urban transit more efficient and sustainable by using autonomous shuttles and buses. " Link to Article

  • September 5, 2023 - Here’s what people say they would need to feel safe with driverless cars on B.C. streets. - "New research shows what people in B.C. say they would need to feel safe sharing the road with self-driving cars – and having a human behind the wheel is high on the list. The project out of the University of British Columbia\'s Research on Active Transportation Lab first set out to see how people perceived the impact of self-driving cars on pedestrian safety and comfort and how that could shape policy. Gurdiljot Gill, the PhD candidate who conducted the study, says subjects were shown videos, one series with human-driven cars and another with self-driving cars. Forty-one per cent perceived the scenarios with the autonomous vehicles as less safe or less comfortable for pedestrians. But there was a twist. \"The videos are the same,\" Gill told CTV News, explaining that the perception of increased danger or discomfort could therefore be chalked up to skepticism about or bias against driverless cars." Link to Article

  • September 4, 2023 - Venti Aims To Bring Autonomous Vehicles To Ports, Factories And Airports - "Much has been written about the failures of autonomous driving cars in places like San Francisco. But the real success and perhaps even bigger opportunity is in industrial vehicles in ports, factories and airports. In fact, the global heavy-duty autonomous vehicle market was valued at $135.25 billion in 2022 and is anticipated to reach $1.45 trillion by 2032, according to Research and Markets. Venti Technologies, based in both Singapore and Boston, Massachusetts, is helping to advance the category with its autonomous logistics for industrial and global supply chain hubs... The technology and algorithms behind Venti were invented by Dr. Daniela Rus, who is also the director of CSAIL—the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, which in the past has been the source of many start-ups representing some $2 trillion in revenue... Wyle and her co-founders made the decision to start in Asia because the market was ahead of the US in autonomous vehicles. The original vision for the company’s direction was to expand Rus’s autonomous wheelchair invention into the Senior community market. " Link to Article

  • September 4, 2023 - A new role for small cities thinking big about infrastructure - "The trillions of dollars flowing to America’s cities and states as a result of the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and other recent federal investments are doing more than help build new roads, water systems, broadband access, and climate resilience. They’re also prompting a growing number of small- and medium-sized cities to introduce a new role to their city halls: infrastructure coordinator. The position is about more than pursuing the hundreds of new available grants—although that’s part of it. It’s also about helping cities think big about this unprecedented funding opportunity. “While many large cities have full teams dedicated to this work, small cities haven’t always had that capacity,” explains Ryan Whalen of Bloomberg Philanthropies, which, through its Local Infrastructure Hub, provides small- and medium-sized cities access to the resources their mayors say they need to overcome challenges to accessing and utilizing these federal funds. “Infrastructure coordinators are one of the innovative ways smaller cities are bridging that gap.” " Link to Article

  • September 4, 2023 - Digital signs tell drivers in Amsterdam when their vehicle is too loud - "Amsterdam is piloting digital signs to combat noise pollution from road vehicles. The technology is based on a similar concept to digital speed displays that tell drivers when they are going too fast, but with a focus on noise. The digital signage trial is also running in Rotterdam. “This is a first for the Netherlands,” a statement from the City of Amsterdam said. When a vehicle passing by the sound meter makes noise above 83 decibels, the driver will see the message ‘Too loud’ displayed on a linked digital sign. The trial this summer aims to raise awareness and change behaviour but no fines will be handed out in Amsterdam. In Rotterdam, microphones are also being used at two locations to collect data and motorists will be warned via the signs that breaching noise levels can carry a fine of €280 (US$305)... A UN Environment Programme report last year declared urban noise pollution one of the world’s top emerging environmental threats." Link to Article

  • September 1, 2023 - Tesla Is Wrong: Single Passenger Cars Should Not Be Focus For Self-Driving - "Tesla’s self-driving system has been developing apace over the last couple of years. But it hasn’t avoided controversy, with a class action against the company for the safety of its Autopilot and FSD. There has also been evidence that Tesla’s FSD is no more than a glorified Level 2 system. According to British company Oxa, the focus of FSD is wrong. We shouldn’t be aiming to make single-passenger vehicles autonomous, when there are other areas that will provide greater benefit sooner. “Our vision is universal autonomy,” says Gavin Jackson, CEO, Oxa. “We exist as a mission to unlock the benefits of self-driving technology. To do that, we need to be universally accessible.” Oxa recently changed its name from Oxbotica for a more internationally compatible branding, to go along with a recent funding round aimed at global expansion and facilitate this universal accessibility. " Link to Article

  • September 1, 2023 - Sources: Argo AI co-founders nearing major office deal for next autonomous vehicle startup in the Strip District - "What may end up being Pittsburgh\'s next great autonomous vehicle startup hope for the city\'s Robotics Row is nearing a final agreement with Burns Scalo Real Estate to take in the range of 70,000 square feet of the Vision on Fifteenth, the development firm\'s 265,000-square-foot, mixed-use development along Smallman Street in the Strip District. Sources aware of the potential deal indicate that an as-yet-to-be-fully-announced company — the name remains yet to be made publicly known — is being led by Bryan Salesky and Peter Rander, who in 2016 co-founded since-shuttered Argo AI LLC. The duo are in the market for a new office, potentially looking elsewhere in the Strip District as well, while they ramp up for the potential hiring of hundreds of workers locally amid some major capital raising for the new venture." Link to Article

  • September 1, 2023 - Faster Fixed Wireless Comes a Step Closer with Latest FCC Move in 6 GHz Band - "Faster fixed wireless came a step closer with the news late last week that the FCC has approved testing of automated frequency coordination (AFC) systems for the 6 GHz band. That band will be available for commercial full-power outdoor use when one or more AFC systems have been approved for use. The systems are designed to enable spectrum in the band to be shared with existing radio astronomy and point-to-point microwave users by protecting those users from interference. The latest FCC action is good news for fixed wireless equipment makers and the wireless internet service providers (WISPs) who use that equipment and who are hoping to support speeds as high as 1 Gbps using the spectrum. The band includes a wide 1200 MHz swath of spectrum with 160 MHz channels between 5.925-7.125 GHz." Link to Article

  • August 30, 2023 - Beep Tests Software-Driven Self-Driving Vehicles in Florida - "Beep has teamed with autonomous vehicle software developer Oxa (former Oxbotica) to bring its Oxa Driver self-driving software to two Beep autonomous shuttles. The shuttles are being tested at the recently opened SunTrax test facility in Auburndale, Florida, the first U.S. location designed to test both connected autonomous and standard vehicles. Oxa is using the facility ahead of making its product publicly available in the fall. Under the partnership, Oxa’s autonomy software will be installed in Beep’s passenger shuttles to start and later in future vehicles... Oxa driver uses fused sensor technology combining sensor data from cameras, lidar and radar to produce a more “comprehensive view of the world around it than vehicles that rely on cameras alone.” The software also uses AI to sense and predict environmental changes and learn from previous travels." Link to Article

  • August 30, 2023 - Why Public Health Officials Must Play a Central Role in Traffic Safety - "Civil engineers play an “outsized role” in designing transportation systems and undermine public safety — and to prevent the epidemiologic problem of traffic injuries and deaths, public health officials need to get more involved, a new report argues. There is, of course, a growing understanding of the scope of the problem in a nation where roughly 42,795 were killed in crashes last year — a figure so alarming that federal Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called it a “national crisis.” But not enough systemic change is being made, according to the authors of the new report, “The Safe Systems Pyramid: A New Framework for Traffic Safety,” published recently in Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives... The report advances a “safe systems pyramid” and argues that public health officials’ role in Vision Zero needs to change from mere data collection and evaluation to actually applying public health concepts — such as the notion of prevention — to traffic safety." Link to Article

  • August 30, 2023 - Pentagon announces new autonomous drones, systems program - "The Pentagon announced Monday a new program focused on building out thousands of autonomous systems, including drones, as the U.S. seeks to better counter China’s vast military buildup. The U.S. is pledging to build out the self-operating drones and defense systems at a more rapid pace to counter China’s mass procurement of conventional military resources — but the move is likely to face opposition from human rights groups and activists who are concerned about autonomous weapons that can kill without human input. Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks unveiled the new initiative, called Replicator, at the National Defense Industrial Association conference on emerging technologies in Washington, D.C... Several human rights groups have campaigned to ban autonomous weapons use. The United Nations is still weighing the issue and has yet to reach a definite agreement." Link to Article

  • August 30, 2023 - Driverless Cars Are Worse at Spotting Kids and Dark-Skinned People, Study Says - "Driverless car systems have a bias problem, according to a new study from Kings College London. The study examined eight AI-powered pedestrian detection systems used for autonomous driving research. Researchers ran more than 8,000 images through the software and found that the self-driving car systems were nearly 20% better at detecting adult pedestrians than kids, and more than 7.5% better at detecting light-skinned pedestrians over dark-skinned ones. The AI were even worse at spotting dark-skinned people in low light and low settings, making the tech even less safe at night. For children and people of color, crossing the street could get more dangerous in the near future... The study didn’t test the exact same software used by driverless car companies that already have their products on the streets, but it adds to growing safety concerns as the cars become more common. " Link to Article

  • August 30, 2023 - Program center to support transportation, technology on Wis. tribal lands - "Thanks to a two-year, $625,000 grant, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is opening a new center in support of technological assistance within Tribal Nations across 30 states, including Wisconsin. WisDOT says the Traffic Operations and Safety Laboratory (TOPS Lab) at UW-Madison received a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation in support of the Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP) Center, which will open in Wisconsin. Secretary for WisDOT Craig Thompson says their department will work through the new center to support transportation investments, technical assistance and technology services... WisDOT says it has had a long-lasting commitment with Tribal Nations across the state, referencing the department’s Tribal Affairs program, which works on tribal relations and all transportation related issues affecting tribal communities. Thompson says he looks forward to seeing how the federal funding can leverage Wisconsin as a leader to implement solutions to roadway safety on tribal lands." Link to Article

  • August 29, 2023 - ‘Robotaxis in urban settings are particularly challenging’: What’s next for self-driving cars? An expert weighs in. - "California regulators recently voted to allow a broad expansion of robotaxi services in San Francisco despite fierce opposition from city leaders. Alphabet Inc.’s, Waymo and General Motors Co.’s Cruise can now offer paid driverless rides across San Francisco at any time of day and using an unlimited number of vehicles... MarketWatch talked with Philip Koopman, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who has researched driverless-car safety for more than 20 years, about safety and liability concerns and what’s next for robocars. MarketWatch: It feels like we’ve been stuck for a while now on the verge of having cars capable of driving themselves everywhere. Can you hazard a guess when truly autonomous cars will finally be here? Koopman: No one knows...I can tell you that there’s still a lot of work left, especially to get both reliability and safety at the same time. As they say in the computer world: The first 90% of the work takes 90% of the time. The remaining 10% takes the other 90% of the time. I think the more important question is where this technology can be deployed in the near term that is useful and economically viable. Low-speed shuttles in uncomplicated environments, cargo hauling on quiet routes and possibly middle-mile trucking, if the routes are picked carefully, are all a lot closer to being able to scale up than a car that can drive anywhere in any conditions." Link to Article

  • August 29, 2023 - StreetLight Data and TomTom to partner on transportation data - "StreetLight Data, a subsidiary of Jacobs, announced Thursday a technology and data partnership with map and location data company TomTom. TomTom’s data — including anonymized speed data from more than 600 million connected devices — will be incorporated into StreetLight’s cloud-based transportation data platform, according to a StreetLight press release. The partners state that the collaboration will create an analytic platform “that empowers planners and other transportation professionals with data driven insights to inform transportation and infrastructure projects of any size and scope.” Dive Insight: Cities and transportation agencies face a myriad of issues in the post-pandemic environment, including reduced transit ridership, financial concerns and equity questions. At the same time, federal funding from the 2021 infrastructure law and other programs create opportunities and mandates to redress legacy inequalities and meet climate goals. “Infrastructure is what drives social outcomes over the long term, whether it’s carbon or equity or convenience or economic development,” said Streetlight Founder and CEO Laura Schewel in a 2022 interview with Smart Cities Dive. “Big data brings huge efficiencies to a lot of the planning process and the operational and management processes.”" Link to Article

  • August 29, 2023 - Armed with traffic cones, protesters are immobilizing driverless cars - "Two people dressed in dark colors and wearing masks dart into a busy street on a hill in San Francisco. One of them hauls a big orange traffic cone. They sprint toward a driverless car and quickly set the cone on the hood. The vehicle\'s side lights burst on and start flashing orange. And then, it sits there immobile. \"All right, looks good,\" one of them says after making sure no one is inside. \"Let\'s get out of here.\" They hop on e-bikes and pedal off... An anonymous activist group called Safe Street Rebel is responsible for this so-called coning incident and dozens of others over the past few months. The group\'s goal is to incapacitate the driverless cars roaming San Francisco\'s streets as a protest against the city being used as a testing ground for this emerging technology." Link to Article

  • August 29, 2023 - Focus: Gas-electric hybrid vehicles get a boost in the US from Ford, others - "Hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles may not be dying as fast as some predicted in the auto sector’s rush to develop all-electric models. Ford Motor (F.N) is the latest of several top automakers, including Toyota (7203.T) and Stellantis (STLAM.MI), planning to build and sell hundreds of thousands of hybrid vehicles in the U.S. over the next five years, industry forecasters told Reuters. The companies are pitching hybrids as an alternative for retail and commercial customers who are seeking more sustainable transportation, but may not be ready to make the leap to a full electric vehicle... Interest in hybrids is rebounding as consumer demand for pure electrics has not accelerated as quickly as expected. Surveys cite a variety of reasons for tepid EV demand, from high initial cost and concerns about range to lengthy charging times and a shortage of public charging stations." Link to Article

  • August 29, 2023 - San Francisco Launches Driverless Bus Service Following Robotaxi Expansion - " San Francisco has launched an autonomous shuttle service -- less than a week after California regulators approved the expansion of robotaxis despite traffic and safety concerns... “Trained operators are going to be required even as we increase automation,” said Nikolas Martelaro, autonomous-vehicle researcher at Carnegie Mellon University. “So the question there may not be how worried should someone be about losing their job versus what should they be thinking about the potential training that’s required.” Autonomous driving technology could make buses safer, but requiring drivers or attendants on-board could undermine one of their perceived advantages: reduced labor costs. “We still have to find a market for them,” said Art Guzzetti, vice president at the American Public Transportation Association. “We’re doing it to make the trip better, more efficient, not to take the worker’s job.” " Link to Article

  • August 28, 2023 - Rail union calls for more extensive conductor training following 2 deaths - "Following two recent deaths involving conductor trainees, the union representing train conductors is calling for more stringent training than what’s being offered now at the freight railroads, according to an internal safety advisory produced by the union. The call for action by the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Railroad and Transportation Workers – Transportation Division (SMART-TD) was spurred by the two deaths of conductor trainees that occurred within 60 days of each other this summer. Both fatalities happened at Eastern U.S. Class I railroad CSX (NASDAQ: CSX)... CSX, the National Transportation Safety Board and others are still looking into what caused the incidents, but the Aug. 16 FRA safety bulletin suggests that at least one of the incidents occurred when a conductor trainee was crushed between a rail car and locomotive during a shoving movement at a rail yard. The union said it created its own internal advisory to promote dialogue between conductors and their trainees." Link to Article

  • August 28, 2023 - Obstacles abound as Pa. plans for surge of federal broadband funding - "In the coming years, Pennsylvania will receive more than $1 billion in federal funding to bring high-speed internet access to everyone in the state. It’s a historic opportunity and a serious challenge, according to a new plan from the state Broadband Development Authority that outlines how it will accomplish that goal over the next five years. The money comes from the wide-ranging bipartisan infrastructure bill signed into law by President Joe Biden in 2021. Pennsylvania will also receive an estimated $900 million for broadband from other federal programs and private investment required as a condition of grant funding. Here are five obstacles Pennsylvania will have to navigate as it spends the money, according to the authority’s plan: Workforce shortages Engineers. Technicians. Electricians. Surveyors. Laborers... Supply chain problems... Permits.. The cost of an internet subscription... Limited competition among providers... " Link to Article

  • August 28, 2023 - Mustang Mach-E probe reveals electric vehicle adoption issues - "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Monday that the agency is currently looking into Ford\'s 2022 recall of 49,000 Mustang Mach-E EVs... But the core of this investigation – EV battery sensitivity to fast charging – represents a \"potentially bigger hurdle\" to broad EV adoption, according to Jeremy Michalek, Carnegie Mellon professor of engineering and public policy. Though the issue isn\'t \"universal,\" it does reach beyond the Mustang Mach-E, Michalek said in an interview with TheStreet. \"Some battery chemistries are very robust to fast charging while others degrade very quickly. So it does depend what kind of battery the electric vehicle has in it, how sensitive it will be to fast charging,\" he said. \"But there are batteries being used today that are sensitive to fast charging and will degrade the battery much more quickly.\" " Link to Article

  • August 28, 2023 - US OKs state auto-repair law after raising hacking concerns - "US auto safety regulators said Tuesday automakers can comply with a Massachusetts law requiring them to share vehicle data with independent repair shops, reversing course after previously objecting that it could make vehicles vulnerable to hacking. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said automakers could safely share diagnostic data with independent shops using short-range wireless technology, but warned that using long-range wireless signals could potentially let hackers send dangerous commands to moving vehicles. Massachusetts voters in 2020 approved a ballot initiative that gives independent repair shops access to diagnostic data that newer cars can send directly to dealers and manufacturers, in order to allow consumers to seek repairs outside dealerships. NHTSA in June told 22 major automakers in June not to comply with the open-access law because it could potentially allow for manipulation of steering, braking and other critical safety functions and allow hackers to \"remotely command vehicles to operate dangerously.\"" Link to Article

  • August 28, 2023 - FAA sends $121 million to U.S. airports for safety projects - "The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Wednesday said it is sending $121 million to U.S. airports for infrastructure projects that will help reduce the risk of runway incursions. The FAA considers any incorrect presence of a person, vehicle or aircraft within areas designated for aircraft landing or takeoff. The agency\'s four categories of incursions range from minor incidents with no serious safety concerns to more serious, near-collision events. So far in the FAA\'s Fiscal Year 2023, the agency has logged a total of almost 1,500 incursions. Projects covered by this latest FAA funding round include those that will see the reconfiguration of potentially confusing taxiways, installation of new lighting systems and other measures that promote safe airport and airfield movement." Link to Article

  • August 25, 2023 - STUDY: Advanced Vehicle Tech Could Help Prevent 250,000 Traffic Deaths Over 30 Years — But It’s Not a ‘Silver Bullet’ - "According to a new report from AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety, today’s ADAS technologies could prevent up to 14 million fewer injuries and 250,000 fewer deaths on U.S. roads over the next 30 years. Those reductions would translate to a plunge in injury and fatality totals of 16 and 22 percent, respectively, even without further improvements to the technology, which currently struggles to reliably brake at the deadliest speeds or when confronted with pedestrians on unlit roads after dark. Principal researcher Brian Tefft lauded ADAS as a commendable intervention, but emphasized that the tech is not a “silver bullet” — especially absent other road safety strategies, like policies that compel drivers themselves to practice safer behavior... Working in partnership with researchers at the University of North Carolina, the report authors examined the characteristics of thousands of individual crashes that occurred between 2017 and 2019 and estimated how many of them would have been prevented by ADAS technologies in their current form." Link to Article

  • August 25, 2023 - A driverless car company is testing autonomous vehicles in Charlotte -

    Driverless taxi company Cruise, a driverless taxi company, is road-testing its vehicles on Charlotte streets through Saturday.

    During testing, its taxis will not actually be driverless. They’ll be driven by a person to gather data and get to know Charlotte’s roads and driving behaviors. Cruise has launched driverless taxi services in San Francisco, Phoenix and Austin.

    City of Charlotte spokesman Lawrence Corley said the city doesn’t have the power to regulate Cruise’s tests, but the company did give a heads-up.

    “Cruise cars will have a driver behind the wheel at all times, and vehicles will not be operated autonomously at this time. Per Cruise, these data tests are being conducted as they are getting to know Charlotte’s roads/driving behaviors before going driverless. The company contacted the city last week as a courtesy notice, however they do not need the city’s permission to perform data testing,” Corley said. “Their operations are regulated at the state level.”

  • August 25, 2023 - Sticks Not Carrots Needed To Get Drivers Out Of Cars, Say Climate Scientists - "In a paper published in Case Studies on Transport Policy, Nicholas and a colleague ranked 12 measures which have been proven to reduce motor vehicle trips. Their literature search analyzed car-taming techniques published in more than 800 separate studies. Rome, Italy, was highlighted for a 20% reduction in motor traffic thanks to restricting entry to residents only. Fines are plowed into the city’s public transport system. But London in England was found to have implemented the most effective measure. The U.K.’s capital city reduced city center traffic by 33% following the February 2003 introduction of a congestion charge. It can now cost motorists more than $20 to drive through London’s congestion charge zone. Nicholas is an associate professor at the Lund University Center for Sustainability Studies in Sweden. Along with Paula Kuss, from the same institution, she produced her paper to rate the effectiveness of different initiatives that have been introduced to reduce urban car use." Link to Article

  • August 25, 2023 - FHWA Awards Nearly $9M for Innovative Highway, Bridge Work - "The Federal Highway Administration has awarded a total of $8.8 million to eight states and the District of Columbia for demonstration projects that propose to use state-of-the-art technologies for highway and bridge infrastructure durability, safety and asset management. The awards, announced Aug. 22, went to 10 projects and come from FHWA’s Accelerated Innovation Deployment Demonstration program, known as AID... Dr. Chris Hendrickson, an emeritus professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, said via email, \"Pursuing innovation is essential to make transportation more cost-effective and efficient.\" Hendrickson added that the AID program \"is critical funding to incentivize and reinforce a new innovation culture in state DOTs.\" He also said that besides the FHWA program, State Transportation Innovation Councils are promoting advances in the field, For example, Hendrickson noted that the council in Pennsylvania \"has enabled a fast track for scaling innovations identified by state employees, industry and academia.\"" Link to Article

  • August 25, 2023 - GM backs EV battery startup as it shifts future focus to cheaper materials - "General Motors (GM.N) is investing in a Silicon Valley startup to help it speed development of a more affordable battery chemistry for its future electric vehicles, the company said on Wednesday. GM will lead a $60 million investment in Mitra Chem, a two-year-old Mountain View, California, company that uses artificial intelligence to accelerate development of lithium-ion battery materials. Mitra Chem will help the automaker develop advanced iron-based cathode active materials such as lithium manganese iron phosphate (LMFP) that could be used in some of GM\'s next-generation Ultium batteries after 2025. Lithium iron phosphate (LFP) and manganese-enriched LMFP are less expensive, more sustainable alternatives to the nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) mixture used in many current EV battery cathodes. Iron-based batteries typically do not store as much energy, however. LFP battery cells were developed in the United States, but Chinese companies such as BYD (002594.SZ) and CATL (300750.SZ)currently dominate global production." Link to Article

  • August 23, 2023 - How 1 city is curbing overweight trucks - "New York City began using weigh-in-motion (WIM) technology Thursday on a key stretch of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (BQE), with fines eventually awaiting trucks that exceed current weight limits.The plan is one part of a back-and-forth decision-making process by the city as it figures out what to do with a cantilevered section of the BQE near Brooklyn Heights and across lower New York Bay from the skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan. It is a key truck route in the New York City area. And while the view from that location might be spectacular as Lower Manhattan comes into view northbound or southbound, the visual landscape is taken in on roads with cantilevered decks that are both uniquely constructed and in significant need of repair but with no clear decision on how to proceed. " Link to Article

  • August 23, 2023 - Autonomous vehicles could actually slow travel times, NC State study warns - "A new study finds that “connected” vehicles, which share data with each other wirelessly, significantly improve travel time through intersections – but automated vehicles can actually slow down travel time through intersections if they are not connected to each other. The culprit? Safety. “There are two significant reasons that people are interested in automated vehicles – improving passenger safety and reducing travel time,” says Ali Hajbabaie, first author of a paper on the work and an associate professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering at North Carolina State University. “There is a lot of research showing that automated vehicles can improve safety. But our research here – which relies on computational modeling – suggests that if we want to also improve travel time, an increase in automated vehicles isn’t enough; we need vehicles that are capable of communicating with each other and with the traffic-control systems that manage traffic flow at intersections.”" Link to Article

  • August 23, 2023 - Should phone calls be allowed on planes? You probably won’t like the answer. - "The anti-call passengers make a valid point about unwanted noise. The cabin of an airliner can be chaotic and loud, so why add to the confusion? But their main argument that it somehow makes a flight less safe doesn\'t fly. Swarun Kumar, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, said aviation safety experts are no longer concerned that wireless calls could interfere with cockpit equipment. \"In fact, using data when airborne is technically not a violation, and, of course, plenty of travelers use in-flight Wi-Fi,\" he said. So maybe the time is right to consider allowing phone calls on domestic airlines, which EU regulators have already recognized. You can\'t turn the cabin into a no-call zone in 2023. People need to communicate. But there\'s a right way to do it." Link to Article

  • August 23, 2023 - Keep it simple, experts tell feds on planned mileage fee experiment - "Federal agencies are running late in starting a congressionally mandated nationwide test that taxes motorists for the miles they drive instead of the gallons of fuel they buy, something most states have already started exploring. For the national effort to prove helpful, transportation experts say, it should remain simple. The goal should be to “only test what absolutely needs to be tested at the federal level” for imposing mileage fees on passenger vehicles, wrote experts from the Eno Center for Transportation, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C., in a recent report. They pointed out that dozens of states have already explored different ways of rolling out mileage taxes. Federal officials should also avoid using overly complicated rates that would, for example, reward people for using fuel efficient vehicles or buying smaller vehicles, they cautioned." Link to Article

  • August 23, 2023 - Battle Lines Drawn over Automotive Data Collection - "As July came to a close, the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) announced that it was launching a review of the data protection regimes, or lack thereof, covering assisted driving systems... Yet some observers, like Choudhuri, see this as an opportunity for such businesses rather than a burden. “While initial reactions might view these regulations as cumbersome or barriers to innovation, they can serve as catalysts... They should be careful, however, because customers can be sensitive to practices seen as financially exploitative. Raj Rajkumar, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, pointed out: “There is a ton of value in tracking user habits for marketing purposes. It is hard to imagine that this value will go untapped within cars. However, carmakers and their suppliers need to respect privacy and only use versions that filter out user identities. Else, there will be a backlash at some time or the other.” " Link to Article

  • August 22, 2023 - Electric vehicles: What are the risks? - "Devin Lindsay, principal analyst for automotive at S&P Global Mobility, discussed some of the risks involved with EVs. More research must be done as more electric vehicles hit the roads, Lindsay said. He cited research from the Highway Loss Data Institute that said crash avoidance features in EVs seem to benefit young drivers more than other drivers... Lindsay said. They found: Electric vehicles have no engine damage in front-end collisions. Gasoline-powered vehicles are more expensive to maintain than electric vehicles. But electric vehicles are more expensive to repair in the event of an accident... One quandary for insurers, Lindsay said, is the electric vehicles tend to be heavier than gasoline-powered vehicles but also have increased performance, which is not the combination for safety purposes. " Link to Article

  • August 22, 2023 - US Joint Office of Energy and Transportation creates new EV working group - "The EVWG, which will make recommendations directly to the secretaries of Energy and Transportation, includes experts with experience and knowledge across the entire EV ecosystem, including manufacturers of vehicles, components and batteries; public utility representatives; local and regional elected officials; state energy planners; and labor officials representing transportation industry workers. The committee also includes leadership from the US departments of Energy and Transportation, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Council on Environmental Quality, the US General Services Administration and the US Postal Service... Areas of focus for the group will include facilitating the adoption of electric vehicles among low- and moderate-income individuals and underserved communities; assessing the costs of vehicle and EV battery manufacturing and shortages of raw materials for batteries; identifying charging infrastructure, grid capacity and EV cybersecurity needs; addressing grid capacity and integration; and identifying charging infrastructure regulatory issues." Link to Article

  • August 22, 2023 - Safety officials on automatic emergency braking mandate: Not so fast - "The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), whose members include state police and highway patrols, and the Commercial Vehicle Brake Manufacturers Council (CVBMC), a group under CVSA that represents OEMs, contend that the controversial AEB rule, proposed jointly by the National Highway Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, would benefit from a higher level of engagement. “CVSA and CVBMC encourage the agencies to consider holding a [U.S. Department of Transportation]-led stakeholder listening session, if possible, to allow industry an additional opportunity to provide direct feedback to the agencies, similar to the listening sessions FMCSA held related to electronic logging devices and the industry forum NHTSA held while developing the antilock brake system requirements,” CVSA Executive Director Collin Mooney wrote to DOT earlier this month." Link to Article

  • August 22, 2023 - Chances of costly autoworker strike extra high amid Biden’s EV push - "A potential strike by U.S. auto workers in September would be a high-stakes problem for President Biden, who\'s trying to balance his push for electric vehicles with his self-description as \"the most pro-union president ever.\" Driving the news: The United Auto Workers worries that EV factories won\'t employ as many people as traditional plants, and that new battery factories spurred by the president\'s tax incentives will pay lower wages. Why it matters: In addition to the political implications, a work stoppage by nearly 150,000 UAW workers at GM, Ford and Stellantis would result in an economic loss of more than $5 billion after 10 days, according to Anderson Economic Group. Zoom in: UAW members will vote this week on whether to authorize their fiery new leader, Shawn Fain, to call a strike against Detroit carmakers when their contract expires Sept. 14. " Link to Article

  • August 22, 2023 - Cops, Cameras, and “Safe Systems”: The Debate About Curbing Traffic Violence on Portland’s Streets - " Iannarone noted “speed, impairment, and distraction” contribute to over 90 percent of vehicle crashes in the United States. “Safe systems” for a public health crisis To Iannarone and other advocates, enforcement mechanisms and calls to action aren’t enough for a “transformation” of Portland’s transportation system. They call for a “safe systems” approach to preventing traffic crashes, which revolves around designing streets that account for individual mistakes like reckless or drunk driving. The approach is utilized by programs like Vision Zero, which aims to stop all traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets. The city of Portland committed to the Vision Zero pledge in 2015, but traffic crashes have only increased in that time. A recent Multnomah County Public Health Data Report looking at the county’s traffic-related fatality trends also calls for such an approach. " Link to Article

  • August 21, 2023 - Is a hydrogen highway in Georgia’s future? The state wants to find out - "Georgia officials are exploring the possibility of deploying hydrogen fueling stations across the state to power commercial vehicles, tractor-trailers and other large trucks. The heart of this hydrogen highway is potentially a 23-mile stretch of Interstate 16 near Savannah that connects Hyundai Motor Group’s now-under-construction electric vehicle plant and the Port of Savannah. The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) issued a request for information Monday seeking input from the private sector on how to bring a network of hydrogen fueling stations to fruition. GDOT is not hiring a firm to build any stations at this time but is instead seeking information on how to operate, develop and deliver such a network in a fast-emerging space. Hyundai is one company with a huge Georgia presence with experience in hydrogen-powered trucking... Hyundai manufactures hydrogen fuel cell big rigs, known as XCIENT, and uses them to transport materials in its operations in South Korea. " Link to Article

  • August 21, 2023 - Two rival robotaxi services win approval to operate throughout San Francisco despite safety concerns - "California regulators on Thursday approved an expansion that will allow two rival robotaxi services to operate throughout San Francisco at all hours, despite safety worries spurred by recurring problems with unexpected stops and other erratic behavior that resulted in unmanned vehicles blocking traffic, including emergency vehicles. The state’s Public Utilities Commission voted to approve rival services from Cruise and Waymo to operate around-the-clock service. It will make San Francisco first major U.S. city with two fleets of driverless vehicles competing for passengers against ride-hailing and taxi services dependent on humans to operate the cars. It is a distinction that San Francisco officials didn’t want, largely because of the headaches that Cruise and Waymo have been causing in the city while testing their robotaxis on a restricted basis during the past year." Link to Article

  • August 18, 2023 - Advanced air mobility research center grows in Tulsa, Oklahoma - "While the early focus of air taxi services under development has been on big cities like Chicago, New York City and San Francisco, advanced air mobility could benefit smaller communities and rural regions as well, said Daniel Plaisance, manager of advanced air mobility at the Tulsa Innovation Labs, a nonprofit founded in 2020. TIL recently announced a partnership with the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma; the Osage Nation and Oklahoma State University to form a new center for advanced air mobility research. Smart Cities Dive spoke with Plaisance to learn more about the center, its potential to transform Tulsa and how these new air services could bring jobs, investments and improved mobility to the region." Link to Article

  • August 18, 2023 - Transitioning to eVTOLs: An inside look at the plans of helicopter operators - "Many airlines and heli companies are already part of broad collaborative planning initiatives. For example, Blade Air Mobility is part of Urban Movement Labs’ advanced air mobility (AAM) partnership to integrate eVTOLs into the Los Angeles air transport network. Virgin Atlantic and Vertical Aerospace are among the members of the Advanced Mobility Ecosystem Consortium in the U.K. Meanwhile, some big players have already chosen eVTOL models and tentative routes. United Airlines plans to use Archer’s Midnight eVTOL, for instance, to transport passengers between Manhattan and Newark Liberty International Airport. No decisions have yet been made at Blade about routes, but “given the range we anticipate for first-generation eVTOLs, we expect initial deployment to be on our existing short-distance routes, which typically span between 10 and 100 miles [16 to 160 kilometers] and are currently serviced by conventional helicopters or seaplanes,” said chief of staff Lee Gold. " Link to Article

  • August 18, 2023 - SMART grants open second round for state, local transportation innovation - "The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Tuesday it’s accepting applications for the second round of its Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation, or SMART, grants. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Tuesday that many public sector agencies aren’t equipped to harness the full potential of technologies such as connected vehicles and “smart” traffic signals. “Our SMART program helps give state, local, and tribal governments the resources they need to find technological solutions to some of their most pressing transportation challenges,” Buttigieg said in a press release. The five-year SMART grant program was created in 2021 with $500 million in funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. It aims to improve transportation efficiency and safety through investment in technologies including coordinated automation, sensors, smart grids, traffic signals and systems integration. " Link to Article

  • August 18, 2023 - In Dallas, a model “smart city” project bears fruit - "By blitzing a troubled neighborhood with \"smart city\" technology — including AI cameras on streetlights and ubiquitous Wi-Fi — Dallas officials have seen crime reduction and quality-of-life improvements that they hope to replicate elsewhere. Why it matters: Smart city initiatives fell out of favor nationally after lots of money was spent with few results — but projects like the one in Red Cloud in Southeast Dallas are starting to deliver on the promise that earlier efforts did not. Driving the news: Dallas has won national recognition for its Red Cloud transformation project, in which \"all streets, alleys and sidewalks were reconstructed in conjunction with multiple technological quality-of-life improvements,\" as the city put it." Link to Article

  • August 18, 2023 - Vehicle greenhouse gas emissions measured inconsistently by states, cities: GAO - "Dive Brief: Although state departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations have a vital role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation sources, the U.S. Government Accountability Office found inconsistent approaches on whether and how these agencies measure on-road vehicle GHG emissions. In a report issued Thursday, the GAO found “a few examples among the selected state DOTs and MPOs that have targets for reducing on-road greenhouse gas emissions.” Although most of the state DOTs and MPOs that GAO interviewed “agreed that calculating emissions is not all that difficult,” GAO Director of Physical Infrastructure Elizabeth Repko said on a Thursday podcast that some faced challenges related to staffing, availability of data and quantifying the results of investments to reduce emissions." Link to Article

  • August 16, 2023 - Pilot project coming to I-94 next week will make it ‘world’s most sophisticated roadway’ - "Workers will be prepping the site before closing the left lane entirely for resurfacing worker that will reopen in November. Working in partnership with the Michigan Department of Transportation, a mobility company called Cavnue will work to equip the left lane of I-94 between Belleville and Rawsonville roads with digital infrastructure that can support and connect to automated vehicles (CAV). The proposed CAV corridor was proposed as the \"world\'s most sophisticated roadway\" that would connect to buses, vans, shuttles, and is part of a larger plan of connecting Ann Arbor and Detroit. It will allow a mix of autonomous vehicles, traditional transit vehicles, as well as freight and personal transportation options as well. The route was selected to include other stops along the way, like Detroit Wayne Airport, Michigan Central Station, and the University of Michigan. " Link to Article

  • August 16, 2023 - Level 3 Automated Vehicles and Criminal Law - "Current events focus a spotlight on potential criminal liability for operation of an automated vehicle. In Arizona, the safety driver in an Uber robotaxi pled guilty to negligent homicide for a fatality that occurred while an automated driving system (ADS) was engaged. Shortly before that, the owner of a Tesla pled no contest to a charge of negligent homicide for fatalities caused while Tesla AutoPilot, which automates vehicle control under driver supervision, was engaged. In both cases, automation controlled the braking, speed and steering of the vehicle at the time of the accident. Prosecutors in both cases pursued criminal charges against the human operator on the theory that, despite use of an automation system, both drivers had ultimate responsibility for the safe operation of the vehicle. Assignment of responsibility to the human operator in these cases is consistent with limited existing case law. However, the decision to prosecute ignored the very real problem of automation complacency as an excuse, though it may have been a mitigating factor in sentencing without jail time." Link to Article

  • August 16, 2023 - EV battery maker Proterra files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection - "Cash-strapped electric bus and battery maker Proterra Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday. The company plans to keep running while sorting out its business units during reorganization. Proterra voluntarily filed its petition in the District of Delaware where it is incorporated. It hopes to strengthen its financial position through recapitalization or sale of some business units. In addition to its original line of electric buses, Proterra makes battery packs and develops electric infrastructure. The Burlingame, California-based company filed a notice of going concern in March as part of its 2022 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Such a filing calls into question whether a company would be in business a year from the filing. “We have faced various market and macroeconomic headwinds that have impacted our ability to efficiently scale all of our opportunities simultaneously,” CEO Gareth Joyce said in a news release after markets closed Monday." Link to Article

  • August 16, 2023 - Volvo, Mack replacing batteries on electric trucks because of fire risk - "Volvo Trucks North America and Mack Trucks are recalling nearly all the battery-powered electric trucks made over the past four years because of an issue that can cause a battery fire. The recall is the fourth for the trucks since they entered series production in 2022. The latest recall affects 173 Volvo and nine Mack vehicles built between April 1, 2019, and Feb. 10, 2023. Battery-powered electric trucks are still relatively new on the market. Some of the issues are consistent with new products. They develop bugs that need to be fixed, not unlike traditional diesel trucks. The latest recalls for the two Volvo Group brands relate to an over-torquing of buss bars, according to a post on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website. " Link to Article

  • August 16, 2023 - Fare Capping Is Being Adopted by Transit Agencies of All Sizes - "Transit agencies are adopting fare capping in another move toward bringing down the cost of transit for regular riders, and taking a firmer step toward transportation equity and expanded access. The move is one more step forward using technology to modernize ticketing and make transit service more seamless across multiple regional public transit systems. Los Angeles Metro, the third largest transit system in the nation, has enabled fare capping, which places a maximum of $5 per day for using transit or $18 per week. A standard one-way fare is $1.75 on the system’s network of trains and buses... Masabi is powering the technology among NEORide members, while Cubic is the technology provider for the L.A. Metro system. Cubic is also the technology backbone behind the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) system in New York City, an open-payment architecture that allows riders to tap a wireless credit card or mobile device to access subways and buses." Link to Article

  • August 15, 2023 - How Dallas became the proving ground for autonomous trucks - "On any given day, Dallas motorists traveling along I-20 or I-45 are likely to be sharing the road with a self-driving truck that has the equivalent of a learner\'s permit. Why it matters: Dallas is the hub of autonomous truck testing and development, thanks to its vital freight corridors, business-friendly policies and generally favorable weather. \"Put all that together, and it\'s hard to envision a place that would be better to launch autonomous trucks,\" says Ossa Fisher, president of Pittsburgh-based Aurora Innovation. Texas is more proactive than other states that allow autonomous vehicle testing and deployment, industry officials tell Axios. What\'s happening: Most autonomous truck developers are testing their rigs with real customers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, using backup safety drivers until the technology is ready to go solo." Link to Article

  • August 15, 2023 - Charlotte touts features for handicapped riders on new electric and hybrid buses - "The new battery-powered and the hybrid buses are debuting a new restraint system for people who use a wheelchair. It will mean passengers with wheelchairs won’t need as much help getting on and off, officials said. The system will allow someone in a wheelchair the ability to get into the device and secure themselves. Other new features include a split-screen monitor anchored to the electronics cabinet that displays marketing and communications information such as rider alerts, detours and public service announcements. The monitor also will display live streaming of the forward facing bus camera and a ‘’route ladder’’ showing each bus stop along the route. CATS will also try out a system called C3-SPACE. Unlike the restraint system being put in place for in electric and hybrid buses, C3-SPACE is a pod that will provide live route maps and cameras for its handicapped riders. " Link to Article

  • August 15, 2023 - Chart: EV ranges are growing, but at a cost - "Range anxiety, a nervous malady afflicting early-21st-century electric-vehicle drivers and would-be owners, is being cured by better and bigger batteries with storage capacities that have consistently grown year by year. EV driving range has been increasing roughly 10 percent per year since 2018, according to BloombergNEF, due to a combination of bigger batteries, improved efficiency, and increased prevalence of larger vehicles. According to the research house, the average range of EVs globally grew from 143 miles to 210 miles between 2018 and 2022. Range figures in the U.S. are even higher because Americans favor bigger vehicles with larger batteries. The soon-to-be-delivered Chevrolet Silverado electric pickup has a 200-kilowatt-hour battery pack and a range of 400 to 450 miles... But there’s a downside to the longer ranges that come from these larger vehicles — they require big, heavy batteries that put more strain on an already stressed EV supply chain, sucking up hard-to-source materials such as lithium, cobalt and nickel." Link to Article

  • August 15, 2023 - San Francisco Taxi Workers Alliance to protest expansion of driverless car fleets - "The San Francisco Taxi Workers Alliance is planning a protest at the headquarters of the California Public Utilities Commission on Monday against the expansion of autonomous vehicle fleets in the city. Taxi drivers and their supporters hope to stop the commission from lifting current restrictions and allowing Waymo and Cruise to offer driverless commercial passenger service 24/7 anywhere in the city. The commission, which is responsible for regulations of autonomous vehicles or AVs, has called a meeting Monday to discuss AV interference with first responders and is set to vote on granting expanded operations Thursday... Taxi drivers say the coming of AVs is especially threatening to those who bought a medallion from the city. A medallion permits an individual or company to operate a taxicab. \"Of the 700 or so medallion purchasers, over 40 percent have already lost their medallions to foreclosure,\" Gruberg said. \"Once AVs have gained a foothold, the rest may not be far behind.\"" Link to Article

  • August 15, 2023 - Fujitsu to take expanded presence at new Avenu Workspaces coworking set up in Oakland - "Fujitsu, a publicly traded Japanese company with more than 120,000 employees worldwide, is working to ramp up its presence in Pittsburgh. The company has committed to being the first new tenant in a new Avenu Workspaces location at 115 Atwood St., where it can spread out in triple the size of its initial location with Avenu at its Meyran Avenue space, a relatively short walk away in the heart of Oakland. The new space will be bigger for Fujitsu, but specific details on the amount of space the lease will be were not provided in an announcement about the move by InnovatePGH, which operates the Avenu coworking spaces. According to the organization, Fujitsu has been collaborating with Carnegie Mellon University through its Mobility Data Analytics Center and Computational Behavior Lab. The company is involved with projects through the two labs to evaluate measures to control traffic flow as well as to model how pedestrians behave in urban environments." Link to Article

  • August 14, 2023 - Rebuilding America: The Role of Tech Giants in Infrastructure Development - "As the United States embarks on an ambitious plan to revitalize its aging infrastructure, tech giants are emerging as pivotal players in this nationwide endeavor. These industry behemoths, including Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, are leveraging their technological prowess and financial resources to play a significant role in the development of America’s infrastructure... In addition to these individual efforts, tech giants are also joining forces to tackle infrastructure challenges. The Infrastructure Computing for the Enterprise (ICE) consortium, which includes Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, aims to accelerate the adoption of cloud computing in infrastructure development. The consortium believes that cloud technology can significantly improve the design, construction, and operation of infrastructure, leading to cost savings and environmental benefits. However, the involvement of tech giants in infrastructure development is not without controversy. Critics argue that these companies are using infrastructure projects to further their own interests, such as expanding their market dominance or collecting more user data. " Link to Article

  • August 14, 2023 - Uber shares fall as fears over Lyft’s pricing eclipse first operating profit - "Uber\'s (UBER.N) shares fell 6% on Tuesday after the ride-hailing company warned Lyft was competing effectively on prices and set an earnings forecast that analysts said may have disappointed investors who have driven up the stock two-fold this year. The comments and an easing pace of revenue growth overshadowed the 14-year-old Uber\'s first-ever quarterly operating profit. That also pushed down shares of Lyft (LYFT.O) nearly 5% on worries that the smaller rival could lose money by cutting prices on its rides. \"They\'ve (Lyft) taken some tough actions, and they are competitive in pricing now,\" said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, calling Lyft a \"tough competitor\". Uber forecast third-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) — a profitability metric keenly watched by investors — between $975 million and $1.025 billion. Analysts were expecting $925.9 million, according to Refinitiv data." Link to Article

  • August 14, 2023 - America’s Most Tech-Forward City Has Doubts About Self-Driving Cars - "The California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates passenger transportation, is scheduled to vote this month on whether to allow GM’s Cruise to expand its presence in San Francisco and to allow it and Alphabet’s Waymo to charge for rides at all times. The vote has been delayed twice, and the agency will hold a hearing next week to hear responses from the companies to a list of safety concerns. “We think that autonomous vehicles are amazing and we believe that someday they will be safer than human drivers,” said Jeffrey Tumlin, director of transportation for San Francisco’s transit authority. “So far, the industry has not demonstrated that.” Cruise and Waymo are fighting back. Executives at both companies have begun presenting their pitches to the public and government officials with greater urgency, armed with data they say shows the safety benefits of their vehicles." Link to Article

  • August 14, 2023 - Top 7 reasons why a hoverboard is a smart purchase - "Sustainability has become a norm for industries all over the world. However, everyone is searching for solutions where they can embrace sustainability by changing their daily routines. One such practice of embracing sustainability is using eco-friendly travel options like hoverboards... In conclusion, purchasing a hoverboard offers several key advantages. They enhance cognitive function, improving skills such as concentration, coordination, and spatial awareness. Hoverboards also contribute to physical fitness, offering a form of low-impact exercise. While this is on the personal front, hoverboards can also be a beneficial investment from an economic and environmental point of view. Primarily, hoverboards are an affordable, low-maintenance transportation option, ideal for short to medium distances." Link to Article

  • August 14, 2023 - How to Find the Cheapest Ride-Sharing Option - "That got me thinking: Maybe I could benefit from some advice on how to use ride-hailing services — and save money. I asked academics, travelers and ride-hailing experts. And much like the ride-hailing industry itself, the answers I received were all over the map... “The best strategy today is to have access to many services and to use each one when it best fits your trip needs,” says Stan Caldwell, executive director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Traffic21 Institute, which focuses on transportation issues. For example, he says savvy travelers should consider using Uber or Lyft to get from home to a transit hub. Or they should use the ride-hailing services late at night when mass transit isn’t running. On other trips, a Zipcar rental or even a bike share or scooter might be more appropriate. " Link to Article

  • August 11, 2023 - Bustling in Butler: County’s population surge sparks a positive vibe — and a few headaches - "From Cranberry Township’s Traffic Operations Center, Marty McKinney peers at the set of 12 flat-screen televisions that monitor dozens of traffic signals along the township’s roads. The township’s longtime traffic operations specialist sees about 80,000 vehicles cross the intersection of Routes 19 and 228 each day, where five lanes traverse across four directions... It was one of the first communities to adopt “transportation impact fees,” charged to new developers to adjust for their predicted impact on the roadways using the township’s comprehensive traffic model... Cranberry now partners with the commonwealth’s Department of Transportation and institutions like Carnegie Mellon University to act as a hub for research and development — with an added “D,” for deployment — of cutting-edge traffic control technologies. “There aren\'t a lot of places where you can mine this information from in real-time and provide intelligent solutions. We work very hard to operate the best system that is possible — without spending hordes of taxpayer money,” said Ms. Maurer. " Link to Article

  • August 11, 2023 - Driving Innovation: Breakthrough AI Research Revolutionizes Autonomous Vehicles - "Addressing the challenge of slow inference time is crucial for making transformer-based models more practical and accessible for real-world applications like autonomous vehicles and Social robots. The latest research led by Mr. Apoorv Singh, a Machine Learning Scientist at an autonomous vehicle company, enabled such a computation-hungry transformer model to be deployed in real-time on autonomous cars. This research involves multiple practical and theoretical hypotheses that scaled down the inference time of the Transformers-based Computer Vision model by 63%, keeping a similar detection performance. His research was published at the Autonomous Driving session of the IEEE CVPR conference, held in Vancouver, Canada, in July 2023. Mr. Singh, a robotics graduate from Carnegie Mellon University, has also published multiple patents and research articles in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Vehicles convergence. Mr. Singh has represented autonomous vehicle research as a keynote speaker and panelist at US-based IEEE conferences." Link to Article

  • August 11, 2023 - Citi Bike has record-breaking ridership month following news of potential sale - "Citi Bike announced on Twitter that the bike-share system had a record-breaking month for riders this past July, with over 3.76 million trips taken throughout the entire month. “Keep it up and let’s see how many rides you take in August! Will you break the record again?” Citi Bike said on Twitter. This record-breaking month comes in the wake of news surfacing that Lyft, Citi Bike’s parent company since 2018, was considering selling off the bike-share system citing financial troubles for the ride-share company as a whole. Lyft said in a statement last month that there had been “considerable interest” from prospective buyers, but it was not immediately clear if Lyft was entertaining the bids... On July 21, Citi Bike tweeted that the system had its highest single ridership day with over 143,200 trips taken that day. The system also announced that over 40 new Citi Bike docking locations have been added to the Flatbush area of Brooklyn." Link to Article

  • August 11, 2023 - Downtown Travel Has Not Recovered from COVID-19, Data Shows - "Downtown activity in major cities continues to lag behind pre-COVID-19 days, perhaps the most lasting side effect of remote work. A study of near real-time traffic activity in downtown areas indicates that most of the largest U.S. cities have yet to return to pre-2020 levels. The report and analysis, which looked at 20 downtown districts, was conducted by INRIX, a traffic and transportation technology firm... One of the report’s data points looks at traffic activity from December 2022 to May 2023, offering the most recent window into downtown recovery. Portland, Ore., posted a 12 percent increase in trips into downtown, while New York City showed a 13 percent increase, and a 15 percent increase in Phoenix. However, many cities are either stagnant, or backsliding. Trips into Chicago and Seattle are both down one percent during this period. Washington, D.C., posted a two percent decline and Denver showed a four percent decline. " Link to Article

  • August 11, 2023 - Automakers promote advanced tech to compete in China — the world’s top EV market - "Global electric vehicle makers are tapping advanced technology to vie with each other and domestic brands in the intensively competitive Chinese market. China is the world’s largest EV market with 5.9 million units sold in 2022, capturing 59% of EVs sold globally, according to Canalys. Counterpoint Research data showed that domestic brands command 81% of the EV market, with BYD, Wuling, Chery, Changan and GAC among the top players. “China’s domestic brands are leading the market in the development and implementation of advanced assisted driving systems, capitalizing on their early-entry advantages in the electric and intelligent vehicle sector,” research firm Canalys said in a recent report... On Friday, BMW China announced that it is accelerating the development of hands-free autonomous driving features, also known as Level 3 or L3 functions. BMW China said it plans to roll those out by end of 2023 or early 2024 and will ensure compliance with local regulations." Link to Article

  • August 9, 2023 - Ever-larger cars and trucks are causing a safety crisis on US streets – here’s how communities can fight back - "Amsterdam and Copenhagen are widely viewed as models for using public space in ways that prioritize people – but they weren’t always that way. Starting in the 1970s, grassroots movements in both cities pressed officials to reduce the dominance of cars and make streets safer for the public. These movements initially were slow to catch on but gained support over time. Today, similar initiatives are moving forward in cities across France and Germany. Even traditionally car-centric European cities, such as Brussels and Ghent, are increasingly adopting human-focused policies by designating where cars, especially large cars, can and cannot travel... The goal is to modify the design of neighborhood streets and parking areas in ways that prioritize pedestrians, bicycles and new forms of personal transport like microcars. Federal survey data shows that nearly half of trips that Americans drive are shorter than four miles (6.5 kilometers). " Link to Article

  • August 9, 2023 - Toyota and Pony.ai Team Up To Produce Robotaxis in China - "Toyota (TM) and autonomous driving startup Pony.ai announced plans to invest more than 1 billion yuan ($140 million) to produce robotaxis in China. The partnership is a joint venture with China\'s state-owned Guangzhou Automobile Group, GAC-Toyota, and Pony.ai. Toyota has invested millions in Pony.ai since its partnership in 2019 to develop self-driving cars. Pony.ai touts that it is the first and only autonomous vehicle company to receive a city-level permit to test driverless vehicles in Shenzhen and a permit for driverless robotaxis in Guangzhou. It is one of only two companies to receive the same permit for Beijing." Link to Article

  • August 9, 2023 - Electric vehicle owners in Pittsburgh find creative ways to charge up as the city adjusts to shifting transportation trends - "Recently, a team that includes Corey Harper, an assistant civil and environmental engineering professor at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Information Systems and Public Policy, received a grant from the Department of Energy to do research on EV charging infrastructure. “We saw that, right now, in Pittsburgh, a lot of the charges are located in areas where there are either a lot of shops near the schools, or the Downtown area,” he explains to City Paper, referring primarily to the neighborhoods surrounding CMU and the University of Pittsburgh. “So, you know, pretty well-off areas.” Harper explains that his DoE-funded research looks at creating \"optimization tools” for cities, in this case, Pittsburgh and Seattle, to best determine where EV chargers should be located based on a number of factors. Harper says that, while there’s a growing demand to adopt EV technology, Pittsburgh and other U.S. cities need to make the transition in an equitable way. " Link to Article

  • August 9, 2023 - Alabama Wants to Get Ahead on Investing in Air Taxis - "Alabama legislators want the state to jump in on a growing startup industry: novel aircraft designed to quickly take off and land for short-distance travel. This sort of technology could allow passengers to soar over traffic, to commute distances too short for travel between airports. Electric and hybrid air taxis wouldn’t require a runway, taking off and landing vertically to allow for fast travel between rural, suburban and urban communities. “I think we need to be ahead of the game instead of trying to play catch up later,” said Alabama State Sen. Lance Bell (R-Pell City), who sponsored legislation highlighting the industry’s growth. Gov. Kay Ivey signed the legislation on July 19 to create a commission to study the industry... Alabama’s move – which starts with forming a new Joint Study Commission on Advanced Air Mobility sometime in the next two months, Bell said – echoes that national priority to promote advanced air mobility as an opportunity for economic growth." Link to Article

  • August 9, 2023 - Study: Bridge tolling comes with questionable trade-offs - "A case study of how traffic would change if a nominal toll were added to Girard Point Bridge in Philadelphia illustrates the trade-offs: PennDOT could raise significant revenue, but traffic time would increase — as would emissions. The study, done for the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and funded with a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, estimated a $1 toll on the bridge would bring in about $30,500 per day and $46,700 per day with a $2 toll during morning peak hours. Annually, those tolls would be $11.1 million and $17 million, respectively... “We’re talking about how to make a good compromise among different stakeholders,” Sean Qian, a civil and environmental engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University and co-author of the study, said. “PennDOT, I do see their perspective because it’s important to have extra revenue to fix the infrastructure. Especially for Pennsylvania, it’s a big challenge.” " Link to Article

  • August 8, 2023 - An AI Startup Is Helping North American Diesel Trains Clean Up Their Act - "Montreal-based RailVision Analytics has developed artificial intelligence-enabled software to help locomotive engineers make small adjustments in train driving that could lead to big savings in diesel fuel. That could help freight and passenger trains cut into the roughly 100 million tons of planet-warming gases released into the atmosphere every year... Essentially, the idea is to enable locomotive engineers to eliminate wasteful practices and leverage invisible forces that could assist their driving. If you’ve driven a car, you’re almost surely familiar with the law of inertia discovered by Isaac Newton in 1686, which states a moving object can continue in the same direction unless a force affects it. That means a vehicle can stay in motion — in other words, coast — without the use of manmade propulsion until friction or other forces stop it." Link to Article

  • August 8, 2023 - Switch to EVs could save state and local governments up to $360 million, study says - "A new report from PennEnvironment shows local and state governments in Pennsylvania could save up to $360 million over the next 10 years by switching retiring fleet vehicles to electric models... Paulina Jaramillo, a professor of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University and wasn’t involved in the report, said the strategy of transitioning government fleets to EVs is reasonable. However, she pointed out the cost-savings could be reduced where more infrastructure for these vehicles is needed to be built. “The problem is that those benefits are spread over time but you need to pay for the infrastructure now, so how are you gonna get that cash in hand?” she said. She mentioned the report identified state and federal incentives for electrification in the Inflation Reduction Act – such as the Commercial Clean Vehicle Tax Credit– that could help make the switch to EVs. The incentives could also help to build the needed charging infrastructure for EVs. " Link to Article

  • August 8, 2023 - Seven Automakers to Roll Out Massive EV Charger Network Next Year - "BMW and six other major automakers plan to begin rolling out a massive North American network of high-powered electric vehicle (EV) chargers in mid-2024... Early EV adopters often have a place to charge at home and own multiple vehicles, said Jeremy Michalek, professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University\'s College of Engineering. “With the longer range of today\'s EVs, they typically only need public chargers on long trips,” he said. The primary problem is that Americans tend to take long trips at the same time around peak travel holidays, like Memorial Day or Thanksgiving, Michalek said. “It\'s going to be a challenge to deploy enough public charging infrastructure to avoid long queues on peak travel days, and if we do build enough for peak travel days a lot of it will sit unused much of the rest of the year,” he said. “As EVs become more mainstream and move into used car markets, the other main problem is that households that lack off-street parking with residential charging will need to rely heavily on public charging infrastructure for everyday use,\" he added." Link to Article

  • August 8, 2023 - Connected Mercedes Vehicles to Improve Boston’s Roads - "Mercedes cars are going to be used to improve Boston’s roads in a first-of-its-kind vehicle-to-infrastructure pilot program. Data from connected vehicles will be collected and analyzed to identify which streets in the city require upgrading or urgent maintenance, due to potholes or damaged surfaces. The initiative – a partnership between Mercedes’ Urban Mobility Solutions and Boston’s Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics (MONUM) and Citywide Analytics Team – will see participating cars use an advanced algorithm to process data when they collect information on where they encounter bumps on the road. The Mercedes vehicles taking part in and contributing are fitted with advanced suspension systems. “These can register bumps during sudden suspension compression and rebound at the front axle, as well as at the rear axle with a certain time delay,” according to the company. This data can be collected anonymously from vehicles whose owners have opted into data sharing via the “Mercedes me” app." Link to Article

  • August 8, 2023 - Can Self-Driving Go Mainstream Within 10 Years? Watch This Debate - "Billions are being invested in self-driving technology each year, and some question why it isn’t further along today, whether it can be really made to work and whether it can be a business that scales and makes profits for the many companies in the game. To address these questions, I engaged this week in a formal debate. Taking the negative was Professor Raj Rajkumar from CMU. Raj was one of the team leaders when CMU won the DARPA Urban Challenge — the contest that really got the self-driving robocar world going. For those who prefer, here is a transcript of my opening statement. For the rest you will need to go to the debate. In addition to the opening and rebuttals, there are 3 sub sections on: Is Tesla’s approach viable at all? What are the prospects for self-driving consumer vehicles? What are the prospects for commercial services. " Link to Article

  • August 7, 2023 - Partially Automated Trucks to Be Tested in Ohio, Indiana - "Ohio and Indiana have agreed to test partially automated trucks on a 166-mile stretch of Interstate 70, testing that could begin as early as October. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and DriveOhio — an Ohio government organization focused on refining \"smart mobility technology\" — are rolling out a four-year, $8 million plan to bring the partially automated semi-trucks to roads in both states. That will include testing on I-70 in the Dayton and Springfield regions. These are not self-driving vehicles, a DriveOhio director said. \"A professional driver will be always at the wheel in each vehicle, so the term \'self-driving\' is not accurate,\" said Breanna Badanes, managing director of communication and policy for DriveOhio. \"These vehicles cannot drive themselves.\" The project aims to advance truck automation in the logistics industry by integrating these technologies into truck fleets\' daily freight-hauling operations, Badanes told this news outlet Wednesday." Link to Article

  • August 7, 2023 - Can Smartphones Make Us Safer Drivers? - "Researchers at the IIHS say Do Not Disturb modes and limiting infotainment screen functionality are just the tip of the iceberg. For example, the US could emulate Europe\'s mandated intelligent speed assistance (a system that alerts drivers as they exceed the speed limit) through individual smartphones. This would not allow for more personalized notifications, but it could significantly reduce the amount of lead time needed to equip vehicle fleets with the technology. Specifically, the IIHS says using Google and Apple maps could allow for a rollout overnight of this statistically proven safety measure. A decent, front-facing camera is a cornerstone of every smartphone these days, and the IIHS says these cameras could protect drivers of older vehicles. With an increased federal focus on automatic emergency braking and forward collision warnings, the institute suggests smartphone cameras could provide drivers with a sort of homemade forward collision warning. " Link to Article

  • August 7, 2023 - The Legal Saga of Uber’s Fatal Self-Driving Car Crash Is Over - "On Friday, we got an answer: It’s the person sitting behind the wheel. In an Arizona courtroom, the test operator during the crash, Rafaela Vasquez, the subject of an in-depth WIRED feature last year, pleaded guilty to one count of endangerment and was sentenced to three years of supervised probation, with no time in prison. In Arizona, endangerment is defined as “recklessly endangering another person with a substantial risk of imminent death or physical injury.”.. As for Uber, the plea saves the company from another embarrassing airing of its erstwhile self-driving program’s grave shortcomings, already highlighted in a lengthy investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. Vasquez’s legal team had shown every intention to make its defense about shifting blame to Uber, arguing that Vasquez had been set up to fail. " Link to Article

  • August 7, 2023 - What GM Wants Drivers to Understand about Super Cruise - "General Motors has announced a new campaign to educate car shoppers and buyers on how its latest driver-assistance systems actually work. The tagline is simple: \"Hands Free, Eyes On.\" That refers to the Super Cruise system it\'s rolling out in new models from all four of its brands: Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, and Buick. GM worries its buyers, and the public at large, don\'t understand the different types of automated driver assistance systems (ADAS). The campaign\'s goal, it said, is to \"encourage consumer confidence\" in the benefits of ADAS systems overall and to \"avoid concern and confusion.\" The campaign itself will be composed of \"content\" that covers \"free educational resources and best practices\" to be distributed on \"GM social channels\" and its website. GM also plans to host classes for personnel at the independent dealerships that sell its cars, to educate them as well." Link to Article

  • August 7, 2023 - Utah Pilot Program Installs GPS To Track Cars For Road Use Tax And Tolls - "he Utah Department of Transportation, ETAN Tolling Technology, and the company ClearRoad announced the Local Road Usage Charging and Tolling Integration Pilot as a test for a new way to charge drivers for using the streets. GPS would monitor where vehicles are and bill the owners based on how they use the roads starting before the end of the year. The pilot program will run for six months with approximately 100 volunteers. The test will occur in Ogden, St. George, Saratoga Springs, and South Jordan. These are medium-sized cities with populations ranging from about 50,000 people to slightly less than 100,000 people. A federal grant is funding the trial... This is just a feasibility study for now. The Utah Department of Transportation would need to evaluate the results before deciding whether to implement this program for drivers in the state." Link to Article

  • August 4, 2023 - Fears of Chinese Self-Driving Car Tech Are on the Rise - "A coalition of companies that make technology that powers autonomous vehicles are raising concerns about their Chinese competitors. Members of the group, called the Lidar Coalition, make what are known as Light Detection and Ranging products. When used with radar, these systems allow autonomous vehicles to detect cars or pedestrians and can create highly detailed maps of everything the vehicles encounter. The companies argue that the technology can harvest large amounts of sensitive data about US infrastructure, and may be used by Chinese firms on military vehicles to make them self-driving, according to the coalition. The autonomous vehicle industry finds itself at a pivotal moment. In recent years, it received hundreds of millions of dollars in investment, fueling hype that their cars would would soon go mainstream. But that hasn’t happened, and some Lidar companies have either consolidated or gone broke. " Link to Article

  • August 4, 2023 - Cities paint the way to safer streets - "The results speak for themselves. A project in Baltimore installed curb extensions near a school where cars had been recorded at speeds as high as 85 mph. Before the artwork, only 37% of drivers would yield to pedestrians; afterward 78% yielded to people on foot. Similarly, at a neighborhood intersection in Kansas City rife with illegal speeding, colorful curb extensions reduced traffic speeds by 45%. And the art affects how people feel about crossing the street: After a vibrant intersection mural was installed near an elementary school in Durham, the percentage of people who felt unsafe crossing fell from 85% to just 6%... New opportunities continue, as Bloomberg Philanthropies readies an announcement of the next round of Asphalt Art Initiative grantees in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, in the fall. In the meantime, the Asphalt Art Guide and other learnings compiled from asphalt art pioneers can help cities shape their own asphalt art programs without reinventing the wheel." Link to Article

  • August 4, 2023 - Wisk Aero Performs First Ever Public Demonstration Of Fully Autonomous Fixed-Wing eVTOL - "The first-ever public demonstration of a completely autonomous eVTOL flight took place on July 25. The demonstration involved the Wisk Aero fifth-generation air taxi at the EAA AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The air taxi is a fully autonomous and fixed-wing eVTOL aircraft that has been under development by the Boeing-owned company, Wisk Aero. Engineers operated the flight at the associated airport of EAA AirVenture, Wittman Regional Airport (OSH), in front of hundreds of those attending the airshow. Each of Wisk\'s aircraft is self-flying but is monitored by a team and a ground-based supervisor on the ground. The supervisor has the ability to intervene by sending the aircraft specific commands. The flight began with the autonomous aircraft completing two separate low passes in front of the spectators. The aircraft then performed a hover maneuver before landing at the airport." Link to Article

  • August 4, 2023 - A Fire Is Still Burning on Board a Car-Carrying Cargo Ship - "The Japanese-owned ship carrying 2,857 cars, including 25 electric cars, is close to a chain of islands and the World Heritage-listed Wadden Sea, an important habitat for migratory birds. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has warned about the possible dangers of electric vehicle battery fires, a hazard that stems from thermal runaway, a chemical reaction that causes uncontrolled battery temperature and pressure increases... The fire in the North Sea isn\'t the first to break out in a car-carrying cargo ship. Earlier this month, it took firefighters nearly a week to extinguish a similar blaze in a car transport ship in Newark, New Jersey. Two firefighters were killed and five others were injured battling the flames. In March 2022, a large cargo vessel carrying cars from Germany to the United States sank in the mid-Atlantic, 13 days after a fire broke out on board. " Link to Article

  • August 4, 2023 - As e-bikes proliferate, so do deadly fires blamed on exploding lithium-ion batteries - "As the ubiquity of e-bikes has grown, so has the frequency of fires and deaths blamed on the batteries that power them, prompting a campaign to establish regulations on how the batteries are manufactured, sold, reconditioned, charged and stored. Consumer advocates and fire departments, particularly in New York City, are urging the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to establish mandatory safety standards and confiscate noncompliant imports when they arrive at the border or shipping ports, so that unsafe e-bikes and poorly manufactured batteries don’t reach streets and endanger homes. During a forum focused on e-bikes and lithium-ion batteries held Thursday in Bethesda, Maryland, the commission’s chair, Alexander D. Hoehn-Saric, said it was an “urgent moment” that requires attention." Link to Article

  • August 2, 2023 - Major automakers to build new nationwide electric vehicle charging network - "Seven of the world\'s largest automakers said Wednesday that they\'re working together to build a new nationwide network of 30,000 electric vehicle charging stations, an effort to stoke already growing consumer demand for EVs. BMW, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes and Stellantis said the first batch of their \"high-powered charging\" stations will be available next summer. EV owners have long complained about a shortage of places to charge their vehicle. The automakers said they hope the stations will \"make zero-emission driving even more attractive for millions of customers.\" The charging system would be public and open to all electric vehicle owners and have connectors for both Tesla\'s North American Charging Standard plugs as well as the Combined Charging System plugs used by other automakers. Motorists remain concerned about finding a charging station, while also having question about electric cars\' range and how long it takes to reach full power, auto industry experts have told CBS MoneyWatch." Link to Article

  • August 2, 2023 - Why American Cities Still Aren’t Accessible After 33 Years of the ADA - "Along with being the most sustainable, flexible, durable and cost-effective approach to planning and building, Universal Design gives people with disabilities a better shot at dignity and independence. People with disabilities are by far the most under-employed, unemployed and impoverished of all marginalized groups, in part because of barriers to their mobility in many workplaces, even in brand new buildings constructed long after the passage of the ADA. Less than one percent of housing stock, meanwhile, is move-in ready for people who use wheelchairs. Far too many people responsible for designing our built environment leave disability out of the conversation because no one on the planning and implementation teams belongs to the disability community. Far too many others mistake the ADA for a type of building code — which can and should allow for waivers and variances under certain circumstance — rather than the iron-clad, non-negotiable, federal civil rights legislation that it is. " Link to Article

  • August 2, 2023 - Driverless cars could get AI-powered heat vision for nighttime driving - "Driverless cars can struggle to distinguish between a pedestrian and a cardboard cutout of a person when it is dark or particularly rainy. A system that uses AI to identify objects based on their heat emission patterns could help autonomous vehicles to operate more safely in all outdoor conditions. Zubin Jacob at Purdue University in Indiana and his colleagues developed a heat-assisted detection and ranging (HADAR) system by training an AI to determine the temperature, energy signature and physical texture of such objects for each pixel in the thermal images. To train the AI, the researchers captured data outdoors at night using sophisticated thermal-imaging cameras and imaging sensors capable of showing energy emissions across the electromagnetic spectrum. They also created a computer simulation of outdoor environments to allow for additional AI training." Link to Article

  • August 2, 2023 - Daily Memo: Former FAA Chief Billy Nolen On I28 Vision For U.S. Electric Air Taxi Ops - "The FAA has published an implementation plan for advanced air mobility that envisions electric air taxi services “at scale” at one or more key locations in the U.S. by 2028, part of a proposed public-private initiative called Innovate28 (I28). But that 2028 target—three years later than the first air taxis from Archer and Joby Aviation are expected to enter service—does not mean the agency has budged from its original mid-decade target for type certifying those aircraft, the FAA’s former acting Administrator Billy Nolen—now Chief Safety Officer with Archer—tells Aviation Daily in an exclusive interview... Initial offerings from Archer and Joby are expected to consist of lower-frequency airport shuttle services concentrated in large cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. By 2028, however, the FAA envisions at least one—and possibly several—fairly dense markets with electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) vehicles operating at higher tempo alongside drones and commercial aircraft, according to the implementation plan document. " Link to Article

  • August 2, 2023 - Ford Says Its EVs Can Help Prevent Grid Collapse - "One of the most common refrains of the anti-electric set is that the current electrical grid can’t handle the strain of charging millions of electric vehicles in a not-so-distant future, but Ford’s Director of Sustainability believes that Ford is introducing solutions that could help turn this grid anxiety into grid confidence... Williams believes Ford vehicles can be a part of that smart grid. “We are working on turning every Ford EV into a virtual power plant that can be part of a collective power-grid solution,” she writes in an op-ed she penned for Insider. “Unlike traditional gas-powered vehicles, EVs have massive batteries that store energy for power. But because we don’t drive all day every day, we have an opportunity to connect our customers and public utilities to use the stored energy in EV batteries to help power homes, worksites, and more — and, in time, give power back directly to the grid. " Link to Article

  • August 1, 2023 - Are new tech innovations making drivers less happy behind the wheel? - "The US Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) study, commissioned by JD Power, revealed that for the first time in the 28 year history of the study, customer satisfaction has fallen two years in a row. With customer satisfaction dropping for new car owners, the main reasons were attributed to new technology and the exterior design of the vehicle. But particular frustration is with infotainment systems, with people turning away from them as ways of listening to music and get around... There has been an increase in the popularity of external systems through mobile devices – such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – which let drivers mirror their phone screens on the car’s centre console. Drivers seem to prefer them over the manufacturer’s screen." Link to Article

  • August 1, 2023 - People are using Google Maps to cut down tailpipe pollution - "Drivers are taking Google Maps’ advice for how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their trips, according to the company. In late 2021, Google debuted a feature in Google Maps that allows users to see the most fuel-efficient routes. The feature has since helped prevent around 1.2 million metric tons of planet-heating carbon dioxide emissions, Google estimates in its latest environmental report released today. That’s almost like taking 250,000 gas-guzzling cars off the road for a year, the company says. The tool launched in the US, but now it’s also available in Canada, Egypt, and nearly 40 more countries in Europe. Google uses a machine learning model to predict which route is the most fuel- or energy-efficient and recommends it to Maps users. If the most fuel-efficient route is also the fastest, Google Maps will default to that option." Link to Article

  • August 1, 2023 - There’s now a legal way to fly a drone in NYC - "Mayor Eric Adams unveiled a new permitting process for drone use in New York City on Friday, aiming to make it easier for businesses to fly drones. The new rules will open up an approval process to specially licensed applicants seeking to fly drones within city limits, which was previously illegal in nearly all situations. City officials said the process is not meant to be a boon to recreational drone flight, but it aims to open up drone use to businesses such as drone operating companies, which were previously unsure of how to legally operate the machines. “The goal is transparency, allowing people to take away the uncertainty. No one knew how to use or apply for use of a drone in New York City,” Adams said from a press conference in Lower Manhattan. “We’re removing that.” " Link to Article

  • August 1, 2023 - 4 reasons why now is a good time to buy an electric vehicle - "Electric vehicles were in short supply last year as the average cost of gasoline topped $5 a gallon. But now is a good time for drivers considering an EV to make the leap, according to car experts. Here\'s why. Dealerships have more cars Years ago, buying an EV usually meant jumping on an online waiting list for a Tesla and being patient until it arrived... Prices are dropping The average price for a new EV was $53,438 last month, according to Kelley Blue Book. That\'s down sharply from $66,390 a year prior... More charging stations EV owners have long complained about a shortage of places to charge their vehicle... Federal tax credits available The federal government is also offering up to $7,500 in tax incentives to buy an EV. " Link to Article

  • August 1, 2023 - The deadliest—and least deadly—cars, trucks and SUVs - "So how do you protect yourself? Size appears to be part of the answer. Subcompact cars, the IIHS says, “had the highest driver death rates, averaging 153 deaths per million registered vehicle years. Very large luxury cars had the lowest, averaging only four deaths.” But size alone isn’t the answer. It might also benefit you to avoid pickup trucks unless you need one. Six of the 10 vehicles most likely to kill the other driver were trucks. Only one truck – the GMC Canyon Crew Cab – appears on the list of cars with the lowest driver death rate. And, sadly, spending more can protect you. “Crash avoidance systems and other advanced safety features are most often standard equipment on luxury vehicles,” the IIHS notes." Link to Article

  • July 31, 2023 - Grocery delivery is less sustainable than shopping in store - "Carnegie Mellon University College of Engineering researchers (CMU Research) released its latest findings looking at the impacts of grocery delivery on energy use, emissions, and traffic congestion — including whether there might be a better way to manage and optimize deliveries. What it found is that grocery delivery was less energy efficient than people shopping for products themselves. The research aims to provide a new set of insights for organizations to integrate into ecommerce and grocery delivery trends for long-range, and more sustainable transportation planning. The global pandemic created a surge of ecommerce purchases and online grocery delivery services out of necessity, and many of those fulfillment methods are still being used today. “Right now, most people go to the grocery store on their way home from work, or during off-peak hours,” said Destenie Nock, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and engineering and public policy. " Link to Article

  • July 28, 2023 - Mobileye Unveils New Software That Controls A Car’s Speed - "Autonomous driving tech company Mobileye has launched the world’s first software for vehicles that will prevent drivers from surpassing the maximum speed limit on roads – by using AI and a camera. Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA) is a technology that has already been introduced to new vehicles, and relies on a combination of cameras, low-resolution maps and GPS data. Mobileye’s ISA system, on the other hand, uses machine learning and one camera alone to automatically determine the speed limit. ISA technology can slow the vehicle’s speed to conform with the speed limit, or take a more passive approach and warn the driver when the vehicle is speeding. According to Mobileye, there are technical difficulties in integrating the current ISA alternative into vehicles, which are more costly and not as reliable. " Link to Article

  • July 28, 2023 - Waymo Via backs away from autonomous trucking - "Alphabet Inc. is indefinitely delaying most work on by its Waymo Via autonomous trucking unit to focus efforts on robot-driven passenger cars for ride hailing. Waymo Via is the latest to head to the sidelines in a shrinking field of autonomous trucking developers. Waymo’s future in autonomous trucking had been whispered about by competitors since the layoff of 12,000 Alphabet employees in January. Waymo Via had been operating on a limited basis since March following operating but on a limited basis... The timing of the announcement comes less than a week after rival Aurora Innovation (NASDAQ: AUR) raised $820 million in new funding with Uber as the largest purchaser of new Aurora stock. The failure of Embark Trucks in March and its sale in May and TuSimple’s June 28 decision to seek a possible sale of its U.S. operations leaves three remaining players in a once-crowded field: Aurora, Torc Robotics and Kodiak Robotics." Link to Article

  • July 28, 2023 - Cities turn to cameras to cut traffic deaths - "As of July 2023, 335 communities operated red-light cameras and 195 deployed speed cameras, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. From 2018 to 2022, states enacted more than 50 laws related to automated traffic enforcement. However, as of July 2021, 11 states have prohibited or restricted cameras. While the popularity of red light cameras peaked in 2012, the number of speed cameras is on the rise... It’s not just that drivers dislike getting a ticket in the mail. Communities worry about widespread surveillance and how license plate data can be used. In Chicago, a ProPublica analysis found that residents in majority Black and Latino neighborhoods got twice as many red light tickets as those in White areas. In a 2021 paper, University of Texas at Austin researchers found that camera deployments happened with limited involvement of the local communities, fostering concerns about police surveillance." Link to Article

  • July 28, 2023 - Tesla offers customers one-time Full Self-Driving transfer until September 30th - "Tesla has started notifying owners that they can transfer the Full Self-Driving (FSD) feature they purchased to a new vehicle, as long as they take delivery within the next three months. During the automaker\'s Q2 2023 investor call, Elon Musk announced a \"one-time amnesty\" that will allow owners to transfer their FSD. Now, Twitter user Keith Dahlenburg has posted a screenshot (via Not A Tesla App, The Verge) of the offer, along with its rules and conditions. Perhaps the most pertinent condition is that owners can only take advantage of this one-time amnesty if they take delivery of a new Tesla vehicle between July 20th and September 30th, 2023. It can\'t be applied retroactively, so those who\'ve taken delivery before and after those dates unfortunately have to pay for access again. " Link to Article

  • July 28, 2023 - VanMoof’s failure epitomizes the problem with the e-bike market - "The failure of VanMoof — an e-bike manufacturer that raised more than $225 million in venture funding before going bust this week — is a stark reminder that buying an e-bike remains a very risky proposition. Why it matters: Any such purchase boils down to a simple question: Do you want to buy something that risks becoming a bomb, or do you want to buy something that risks becoming a brick? The big picture: Anybody spending thousands of dollars on a new bike wants to know that they can get it fixed easily if it stops working for any reason. The natural way to do that is to take your bike to your local e-bike repair shop — but doing so with a brand-name bike can void the warranty at best and be entirely impossible at worst. " Link to Article

  • July 26, 2023 - Tesla starts production of Dojo supercomputer to train driverless cars - "Tesla says it has started production of its Dojo supercomputer to train its fleet of autonomous vehicles. In its second quarter earnings report for 2023, the company outlined “four main technology pillars” needed to “solve vehicle autonomy at scale: extremely large real-world dataset, neural net training, vehicle hardware and vehicle software.” “We are developing each of these pillars in-house,” the company said in its report. “This month, we are taking a step towards faster and cheaper neural net training with the start of production of our Dojo training computer.” The automaker already has a large Nvidia GPU-based supercomputer that is one of the most powerful in the world, but the new Dojo custom-built computer is using chips designed by Tesla. In 2019, Tesla CEO Elon Musk gave this “super powerful training computer” a name: Dojo." Link to Article

  • July 26, 2023 - Dead EV batteries turn to gold with US incentives - "A little-publicized clause in the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act has companies scrambling to recycle electric vehicle batteries in North America, putting the region at the forefront of a global race to undermine China\'s dominance of the field. The IRA includes a clause that automatically qualifies EV battery materials recycled in the U.S. as American-made for subsidies, regardless of their origin. That is important because it qualifies automakers using U.S.-recycled battery materials for EV production incentives. Reuters interviewed more than a dozen industry officials and experts who say that is kicking off a U.S. factory building boom, encouraging automakers to research more recyclable batteries, and could eventually make it harder for buyers in developing countries to buy old used EVs. China handles virtually all EV battery recycling in a global market projected to grow from $11 billion in 2022 to $18 billion by 2028, according to research firm EMR. " Link to Article

  • July 26, 2023 - SkyDrive secures first eVTOL pre-order as it establishes new US home base in South Carolina - "Japanese eVTOL developer SkyDrive has announced a pre-order for up to five aircraft from South Carolina-based aerial charter service Austin Aviation. The news comes as SkyDrive looks to enter the US market, make the Palmetto State its new home, and create an entire network in advanced air mobility (AAM). SkyDrive was officially incorporated in Japan in 2018 after four years of developing and testing flying car prototypes. The company garnered some attention in the eVTOL community after it completed a crewed test flight of its flagship aircraft in 2019." Link to Article

  • July 26, 2023 - Drivers, teamsters want to put brakes on use of automated trucks in CA - " Dozens of truck drivers and teamsters rallied in San Francisco Friday. They are concerned about the possibility that self-driving trucks could soon be on California roads, and they want to put the brakes on the testing and deployment of self-driving vehicles. Today\'s rally comes days after the CPUC delayed a vote on the unlimited expansion of Cruise and Waymo robotaxis throughout San Francisco. Truck drivers and teamsters rallied on the steps of San Francisco City Hall Friday morning -- angry about automated vehicles. The San Francisco police and fire departments have criticized the self-driving cars for blocking emergency crews. Demonstrators today said they\'re also worried about the possibility of driverless trucks and big rigs coming to the Golden State. \"There have been other situations where they have driven right into a fire scene. So there is no way we should be having a discussion about trucks or larger vehicles,\" said Mayor London Breed." Link to Article

  • July 26, 2023 - VR for self-driving cars makes training safer, more efficient - "Researchers at the Ohio State University (OSU) have now unveiled a new method for training self-driving cars that works like virtual reality for autonomous vehicles (AVs), making the AIs “think” the car is in one place when it’s actually in another. A developer could use the tech to make the AV believe it’s approaching a busy intersection, for example, when it’s really just driving around an empty lot. The key feature here, which makes it different from a pure simulation, is that the system is operating a real, physical car, while virtual obstacles can be safely thrown its way. “The [Vehicle-in-Virtual-Environment (VVE)] method can work with any AV simulator and virtual environment rendering software as long as these can be run in real time and can generate the raw sensor data required by the actual AV computing system,” they write in a study, published in Sensors." Link to Article

  • July 25, 2023 - Aurora looks to raise about $820 million in public and private investment deals - "A set of investment offerings are positioned to fill up the tanks of autonomous vehicle developer Aurora Innovation Inc. with enough cash to sustain operations until the deployment of its self-driving trucking product, which is expected to start shipping by the end of 2024. In a series of press releases and documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, (Pittsburgh) Strip District-based Aurora (NASDAQ: AUR) announced that it issued an underwritten public offering of more than 73 million shares of its outstanding Class A common stock with a price of $3 per share, which if sold, is a deal valued at about $220 million... Additionally, Aurora said it initiated a concurrent private placement purchase agreement with \"certain existing institutional and strategic investors, entities affiliated with two of Aurora’s directors, and new institutional investors\" to sell 222,222,216 shares of its Class A common stock at $2.70 per share, which would bring in $600 million upon the close of the deal. " Link to Article

  • July 25, 2023 - California On Schedule to Launch Second Road Charge Pilot Program - "Unlike the first pilot conducted in 2016, participants will be required to pay the actual “fee per-mile traveled” for the pilot. Among the key recommendations in the 33-page Road Charge Pilot Design Recommendations (SB 339) report prepared by CDM Smith, Inc., the source article [pdf] for this post, released June 29: - Establish a flat per-mile rate cohort, use a road charge rate of 2.5 cents per-mile for light-duty vehicles, higher for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, - Offer exemptions for out-of-state miles driven. The legislation requires a second cohort in the pilot program where the participants will be charged a variable \'fee per-mile traveled\' based on the fuel efficiency of their vehicle. " Link to Article

  • July 25, 2023 - Transportation electrification toolkit for cities published by DOT - "Dive Brief: The U.S. Department of Transportation published the “Urban Electric Mobility Toolkit” on its website Wednesday to help larger communities take advantage of federal funding for electric vehicle charging stations and other forms of electric transportation. Cities, states, metropolitan planning organizations, transportation providers, nonprofits, businesses and property owners and developers can also use the resource to find partners for and plan electric vehicle charging projects. “Building an affordable and accessible public charging network will help make electric forms of transportation more convenient for the 71% of Americans who live in communities with a population over 50,000,” the Department of Energy said in a press release." Link to Article

  • July 25, 2023 - Early Driverless Cars Used Underground Magnets to Test in California 25 Years Ago - "Part of the act, however, required the Department of Transportation to \"develop an automated highway and vehicle prototype\" so that the \"first fully automated roadway [would be] in operation by the end of 1997\" to help curb the growing problem of surface transport traffic congestion. By 1994, the National Automated Highway System Consortium was formed to help tackle that task. The consortium was comprised of nine different entities: Bechtel, the California Department of Transportation, Carnegie Mellon, General Motors (including its subsidies, Delco Electronics and Hughes Electronics), Lockheed Martin, Parsons Brinckerhoff, and UC Berkeley\'s California Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology program... For starters, there was the Ohio State University Center for Intelligent Transportation Research. CITR tested two Honda Accords that were developed and tested at the Transportation Research Center in Marysville, Ohio. The Hondas were outfitted with laser range finders, optical cameras, and radars which would center the vehicle in the lane using reflective strips. " Link to Article

  • July 25, 2023 - Most Washington drivers in favor of replacing gas tax with pay-per-mile program, study says - "According to the report, 56% of those who participated in the study support transitioning to a RUC program. Those who were opposed to the change were most commonly concerned that a RUC would add a new tax, fairness and equity, the logistics of the program, privacy and the loss of incentives to buy hybrid or electric vehicles, according to the WSTC. Eighty-eight percent of participants said they would prefer to self-report their mileage instead of having a device in their vehicle. The WSTC said participants favored low-tech reporting options that didn’t require additional steps to complete the process. Nearly 75% of participants also believed exemptions for out-of-state and private roads were important. The simulation also found that most participants didn’t want flexible payments, but many believed having a flexible payment option was important. The WSTC said those with lower incomes were more likely to choose payment installments than participants with higher incomes. " Link to Article

  • July 24, 2023 - Cities Seek Solutions as Bus Terminals Close, Pushing Riders to the Curb - "Greyhound, long the leading name in intercity bus service, is gradually vacating most of its remaining bus terminals around the country. And riders, and cities, are left holding the bag. In Philadelphia it started late last month, when Greyhound left its long-term home at a station in Center City and joined a group of curbside bus operators on Market Street near Independence Hall. Suddenly, travelers who’d been accustomed to shelter, shade and restrooms found themselves on the sidewalk, waiting sometimes hours in escalating heat for a bus. With a growing number of buses idling at the curbside, taking up a travel lane that’s supposed to be dedicated to bikes and local public transit buses, city officials had a problem on their hands." Link to Article

  • July 24, 2023 - The Safety Dance - "It is a cynical but savvy move for AV companies to focus on safety as their core lobbying pitch, instead of on other options like convenience or access for those unable to drive. Unlike more realistic road-safety strategies like slowing down urban traffic, self-driving technology does not threaten the primacy of the automobile in American life, which many public officials are wary of challenging. In fact, overhyping the safety benefits of self-driving cars allows the auto industry to concurrently fulfill two key objectives: It positions car companies as a solution to a American safety crisis they themselves helped create, and it serves as a distraction from proven tactics (like road diets or transit expansions) that make their cars and tech less useful in urban areas. And they have little to lose by exaggerating AV benefits; past promises of car-dominated utopias have repeatedly come to naught without inspiring a regulatory smackdown or popular backlash. " Link to Article

  • July 24, 2023 - Here’s where America’s worst drivers are found: study - "The study by ConsumerAffairs reviewed crash data from the U.S. Department of Transportation and information included in the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System. The site then ranked cities based on four factors: crash fatalities per 100,000 people, the number of fatalities (per 100,000 people) due to bad driving, positive blood alcohol content, and speeding... The 10 U.S. cities with the worst drivers, based on ConsumerAffairs’ analysis, were: Memphis, Tennessee Baton Rouge, Louisiana Albuquerque, New Mexico Macon, Georgia St. Louis, Missouri Cleveland, Ohio Detroit, Michigan and Victorville, California (tied) Hesperia, California Rockford, Illinois The 10 cities with the safest drivers, according to ConsumerAffairs, were: Green Bay, Wisconsin Cary, North Carolina Oxnard, California Bellevue, Washington McKinney, Texas Lynn, Massachusetts Glendale, California Pearland, Texas College Station, Texas Henderson, Nevada The study comes after U.S. safety regulators introduced a proposal that would set higher performance standards for automatic braking systems in new cars." Link to Article

  • July 24, 2023 - Electric Vehicle Prices Fall as Automakers Raise Production - "After struggling to find enough batteries and other parts for the past couple of years, automakers are finally beginning to churn out large numbers of electric cars and trucks. More than 30 new models will arrive in showrooms this year. What they need now are more customers... In view of this unbalanced supply and demand, automakers are cutting prices and offering more incentives. On Monday, Ford Motor reduced prices of its F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck by $6,000 to nearly $10,000, or as much as 17 percent on some versions. The company is also offering discounted interest rates of 1.9 percent to 3.9 percent on certain loans for Lightning purchases. These moves follow several rounds of price cuts by Tesla, the dominant seller of electric cars. Tesla’s price reductions earlier prompted Ford to lower prices of its Mustang Mach-E electric sport utility vehicle, although that hasn’t brought Mach-E inventory back in line with sales." Link to Article

  • July 24, 2023 - It’s 100 degrees out, what’s happening to your EV’s battery? - "“Once it gets above 85 degrees, lithium-ion batteries do see accelerated aging and degradation,” says Liz Najman, lead researcher at Recurrent, a startup that provides EV battery reports for used cars... For EV owners, Najman recommends limiting how often you use a fast charger when it’s really hot out. “If you’re going to fast charge, try to do it when you haven’t just been on the highway for two hours and your battery is going to be a little cooler,” she says. And if you have to leave your EV in the sun or in the heat (if you don’t have an air conditioned garage, for example), try to leave it more in the middle of the charge range; you don’t want it fully charged, or fully discharged... Though you don’t want to leave your EV charging during a hot day, you may need to have it plugged in to kick on that internal thermal management system. " Link to Article

  • July 21, 2023 - Colorado announces avalanche control project on US 550 - "The Colorado Department of Transportation said motorists along US 550 over Red Mountain Pass can expect travel delays as the state mobilizes equipment to control avalanches. The project, between Silverton and Ouray, Colo., will see crews installing remote avalanche control systems at three known slide path locations – at Blue Point and Blue Willow slide paths (Mile Point 81), and near the Alpine Loop at the Mother Cline slide path (Mile Point 89). Crews will install fixed avalanche control systems and construct their concrete bases and control shelters. The systems operate by mixing oxygen and propane in an exploder nozzle at the top of high-risk zones. When the gas mixture explodes, the force of the explosion is directed down at the snow which produces a controlled avalanche, officials said." Link to Article

  • July 21, 2023 - High levels of a hazardous chemical polluted the air weeks after the Ohio train derailment, an analysis shows - "Soon after the derailment of a Norfolk Southern train in East Palestine, Ohio, a team of researchers began roving the small town in a Nissan van... But a new study from the team behind the research van — a group of scientists at Carnegie Mellon and Texas A&M universities — raises a flag about a different substance. According to the study, levels of a chemical irritant called acrolein detected near the derailment site on Feb. 20 and 21 were up to six times higher than normal levels recorded before the disaster. But local and federal officials had told residents it was safe to return home on Feb. 8... “The acrolein was a little bit surprising,” said Albert Presto, an associate research professor in mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon, who conducted the research. " Link to Article

  • July 21, 2023 - Wabtec Sends Electric Train Love Letter To World’s Largest Iron Mine - "The US locomotive maker Wabtec has been spreading the electric train message far beyond its home base of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. That now includes Brazil, where the leading mining firm Vale has just ordered up three of Wabtec’s FLXdrive zero emission locomotives to ply a 550-mile railroad, pulling loads of ore from the world’s biggest iron mine... The size of the ore train matches the chore in hand. The trip normally requires three diesel locomotives, and sometimes four, to pull 330 railcars carrying a total of 45,000 tons, making it the longest iron ore train in the world. With an assist from regenerative braking, Wabtec and Vale expect the three electric locomotives to cut 25 million liters of diesel from Vale’s carbon footprint, representing the emissions of about 14,000 passenger cars per year." Link to Article

  • July 21, 2023 - BMW CONNECTEDRIDE SMARTGLASSES MAKE BIKE RIDING SAFER WITH INTEGRATED HUD DISPLAY - "BMW Motorrad looks to have taken a leaf out of the Cupertino giant’s handbook as they’ve announced a pair of smart glasses for bike riders. Christened the ConnectedRide Smartglasses, the accessory displays all the real-time information in the field of view, ensuring the rider doesn’t take his/her eyes off the road... The augmented reality glasses pair with any smartphone to project the current speed, engaged gear, speed limit and navigation details in the integrated display. Everything right from the positioning of visual data to the detail of navigation elements can be toggled by the rider either on the app or if you have a modern BMW bike, this can be done with the multi-controller on the handlebar... Thus, the price tag of €690 for the European market isn’t startling. According to BMW Motorrad, the smart glasses will arrive in the US in the latter half of 2023." Link to Article

  • July 21, 2023 - Seven Projects to Reclaim NYC Space From Cars - "New York City is moving forward with plans to expand many of its pandemic-era efforts to make streets more accessible to pedestrians and bikers. The changes are being shepherded through with the help of the city’s first public realm officer, Ya-Ting Liu, who has identified priority projects in each of the five boroughs. These projects, which tap some of the $375 million in funding earmarked to make the city “cleaner and greener,” include more pedestrian plazas on congested streets, wider sidewalks and expanded public space, such as an area below the Manhattan side of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. Liu is one of just a handful of public realm officers in major US cities tasked with repurposing public space, improving access to transit and making alternative transportation options like biking more accessible. The creation of the role in New York City was championed by community groups that found city agencies too difficult and time-consuming to navigate." Link to Article

  • July 19, 2023 - Bus stops targeted to improve pedestrian safety - "FOLLOWING A PEDESTRIAN safety assessment that showed almost half of all Massachusetts pedestrian fatalities or serious injuries happened within 300 feet of a bus stop, the Department of Transportation is looking to use federal funds to make safety improvements at bus stops across the state. Pedestrian fatalities, serious injuries and cyclist serious injuries trended up in Massachusetts between 2020 — when there was a steep decline due to an absence of normal traffic volume — to 2022, according to the MassDOT Vulnerable Road User Safety Assessment... The assessment also showed a correlation between accidents and transit proximity: 41 percent of pedestrian-involved crashes and 34 percent of bicyclist crashes occurred within 300 feet of bus stops statewide. This statistic is even higher in Boston-area communities, where 45 percent of bicyclist crashes and 50 percent of pedestrian accidents happened within 300 feet of an MBTA bus stop. " Link to Article

  • July 19, 2023 - NHTSA Announces New Autonomous Driving Regulations - "Automotive News reported that Ann Carlson, NHTSA’s acting administrator, told the audience at an industry gathering that the agency expects to publish a notice of proposed rule-making on automated driving systems this fall. This may result in an increase in the number of driverless vehicles allowed to drive on the roads in the U.S. The new rules would fall under the proposed ADS-Equipped Vehicle Safety, Transparency and Evaluation Program, and is known as the AV STEP. The AV STEP would eliminate caps on the maximum allowable number of vehicles using various forms of advanced driving systems up to and including full self-driving where the control of a human being in the driver’s seat is unnecessary. However, NHTSA wants the companies deploying autonomous vehicles to share data regarding operations to enhance its own expertise in road safety with regard to self-driving vehicles." Link to Article

  • July 19, 2023 - Jaguar, IBM, GSMA urge connected vehicle drive - "IBM’s Institute for Business Value (IBV) highlighted data management as one of the biggest challenges operators, OEMs and regulatory bodies face as vehicles become increasingly autonomous, predicting a surge in related information. Research jointly conducted by the company, industry association the GSMA and vehicle maker Jaguar Land Rover tipped a hike in the amount of data the connected car sector sends over telecom networks over the next two years. They cited research by Siemens showing if 20 per cent of the world’s 1.5 billion cars become highly autonomous it would generate around 300 zettabytes of data. Counterpoint Research data asserts so-called connected car sales surpassed unconnected variants for the first time in 2022 and predicted a CAGR of nearly 17 per cent until 2027 for a total of 367 million vehicles." Link to Article

  • July 19, 2023 - Delivery fleet vehicle leasing companies are getting electrified - "Leasing partners are pledging to offer more than just the latest in electric vehicle technologies for fleets. They’re offering access to charging infrastructure, advisory guidance, planning and maintenance, giving fleets a comfortable, approachable gateway to the EV universe. The past several months in particular has seen a number of significant milestones for lease providers looking to electrify their customers... At the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in May, Ryder unveiled its new turnkey fleet solution, RyderElectric+... Also in March, Velocity Truck Rental & Leasing, a division of Velocity Vehicle Group, added 200 battery-electric vehicles from Daimler Truck North America (DTNA).. Speaking of Daimler, late last year, Penske Truck Leasing and DTNA announced the delivery of two battery electric Freightliner eCascadia vehicles, marking the culmination of a five-year-old joint initiative that involved co-creation, refinement and field testing of EVs. " Link to Article

  • July 19, 2023 - John Deere moves further in the field of autonomy - "Since its Precision Ag Group was started in 1993, John Deere has steadily increased the level of automation in its products, edging further and further forward along the path to full autonomy. It’s now closer than ever to that goal, thanks to technologies being applied across multiple solutions within its Precision Ag portfolio... John Deere has seven new automation products currently in development, including ExactShot for precise fertilizer placement during planting; Furrow Vision for direct view of seeds as they are planted in furrows; and, on the construction side, Smart Detect for human and object detection behind wheel loaders... What John Deere is striving toward is “sense and act autonomy,” said Olson. “This is where we really get into machine learning, artificial intelligence, fully autonomous machines. It’s all about a proliferation of sensors, cameras and controllers that are giving data to these systems and a decision is going to be made.” " Link to Article

  • July 18, 2023 - Here’s how San Jose plans to use artificial intelligence to stop pedestrian traffic deaths - "In the heart of Silicon Valley, leaders are calling on the best and the brightest minds. San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan\'s office has partnered with tinyML Foundation, Sony and San Jose\'s Department of Transportation to launch a global traffic safety hackathon. The hopes of the city is to utilize community ideas on how to use \"tiny machine learning\'s AI software\" in cameras to capture quantitative data, not physical images, regarding the presence of pedestrians throughout the city. TinyML Board of Directors Chairman Evgeni Gousev believes the technology can be used to better understand how people move around in order to protect them on the streets by using these predictive models to see what happens before things happen." Link to Article

  • July 18, 2023 - Canyon To Fit Bikes With Israeli 5G Proximity Beacons Spottable By Sensor-Equipped Cars - "Canyon has said that it working to equip some of its high-end e-bikes with proximity beacons spottable by cars equipped with sensors. The German company says this will “help bicycles get noticed on the road” and that this would “[increase] the safety of cyclists.” The fitting of V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything) communication beacons to bicycles has been trialled for several years—similar chipset technology is already deployed in static street furniture around the world—but the concept is controversial because it may increase the danger to road users not equipped with beacons. Canyon said it is working with V2X company Autotalks. The Israeli company is currently being acquired by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. subject to customary closing conditions. In theory, V2X technology allows sensor-equipped motor vehicles to know in advance there’s a V2X-equipped bike nearby." Link to Article

  • July 18, 2023 - Smart Columbus spent $50 million on transportation. What worked and what’s next? - "Smart Columbus hasn\'t gone away. After spending $50 million in grant money on everything from vehicle charging stations to a transit app to driverless vehicles, the group is now focusing on digital equity. \"That\'s more of a focus than ever,\" said Jordan Davis, Smart Columbus executive director. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed what is lacking in terms of broadband inequities and basic services for low-income residents, Davis said. Becoming a more prosperous city means bringing along everyone else, she said. \"We need to build a new ecosystem here,\" Davis said, including getting more people connected for online learning and telehealth, and to social services so care can be delivered faster and monitored. So now much of the Smart Columbus focus is on initiatives so more people have access to technology." Link to Article

  • July 18, 2023 - DOT offers $3.35B in grants to reconnect communities, improve neighborhood access and equity - "Dive Brief: The U.S. Department of Transportation is now taking applications for the Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods Program, which combines two existing programs to create a more streamlined process for communities to apply, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced last week. More than $3.35 billion will be available in this funding round for community-led projects to address the impacts of transportation infrastructure, such as train tracks or highways, and other barriers to community mobility. The DOT also said it is partnering with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on “technical assistance efforts to plan and build infrastructure that reconnects and improves access, especially for marginalized communities.” " Link to Article

  • July 18, 2023 - When Trains Block a Road, Local Officials Have Few Options - "The federal government is spending billions of dollars on bridges, tunnels and other infrastructure to route traffic over, under and around railroads tracks. But to many residents and local officials, that is an imperfect way to alleviate congestion on roads that are frequently blocked by freight trains. To take advantage of the federal money, communities must find a way to cover a share of the cost of expensive upgrades. In addition, it can be difficult or impossible to build bridges and tunnels. Some towns and cities have successfully worked with railroads to reschedule operations or move tracks away from busy roads. But many local officials complain that railroads are often unwilling to help, leaving communities with few options. “Everybody loves trains and we appreciate the economic benefit of it, but we’re tired of being held hostage,” said Brad Rogers, a member of the Elkhart County Commission in Indiana." Link to Article

  • July 17, 2023 - Ex-Apple, Tesla exec wants to bring subscription services to Ford’s electric vehicles - "Like most automakers, Ford aims to introduce subscription services as the industry moves to a new digital, electric era. Ford’s tech leader, Doug Field, hired from Apple, says the transition is already underway, with the next steps expected to roll out with the automaker’s upcoming next-gen EVs... Field explained at a recent shareholder event that Ford plans to streamline most computing decisions by consolidating them into a centralized processor powered by in-house software – a move that could make Ford EVs even more like an Apple iPhone with subscription services. At a Ford event last year Field told us that making cars where you “take the wheels off and you’d still have a compelling product” was the goal. Ford underestimated EVs but thinks that Entertainment and Gaming are going to be a big part of EVs going forward." Link to Article

  • July 17, 2023 - Tesla owners are using steering-wheel weights to drive hands-free - "The devices are marketed for a variety of innocuous uses — a cellphone holder, for instance, or a safety hammer. One promises to relieve shoulder pain. Others ditch the pretext and list simply as “wheel weights” or “wheel knobs.” They all have a common purpose: to let Tesla drivers take their hands off the wheel.... Tesla requires drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel while using both of its driver-assistance systems — Autopilot, which can maneuver the cars from highway on-ramp to off-ramp, and Full Self-Driving, which can navigate city and residential streets without the driver’s physical input — and the systems are designed to issue periodic reminders. By replicating the pressure of a driver’s hands, the wheel weights silence the nagging. “Elon Musk’s saying it’s supposed to drive itself. That’s what they’re going to hear,” said Carnegie Mellon University professor Philip Koopman, who has been studying autonomous vehicle safety for 25 years. “How do you think they’re going to behave?”" Link to Article

  • July 17, 2023 - Why Electric Cars Are Taking Off - "Research reflects this growing interest. “A total of 14 percent of all new cars sold were electric in 2022, up from around 9 percent in 2021 and less than 5 percent in 2020,” according to a report on global car sales from the International Energy Agency, an intergovernmental organization based in Paris. What’s getting consumers so amped about electric vehicles? I caught up with Kate Whitefoot to find out. Whitefoot is both a mechanical engineer and a policy wonk at Carnegie Mellon University. She works at an impressive and ever-more-relevant intersection of ideas. Her research, according to her academic page, “bridges methods in engineering design and economics to examine a variety of topics, including product variety and product-line design, transportation energy, environmental policies, consumer choice, and automation and parts consolidation in manufacturing.” In a new paper, Whitefoot and her coauthors find out what’s driving people into the seats of EVs, and suggest when electric vehicles will make up the majority of cars and SUVs. " Link to Article

  • July 17, 2023 - Exploring Ways to Make Wide Streets Less Hazardous to Pedestrians - "City planning experts say Salt Lake City has a peculiar case when it comes to enacting a people-first change to the city’s streets. State Street, for example, can accommodate six lanes of traffic and is upwards of 130 feet wide... So far, the city has begun construction on protected bike lanes and wider sidewalks on 300 West and 900 South, two major corridors connecting the city. Those projects could be completed as early as the end of 2023. Still, the city faces significant challenges to making Salt Lake City’s streets safer and in changing residents’ minds from a car-centric society to one built around public transit and pedestrian safety... The city has recently explored projects that include proposals to close parts of the city to cars entirely and has already repainted some streets to provide more buffer between sidewalks and traffic." Link to Article

  • July 17, 2023 - People place cones on empty driverless cars in SF - " A group of activists are on a mission to stop robo-taxis in San Francisco. Videos and pictures shared online show the group called “Safe Street Rebel” immobilizing the driverless cars by putting traffic cones on them. The actions are not making autonomous vehicle companies happy. Activists are taking on driverless cars in San Francisco. Videos show people disabling the robotaxis by placing traffic cones on the hood. Safe Street Rebel says they’re protesting the spread of driverless cars. “We see these as a threat and not a compliment to more environmental mobility solutions like public transit and active mobility,” said one Safe Street Revel member." Link to Article

  • July 14, 2023 - Kentucky is the first U.S. state to mandate Tesla’s charging standard - "The state of Kentucky is requiring electric vehicle charging companies to include Tesla’s plug if they want to be part of a state program to electrify highways using federal dollars. Kentucky’s mandate took effect on June 30th, making it the first state to require Tesla’s charging technology, despite Texas and Washington’s announcement with similar plans. According to Kentucky’s request for proposals (RFP) for the state’s EV charging program released on June 30th, in addition to federal regulations for the competing Combined Charging System (CCS), Kentucky mandates Tesla’s plug, known as the North American Charging Standard (NACS), at charging stations." Link to Article

  • July 14, 2023 - US electric vehicle goals will require up to $127B to install 28M chargers by 2030: NREL - "Dive Brief: There will be 30 million to 42 million electric vehicles on U.S. roads in 2030, requiring a rapid, widespread buildout of charging infrastructure that will be focused on homes and multi-family residencies, according to a new report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The mid-adoption scenario of roughly 33 million plug-in vehicles will require 26.8 million Level 1 and Level 2 ports at single-family homes, apartments and other locations, NREL said. Another 182,000 public direct current fast chargers, or DCFC, will be needed, along with 1 million Level 2 public chargers located near offices, retail stores and in high-density neighborhoods. The study shows “we’re going to need to continue to work together — both public and private entities — to build the national network that we’ll need,” said Eric Wood, an NREL senior researcher who led the study’s team." Link to Article

  • July 14, 2023 - Solving The Last-Mile Delivery Problem - "Retailers are deploying robots to cut costs and improve efficiency, opening new opportunities for chipmakers as well as a host of new challenges. Key to this strategy are autonomous roadside delivery robots (ARDRs). Retailers have been facing razor-thin profit margins for years and have turned their sights to increasing operational efficiency to stay competitive. Solving the last-mile delivery problem within the supply chain is an important piece of the efficiency puzzle, regardless of whether distribution stems from warehouse or a grocery store. Intelligent robots potentially can increase efficiency, accuracy, and customer satisfaction, and they can make deliveries in less time with lower operational and indirect costs. ARK Invest estimates that robots could deliver food for a cost of about 6 cents per mile, a 20X cost-saving compared with delivery by humans. Although using larger delivery robots costs a little bit more — about 40 cents per mile — that is still one-sixth the cost of taking a personal trip to the grocery store. " Link to Article

  • July 14, 2023 - All UK transportation modes to get digital twin by 2035 - "The UK Government has announced its intention to facilitate digital twins for all modes of transportation by 2035, in its recently published TRIB Transport Digital Twin Vision and Roadmap to 2035. Optimising traffic flows, providing live updates on EV chargers, and reducing infrastructure maintenance are just three ways in which digital twins are set to revolutionise transport, all of which can help reach ambitious targets for achieving net zero. The new roadmap details the steps required to deliver the vision for connected digital twins across four key areas: strategy and innovation; enabling environment; people, skills and culture; and technology and data. It will be a tool for engagement and alignment around common strategic priorities. The Roadmap aims to: “Enable a trusted ecosystem of connected digital twins for multi-modal UK transport networks. This will facilitate effective decision?making to optimise solutions and deliver efficient, safe, and environmentally conscious mobility for people and goods.?”" Link to Article

  • July 14, 2023 - Volkswagen to launch self-driving vehicles in Texas by 2026 - "Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) said on Thursday that it plans to launch autonomous, or self-driving, vehicles for ride hailing and goods delivery services in Austin, Texas by 2026. The German automaker, which had previously made a costly bet on Ford\'s now closed self-driving car unit, Argo, has been partnering with supplier Mobileye, in a strategic shift. This year, Volkswagen plans to test 10 ID Buzz electric vehicles retrofitted with Mobileye\'s autonomous driving platform with safety drivers on board in limited areas of Austin, including downtown. The company took over nearly 100 people from Argo, as well as its hub in Austin where Argo was testing autonomous vehicles. Volkswagen said it will be able to leverage Mobileye\'s supply base and map data to achieve economies of scale and bring down costs." Link to Article

  • July 12, 2023 - Why the electric vehicle boom could put a major strain on the U.S. power grid - "Over half of all new cars sold in the U.S. by 2030 are expected to be electric vehicles. That could put a major strain on our nation’s electric grid, an aging system built for a world that runs on fossil fuels. Domestic electricity demand in 2022 is expected to increase up to 18% by 2030 and 38% by 2035, according to an analysis by the Rapid Energy Policy Evaluation and Analysis Toolkit, or REPEAT, an energy policy project out of Princeton University. That’s a big change over the roughly 5% increase we saw in the past decade... While many parts of the economy are moving away from fossil fuels toward electrification — think household appliances such as stoves, and space heating for homes and offices — the transportation sector is driving the increase. Light-duty vehicles, a segment that excludes large trucks and aviation, are projected to use up to 3,360% more electricity by 2035 than they do today, according to Princeton’s data. " Link to Article

  • July 12, 2023 - AT&T’s car-connectivity formula: 5G plus edge compute plus standalone 5G - "AT&T\'s connected-car goals aren\'t new and neither are its 5G ambitions, but the carrier\'s edge-computing buildout means this show can hit the road for real. The Dallas firm has been making that pitch in a series of recent announcements, and in an interview at the Collision conference two AT&T executives expanded on that vision a bit. \"Now we\'re starting to talk about the convergence of network and cloud,\" said Igal Elbaz, AT&T\'s network chief technology officer. \"And what are the different experiences that you need to enable within a vehicle.\" A post Tuesday by AT&T CTO Jeremy Legg cited such 5G-fueled automotive possibilities as defining vehicle-specific network slices \"to prioritize safety and mission critical functions of the car, separate from the connectivity used for in-car infotainment,\" and deriving \"hyper precise positioning\" from 5G signals \"for intelligent transportation systems, teleoperations, autonomous driving and to identify potential roadside obstacles in advance.\" " Link to Article

  • July 12, 2023 - Applications open for $85M first round of IIJA contech funding - "Dive Brief: Wait no longer — federal money is now available from a new grant system that state transportation departments can use to fund the use of construction technology, the Federal Highway Administration announced this week. The FHWA announced that the application period is open for the first year of the $85 million grant program under the $1.2 trillion infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, according to the release. The Advanced Digital Construction Management Systems grant program will award up to $34 million for combined fiscal years 2022 and 2023, and up to $17 million each fiscal year thereafter, through fiscal year 2026. This is a decrease from previous estimates of $100 million. The grant program will focus on digital construction methods such as computer modeling and 3D design to encourage state-of-the-art practices in project delivery, the release said. Individual contractors will not be able to apply — instead, the funds will funnel through state DOTs, as well as those in the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico." Link to Article

  • July 12, 2023 - Toyota Mobility Foundation launches $9m smart city transportation challenge - "The Toyota Mobility Foundation, in partnership with Challenge Works and World Resources Institute, has launched a global challenge, in which cities will compete for $9m in transportation project funding. Entry to the first stage of the Challenge is open to city leaders and municipal governments, transport departments and other related local and regional agencies. Entries should be submitted according to one or more of the following three themes: Expanding access to safe, affordable, and inclusive modes of transportation Harnessing the power of data to create connected and resilient mobility ecosystems Reducing environmental impact through low-carbon and renewable energy solutions The Sustainable Cities Challenge aims to improve the lives of people by increasing access to jobs, education and other essential services. It will bring cities and innovators together to implement mobility solutions that could reduce carbon, improve accessibility, and use data to build resilient transport systems." Link to Article

  • July 12, 2023 - Why Car Repairs Have Become So Expensive - "New cars and trucks are packed with sensors and technology that protect and pamper drivers and passengers. But those features are also raising the cost of repairs after accidents. The average cost of making damaged cars good as new has soared 36 percent since 2018, and may top $5,000 by the end of this year, according to Mitchell, a company that provides data and software to insurance companies and auto repair businesses. That big increase is the main reason that insurance premiums have been soaring — up 17 percent in the 12 months through May. New sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks, including a rapidly growing number of electric models, have become so complex and luxurious that seemingly simple repairs can cost a small fortune, auto experts said. Insurers are often on the hook for much of those costs, leading them to raise their rates." Link to Article

  • July 11, 2023 - Toyota Claims Solid-State Battery Has 745 Mile Range, 10 Minute Charging Time - "On July 3, the company said it had simplified the production of the material used to make solid-state batteries and hailed the discovery as a significant leap forward that could dramatically cut charging times and increase driving range. “For both our liquid and our solid-state batteries, we are aiming to drastically change the situation where current batteries are too big, heavy and expensive. In terms of potential, we will aim to halve all of these factors.”said Keiji Kaita, president of the Toyota research and development center for carbon neutrality. He added that his company has developed ways to make batteries more durable, and believed it could now make a solid-state battery with a range of 1,200 km (745 miles) that could charge in 10 minutes or less and would be simpler to manufacture than a conventional lithium-ion battery." Link to Article

  • July 11, 2023 - Tesla Has a New Rival With an Unusual Electric Vehicle - "Alef unveiled a Model A prototype in October 2022 that it said would have a 200-mile driving range and 110-mile flying range. The Model A is all-electric, drivable on public roads and has vertical takeoff and landing capabilities. The car can carry one or two occupants... The company\'s CEO Jim Dukhovny said the company could have a Model Z by 2030 that would have longer driving and flying ranges and sell for $35,000 but only require a drone license, CNET reported. Alef reached a milestone on June 27 that no one, has matched as the Federal Aviation Administration granted the EV company a Special Airworthiness Certification as the first such vehicle to receive legal approval to fly from the US government, according to a statement. The permit limits the locations and purposes for which Alef is permitted to fly." Link to Article

  • July 11, 2023 - GM buys Israel-based software startup to detect early battery defects - "General Motors (GM.N) said on Friday it had acquired Algolion Ltd, an Israel-based software startup that helps detect problems in batteries. GM said Algolion\'s software will help the Detroit automaker bring to the market a \"cost-effective\" early hazard detection system at a quicker pace. The deal, for an undisclosed sum, comes at a time when automakers are investing billions in manufacturing electric vehicles (EVs) and rushing to develop batteries - which represent up to 50% of an EV\'s price tag - that can power an automobile for a longer duration. It also comes as safety authorities urge U.S. automakers to improve battery standards after a series of events where vehicles have caught fire due to defective modules. Algolion has developed a software that uses data from EV battery management systems to help identify anomalies in cell performance and provide early detection of battery hazards including \"thermal runaway propagation events\", GM said." Link to Article

  • July 11, 2023 - UAE approves first license for self-driving vehicles - "Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum on Monday approved the first license for self-driving vehicles. The license was given to WeRide company, granting them the opportunity to test self-driving vehicles on UAE roads. “Today, in the Council of Ministers, we approved the national policy for electric vehicles, which includes building a national network for electric vehicle chargers, regulating the electric vehicle market, and stimulating related industries to ensure reduced emissions, energy consumption, and the preservation of the quality of roads that the UAE enjoys. " Link to Article

  • July 11, 2023 - TechScape: Self-driving cars are here and they’re watching you - "What companies pitched were ultra-smart, AI-driven vehicles that make people inside and outside of the cars safer. But in addition to reports that the cars are becoming a frequent impediment to public safety, the always on-and-recording cameras also pose a risk to personal safety, experts say. A new report from Bloomberg reveals that one of the companies behind the self-driving cars that are operating in San Francisco, Google-owned Waymo, has been subject to law enforcement requests for footage that it captured while driving around. This is not the self-driving future we were promised – but it is the one that surveillance and privacy experts have warned about. “I see this as a perfect natural extension of automotive surveillance where for years we’ve had growing numbers of features that are turning our cars into policing tools,” said Albert Fox Cahn, an anti-surveillance activist and director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project." Link to Article

  • July 10, 2023 - Traffic on Woodward Ave. could get safer with these new eyes on the road - "Auto supplier Bosch, a sensor technology company based in Farmington Hills, is partnering on an $11.5 million project to try to create a safer Woodward Avenue in metro Detroit, with $5 million in federal funding from the Department of Transportation. Bosch said it is collaborating with the Michigan Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, the city of Detroit, Wayne State University and others to deploy and evaluate an intelligent transportation network along Woodward Avenue from Detroit through some of its northern suburbs. The idea is to use new thermal-equipped cameras to help bus drivers receive real-time messages about objects in intersections ? pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and others ? or even those crossing in future intersections the bus will encounter shortly. The technology will also send alerts to authorities when someone might be driving the wrong way down an exit ramp to a highway." Link to Article

  • July 10, 2023 - NHTSA rejects call to make AV test reporting mandatory - "A federal regulator has declined a request to require automated vehicle (AV) developers and government agencies to submit test and safety data into an AV testing database, asserting that such a change to the current voluntary system would go beyond the program’s scope. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association sought the change through comments filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. OOIDA stated that while it supported NHTSA’s Automated Vehicle Transparency and Engagement for Safe Testing (AV TEST) Initiative, the voluntary structure of the program prevents it from providing the public “direct and easy access” to information on AV testing, development and safety... In a notice scheduled to publish on Friday, NHTSA responded that the objective of the AV TEST Initiative is to provide the public with “a centralized database of high-level information about ADS testing activities and state and local laws, recommendations, and initiatives." Link to Article

  • July 10, 2023 - States Scramble for Solutions to Curb Rising Wrong-Way Crashes - "The problem goes well beyond Connecticut. In fact, even before dangerous driving surged during the pandemic, the number of wrong-way deaths was increasing. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimated that 500 people a year died in those types of collisions on divided highways between 2015 and 2018, up from 375 annual deaths in the five previous years. (On highways where a median separates different directions of traffic, it is especially difficult for a driver to return to the correct lane.) And wrong-way crashes are particularly deadly, because they involve two or more vehicles traveling at high speeds smashing into each other. That’s prompted states all over the country to look for ways to reverse the trend, often relying on new technology to do so. Florida, for example, has installed wrong-way detectors on 164 freeway ramps and plans to put up more at other dangerous locations, said Michael Williams, the deputy communications director for the Florida Department of Transportation." Link to Article

  • July 10, 2023 - Caltech’s new ‘Morphobot’ is a little transforming robot that can walk, drive, and fly - "The robot is packed with electronics, motors, and a small computer that lets it decide what form it should take to get around. The team that made it gave the M4 large wheels that can, in seconds, swing up to become something more akin to a drone’s rotors and fly. It can also use its rotors to help it up a steep slope while the back wheels drive it forward from the ground, as described in a paper in Nature Communications. Alternatively, if the robot needs to get across a particularly rough patch of ground or needs a better view of what’s ahead, it can stand up on two wheels and use them more like feet. The M4 was designed by Mory Gharib, a professor of aeronautics and bioinspired engineering at Caltech, in partnership with Alireza Ramezani, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Northeastern University. " Link to Article

  • July 10, 2023 - MnDOT eyes autonomous vehicles to close transportation gaps, improve safety - "When you hear “autonomous vehicles,” you might think of big tech and Tesla. But the state thinks opportunity. The Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Connected and Automated Vehicles Director, Tara Olds, says she sees the technology as a chance to fix some persistent transportation problems in the state. Olds has helped oversee three pilot projects — in Rochester, Minn., White Bear Lake, Minn. and now Grand Rapids, Minn. — to explore how autonomous vehicles can improve road safety and access to transportation. The active Grand Rapids project, goMARTI, is designed to give people with disabilities more options and independence by running in the evening and night. Existing services only run during the day. Olds joined All Things Considered Thursday to share what she’s learning and her vision for autonomous vehicles in the state." Link to Article

  • July 7, 2023 - These are the best cities for biking in the U.S. - "The city (Minneapolis) topped the latest edition of an annual list from the nonprofit PeopleForBikes, which scored 1,484 American cities based on whether they have protected bike lanes, whether cars drive at safe speeds, and how they’ve designed intersections, network connections, and generally reallocated space for biking and walking. It also looked at 249 cities in Europe and Canada. Here are the top 10 large cities in the U.S.: Minneapolis, MN (with a score of 68 out of 100) San Francisco, CA (63) Seattle, WA (62) Philadelphia, PA (57) Portland, OR (56) New York City, NY (55) St. Paul, MN (51) Washington, DC (45) Milwaukee, WI (45) Detroit, MI (42) The top 10 medium cities, with populations between 50,000 and 300,000: Davis, California (77) Ankeny, Iowa (74) Berkeley, California (72) Boulder, Colorado (68) Corvallis, Oregon (63) Hoboken, New Jersey (62) Plainfield, New Jersey (61) Ames, Iowa (60) La Crosse, Wisconsin (59) Longmont, Colorado (59) The top 10 small cities: Provincetown, Massachusetts (88) Crested Butte, Colorado (87) Blue Diamond, Nevada (85) Murdock, Nebraska (84) Ashland, Wisconsin (80) Jackson, Wyoming (79) Aspen, Colorado (75) Shorewood, Wisconsin (74) Ashland, Oregon (70) Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania (69)" Link to Article

  • July 7, 2023 - Can AI help reduce traffic jams? NoTraffic raises $50M to outfit roads with smart sensors - "NoTraffic, an Israeli traffic management startup, today announced its $50 million series B funding round. The company is on a quest to live up to the promise of its name by outfitting intersections and complex roadways with wireless smart sensors commanded by an AI-driven software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform. The latest funding round was led by UK-based M&G Investments. NoTraffic plans to use the money to expand its presence in global markets on its quest to reduce congestion and CO2 emissions while enhancing safety. Tal Kreisler, CEO and cofounder of NoTraffic, told VentureBeat via email that the company aims to be working with 100 traffic agencies and Departments of Transportation by the end of the year. It’s eyeing Japan, Italy, Germany and the U.K. as its go-to markets." Link to Article

  • July 7, 2023 - Pa. leads in EV incentives, but lags in planning and goals, report says - "Pennsylvania falls in the middle of the pack when it comes to state policies that make it easier for people to use electric transportation. The rankings come from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, a nonprofit group that aims to develop policies that help fight climate change... “We found that there is considerable room for improvement across the board, but states have a diverse set of policy actions to choose from. There’s something every state can work on and there’s a policy option for every state,” said Peter Huether, the report’s lead author. Pennsylvania leads in some categories, like incentives for electric vehicles and charging stations. It’s one of only a few states that offer rebates for buying a used EV and an extra rebate for low-income buyers. ACEEE says the state could advance by encouraging more electric heavy-duty trucks, setting EV sales targets, and mandating electric school buses and public transit. " Link to Article

  • July 7, 2023 - WORLD’S FIRST COMMERCIAL DRIVERLESS RENT-A-CAR SERVICE LAUNCHES IN MILTON KEYNES - "Fetch is an on-demand car renting service by Buckinghamshire-based British start-up Imperium Drive that will deliver remote-controlled driverless vehicles directly to the customer’s door. While the service is expected to be launched in all major urban areas and key public transport interchanges like airports and railway stations across the UK soon, it will first be introduced in Milton Keynes. Although the system is not fully autonomous yet, there is an expectation that full automation will eventually allow it to fully replace private car ownership in the future. Currently, there are four cars in the Imperium Drive fleet, operating within a four-mile radius of the Milton Keynes city centre hub. Customers can hire a car through the Fetch app and choose when they need it and for how long. Once all the information has been fed into the app, a remote operator-controlled electric vehicle is then dispatched and delivered to them. " Link to Article

  • July 7, 2023 - Remote-piloted car company removes safety drivers for rides downtown - "Las Vegas startup Halo.Car has removed safety drivers from its remotely piloted vehicles, the company announced. This means that riders in certain areas of Las Vegas can now get a driverless car delivered to them. Halo.Car has been testing its remotely driven cars in Las Vegas for just under a year. The driverless, remotely piloted cars will be available only for customers in the Downtown area of Las Vegas, which is near the Arts District headquarters of Halo.Car, according to a news release from the company. Even with the removal of safety drivers, though, Halo.Car will still use a secondary vehicle to monitor how the driverless cars operate. Halo.Car will still deliver cars with safety drivers to other areas throughout Las Vegas. The company sees this development as a way to make electric vehicles more accessible for people and create “ubiquitous” car sharing, Halo.Car CEO Anand Nandakumar said." Link to Article

  • July 5, 2023 - Lordstown Motors files for bankruptcy, sues Foxconn - "Ailing commercial electric pickup truck maker Lordstown Motors on Tuesday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, put itself up for sale and sued former partner Foxconn, alleging fraud and failure to live up to its financial commitments. Lordstown had been struggling in the past couple of years. It was able to hold on financially for a while because it sold its Lordstown, Ohio, plant to Foxconn, a Taiwanese electronic components maker, for $230 million a year ago and agreed to let Foxconn become the contract assembler of the Endurance commercial electric pickup truck. Lordstown production employees became Foxconn employees. In court filings, one of Foxconn’s affiliates later agreed to invest approximately $170 million “of additional equity capital in the business and to work closely with Lordstown on a new vehicle development platform.” " Link to Article

  • July 5, 2023 - Mining companies betting on autonomous technology to make dangerous jobs safer - "Today, companies are employing everything from driverless haul trucks to remote-controlled and robotic drilling machines to remove human labour from some of their most hazardous operations. Saskatoon-based Nutrien Ltd. — which has been working to develop tele-remote technology at its network of six potash mines in Saskatchewan — successfully mined an entire production wing at its underground Lanigan site last fall without a single human setting foot in the area. Using a combination of radar, cameras, advanced sensing systems and cutting-edge technologies powered by artificial intelligence, Nutrien was able to operate one of its massive potash boring machines from a control room a few hundred metres away from the active mining face... The feat — the result of several years of intensive engineering work and experimentation — was a company first, with the goal of making potash mining safer by removing workers from the most hazardous underground locations." Link to Article

  • July 5, 2023 - Zoox begins true driverless rides in Vegas as first purpose-built robotaxi operating in Nevada - "Less than five months after beginning completely driverless (and pedal-less) rides on public roads in California, Zoox has expanded operations to Nevada, beginning where else but fabulous Las Vegas. Nevada is quickly becoming a hub for robotaxis, but Zoox is captured a “first” in the Silver State thanks to its unique design. Zoox is an autonomous vehicle developer celebrating closing in on nearly 10 years since its inception. In that time, former Intel chief strategist Aicha Evans has taken over as CEO, and the startup has secured a definitive merger with Amazon in which the online marketplace juggernaut wholly acquired it for an impressive $1.2 billion." Link to Article

  • July 5, 2023 - Average prices for new electric vehicles continue to drop - "The median price for new electric vehicles continues to fall, according to a recent report, reflecting increased production and inventory of EVs and changes in federal incentives. The average transaction price for an EV last month was $55,488, down from nearly $65,000 in May of last year, according to a recent report from automotive data company Kelley Blue Book. The overall average transaction price for all vehicles sold in May was $48,528... Automakers are rapidly electrifying their fleets amid a ramp up in federal incentives for both manufacturing and for buyers of new EVs. The Biden administration is pushing electrification to reduce greenhouse gases as EVs do not produce tailpipe emissions once on the road. Nationwide prices for EVs peaked in June 2022 at $66,997. " Link to Article

  • July 5, 2023 - ChargePoint joins Tesla’s NACS, will offer connector on new and existing stations - "ChargePoint announced today that it is adopting Tesla’s NACS connector, which will be offered on new and existing charging stations. Soon after Ford and then GM/Rivian announced that it was adopting NACS, Tesla’s proprietary connector that it decided to open to the rest of the industry, virtually all charging station manufacturers and operators announced that they will offer NACS connectors on their charging stations. But there was a big one missing: ChargePoint. It sounds like it took a little more time to evaluate the situation, but ChargePoint announced today that it will offer NACS:" Link to Article

  • July 4, 2023 - Air taxis are taking off. Cities should start planning now. - "It may seem straight out of “The Jetsons,” but air taxis are expected to take off in urban areas as early as next year, and a new report looks at ways local leaders can prepare for them. To help cities plan for electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles, or what are called eVTOLs, researchers at the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University have developed a geographic information system, or GIS-based framework for finding the best place for eVTOL aircraft and the ground hubs, or vertiports, they need for passenger boarding, aircraft maintenance and charging as well as takeoff and landing. eVOTLs are on-demand vehicles that can move people and cargo at low altitudes (60 miles or less) and cruising speeds of 150 mph. Researchers envision them initially being used for transporting medical devices, prescriptions and even patients, which will help expand the logistical support for a statewide approach." Link to Article

  • July 4, 2023 - Congestion Pricing Plan in New York City Clears Final Federal Hurdle - "Congestion pricing in New York City has cleared its final federal hurdle, officials said on Monday, all but ensuring that the first such program in the nation will begin next year with the aim of reducing traffic and pollution in Manhattan and funding improvements to mass transit. The program would charge drivers a fee to enter Manhattan south of 60th Street, one of the world’s busiest and most traffic-clogged commercial districts. Final approval was granted by the Federal Highway Administration, a spokeswoman said Monday, and a local panel appointed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority can now decide on final toll rates, including any discounts, exemptions and other allowances. The M.T.A., which runs the city’s subways and buses and the metropolitan area’s commuter railroads and is overseeing the tolling program, hasn’t set a fee scale yet. But a report that it released in August showed that one proposal under review would charge $23 for a rush-hour trip into Midtown and $17 during off-peak hours." Link to Article

  • July 4, 2023 - Tesla on Autopilot crashes into stopped truck in Pennsylvania - "A Tesla (TSLA.O) vehicle that was operating on its Autopilot software crashed into a stationary truck on a highway in Pennsylvania on Friday night, police said, adding to scrutiny of the automaker\'s driver assistance system. The Tesla was traveling in the middle lane when it struck the rear end of a Freightliner semi-truck that was parked in the same lane and providing traffic control for a right lane closure, the Pennsylvania State Police said on Monday. The police said the car lost control due to being on Autopilot, adding that the 18-year-old male driver was charged with \"careless driving.\" No injuries were reported, according to police. Tesla, which does not have a public relations department, did not respond to a request for comment. U.S. regulators have been investigating a series of accidents where Tesla vehicles on Autopilot collided with parked emergency vehicles. " Link to Article

  • July 4, 2023 - BMW, Verizon Partner For In-Car Connectivity Services - "BMW and Verizon are launching Connected Car by Verizon in select BMW models in the U.S. The service includes connected car voice, data, Wi-Fi and personalized in-car connectivity features managed through the My BMW app for $20 per month. Other personalized features that can be managed through the My BMW app include multi-vehicle connect, which allows Verizon customers to access their personalized BMW driver preferences and data plan (settings, voice, Wi-Fi, etc.) in up to three compatible BMW models paired to their plan. Number share is the second feature. Enabled by BMW eSIM, it allows Verizon customers to pair and share the number of their phone with their vehicle and then make and receive calls without the phone being in the car... It is estimated to begin with select Audi models for the 2024 model year. " Link to Article

  • July 4, 2023 - Drive-thrus are creating problems for cities and towns - "Drive-thrus promise hungry drivers ease, convenience and a juicy burger. But long lines of cars waiting for orders spill out into US roads in every state from chains like Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, Starbucks and Dunkin. And city officials, urban planners and critics say the model is failing modern cities. Magnets of traffic and congestion, drive-thrus discourage walking, public transit use and visits to neighboring businesses. They also lead to accidents with pedestrians, cyclists and other cars, and contradict the environmental and livability goals of many communities. A host of cities and regions want the sprawl to stop: Atlanta lawmakers will vote this summer on whether to ban new drive-thrus in the popular Beltline area. Minneapolis; Fair Haven, New Jersey; Creve Coeur, Missouri; Orchard Park, New York, and other cities have banned new drive-thrus in recent years. " Link to Article

  • July 3, 2023 - Feds propose automatic emergency braking systems for heavy-duty trucks - "Federal regulators are proposing a sweeping rule that would require all trucks over 10,000 pounds to be equipped with an automatic emergency braking (AEB) system and an electronic stability control (ESC) system that works in conjunction with AEBs. The proposal, issued jointly on Thursday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, would go into effect for most new Class 7 and 8 trucks (those with a weight rating of over 26,000 pounds) within three years of the final rule, with most new Class 3-6 trucks (weighing over 10,000 pounds) to meet the requirements within four years. The NHTSA-FMCSA proposal comes eight years after safety advocates formally petitioned NHTSA for such a rule and was mandated by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed in 2021. Collision avoidance technology is also on the National Transportation Safety Board’s “Most Wanted” list of safety regulations." Link to Article

  • July 3, 2023 - New technologies hurt car quality as EV brands fare poorly, J.D. Power says - "New vehicles are becoming more troublesome, due in part to new technologies including safety systems, according to the 2023 edition of J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study released Thursday... The 2023 Initial Quality Study found industry-wide problems per 100 vehicles rose by 12 to 192, on average. That follows an increase of 18 problems per 100 vehicles in last year’s study, a rise attributed at the time to the ongoing supply-chain problems that plagued the industry during the Covid-19 pandemic. The study called out growing problems with advanced driver-assistance features such as lane-departure warnings and automatic emergency braking, as well as widespread issues with the wireless charging pads automakers have added for drivers’ smartphones. But while the survey showed that part of this year’s increase in problems is related to new technologies, it also found automakers are having trouble with things once seen as basics, such as door handles. " Link to Article

  • July 3, 2023 - Self-driving firm Kodiak to equip 800 Loadsmith robotrucks - "Autonomous truck technology firm Kodiak Robotics will equip its self-driving software in 800 trucks for logistics platform Loadsmith, the companies said in a statement on Thursday. Kodiak will start delivering the trucks equipped with Kodiak Driver in the second half of 2025, the companies said, adding that as part of Loadsmith\'s U.S. freight network, the trucks will haul goods on the interstate highways while human drivers will complete local pickups and deliveries. Investor concerns in the self-driving industry have been on the rise as companies grapple with complicated technology, tough regulations and delayed legislations, leading to job cuts and shutdowns. Instead, investor focus has shifted to companies that offer less-complex, less-cash intensive forms of autonomy with a proven business model. Kodiak and Lordsmith said pairing autonomous trucks for long haul with local drivers will improve efficiency and safety for shippers, and help allay concerns over a nationwide driver shortage. There will be no safety driver involved in the autonomous part of the operations for Loadsmith, a Kodiak spokesperson said." Link to Article

  • July 3, 2023 - Bentley’s First EV To Come With Hands-Off Self-Driving Tech - "Bentley\'s first all-electric vehicle will feature hands-off self-driving technology, it has been revealed. Speaking with UK outlet AutoCar, Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark confirmed that the British marque\'s first EV will initially offer partial hands-off driving on motorways. Fully autonomous driving will come later, potentially through over-the-air software updates. Hallmark also confirmed that Bentley will use Mobileye’s SuperVision technology. The SuperVision system features 11 cameras and will also be used on the upcoming Porsche Macan EV. Although it was initially believed that Bentley\'s upcoming EV would be a high-riding sedan or crossover, it could also be a sportier two-door coupe. Last year Hallmark revealed that Bentley\'s first EV would have up to 1,400 horsepower and be capable of sprinting from 0-60 miles per hour in just 1.5 seconds." Link to Article

  • July 3, 2023 - How This Self-Driving Boat Is Helping To Tackle The Issue Of Plastic Waste - "Sometimes inspiration can come from the unlikeliest of sources. In the case of the Hong Kong-based autonomous boat startup Clearbot, it was a trip to Bali, where its founders saw the extent of the plastic pollution crisis first hand... When they returned to Hong Kong, they did some more research into the issue and discovered many programs to clear up the local shoreline relied on petrol and diesel-powered boats, which were creating more pollution in the first place. So, they decided to build an unmanned, battery-powered boat that could collect plastic waste on the shoreline or in waterways. The batteries are charged via solar panels at the on-land docking station and the boat can either be set to run autonomously or guided by remote operator... The boats are also fitted with cameras at the front, which Gupta added can help scan the types of waste being collected in order to collect better data around the types of waste that end up in the water." Link to Article

  • June 30, 2023 - Tesla Dojo supercomputer is finally coming next month - "Tesla says its long-awaited Dojo supercomputer, which is supposed to bring its self-driving effort to a new level, is finally going into production next month. Dojo is Tesla’s own custom supercomputer platform built from the ground up for AI machine learning and, more specifically, for video training using the video data coming from its fleet of vehicles. The automaker already has a large NVIDIA GPU-based supercomputer that is one of the most powerful in the world, but the new Dojo custom-built computer uses chips and an entire infrastructure designed by Tesla. The custom-built supercomputer is expected to elevate Tesla’s capacity to train neural nets using video data, which is critical to the computer vision technology powering its self-driving effort. " Link to Article

  • June 30, 2023 - Tesla Owns Top Four Spots as Most American-Made Cars in Annual Report - "Each year, Cars.com compiles the data of a study on auto manufacturing in the United States and publishes its in-depth results. More specifically, which cars are the most American-made, and how much they contribute to the overall U.S. economy? The study compared 388 cars for the 2023 iteration of the American-Made Index (AMI). Despite the large sample size, only 100 made the cut as the most American vehicles, championed highest on the chart by Tesla and a significant number of foreign automakers.... Perhaps unsurprisingly, a total of 61% of the top 100 vehicles are classified as either a crossover or SUV, speaking to America\'s insatiable appetite for these want-to-be wagons... Next up are sedans which make up a fraction of the list at just 19%. Pickup trucks weigh in at 16%, and once again no full-size American trucks made it to the top 10. Bringing up the rear at 2% each are sports cars, namely the Chevrolet Corvette and Ford Mustang. And, lastly, two minivans: the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna." Link to Article

  • June 30, 2023 - Autonomous vehicle transit pilot in rural Minnesota to expand with $9.3M federal grant - "Ten months into its 18-month-long pilot initiative, an autonomous vehicle transit program in rural Minnesota, goMARTI (Minnesota’s Autonomous Rural Transit Initiative), has received a $9.3 million federal technology grant to expand into Grand Rapids, Minn... “Connecting residents with these rural community destinations will allow for equitable access to critical services in the region through a convenient and reliable shared mobility option. We are excited about continuing the state’s interagency collaboration between the Iron Range and MnDOT in the state’s transition to shared, electric and automated transportation,” said Ida Rukavina, commissioner of Minnessota’s Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation board in a statement. With the federal Advanced Transportation Technology and Innovation Program grant and additional “EV infrastructure planning underway, northeastern Minnesota is well positioned to help create a better future for rural transportation.”" Link to Article

  • June 30, 2023 - Federal accident investigators went to East Palestine this week. Here are 5 things we learned. - "Federal accident investigators spent two days this week poring over the February train derailment that fouled the air, soil and water of this eastern Ohio community and fueled political headaches for the Biden administration... 1. Biden is still paying a political price... 2. The burning of noxious chemicals might not have been necessary... 3 First responders didn’t know what was in the train cars for hours... 4. Rail workers say cost-cutting has curtailed inspections... 5. Industry, not regulations, makes many important decisions on railroads... " Link to Article

  • June 30, 2023 - Lean green flying machines take wing in Paris, heralding transport revolution - "After years of dreamy and not always credible talk of skies filled with flying, nonpolluting electric taxis, the aviation industry is preparing to deliver a future that it says is now just around the corner. Capitalizing on its moment in the global spotlight, the Paris region is planning for a small fleet of electric flying taxis to operate on multiple routes when it hosts the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games next summer. Unless aviation regulators in China beat Paris to the punch by greenlighting a pilotless taxi for two passengers under development there, the French capital’s prospective operator — Volocopter of Germany — could be the first to fly taxis commercially if European regulators give their OK. Volocopter CEO Dirk Hoke, a former top executive at aerospace giant Airbus, has a VVIP in mind as his hoped-for first Parisian passenger — none other than French President Emmanuel Macron." Link to Article

  • June 28, 2023 - DOT announces $10M in rural, tribal transportation grants - "On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced it would be making $10 million in grant funding for rural and tribal communities available over the next five years. The grants, part of the Build America Bureau, will be available through the Rural and Tribal Assistance Pilot Program and offer technical assistance to rural and tribal communities as they apply for other infrastructure improvement grants... The DOT said communities may use the grants to hire staff or advisors that will assist in development phase activities for future grants, including help with feasibility studies, preliminary engineering and design, environmental review, revenue forecasting, financial feasibility analysis and negotiation of agreements. All of the grants will be awarded without the requirement of a local match." Link to Article

  • June 28, 2023 - Air taxis are coming soon. Zoning and regulatory authorities are not ready. - "Dive Brief: Air taxis are moving closer to reality, but federal, state and local governments have not yet developed or implemented policies for the larger electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft system, says a Mineta Transportation Institute report published in May. Vertiports for eVTOL operations should be a part of transit-oriented development plans and policies, the report states, and development codes and zoning ordinances should add a new land-use category for them. Vertiport development should prioritize key public venues such as transit centers and hospitals and provide access to safe pedestrian and bicycle routes and other micromobility and microtransit options, the study says. Geographic information system tools, which analyze and interpret geographic data, can help with site selection and community engagement and education." Link to Article

  • June 28, 2023 - Remote concrete inspection capability developed by the University of Strathclyde - "A remote monitoring device for inspecting concrete structures for faults has been developed by a research team at the University of Strathclyde. The Advanced Nuclear Research Centre at the university has created the Adaptive Lighting for the Inspection of Concrete Structures (ALICS) device which can be employed to detect and classify faults in civil concrete infrastructure, such as nuclear power plants and bridges. It combines advanced image capture, scene lighting and colour with artificial intelligence techniques to detect if faults form in concrete. The new device has attracted interest from Babcock’s Cavendish Nuclear, Altrad Babcock, Bruce Power, EDF Energy and InspectaHire, all of whom provided financial backing for the research. Partnerships were also formed with two of Scotland’s innovation centres as part of the device’s development. " Link to Article

  • June 28, 2023 - Transportation Tech Projects Moving Forward With U.S. DOT Funding - "Transportation technology and innovation projects around the country are moving forward to better understand traffic management, advance easier payment procedures for transit, expand the use of autonomous on-demand transportation and more. Some $52.8 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (U.S. DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has been awarded to eight projects as part of the Advanced Transportation Technology and Innovation (ATTAIN) program... Similarly, the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) grants, awarded by the U.S. DOT as part of the infrastructure initiative, has made $94 million available for 59 projects spread across 33 states. The SMART program focuses its grant awards to public agencies conducting demonstration projects using technology to help improve safety and or efficiencies. All of the grantees are for Stage 1 planning and prototype grants, which will have an opportunity to apply for Stage 2 implementation grants, said Ben Levine, senior adviser of research and technology at U.S. DOT, speaking at the Urbanism Next conference in Portland, Ore., in April. " Link to Article

  • June 28, 2023 - Stellantis to reveal its first Europe-made affordable electric vehicle - "tellantis, the third-largest carmaker in the world by revenue, will reveal its first European-made, affordable electric car in mid-October. The new Citroën e-C3 model will have a 320-kilometre range and a 57-minute “fast charge” capability, Citroën says. The company says it expects to make pre-bookings available by the end of this year, with deliveries starting in the second quarter of 2024. Stellantis last month said that it would be adding nine new battery electric vehicles to its range this year as the European carmaker looks to further tap into the lucrative market, which is currently dominated by Chinese manufacturers. The company aims to have a total of 47 battery electric vehicles on the market by the end of 2024, the May press release said. Citroën itself seeks to electrify its entire range by the end of 2024." Link to Article

  • June 27, 2023 - With Commuters Staying Home, Transit Agencies Try to Reinvent Themselves - "Three years after the pandemic began, remote work endures as a way of life for many office workers, and few major transit systems in the United States have suffered worse than Bay Area Rapid Transit. The 131-mile network depends heavily on suburban residents who commute daily into San Francisco and less than other transit systems on local passengers trying to get across town. Weekday ridership on BART is down to 32 percent of what it was before the pandemic began, punctuating a desperate moment for San Francisco. Without daily foot traffic, major retailers are abandoning downtown, and analysts believe the city core has yet to bottom out. Homeless encampments and open drug use have further discouraged visitors, while passengers have complained about safety and a lack of cleanliness." Link to Article

  • June 27, 2023 - Electronically augmented markers help driverless cars see the road - "Currently being developed by scientists from the US Department of Energy\'s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Western Michigan University (WMU), the technology incorporates raised reflective markers of the type that are already in use on many highways. Packed inside of each unit is a microchip, radio transceiver, battery and antenna. Fifty times per second, the markers transmit data that includes their GPS coordinates. By continuously analyzing that data, algorithms running on both the markers\' chips and the car\'s software are jointly able to determine where the road surface is and where it\'s heading – even if it\'s hidden from the vehicle\'s view. In field tests conducted in a national park in Montana, the markers were found to transmit their signals over five times farther than the initial 100-m (328-ft) goal. It is estimated that the batteries would need to be replaced about once a year. " Link to Article

  • June 27, 2023 - We Want Safety Features, Not Self-Driving, Buyers Tell Automakers - "But modern consumers are far more interested in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) tech features like blind-spot detection, a backup camera, forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection. In a 2023 S&P Global Mobility consumer survey those four features were rated as most desirable, with each being highlighted by at least 80 percent of all drivers quizzed. In contrast, only 61 percent of respondents expressed a desire for a fully self-driving car, and none of the other autonomous options offered to consumers ranked higher than 64.9 percent in the desirability stakes. S&P Global Mobility’s analysts said that spoke to a lack of trust in autonomous systems on the part of buyers, noting that just 47% of consumers said they would ride in a car with self-driving abilities and would consider purchasing one. " Link to Article

  • June 27, 2023 - Baidu Launches Commercial Fully Driverless Ride-Hailing Service in Shenzhen - "Chinese tech giant Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU and HKEX: 9888), has obtained licensing for commercial operation of its fully driverless ride-hailing service in Shenzhen.Baidu robotaxis are now authorized to provide ride-hailing service with no safety operator present in the car, making Shenzhen the fourth city in China where such service is available, following Wuhan, Chongqing and Beijing. With this new license, Baidu’s Apollo Go robotaxis will be allowed to operate across an area of 188 square kilometers in Shenzhen from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, catering to both morning and evening commuters. Users can conveniently access the service by using the Apollo Go app or mini-program, as well as Baidu Maps, Baidu App, and other platforms. This expansion significantly broadens the scope of Baidu‘s commercial fully driverless ride-hailing service operations nationwide and paves the way for future expansion to paying users across China." Link to Article

  • June 27, 2023 - Automakers can’t quit manual transmissions so they’re cramming fake stuff into EVs - "There’s no question that the rise in electric vehicles represents a wholesale shift in the auto industry. But while most car companies appear ready to embrace the electric future, a lot of them are having trouble letting go of the past. Take Toyota, for example. The biggest automaker in the world is reportedly working on an electric vehicle prototype that mimics the feel of driving a manual transmission, complete with a gear shift that’s not connected to anything and a floor-mounted speaker to pipe in fake engine noises. The car will even pretend to stall out if you fumble the controls — in order to deliver drivers the complete experience of driving a manual car." Link to Article

  • June 26, 2023 - Pittsburgh Regional Transit gets $150M grant for bus rapid transit project - "Pittsburgh Regional Transit has received a $150 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration for the Downtown-Uptown-Oakland Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, which is scheduled to begin construction Downtown in the fall after years of planning, the agency announced... Now called the University Line, the BRT line is planned to include 23 new stations, bike lanes, intersection improvements, and accessible ramps. It’s being funded through a patchwork of federal, state, and local sources, with $19.3 million from the American Rescue Plan, $9.3 million from the US Department of Education’s Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Program, $30 million from Allegheny County, $8.8 million from the city of Pittsburgh, and $73.6 million from PRT. " Link to Article

  • June 26, 2023 - TuSimple completes 39-mile driverless run in China traffic - "Autonomous trucking software developer TuSimple successfully traveled nearly 39 miles on an open public road in China, safely navigating normal traffic. The truck had no human occupant or outside help, the company said. The driverless run covered designated public roads approved by the Shanghai government. They included the Yangshan Deep-water Port Logistics Park and the Donghai Bridge. TuSimple said last week it had been awarded a fully driverless test license by the Pudong New Area of Shanghai. During the test, TuSimple China’s autonomous truck navigated complex urban roads and highways within the port area. That included traffic signals, on-ramps, off-ramps, lane changes, emergency lane vehicles, partial lane closures, fog and crosswinds. A safety vehicle followed the autonomous truck but did not interfere with the operation. The company worked with government regulators and law enforcement." Link to Article

  • June 26, 2023 - City lifting ban on e-bikes in parks starting June 20 for yearlong pilot - "The city is lifting its ban on e-bikes and scooters in parks and greenways as part of a yearlong pilot starting June 20, the Parks Department announced on Wednesday. The policy change, announced by the Adams administration in March, will permit the operators of most e-bikes and e-scooters to ride on park drives, such as the loops in Central and Prospect parks, as well as the city’s greenways, such as those along the Hudson River, East River, Harlem River, and Jamaica Bay. The pilot will last until May 31, 2024. The rule change applies to pedal-assist and throttle e-bikes that can travel up to 25 miles per hour, as well as stand-up e-scooters with top speeds of 15 mph, but not faster and heavier mopeds or motorcycles." Link to Article

  • June 26, 2023 - First-in-the-world autonomous ferry charts the waters of Stockholm - "The start of this week also saw the start of what’s been described as the first self-driving ferry in the world. The boat, made by the Norwegian company Torghatten, is plying the waters between the islands of the Swedish capital Stockholm without any human help. The autonomous tech at the heart of the Zeabuz-operated ferry, called MF Estelle, has been in development for a number of years at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, which successfully launched a ferry trial as part of its Autoferry project last year. For the tech buffs - the autonomous catamaran ferry measures 12 x 5 metres, with enough space to carry 25 passengers (plus half a dozen bicycles) between Riddarfjärden and Södermalm in Stockholm... There is a human supervisor on board, but only in case something goes unexceptionally wrong. " Link to Article

  • June 26, 2023 - E-scooters cut congestion and pollution in cities, says new study - "E-scooters offer significant benefits in terms of reducing congestion, saving time, cutting emissions and decreasing car usage, according to a new study conducted by University College London (UCL) researchers... The study, conducted by the Energy Institute at UCL, is one of the first academic assessments to consider the environmental impact of e-scooter use using real-world trip data. It also accounts for emissions produced throughout the entire life cycle of e-scooters, from manufacturing to disposal. The research utilised data from e-scooter trials conducted by Voi Technology and evaluates the environmental impact of its e-scooters across various modes of transportation. Furthermore, the study demonstrates that replacing trips with e-scooters can result in an overall reduction in carbon emissions of up to 45%. This reduction is observed across various types of e-scooter trips, including those replacing cars, buses, taxis, as well as walking and cycling." Link to Article

  • June 23, 2023 - Eve Air Mobility, United Plan San Francisco eVTOL Network - " Eve Air Mobility (NYSE: EVEX) and United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAL) said they plan to launch electric-powered commuter flights in San Francisco in the next few years. The companies called the announcement a “first step” in a process that includes coordination with energy and technology providers as well as state and local officials to ensure adequate infrastructure is in place to support eVTOL aircraft operations. Eve and United also are working together to develop a network of routes... Eve said its eVTOL has a range of 60 miles (100 kilometers), allowing it to complete a variety of urban air mobility missions in the Bay Area... In 2022, United announced a $15 million investment in Eve and a purchase agreement for 200 eVTOLs and 200 options as part of a strategy to establish a leadership position in aviation sustainability. Eve’s eVTOL is scheduled to enter service in 2026." Link to Article

  • June 23, 2023 - Video: Lidar powered bridge collision detection system - "Lidar sensor supplier Innoviz Technologies Ltd. has signed an agreement to deploy a lidar-based bridge collision detection system on highways, tunnels and bridges across Israel. Innoviz, which is based in Tel Aviv, is working with Drive Group on the collision system after testing other on- and off-highway solutions. After conferring with customers, it was decided they needed a lidar-based, technology-driven solution to solve common traffic issues. According to Innoviz data, about 15,000 bridge and tunnel collisions occur in the U.S. annually. This results in about $18,000 per accident in damage, or about $270 million annually. With smart cities and connected infrastructure on the rise, this type of system could represent a potentially sizable opportunity, the company said. " Link to Article

  • June 23, 2023 - Exploring the 15-Minute City Concept and Its Potential for Communities of All Sizes - "Policies that further the 15-minute city concept will vary depending on a municipalities’ needs and goals but can include: eliminating food deserts expanding government services, especially emergency ones supporting neighborhood schools reducing carbon emissions rezoning street corners or high-traffic areas for commercial and cultural amenities A working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research examines data from the 418 most populated urban areas in the U.S. and found that the median U.S. city resident makes 12 percent of their trips from home within a 15-minute walk. This radius could be expanded if municipalities aim for 20- to 30-minute neighborhoods (i.e., 1 to 1.5 miles of walking). Researchers also found a causal link between greater access to amenities and the willingness to walk within a 15-minute radius." Link to Article

  • June 23, 2023 - Western Pa. officials push for transition to electric vehicles, clean energy - "Several Western Pennsylvania officials called Monday for a quick transition to electric vehicles and clean-energy generation. Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey, State Sen. Lindsey Williams and other advocates held a news conference to express support for proposed federal vehicle standards that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said would aim to “accelerate the ongoing transition to a clean-vehicles future and tackle the climate crisis.” The officials also touted local efforts to begin moving to electric vehicle technology. Gainey touted Pittsburgh’s efforts to transition its vehicle fleet to electric, and highlighted the city’s recent purchase of four fully electric trucks. The trucks, he said, can travel up to 320 miles on one $5 charge, which is environmentally friendly and cheaper than the city’s other trucks, which cost about $50 per fill-up at the pump." Link to Article

  • June 23, 2023 - 8 state DOTs collaborate to launch autonomous forum - "Just as California inches its way toward a formal ban on driverless commercial trucks, eight states\' departments of transportation are joining together to develop an online community where public and private sector autonomous vehicle (AV) stakeholders can share information, align needs and collaborate on activities. AccelerateAV.org, which launched June 15, is free and open forum to all AV ecosystem stakeholders and was initiated by the AV Pooled Fund, which is made up of DOTs from Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. The states joined forces in 2020 to try to align the needs of the AV industry with the abilities of state DOTs to assist with those needs. \"Autonomous trucks – and freight/logistics –are very much part of the conversation for the site,\" said Tara Andringa, executive director of 501(c)(3) nonprofit Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE). " Link to Article

  • June 21, 2023 - Federal Transit Administration awards nearly $150 million for Pittsburgh’s Bus Rapid Transit project - "The Federal Transit Administration celebrated the awarding of nearly $150 million in grant funding to Pittsburgh Regional Transit on Tuesday for the build-out of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, which is on track to get a construction start date this fall... PRT CEO Katharine Kelleman announced plans to refer to this new BRT service going forward as the \"University Line\" given the route\'s proximity to downtown\'s Point Park University, Uptown\'s Duquesne University and Oakland\'s Carlow University, the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. Buses will be branded with \"PRTX\" to signify a BRT-based route... FTA Deputy Administrator Veronica Vanterpool announced the grant award during a press conference hosted by PRT at the American Public Transportation Association\'s Rail Conference, which is taking place at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh." Link to Article

  • June 21, 2023 - Electric Semi Truck Drives From Germany To Turkey - "The Mercedes-Benz eActros 300 Tractor is now being produced in the Mercedes-Benz Wörth factory, and the electric semi truck model just demonstrated its prowess by driving from that factory to the Mercedes-Benz Trucks site in Aksaray, Turkey. The eActros 300 Tractor as well as older electric models from Mercedes-Benz — the eActros 300 4×2 and the eActros 300 6×2 — traveled the route. That’s 3,000 kilometers, going through Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, and Bulgaria. The trip aligns with the start of series production of this electric semi truck. “In preparation for the impending start of series production for the eActros 300 Tractor in autumn, road endurance testing will take place at our Aksaray site, among other locations,” Dr. Christof Weber, Head of Global Testing at Mercedes-Benz Trucks, says. “We also used the demanding route there as an additional test. Our conclusion: the e-truck has mastered the varied route through Central and Eastern Europe with ease and is ready for series production.”" Link to Article

  • June 21, 2023 - California is getting its biggest electric truck charging station yet - "A lot of things have to come together to make high-intensity electric truck charging a reality... Just ask Matt LeDucq, CEO of Forum Mobility. On Tuesday, the Oakland, California–based company unveiled plans for its largest charging depot yet... The scale of these newly announced truck-charging sites indicates how far the industry has advanced since the country’s first truck-charging site opened in Portland, Oregon in 2021 with the capacity to serve eight trucks. But the new Livermore depot only gets Forum Mobility about one-sixth of the way to its target of 600 chargers across the state by next year. And the company’s ambitious goal is only about one-fiftieth of what California will need over the next decade or so to meet the Advanced Clean Fleets rule it passed earlier this year to try to curb the trucking sector’s disproportionately high polluting and planet-warming emissions, LeDucq said." Link to Article

  • June 21, 2023 - Univ. of Iowa researchers become one of the first to test driverless bus on rural roads - "The University of Iowa is shared their results on a self-driven bus that has traveled hundreds of miles throughout rural Iowa. It’s called Automated Driving Systems for Rural Iowa and over the last two and a half years, researchers have studied the benefits and challenges of having a driverless transit in rural areas. The bus they used is equipped with multiple pieces of equipment to make sure passengers get from point A to point B on almost any type of road. “It approaches certain situations in a much more cautious way than a human driver would look,” said Senior Systems Administrator, Steve Cable. “We have six different imaging cameras, we have a road censor to look at the state of the road if there is ice or rain or snow, what the thickness of it is.” " Link to Article

  • June 21, 2023 - Trucking tells FMCSA crash reporting presumes drivers guilty - "Federal regulators should change how they record accidents involving trucks so that they don’t unfairly target drivers and carriers, according to comments submitted in response to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s plans to alter and expand categories of crash types available to the industry for reporting accidents. Since May 2020, FMCSA has accepted Requests for Data Review (RDRs) in its DataQs system to evaluate accident preventability by truck drivers in 16 crash types. By modifying them and adding four more categories, FMCSA wants to better identify nonpreventable accidents used in its Crash Preventability Determination Program (CPDP). Most of those commenting on the changes support them, based on submissions filed two months after FMCSA issued a notice in April. But some, including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, say FMCSA should be taking stronger steps to protect truckers’ safety records." Link to Article

  • June 20, 2023 - The I-95 bridge was not designed to withstand fire. Few bridges are. - "In addition to weakening the metal, heat also makes steel girders vulnerable in another way. They expand, said Gregory S. Rohrer, a professor of materials science and engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. At 1,000 degrees, a steel beam expands in length by less than 1%, he said. But on a 105-foot span, that amounts to several inches — enough to cause failure if it is secured to other components that expand by different amounts. Bechtel, the TCNJ engineer, said the weakening of the steel probably played the biggest role in the collapse. But the rapid expansion from heat could have contributed. “Bridges expand and contract with temperature on a normal day, and engineers account for this,” he said. “But this is just a lot of heat. It’s abnormal.”" Link to Article

  • June 20, 2023 - 17 fatalities, 736 crashes: The shocking toll of Tesla’s Autopilot - "The uptick in crashes coincides with Tesla’s aggressive rollout of Full Self-Driving, which has expanded from about 12,000 users to nearly 400,000 in a little more than a year. Nearly two-thirds of all driver-assistance crashes that Tesla has reported to NHTSA occurred in the past year. Philip Koopman, a Carnegie Mellon University professor who has conducted research on autonomous-vehicle safety for 25 years, said the prevalence of Teslas in the data raises crucial questions. “A significantly higher number certainly is a cause for concern,” he said. “We need to understand if it’s due to actually worse crashes or if there’s some other factor such as a dramatically larger number of miles being driven with Autopilot on.” In February, Tesla issued a recall of more than 360,000 vehicles equipped with Full Self-Driving over concerns that the software prompted its vehicles to disobey traffic lights, stop signs and speed limits." Link to Article

  • June 20, 2023 - A Leaked Tesla Report Shows the Cybertruck Had Basic Design Flaws - "In May, the German newspaper Handelsblatt began reporting on the “Tesla Files”: thousands of internal documents provided to it by a whistleblower. Among those documents was an engineering report that might give some insight into why the vehicle has taken so long to come to market... The unique styling of the truck, with its angular plates and stainless steel alloy construction, mean it’s not only hard to manufacture, but will probably be hard to repair, experts say. Stainless steel is not easy to shape or mold, “Hence the look as if it\'s the output of a student in an in-class ‘Pop Quiz Number 1’ for the course ‘Intro to Car Design,’” says Raj Rajkumar, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. The material requires specialized welding techniques, and it doesn’t flex easily, which could be dangerous in a crash, when force usually absorbed by a “crumple zone” could be transferred to cabin occupants instead, Rajkumar says. " Link to Article

  • June 20, 2023 - Charging blunts benefits of electric ride-hailing, study finds - "Replacing all current ride-hailing vehicles with EVs would eliminate tailpipe emissions, but the overall benefit to society would still be slight—just 3% per trip on average—according to the study, which was published June 1 in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. That’s due to other social costs associated with ride-hailing beyond emissions, including “increased traffic congestion, collision risk and noise due to Uber and Lyft drivers traveling to and from fast-charging stations,” a University of Michigan press release announcing the study results said... This study reads essentially like a different version of the “deadhead miles” that are already an issue for ride-hailing, in which drivers still need to travel to the start of trips and from the end of them. It also appears to build on findings from Carnegie Mellon University researchers in 2021 suggesting that Uber and Lyft use leads to higher greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion versus driving yourself. " Link to Article

  • June 20, 2023 - CMU/Yale study suggests BEVS could be majority or near-majority of cars and SUVs by 2030 given technology trends - "To understand mainstream consumer demand for future EVs, the team of researchers conducted consumer experiments eight years apart to determine what has driven the growth of the EV market and what it would take to increase future adoption. They found that consumers’ preferences for vehicle attributes such as longer range and cheaper operation haven’t changed much, but that consumers are more willing to adopt EVs as technology improves. With expected range increases and price decreases, the team predicted that demand for electric cars and SUVs could be comparable to gasoline cars and SUVs by 2030. The team includes Jeremy Michalek, a professor of mechanical engineering and engineering and public policy; Kate Whitefoot, an associate professor mechanical engineering and engineering and public policy; their Ph.D. student Connor Forsythe, and Ken Gillingham, an economics professor at Yale." Link to Article

  • June 19, 2023 - Mercedes becomes the first automaker to sell Level 3 self-driving vehicles in California - "Mercedes-Benz is the first automaker to get permission from California regulators to sell or lease vehicles with Level 3 (hands-off and eyes-off) self driving tech on designated roads, Reuters has reported. The California Department of Motor Vehicles issued a permit for the company\'s Drive Pilot system, provided it\'s used under certain conditions and on specific roads. Mercedes-Benz previous received a similar certification in Nevada. Drive Pilot will allow Mercedes-Benz drivers to takes their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel, then do other non-driving activities like watching videos and texting. If the rules for use are followed, Mercedes (and not the driver) will be legally responsible for any accident that happens... It\'s not as advanced as the systems on Waymo and Cruise vehicles, which allow full self-driving with no human driver aboard. At the same time, it\'s a step up from Tesla\'s so-called Full Self-Driving system, which is actually a Level 2 system and requires drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and pay attention at all times. " Link to Article

  • June 19, 2023 - AT&T drives connected car service with HAAS Alert - "AT&T continued to evolve its connected car platform, signing a letter of intent to work with specialist HAAS Alert to deliver warnings of hazards to drivers in what it claimed is the first bundle of mobile connectivity with vehicle-to-everything (V2X) software available for vehicle manufacturers. The operator stated the collaboration will remove barriers to cellular V2X capabilities by offering direct integration and activation of a connected software service. AT&T cited benefits in terms of minimising data costs associated with providing alerts, in addition to the broader boost to safety by helping to protect staff in the emergency services and road building sectors. Digital alert data could also be used to enable advanced driver-assistance systems, and improve navigation by monitoring traffic patterns and road conditions. " Link to Article

  • June 19, 2023 - IONIQ 5 set for fully driverless public taxi service - "The IONIQ 5 robotaxi, based on Hyundai Motor Co.\'s all-electric crossover, will launch its first fully driverless service for public passengers later this year, said the chief executive of Motional Inc., a joint venture between Hyundai and Aptiv PLC. The robotaxi service with Level 4 self-driving capabilities will first be offered in Las Vegas. At Level 4, a vehicle can drive itself under limited conditions and does not require safety operators in the front seat. It is just shy of Level 5, which enables fully automated driving. “This is the year when Motional’s IONIQ 5 robotaxi goes fully driverless,” Motional CEO Karl Lagnemma told The Korea Economic Daily in a recent written interview. " Link to Article

  • June 19, 2023 - Why Blue Lights Are Appearing at Some Subway Stations - "Three subway stations that are among the most prone to people going onto the tracks are the first in the New York City Transit system to test lights that can have a calming effect and deter suicide attempts, THE CITY has learned. An MTA spokesperson confirmed an internal Department of Subways bulletin obtained by THE CITY that details how the MTA is introducing blue lighting inside stations that have been plagued by a high number of incidents of people going into the path of trains... The pilot program, which MTA officials and medical professionals outlined at a March meeting of the transit agency’s board, is being put to the test at two subway stations in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn. (THE CITY is not naming the stations or lines based on guidance from health professionals.)" Link to Article

  • June 19, 2023 - DHS spearheads effort to develop next-gen emergency response vehicle - "The Department of Homeland Security is leading an interagency and public-private sector collaboration to develop an emergency response vehicle that leverages emerging technologies to provide disaster recovery sites with viable fuel alternatives for up to 72 hours. The DHS Science and Technology Directorate unveiled the hydrogen fuel cell-powered emergency relief truck prototype in Washington D.C. Monday, the result of a three-year partnership with the Departments of Energy and Defense, the Army Corps of Engineers and Cummins — a company specializing in diesel and alternative fuel engine development — among others... The truck, called the \"H2Rescue,\" operates on zero-emission power generation without putting harmful pollutants into the environment or any volatile exhaust, meaning it can provide power to an emergency shelter or up to 20 average-sized homes with little to no noise. " Link to Article

  • June 16, 2023 - USDOT launches live, online library of ITS best practice - "The USDOT’s ITS Joint Program Office (JPO) has launched the Smart Community Resource Center (SCRC) – a compilation of resources that can be used by practitioners to advance ITS and smart community transportation projects and programs. The website will be routinely updated with additional resources and tools to assist in deploying smart community technologies. A smart community uses innovative technologies, data, and analytics to improve the community and address local challenges. These communities create an intelligent, integrated information network by applying ITS technologies, such as sensors and wireless communications technologies, to infrastructure, vehicles, wearables, and other physical devices. Communities use this network to receive, analyze, and share data in real time to make better decisions and provide more responsive, efficient, data-driven services... The ITS JPO developed the SCRC to provide states, tribal governments, and local communities with resources to assist in the development of smart community transportation projects and programs nationwide." Link to Article

  • June 16, 2023 - TDOT to Improve I-24 With SMART Corridor Project - "(Tennessee) TDOT is currently developing the Interstate 24 SMART Corridor Project, which takes a comprehensive approach to managing the existing infrastructure and improving travel time reliability between Rutherford and Davidson Counties. I-24 is an integral part of the Nashville-Davidson County transportation network and a major route for commuters and freight. Since 2005, traffic volumes have increased by more than 60 percent in the Murfreesboro-Rutherford County segments of l-24. Further widening of the interstate is not financially feasible, nor will it solve the congestion issues along the corridor. The I-24 SMART Corridor project will integrate freeway and arterial roadway elements, along with physical, technological, and operational improvements, to provide drivers accurate, real-time information and to actively manage traffic." Link to Article

  • June 16, 2023 - Cruise self-driving car appears to block S.F. mass shooting scene - "ACruise self-driving taxi wandered into a chaotic crime scene in the Mission District on Friday night and appeared to block emergency responders as they aided nine victims wounded in a mass shooting. Videos of the incident posted by bystander Paul Valdez show the car stopped in the middle of a street, its red and white Cruise logo gleaming from a rear passenger door, as an official frantically issued commands for someone to move it. The car was “blocking emergency, medical and fire — I gotta get it out of here now,” an officer appears to shout in the video, while walking over to the stalled vehicle and shining a flashlight in its window. Cruise responded to the video with a series of tweets that expressed sympathy for the shooting victims — a 19-year-old woman and seven men ranging from 22 to 35 years old — while denying that the car had disrupted emergency crews" Link to Article

  • June 16, 2023 - NEC, VTTI combine private 5G and AI to improve road safety - "NEC Corporation of America (NEC) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) announced this week that they have created a roadway warning system that relies on private 5G and artificial intelligence (AI) to potentially identify dangerous traffic conditions and hazards... He said that the system can identify and then alert drivers to hazardous situations in driver and pedestrian blind spots. “This solution can reduce crashes and fatalities, as well as support automated driving from roadside infrastructure,” he continued. The pair conducted tests from January to March 2023 on Virginia Smart Roads, a closed test-bed research facility managed by VTTI and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) located in Blacksburg, Virginia. Cameras and private 5G base stations were installed on signal poles and transmitted high-definition traffic images via private 5G using the n78 frequency band (CBRS), enabling real time analysis of the images using AI." Link to Article

  • June 16, 2023 - Orlando prepares for downtown autonomous bus test - "Later this summer, Orlando plans to launch a fare-free autonomous bus that will circle parts of Parramore, Creative Village and link to Lynx’s downtown bus station. Last month the City Council signed off on a funding agreement with the region’s bus service to launch the driverless pilot. The $500,000 test is planned to start in late August and run through April. The bus route is along Garland Avenue, Amelia Street, Terry Avenue and Livingston Street on what is LYMMO’s normal Orange Route. The agreement calls for Lake-Nona-based Beep to provide two autonomous buses, each holding at least eight riders. The buses will run daily during off-peak hours, in addition to traditional buses on the route... Like LYMMO, downtown’s Bus Rapid Transit system, the autonomous bus will mostly stay in dedicated lanes and use traffic signals for buses. For a sliver of its route, it will interact with other vehicles in regular lanes." Link to Article

  • June 14, 2023 - Self-driving vehicle facility for testing and research opens in Auburndale - "After breaking ground on construction almost six years ago, FDOT and Florida’s turnpike officials will host the grand opening ceremony of the Suntrax test facility in Auburndale this afternoon at 1:30 p.m. It\'s where cutting-edge research on self-driving cars is going to be conducted. SunTrax sits on 475 acres on Braddock Road just off Polk Parkway and is composed of a 2.25-mile-long oval test track around a 200-acre infield. The multi-lane track will make it the only high-speed autonomous vehicle testing facility in the southeastern United States... Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise also constructed a main entry campus, featuring a 20,000-square-foot arrival and conference center as well as offices, classrooms, and indoor and outdoor event spaces." Link to Article

  • June 14, 2023 - Volvo prepares to launch self-driving truck lanes in Texas - "In a June 8 announcement, Volvo Autonomous Solutions (V.A.S.) announced that it opened offices in Fort Worth, Texas, as part of a larger plan to set up the company’s first autonomous freight corridors that will run from Dallas Forth Worth to El Paso and from Dallas to Houston. To prepare for the eventual self-driving truck operations, V.A.S. will use trucks operated by human drivers to haul loads for customers including DHL and Uber Freight. V.A.S. says that they plan to operate on a ” hub-to-hub model where autonomous trucks take on the highway portion of the driving, operating all hours of the day and night between transfer hubs while human drivers complete local operations.”... V.A.S. partnered with self-driving truck tech company Aurora as part of the autonomous trucking operation plan." Link to Article

  • June 14, 2023 - In the Race to Electrification, the Humble Bus Is in the Lead - "By 2032, about half of the world’s buses will be entirely battery-powered as will almost three out of four buses sold, according to BloombergNEF’s seventh annual Electric Vehicle Outlook... Some of that momentum has to do with the nature of bus fleets: electrifying just one of them can put thousands of fossil-fuel buses out of commission... The electric-bus takeover also speaks to a happy marriage between bus routes and battery-powered vehicles. As it turns out, EVs excel when they don’t have to zoom down an interstate at 70 miles per hour or haul several tons of Amazon boxes. Slowly but surely poking through a city on a set schedule — with a bunch of patient people as cargo — is a near-perfect use case." Link to Article

  • June 14, 2023 - It’s the Features, Stupid: EV Market Share Is Growing Because the Vehicles Keep Getting Better - "This finding, from a recent paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicates that the growth in demand for EVs is largely due to the appeal of the models’ technology and features, not a deeper attachment to the idea of owning an EV than in the past. While some car buyers may indeed want an EV on principle—like many of the early adopters who helped the vehicles get their first couple of percentage points of market share—researchers report that the size of this group does not appear to have changed. Meanwhile, EVs made up 7.2 percent of the market for new cars and light trucks in the first quarter of this year, more than double the share from two years ago, according to the research arm of Cox Automotive. Or, as another co-author of the study, the Carnegie Mellon University engineering professor Jeremy Michalek, puts it: “Consumers haven’t changed. It’s technology that’s driving EV adoption.” " Link to Article

  • June 14, 2023 - Pennsylvania Bikers Rally for Self-Driving Vehicle Protections - "Ken Edwards, legislative coordinator for Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education of Pennsylvania, or ABATE of PA, said unlike other groups who come to the Capitol at this time of year as the state budget takes shape, “we don’t come here and ask for a pile of money. Don’t give us a big check. We just want the laws to be written in a way that treat us fair.”... While some of the items on that list have been there for years, a more recent one asks for a seat at the table when legislation governing automated vehicles is considered. “We want those machines to see us when we’re out on the road,” Edwards said. “I do not want to become a crash test dummy for a better Tesla or a tractor trailer.”" Link to Article

  • June 13, 2023 - Self-driving cars may be making traffic worse, unable to understand human behavior - "Self-driving cars contribute to traffic congestion and could potentially be hazardous due to their inability to comprehend human behavior. A new study indicates that these autonomous vehicles, often promoted as the transportation of the future, struggle to interpret the subtle human social signals that inform driving decisions. A key example of this issue focuses on deciding whether to yield or proceed in traffic – a decision that humans typically make swiftly and intuitively. However, self-driving cars consistently fail to interpret human behavior in traffic. As a result, their reactions can lead to traffic congestion and aggravate other road users, according to the award-winning study from a team at the University of Copenhagen." Link to Article

  • June 13, 2023 - Can cartoon eyes help pedestrians trust autonomous cars? - "The study used a fake autonomous car, with a concealed human driver, equipped with animated display panels on its front that pedestrians could see. Designs were shown on the displays to inform pedestrians of the car’s behaviour and intention “including expressive eyes and a face, accompanied by short text-based language such as ‘I have seen you’ or ‘I am giving way’ “, according to the university... Behaviour judged to be relevant included: how long it took people to cross, how long they looked at the car, the number of times they glanced at the vehicle and the number of times they gestured at the vehicle... A recommendation from the study is that human response to autonomous vehicles is studied long-term to record how it changes over time. Future plans include studying interaction with other vulnerable road users such as cyclists and e-scooter riders users." Link to Article

  • June 13, 2023 - Autonomous car kills dog in San Francisco - "An autonomous car driving through the city streets of San Francisco struck and killed a dog last month – but the company that operates the vehicle claims the tragic incident was unavoidable. US publication TechCrunch reports the autonomous Jaguar I-Pace – also referred to as a ‘self-driving car’ – was operating in San Francisco last month when a dog ran onto the road. According to the incident report filed with California\'s Department of Motor Vehicles, the robotaxi’s autonomous driving systems detected the dog, however neither the vehicle’s on-board systems nor the human ‘safety operator’ in the driver’s seat applied the brakes. A spokesperson for Waymo – the Google-affiliated company which operates the autonomous Jaguar I-Pace – told TechCrunch the collision was unavoidable, regardless of whether the brakes had been applied or not." Link to Article

  • June 13, 2023 - Study predicts steady growth in electric farm tractors - "Electric tractor start-ups like Monarch Tractor and Solectrac, along with e-vehicles from Kubota, New Holland, and Fendt, are transforming the $38 billion U.S. ag vehicle industry. According to Researchandmarkets.com, the U.S. electric farm tractor market was worth $220 million in 2021. Adoption, still in early stages, faces difficulties in high upfront costs, range anxiety and power capacity. Assuming those issues get sorted, where is the market headed? CALSTART, a non-profit organization working to develop clean, efficient transportation solutions, has conducted research in partnership with market intelligence company Interact Analysis into the penetration of battery electric and hybrid electric tractors. A total of 57 battery electric tractors were sold in the U.S. in the first months of 2022, making up only 0.02% of total U.S. tractor sales. By 2029, however, battery electric tractor sales are projected to pass the 3,000-unit mark, constituting a 1% share of total tractor sales in that year." Link to Article

  • June 13, 2023 - Chattanooga Looks to Become ‘Citywide Testbed for Future Mobility’ - "In the next two years, academic researchers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, envision upgrading around 100 intersections with connected vehicle infrastructure, after several years of managing a “living testbed” in the city’s downtown. That testbed, which leverages Chattanooga’s gigabit-speed fiber broadband network, uses various sensors to monitor traffic and help city leaders make real-time decisions about signal timings and other measures to enhance safety. The testbed partners—the city and the Center for Urban Informatics and Progress (CUIP) at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga—recently announced they would invest in LiDAR technology to help promote traffic safety. The testbed began as a 1.2-mile section of street downtown after receiving funding from the National Science Foundation. Mina Sartipi, CUIP’s founding director, said it is more of a sandbox that allows innovative technologies to be tested on a small scale to improve street safety and public health" Link to Article

  • June 12, 2023 - How Panasonic is working on connected-vehicle technology in three states - "Connected vehicle and smart sensor technologies are advancing at the same time 5G wireless networks are growing, making it possible for companies to develop applications to enhance transit and traffic safety and efficiency. Panasonic is one of 14 corporate and government entities that received approval in May from the Federal Communications Commission to use previously reserved radio spectrum for connected vehicle applications. Smart Cities Dive spoke with Panasonic to learn more about its efforts so far in Colorado, Utah and Georgia. Panasonic’s Smart Mobility office, based in Denver, is focusing on these intelligent mobility solutions. “We’re really looking at … real-world innovations that can create value for our existing smart mobility partners and businesses and actually impact the larger world,” said Courtney Ehrlichman, head of strategy at NextLab, one of three business units within the Smart Mobility office." Link to Article

  • June 12, 2023 - Tesla to add General Motors to its charger standard next year - "Tesla\'s Supercharger network is about to get more crowded. On Thursday afternoon, General Motors CEO Mary Barra joined Tesla CEO (and Twitter\'s owner) Elon Musk to announce that GM is signing on to what Tesla calls the North American Charging Standard (NACS) and will integrate those ports into its electric vehicles from 2025. The move follows a similar agreement between Tesla and Ford, announced two weeks ago... GM EVs will gain access to the Supercharger network of over 12,000 chargers starting in 2024. As with the Ford news, GM EVs will initially require an adapter to connect the NACS cable to their CCS1 charging ports. " Link to Article

  • June 12, 2023 - USDOT launches live, online library of ITS best practise - "The USDOT’s ITS Joint Program Office (JPO) has launched the Smart Community Resource Center (SCRC) – a compilation of resources that can be used by practitioners to advance ITS and smart community transportation projects and programs. The website will be routinely updated with additional resources and tools to assist in deploying smart community technologies. A smart community uses innovative technologies, data, and analytics to improve the community and address local challenges. These communities create an intelligent, integrated information network by applying ITS technologies, such as sensors and wireless communications technologies, to infrastructure, vehicles, wearables, and other physical devices. Communities use this network to receive, analyze, and share data in real time to make better decisions and provide more responsive, efficient, data-driven services. Smart community technologies can support several community goals, including improving safety, mobility and reliability, equity and accessibility, climate and sustainability, and economic strength and competitiveness." Link to Article

  • June 9, 2023 - GM’s auto emergency braking feature is now standard on its latest EVs - "GM announced today that it’s making five active safety features standard on all its 2023 and newer EVs. In addition, the automaker says it will surpass its commitment to add Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) to 95 percent of its vehicles; the feature is included in 98 percent of GM’s 2023 models — including all its EVs. The disclosure follows the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stating today that all new passenger cars and light trucks will be required to include AEB within three years. In addition to AEB, GM says four other safety features will be standard in most of its 2023 model-year vehicles. These include Forward Collision Alert (warns you if a front-facing crash is likely), Front Pedestrian Braking (alerts you to oncoming pedestrians, automatically braking if needed), Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning (lets you know if you’re drifting out of your lane) and IntelliBeam (automatic high-beam headlight controls)." Link to Article

  • June 9, 2023 - 400 railroad crossings will be upgraded or eliminated under new program - "A new Transportation Department grant program created under the infrastructure law is aiming to improve safety at the nation’s rail crossings, sending $570 million this year to 32 states to upgrade more than 400 locations. The projects will construct overpasses and pay for track relocations and pedestrian and vehicular improvements where train tracks and roads intersect. The investments come as rail safety remains a focus after the Feb. 3 derailment of a Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous chemicals in East Palestine, Ohio. The incident, which prompted state and federal investigations, shed light on the effects trains have on communities, including extended blocking of intersections. Residents have called for changes as they report that trains are disrupting traffic, causing seniors to miss doctor’s appointments and forcing children to crawl under them to get to school." Link to Article

  • June 9, 2023 - Bosch Partners With Plus To Power Commercial Vehicles With Semi-Autonomous Driving Features - "Plus, formerly known as Plus.ai, is a pioneer in autonomous driving technology—and a company that I have been watching closely for many years. Over the past year or so, it has made huge moves in the trucking industry. For example, I’ve written about its partnerships with big-name fleets and vehicle manufacturers like Amazon, IVECO and Nikola. Plus’s highly automated driving (HAD) next-gen safety solution, PlusDrive, is changing the trucking landscape and the whole truck-driving experience because it offers attractive safety, driver comfort and fuel economy features that are unprecedented in the commercial vehicle market. I believe the company has scored its big wins with trucking companies because of its approach to HAD technologies in an already mature market. This approach, which I want to flesh out in this article, is why Plus has the potential to move beyond commercial vehicles and into a broader market of HAD solutions for commercial and passenger vehicles." Link to Article

  • June 9, 2023 - Watch Jeep demonstrate AI and autonomous off-road technology it’s developing for its EVs [Video] - "Parent company Stellantis has been a bit slower in full BEV adoption, but the Jeep brand is slowly but surely becoming electrified, with plans for four all-electric SUVs by 2025. These plans include the recently teased Wrangler as well as an all-electric Avenger, Recon, and Wagoneer S. For its autonomous off-road demonstration, Jeep equipped two Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-ins with AI technology and took them through the rocky red terrain of Moab, Utah. Easier said than done, for sure. Still, Jeep is taking a refreshing and inarguably on-brand approach to autonomous driving – focusing on off-road trail safety for both seasoned off-roaders and drivers new to terrain off the beaten path. That being said, Jeep says its autonomous technology will eventually support drivers on normal paved roads as well. Per CEO Christian Meunier:" Link to Article

  • June 9, 2023 - Dealerships To Invest $5.5 Billion In EV Chargers And Other Upgrades - "The nearly 17,000 franchise dealerships in the United States will invest an estimated $5.5 billion in new infrastructure to sell electric vehicles, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), a car dealer trade group. NADA didn’t elaborate on this estimate, leaving out details such as a timeline for the spend, according to Green Car Reports, but it did mention that some automakers have asked dealerships to invest anywhere between $100,000 and $1 million for chargers and other upgrades to sell electric vehicles. With this being said, the car dealer trade group says that these costs “do not necessarily include the specialized equipment purchases needed to service EVs or the additional costs from local utilities for extending new power lines or adding transformers\" to support EV charging." Link to Article

  • June 7, 2023 - Einride partners with UAE to deploy a massive freight grid filled with electric, autonomous trucks - "Einride shared details of its new partnership with the UAE’s Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure in a press release this morning, outlining that an MoU has been signed that enables the freight mobility company to deploy an entire ecosystem of EVs, autonomous trucks, and chargers across 550 km (341 mi) of grid called “Falcon Rise” (see map above). According to the agreement, Einride’s full freight mobility offering will include 2,000 electric trucks, 200 autonomous trucks, and eight charging stations offering over 500 charging points. That’s not a typo. A spokesperson for Einride told Electrek the company is planning to have at least 50 chargers at each of its new stations across Falcon Rise in the UAE." Link to Article

  • June 7, 2023 - Officials say $20 million grant can help lower the death toll on the nation’s roads - "On Tuesday, officials gathered in Pittsburgh to discuss an effort to bring the number down to zero. They plan to use technology to reach that goal. Key to that effort is a $20 million, five-year grant to establish a new national consortium, known as Safety21, to be led by Carnegie Mellon University. U.S. Rep. Summer Lee, D-Swissvale, announced news of the U.S. Dept. of Transportation grant during a news event at Mill 19, an old Jones & Laughlin steel mill building that’s been converted to a modern research and development hub in Hazelwood... Robert Hampshire, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of transportation for research and technology and a CMU alum, framed the issue in personal terms by describing the loss of a cousin... Pittsburgh is uniquely situated to play a role in making roadways safer. The city is the birthplace of autonomous vehicle technology, explained Raj Rajkumar, a CMU professor who will lead Safety21. It’s a history that dates back to 1983. " Link to Article

  • June 7, 2023 - Teledriving mobility service Vay to remotely deliver EVs in Vegas as it expands to US - "Europe’s first teledriving (remotely driving) service is entering the US market and intends to setup shop in Sin City to begin. Vay is establishing its new US headquarters in downtown Las Vegas, where it will begin testing its teledriving service by dropping off and picking up rental EVs to customers around the city. Vay is a German teledriving specialist based in Berlin that has taken a remote-first approach to driverless vehicles in which an operator drives a given EV from a dedicated hub. Vay is aiming to gradually introduce more autonomous driving functions in its system as they become more safe and are permitted to do so. For now, however, the service relies on teledrivers, whose immediate focus is on the driverless transportation of rental EVs to customers. Those customers can then hop in the EV, drive off and then park whenever they are done, enabling Vay to step back in and remotely drive the vehicle back to base." Link to Article

  • June 7, 2023 - FHWA awards $52 million in technology grants to improve travel safety - "The U.S. Department of Transportation‘s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has announced the allocation of more than $52 million in grants to eight states through the Advanced Transportation Technology and Innovation (ATTAIN) programme. These grants, part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, aim to support technology-based solutions that enhance the travel experience for millions of Americans using highway and transit systems. The funding extends to projects in communities that have previously lacked investments, including rural areas and regions facing persistent poverty... The ATTAIN programme promotes advanced technologies that enhance safety and reduce travel times for drivers and transit riders. The selected projects will serve as national examples of innovation, with a focus on improving transportation access for all communities." Link to Article

  • June 7, 2023 - Self-Driving Tech Firms Split Over Need For Detailed Maps - "Imagry demonstrated its autonomous tech this week by driving through chaotic Tel Aviv traffic, successfully avoiding the kind of obstacles and hazards a busy city throws at a driver. Imagry’s system does use a basic navigation system, but not a specialized, highly detailed one developed for self-driving purposes. “There is no industry standard. There are multiple paradigms being worked on by multiple companies,” Raj Rajkumar, an engineering and robotics professor at Carnegie Mellon University told Automotive News. “The best ideas will come out on top.” But while Rajkumar thinks mapless systems, or ones using only basic map data, might be fine at lower levels of autonomy and maybe even at higher levels in good weather, he believes highly-detailed maps will be necessary in bad weather conditions. " Link to Article

  • June 6, 2023 - Study: EVs Get the Headlines, but More Americans Shop for Hybrids - "Electric vehicles (EVs) are in the news everywhere you look. But twice as many car shoppers consider buying a hybrid. And a much-hyped revamp of federal EV tax credits did almost nothing to change demand for EVs. Those conclusions come from Kelley Blue Book’s first-quarter Brand Watch report for electrified vehicles. Our Brand Watch Report is a consumer perception survey that also weaves in shopping behavior to determine how a brand or model stacks up with its segment competitors on a dozen factors key to a consumer’s buying decision. We publish separate reports for the non-luxury and luxury car markets. About a quarter of all new-car shoppers considered an electrified vehicle – an industry term encompassing hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and EVs – last quarter. Eighteen percent researched a hybrid or plug-in hybrid... Half that total, just 9%, looked at an EV." Link to Article

  • June 6, 2023 - Tesla Model Y is the first electric vehicle to be the world’s best-selling car - "For the first time ever, an all-electric vehicle — the Tesla Model Y — is now the world’s bestselling car. According to analyst data from Jato Dynamics published by Motor1, the Tesla Model Y has surpassed Toyota’s RAV4 and Corolla models to top global sales rankings in the first quarter of 2023 even though the price for the 2023 Model Y starts at $47,490 or more than the 2023 Corolla ($21,550) and RAV4 ($27,575). The figures reported by Jato Dynamics reveal that the Tesla Model Y sold 267,200 units globally in the first quarter, compared to the 256,400 Corolla and 214,700 RAV4 units sold during the same period, or about a 69 percent year-on-year increase for the Model Y... The Model Y placed third in the overall global rankings for 2022, breaking into sixth place on America’s list of the top ten bestselling cars, despite competition from trucks and full-size SUVs. " Link to Article

  • June 6, 2023 - Toyota, Daimler Truck, Hino, Mitsubishi Fuso joining forces in ecological technology - "German truck maker Daimler, Japan’s top automaker Toyota and two other automakers said Tuesday they will work together on new technologies, including using hydrogen fuel, to help fight climate change. The companies said Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp., whose top stakeholder is Daimler Truck, and Hino Motors, the truck maker in the Toyota group, will merge. Daimler Truck and Toyota Motor Corp. will equally invest in the holding company of the Mitsubishi-Hino merger, they said without giving a dollar amount for the deal. The companies plan to cooperate in reducing carbon emissions and developing other technologies such as autonomous driving, net-connected services and electric vehicles." Link to Article

  • June 6, 2023 - Shared micromobility boosts job access when linked with public transit: report - "Dive Brief: Local governments can improve access to jobs by further integrating shared micromobility, such as electric bikes and scooters, into their public transit systems, according to research published earlier this month by the New Urban Mobility alliance and Transport for Cairo. The study found that, compared with cars, micromobility provided similar access to jobs for trips under 15 minutes and, in large metro areas with good public transit, 30-minute trips. But cars usually offered better access for longer trips than micromobility alone or a combination of micromobility and public transit. For the study, researchers developed a new, open-source approach that, according to NUMO, better accounts for traffic congestion, car parking, the availability of shared micromobility vehicles and where people are most likely to use micromobility. Others can use it free of charge." Link to Article

  • June 6, 2023 - Remote driver car rental service launches in Milton Keynes - "A car rental service that delivers a remotely driven vehicle to the user has been launched in a city. The Fetch vehicle system has been tested in Milton Keynes for 18 months and will now be available to customers. For now, all of the cars are delivered with a safety driver in the front of the vehicle who can take over the controls if necessary. Chief executive Koosha Kaveh said: \"It\'s driverless but not autonomous - yet.\" Imperium Drive, the company behind the service where cars are controlled by an office-based operator, claimed it was the first of its kind in Europe. Although the cars currently have a safety driver, the firm hopes they will no longer be needed after about 18 months of further testing. The remote operator of the car has a 360-degree view of the roads using cameras built into the vehicle, as well as anti-crash safety systems in the operating software." Link to Article

  • June 5, 2023 - New survey shows 97% of highway workers think work zones are more dangerous than last year - "More than half of highway workers polled reported that vehicles had crashed into their construction work zones in the past year, according to results of a new national highway work zone study by the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America and HCSS released Thursday. “Elected and appointed officials are not doing enough to protect workers and motorists in highway work zones,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist and author of the annual survey. “Our transportation networks may be invaluable, but the lives of workers and motorists are priceless.” According to the survey results, motorists are in even greater danger from highway work zone crashes than construction workers, Simonson noted. Twenty-eight percent of contractors participating in the survey experienced crashes that resulted in injury to construction workers. But more than twice as many firms—59 percent—reported experiencing a crash in which drivers or passengers were injured." Link to Article

  • June 5, 2023 - Thousands of delivery robots to join Uber Eats - "Uber ditched its work on developing self-driving cars in 2020 but in recent weeks the company has signaled that it’s still interested in exploring elements of autonomous technology for its services. This week, for example, it’s emerged that Serve Robotics is planning to expand its tie-up with Uber Eats to deploy 2,000 of its diminutive delivery robots in locations across the U.S. and Canada from later this year or early next, TechCrunch reported. The partnership currently involves a small-scale delivery service in a small part of Los Angeles that started last year, with more than 200 restaurants now using the wheel-based bot to deliver meals to hungry customers between the hours of 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. It’s not yet clear which locations will host the new meal-delivery robots, though San Jose, Dallas, and Vancouver are reportedly prime candidates." Link to Article

  • June 5, 2023 - Who’s testing the latest autonomous vehicle tech? The Port Authority. Here’s how - "When Angel L. Rios started working for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 1987, the agency was beginning to introduce PCs to employees. Now, 36 years later, it\'s testing an autonomous vehicle in his department. Right now, the agency uses typical human-driven street sweepers to suck up garbage on the 60 miles of road across the ports in the two states, as well as 18,000 linear feet of public wharf space that a cleaning crew is responsible for clearing of trash. Those machines are limited because they aren’t used at night, when there’s low visibility; they require someone to operate; they are too big to reach more complex areas, like the berths by the water; and they can\'t be used inside warehouses because of their size and because they run on diesel. The autonomous vehicle the Port Authority is piloting, which was manufactured by Finland-based Trombia Technologies, would solve most of those issues as an all-electric smaller sweeper that doesn’t require a driver." Link to Article

  • June 5, 2023 - New APWA Report Shows Benefit of Investment in Transportation Infrastructure - "A recent report from the American Public Works Association (APWA) found that American communities are benefitting with funding in water, surface transportation and emergency management. The APWA’s report, conducted in conjunction with the National Journal, produced findings about the potential for investment in transportation and water infrastructure. The report found every $1 invested in transportation returns $5 in economic benefits, with every $1 billion supporting the creation of 50,000 jobs. That $1 billion also more than doubles business sales and creates a 20 percent increase in GDP. A similarly sized investment in operations creates an increase in business sales and a near double increase in GDP. Due to an $81 billion funding gap in water infrastructure, 2.1 trillion gallons of drinking water worth $7.6 billion is lost due to aging infrastructure according to the report. This will create lower production volumes that result in the loss of 636,000 jobs by 2039. " Link to Article

  • June 5, 2023 - Biden-Harris Administration Announces More than $52 Million in Advanced Technology Grants to Improve Safety and Reduce Travel Times - " Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced more than $52 million in grants for eight states from the Advanced Transportation Technology and Innovation (ATTAIN) program. As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the grants will fund technology-based solutions that improve the travel experience for millions of Americans who use our highway and transit systems, with expanded eligibility for projects in communities that have previously lacked investments, including rural areas and areas of persistent poverty. “Your zip code shouldn’t determine whether you have access to safe, affordable transportation,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “With President Biden’s investments in innovative technology, we’re helping communities make transportation safer and more efficient, particularly in places that haven’t received enough resources in the past.” " Link to Article

  • June 2, 2023 - Ford EVs will use Tesla charging tech in surprise partnership between rival automakers - "Under the agreement current Ford owners will be granted access to more than 12,000 Tesla Superchargers across the U.S. and Canada, starting early next year, via the use of an adapter. And, Ford’s next-generation of EVs — expected by mid-decade — will include Tesla’s charging plug, allowing owners of Ford vehicles to charge at Tesla Superchargers without an adapter, making Ford among the first automakers to explicitly tie into the network. The initiatives were announced by Ford CEO Jim Farley and Tesla CEO Elon Musk during a live, audio discussion on Twitter Spaces. They come as Ford attempts to ramp up production of its fully electric vehicles in an attempt to catch up to — or someday surpass — Tesla’s sales in the segment." Link to Article

  • June 2, 2023 - NHTSA Proposes Stricter Pedestrian Protection Crashworthiness Tests - "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is issuing a request for public comment on a new crash testing program that will include revised and stricter regulations for pedestrian protection. This move is part of the NHTSA’s proposed updates to its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) and the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to improve safety on US roads. The agency will try to encourage automakers to spend more time and money developing new cars that are safer not only for their passengers but for pedestrians as well. The NHTSA also wants to make rule setting safety standards for automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. The road safety organization will take comments on the proposal for the next 60 days and you can follow the conversation at this link." Link to Article

  • June 2, 2023 - ZeroAvia and Natilus team up to develop a hydrogen-electric autonomous cargo plane - "Autonomous freight aircraft developer Natilus has announced it will offer ZeroAvia’s ZA600 hydrogen-electric engine as a propulsion option on its blended wing body (BWB) cargo plane. The two aviation companies have formed a strategic partnership to jointly-develop an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flown entirely by hydrogen-electric propulsion. As one of the more prominent zero-emission aviation developers that is actually putting planes in the air, ZeroAvia has been an exciting company to follow over the years. We’ve watched it garner huge funding, share a decades-long timeline of zero-emission plane development, and achieve permits to fly in the UK... With experimental certification from both the CAA (UK) and FAA (US) secured, and $10 billion in pre-orders, ZeroAvia continues working toward its goal of delivering and certifying two zero-emission engine classes by 2027." Link to Article

  • June 2, 2023 - Self-driving delivery trucks are already on North Texas highways. How safe are they? - "For now, these delivery trucks making stops at Sam’s Clubs, Krogers and other destinations do have a human behind the wheel — a safety driver in case of emergencies or technology glitches. Soon, that will no longer be the case... While some states have different rules on testing and deploying autonomous trucks, Texas is very hands off on regulation, experts say. Texas’ regulatory environment means we could see more of these trucks on our roads. But that’s concerning to Philip Koopman, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who has been working on self-driving car safety for more than 25 years. Autonomous trucking companies decide for themselves when they think their vehicles are safe enough to operate on public roads, Koopman said. “The government probably made that decision for jobs and economic growth,” Koopman said. “But the cost of that decision is you’re potentially putting other road users at risk, and there’s no way to figure out how safe it is. " Link to Article

  • June 2, 2023 - Meet the new Rotterdam rapid response anti-litter team - "Yesterday, authorities in the Dutch city of Rotterdam unveiled its new fleet of electric litter-cleaning vehicles. According to an official statement, the fleet of so-called Stint Cargos will be on the roads looking for trash and responding to reports in real time. The city has acquired three new green electric machines that function similarly to electric scooters, operators will have to ride upright. However, they have four wheels and are much more stable, with a large compartment for trash collection. Reportedly, Rotterdam will be one of the first cities in the Netherlands to use such a rapid reaction system to clean up the city. At the same time, the high mobility of the electric cleaners will allow work teams to reach very hard and off-the-beaten-track places to combat littering even in more remote areas." Link to Article

  • May 31, 2023 - How self-driving cars and human-driven cars could share the road - "Similar to when the first automobiles traveled alongside horses and buggies, autonomous vehicles (AVs) and human-driven vehicles (HVs) must someday share the same road. How to best manage this transition is the topic of a new Carnegie Mellon University policy brief, ‘Mixed-Autonomy Era of Transportation: Resilience & Autonomous Fleet Management.’ Carlee Joe-Wong, the Robert E. Doherty Career Development Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at CMU, shares her thoughts with AAVI on how this might play out... Technology development continues to make driving safer as the auto industry pushes us toward eliminating human drivers. Who knows if humans will ever be totally out of the equation, but what is inevitable is that cars with varying levels of autonomous driving capacity will be sharing the roads. It would behoove us to get in front of this issue and learn what benefits can be derived from mixed autonomy on our highways, so that we can develop policies and regulatory structures that will keep people traveling safely and efficiently regardless of whether a person is behind the steering wheel or not. " Link to Article

  • May 31, 2023 - DOE funds $87M of EV projects from GM, Deere, others; details additional $99.5M opportunity - "General Motors will receive $7.5 million to assist in the development of a multilevel, inverter-integrated electric drive system, the U.S. Department of Energy announced Friday with 44 other projects the agency will fund in order to speed the transition to electric vehicles. In total, DOE announced $87 million for projects through its Vehicle Technologies Office. The selected projects range “from expanding convenient charging options, to growing the future workforce and developing the key technologies that will lead to our fully electrified transportation future,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said in a statement... Working with DOE’s Clean Cities coalitions, 10 projects “will demonstrate and deploy clean energy solutions to electrify school buses, food and consumer goods delivery bicycles, and even commercial fishing vessels,” DOE said." Link to Article

  • May 31, 2023 - Millions ditched cars for bikes during the pandemic. These cities want the habit to stick - "Case studies led by global urban planning researchers Ralph Buehler of Virginia Tech and John Bucher of Rutgers University track what more than a dozen cities have done in recent decades, and specifically during the pandemic, to improve pedal-powered commutes and recreation... Some steps have phased out as the virus has faded, like many of the temporary “pop-up” bike lanes that appeared as if overnight. But many have stuck, thanks to an increase in lanes with permanent barriers against traffic, central arteries where cars can’t go, and other concessions to a pent-up demand to get around without gas... Here are snapshots of what some of the most ambitious pro-cycling cities on three continents have done for cycling before and during the pandemic. The findings are drawn principally from the MIT-published book “Cycling through the COVID-19 Pandemic to a More Sustainable Transport Future" Link to Article

  • May 31, 2023 - Uber partners with Alphabet’s Waymo to offer driverless rides - "Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N) will offer driverless cars on its ride-hailing and food delivery platform later this year through a partnership with Alphabet Inc\'s (GOOGL.O) Waymo, the companies said. Uber customers will be able to use a set number of Waymo\'s driverless vehicles for rides and deliveries within a 180 square mile area in Phoenix, Arizona, they said in a blog on Tuesday. Commercializing fully autonomous vehicles, especially robotaxis, has been harder than expected with tough regulations, complicated technology and heavy investments forcing some to cut jobs and even shut shop. Uber\'s wide network will give Waymo, which also operates in San Francisco and is looking to expand to Los Angeles, \"an opportunity to reach even more people,\" Waymo\'s co-CEO Tekedra Mawakana said. For Uber, this provides a fillip to its long-held self-driving ambitions just as its ride-hailing service reaches pre-pandemic levels. " Link to Article

  • May 31, 2023 - We’re still waiting for self-driving cars, but autonomous boats are already here - "On the water, the situation is a little different: with fewer vehicles in canals, rivers, and on the open water than on roads, and without the problem of wayward pedestrians, autonomous boats have fewer obstacles to contend with. Additionally, boats often follow set routes – for example shipping routes and ferry crossings – so navigation is easier than with an autonomous car. There are already a number of self-driving boats operating on our waterways. Powered by advanced artificial intelligence and sensor systems, these boats navigate, avoid obstacles and adapt to changing conditions in real-time. From cargo transportation to search and rescue missions, and passenger ferries to tugboats, they can be programmed to carry out complex tasks, such as monitoring water quality, collecting oceanographic data, or even assisting in offshore construction projects." Link to Article

  • May 30, 2023 - China overtakes Japan as world’s top car exporter - "Officials figures released in the last week show China exported 1.07 million vehicles in the period, up 58% compared to the first quarter of 2022. At the same time Japan\'s vehicle exports stood at 954,185, after edging up 6% from a year earlier. China\'s exports were boosted by demand for electric cars and sales to Russia. Last year, China overtook Germany to become the world\'s second largest car exporter. According to China\'s General Administration of Customs, China exported 3.2 million vehicles in 2022, compared to Germany\'s 2.6 million vehicle exports. The shift away from fossil fuels has helped fuel the rise of China\'s motor industry. First quarter exports of new energy vehicles (NEVs), which includes electric cars, rose by more than 90%, compared to a year earlier." Link to Article

  • May 30, 2023 - ChargeX is a new group that’s going to improve US public EV chargers – here’s how - "Meet ChargeX, an EV industry consortium that was announced today by the US Department of Energy (DOE) – and its mission is to improve public EV charging reliability and usability by June 2025. More specifically, ChargeX’s plan is to make sure that customers achieve first-time plug-in success every time they use public EV chargers. The consortium is made of up nearly 30 companies and growing, including Tesla, Electrify America, ChargePoint, General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Tritium. It’s led by the DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The group is going to build on the foundation for charging reliability established by the minimum standards for projects funded under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program. Here’s the plan. ChargeX will form three working groups, and they’ve got two years to achieve success: Define the Charging Experience... Triage Charging Reliability and Usability... Develop Solutions for Scaling Reliability..." Link to Article

  • May 30, 2023 - Exclusive news, data and analytics for financial market professionals Reuters home World Business Markets Sustainability More My View 2 minute readMay 19, 202310:48 AM EDTLast Updated 3 days ago FCC votes to expand vehicle, drone radar operations - "he Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted to expand the use of vehicle drone and other short-range radar operations. The decision by the U.S. telecommunications regulator will support technologies to detect children left behind in hot cars and driver assistance features like pedestrian detection and lane departure warnings, as well detecting the breathing of premature infants in intensive care units. The decision will also assist drones in construction, emergency rescue and commercial applications, the FCC said... The decision will allow the use of higher-powered mobile radar operations as well as seatbelt reminders and air bag deployment controls, automakers said. The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, an auto industry trade group, had urged the FCC to approve this rule to enable in-cabin safety technologies \"including occupant detection technology that can sense the slightest movement of a child and initiate a driver notification that someone was left unattended in the vehicle.\"" Link to Article

  • May 30, 2023 - New federal guidance unveiled for bicycle, pedestrian and micromobility projects - "Dive Brief: The Federal Highway Administration has incorporated federal policy changes stemming from the 2021 infrastructure law into its bicycle, pedestrian and shared micromobility guidance, according to an agency press release Friday. The 2021 infrastructure law expanded funding opportunities and encouraged Complete Street policies, the release says, and mandated that states spend at least 15% of highway safety money on preventing deaths among vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians, under certain conditions. “The law also provides more flexibility to help cities and states address active transportation needs,” FHWA Administrator Shailen Bhatt said in a statement. “We are open to new ideas and committed to working with our partners to make this transportation vision a reality so that biking, walking and other ways to travel are safe, convenient and enjoyable for everyone.”" Link to Article

  • May 30, 2023 - Self-healing lens material can prevent traffic accidents in self-driving cars - "Now, a research team at the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology has developed a material that heals scratches on the sensor of an autonomous vehicle. The self-healing lens material can prevent can accidents that occur due to signal distortion by restoring scratches on the sensor surface of the self-driving car... Traffic accidents caused by recognition errors and malfunctions of vision systems such as LiDAR sensors and image sensors of self-driving cars have repeatedly occurred. As a result, confidence in the safety of self-driving cars is rather low, according to a survey by the American Automobile Association in 2023. The research team developed a transparent lens material that can remove scratches on the sensor surface within 60 seconds when focused sunlight is irradiated using a simple tool such as a magnifying glass. " Link to Article

  • May 29, 2023 - Advocates: City Must Make E-Mobility Safer and More Widespread — And Here’s How To Do It - "The group, plus advocates including Los Deliveristas Unidos, United Parcel Service, Oonee, Open Plans, and WE ACT for Environmental Justice, will gather at 10 a.m. on W. 19th Street and Ninth Avenue in Manhattan to demand changes and discuss their recommendations.. Success, Transportation Alternatives said, hinges on three pillars: More Space: Car-centric streets must be redesigned into spaces for more modes of transport, and the city must create new, dedicated, 20-mile-per-hour lanes and widen existing bike lanes for modes of varying speeds... Incentives: The city and state must give New Yorkers financial incentives to shift from cars, plus create secure, on-street parking for e-mobility. Safe charging: Like others, including City Council Member Keith Powers, the group is calling for battery trade-in programs and safe public charging. " Link to Article

  • May 29, 2023 - Autonomous Boats Being Tested in Dubai - "Dubai is testing autonomous passenger boats as part of its ongoing effort to accelerate the introduction of self-driving transport. The Emirate plans for 25% of all journeys to be completed autonomously by 2030 and has seen several programs and initiatives launched over the past 18 months. Now the focus is on “abras,” traditional boats made of wood that are among the oldest and most popular modes of transport in Dubai. The Road and Transport Authority (RTA) has revealed that tests have been carried out on a hi-tech, electric-powered abra with automated capabilities between Jaddaf Station and Dubai Festival City Station on Dubai Creek. The craft was designed locally by the RTA’s Garhoud Marine Maintenance Workshop, to preserve the familiar look but incorporate the equipmentrequired to deliver autonomous functionality. " Link to Article

  • May 29, 2023 - Top Toyota Scientist Warns Against Ditching Gasoline Too Soon - "oyota Motor Corp.’s top scientist warned that transitioning to electric vehicles too quickly could lead drivers to hold on to old gas guzzlers and called for hybrids to be given a longer leash ahead of a Group of Seven leaders summit in Japan. Subsidies and restrictions targeting certain powertrains could make EVs attractive for customers who can afford it, but for others it might have the opposite effect, Gill Pratt, Toyota’s chief scientist and chief executive officer of the Toyota Research Institute, told reporters in Hiroshima on Thursday. It’s an oft-repeated argument by the world’s No. 1 carmaker: the transition to fully electric vehicles will take longer than people expect, and that a multipronged approach embracing hybrids and alternate fuels will be better for the environment and the auto industry. That’s drawn criticism and fueled concerns that Toyota is giving Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc., China’s BYD Co. and other battery-EV rivals an unsurmountable lead. " Link to Article

  • May 29, 2023 - TuSimple cuts 300 more US jobs, will keep China operations - "Autonomous trucking software developer TuSimple is cutting 300 more U.S. jobs — 30% of its global workforce. But it will keep its China operations, reversing a plan to sell or spin them off. The moves announced Thursday mean the company now will have just 750 employees. That’s about half its size before a restructuring in December that cut 350 jobs. TuSimple shares closed 14.06% higher Thursday at $1.46. The company has not filed required financial reports for the fourth quarter of 2022 or its annual 10-K. That puts it in violation of Nasdaq rules. Its TSP ticker symbol could be delisted as soon as the end of May. The company said it will not file its 10-Q report for the January-to-March period on time because it is working with a new auditor. Its previous auditor, KPMG, quit last September over TuSimple’s reputational risks." Link to Article

  • May 29, 2023 - How Will We Know When Self-Driving Cars Are Safe? When They Can Handle the World’s Worst Drivers - "In this world, no one is obeying the law, or lane markings, and everyone, from distracted drivers to jaywalking pedestrians, is forcing you to make split-second, life-or-death decisions—on purpose. Subjecting autonomous vehicles to such a world, say engineers, is precisely how manufacturers and regulators will know that they are ready to be handed responsibility for our very lives. To understand why, it helps to know a little about how the artificial-intelligence algorithms at the heart of self-driving systems are trained to handle tricky situations. Across almost every manufacturer of such systems, much of this training happens in simulation. That is a far safer and cheaper option than gathering data in the real world from actual vehicles, says Henry Liu, a professor of engineering at the University of Michigan and director of Mcity, a facility for testing autonomous vehicles." Link to Article

  • May 26, 2023 - AT&T leases spectrum to AST SpaceMobile - "AT&T is moving closer to making satellite-to-cellular calling a reality by entering a long-term spectrum lease agreement with AST SpaceMobile. In an FCC filing, AT&T said that it will lease to AST certain 850 MHz cellular A and B block spectrum as well as certain lower 700 MHz B and C block spectrum. An AT&T spokeswoman explained that the leases are ‘non-exclusive’ and that AST’s satellites will not transmit in areas covered by AT&T’s terrestrial cellular network. “For example, we might cover 80 percent of the area of a 700 MHz license, and AST could train spot beams on the remainder,” she said. In the FCC filing, AT&T further elaborated on the deal, noting that AST intends to provide broadband access “directly to AT&T customer handsets that operate on the Leased Spectrum, without any modifications or the use of special chipsets, and without the buildout of any additional terrestrial wireless infrastructure.”" Link to Article

  • May 26, 2023 - DOJ charges former Apple engineer with theft of autonomous car tech for China - "A former Apple software engineer was charged with stealing Apple’s autonomous technology for a Chinese self-driving car company, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday. Weibao Wang worked as a software engineer at Apple from 2016 to 2018, a DOJ indictment said. Wang worked on Apple’s Annotation Team and was granted “broad access” to databases which the Justice Department said could only be accessed by 2,700 of Apple’s 135,000 employees. Wang is the third former Apple employee to be accused of stealing autonomous trade secrets for China. Wang has been charged with six separate counts involving the theft or attempted theft of Apple’s “entire autonomy source code,” tracking systems, behavior planning for autonomous systems, and descriptions of the hardware that was behind the systems." Link to Article

  • May 26, 2023 - MTA: Fare and toll evasion is responsible for $700 million a year in lost revenue - "The MTA says fare and toll evasion is at a crisis point. What to do about those who ride for free, drivers who avoid bridge and tunnel tolls and others who sneak onto buses and trains? \"Why can\'t they pay?\" rider Edward Hayes said. It\'s responsible for $700 million a year in lost revenue for the MTA, said its chairman and CEO, Janno Lieber. \"That is money that could be used ... to invest in infrastructure,\" he said. Reporters were shown the latest fare gate technology Wednesday at Grand Central Terminal -- machines that identify subway riders jamming through on the heels of someone else with big Plexiglass panels. \"Like they have in Europe, there\'s doors that are high up that you can\'t jump over,\" Midwood resident Nash Benaim said. Transportation experts call platform emergency exits a super highway of fare evasion, saying when they open, people stream through." Link to Article

  • May 26, 2023 - Tyre-makers under pressure as too much rubber hits the road - "Tyre-makers are under pressure to almost literally reinvent the wheel as regulators turn their scrutiny to tyre pollution that is set to surge with the rise of electric vehicles (EVs) and threatens to undermine those cars\' green credentials. When tyres make contact with the road, tiny particles are abraded and emitted. The extra weight of EVs linked to their batteries means this little-discussed form of pollution – from an estimated 2 billion tyres produced globally every year – is becoming a bigger problem. Major producers, including Goodyear (GT.O), Bridgestone (5108.T), Michelin (MICP.PA) and Continental (CONG.DE), are also trying to fend off competition from cheaper Chinese rivals. \"It\'s not quite a perfect storm,\" said Gunnlaugur \"G\" Erlendsson, CEO of UK-based startup Enso, which has developed more durable tyres specifically for EVs and rents out tyres that it takes back to recycle at the end of life. \"But it\'s close.\"" Link to Article

  • May 26, 2023 - 6G promises immersive communications for public safety - "These evolving wireless networks have supported first responders’ growing use and dependence on data, video and image transmission, enhanced location tracking, data analytics and other elements crucial to an effective emergency response, the report stated. But there is always room to improve. Enter 6G: the next-generation cellular network that will operate in higher frequencies, such as millimeter and terahertz communications. It will build upon previous systems by offering users enhanced data rates and bandwidth availability, according to Eirini Tsiropoulou, an assistant professor at the University of New Mexico’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. 6G provides “substantially lower latency compared to its predecessor 5G cellular technology,” she said in an email to GCN. When latency is less than 1 millisecond, connected users can take advantage of haptic cyber-physical applications, she said." Link to Article

  • May 24, 2023 - Stefan Heck Creates Nauto To Make Transportation Safer - "Finding a solution to distracted driving then became his focus, which then turned into a business called Nauto. Founded by Heck in 2014, Nauto is a fleet safety and collision prevention solution whose AI-backed human driver technology enables some of the largest commercial fleets in the world to avoid collisions by accurately predicting and helping drivers prevent accidents before they occur. “I started Nauto with a very simple business model. Let\'s not replace the human driver. Let\'s be a copilot that helps augment the human driver. The human is fantastic at judgments of complicated situations. What\'s this pedestrian going to do? Is the kid going across the road? AI is terrible at that. But on the flip side, AI is fantastic at never falling asleep, never getting distracted,” says Heck." Link to Article

  • May 24, 2023 - Miami-Dade Transit has most riders in 41 months - "Miami-Dade’s transit operations carried almost 7 million riders in March, the most in any month since October 2019, well before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, latest county figures show. The March passenger tally of 6,989,938 was up nearly 41% from March 2022 and was 4.1% more than March 2019. By March 2020, at the outset of the pandemic, March passengers had fallen to fewer than 4.7 million riders. The post-pandemic passenger return has been strongest on Metrobus, where the 5 million-plus March rider trips were more than any month since May 2017. The bus system had been bleeding riders for at least a decade until it recorded a 2.1% gain from fiscal year 2021 to 2022, but the gains from 2022 to 2023 have been 45% or more a month as pandemic rider losses have disappeared. The gain in March from March 2022 was more than 57%. Gains have been less on Metrorail, up 14% in March from March 2022, though last year Metrorail gained nearly 22% from 2021 depths. " Link to Article

  • May 24, 2023 - Why Boston is turning bus stops into digital pop-up libraries - "Dive Brief: Twenty bus stops across Boston were outfitted last week with quick response, or QR, codes allowing riders to browse and borrow audiobooks, e-books, e-newspapers and e-magazines from the Boston Public Library, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu announced Thursday. Users are not required to have a library card or download an app to access the primarily English- and Spanish-language offerings, as the primary goal of the “Browse, Borrow, Board” program is to introduce riders to the library’s resources, the announcement says. The pilot — which will run through August — shows the value of simple partnerships between large bureaucracies such as libraries, transportation authorities and cities, said Maddie Webster, program manager in the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, which helped develop the initiative." Link to Article

  • May 24, 2023 - Toyota Research Institute “deeply satisfied” with results of $100M collaborative research program with US universities - "Toyota Research Institute (TRI) announced the latest results of its collaborative research program with US academic institutions. This initiative has funded $100M of research and generated more than 1,250 paper submissions since its inception in 2016, making it one of the largest collaborative research programs by an automotive company in the world. The program expanded during 2022 to include 21 university partners and 61 projects focused on energy and materials, human-centered artificial intelligence, human interactive driving, machine learning, and robotics. Each project consists of a TRI researcher working with a university team in a close collaboration bridging academia and industry... TRI plans to continue the program into 2024 with new additional high-risk, high-reward projects to accelerate the development of key technologies for Toyota." Link to Article

  • May 24, 2023 - How Bird, Lime, Spin and Superpedestrian want cities to regulate shared e-bikes and scooters - "Dive Brief: Shared micromobility operators Bird, Lime, Spin and Superpedestrian have released 10 recommendations on how local governments can successfully integrate shared electric bikes and scooters into their transportation systems, according to a press release Monday. The guidance may “help cities address points of friction that have hampered programs in the past,” the release says. The companies will share their recommendations today at the National Association of City Transportation Officials conference in Denver. In a joint statement, the companies’ CEOs said the “framework has the potential to significantly improve the experience for riders and non-riders alike, while allowing cities to better manage these services over the long-term.”" Link to Article

  • May 23, 2023 - Automaker Stellantis to buy 33.3% stake in fuel-cell system maker Symbio - "Automaker Stellantis (STLAM.MI) has signed a deal with France\'s Faurecia (EPED.PA) and Michelin (MICP.PA) to buy a 33.3% stake in their Symbio joint venture, a fuel cell system maker for hydrogen mobility, the three companies said on Tuesday. \"Acquiring an equal stake in Symbio will bolster our leadership position in hydrogen-powered vehicles by supporting our fuel cell van production in France,\" said Stellantis Chief Executive Carlos Tavares. Automaker Stellantis (STLAM.MI) has signed a deal with France\'s Faurecia (EPED.PA) and Michelin (MICP.PA) to buy a 33.3% stake in their Symbio joint venture, a fuel cell system maker for hydrogen mobility, the three companies said on Tuesday. \"Acquiring an equal stake in Symbio will bolster our leadership position in hydrogen-powered vehicles by supporting our fuel cell van production in France,\" said Stellantis Chief Executive Carlos Tavares." Link to Article

  • May 23, 2023 - Passive push for reliability - "The electric vehicle (EV) presents a major and possibly unexpected challenge. Driving is already stressful on electronic components close to the engine and driveshaft in conventional vehicles with internal combustion or hybrid engines. With EVs, experts expect reliability to be less of an issue overall because the drivetrain is a lot simpler mechanically. However, for the electronic circuits controlling everything, long-term stress will likely increase. Petrol-driven cars spend much of their time parked and dormant. Autonomous driving and sharing schemes point to vehicles spending many more hours of their lifetime on the road, servicing different users. And, with an EV, the power systems are active over a longer period because they will be recharged when parked." Link to Article

  • May 23, 2023 - Turnpike begins work on new tolling system - "The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has begun building the final phase of its All-Electronic Tolling (AET) implementation. Work is now underway to relocate tolling points in eastern Pennsylvania from their current interchange locations. New highway-speed collection points are being built along the roadway between interchanges using a technique called Open Road Tolling, or ORT — a cashless, free-flowing mode of collecting tolls without traditional toll plazas or tollbooths. With ORT, tolls continue to be paid electronically, but now vehicles will drive at highway speed beneath overhead structures — called gantries — located on the turnpike between exit and entry points. Equipment installed on the gantry and in the roadway identifies and classifies vehicles and processes E-ZPass and Toll By Plate payments." Link to Article

  • May 23, 2023 - Smaller Truckers Are Struggling to Meet Mandates for Going Electric - "The case for shifting to EVs on the passenger side gets stronger every year, as prices fall and the market becomes more competitive, notes Priyesh Ranjan, chief executive officer of Vorto, a vendor of supply chain automation software. But he believes it will be another five or six years before the same trend becomes evident in the market for commercial big rigs. At the moment, he says, “I cannot see the unit economics happening.” That leaves smaller truckers with a problem: How can they afford the new units that are increasingly being mandated by regulators? And will their failure to do so in a timely manner cause the EV revolution to stall? “Trucking is a game of small entrepreneurs in America,” Ranjan argues, noting that smaller operators are currently struggling even to make required modifications to their existing fleets. " Link to Article

  • May 23, 2023 - Self-Driving Trucks Pilot Planned by Daimler Company - "Self-driving vehicle firm Torc Robotics has agreed to partner with transportation company C.R. England on an autonomous truck pilot. Torc, an independent subsidiary of Daimler Truck, confirmed the strategic collaboration, which would leverage its fleet of autonomous trucks and C.R. England’s temperature-controlled loads for long-haul travel. C.R. England is the second carrier to pilot with the Virginia-based firm, following its partnership with Schneider last year, with the new program seeing Torc expand into the refrigerated freight market for the first time... No specific details about the pilot have been released, other than that initial planning is due to get under way in “mid-2023” with on-road tests promised “soon after.” The immediate priority is for the tests to deliver insights to help guide the development of the technology as Torc progresses towards commercialization. " Link to Article

  • May 22, 2023 - Volvo’s electric truck orders are up 141 per cent - "Volvo Trucks received 486 orders for electric trucks in the first quarter of 2023, an increase of 141 per cent compared to the same period last year. This number is expected to increase over the course of the year as the Swedish company looks to bring its electric trucks to even more countries. Volvo Trucks has sold nearly 5,000 electric trucks in around 40 countries since launching its first electric truck in 2019 – mainly in Europe and North America, but also in countries such as Australia and Morocco. Later this year, the company will start selling electric trucks to customers in South Africa, South Korea, India and markets in Latin America. In addition to the aforementioned 486 orders, 600 of Volvo’s heavy-duty electric trucks weighing 16 tonnes or more were registered in Q1 in Europe alone. That was more than four times the number registered in Q1 2022, when 134 electric Volvo Trucks were registered. " Link to Article

  • May 22, 2023 - Sweden to pave world’s first permanent e-road for EV charging while driving - "The project is led by the Swedish Transport Administration, Trafikverket, which has selected the E20 highway. Specifically, it will build the electric road system (ERS) on the 21km route from Hallsberg to Örebro, located between the country’s two largest cities, Stockholm and Gothenburg. The e-road is now at the procurement and final planning stage, while Trafikverket expects to complete and introduce it to the public in 2025/2026. Trafikverket has yet to determine which technology it will use for the ERS. Currently, there are three types available: overhead conductive, ground-based conductive, and ground-based inductive charging... The ambitious electrification of E20 follows a series of successful ERS pilot projects in the country. From 2016 to date, Trafikverket has tested all three road charging technologies in various parts of the country, including Lund, Gotland, and Sandviken." Link to Article

  • May 22, 2023 - Wisk Aero to bring its eVTOLs to Japan - "Air mobility specialist Wisk Aero has partnered with Japan Airlines (JAL) to bring Wisk’s autonomous all-electric air taxi services to Japan. Regulatory requirements, safety measures and community benefit will all be discussed by the two, in cooperation with the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB). Wisk’s sixth generation electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft will require type certification approval in Japan and an Air Operators Certificate in the country for fleet operations to be launched in future. The partners will work together to develop a path to a demonstration flight in Japanese airspace. Wisk and JAL Engineering (Jalec) will develop plans for the maintenance and operation of the air taxis... Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, Wisk is backed by The Boeing Company and Kitty Hawk Corporation. " Link to Article

  • May 22, 2023 - You’ll no longer be able to take a carpool ride with Lyft to save money - "Lyft is officially discontinuing shared rides, the latest change the ride-hailing company’s new chief executive officer is making in a bid to revamp the platform to compete with Uber Technologies. “The problem with shared trips is that they take people out of their way,” David Risher said in an interview Thursday. “At some point you have to pay attention to what your customers want.” It’s one of a slate of product changes Risher is making since taking over as CEO in April and marks the end of a feature that came to define the ride-hailing industry. San Francisco-based Lyft was the first to launch shared rides in 2014 and Uber later followed with Uber Pool... Lyft is also focusing on boosting airport rides, which comprise about 10% of all trips, by making it easier for customers to pre-book a trip. " Link to Article

  • May 22, 2023 - Self-Driving Car Tests Are Taking in Too Much Data - "Wired dug into the world of AV data storage and found that companies are scaling back their information hoarding tendencies. As fleets grow and cloud storage keeps creeping up in price, autonomy developers no longer see a benefit in storing every single data point from every single sensor, always and forever. This is a major change for an industry that used to ruin infotainment systems with its data collection tendencies, but a necessary one for businesses that want to cut costs. Wired quotes a stat saying that in just one hour of operation, a Waymo Jaguar generates 1,100 gigabytes of information — which would cost the company $22 a month to store on Amazon’s AWS infrastructure. Not a lot in a vacuum, but think about how many cars Waymo has, and how many hours they operate. One day of operation would generate expansive amounts of data that would keep escalating in price." Link to Article

  • May 19, 2023 - Designing Crash-Proof Autonomous Vehicles - "As V2X matures, vehicles will be able to communicate with each other, and will slow down automatically when there is an accident or road hazard ahead without any human intervention. However, a report by National Public Radio revealed that in the span of less than a year in the 2021/2022 time frame, nearly 400 crashes (including 273 involving Teslas), occurred from vehicles equipped with automated driver-assist technologies... Although AVs and ADAS may have benefits, it has been observed that during the test phase, many AV crashes have occurred. How to prevent AVs from causing damages to people, other vehicles, and properties remains a challenge to OEMs, and instead of relying on AI prediction and inferencing alone, real-time hard objects detection, emergency braking system activation and digital twin technologies need to be employed. " Link to Article

  • May 19, 2023 - New York City’s congestion pricing plan gets the green light, despite opposition - "Dive Brief: The Federal Highway Administration on Friday approved the public release of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s environmental assessment of its plan to toll most passenger vehicles entering commercial districts in the Manhattan borough of New York City, paving the way for its final approval. In a letter, the FHWA informed the MTA that it conditionally approved the plan after reviewing all public comments on the Central Business District Tolling Program’s final environmental assessment and an analysis carried out by the MTA, the New York State Department of Transportation and the New York City Department of Transportation. “The FHWA is now poised to issue a Finding of No Significant Impact, the federal environmental approval which will allow the state to move forward with congestion pricing program design and adoption,” said Mary Barber, state director of New York and New Jersey for the Environmental Defense Fund, in a statement. " Link to Article

  • May 19, 2023 - Nikola exits European joint venture to focus on hydrogen trucks in North America - "Electric heavy truck maker Nikola said Tuesday that it’s “refocusing the company on North America” as it exited a European joint venture with its chassis supplier, The news came as the company reported its first-quarter results. Here are the key numbers, together with Wall Street estimates as reported by Refinitiv... Nikola said it will temporarily suspend production of the battery-electric truck while it reconfigures its assembly line to build both the battery-electric and fuel cell trucks. While it expects the fuel cell truck to become its primary product, it will continue to build battery-electric trucks to order after production of the fuel cell truck begins, it said. “As we move forward, we will be focusing on the North American market, hydrogen fuel cell trucks, the HYLA hydrogen refueling business, and autonomous technologies,” CEO Michael Lohscheller said. “We have the right products at the right time.” " Link to Article

  • May 19, 2023 - U.S. Public Transit Faces Funding Crisis Amid Remote Work - "As pandemic aid dwindles, the nation’s biggest transit systems face a roughly $6.6 billion shortfall through fiscal year 2026, according to a Bloomberg tally of the top eight US transportation agencies based on passenger trips. Rising labor costs and inflation are hitting as farebox revenue stagnates after ridership collapsed. Those eight agencies serve regions that combined contribute about $6 trillion annually to the national economy. Local officials are pressing for help. Last month, the California Transit Association asked the state for $5.15 billion over the next five fiscal years. Without more money, transit officials across the country warn that the public can expect steep ticket price increases and drastic cuts to train and bus schedules, while long-planned expansion projects are on the chopping block. That pleading worked for New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority when state lawmakers recently approved a massive bailout." Link to Article

  • May 19, 2023 - Hyliion introduces fuel-agnostic Hypertruck Karno - "Transportation Expo in early May in Anaheim, Calif. The semitruck employs an electric range extender powertrain that the company says can be powered by a variety of fuels, including hydrogen or natural gas... The Hyliion Hypertruck ERX has an electric powertrain that is recharged by an onboard natural gas generator. In January, Austin, Texas-based Hyliion announced it planned to deliver 10 Hypertruck ERX Class 8 semitrucks in the first quarter of 2024 to Danish transportation company DSV... The Karno generator uses heat to drive a sealed linear generator to produce electricity. The heat is produced by reacting fuels through flameless oxidation or by leveraging other heat sources including renewables. The power system will be capable of operating on with more than 20 fuels, including hydrogen, natural gas, propane, ammonia and conventional fuels... Hyliion was founded in 2015 in Pittsburgh, where the company’s founder earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University." Link to Article

  • May 17, 2023 - Didi to mass produce self-driving EVs in partnership with Chinese carmaker GAC - "Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing said it plans to introduce autonomous driving vehicles into its car fleets by 2025, after renewing a partnership with Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) to make them. Under the joint venture project dubbed AIDI, GAC’s subsidiary AION New Energy Automobile and Didi’s autonomous driving unit will team up to manufacture high-level autonomous driving vehicles, which are expected to be deployed into Didi\'s car fleets in 2025, according to a Didi statement on Wednesday. The first mass-produced robotaxi, based on AION’s latest electric vehicle (EV) platform, will be equipped with Didi’s autonomous driving solutions. Didi has been testing its self-driving technology solutions with a small fleet in Shanghai’s Jiading district." Link to Article

  • May 17, 2023 - Qualcomm Acquires Chips Developer to Aid in Auto Safety - "Qualcomm has agreed to acquire Israeli company Autotalks, a developer of chips used in crash protection technology. The agreement would allow Qualcomm to incorporate Autotalks’ safety products into its Snapdragon Digital Chassis, which helps deliver assisted and autonomous driving. Autotalks is a fabless developer of semiconductors and system-on-a-chip tech, based in the center of Israel, an area heavily focused on developing vehicle-to-everything (V2X) solutions since 2009. V2X allows vehicles, either self-driven or operated by humans, to connect with other road users as well as elements in the immediate environment, such as traffic lights, to improve safety. By incorporating the Autotalks’ tech into the Snapdragon portfolio, Qualcomm would have a potentially more robust product line for customers, which include Mercedes, the Volkswagen Group, General Motors, Stellantis and Afeela, the newly created brand from Honda and Sony." Link to Article

  • May 17, 2023 - Ford to test small UK fleet of hydrogen fuel cell E-Transit vans - "Ford Motor Co (F.N) said on Tuesday it will test a small fleet of prototype hydrogen fuel-cell versions of its electric E-Transit model to see if they are a workable zero-emission option for customers hauling heavy goods long distances. Ford will lead a consortium in the three-year project that includes BP (BP.L), which will focus on hydrogen and infrastructure, and British online supermarket and technology group Ocado (OCDO.L)... While most of the world\'s combustion engine cars and short-distance vans and lorries should be replaced by battery electric vehicles (BEVs) over the next two decades, hydrogen fuel-cell proponents and some long-haul fleet operators say batteries are too heavy, take too long to charge and could overload power grids. Vehicles with hydrogen fuel cells, in which hydrogen mixes with oxygen to produce water and energy to power a battery, can refuel in minutes and have a much longer range than those with BEVs." Link to Article

  • May 17, 2023 - Porsche, VW Commercial Vehicles partner with Mobileye on automated driving software - "Porsche will incorporate automated assistance and navigation functions from Mobileye\'s so-called \"SuperVision\" technology platform in future models, Mobileye said in a statement... Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, which was previously going to use technology from Pittsburgh-based self-driving startup, Argo AI for self-driving shuttles and vans, will also partner with Mobileye, a spokesperson said... Together with Mobileye, the unit will seek to implement so-called \"Level 4\" autonomous driving - considered fully autonomous, though humans can still request control - in its ID Buzz by 2025. Porsche, by contrast, will implement Mobileye\'s \"SuperVision\" system, which allows drivers to take their hands off the wheel in certain road types and enables the car to follow navigation routes chosen by the driver, change lanes and overtake slower vehicles ahead." Link to Article

  • May 17, 2023 - VanMoof launches two new ‘ingeniously simple’ yet high-tech electric bikes - "Going on 13 years of e-bike building innovation, Dutch electric bike maker VanMoof has just announced its new VanMoof S4 and X4 e-bikes with “iconic tech” and four vibrant new colors. The new models come in at a lower price thanks to reduced features. If you remember the previous VanMoof S3 and X3 from 2020, you might notice that the new S4 and X4 look fairly familiar. They share a similar outward design, but receive a slimmed down tech suite compared to the more recent A5 and S5 models launched last year. That slimming down has helped VanMoof shave nearly US $1,000 off of their sticker prices... Instead of a fancier three-speed automatic shifter on VanMoof’s previous e-bike models, the VanMoof S4 and X4 include two-speed automatic gear shifting, offering a lower gear for acceleration or hill-climbing, and a higher gear for flat land cruising at top speed." Link to Article

  • May 16, 2023 - In Norway, the Electric Vehicle Future Has Already Arrived - "Chargers far outnumber gasoline pumps at the service area operated by Circle K, a retail chain that got its start in Texas. During summer weekends, when Oslo residents flee to country cottages, the line to recharge sometimes backs up down the off-ramp... Last year, 80 percent of new-car sales in Norway were electric, putting the country at the vanguard of the shift to battery-powered mobility. It has also turned Norway into an observatory for figuring out what the electric vehicle revolution might mean for the environment, workers and life in general. The country will end the sales of internal combustion engine cars in 2025. Norway’s experience suggests that electric vehicles bring benefits without the dire consequences predicted by some critics. There are problems, of course, including unreliable chargers and long waits during periods of high demand. Auto dealers and retailers have had to adapt. The switch has reordered the auto industry, making Tesla the best-selling brand and marginalizing established carmakers like Renault and Fiat." Link to Article

  • May 16, 2023 - This LGBTQ+ Transportation App Is Changing the Game - "Just in time for Pride month, LGBTQ+ride launches in June 2023 as a safe and friendly non-discriminatory form of transportation. Founded by Stephen Ridl and Robert Taylor, LGBTQ+ride was founded to provide safe and secure transportation for members of the queer community and their allies. \"We know it\'s time for the LGBTQ+ community and our Allies to to feel comfortable and safe being themselves without worries or judgements. They deserve jobs without discrimination where it\'s encouraged to just be you,\" Ridl told The Advocate Channel. In the last few years, attacks on gay, lesbian, and transgender rideshare users have increased around the world, making a world that was becoming safer and more welcoming to the queer community feel less so. In addition to providing safer rides for the community, LGBTQ+ride will provide thousands of jobs for members of the community. " Link to Article

  • May 16, 2023 - ML Automotive Chip Design Takes Off - "Machine learning is increasingly being deployed across a wide swath of chips and electronics in automobiles, both for improving reliability of standard parts and for the creation of extremely complex AI chips used in increasingly autonomous applications. On the design side, the majority of EDA tools today rely on reinforcement learning, a machine learning subset of AI that teaches a machine how to perform a specific task based on pattern recognition. Unlike image recognition in AI chips, which is based on training of massive data sets, machine learning can produce accurate results quickly using much smaller volumes of data. Synopsys, Cadence, Siemens, and others all have embraced reinforcement learning in their tools, and their automotive customers point to improved time to market for chips that offer better performance and meet stringent safety goals." Link to Article

  • May 16, 2023 - Volvo Trucks tests hydrogen-powered electric trucks on public roads - "Emitting only water vapor, hydrogen-powered fuel cell trucks will be an important part of Volvo Trucks’ zero exhaust emission product portfolio. Now, the vehicles have passed an important milestone – namely, being test-driven on public roads. Last year, Volvo Trucks showcased its fuel cell electric trucks for the first time. These zero exhaust emission trucks use hydrogen to produce their own electricity onboard – making them suitable for longer transport assignments. Now, the trucks have been tested on public roads for the first time. But not just any public road. To make it extra-challenging, the tests have been conducted above the Arctic Circle in the north of Sweden – in an extremely cold climate. “Trucks are operating seven days a week and in all types of weather. The harsh conditions on public roads in northern Sweden, with ice, wind and lots of snow, make an ideal testing environment,” says Helena Alsiö, VP Powertrain Product Management at Volvo Trucks." Link to Article

  • May 16, 2023 - Waymo adds safety alerts to its robotaxis to protect exit door collisions with cyclists, other cars - "Robotaxi developer Waymo is taking passenger and bystander safety to another level using the same technology that already allows its fleet of vehicles to offer autonomous rides around major metropolitan areas. Waymo has now added new audio and visual alerts to inform passengers if a cyclist or other passerby is approaching the exit door. Waymo is a self-driving car project from Google’s parent company, Alphabet, Inc., that is approaching nearly 15 years of experience developing and testing various robotaxi vehicles in multiple states... According to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, collisions with bicyclists when a vehicle’s door opens into moving traffic is the second most common collision that results in injury or death. Waymo has worked to prevent the dangers of “dooring” by utilizing the sensor technology its robotaxis are already using to navigate city streets safely and autonomously." Link to Article

  • May 15, 2023 - AV fever has cooled off, but driverless cars aren’t going away - "Case in point: Toyota and tech giant Nvidia are two investors putting $43 million into Foretellix, an Israeli company developing autonomy and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). Foretellix’s Series C fundraising was announced this week, and company officials say it has already raised $93 million so far. That, and the fact that the funding comes partly from Nvidia — a graphics chip and software giant now making huge moves in the automotive space — and Woven Captial, Toyota’s $800 million global investment fund for mobility projects — says a lot about where autonomy is going. Granted, and as TechCrunch pointed out, it’s not quite on the level of the nine-figure acquisition and funding race we saw just a few years ago. Those moves saw things like Ford and Volkswagen’s investments into Argo, General Motors’ acquisition of Cruise Automation, and Uber’s ill-fated foray into self-driving taxis. But Toyota’s new CEO has placed “city-integrated autonomous mobility” among his top priorities for the future. " Link to Article

  • May 15, 2023 - Toyota Brings a Generative Design Seat Frame to the Next Level With AI - "The art of balancing the design, safety, and comfort of automobiles involves a lot of complexity—especially when it comes to adding more space to a finite area. Toyota is responding to the market demand to free up more room in the cabin by creating thinner and lighter seats. “While the current seat frame is designed to meet the strength requirement with trusted manufacturability, it is difficult to make it thinner,” says Shinsuke Omori, project manager in the Interior Design Department, Vision Design Division at Toyota Motor Corporation. “Designers do not usually work on the seat frame itself, but rather add materials to it, and that’s the restriction.”... Generative design, a technology based on artificial intelligence (AI) that is available in Autodesk Fusion 360, makes a good fit for this balancing act. " Link to Article

  • May 15, 2023 - Breaking Down FAA’s Blueprint To Get Air Taxis off the Ground - "The commercialization of air taxis and other advanced air mobility (AAM) services just moved one step closer to reality. The FAA on Wednesday released a new blueprint charting the future of the national airspace system (NAS) integration, focusing heavily on how air taxis and other technologies can operate in urban areas. Version 2.0 of the FAA’s Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Concept of Operations (ConOps), an update to the original 2020 document, brought together FAA and NASA industry partners to provide an industry roadmap for emerging aviation systems. It describes a “crawl-then-walk” approach to enable increasingly more frequent and complex operations via UAM “corridors” akin to highways in the sky. While the blueprint won’t hold any legal weight, it will serve as a framework for policymakers moving forward." Link to Article

  • May 15, 2023 - Going green: Nel Hydrogen to build in Michigan, work with GM - "The green hydrogen company Nel announced plans Wednesday to build a massive new plant in Michigan as it works with General Motors to drive down the cost of hydrogen. The Norwegian company makes devices that take water and split it into hydrogen and oxygen, known as electrolyzers, as well as fueling stations. CEO Håkon Volldal said the company will make electrolyzers in the Detroit area to supply up to 4 gigawatts’ worth of hydrogen each year, making it among the largest such factories in the world. Nel looked at every state, but picked the longtime home of the American automotive industry for its new “gigafactory” to be near General Motors. Michigan also offered attractive financial incentives, partnerships with universities and training programs, and strong support from the governor’s office, Volldal said. Getting the plant up and running will take an estimated $350 million." Link to Article

  • May 15, 2023 - Aurora announces autonomous trucking commercial pilot - "Driverless vehicle startup Aurora Innovation Inc. announced that it will begin a commercial pilot program with refrigerated trucking company Hirschbach Motor Lines, Inc. to “test and safely deploy” autonomous trucking for refrigerated cargo between Dallas and Houston. The announcement came Wednesday, three weeks after Aurora launched its first commercial terminal for autonomous trucks in Palmer, Texas, creating a model for an eventual network of terminals that will allow around the clock driverless shipping. The terminal uses driverless tractor trailers to move freight between Dallas and Houston for Aurora’s pilot customers, including FedEx, Schneider and Uber Freight. These trips still have a human driver at the wheel pending Aurora’s commercial launch of driverless technology in 2024... The pilot pairs the refrigerated trailers with driver-equipped tractors to navigate the 400-mile round-trip on I-45 between Aurora’s Houston and South Dallas terminals." Link to Article

  • May 12, 2023 - Connecticut test drive track opens $1 million course - "A $1 million test track has opened in Colchester, Connecticut, for vehicles that have Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. Cars with ADAS technology can drive around the 1.5-mile course, on and off ramps, around curves, and over hills to evaluate real-life driving situations, like cars lane drifting or pedestrians walking in front of a car. “There’s a lot of marketing going on there, but these cars are not self-driving — yet,” said Marta Tellado, the CEO of Consumer Reports, which owns the track. “The future may see that, and we need to be ready for it and that’s where this new loop is really going to help us adapt and not only test but shape the safety of those cars when they do come in the market.\" “‘Cause we have to get ahead of the technology, not just trail behind it,” she added." Link to Article

  • May 12, 2023 - Even Investors Seem Bored of Autonomous Cars - "The past few years have been an interesting time for the intersection of cars, robotics, and AI. It seems every company that built its brand on any of the three has been trying to develop that perfect merger—an autonomous, self-controlled car. Yet here we are, in 2023, without a single competent entrant on the market. Now, even the money is drying up, leaving only the diehards left. Jalop alum Patrick George, over at The Verge, looked into the current state of AVs. He found that investment in the autonomous car sector had dropped nearly 60 percent in 2022, and that more and more companies were backtracking on self-driving efforts. Investors are balking, money is drying up, the world of autonomy looks dire. But it doesn’t look dead. Toyota is still pushing onwards, working with Nvidia to back an Israeli firm that’s developing new autonomous and driver-assist systems. " Link to Article

  • May 12, 2023 - ‘The federal government is not doing their job,’ NTSB chair says about automated driving tech - "National Transportation Safety Board chair Jennifer Homendy sharply criticized federal regulators Thursday for not doing enough to monitor and test automatic driving technologies. She spoke at an event marking the opening of a Consumer Reports facility that will test increasingly common systems and features such as automatic braking, lane-departure technology and advanced cruise control. More than half of new vehicles sold today have at least some of these systems, according to Consumer Reports. “The federal government isn’t doing their job in that area. You’re ahead of them,” Homendy said of Consumer Reports. “The NTSB has called on regulators to set performance minimums for these features, to test vehicles rigorously against those standards and provide the results to consumers. But we’re still waiting.”" Link to Article

  • May 12, 2023 - Waymo Hits 2 Million No-Driver Miles And Expands Phoenix Robotaxi Zone. Can It Replace Your Car? - "Waymo has announced a major expansion of its Phoenix service area and modest expansions in San Francisco. It also announced hitting 2 million miles of operation with no safety driver in the car, just shortly after hitting 1 million. The company now covers a large contiguous area of Phoenix, Chandler, Tempe and Scottsdale, including airport service. They are now providing 10,000 trips every week to members of the public. These are all industry-leading numbers in the West. Waymo’s expansion in Phoenix offers a path to some important milestones for a real-world robotaxi service. It’s now closer to meeting a decent fraction of the needs of some residents of the Phoenix area and a bit better in San Francisco with the addition of Fisherman’s Wharf and North Beach. In particular, it can do much better at a tourist’s needs. " Link to Article

  • May 12, 2023 - Feds Hand Money to Cities for Safer Streets and Resilient Infrastructure - "In Seattle, they’re building new sidewalks, speed cushions, protected bike lanes, and ADA accessible curb cutouts. In Philadelphia, they’re constructing pedestrian refuge islands and traffic signal modifications. In Louisville, they’re reconfiguring — or “rightsizing” — ten streets to reduce speeds and improve traffic safety. All of this work is being funded in part by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) program, a $5 billion component of the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. And more grants are available to cities now. Traffic injuries and deaths are on the rise around the U.S., and more pedestrians were killed on the roads last year than any other year in the last four decades. The trend is a challenge to big cities, many of which have adopted Vision Zero policies aimed at eliminating traffic deaths." Link to Article

  • May 10, 2023 - Where the Rubber Reads the Road: Tire Makers Aim for Real-Time Data Streams for Autonomous Vehicles - "Companies like Goodyear Tire & Rubber and Bridgestone aim to equip the tires of autonomous vehicles with sensors that can gather and relay data on friction and road conditions, helping the vehicles decide, for instance, how fast to take a turn or how soon to start braking. But before that, these companies face a number of complications, including how to power the process and how to integrate data from the tires with feeds from other data-collection sources on the vehicle. Typically, autonomous vehicles are equipped with a configuration of radar, laser-emitting lidar and cameras to paint a real-time picture of street, traffic and other ambient conditions... Powering the sensors is one of the biggest obstacles to making that happen. " Link to Article

  • May 10, 2023 - Flying taxis are coming. Cities will need dozens of vertiports. - "McKinsey estimates that just one advanced air mobility operator could operate 20,000 flights a day in 2030. By comparison, Southwest Airlines, the second-largest carrier in the U.S., averaged roughly 2,900 domestic flights a day in 2021. Most eVTOL aircraft would fly short routes between downtowns and nearby airports or cities. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, these electrically-powered aircraft promise to provide more efficient, sustainable and equitable transportation... The consulting firm estimates that a large, dense, high-income city, such as New York or London, would need 85 to 100 takeoff and landing pads, which could be distributed among 20 to 30 vertiports. Medium-size cities such as Atlanta, Dallas or Denver might require 10 to 18 sites with up to 65 total pads." Link to Article

  • May 10, 2023 - A New Solution For Off-Grid EV Charging - "Yotta Energy clean energy startup based out of Austin, Texas, has been making waves in the solar field since its founding in 2017. Its newest product, which was launched in September of 2022, is seeking to provide off-grid charging for electric vehicles across the US. This product, the Yotta REV, is a deployable EV charger that is entirely powered by solar. These rapidly deployable chargers can be installed in 48 hours, use bifacial solar modules, and are grid optional. The REV is designed for year-round use and in all weather climates. Shipped in a standard shipping container, it has a vast amount of potential for deployment overseas in areas that experience large-scale power outages... REV Core has been deployed in several locations across the US. One of them can be found in downtown Austin, being used for EV charging. " Link to Article

  • May 10, 2023 - Audi deploys all-new technology intended to save cyclist, pedestrian lives - "Audi is one of the leading automakers taking steps to address these concerns and has partnered with tech start-up Spoke Safety. Spoke is using technology that allows the car to better see and identify vulnerable road users with the goal of preventing accidents between cars and pedestrians. NHTSA reported 72% percent of motorists interviewed after an accident said the reason for the accident was that they couldn’t see the cyclist or pedestrian. The device by Spoke transmits, receives, and communicates directly between the vehicle and the bicycle. Spoke is integrating its safety product into bicycles, motorcycles, and scooters and even recognizes pedestrians walking or running... Cities are also taking steps toward making roads safer for everyone by using connected vehicle technologies. The city of Peachtree Corners created a living tech laboratory called the Curiosity Lab. It includes a 3-mile test track on public streets where companies come to test and prove their technology." Link to Article

  • May 10, 2023 - Driverless Cars Collide With First Responders And Police On San Francisco’s Streets On A Daily Basis - "San Francisco is one of the only places on earth where autonomous vehicles roam the streets alongside regular vehicles. But as the cars have become more common, so have the awkward, frustrating, and sometimes dangerous interactions between them and first responders. A fire department official claimed that the incursions of autonomous vehicles have now become a “daily occurrence,” in the margins of an April 26 incident report, according to Mission Local. “This is an increasing problem. I believe there are many more incidents that are not being reported,” the official wrote in the report. In another note in the same report, they wrote that the incident was “number 3 today.” Indeed, Mission Local found 15 incident reports documenting dangerous situations involving autonomous vehicles operated by Waymo and Cruise. In each case, the vehicle interfered with fire vehicles or crews at emergency scenes." Link to Article

  • May 9, 2023 - Here’s Where Governments Are Testing Self-Driving Vehicles - "Pilot projects started modestly, first as experiments on roads closed to the public and exclusive to test crews. In the last few years, it’s become more common for AV technology to share the streets or sidewalks with traditional forms of transportation. In many recent test pilots, residents can experience the new technology themselves, free of charge. More than 100 AV projects hosted in partnership with nearly a dozen technology providers have been completed or are currently underway in the country. Roving artificial intelligence is rolling out in diverse climates and environments, and several government agencies envision it as a key piece of their future public services. Government Technology compiled a list of test pilot and active projects using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s AV Test Initiative, as well as public announcements from AV companies and government agencies." Link to Article

  • May 9, 2023 - Artificial Intelligence, Part 3: OK, it’s bad. But it’s also good, right? - "Stephen Smith is a research professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University. He worked on a team that developed an adaptive traffic signal network called Surtrac, which improves commutes during peak traffic times in Pittsburgh. AI systems collect real-time data on where cars are on the road to change the traffic light signals based on where traffic is the worst. The city partnered with his team after a pilot program showed it improved traffic flow and reduced average travel times by 25%. Not only does this reduce the number of headaches for commuters, but cars spend up to 40% less time idling, reducing that much more carbon emissions from the air. “There are technologies out there that will adapt the traffic signals to the traffic, but they tend to be applied to more suburban corridors where you have a main drag and then maybe side streets,” Smith said. “The problem we’re solving is one where you have multiple competing, dominant flows that change throughout the day, so you can’t really decide in advance where your dominant flow is. The system has to recognize that in real-time.”" Link to Article

  • May 9, 2023 - Mobility could be transformed by 2035, with US car sales dropping 30%: report - "Dive Brief: By 2035, mobility could be transformed by autonomous vehicles, the growth of micromobility, apps that connect people to multiple transportation modes, shared mobility and government regulation, according to an April report by consultancy McKinsey & Co. Private car sales in the U.S. could decline as much as 30% by 2035 compared with 2015 levels, as governments discourage private-vehicle use and consumers adopt new mobility options, the report says. “By 2035, the share of passenger miles traveled (PMT) in private cars will drop by about 15 percentage points,” the report projects. Private-vehicle use will vary considerably by region, according to McKinsey. In car-reliant metro areas like Los Angeles, private-vehicle use was 89% of the mobility market in 2022 but could fall to 51% by 2035, the report says. In rural areas, private-vehicle use will still dominate the mobility market, with McKinsey predicting their mobility share will decline slightly from 82% in 2022 to 80% in 2035." Link to Article

  • May 9, 2023 - DoT aims to layer cybersecurity into infrastructure grants process - "The Department of Transportation, at the forefront of federal efforts to modernize U.S. infrastructure, aims to ensure cybersecurity is embedded in a wave of historic investments funded through DoT under the bipartisan infrastructure law, but being implemented largely at the state and local levels. Cybersecurity is a top priority for DoT Chief Information Officer Cordell Schachter, he said in a recent interview on the sidelines of the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology’s spring conference in Arlington, VA... The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes tens of billions of dollars for investments in roads and bridges, railways, public transit systems, and electric vehicle infrastructure, among other investments... Meanwhile, the Biden administration’s recently issued national cyber strategy makes defending critical infrastructure from digital threats a major priority. Critical infrastructure includes broad swaths of the nation’s transportation systems." Link to Article

  • May 9, 2023 - Domino’s Is Ready For Driverless Future, But Future Isn’t Ready Yet - "One of the most innovative “mobility” companies in the world has been its largest pizza maker... But Domino’s has changed its strategy in another area of mobility where the company also blazed trails. After experimenting a few years ago with an autonomously controlled Ford Fusion delivery vehicle, the fast-food leader based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has backed away for now from further experimentation with driverless delivery vehicles. This move generally follows a retreat by many automakers from hot pursuit of being able to introduce a legitimately driverless vehicle in the next few years. “The only thing holding us back is the AVs themselves, and their ability to be broader in scale,” Domino’s CEO Russell Weiner told me recently. “And when they are in that space, we’ll be ready. You’ll need not only the auto industry but also government regulation to be on board.”" Link to Article

  • May 8, 2023 - Daimler just announced a $650M US-wide EV charging network for trucks - "Daimler Truck North America (DTNA) today announced a joint venture with NextEra Energy and BlackRock Alternatives in which they’ll build EV charging infrastructure across the US for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The joint venture is called Greenlane, and Daimler, NextEra, and BlackRock are going to design, develop, install, and operate a US-wide, EV public charging and hydrogen fueling network for medium- and heavy-duty battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell trucks. The more than $650 million joint venture’s first site will be in Southern California, and DTNA says in a statement that multiple additional sites are being acquired along various freight routes along the East and West Coasts and in Texas. Greenlane’s initial focus will be on battery-electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, followed by hydrogen fueling stations for fuel cell trucks, with plans to eventually expand access to light-duty vehicles." Link to Article

  • May 8, 2023 - Republicans Cry Foul on Grants Going to Electric School Buses - "Republicans say they envisioned the $5 billion in the infrastructure act for climate-friendlier school buses would replace older polluting diesel buses with a mix of ones that run on electricity, compressed natural gas or propane. But nearly all of the first batch of funding the Environmental Protection Agency has given out to school districts around the country has gone to help schools buy electric buses, according to the agency’s data... Experts and Democrats say districts are asking for electric buses in greater numbers because they cost less to operate than other kinds of buses and have a greater impact on the environment. And as the cost of batteries goes down, that will add to the savings that electric buses bring, said Chris Hendrickson, faculty director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Traffic 21 transportation research institute. Additionally, Hendrickson said, while buses that run on compressed natural gas or propane pollute less than those on diesel, they still use internal combustion engines that send greenhouse emissions into the air." Link to Article

  • May 8, 2023 - The Future of Transportation: The Role of Bike Lanes - "Bike lanes have a significant impact on traffic, both in terms of reducing congestion and improving safety. By providing a dedicated space for cyclists, bike lanes can help to reduce the number of cars on the road, which in turn can reduce traffic congestion. More protected lanes means more people leaving cars at home and opting to cycle, which is a win-win. “The big takeaways are that micromobility could decrease congestion, especially on highly congested corridors. But you’re going to need wide-scale bike lane deployment,” said Corey Harper, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University and one of the authors of a key micromobility study. Additionally, they can improve safety by separating cyclists from motor vehicles, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries. Studies have shown that cities with well-designed bike networks have lower rates of traffic fatalities and injuries." Link to Article

  • May 8, 2023 - The Most Annoying Hotel Guest Is the EV Charger Hog - "More Americans are buying and renting electric vehicles, and factoring charging stops into their travel plans. At many hotels, guests now expect EV chargers... Guests say some drivers leave their cars plugged in for hours on end after they’re fully charged, hogging the only available charger. Some hotel chargers don’t work or have capabilities different from what is advertised. And no matter which EV they drive, these travelers unite on the ultimate annoyance: ICEing. (For non-EV drivers: That’s when a vehicle with an internal combustion engine parks in a space meant for charging EVs.)... Some hotels provide free charging. Others require guests to unlock chargers with a room key. Tony Booth, founder and chief executive of Stay-N-Charge, which installs chargers at hotel properties, says many clients charge between 25 cents and 55 cents a kilowatt-hour, for an average cost of between $11 and $20." Link to Article

  • May 8, 2023 - New electric vehicle tax credit rules aim to reduce dependence on China, but present new obstacles - "The $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit in the Inflation Reduction Act, which Biden signed in August, doesn’t limit the number of credits, but ruled out the full $7,500 credit for new EVs assembled outside North America. In April, the Treasury Department, writing regulations for the law, narrowed the tax credit eligibility further. The regulations require that a certain percentage of the components and minerals in car batteries be sourced from the U.S. or in countries that are U.S. trade allies. Limiting the tax credit is meant to encourage EV component supply chains, which China now dominates, to shift toward the U.S. and its allies, said Jeremy Michalek, director of the Vehicle Electrification Group at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh... Michalek said he expects the new regulations to slow EV sales temporarily. Slowik and Brinley said they don’t expect the new tax credit regulations to slow EV sales, because the manufacturing increase will make more vehicles eligible for the credits and because demand for EVs remains high. " Link to Article

  • May 5, 2023 - Over 1 in 5 skip health care due to transportation barriers - "More than 1 in 5 U.S. adults without access to a vehicle or public transportation missed or skipped a medical appointment in the previous year, according to a new study that sheds light on a key social driver of health equity... What they found: 21% of adults without access to a vehicle or public transit went without needed medical care last year. About 5% of nonelderly adults didn\'t get needed care in the past year because of difficulty finding transportation, an experience more common among individuals from low-income families, people with disabilities and those on public health programs. Though 91% of adults said they had access to a vehicle, the figure was substantially lower Black adults (81%), those with low family incomes (78%) or a disability (83%) and for individuals with public health insurance (79%) or no coverage (83%). The study draws on data from the June 2022 round of the Urban Institute\'s Health Reform Monitoring Survey of adults ages 18 to 64. " Link to Article

  • May 5, 2023 - Worried about EV battery life? Research shows they could outlive the cars they power - "The good news for those in the market for an older EV is that, for the most part, batteries are reliable and long-lasting, according to a March study by Seattle-based battery analysis company Recurrent Motors Inc. The majority of EVs that have been driven more than 160,000 kilometres in Recurrent’s study still have at least 90 per cent of their original range left. That said, the study’s author, Liz Najman, researcher and marketing manager at Recurrent, cautioned that individual vehicles do vary and that Recurrent’s data are always evolving... The study, published last month, gathered real-world data from 15,000 EVs of various makes and models on the road in the United States... Unfortunately, how an EV’s battery will hold up over time is largely an unknown, simply because most EVs aren’t that old. Almost 30 per cent of EVs on the road today in the United States were sold in 2022, and the majority are less than six years old, according to Recurrent." Link to Article

  • May 5, 2023 - Daimler Truck adds Rizon medium-duty EV brand - "Daimler Truck launched Rizon, a new U.S.-focused medium-duty electric truck brand, on the eve of California regulators voting whether to require fleets to purchase 5%-10% EVs beginning in 2024. The coincidental timing expands Daimler’s battery-powered portfolio to cover Class 4 to 8 trucks. The production version of the Class 6 Freightliner eM2 is expected at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Anaheim, California, next week. Rizon trucks debut at the ACT Expo. Daimler made Rizon its ninth brand. Daimler introduced a new version of its medium-duty Mitsubishi Fuso EV at the IAA Transportation show in Germany in September. Executives said if the Japanese-built truck ever came to the U.S. it would be without the Mitsubishi Fuso name. The Rizon vehicles look remarkably similar to the new eCanter. Executives did not address rebranding questions submitted by FreightWaves on a Thursday evening conference call." Link to Article

  • May 5, 2023 - Where do driverless cars go when they’re on break? Some idle in Phoenix neighborhoods - "So what\'s an unoccupied Waymo vehicle to do? Downtown Phoenix resident David Clarke knows. “They’re picking spots where it’s perfectly legal to park. And they’re taking themselves there,\" he said. \"And they’re waiting, with the lights on, and the sensors still running.\" \"It might seem less strange if they turned off.\" Clarke lives in Garfield, an eclectic neighborhood just east of downtown. Last fall, he began to notice Waymo vehicles congregating on the street outside his apartment. \"Pretty much any time I’m home I can look out and there’s a 50/50 chance of one being there,\" he said. He would watch them pull up smoothly and stop at the curb, lights on, motors running, signature lidar detectors spinning endlessly. Sometimes there would be more than one, as if they had planned to meet at that very spot and hang out. " Link to Article

  • May 5, 2023 - Dude! Where’s my trailer? Outrider can find it - "Outrider Inc., whose automated distribution yard robotics led to a $73 million capital raise in a brutal market for startup funding, is adding computer vision and deep learning to track wayward semi-trailers. The patent-pending trailer inventory technology provides real-time tracking of trailers and containers in yards. That includes trailers missing radio frequency identification tags. Trailers are constantly on the move in distribution yards for unloading, cleaning, loading, staging and storage. Sometimes, they get lost. Finding them requires yard personnel to run them down either on foot or by driving a vehicle, then manually updating their location... Outrider uses technology already installed on its autonomous electric yard trucks to collect the locations of parked trailers during routine operations or as needed. Sensors and proprietary and deep learning-enabled computer vision algorithms detect vacant or occupied parking spots and capture trailer identification numbers and standard carrier alpha codes and other characteristics. " Link to Article

  • May 3, 2023 - The do’s and don’ts for sharing the roads with driverless cars - "4. Social cues won’t work with computers You can’t make eye contact with a driverless car at an intersection for a gut sense of whether it’s going to barrel ahead. You can’t wave your hand to make sure the car will yield to your family in a crosswalk. Instead of those familiar social cues, the “alternative is blind trust in a hulking piece of metal and programming,” Heather said. Phil Koopman, a Carnegie Mellon engineering professor who has worked on autonomous vehicle technology for 25 years, advised being extremely careful when you’re crossing in front of a driverless car without someone ready to take over the wheel — even if the car is stopped at a red light. “You couldn’t give me enough money to walk in front of these things,” Koopman said." Link to Article

  • May 3, 2023 - US DOT Forming Alliance To Reduce Traffic Deaths - "In a recent press release, the US Department of Transportation announced more than 30 new commitments from organizations that are supporting the National Roadway Safety Strategy and taking action to reduce the annual death toll on American roads, which currently stands at more than 40,000 people. This brings the total number of Department of Transportation (DOT) Allies in Action to over 80, and it’s a number the department is trying to expand... The U.S. Department of Transportation Allies in Action are taking a collective stand to improve safety on American roads and reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries. Their commitments span multiple sectors, from health and safety advocates to private companies, municipal organizations, law enforcement groups and more. All parties are working together towards a shared goal of achieving zero roadway fatalities through adoption of a Safe System Approach and a Zero Fatalities vision. " Link to Article

  • May 3, 2023 - Aurora lands exclusive partnership with Continental to scale autonomous driving tech - "The partnership is the first of its kind for the industry, Aurora said, which will see the Strip District-based company work hand-in-hand with the German multinational automotive parts manufacturer to design, develop and validate Aurora\'s self-driving system for the trucking industry. The two firms will also work to ensure the delivery and service of this system, which Aurora is hoping to initially ship before the end of 2024 as part of a subscription-based service called Aurora Horizon... The partnership will also see Aurora and Continental work together to devise a fallback system in the event that a driverless truck runs into a situation where it can no longer proceed along its route. Aurora said the partnership is one that is based on a hardware-as-a-service business model that will have its costs determined by mileage driven." Link to Article

  • May 3, 2023 - This is how a 3-year-old sees a city—and it’s not very pleasant - "VR95 is new virtual reality experience that transports users to a world many rarely see or consider. It’s not some fantasy land or extraordinary metaverse. Instead, VR95 (as the name suggests) shrinks users to see a typical city scene from 95 centimeters, or three feet and one inch. This is the height of an average 3-year-old child. The world, as seen through their eyes, is less than ideal. “Basically you see cars and traffic, noise and pollution everywhere as a child from that perspective,” says Dr. Sara Candiracci of the global design, engineering and planning firm Arup. She’s the Europe lead for Arup’s Social Value and Inclusive Cities efforts, and was part of the development of the VR95 tool. " Link to Article

  • May 3, 2023 - Pony.ai gets permit for driverless robotaxi services in China’s Guangzhou - "Robotaxi startup Pony.ai said on Wednesday that it had received a permit to operate fully driverless ride-hailing services in China\'s Guangzhou city. The Toyota Motor Corp-backed (7203.T) startup, which has operations in China and the U.S., now has permits for fully driverless robotaxis in China\'s capital Beijing and Guangzhou. The vehicles will not have humans in the driving seat nor safety operator. Pony.ai started driverless testing in Guangzhou in June 2021 and has accumulated nearly 200,000 fee-charging robotaxi orders globally as of this month, the company said in a statement. Last year, the ride hailing startup and Baidu (9888.HK) had been granted the first licences to test fully autonomous vehicles without safety operators as a backup in Beijing. Both companies won permits for driverless taxi services in Beijing last month." Link to Article

  • May 2, 2023 - U.S. Begins Planning for 6G Wireless Communications - "The Biden administration is beginning to plan for 6G wireless telecommunications, seeking to expand internet access while reasserting U.S. leadership in a sector where China has notched gains. The White House on Friday will meet with corporate, government and academic experts to begin developing goals and strategies for the new 6G communications technology, which would have the ability to take cloud computing and the mobile internet to true global ubiquity, among other improvements. The next generation of telecom is still years away from deployment, but it could pave the way for global internet access still unavailable with the current 5G standard, which makes smartphone downloads and wireless hot-spot connections faster. Expanding access to the internet has been a priority for the Biden administration as part of its infrastructure initiatives." Link to Article

  • May 2, 2023 - U.S. OKs spectrum use for vehicle crash prevention technology - "The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Monday approved a request by U.S. state agencies, some automakers, universities and others to use spectrum to deploy connected vehicle technology to prevent crashes, especially at intersections. The 5.9 GHz spectrum block was reserved in 1999 for automakers to develop technology for vehicles to communicate with each other to avoid crashes but has so far gone largely unused. The waiver request to use so-called Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology was filed in late 2021 by Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) AG\'s Audi, Ford Motor Co (F.N), Jaguar Land Rover, Utah and Virginia\'s transportation departments, Harman International, Panasonic Corp (6752.T) and others. The technology, if widely used in U.S. vehicles, could prevent at least 600,000 crashes annually, government studies show." Link to Article

  • May 2, 2023 - EU Slowly Killing Plug-In Hybrids, But Sales Will Accelerate In China - "Plug-in hybrids should be the perfect bridge between traditional vehicles and electric ones, but their days are numbered in Europe because of strict government regulations. The Chinese have other ideas. European Union (EU) carbon dioxide (CO2) rules ban the sale of new internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by 2035 and that includes plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), like the Peugeot 408 GT Hybrid 225e I’ve just been driving. The recent small gap in the rules for so-called e-fuel to extend the life of combustion engines demanded by Germany could lead the way for a PHEV amnesty, at least in theory, but that looks unlikely... PHEV range matches a regular ICE vehicle and defeats worries electric car range on long high-speed (but legal) journeys might be slashed by 30 to 50% because the laws of physics don’t like electric cars as speeds advance over 60 mph (see Databox)." Link to Article

  • May 2, 2023 - The Tesla 615kW Supercharger could be a game-changer for EVs - "The Tesla Model S Long Range has a maximum charging speed of 250kW and takes 27 minutes to charge from 10% to 80% at this speed. If the car was capable, and it was plugged into the new V4 Supercharger, that time could be reduced to just under 11 minutes. Of course, it\'s no longer just Teslas that can use the Supercharger network these days, so faster charging here could benefit all EV drivers. The Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 offer two of the highest-rated charging speeds on the market when plugged into a 350kW charger. Right now it would take these cars around 18 minutes to charge from 10% to 80%, but if they could allow 615kW and were plugged into a 615kW charger, that time would be just over 10 minutes. " Link to Article

  • May 2, 2023 - Cruise continues to burn GM’s cash as robotaxis expand to daylight hours - "Cruise, the autonomous vehicle division of General Motors, is now operating a “small” fleet of driverless robotaxis in San Francisco during daylight hours for the first time. The news comes as Cruise continues to operate in the red, losing $561 million in the first quarter of 2023. The company earned just $30 million in revenue for GM, though most of that money comes from interest and other non-operating sources. Cruise, which operates robotaxis in San Francisco, Phoenix, and Austin, says it remains on track to hit $1 billion in revenue by 2025 and $50 billion by 2030. Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt said the company expanded its driverless fleet size by 86 percent, from 130 to 242 “concurrently operating AVs.” The vehicles have since passed the 1.5 million miles mark and regularly conduct 1,000 driverless trips with passengers each day, Vogt added. " Link to Article

  • May 1, 2023 - Why Elon Musk is willing to bet Tesla’s profits on driverless cars - "Elon Musk is years behind on his ambition to render Tesla\'s cars fully autonomous. He is now saying in no uncertain terms that he is willing to bet the company’s profit margins on making it happen. Mr Musk said on a conference call that Tesla has the wherewithal to sell cars at “zero profit” and then earn immense sums later off driverless software. The trouble with that for investors? His predictions since at least 2019 that autonomous Teslas are just around the corner have not panned out... The challenge Mr Musk has had turning driverless visions into reality isn’t stopping him from going forward with markdowns that threaten to set off a price war. The Austin, Texas-based company has lowered the cost of its top-selling Model Y by 29 per cent in the span of just a few months. That has dented the company’s margins and worried investors who are concerned about deteriorating profits." Link to Article

  • May 1, 2023 - Bud Shuster, congressional ‘king of asphalt,’ dies at 91 - "Bud Shuster, a Pennsylvania Republican who served for 28 years in Congress, where he became known as the “king of asphalt” for the billions of dollars in public works that he directed as chairman of the powerful House Transportation Committee, died April 19 at his farm in Everett, Pa. He was 91. The cause was complications from a broken hip, said his son Robert Shuster. Dr. Shuster — a former computer company executive who held a doctoral degree in business — was elected in 1972 to represent an economically struggling district centered on the Appalachian city of Altoona. He quickly claimed a seat on the Public Works Committee, a predecessor to what is now the Transportation and Infrastructure panel. Dr. Shuster became chairman after the Republican takeover in the 1994 midterm elections and led the committee for six years. The Washington Post once described him as “arguably the last great committee-chairman power baron to walk the halls of Congress.”" Link to Article

  • May 1, 2023 - SEPTA Launches On-Demand Transit - "The Philadelphia suburbs will soon have a new transit option thanks to an on-demand service from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), reports Hannah Gross for NBC Philadelphia. “Riders will be able to request a lift through their phones and see when a driver could arrive. SEPTA says there will be a 30-minute response time from the initial request.” The service will cost $2 with a KEY card or $2.50 cash, the same as fare on SEPTA buses. “Depending on what software the transit organization acquires, it\'s possible riders will be able to schedule rides in advance or create a recurring reservation.” The service is designed to fill gaps in existing SEPTA bus service and expand transit to more areas and will use smaller buses equipped with bike racks. " Link to Article

  • May 1, 2023 - How Every Government In America Could Stop Its Own Cars From Speeding - "Some of America’s most prominent sustainable transportation advocacy organizations are challenging governments to embrace a ground-breaking technology that makes it impossible for drivers to speed — starting with the vehicles in their own fleets. In a webinar aired last week, a coalition of nonprofit leaders announced an ambitious goal to get 50 United States communities to install Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA) technology on at least a portion of their municipally-owned fleets by 2025 — an effort they’re calling the Safer Fleets Challenge. Already required on new cars in Europe and piloted on city-owned vehicles in New York City and elsewhere, ISA systems use GPS or road-sign recognition cameras to detect the current limit, and either warn the driver to slow down when they exceed it or automatically throttle the car’s velocity, with an override option that allows motorists to speed up briefly to pass." Link to Article

  • May 1, 2023 - San Francisco is a postcard from a driverless car future. Here’s what it’s like. - "While the vehicles have been tested here since 2018, they’ve more recently been allowed to drive around on roads during the daytime without safety drivers — people who are paid to be on standby in the driver’s seat in case something goes wrong. Waymo started one year ago, Cruise at the end of 2021, though they’ve been steadily increasing the numbers. That’s led to an uptick in incidents, residents say, from harmless traffic jams to accidents such as the rear-ending of a public bus. Living adjacent to Silicon Valley, San Franciscans are used to being beta test subjects for Big Tech. They’ve previously been privy to the launch of Uber and ride hailing, Airbnb short-term rentals, dockless electric scooters and sidewalk robots. But some residents are starting to question that arrangement, particularly as driverless-vehicle companies eye a next phase: offering rides to people in more places, 24 hours a day." Link to Article

  • April 28, 2023 - Cybersecurity agencies publish guide of cybersecurity best practices for smart city networks - "From self-driving cars that communicate with traffic lights to water management solutions and drones that can zip deliveries automatically across otherwise congested neighborhoods, there’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to the future of smart cities. Emerging technology poses an opportunity for administrators to create safer, more efficient and resilient cities by leveraging data that’s collected via sensors and procesed with artificial intelligence. But as smart city technology expands alongside its use cases, so do the cybersecurity concerns local governments must contend with. Guidance from the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) published Wednesday aims to help communities bolster their digital defences as they build infrastructure to support smart city solutions. The guide was created by CISA and the National Security Agency (NSA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and cybersecurity agencies from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand." Link to Article

  • April 28, 2023 - Take care in the cone zone - "Traffic slows in construction zones for a reason. Construction vehicles often pull onto and off highways, and here workers and heavy equipment operate sometimes just feet from the open lanes of travel. Drivers have to be alert when traveling through a work zone, and that means allowing enough distance between vehicles so a sudden stop can be made without a collision. That’s especially true in longer work zones — research conducted by the college of engineering at Carnegie Mellon University and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation shows that work zones more than 1.8 miles long could increase crash risks. The study also showed that road work conducted during the night does not increase the risk of accidents." Link to Article

  • April 28, 2023 - Legal Dustup Over Cost Of Accident Involving Driverless Car With Human Test Driver - "A driverless car company operating in San Francisco and a company that supplied it human test drivers have taken a dispute over who should pay for an accident to federal court. The case seems likely to prove that no matter how many human drivers are displaced by autonomous driving technology, at least an equal number of jobs will be created for lawyers. The autonomous car company Cruise LLC sued Thursday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco claiming that Actalent Inc., a Maryland company that provided test drivers for its vehicles, should pay for the cost of a 2019 accident. The dispute arises from a collision on Sept. 5, 2019, when Jonas Judd, a San Francisco resident, was on a scooter stopped at a red light, facing south, at the intersection of Gough, Haight and Market streets." Link to Article

  • April 28, 2023 - Tesla wins bellwether trial over Autopilot car crash - "A California state court jury on Friday handed Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) a sweeping win, finding the electric vehicle maker\'s Autopilot feature did not fail in what appeared to be the first trial related to a crash involving the partially automated driving software... The main question in Autopilot cases was who is responsible for an accident while a car is in driver-assistant Autopilot mode - a human driver, the machine, or both? \"When fatalities are involved, and they are on highways, jury perspectives can be different,\" said Raj Rajkumar, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. \"While Tesla won this battle, they may end up losing the war,\" he said, with people realizing Tesla\'s tech is \"far from becoming fully autonomous\" despite Musk\'s repeated promises over years. " Link to Article

  • April 28, 2023 - Portland wins $2 million federal grant for zero-emission delivery zones - "The Portland Bureau of Transportation has won a $2 million federal grant to pilot a “zero emission delivery zone.” The funding comes from the US Department of Transportation’s Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) grants program. On a newly published webpage about the program, PBOT says the demonstration project will start this summer. “This funding will allow PBOT to change some truck loading zones into ‘zero-emission vehicles only’ loading zones within a proposed project zone that spans 25 acres of downtown Portland. This area is anchored by public institutions, including city, county, and federal offices—all of which have strong commitments to taking climate action.” The program will be modeled after a similar pilot in Los Angeles. " Link to Article

  • April 26, 2023 - Iowa DOT testing drones in Iowa City area to get new views during traffic incidents - "In the Iowa City area, the Iowa DOT is working with Highway Helper contractor, Autobase, to test the use of drones. The drones help give a different vantage point to help to clear traffic incidents faster. The idea for the project came up when the Traffic Operations Bureau Director Andy Lewis learned about drones being used for quick clearance in other states... The Traffic Management Center uses a network of stationary cameras to see what\'s up on Iowa roads. Using the drone, they can get a bird\'s eye view of what\'s happening in the area. In addition to the live-streamed video, the footage and still images can be captured and saved for review to see if the traffic incident management principles that were used could be improved." Link to Article

  • April 26, 2023 - USDOT launches Intersection Safety Challenge to packed event - "The second day of the ITS America Conference & Expo got underway in style with the opening of the conference floor, the announcement that attendance, at over 3,000, is already record-breaking for the event and the launch of a new safety challenge from the USDOT, with US$6 million in cash prizes available... Later in the plenary, Robert Hampshire, the USDOT’s deputy assistant secretary for research and technology reiterated the importance of the safety challenge: “We know that last year 43,000, people died on our roads – 25% of these deaths happened at intersections,” he said. “We know this is a major challenge and it’s an area where we can make a big difference for safety. This is why we have announced the Intersection Safety Challenge, which is part of our national roadway safety strategy to get to zero fatalities.” " Link to Article

  • April 26, 2023 - Department of Energy Incentivizing EV Battery Development - "The U.S. Department of Energy is incentivizing new educational efforts to make the United States a leader in electric vehicle batteries... The DoE is partnering with Stellantis — maker of car brands like Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge and Fiat — to launch the Battery Workforce Challenge, a three-year competition aimed at colleges, vocational schools and other educational institutions. The goal of it is to boost not only the engineering brain power behind battery technology, but also the technicians who will be working on EVs. Starting this year, the battery challenge will include a battery design and development student competition, aimed at vocational schools and universities from across North America “to design, build, test and integrate an advanced EV battery into a future Stellantis vehicle,” reads a press release announcing the program. The Argonne National Laboratory will function as the government’s partner, which will work alongside Stellantis, helping to team with universities, as well as community colleges and vocational training." Link to Article

  • April 26, 2023 - New York City to test local delivery hubs - "Dive Brief: New York City will begin testing local delivery hubs this summer to reduce truck traffic and emissions in favor of more sustainable transportation options, according to an April 6 news release from the city’s Department of Transportation. Microhubs in the city will provide designated curbside or off-street locations for trucks to unload items onto low-emissions transportation modes, like electric vehicles or cargo bikes, for last mile delivery. The city DOT will launch up to 20 sites to test both curbside and off-street delivery sites in the program’s first phase, beginning this summer and extending into the fall." Link to Article

  • April 26, 2023 - Self-driving truck begins test run on expressway - "A test run of a self-driving truck has started on an expressway near Tokyo. A legal revision that took effect this month allows the operation of autonomous vehicles under certain conditions. The trial project is being carried out by T2, a company developing technology for self-driving trucks. The vehicle was on autonomous control in Wednesday\'s test run, although a driver still sat behind the wheel. The company aims to begin self-driving transport services between Tokyo and Osaka in fiscal 2025. T2 CEO Shimomura Masaki says, \"The transport industry is facing a worker shortage, but logistics are getting more complex. We hope this technology can help solve these problems.\" The Japanese government is planning to set up lanes for driverless vehicles along some expressway sections in central Japan next fiscal year." Link to Article

  • April 25, 2023 - Cruise control and assisted parking most baffling car technology features, drivers say - "Four in ten drivers feel they are not making the most of their cars – as technology like cruise control, assisted parking, and assisted braking leave them feeling baffled. More than half of motorists (55%) admit they didn\'t even realise their car came with certain features – such as lane assist (18%) or blind spot alert (19%) – until they had owned it for six months. Over two-thirds (68%), of the 500 car owners polled, who have a motor that is less than two years old, admit they struggle to fully understand everything that their car can do – from sports mode and electronic handbrakes, to connecting to Bluetooth devices, or wireless smartphone connectivity... The research was commissioned by Hyundai, which has also created a quiz to expose the untapped potential of modern technology in new cars, and give drivers the knowledge they need to make their car-owning experience more pleasurable. " Link to Article

  • April 25, 2023 - San Jose Plans Robocar Network Instead of Airport Shuttle - "On April 18, the central Silicon Valley city of San Jose, California, made a surprising choice: It granted initial authorization for a plan to develop a network of autonomous cars that will need their own dedicated roads. The system, known as personal rapid transit, or PRT, will feature sleek four-person electric pods that ferry passengers between San Jose Mineta International Airport and the city’s central Diridon Station, which serves as a hub for regional transit and maybe, one day, California’s beleaguered high-speed rail project. If everything goes according to plan, cars reminiscent of the angular coupe that Tom Cruise escaped from in Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report could be zooming on narrow paths running alongside traffic-clogged roads as soon as 2028. San Jose’s decision is a repudiation of both more conventional mass-transit options, such as buses and subways, and the orthodoxy in artificial intelligence circles that fleets of autonomous cars will soon be suitable for public roads. " Link to Article

  • April 25, 2023 - Undoing bikeshare’s original sin - "With two-wheeled transportation so popular, it’s no surprise that Minneapolis’s bikeshare system, known as Nice Ride, was among the first to launch in the U.S. 13 years ago. Usage dipped a bit during the pandemic, but Nice Ride still provided more than 260,000 trips last year. So it came as a shock when Racket, a local news platform, reported in March that Nice Ride would shut down. The reason: Blue Cross Blue Shield declined to renew its $3 million annual title sponsorship, which left a gaping hole in Nice Ride’s budget... In the Bay Area, local leaders have allocated $16 million to safeguard Bay Wheels’s future. “Unlike Minneapolis, we’re unwilling to lose the bikeshare provider,” said Andrew Fremier, executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which arranged the investment in Bay Wheels. “We weren’t willing to have bikeshare go dark.” " Link to Article

  • April 25, 2023 - WMATA to use automated cameras for bus lane enforcement in District of Columbia - "The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA/ Metro) has announced that it will add automated cameras to buses to keep unauthorised vehicles out of bus-only lanes and bus stop zones under an agreement with the District of Columbia. The new initiative, called Clear Lanes, is modelled after similar programmes, including San Francisco and New York City, and will be the first to use automated camera technology to enforce bus stop zones in addition to bus-only lanes. Clear Lanes aligns with WMATA’s Better Bus initiative to create better, more reliable service for bus customers. In the District, 140 buses on 31 routes that run along bus-only lanes will be equipped with cameras. Encrypted video and photos from the automated cameras will be sent via cellular directly to the District, which will handle the review, issue citations and collect fines. WMATA will not review or have access to the encrypted video footage." Link to Article

  • April 25, 2023 - At 50, FedEx faces new opportunities and challenges - "Last week, the company announced plans to consolidate its FedEx Express and FedEx Ground units, a watershed development for a company whose primary business units had always remained siloed. (FedEx Freight will remain separate from the new entity.) The new brand? Federal Express Corp. The consolidation is part of a broader plan called Network 2.0, which is designed to save the company $2 billion through fiscal year 2027. (Fiscal 2024 begins June 1, 2023.) As part of the cost-cutting framework, FedEx has rolled out an ambitious program called Drive, which the company said will save it $4 billion through the end of fiscal 2025. “The future of Drive will likely mirror the transformation that UPS (NYSE: UPS) went through in 2021, which means FedEx will be placing even more focus on customer profitability and cost containment,” said Branden Burt, director of parcel operations for consultancy TransImpact LLC. " Link to Article

  • April 24, 2023 - Automakers’ shifting strategies could open doors for 5G providers - "General Motors (GM) – one of the world\'s biggest automakers – recently said it would move away from Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in some of its vehicles in the future. The move is just the latest indication that some automobile companies are looking to recapture more control over drivers\' experiences. And that trend, according to some analysts, may well create some significant opportunities for 5G network operators in the US and globally. \"Connectivity will define the in-vehicle experience from GM. That means a lot higher degree of data exchange between vehicles and the network – probably evolving toward 4GB to 8GB a month, up from 100s of megabytes in the past,\" wrote analyst Roger C. Lanctot, of TechInsights, in response to questions from Light Reading. " Link to Article

  • April 24, 2023 - The $25,000 electric vehicle is coming, with big implications for the auto market and car buyers - "Look closer, and the work auto companies are doing themselves to refine EV technology — and, crucially, new manufacturing processes — loom as an even bigger deal. And that’s resulting in a series of newly-announced and coming-soon models that will make EVs much cheaper, and more mainstream, highlighted by Tesla’s first detailed public explanation of how its next-generation car due next year will come at a lower price tag, expected to start between $25,000 and $30,000. The rise of the mass-market EV will be a milestone — environmentally, economically, financially and even politically. And as the Biden administration pushes changes that seek to aggressively remake the car market in favor of EVs more quickly than previously anticipated. Hitting price points well below the $48,763 U.S. average new-vehicle price, which Kelley Blue Book says has risen 30% in the last three years, will make obsolete the shibboleth that EVs are an elite affectation of rich people. " Link to Article

  • April 24, 2023 - Exactly How Much Less America Walks Than Other Countries, In Five Charts - "Americans walk far less for transportation than residents of other industrialized nations, a new report emphasizes — the latest evidence that the nation needs to rethink its autocentric policies and put people first. In a new study published in Sustainability, mobility researchers Ralph Buehler and John Pucher took on the daunting task of standardizing a messy range of global data on walking trips to better see how the United States stacks up against its peer nations. The results probably won’t be surprising to sustainable transportation advocates, though they will be illuminating. Of the 11 countries in the sample for which data was available for all trip purposes, the U.S. tied for last with notoriously car-dependent New Zealand among the populations that walk for the lowest percentage of overall trips (12 percent). When it came to walking trips specifically to work, Americans moved only slightly more than Australians, at 3.0 and 2.5 percent of commutes, respectively." Link to Article

  • April 24, 2023 - Union City Mayor Endorses Express Lanes Pilot Program - "The government agency that oversees the Express Lanes along the Interstate 880 corridor in Alameda County have launched a pilot program intended to help travelers from lower-income households take advantage of lanes. Union City households with an income is no more than 200 percent of the federal poverty level, about $60,000 for a family of four, are eligible to participate in the Express Lanes START program and qualify for reduced toll charges in the I-880 Express Lanes. Toll discounts are based on the number of people in the car. Solo drivers enrolled in the Express Lanes START program will receive a 50 percent discount off the posted toll and two-person carpools will receive a 75 percent discount. All Express Lane customers in carpools with three or more people travel toll free." Link to Article

  • April 24, 2023 - Have We Outgrown Paratransit? - "By operating paratransit service in its current form, we are preserving a 1990s artifact that offers only a half-portion of what is available today, such as only “next day service” instead of the “just-in-time” service being enjoyed by customers of transportation network companies (TNCs); shared rides that are typically not commingled with riders of other (mainstream) services, which often result in longer ride times due to scheduling being dependent on the placement of the trip with respect to other customers’ trips, as well as trip time negotiation, which is the notion that eligibility for the service can be restricted on a trip-by-trip basis when the practical application of such vetting is difficult to implement – not to mention that restricting transit use should not be our objective. Efforts to perfect this version of service also fall short – now we have technology that more precisely informs the customer of how late the ride will be. " Link to Article

  • April 21, 2023 - Aurora opens first terminal for driverless trucks; awaits ruling on exemption request - "Self-driving vehicle startup Aurora Innovation Inc. has launched its first commercial terminal for autonomous trucks in Texas, creating a model for an eventual network of terminals that will allow around the clock driverless shipping. The new Palmer, Texas terminal uses driverless tractor trailers to move freight between Dallas and Houston for Aurora’s pilot customers, including FedEx, Schneider and Uber Freight. These trips still have a human driver at the wheel pending Aurora’s commercial launch of driverless technology in 2024. High speed data offload is among the new terminal’s features that will enable driverless operations. Fueling, weigh stations and on-site maintenance facilities are other features that will allow continuous operation of autonomous trucks... Separately, the Strip District-based company, which was founded in 2017 and employs about 1,600 people, is facing labor union pushback on its request to use an alternate hazard warning system for trucks stopped on road shoulders rather than the reflective triangles or flares now required by the federal government. " Link to Article

  • April 21, 2023 - Sheikh Mohammed issues new laws for driverless vehicles in Dubai - "According to the law, the city’s Roads and Transportation Authority (RTA) will oversee the acquisition of licenses, which will all be issued in Dubai. Only after a vehicle has passed the RTA’s technical test, which includes its technological ability to read road signs, can the license be issued. Only with RTA approval can operators transfer vehicle ownership, and operators must take responsibility for covering the costs of all damages in the event of an accident... It’s all part of Sheikh Mohammed’s vision to convert 25 per cent of transportation trips in Dubai to driverless trips by 2030. The launch is in keeping with Dubai’s future plans and in line with the city’s autonomous driving strategy. An agreement was signed with Cruise Company – an American-owned business, to provide the vehicles. It makes Dubai the first city outside of the United States of America where Cruise commercially operates these vehicles." Link to Article

  • April 21, 2023 - Arlington gets to work installing sensors, drawing parking spots for future ‘performance parking’ pilot - "While road repaving season has kicked off in Arlington, crews are working on local roads for another reason. They are installing traffic sensors in and marking some 4,500 parking spots in the Rosslyn-Ballston and Pentagon City-Crystal City corridors. The spots and hardware are the foundation for a three-year, $5.4 million state-funded pilot project testing out a new way to manage parking availability and pricing, dubbed “performance parking,” which kicked off earlier this year. Currently, parking is at a fixed rate and people have to find spots once they arrive at their destination, which can lead to double-parking or going somewhere else to, for instance, grab a meal. Using existing meters and keeping the Parkmobile payment platform, the pilot intends to smooth out competition for convenient spots by directing people to cheaper options farther away. Prices would also vary based on time of day." Link to Article

  • April 21, 2023 - Google throws open the doors for Android Auto smart home apps - "Android Auto is getting a new app category. Google has announced that Internet of Things apps (or smart home apps) for cars are now supported by the Play Store. Developers can now build smart home apps, and after an enhanced car safety check by Google, they\'ll be available for car screens. This has been in early access for a while, but now the feature is hitting general availability. As usual, the Android for Cars app program covers two different platforms: Android Auto and Android Automotive OS. The redundant branding means people always get these confused, but Android Auto is an app that runs on your phone. Just like Apple\'s CarPlay, you plug your phone into your car\'s dashboard (or it wirelessly connects), and the phone software takes over the car\'s in-dash display, using it like an external monitor. " Link to Article

  • April 21, 2023 - Battery electric train deliveries to quadruple in 2023 says IDTechEx - "The new IDTechEx report “Battery Electric & Hydrogen Fuel Cell Trains 2023-2043” assesses the global opportunities emerging for battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell (FC) trains as energy storage technologies advance rapidly. Granular 20-year forecasts include train deliveries, battery demand (GWh), fuel cell demand (MW) and market value (US$ billion) across locomotive (BEL), multiple unit, and shunter trains. The cost evolution of railroad batteries, FCs and green hydrogen is also explored to assess long-term feasibility. Indeed, the new IDTechEx report shows that demand for ‘untethered’ electric trains will increase rapidly over the coming years, with sales growing four-fold year-on-year to reach over 100 deliveries in 2023. The primary drivers are rail OEMs and operators seeking to reduce high diesel costs, as well as self-made climate targets set to align with broader goals such as the Paris Agreement and ‘Fit for 55’ in Europe. " Link to Article

  • April 19, 2023 - Traffic engineers learn how it feels to be blind at TTU event - "Have you ever tried to push a crosswalk signal button with your eyes closed? Or even tried to find the crossing ramp blindfolded? That’s what these traffic engineers did Wednesday, to find better ways to design signals and crosswalks from the perspective of being visually impaired. George Stern is a student at Texas Tech University who is visually and hearing impaired. “It becomes easier for someone to say ‘I’ll just stay home. I won’t travel independently.’” Stern said. Stern says he is challenged by simple architectural designs every day, from a lack of sidewalks and pedestrian crossings, to no automated crossing signals. “All of these no’s can accumulate to the point where someone asks a question, is it even worth trying to travel independently,” Stern said." Link to Article

  • April 19, 2023 - Researchers Are Teaching Self-Driving Car Systems To Recognize Road Rage - "The road to self-driving cars will almost definitely include someone trying to cut one off. That’s not a metaphor for anything; it’s literally going to happen. That’s why researchers from the University of Warwick in England are working on training self-driving cars to recognize road rage and then steer the hell away from it. Researchers from the university published a paper this week outlining the typical responses they say angry people have behind the wheel and help future autonomous vehicles respond appropriately. According to researchers, angry people drive faster, make more mistakes, and endanger others. In other news: water is wet, and orange juice is made from oranges. " Link to Article

  • April 19, 2023 - FedEx and Amazon still haven’t figured out sidewalk delivery robots. Will mass adoption ever come? - "Although FedEx and Amazon have taken their leave, the delivery bot sector still has seasoned and growing players. Leaders at these tech companies say using their robots to bring goods to consumers — versus a human courier using a vehicle — can offer advantages that have become more evident in recent years. Chief among them is the potential to lower costs within the final mile of delivery, considered the most expensive step in the shipping process. With autonomous or remotely operated capabilities, delivery bots are insulated from climbing courier wages that standard providers pass on to the end customer. Additionally, they aren’t as exposed to jumps in gas prices that took a toll on carriers — and then their shippers — last year." Link to Article

  • April 19, 2023 - Satellite, pay-per-mile tolling to be tested in Munich and Barcelona - "A new dawn for pay-per-mile tolling (also known as road user charging or RUC) is approaching with the announcement today (12 April 2023) that a satellite-based system to enable it is to be trialed in low emission zones in the cities of Munich, Germany, and Barcelona, Spain. The proposed solution, which will have a two-month pilot phase and will involve around 1,000 citizens who will be provided with a dedicated app, will test a demand-driven pricing strategy, where users will be informed on the payment defined by a fixed fee to access the low emission zone, and a variable fee depending on the number of miles traveled, the level of usage and congestion at the time of access. Abertis Mobility Services (AMS) will develop TDM (travel demand management) to simulate vehicle movement and traffic strategies as well as a back-office system. " Link to Article

  • April 19, 2023 - (UK) New smart motorways to be banned over safety concerns - "Fourteen planned schemes, including 11 already on pause and three set for construction, will be ditched due to finances and low public confidence, Number 10 has said. Existing stretches will remain but be subjected to a safety refit so there are more emergency stopping places. It will help create 150 more emergency areas for broken-down cars along carriageways. Smart motorways are a stretch of road where technology is used to regulate traffic flow and ease congestion. They were introduced in England in 2014 to ease congestion – and there are 375 miles of smart motorway, including 235 miles with no hard shoulder. But there have been longstanding fears after high numbers of fatal accidents involving vehicles forced to stop in live lanes, without a hard shoulder, only to be hit from behind. They also use the hard shoulder as an extra lane of traffic, which critics claim has led to road deaths. Around 10% of Britain’s motorway network is made up of smart motorways." Link to Article

  • April 18, 2023 - Autonomous vehicles could lead to lower premiums: Moody’s - "Policyholders could have lower auto fleet insurance premiums as autonomous and other intelligent technologies improve and there are fewer accidents, according to a Moody’s Investors Service report issued Wednesday. “As advanced autonomous vehicles become prevalent, accident frequency is likely to fall precipitously over time, and could ultimately translate into significantly lower loss costs and premiums for auto insurers,” says the report on autonomous vehicles. “Profits are likely to also decline, since most insurers set profit targets as a percentage of premiums,” it said... In a separate report on electric vehicles, Moody’s says these are more expensive to repair, and battery and electric cable placement make them more likely than internal combustion engine vehicles to be a total loss, even in minor collisions." Link to Article

  • April 18, 2023 - Ford launches Britain’s first hands-free car - "Drivers will be able to legally let go of their steering wheels for the first time on British roads after Ford introduced a hands-free system to its electric cars. The Department for Transport has approved the American giant’s “BlueCruise” system, which automatically adjusts speed, steers round corners and brakes while driving on motorways – although the car will warn drivers if they take their eyes off the road, and overtaking is not permitted. BlueCruise will only work on motorways in England, Wales and Scotland, using location sensors to register when the vehicle is on approved roads. Once enabled, the system will drive at speeds of up to 70mph, using radar and cameras to adjust speed and change position in a driving lane." Link to Article

  • April 18, 2023 - Autonomous cars confused by San Francisco’s fog - "Overwhelmed by dense fog in San Francisco early on Tuesday morning, five of Waymo’s fully driverless vehicles suddenly parked by the side of a residential street in what appeared to be a precautionary measure, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Another of its cars apparently came to halt in the middle of the street, the news outlet said. Other vehicles were unable to pass as “baffled motorists flashed headlights and tried to maneuver around the jam,” the Chronicle said. The traffic problems persisted until the fog cleared and the autonomous cars were able to resume their journeys... It said that after a “brief” stop, its cars continued on their way, adding: “We have software updates planned to improve our fog and parking performance to address such situations in the future.”" Link to Article

  • April 18, 2023 - Los Angeles startup wants hydrogen to power next generation of carbon-free jet travel - "Beyond a splashy paint job that included a big “H” on the tail, the 40-passenger turboprop jet that took off mid-morning March 2, from a small airport in central Washington, looked like any other regional airliner. But with that 15-minute demonstration flight, with two test pilots and one flight crew member onboard, a three-year-old startup in Hawthorne made history while providing a glimpse of a potential future with quieter, carbon-free air travel. Universal Hydrogen, which counts Harrison Ford as a hangar neighbor at Hawthorne Municipal Airport, replaced the jet’s right turbine engine with a 1-megawatt powertrain fueled entirely by a hydrogen fuel cell. Fuel cells operate similarly to electric batteries but are much lighter, which is key for flight. And rather than needing to be recharged, fuel cells are fed energy-rich hydrogen gas to generate electricity, emitting only water vapor along the way. " Link to Article

  • April 18, 2023 - Didi Shows Driverless Concept Car in Biggest Move Post-Crackdown - "Didi Global Inc. rolled out an autonomous car concept and self-driving taxi services Thursday, outlining its first big business foray since becoming a central target of Beijing’s sweeping campaign to rein in powerful tech players... Didi’s self-driving taxi service, known as Robotaxi, is available in some areas of Shanghai and Guangzhou on a limited basis. The company will move beyond the trial stage with the next generation of Robotaxi, which it plans to co-develop with renewable-energy automakers and integrate into its ecosystem by 2025, executives said... The Neuron, presented in white with various protrusions for cameras and self-driving sensors, was not shown to be operational during the event. It was described as 4.5 meters long, with three screens in the front and two in the back, sporting eight different cameras. Meng Xing, chief operating officer of Didi’s autonomous driving unit, demonstrated a giant robotic arm that swivels out from the trunk and helps passengers load their luggage" Link to Article

  • April 17, 2023 - US proposes to slash EV mileage ratings to meet fuel economy rules - "The U.S. Energy Department (DOE) on Monday proposed reducing electric vehicles\' (EV) mileage ratings to meet government fuel economy requirements, a move that could force automakers to sell more low-emissions cars or improve conventional models. DOE wants to significantly revise how it calculates the petroleum-equivalent fuel economy rating for electric and plug-in electric hybrids for use in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration\'s (NHTSA) Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) program. The current system has not been updated in more than two decades. \"Encouraging adoption of EVs can reduce petroleum consumption but giving too much credit for that adoption can lead to increased net petroleum use because it enables lower fuel economy among conventional vehicles, which represent by far the majority of vehicles sold,\" DOE said in its proposed regulation." Link to Article

  • April 17, 2023 - The Case for Flying Cars as a Climate Solution - "Venkat Viswanathan thinks there’s a “straight shot” from today to the technologies needed to build that future, despite all the jokes about flying cars being fantasy. The professor at Carnegie Mellon University is obsessed with building the batteries that will power these zero-emission aircraft... Viswanathan has worked with next-generation battery companies such as QuantumScape Corp., 24M Technologies Inc., and Aionics Inc., and concluded that aviation is “the most important problem that batteries can address,” he told the Zero podcast... The problem is that it’s hard to beat jet fuel when it comes to the right combination of weight and power needed to lift a plane (with passengers and cargo) off the ground. To make a battery that is powerful but light enough to accomplish the same feat is bound to be extremely expensive. That’s why Viswanathan believes the first application will have to be in the luxury market. " Link to Article

  • April 17, 2023 - Transit Study Reveals Robotaxis Causing Surprisingly Little Disruption On Streets - "The San Francisco Muni transit agency directed its drivers to make careful records of disruptions caused by the Cruise and Waymo self-driving robotaxis operating on San Francisco streets. We’ve seen a number of reports online, in regular and social media, of blockages and incidents, including the recent crash between a Cruise and a bus. As a result many have written as though there is a serious problem. But anecdotes are not the same as data. Wired magazine recently dug into Muni’s records and videos. Their headline says the opposite of what the data recovered say: “Agency logs show 12 ‘driverless’ reports from September 2022 through March 8, 2023, ... Overall, the incidents resulted in at least 83 minutes of direct delays for Muni riders, records show.”... Considering the volume of traffic, having just 12 incidents in 6 months is an astonishingly good record, much better than many were led to believe by the anecdotal reports. " Link to Article

  • April 17, 2023 - Self-Driving Trucks Get Their Own Lane on Japanese Expressway - "Japan’s embrace of autonomous driving is set to take another major step forward with the creation of a lane dedicated to self-driving trucks on the country’s busiest expressway. A section of the route between the capital city, Tokyo, and Nagoya, a city of 2.2 million in Aichi prefecture, could be reserved for autonomous haulage vehicles as early as next year. The self-driving lane will be featured on a section of the Shin-Tomei Expressway, stretching around 62 miles between Numazu and Hamamatsu, two cities to the south of Mount Fuji, Japanese media outlet Nikkei Asia was told. This portion of road is long and straight and has three lanes on each side, making it ideal to deploy self-driving trucks. It is not yet clear if the self-driving lane will also allow vehicles driven by humans." Link to Article

  • April 14, 2023 - GE Appliances folds EV and AV tech into fleet operations - "GE Appliances is one of the first companies in the U.S. to make two emerging technologies part of its transportation operations: battery-electric and autonomous vehicles. In some locations, it\'s both technologies on the same truck. The manufacturer\'s private fleet has deployed a fleet of Einride EVs to haul freight between GE Appliances\' inbound warehouses and manufacturing facilities in Kentucky, Georgia, and Tennessee. In Tennessee, some of the EVs are also humanless Pods that use Einride\'s artificial intelligence technology to haul goods. \"The move has improved our efficiency and reliability as well as lowered the cost of moving manufacturing materials and components in several critical segments of our supply chain,\" Harry Chase, senior director of central materials at GE Appliances, told FleetOwner." Link to Article

  • April 14, 2023 - Safe System Approach added to 2023-2026 Michigan Strategic Highway Safety Plan - "Gov. Gretchen Whitmer\'s Traffic Safety Advisory Commission approved the final version of the 2023-2026 Michigan Strategic Highway Safety Plan, or SHSP, Tuesday. The data-driven, four-year plan aims to improve safety for all Michiganders, regardless of their mode of transportation, according to the governor\'s office. A new change to the SHSP is the Safe System Approach, or SSA, officials said. The approach identifies key safety needs, guides investment decisions to eradicate death and serious injuries on state roads, allows statewide highway safety programs to work together to place and support resources, and addresses the state\'s safety challenges, according to the governor\'s office." Link to Article

  • April 14, 2023 - Gogoro in Taiwan helps drive EV adoption around Asia - "Taiwan’s battery-swapping infrastructure provider Gogoro is one of several companies helping those in Asia make the switch to electric vehicles (EVs). Battery-swapping has not quite caught on in the West due to the difficulty of implementing it for electric cars, according to Bloomberg. However, it’s an ideal solution for Asia with the ubiquity of two- and three-wheelers throughout the region. Switching out depleted batteries for new ones is quick and easy, while they also help alleviate range anxiety and push broader EV adoption. In India, almost 80% of vehicles sold are two-wheelers, while motorcycles and rickshaws are responsible for about one third of fuel consumption on the road, Bloomberg cited clean energy research group BloombergNEF as saying. Getting these vehicles to go electric could greatly help reduce emissions." Link to Article

  • April 14, 2023 - US union opposes driverless trucks waiver for Waymo, Aurora - "A major U.S. transport union on Tuesday opposed a request by Alphabet Inc\'s (GOOGL.O) self-driving unit Waymo and autonomous driving technology company Aurora Innovation Inc (AUR.O) for an exemption from rules on warning devices for large semi-trucks, citing safety issues. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said last month it received a joint application from Waymo and Aurora seeking a five-year exemption from rules that require drivers to place reflective triangles or a flare around a stopped truck to alert other drivers and help prevent a crash. Aurora and Waymo instead want to use warning beacons mounted on the truck cab to avoid needing human drivers. The Transport Workers Union of America said the petition is \"inappropriate, represents an overreach and a misuse of the waiver and exemption process, and would significantly diminish the safety of our roads. It should be rejected in the strongest possible terms.\" " Link to Article

  • April 14, 2023 - In Ohio, Electric Cars Are Starting to Reshape Jobs and Companies - "Ohio produces more internal combustion engines than any other state, making an adjustment to electric cars particularly urgent. Nearly 90,000 people work in Ohio for carmakers or parts suppliers, and several times that many are employed by businesses that serve those autoworkers and their families. The changes are putting Ohio at the forefront of a new technology that is critical to fighting climate change. But some jobs will become obsolete, and some companies will go bankrupt. It’s an open question whether the winners will outnumber the losers. “This is the largest transition in our industry since its inception,” said Tony Totty, the president of a United Auto Workers local that represents G.M. workers in Toledo. Mr. Totty is optimistic about the members of his local. But he is worried about other colleagues whose jobs are tied to gasoline engines, he said." Link to Article

  • April 12, 2023 - When Will Cars Be Fully Self-Driving? - "Around now, we should be relaxing in the driver’s seat of our autonomous cars, streaming a TV show or perhaps even taking a nap while the vehicles drive us safely to our destinations. That was the prediction several years ago by some auto-industry executives and technology experts. But after billions of dollars in research-and-development spending, autonomous-vehicle technology hasn’t advanced anywhere near the point where it can replace human drivers... The Wall Street Journal gathered three experts to discuss the future of autonomous vehicles: Alexandre M. Bayen, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California, Berkeley; Raj Rajkumar, a professor in the electrical and computer engineering department at Carnegie Mellon University; and Juergen Reers, a senior managing director at consulting firm Accenture who is part of its mobility practice. " Link to Article

  • April 12, 2023 - Cruise Recalls All of Its Autonomous Cars After Bus Crash - "The AV braked in response to the bus pulling out but did so too late. It rear-ended the bus at 10 mph. The apparent cause of the collision was an issue with how the AV interpreted the movement of the articulated bus that was involved in the collision. According to Cruise, the AV made an incorrect prediction about the position of the bus based on the front section of the bus which it could no longer see. Because of this, it couldn’t “see” the rear section of the bus. In response to this, Cruise worked on a software update that helped to recognize articulated vehicles. Within two days of the collision, the update was validated and pushed out to the Cruise fleet. Now, Cruise filed its voluntary recall to make sure the previous version of its software is replaced with the updated software. " Link to Article

  • April 12, 2023 - Meet Spike, an ‘Intelligent Personal Assistant’ for Mini Cars - "Future cars from BMW\'s Mini brand will include an intelligent personal assistant called Spike. Spike, who\'s based on the English bulldog that’s appeared in past Mini ads, will make his first major appearance at the Auto Shanghai International Trade Fair later this month, where he’ll be integrated into the cockpit of the Mini Concept Aceman. According to Mini, drivers will access Spike on the car’s circular OLED central display and dashboard. According to Carscoops(Opens in a new window), Spike will be included in the 2023 Mini Countryman, the 2024 Mini Cooper, and the Aceman Crossover SUV in 2025. Mini describes Spike as an \"active protagonist in the cockpit,\" which is maybe a fancy way of saying backseat driver? He\'ll also take center stage as a \"characterful companion for the user experience,\" the company says, which seems similarly meaningless. " Link to Article

  • April 12, 2023 - Colorado Department of Transportation looks to expand autonomous truck program thanks to grant - "\"Our paint striping always take place at slow speeds,\" said CDOT spokesman Timothy Hoover. That doesn\'t mean it\'s not a dangerous job. Drivers could slam into the crew while they are working. That\'s why they have a crash-absorbing truck with video cameras, signage and a safety bar following the them as they work. They call it an automated truck mounted attenuator truck. \"But basically, what it is, is a self-driving truck,\" said Hoover... That way in case a driver hits something it will hopefully be an empty truck. Instead of the truck full of workers or workers on the road behind it... This is one of two in their fleet and so far, they have been mainly used with striping operations, but thanks to a $1.9-million federal grant CDOT is hoping to learn how to use them on other job sites." Link to Article

  • April 12, 2023 - The Evolution of Tractor-Trailer Connectivity - "ATA\'s Technology & Maintenance Council is nearing the culmination of a multiyear effort to define the evolutionary direction of tractor-­trailer connectivity, even as more advanced technologies are becoming — or soon will be — available in the marketplace... The Next Generation Tractor-Trailer Interface Task Force of TMC’s S.1 Electrical Study Group held an important session Feb.28, marking the start of a process to evaluate potential concepts for a new connector to replace the long-standing SAE J560 standard connection that TMC and American Trucking Associations members helped pioneer several decades ago... Multivoltage requirements, solar installations, electric drive and regenerative braking axles, advanced driver assistance systems and automated driving systems — and the host of sensors, emitters and cameras that support them — mean the need for a new connector standard is increasingly necessary and urgent." Link to Article

  • April 11, 2023 - Ram’s electric pickup will top the F-150 Lightning and GMC Hummer in EV range - "An upcoming Ram electric pickup truck from Stellantis will offer up to 500 miles of driving range when fully charged, the automaker said Wednesday as it officially revealed the vehicle. That range would top Ram’s current gas-powered 1500 full-size trucks as well as all-electric pickups currently available such as GMC’s Hummer EV, Ford’s F-150 Lightning and Rivian’s R1T. Tesla has said its Cybertruck, which is expected later this year, would be capable of up to 500 miles of EV range... Stellantis executives said that while the 2025 Ram 1500 REV won’t be first to market when it becomes available for sale, expected to be late next year, it will offer leading capabilities for truck owners. However, the expected 500-mile range for the truck comes with an extremely large 229 kilowatt-hour battery pack — bigger than any all-electric pickup truck that’s currently available or expected from an established automaker. A standard 168 kilowatt-hour battery pack has a targeted range of up to 350 miles, the automaker said." Link to Article

  • April 11, 2023 - Walmart plans own EV charger network at U.S. stores by 2030 - "Walmart Inc (WMT.N) plans to have its own network of electric vehicle charging stations by 2030 to tap into the growing adoption of EVs in the United States. The new fast-charging stations will be placed at thousands of Walmart and Sam\'s Club stores, alongside nearly 1,300 it already offers as part of a deal with Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) unit Electrify America, one of the country\'s largest open public EV networks. Walmart\'s more than 5,000 stores and Sam\'s Club warehouses are located within 10 miles of about 90% of Americans. \"We have the ability to address range and charging anxiety in a way that no one else can in this country,\" Vishal Kapadia, Walmart\'s recently appointed senior vice president of Energy Transformation, said in an interview. As EV charging infrastructure ramps up in the U.S., there are widespread concerns over uptime, performance, ease of use and high installation costs of the machines." Link to Article

  • April 11, 2023 - Firm reports progress in turnpike ‘interoperability’ between states - "In the future, Oklahomans should be able to travel on turnpikes as far away as Florida or even New York and have tolls automatically deducted from their PikePass accounts, according to officials at a Texas-based company involved in establishing turnpike “interoperability” between states. For several years, turnpike authorities and other agencies across the country have worked to establish convenience in using one toll account to pay for travel across multiple states and toll roads. Electronic Transaction Consultants, based in Richardson, Texas, a company that provides tolling technologies and holds contracts with various states, announced this week that it has reached a significant milestone. According to a release, ETC helped to develop the Central United States Interoperability, or CUSIOP, hub, which facilitates the exchange of transactions between interoperable toll agencies. " Link to Article

  • April 11, 2023 - Kodiak Robotics shaves unibrow off its autonomous trucks - "The fifth generation of Kodiak Robotics’ autonomous truck design moved more components into mirror-mounted SensorPods, eliminating the “unibrow” of cameras and radars above the windshield that suggests a science project rather than a production truck. Kodiak is aiming for the same end-of-2024 time frame that competitors TuSimple and Aurora Innovation point to for limited driverless commercial runs of their autonomous trucks, albeit with a more streamlined appearance. Aurora moved to a cleaner integration in its latest versions of Kenworth and Volvo trucks, but the components remain." Link to Article

  • April 11, 2023 - How deadly are dust storms? - "A new research paper from NOAA’s Air Resources Laboratory published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society finds that dust storms – previously assumed to be rather rare and isolated to particular regions – are contributing to a larger number of U.S. traffic fatalities than are recorded. This research also proposes modifications to the current reporting classifications to more accurately capture dust storm impact. “We found that dust events caused life losses comparable to events like hurricanes and wildfires in some years,” says Daniel Tong, author of the paper and research scientist at NOAA and an associate professor of Atmospheric Oceanic and Earth Sciences at George Mason University. “Greater awareness could reduce crashes and possibly save lives.”" Link to Article

  • April 10, 2023 - NHTSA truck brake rule under review at OMB - "The White House is reviewing a proposed rule to establish a safety standard to require and/or standardize the performance of automatic emergency braking systems (AEB) on heavy trucks... While the proposed rule is required as a provision in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law on Nov. 15, 2021 — and which requires a rule be finalized by Nov. 15, 2023 — OMB is starting its 90-day review one week after the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that a rear-end collision involving a truck that killed six people could have been prevented if a collision avoidance system, such as AEB, had been deployed. Collision avoidance technology is also on NTSB’s “Most Wanted” list of safety regulations." Link to Article

  • April 10, 2023 - State transportation electrification plans fail to consider grid needs, new ESGI paper warns - "Transportation electrification loads are rapidly growing and could account for 27% of global electricity demand by 2050. Despite that, a new white paper from the Energy Systems Integration Group warns state transportation plans required to access federal incentives for electric vehicle charging have not been considering the locational needs of the U.S. power grid... The Federal Highway Administration announced last year it approved plans submitted by all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. But those plans “are not factoring in grid needs as part of their siting criteria,” ESIG said in its new report titled “Leveraging Locational and Temporal Flexibility in Transportation Electrification to Benefit Power Systems.” As EV penetration increases and charging stations proliferate, experts say new demands will be placed on electric utilities, though states including California, Florida and Texas said in their plans that grid capacity was not a concern." Link to Article

  • April 10, 2023 - Driverless bus service to start in Scotland in ‘world first’ - "Full-size, self-driving bus services will begin in Scotland next month in what is believed to be a world first. Stagecoach said the route over the Forth Road Bridge would launch on 15 May. The 14-mile route will run between Ferrytoll park and ride in Fife and Edinburgh Park train and tram interchange. Five single-decker autonomous buses will have the capacity for about 10,000 passenger journeys per week. The vehicles have sensors enabling them to travel on pre-selected roads at up to 50mph. They will have two members of staff on board. A safety driver will sit in the driver\'s seat to monitor the technology, and a so-called bus captain will help passengers with boarding, buying tickets and queries. The UK government said Project CAVForth would be the world\'s first full-size, self-driving public bus service." Link to Article

  • April 10, 2023 - Walmart wants to beat Amazon at its own game - "Well aware of the storm clouds brewing on the macroeconomic horizon, Walmart is doubling down on its supply chain-led transformation into an omnichannel retailer with an integrated, flexible and intelligent distribution and fulfillment network... Walmart management believes there are (at least) two big ways that supply chain investments can address the overall business environment. First, for Walmart, supply chain has always been a place of experimentation, where small investments that have proven to generate operating leverage can then be scaled. Second, e-commerce is the fastest part of Walmart’s business — growing 17% y/y in the fourth quarter — and connecting all of its inventory and rationalizing its network helps power that growth. But connecting all of its available products to an e-commerce application and building intelligent fulfillment for hundreds of thousands of SKUs wasn’t easy. In his supply chain-focused Investment Community meeting presentation, Walmart U.S. CEO and President John Furner explained the evolution of the company’s supply chains." Link to Article

  • April 10, 2023 - AT&T debuts portable emergency module for FirstNet - "AT&T launched a ruggedised, portable module providing mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity for FirstNet customers during emergencies. The Mini Compact Rapid Deployable (miniCRD) comprises two cases which can be carried by one person, providing multiple backhaul pathways while broadcasting FirstNet mobile and internet. There is a router and up to two hours of power. It offers a mobile range of up to a half-mile and around 152.4 metres on Wi-Fi. The unit connects to FirstNet through satellite or fibre backhaul. The satellite backhaul is provided by SpaceX’s Starlink with dedicated Band 14 connectivity when needed, nationwide spectrum set aside by the government for FirstNet. An AT&T representative told Mobile World Live it collaborated with satellite companies over several years to test and develop products and services for remote and challenging geographies. The miniCRD works across the US, with availability in Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and Pacific territories due later in the year. " Link to Article

  • April 7, 2023 - Tesla FSD Updates Appear To Be Huge Advances In Safety, Functionality - "Tesla finally released the long-anticipated Full Self-Driving beta version 11 software update recently. After a pause in updates, the newest version began to arrive, and now it has seen multiple point updates, which appear to make it markedly better. The new single stack has many added features to improve safety and functionality. Prior to the release of Full Self-Driving beta version 11, Tesla had paused updates for some time to deal with a related recall issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Then, version 11.3 arrived and there have been quick point updates ever since, taking us to version 11.3.4, which appears to be the latest software update currently. Tesla fans, owners, and investors have been eagerly awaiting version 11 since CEO Elon Musk began touting its release last year. This is because it marries the company\'s Autopilot technology with the Full Self-Driving system capabilities. " Link to Article

  • April 7, 2023 - Paris to ban e-scooters, despite tiny voter turnout - "Voters in the city of Paris on Sunday voiced support for banning the use of for-hire electric scooters in the French capital. The city government announced that 89% of voters approved of the proposed ban, while 11% opposed it. However, only about 7% of the city\'s 1.3 million eligible voters took part. Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced the vote in January, which she described as a \"public consultation\" rather than a referendum, to settle the issue of the divisive means of transport ahead of the 2024 Olympics hosted by the city. The pro-cycling mayor from the Socialist Party has come out in favor of the ban, calling the e-scooters a \"source of tension and worry.\" She had said prior to the vote that she would abide by the outcome and reiterated this when commenting on the results online. " Link to Article

  • April 7, 2023 - Uber and bp to provide fast EV chargers to the ride-hailing company’s drivers - "Uber’s goal is for all rides to be in zero-emission vehicles by 2030 in the U.S. and Canada. Drivers using Uber’s app will receive discounts for charging their vehicles with bp pulse, the energy company’s EV charging business. “The two companies will also explore working together on convenience and fuel offers,” the press release said. More than 4% of all trip-miles on the Uber platform in the U.S. and Canada during the third quarter of 2022 were completed by zero-emission vehicles, an Uber spokesperson said in an email. That represented a leap of more than 11 times compared to the first half of 2021. The Uber spokesperson also said that electric vehicle uptake by drivers using Uber’s app in the U.S. is now eight times higher than that of drivers in the general population." Link to Article

  • April 7, 2023 - ODOT awarded $1.9M grant to improve road safety through innovative tech - "The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has been awarded $1,998,000 by the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) discretionary grant program to fund a new way to deal with crashes. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) made the announcement Monday saying the funds will be used to construct two proofs of concept aimed at addressing, mitigating, and reporting accidents within Ohio. “Because of our work on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are working to make Ohio roads safer for the millions of Ohioans who travel on them each day,” said Brown. “This investment will build plans to help prevent serious accidents and keep pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers safe.” " Link to Article

  • April 7, 2023 - Zoox Hired a Classically-Trained Musician to Craft the Sound of its Self-Driving Taxi - "Carmakers face a new problem with EVs, which are so quiet in operation that they can be dangerous for pedestrians and fellow drivers alike. The fully-electric autonomous robotaxis that Zoox is developing (and planning to deploy on public roads soon) present a similar problem, albeit twofold, as the Amazon-backed AVs need to emit sounds that are simultaneously soothing, yet firm enough to make passengers listen for important audio cues in the cabin. So, Zoox hired classically-trained musician Jeremy Yang to come up with a new sound profile for its robotaxis, meant to combine a relaxing soundtrack with insistent beeps and boops to convince users to buckle up, or fully close a door that’s ajar, as Wired reports. That balance of soothing and annoying has been hard to master, but the company believes it has successfully done it by evoking airy synthesizers with an “ambient hum” in the cabin — broken up only by prompts that convey increasing levels of urgency based on the situation." Link to Article

  • April 5, 2023 - Our streets are getting smarter — here’s what roads could look like in the future - "As we look to the future, CNN explores four possible ways smart street technology will evolve... From voice assistants to social media algorithms, AI has become an integral part of our daily lives. And when it comes to cities, it is already playing a crucial role with real-time technology that can help inform new urban safety measures and efficiencies -- and much of that data is coming from our roads... German tech startup Magment is one of the companies at the forefront of wireless transfer charging, developing power transfer pads made from recycled materials to integrate into the road\'s surface... Heat gets trapped between buildings and is exacerbated by pollution, creating what is called the urban heat island effect. In Phoenix, Arizona, the local government is developing technology to combat this... The mobile nature of jigsaw roads will allow cities to adapt quickly to traffic patterns, construction needs, or emergencies. " Link to Article

  • April 5, 2023 - While On-Road Driverless Slows, Ag-Tech Autonomy Players Are Plowing Ahead - "The mood of investors is uncertain, especially given troubles in the banking sector. Against this backdrop, the off-road world is becoming increasingly interesting for companies developing autonomy. Caterpillar and Komatsu brought the first commercial ADS’s to mining operations well over a decade ago. At that time, although the tech was very expensive, a business case could be made for equipping the huge mine-hauling trucks at open pit mines. Since that time, thanks to the tidal wave of AV development for passenger cars, trucks, robo-shuttles, delivery robots, and more, the tech cost has now come down to reasonable levels for other types of industrial operations. Plus, the tech robustness has progressed by leaps and bounds. The result? Use cases are expanding rapidly in areas such as agriculture and construction. For this article, I’ll dig into the Ag space to examine the linkages with on-road autonomy." Link to Article

  • April 5, 2023 - Electric cars will not eliminate fine dust pollution caused by tyres and brakes - "Researchers from the University of Malta showed that only 3.4% of particulate matter (PM10) originated from car exhaust pipes. Dust caused by tyre and brake friction is an overlooked reality that will not go away with electric vehicles. Particulate matter is finely divided solids or liquids that are dispersed through the air via a combustion process, industrial activity or natural process. They are microscopic particles that remain suspended in the air. Exposure to such particles can affect both lungs and the heart. Numerous scientific studies have linked particle pollution exposure to a variety of problems, including premature death in people with heart or lung disease. The researchers found that non-exhaust emissions contributed to 35% of the particulate matter collected in their experiment on Malta’s roads." Link to Article

  • April 5, 2023 - Aurora points to driverless trucks in Texas in 2024 - "Aurora Innovation expects to begin running driverless trucks between Dallas and Houston by the end of 2024. It is the second autonomous truck software maker to declare it is nearly ready with a driver-out program. Version 6.0 of the Aurora Driver system can recognize when a truck equipped with the software has been in an accident — such as a sideswipe — and pull over to the side of the road. It also can call a command center specialist to get instructions on how to proceed when extreme weather occurs... The two rare events wrap up Aurora’s “feature complete” menu. Aurora earlier worked out more common maneuvers like negotiating lane changes, construction zones and unprotected turns. It also solved for less common scenarios like scattered road debris and emergency vehicles... Rival TuSimple expects to begin driver-out commercial runs between Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona, in 2024. TuSimple has run driverless pilots on the route since December 2021." Link to Article

  • April 5, 2023 - NaaS Technology Shares Rise 11% After New EV Charging Robot Launched - "NaaS Technology Inc. shares were up 11% at $7.40 after saying it has launched the first automatic charging robot developed in-house by the company, with features including active vehicle locating, smart charging and automatic payment settlement. The electric vehicle charging service provider said that with the future popularization of self-driving vehicles, compatible automatic charging robots will become indispensable infrastructure. NaaS said that its waterproof and shock-proof charging robot allows one-click ordering, active vehicle locating, precise self-parking, automatic docking, charging and undocking via mechanical arms, as well as automatic return and recharging functions. It is available in various charging power and battery capacity configurations." Link to Article

  • April 4, 2023 - The tech helping driverless cars see round corners - "Sitting in front of a bank of TV screens showing busy London streets, he\'s explaining to me how a network of roadside cameras is helping a self-driving car to navigate heavy traffic. The cameras are used to help the car identify potential hazards in advance, before they can be picked up by its own sensors. This allows it to anticipate problems, and progress more smoothly through traffic. The system has been on trial on the roads of Woolwich, in south-east London, as part of the ServCity project which aims to refine autonomous technologies for busy city streets. The scheme, which has been operating for three years, is run by a consortium including Nissan, Hitachi Europe, the Transport Research Laboratory and the University of Nottingham, among others... This project, however, has focused specifically on finding ways for the car to use roadside infrastructure, such as traffic cameras, to improve its awareness - and allow it to drive more smoothly. " Link to Article

  • April 4, 2023 - San Francisco’s self-driving cars have a hit-and-run problem. Usually, they’re the victims. - "An Infiniti Q50 performing “donuts,” a popular and unlawful pastime for some of the city’s night owls, in the middle of the intersection. The two vehicles collided head-on, according to a report that the company later sent to state authorities. Cruise said its vehicle suffered moderate damage, but that no one was injured. The experimental car had no driver at the time — an increasingly common sight in San Francisco — as part of an ongoing test of late-night robotaxis. Whether the Infiniti driver suffered any damage or injuries isn’t clear. They didn’t stick around. It was the latest example of a pattern bedeviling tech companies that are trying to make driverless cars a reality: hit-and-run crashes seemingly caused by human drivers, according to a review by NBC News of collision reports filed with the California Department of Motor Vehicles. " Link to Article

  • April 4, 2023 - May Mobility and Stantec partner to advance AV microtransit services - "May Mobility, an autonomous vehicle technology developer, and Stantec, a design and engineering firm, announced a partnership Tuesday to develop “turnkey AV microtransit solutions,” the companies said in a press release. Microtransit consists of “small-scale, on-demand public transit services that can offer fixed routes and schedules, as well as flexible routes and on-demand scheduling,” according to the American Public Transportation Association website. Established in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 2017, May Mobility has partnered with Via since 2021 to provide on-demand microtransit using AVs in three cities: Arlington, Texas; Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The two companies recently announced plans to bring “thousands more AVs into the public transit systems of cities around the globe.” May Mobility is transitioning its fleet to the Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS (a reference to mobility-as-a-service) minivan, a hybrid-electric vehicle produced in Indiana and outfitted by BraunAbility to be wheelchair accessible, a spokesperson said." Link to Article

  • April 4, 2023 - Kia’s EV9 electric SUV will offer Level 3 autonomy and a 336-mile range - "Kia is finally sharing some specs for the EV9 electric SUV, and they may be good news for families planning road trips. The three-row EV will now include Level 3 self-driving (that is, the car drives itself in some situations but may need you to take over) in some countries when you spring for the GT-line trim. The planned Highway Driving Pilot will use LiDAR and other sensors to let you “take a break” from driving, where conditions allow... Like it or not, Kia is joining the ranks of automakers locking car features behind digital purchases. You\'ll need to buy items from the company\'s Connect Store to enhance the pattern lighting on the grille, and even to add a \"Boost\" that delivers extra torque for a 0-62MPH dash in 5.3 seconds. Yes, you\'ll have to pay for features your EV9 can technically handle. " Link to Article

  • April 4, 2023 - Caught on camera: Teen jumps on driverless Waymo car in Arizona before alerts scared them away - "A self-driving car in Downtown Phoenix was harassed by teens on Mar. 24, and our cameras were there when the incident happened... One of the teens first attempted to open the door. \"The door handles are locked, and thanks to the Jaguar platform, they\'re tucked away, so as you can see, the cyclist wasn\'t even able to get into the car,\" said Vishay Nihalani. The teen then got on top of the Waymo\'s hood, posing for a photo. The car, however, used its self-defense features to scare them off. \"Once it detects that these people are interfering with the driver of the car, it emits a noise or an audio prompt that really tells these the pedestrians to please move away and let the car proceed,\" said Nihalani... The car was not damaged, and the teens were not hurt... Waymo officials say their cars are always watching, as the cars have cameras." Link to Article

  • April 3, 2023 - Electric roads could reduce vehicle battery size and cure ‘range anxiety’ - "Now researchers from Chalmers have used data from over 400 passenger cars to study real driving patterns on different parts of Swedish national and European roads. They have used the data to calculate, among other things, the battery size needed to complete all journeys given possible charging options – stationary versus ERS – charging patterns, and total costs including infrastructure and batteries. This proportion of ERS would allow batteries, which account for a large part of the cost for an electric car, to become significantly smaller – maybe only one-third of their current size... Another possible benefit is that peaks in electricity consumption could be reduced if car drivers did not entirely rely on home charging but also supplemented it with electric road charging... The Swedish Transport Administration is building a 21-kilometre stretch between Örebro and Hallsberg alongside the E20 motorway. The new electric road is expected to be completed in 2026." Link to Article

  • April 3, 2023 - With $1B in the bank, reputationally dinged TuSimple looks ahead - "TuSimple Holdings needs closure on a raft of investigations before it can reclaim technology leadership in the nascent autonomous trucking industry. But a balance sheet with nearly $1 billion is a big advantage. “Our runway is three years, and that’s excluding any strategic decision on China,” TuSimple Chief Financial Officer Eric Tapia told FreightWaves in an interview at the company’s testing operations site. “China’s a great business. They have some interesting initiatives with OEMs. But right now, even if we wanted to, we cannot sell it as we have this regulatory cloud.” It is more than a single cloud. The need to keep its U.S.-based intellectual property separate from TuSimple’s China operations led to a national security agreement that TuSimple signed in February 2022 with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. The interagency committee overseen by the Department of Treasury is still looking into TuSimple. Shedding the China business presumably would help satisfy the CFIUS." Link to Article

  • April 3, 2023 - North Carolina DOT wins $1.5M federal transportation grant to expand traveler information - "The North Carolina Department of Transportation announced Wednesday it had received a federal grant of $1.5 million to improve road safety, particularly in work zones. The funding, made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) grant program. NCDOT will use the money to develop a system that alerts travelers to safety needs along roadways, such as the need to slow down, stop or change lanes. Currently, the program is used on a small scale to alert commercial truck drivers about slow traffic. This new project will allow NCDOT to alert travelers in real-time via their smartphones, navigation apps, and other technology of safety issues ahead of them. Kelly Wells, the department’s traveler information engineer who helped write the grant application, said equipping drivers with more timely alerts about sudden changes in traffic conditions will help reduce crashes." Link to Article

  • April 3, 2023 - Will autonomous trucks need ELDs? No — well, maybe - "Driverless trucks, which may or may not be the future state of long-haul heavy-duty trucking, likely won’t need electronic logging devices. Nor will hours-of-service regulations apply to them. But the reality is more nuanced... According to AV 3.0 guidance from the Department of Transportation in 2019, federal regulations covering autonomous vehicles “will no longer assume that the CMV driver is always human or that a human is necessarily present onboard a commercial vehicle during its operation.” So, human-specific rules such as drug testing, hours of service, commercial driver’s licenses or physical qualification requirements would not apply. The developers of autonomous software want to see this guidance become federal law. They’ve spent billions in research and development to prepare for robot-driven trucks... Driverless trucks expect to operate in a hub-to-hub model. Human drivers would drive a load to the originating hub. They would be met at the destination hub by other human drivers. " Link to Article

  • April 3, 2023 - How cities can center equity in EV charging - "Last year, municipal utility Seattle City Light launched a project to install approximately 30 public, fast electric vehicle chargers across Seattle. While many cities are building EV charging stations to support vehicle electrification and city climate goals, City Light’s pilot project was unique in how it chose its EV charger locations. Instead of selecting potential locations and getting customer feedback afterward, the utility asked its Seattle customers to tell it where they want EV charging stations, said Angela Song, transportation electrification portfolio manager at City Light. The utility received just under 2,000 applications for public EV chargers, Song said, and that interest was evenly distributed across the city’s districts. She identified “listening to the community and understanding their needs” as two key requirements for city leaders installing EV charging infrastructure." Link to Article

  • March 31, 2023 - Florida DOT Creates Concrete ‘Test Road’ On U.S. 301 - "Motorists on northbound U.S. 301 will soon play an important role in an effort by the Florida Department of Transportation to identify the most effective concrete pavement designs for statewide usage. The agency said its new concrete “test road” is the first of its kind in the southeastern United States; a field laboratory that uses “live” traffic flow to test concrete pavement and base designs. Pavement testing equipment and monitors are strategically placed along the four-mile roadway segment, allowing Florida DOT engineers to monitor pavement conditions as its subjected to vehicular traffic in real time, including heavy truck traffic. The concrete test road’s design also uses the existing U.S. 301 northbound lanes to divert traffic off the test road when needed, providing agency engineers with full access to the test areas – allowing for new test sections to be constructed without interruption to U.S. 301 traffic." Link to Article

  • March 31, 2023 - New Trucking Coalition Focuses on Clean Energy - "A broad-based group representing motor carriers, truck manufacturers and truck dealers has launched a coalition intended to serve as a collective voice for key trucking industry stakeholders. Members of the group, known as the Clean Freight Coalition, include American Trucking Associations, American Truck Dealers, National Tank Truck Carriers, Truckload Carriers Association and Truck & Engine Manufacturers Association, according to a March 23 announcement. The coalition’s mission includes: Educate policymakers on the progress the trucking industry has made in reducing emissions and protecting the environment. Promote the work underway to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from freight transportation. Advocate for sound public policies that transition toward a zero-emission future in a manner that ensures affordable and reliable freight transportation and protects the nation’s supply chain. Jim Mullen will serve as CFC’s executive director. " Link to Article

  • March 31, 2023 - The Paper-Thin Steel Needed to Power Electric Cars Is in Short Supply - "Large U.S. steelmakers are ramping up production of a hard-to-make, paper-thin steel to capture a fast-growing market for a material critical to powering electric vehicles. Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. CLF 0.39%increase; green up pointing triangle and U.S. Steel Corp. X 1.36%increase; green up pointing triangle are jockeying with a small group of foreign-based steelmakers that produce electrical steel, used to convert electricity into mechanical power for motors in products that include washing machines, air conditioners, power tools and more recently, electric vehicles. Such electrical steel, which accounts for about 1% of all the steel produced annually in the world, already is in short supply for electric vehicles, executives said. Companies expect demand to accelerate faster than production as EV volumes expand in the coming years." Link to Article