• June 27, 2022 - Why It’s So Hard to Convince the Public on Transportation Projects - "Engineers and the general public often hold attitudes on transportation topics that directly contradict core tenets of the transportation planning profession, and those differences are especially stark when it comes to reducing the use of automobiles, a new study found. The contrasts start with the purpose of transportation policy itself. The study, conducted by several planning professors and published in the Journal of Planning Education and Research, found 83% of transportation planning students supported the goal of reducing driving, compared to only 52% of engineering students. The public was even more skeptical. Just 31% of respondents agreed with that goal... Kelcie Ralph, a Rutgers university planning professor and one of the authors of the study, said one of the most striking findings was the difference in how people explained why American society had become so oriented around automobiles." Link to Article

  • June 24, 2022 - Electric bike motor maker Bafang unveils new 3-speed automatic shifting hub transmission - "Chinese manufacturer Bafang is a titan of the electric bike motor industry, and thus news swirling around the company generally trends toward new motor announcements. But the latest headline-grabbing product unveiling from Bafang isn’t a motor at all, but rather an internally geared hub designed to provide automatic shifting on both electric and non-electric bikes. The new Bafang hub offers three gear ratios and is able to shift between the gears automatically based on the bike’s speed. The hub is designed to fit a wide variety of wheel diameters and thus can have its cadence-based shifting points adjusted to meet changing wheel sizes and bike requirements. Unlike some internally geared hubs that weren’t originally designed for the high torque of electric motors, Bafang’s offering is intended to withstand powerful motors pulling up to 80 Nm of torque." Link to Article

  • June 24, 2022 - Self-driving cars crash, too, but figuring out what it means requires much better data - "“The data released today is a good start, but it doesn’t provide an apples-to-apples comparison of advanced vehicle safety,” National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy said in a statement. “What NHTSA provided was a ‘fruit bowl’ of data with a lot of caveats, making it difficult for the public and experts alike to understand what is being reported. Independent analysis of the data is key to identifying any safety gaps and potential remedies.” But given the wide disparity between each company’s abilities to obtain and verify crash reports, the data is likely to remain unstandardized for quite some time. “Standardization would be premature,” said Raj Rajkumar, a professor of computer and electrical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. “Just the ‘catch-all’ policy where carmakers are required to report all ADAS incidents captures the core information.” " Link to Article

  • June 24, 2022 - Lyft reaches $25 million settlement of claims it hid safety problems before IPO - "Lyft Inc (LYFT.O) has reached a $25 million settlement to resolve shareholder claims that the ride-hailing company concealed safety problems, including sexual assaults by drivers, prior to its 2019 initial public offering. The preliminary all-cash settlement was filed on Thursday with the federal court in Oakland, California, and requires approval by U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. Lyft denied wrongdoing in agreeing to settle. The San Francisco-based company raised $2.34 billion in its IPO, becoming the first ride-hailing business to go public. But its share price fell below the $72 IPO price less than two weeks after trading began on March 29, 2019, and never recovered. Shareholders accused Lyft of trying to appear more socially responsible than rival Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N) by failing to disclose known problems in its IPO registration statement, and that its share price fell as the problems surfaced." Link to Article

  • June 24, 2022 - Ferrari Pledges To Never Make A True Self-Driving Car - "This whole thing doesn’t mean Ferrari will never use assistance systems in its cars, though. The plan from Maranello is to keep working on more advanced driver-supporting tech but never reach Level 5 autonomous driving. According to categorization by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the most advanced self-driving systems will allow the driver to become a passenger and never take full control of the vehicle. Level 5 cars won’t even have steering wheels or acceleration and brake pedals. Obviously, that’s not something Vigna wants to see in a Ferrari car. “No customer is going to spend money for the computer in the car to enjoy the drive,” Vigna added speaking to Bloomberg Television. “The value of the man, of the human at the center, is fundamental.”" Link to Article

  • June 24, 2022 - Volkswagen poised to swipe Tesla’s BEV crown in race to the top - "Global battery-electric vehicle (BEV) demand is likely to move at a varying pace regionally, with Tesla set to retain its global sales crown for at least another year, aided by a new EU factory. However, Volkswagen is poised to overtake the US company in 2024 and already leads in Europe. Execution will be key to encroaching on Tesla’s $700 billion market capitalization. Global automakers will challenge Tesla via an impending wave of competing models, though profit incentives are limited amid rising battery costs and a lack of scale. That may change in 2025-26, as more legacy brands achieve critical mass on new-generation models with proprietary software. Yet such bold BEV ambitions have done little to prevent crisis-level multiples, stoked by recession fears, rising interest rates, supply-chain constraints and inflation." Link to Article

  • June 22, 2022 - UPS tests tiny battery-powered cycles in congested citie - "The sleek four-wheeled carts look familiar enough, but not even UPS knows precisely how to describe what could be the delivery giant’s latest way to get packages to your door. UPS unveiled Tuesday a battery-powered, four-wheeled cycle to more efficiently haul cargo in some of the world’s most congested streets and to reduce its carbon footprint. The company is trying to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. The slimmed-down vehicles don the company’s gold-colored logo and accompanying stripe on a dark brown background. But the “eQuad” — as the company calls it — garnered amusement from passersby... The pedal-powered vehicle was dwarfed by one of the company’s more traditional delivery trucks, which rumble through traffic and sometimes draw the ire of motorists trying to get by parked trucks on narrow streets... UPS said a trial run is focused on New York City and in several cities in Europe." Link to Article

  • June 22, 2022 - Without Commuters, US Transit Agencies Are Running Out of Options - "Public transit agencies are struggling to come to grips with the possibility that daily commuters may never come back. Authorities across the country are leaning on promotions and price cuts in an attempt to recover lost ridership with the rise of remote work during the pandemic. But long term, budgets may need to be adjusted to account for fewer ticket sales — a tough reality for systems already struggling to fund improvements and general upkeep... Some transit systems are holding out hope ridership will eventually return. But others are adjusting to a new reality. Unless the government steps in or new sources of revenue are found, many agencies may be left with two choices. They can either cut service or raise fares, neither of which will help to bring riders back." Link to Article

  • June 22, 2022 - GM and Lockheed Martin’s Lunar Rover Virtual Drive: Easier Than Moonwalking - "General Motors was the first company to ever put a car on the moon, and it promises to do so again by 2025, in partnership with Lockheed Martin. The new rover dubbed the Lunar Mobility Vehicle (LMV) is fully electric and offers seating for two, fully-autonomous drive capability, and a top speed of just about 12 mph. But how do you design and prototype for off-world missions in one-sixth Earth\'s gravity, on a giant sandbox made of blasted rock and glass with no atmosphere? You turn to the folks that developed the latest Hummer EV, apparently. " Link to Article

  • June 22, 2022 - Lime’s scooters and e-bikes will soon offer double the battery life - "Mobility startup Lime has begun rolling out a new swappable battery to its fleet of electric bikes and scooters. According to the company, the component is a significant upgrade over the one it uses currently. The nearly 1 kWh battery features twice the capacity of Lime’s previous .46 kWh design. Best of all, the battery is compatible with the company’s existing Gen4 and Citra e-bikes and scooters, allowing Lime to enhance the capabilities of those vehicles without replacing them. Lime says it plans to deploy the battery in a handful of cities this summer, including Paris and Long Beach, before rolling it out more widely. A higher capacity power source brings with it a few advantages. The most obvious of all is that Lime’s vehicles can travel further. In turn, that allows the company to save on operating costs since its charging vans no longer need to make as many trips to support its fleet." Link to Article

  • June 22, 2022 - Sustainability pilot project to be deployed in Flint, aims to address climate change - "The first phase of a three-year MiNextCities pilot project has chosen its cities to focus on. The project aims to address climate change, promote resiliency, improve infrastructure, and accelerate the use of clean energy, smart city technology, and efficient mobility solutions. A $3.5 million grant from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) will help facilitate the MiNextCities effort by NextEnergy, a Detroit-based leader in deploying smart city technologies, and Public Sector Consultants, a Lansing-based public policy consulting firm. Dearborn, Flint, and Marquette have been chosen for the first phase... NextEnergy will guide the three cities in developing strategies to: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Improve mobility and quality of life. Increase attraction and retention of workers and businesses. Enhance safety. Boost private sector and community investment." Link to Article

  • June 21, 2022 - Teslas running Autopilot involved in 273 crashes reported since last year - "Tesla vehicles running its Autopilot software have been involved in 273 reported crashes over roughly the past year, according to regulators, far more than previously known and providing concrete evidence regarding the real-world performance of its futuristic features. The numbers, which were published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the first time Wednesday, show that Tesla vehicles made up nearly 70 percent of the 392 crashes involving advanced driver-assistance systems reported since last July, and a majority of the fatalities and serious injuries — some of which date back further than a year. Eight of the Tesla crashes took place prior to June 2021, according to data released by NHTSA Wednesday morning... “It revealed that more crashes are happening than NHTSA had previously known,” said Phil Koopman, an engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University who focuses on autonomous vehicle safety. He noted that the reports may omit more minor crashes, including fender benders." Link to Article

  • June 21, 2022 - How To Save the Lives of Unhoused Pedestrians - "A disproportionate number of unhoused pedestrians are being killed in car crashes across America — and protecting this uniquely vulnerable group will require a set of strategies that both include and exceed even the conventional street safety playbook, a new study argues. On Friday, a group of Portland State University researchers presented their analysis of how last year’s historic traffic violence impacted the houseless community in the City of Roses, and explored interventions local leaders could take to save future lives. A shocking 70 percent of pedestrians killed in the city last year did not have a permanent residence, a statistic that the team attributes to a 37-percent county-wide spike in the number of houseless individuals across over the course of the pandemic, well as the particularly dangerous street conditions and hostile policies which they’re too often forced to navigate. That troubling trend, though, is not unique to Oregon — nor did it begin during the days of COVID-19." Link to Article

  • June 21, 2022 - Global clean energy forum to be held in Pittsburgh - "Pittsburgh will be the site of the inaugural Global Clean Energy Action Forum from Sept. 21-23 with an audience and participants that will come from all over the world. The forum is a convening of the 13th Clean Energy Ministerial and the 7th Mission Innovation Ministerial, plus private sector, government, nongovernmental and educational leaders. The event, which is hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy, was announced in November 2021. It will be focused on Rapid Innovation and Deployment of clean energy technologies in power generation, fuel, transportation, buildings and other industries." Link to Article

  • June 21, 2022 - Introducing ZiGGY: An autonomous robot that saves you a parking spot then charges your EV - "When it hits the market, the ZiGGY robot will be summoned to your EV using a mobile app or in-vehicle infotainment system. If you summon ahead of time, the robot will arrive at parking space and hold it for you, then plug-in for charging once you’ve safely parked. Following an EV visit, ZiGGY will be able to return to its home base to recharge from the grid, battery storage, solar energy, or a combination of these sources. The ZiGGY robots can also be implemented for offsite charging if no infrastructure is available... While we don’t have the exact charge rates, we were told that the ZiGGY robots will begin by charging at Level 2 speeds. However, a spokesperson for EV Safe Charge told Electrek that the company expects to upgrade ZiGGY to Level 3 charging within its first year of production" Link to Article

  • June 21, 2022 - Data likely shows Teslas on Autopilot crash more than rivals - "In a June 2021 order, NHTSA told more than 100 automakers and automated vehicle tech companies to report serious crashes within one day of learning about them and to disclose less-serious crashes by the 15th day of the following month... Raj Rajkumar, an electrical and computer engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University who studies automated vehicles, said he wouldn’t be surprised if Tesla was found to have had a high number of crashes involving its driver-assist systems. Tesla, based in Austin, Texas, stopped using radar in its system and instead relies solely on cameras and computers — a system that Rajkumar calls “inherently unsafe.” The system’s computer, he said, can recognize only what’s in its memory. Flashing lights on an emergency vehicle, Rajkumar said, might confuse the system, as would anything that the computer hasn’t seen before. “Emergency vehicles may look very different from all the data that the Tesla software had been trained on,” he said." Link to Article

  • June 20, 2022 - CN becomes first tribe to self-govern tribal transportation - "Paying a visit to endorse a new compact with the Cherokee Nation, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation Polly Trottenberg was welcomed by tribal officials on June 7 for a signing ceremony at the Chota Center inside Cherokee Nation Casino Tahlequah. The signing of the compact capped a year of negotiation between the federal Department of Transportation and the Cherokee Nation, during which the CN sought greater autonomy to apply federal funding to transportation projects... CN constructed one of the first solar canopies in Oklahoma at its Tahlequah headquarters, where it is used to charge the electric fleet and the increasing number of electric cars driven by staff and visitors to the complex. The tribe has two electric transit buses and charging stations for vehicles bought through a $1.5 million USDOT grant awarded to the tribe in 2018. The CN also operates an electrically powered school bus. " Link to Article

  • June 20, 2022 - City Of Santa Clarita Wins Statewide Awards For Streets Projects - "The City’s Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology Project is one of five to earn a prestigious 2022 Outstanding Local Streets and Roads Project Award from the League of California Cities, the County Engineers Association of California and the California State Association of Counties... The City’s Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology Project received the top award in the “Safety or Intelligent Transportation System” category due to its impact on residents’ travel and emergency response in Santa Clarita. The project, which was completed at the intersection of Soledad Canyon Road and Whites Canyon Road, provides backup power to the traffic signal in the case of a power outage or Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event. Although the City has installed battery backup systems for nearly all of its 204 traffic signals, these systems are designed to provide short-term power during an outage. The hydrogen fuel cell system at Soledad Canyon Road and Whites Canyon Road can keep the intersection operational for 55 hours." Link to Article

  • June 20, 2022 - Airports Group Plans Vertiports with eVTOL Developers - "Private airports group Corporacion America Airports is working with rival eVTOL aircraft developers Eve and Vertical Aerospace on plans to develop a network of vertiports in Latin America and Europe. The company said it has been working on conceptual designs for eVTOL air taxi operating bases since 2021 and believes some of these could be located its chain of 53 airports in countries, including Argentina, Uruguay, Italy, and Brazil. Under its collaboration with Vertical Aerospace, which is developing the four-passenger VX4 eVTOL, it is also working with several of Vertical\'s customers, including leasing group Avolon, Brazilian airline Gol, and transport company Grupo Comporte. This work is focused on identifying vertiport sites in Brazil, where Gol and Grupo Comporte plan to operate 250 of the all-electric aircraft on routes of around 100 miles from 2025. " Link to Article

  • June 20, 2022 - Lightyear 0 is here — the world’s first production-ready solar ca - "Lightyear, the Dutch high-tech company developing the world’s first long-distance solar car, has unveiled the production version of its solar car with a new name... For Lightyear 0, range doesn’t start and finish with plugs and sockets. The sun is also its source. Five square meters of patented, double curved solar arrays on the car’s roof and hood give Lightyear 0 the potential to charge itself and, in the summer, completely cover the average work commute. In cloudy climates, like the Netherlands, and based on the average commute of around 35 kilometers per day, you can drive for up to two months before you need to think about charging. In sunnier countries, like Portugal, that could be up to seven months. That equates to more than 1,000 km, achieved between two charging sources: a plug charge, and sunlight. " Link to Article

  • June 20, 2022 - Hydron startup plans hydrogen-powered autonomous trucks - "A co-founder of autonomous software trucking leader TuSimple is starting a new venture to fuel autonomous trucks with zero-emissions hydrogen. It is a long-term bet that hydrogen will be the fuel of choice for long-haul trucking. Battery-electric trucks are more in favor even though they add significant weight that eats into cargo capacity and take a long time to charge. “Battery electric vehicles are well-suited for shorter routes. But they are not yet capable of supporting long-haul applications,” Hydron founder Mo Chen told FreightWaves. The announcement was light on details. Typical of startups, attracting fundraising partners is apparently a goal. Hydron is the first company to reveal a plan connecting hydrogen-powered fuel cells with autonomous trucking. It aims to develop, manufacture and sell hydrogen-powered autonomous trucks that would minimize the carbon footprint of Class 8 heavy trucks." Link to Article

  • June 17, 2022 - To convince more drivers to go electric, the Biden administration wants chargers that work for all EVs - "On Thursday, the administration proposed rules that would, among other things, mean that any charging station built with federal money must accommodate any electric car... That infrastructure has improved a lot. But there are still real barriers, especially for anyone who doesn’t have a driveway, said Jeremy Michalek at Carnegie Mellon University. That was him when he first got an electric car. “I could not count on being able to charge it every day,” he said. “It depended if I got the spot in front of my house or not. And I had to run an extension cord up the stairs to plug it in.” Kind of a hard sell. “If you don’t have off-street parking, you need to know that you are going to have access to public chargers and be able to reliably charge your vehicle,” Michalek said — both near your home and along the highway." Link to Article

  • June 17, 2022 - Audi’s Connected Car Tech Aims to Save Cyclists - "Vehicles have become more connected in recent years (some would say too connected), forcing automakers to utilize communication technologies to improve the safety of drivers on the road. Oftentimes this neglected other vulnerable users also sharing the road, such as cyclists and pedestrians. Audi announced today that it wants to change that by using Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything technology. C-V2X tech, as it\'s called, allows vehicles to send information between other nearby C-V2X-equipped vehicles, as well as cellular radio towers like any typical cell phone. The information transmitted may include road conditions, traffic signal information, location, and more. Audi is aiming to take C-V2X trials a step further by partnering with Spoke, a company pushing the envelope of connected capabilities beyond cars and trucks, effectively fitting the tech to light mobility like bicycles." Link to Article

  • June 17, 2022 - Startup Locomation submits voluntary safety assessment to U.S. Department of Transportation - "Locomation Inc. announced that it has issued a comprehensive self-assessment of its autonomous trucking technology for the U.S. Department of Transportation and that it has submitted the findings of the report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Lawrenceville-based startup said the report\'s unveiling comes as part of an effort to show federal and state regulators that Locomation\'s autonomous vehicle solution is safe and ready to take on further public road testing, testing that would require a change in legislation across varying levels of government to accomplish. In Pennsylvania, that could become reality as soon as July 2022. In its 33-page report, Locomation\'s now-public Voluntary Safety Self-Assessment offers safety-related guidance on the company\'s Autonomous Relay Convoy prototype systems and how the startup plans to address various safety-related challenges that its autonomous solution might face on the road." Link to Article

  • June 17, 2022 - Micromobility operators expand their footprint in small and midsized cities - "In recent months, shared micromobility companies like Bird, Lime and Lyft have rapidly expanded their products in small and midsized markets with populations ranging from 2,500 to over 150,000. This includes new fleets in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Annapolis, Maryland, and Green Bay, Wisconsin, among many other smaller markets. Bird grew from about 250 global markets last year to more than 400 this spring. (The company told TechCrunch this week that despite the layoffs of 23% of its staff, it plans to continue expanding into new cities.)... So, while operators continue to expand into new cities, they’re working to tailor those programs to meet a community’s specific needs, according to a spokesperson for Bird. These software and hardware updates can include geofenced regions that limit the area where riders can go, new speed limits and new parking restrictions. " Link to Article

  • June 17, 2022 - It’s not Apple or Tesla, but Inrix has data from 500 million vehicles taking transportation into the future - "Transportation has been a big part of the CNBC Disruptor 50 list since its inception in 2013, and some of the original transport disruptors have become household names... But another name on that original D50 list remains less well-known to the public, but it is a key link in planning the future of transportation: Inrix. Now Inrix, which operates in over 60 countries and several hundred cities, collects aggregated, anonymous data from 500 million vehicles, mobile devices, mobile apps, parking lot operators, mobile carriers and smart meters, all in real-time, covering both consumer and fleet vehicles, and feeding into a system which is finding favor among public agencies and transportation planners rethinking urban mobility... The biggest changes since its early years are moving beyond the core data to a software-as-a-service model, and that model is being adopted by its biggest-growing customer segment: cities like New York and London and additional geographies around the world including Dubai. " Link to Article

  • June 15, 2022 - Autonomous cars are on their way, and insurance companies aren’t ready - "Our future is automated self-driving cars, we’re told. Much of the technology is far beyond infancy, honed near perfection and already used in Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) like lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking. In Ontario and some American states, they can even be driven among us. While frontrunners like Tesla duke it out with the not-far-behind legacy manufacturers (and Mercedes just one-upped the upstart in Germany), one thing is clearly emerging: having the vehicles is only one piece of the puzzle... In other words, the insurance industry is moving at glacial speed in an industry that is strapped to a rocket. “In a worst-case scenario, Level 4 AV technology might be ready before Level 3 insurance regulation amendments are ready,” says Canadian Underwriter. " Link to Article

  • June 15, 2022 - All signs point to a ‘growing appetite’ for digital twins: report - "There is a “growing appetite” for digital twin technology across all major sectors, including smart cities, according to the report, particularly as organizations seek to digitize and improve their operations. The growing pressure among cities and corporations to decrease emissions is also accelerating the pace of such digital innovation, it states... Karen Lightman, executive director of the Metro21: Smart Cities Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, also cautioned city leaders against falling for the technology’s “hype,” particularly as the definition of a digital twin can vary widely. The technology does offer many possible upsides to smart cities for certain applications, according to Lightman, who said she’s most excited about its use cases around transportation and physical infrastructure. But before they turn to the technology, she advised local leaders to first “really focus on what is the problem you are trying to solve.” " Link to Article

  • June 15, 2022 - Elon Musk reveals what Tesla’s Master Plan Part 3 is about - "Three months later, he has yet to release the plan and during a companywide meeting held last night, with details obtained by Electrek, Musk was asked by an employee what the new plan is going to be about. The CEO responded: Master Plan Part 3 is all about achieving very large scale. In order to shift the entire energy infrastructure and transport infrastructure of earth, there has to be a very high scale. We have to ask what is the actual tonnage? If we work backward from let’s say about 300 TWh of installed capacity in vehicles and stationary (battery packs) then how do you achieve that tonnage from a mining and refining standpoint, but also do so in a sustainable way. Musk then summarized: That’s what Master Plan Part 3 is: How do you get to enough scale to actually shift the entire energy infrastructure of earth?" Link to Article

  • June 15, 2022 - Lyft plans to build a hybrid network of autonomous and driver vehicles, co-founder says - "Lyft’s vehicle fleet will remain largely commandeered by drivers even as the company continues to develop its autonomous driving capabilities, co-founder and president John Zimmer told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Tuesday. “What we see happening is that there will be a hybrid network, meaning on day 1, just like what happened with phones, you didn’t have 3G go to 4G go to 5G on separate networks. You still needed to be able to make a 3G call when 4G wasn’t available,” Zimmer said in an interview on “Mad Money.” “The same thing’s going to be true with autonomous vehicles. … It’ll do five percent of the trips. 95% of the time you’re going to rely on a rideshare driver. So that’s all going to happen within the Lyft network, and we’ll scale up with our autonomous partners,” he added. Lyft Autonomous’ AV partners include Ford Motor and Argo AI, Motional and Waymo. " Link to Article

  • June 15, 2022 - This California city is giving out free electric bikes to delivery drivers - "While the Golden City is far from perfect and certainly has its own fair share of problems (name one that doesn’t), San Francisco is known to lead on many social issues. And the latest move from SF will soon see it giving out dozens of free electric bicycles to delivery drivers to be used as delivery e-bikes. It’s part of a pilot program run by San Francisco’s Department of the Environment. The goal is to provide relief to delivery drivers who are suffering at the pump just like many other drivers, but to do so in a way that doesn’t lead to further financial burdens, i.e., the cost of car ownership. According to the SF Examiner, one-third of delivery drivers from Amazon Fresh and Doordash are on some form of public assistance, making this an ideal group to benefit from a cost-effective form of alternative transportation." Link to Article

  • June 14, 2022 - Cullera boosts road safety with smart pedestrian crossings - "The small city of Cullera, in the Valencian autonomous region of Spain, has been the latest to opt for introducing smart traffic management solutions in that part of the country. For this purpose, its City Council contracted the Pavapark company to install two intelligent pedestrian crossings and two educational radars on key traffic locations... As for the smart pedestrian crossings in Cullera, one is located on one of the town’s main streets, Racó Avenue, at the intersection with Águila Street... They are made up of 14 luminous horizontal signalling plates located at the ends of each white band of the zebra crossing, six RLP pilot lights at the ends of each black zone of the pedestrian crossing and two vertical signs that are also luminous... The light signalling is activated when the vertical signal detection sensors indicate that a pedestrian is about to cross. " Link to Article

  • June 14, 2022 - Carnegie Mellon University awarded $10.5M Army contract to study aircraft flaws - "Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) Auton Lab recently signed a three-year, $10.5 million U.S. Army contract to use artificial intelligence (AI) tools to provide early warning of emerging aircraft flaws and eventually apply this knowledge to other predictive maintenance, including medicine. The Army hopes AI can be used to solve problems associated with complex devices, including combat and non-combat equipment. It also aims to make this AI approach more accessible for various public and private applications. “The idea behind this is to take the AI capabilities to the next level,” Artur Dubrawski, CMU’s Robotics Institute alumni research professor of computer science and Auton Lab director, said. Researchers will address gaps in knowledge and technology. Work also will be performed at Georgia Tech Research Institute, the University of South Carolina, and the University of California. The Pittsburgh-based U.S. Army AI Integration Center will coordinate the application of the developed technology in military equipment maintenance. " Link to Article

  • June 14, 2022 - BMW and the biggest architecture firm in the world have a vision for the post-gas, electric future - "That’s the question Germany’s BMW aims to answer with help from the renowned architectural bureau Gensler. By 2035, electric vehicles are expected to comprise 45% of all new car sales in the United States. This rapid development requires solutions for the roughly 145,000 gas stations that together account for over 3.6 billion square feet of real estate... Their abundance and strategic positioning on street corners, however, makes them ideal for a complete reimagining of their role—not unlike when New York City repurposed raised subway tracks on the West Side into the High Line, a popular destination for its tourists and urban denizens alike. The result is a concept the two companies are calling the “Nth Place”: not an office, not a home, but something in between that fits to the new post-pandemic era of hybrid work. They are “more like new-age community centers”, according to Jordan Goldstein, co-firm managing principal at Gensler, the world’s largest architect buro." Link to Article

  • June 14, 2022 - First look: Aurora to build lidar research and development facility in Bozeman, Montana - "Autonomous vehicle company Aurora Innovation Inc. plans to build a 78,000-square-foot research and development facility in Bozeman, Montana, that will employ up to 200 workers following its construction, which is currently undergoing the permitting process for a groundbreaking that is anticipated to take place in the coming months... With the new facility, Aurora will build on its presence in the Treasure State; it has maintained operations out of Montana for years in addition to other employment hubs in the Bay Area of California; North Texas; Seattle, Washington; Louisville, Colorado; and Wixom, Michigan... Aurora\'s new facility will also aim to tap into the local talent pool and will be located on Montana State University’s Innovation Campus. Montana State is home to numerous photonics engineers and innovations over the past three decades." Link to Article

  • June 14, 2022 - Annual Pennsylvania Automated Vehicle Summit returning to Pittsburgh this fal - "The City of Pittsburgh will once again play host to the Pennsylvania Automated Vehicle Summit later this fall, which returns to the Steel City for the second time since its inception in 2017. It\'s also the first time the summit has been held in person in over two years. Set to occur on Oct. 25-26 at Stage AE on the North Shore, the AV-focused industry conference claims to be the largest one of its kind in the Northeast, drawing the attraction of public and private industries and their respective employees across the AV space and the various sectors it touches. It\'s hosted by the Intelligent Transportation Society of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers." Link to Article

  • June 13, 2022 - How Much Better Are Electric Cars for the Environment? - "Jeremy Michalek, a professor with Carnegie Mellon University, who directs the Vehicle Electrification Group, told Newsweek that electric vehicles in the United States tend to have lower carbon footprints on average than gasoline or diesel cars, although there are exceptions. One 2016 study authored by Michalek and colleagues contains maps showing that in general, \"plug-in vehicles tend to reduce carbon emissions for city drivers in the Southwest, Texas and Florida, especially when compared to a typical gasoline car, whereas plug-in vehicles tend to increase carbon emissions for highway drivers in rural counties of the Great Planes, the Midwest and the South, especially when compared to gasoline hybrids, which are very efficient,\" he said. \"These maps are from the past, however. EVs have an advantage going into the future. As the power grid gets cleaner, as we expect it to, EVs will get cleaner as well. The most important factor for electric vehicle life cycle emissions is coal retirement. The more coal that retires, the cleaner EVs look.\"" Link to Article

  • June 13, 2022 - Uber Freight and Waymo Via envision autonomous trucking for all - "Uber Freight and Waymo Via are working together to map out what widespread autonomous trucking will look like. The digital freight broker and autonomous trucking software developer describe the partnership as a deep collaboration aimed at what Uber Freight head Lior Ron called the “democratization” of autonomy... The collaboration with Waymo follows an ongoing pilot with Aurora Innovation that began in December. Uber Freight is booking first- and last-mile loads in Texas that Aurora is running weekly for customers on Interstate 45 from Dallas to Houston. Aurora and Uber Freight expect to expand to other routes. The arrangement with Waymo Via could be a game changer. It makes autonomous trucking an option for large, medium and eventually small carriers that make up the majority of the $700 billion trucking industry." Link to Article

  • June 13, 2022 - This e-bike does phone tech better than some phones - "What if riding your bike was like using a smartphone? That’s the proposition behind the new Urtopia E-bike, which offers features more commonly associated with a product from Samsung or Apple rather than a bicycle manufacturer... The heart of the Urtopia is an integrated display that uses charmingly retro LED dot-matrix display technology. The Smartbar, as the company calls it, lets you see the bike’s speed, modes, and notifications... Like many smartphones — but unlike any bike I’ve ever encountered — you can actually speak to the Smartbar. The voice recognition lets you do things like turn the headlights off and on and increase the power level... Another unusual feature of the Urtopia is the built-in millimeter-wave radar. The radar is rear-facing, and it’s intended to help you watch out for cars or other bike riders that might be creeping up behind you." Link to Article

  • June 13, 2022 - Teslas Are Braking for No Reason, But That’s Not Autopilot’s Only Problem - "Of course, we can’t ignore the human component in these situation; had the drivers been paying attention, they likely would have realised the beginning of a dangerous situation and been able to make evasive manoeuvres to prevent a crash. After all, drivers are technically supposed to have their hands on the wheel and their butts in a seat in order to engage Tesla’s driver-assist software. But as Raj Rajkumar, an electrical and computer engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University who studies automated vehicles, told CBS News: “It’s very easy to bypass the steering pressure thing. It’s been going on since 2014. We have been discussing this for a long time now.” We at Jalopnik covered all sorts of ways a driver could add steering wheel pressure without actually having their hands on the wheel. And that pressure sensor was only added after Tesla was called out for it; the company initially avoided installing one to save money." Link to Article

  • June 13, 2022 - Transit Tech Lab Selected Companies for Innovation Challenge - "The Transit Tech Lab in New York City, a program of the Transit Innovation Partnership, has selected 10 companies to begin eight-week trial projects in the city’s transit ecosystem to explore technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and video data analysis to better understand the dynamic nature of transit and how to improve its efficiencies... Blyncsy, based in Salt Lake City, which analyzes roadway infrastructure... Invision AI, based in Toronto, Canada. It will use existing cameras, coupled with artificial intelligence technology to create a real-time 3D digital twin of a transit station. Quanergy, of Sunnyvale, Calif., will use lidar technology to create a digital twin... StormSensor, based in Seattle, will partner with New Jersey Transit to provide better gathering and analysis of flood and other data. While The Mobility House, based in Belmont, Calif., will aid in the integration of EVs into public fleets while helping to minimize charging costs. " Link to Article

  • June 10, 2022 - USPS already testing mail delivery by electric bike with these neat little US-built mail bikes - "Not only are they designed to carry heavy cargo loads, but they’re also built in the US by Montana-based Coaster Cycles. The electric mail bikes are built on the Freighter AW platform, which can be modified for various types of commercial e-cargo bike applications. Technically it’s an electric cargo tricycle, but it almost looks more like a cargo van than a bike. The giant rear cargo box provides 72 cubic feet (over 2,000 liters) of space for mail, and the bike can hold up to 400 lb. (181 kg) of cargo. Hydraulic disc brakes help bring all of that weight to a stop quickly and safely. Powering the bike is Bosch’s Cargo Line e-bike drive system, which supplies the rear wheels with 85 Nm of torque. The drive system is paired with a 500 Wh battery to power the mid-drive motor, though multiple batteries can likely be swapped in to extend the range. " Link to Article

  • June 10, 2022 - Pennsylvania Turnpike adds retail network for customers to pay toll bills they receive by mail - "The turnpike is partnering with the KUBRA Cash Payment Network to allow motorists to pay tolls or other turnpike fees at places such as 7-Eleven, CVS, Dollar General, Family Dollar, Sheetz and Walgreens, among others. The program — which includes a $1.50 surcharge for each transaction — is an attempt to make it easier for customers to pay and reduce the amount of money the agency loses to deadbeats who ignore bills by mail. About 85% use E-ZPass, but the rest use Toll By Plate, which historically has had a payment rate of about 67%. When cash payments were eliminated, that greatly increased the number of motorists receiving bills in the mail and the amount of uncollected tolls increased by about $24 million, from about $81 million in 2019 to just under $105 million in 2020." Link to Article

  • June 10, 2022 - Autonomous ship on transatlantic voyage diverted to Halifax for repairs - "A ship with no captain or crew on board has docked in the Halifax harbour to undergo tests and repairs after being diverted from its transatlantic voyage. The Mayflower Autonomous Ship left from Plymouth, U.K., and was originally slated to arrive in Massachusetts, but was rerouted to Halifax due to computer and electrical issues about 1,600 kilometres west of the Azores... Phaneuf said the ship was running fine after passing through a heavy storm, but the team took an opportunity to get a tow from a Dominion Diving vessel about 300 kilometres from shore... The project is a collaborative effort between IBM and ProMare, a marine research organization. Phaneuf, also a founder of ProMare, said the project was a success despite the technical difficulties. \"It\'s across the Atlantic Ocean, which was the original intent,\" Phaneuf said. " Link to Article

  • June 10, 2022 - PA: Federal grant will pay half the cost for Port Authority to study whether bus routes should be changed - "Port Authority has received a $780,100 federal grant to help pay for a complete study of its 97 bus routes. The agency announced two weeks ago it would begin the study this year when officials released the preliminary budget of $519.7 million. On Thursday, the Federal Transit Administration announced the grant as part of $25 million awarded across the country through its Route Planning Restoration Program, which is designed to see how routes should be changed as a result of the pandemic... Downtown Pittsburgh will be studied first because construction is expected to begin early next year on the Bus Rapid Transit system that will link Oakland and Downtown using exclusive lanes to keep transit moving on a more reliable schedule. " Link to Article

  • June 10, 2022 - Last-mile delivery network FetchGoat accepted in Microsoft startup program - "Fort Worth, Texas-based startup FetchGoat announced Friday it has been accepted into the global program Microsoft for Startups to accelerate the growth of its delivery management system for shippers to manage and monitor their last-mile delivery networks. Led by industry veteran Bill Hale, FetchGoat’s founder and CEO told FreightWaves the company has bootstrapped itself, building its management system that is currently working with a handful of large shippers in industries such as pharmaceuticals, food service and apparel. By combining those shippers’ last-mile delivery providers onto one platform, FetchGoat’s shippers are able to leverage a large capacity network along with analytics to cut unproductive routing from their current delivery stops... According to a 2022 study by Technavio, the last-mile delivery market is expected to increase by $143.75 billion from 2021 to 2026. This growing market is what attracted Microsoft for Startups to FetchGoat." Link to Article

  • June 8, 2022 - GM is slashing prices for the Chevy Bolt amid high demand for electric vehicles - "General Motors is slashing prices for the 2023 Chevy Bolt EV and Bolt EUV amid high demand for electric vehicles. While other automakers are jacking up EV prices to account for rising commodity costs, GM says it wants to send the message that “affordability has always been a priority for these vehicles.” Under the new pricing scheme, 2023 Bolt EVs with the 1LT trim will start at $26,595, which includes dealer freight charges. That’s down from the 2022 price of $32,495, reflecting an 18 percent drop. The 2LT trim, which includes leather seats, HD surround vision, and lane-change alert, starts at $29,795, a 16 percent decrease from the 2022 price of $35,695." Link to Article

  • June 8, 2022 - Ford CEO expects to see industry consolidation as the costs of transition to electric vehicles rise - "Ford Motor CEO Jim Farley expects the auto industry’s ongoing transition to electric vehicles to force major consolidation among automakers and suppliers in the years ahead... He said there will be more acquisitions, compared with the partnerships or joint ventures that are more common today. Legacy automakers and suppliers, he said, “absolutely will get consolidated.”... Farley expects Chinese EV companies to gain an edge over U.S. players. “There’s a shakeout coming, and I feel like that shakeout is going to favor many of the Chinese new players,” he said, without naming any start-ups... To make EVs more affordable while staying profitable, Ford and other traditional automakers will need to cut down on costs. Farley said Ford estimates that Tesla’s direct-to-consumer sales model costs $2,000 less than what Ford spends on selling through its franchised dealers." Link to Article

  • June 8, 2022 - Dreaded Commute to the City Is Keeping Offices Mostly Empty - "It isn’t the office that workers heading into the city despise. It’s the commute. The Covid-19 pandemic led to a surge in remote work, emptying out office towers as more people worked from home. Cities with longer commutes have taken the biggest economic hit, while urban areas where people live closer to work have a higher return-to-office rate, according to The Wall Street Journal’s analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data and building-access company Kastle Systems. Recent polling of office workers supports the analysis. In a Gallup survey last summer, for example, 52% of those who want to work remotely listed avoiding commuting time as a top reason they don’t want to go to the office. Other common reasons, like well-being and flexibility, are also closely tied to the commute. “I think it is the biggest factor,” said Richard Florida, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and School of Cities." Link to Article

  • June 8, 2022 - Ford Spending $3.7B, Creating 6,200 Jobs in Ohio, Michigan, Missouri - "Ford Motor Co. continued its doubling down on electric vehicles on June 2, committing to massive plant renovations in Ohio, Michigan and Missouri, all focused on bringing more commercial EVs to market. Long the dominant automaker in U.S. vans and pickups, the $3.7 billion in plant expansions will result in more capacity for the F-150 Lightning electric pickup, E-Transit commercial van and an as-yet-unnamed electric commercial vehicle. The country’s oldest automaker isn’t alone in targeting the commercial space with EVs. General Motors launched its BrightDrop commercial EV subsidiary last year which makes commercial vans and delivery trucks. Rivian, an EV startup that Ford invested in, is making electric vans for Amazon and consumer pickups. And, major truck producers such as Volvo and Navistar continue to launch new EV models." Link to Article

  • June 8, 2022 - California regulators approve state’s 1st robotic taxi fleet - "California regulators on Thursday gave a robotic taxi service the green light to begin charging passengers for driverless rides in San Francisco, a first in a state where dozens of companies have been trying to train vehicles to steer themselves on increasingly congested roads... Cruise and another robotic car pioneer, Waymo, already have been charging passengers for rides in parts of San Francisco in autonomous vehicles with a back-up human driver present to take control if something goes wrong with the technology. But now Cruise has been cleared to charge for rides in vehicles that will have no other people in them besides the passengers — an ambition that a wide variety of technology companies and traditional automakers have been pursuing for more than a decade. " Link to Article

  • June 7, 2022 - Self-driving car companies’ first step to making money isn’t robotaxis - "While governments may be wary of driverless cars, people want to buy the technology, and companies want to cash in. It’s a market for a limited version of self-driving tech that assists drivers with tasks like parking and switching lanes on a highway. And McKinsey predicts the market for a basic form of self-driving tech — known as “Level 2” in a classification system for autonomous driving — is worth 40 billion yuan ($6 billion) in China alone. “L2, improving the safety value for users, its commercial value is very clear,” Bill Peng, Hong Kong-based partner at McKinsey, said Monday in Mandarin translated by CNBC. “Robotaxis certainly is a direction, but it doesn’t [yet] have a commercialization result.”" Link to Article

  • June 7, 2022 - Panasonic sends Tesla new EV battery samples ahead of production surge - "Panasonic Holdings Corp (6752.T), which makes batteries for Tesla, said on Wednesday it had shipped samples of its more powerful 4680 format electric car battery to the U.S electric vehicle maker as it prepares for a surge in North American power pack production. Panasonic said mass production of the new battery is set to begin in its new fiscal year starting March next year at its plant in Wakayama in Japan, before production is moved to North America... The Japanese conglomerate is looking at potential factory sites in Kansas and Oklahoma that would supply the Tesla plant in Texas, two people with knowledge of the plan have said. The Japanese company already has a factory in Nevada that supplies smaller batteries to Tesla. Production capacity there was recently expanded to 39 gigawatt hours (GWh). " Link to Article

  • June 7, 2022 - Toyota’s Connected Cabin Aims to Prevent Hot Car Fatalities - "The Cabin Awareness concept can sense micro-movements, such as respiration and heartbeat Toyota has revealed a groundbreaking new idea that could prevent heatstroke deaths by helping ensure no pets or young children are left behind inside a vehicle. The Cabin Awareness concept uses millimeter-wave radar to detect movement, and then connectivity to notify the owner in a scenario where occupants remain in a car. And it is currently being tested in a real-world trial by Toyota’s partner May Mobility. The autonomous vehicle company is assessing the tech in its fleet of Toyota Sienna AutonoMaaS minivans at its headquarters in Michigan and will soon begin public testing in Arlington, Texas, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, with more locations added later this year. Toyota’s Connected North America innovation center in Texas has teamed up with Israel-based Vayyar Imaging on the concept. " Link to Article

  • June 7, 2022 - Study: Replace gas tax with mileage fees to fix roads - "A new report recommends replacing the state gas tax with mileage-based user fees to fix Michigan\'s roads. In the study, “Michigan’s Road Forward: Replacing the Fuel Tax with Mileage-Based User Fees,” researchers from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and Reason Foundation examine the state’s road funding system. “Raising revenue for roads through fuel taxes is unsustainable,” University of Michigan-Flint economics professor and study co-author Chris Douglas said in a statement. “Mileage-based user fees create a more equalized and sustainable way to pay for public roads.” The study says using fuel tax revenue to fund roads repair eventually fails because of climbing fuel efficiencies and more electric vehicles on the road that don’t pay gas taxes but do pay for registration and other costs. " Link to Article

  • June 7, 2022 - China’s Geely launches first nine low-orbit satellites for autonomous cars - "China\'s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group conducted its first successful satellite launch on Wednesday, sending nine into low earth orbit as it builds out a satellite network to provide more accurate navigation for autonomous vehicles. The self-designed and manufactured GeeSAT-1 satellites, were launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan. Geely said it expects another 63 to be in orbit by 2025 and eventually plans to have a constellation of 240. With the launch, Geely becomes the second major automaker to have an allied space business. SpaceX, owned by Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk, has more than 2,000 satellites in orbit for its Starlink network that offers commercial internet services. Starlink plans to have a first-generation network of 4,408 satellites. " Link to Article

  • June 6, 2022 - TTF shares video of virtual road signs “untouched by human hand” - "The Transport Technology Forum has shared one of the key moments of its conference last week – the video of infrastructure-to-vehicle technology showing that VMS, temporary VMS and traditional signs can be repeated in vehicle without the need for human intervention. The video explained a project delivered by HRS, KL Systems and White Willow Consulting which uses connected vehicle innovation to take the exact location of the sign and share what is on it with passing traffic. It means that accurate, real time, roadworks information can be shared without the need for people at the roadside having to make any manual updates." Link to Article

  • June 6, 2022 - How a Sound Transit contractor is trying to make light-rail construction easier on the environment - "Sound Transit boasts about creating the first “100% carbon-free light rail service” in the nation. Yet when the contractors build concrete columns and stations, they burn fossil fuels that reduce the electric trains’ net climate benefit. In a tiny experiment to limit greenhouse gas, crews building the north half of Sound Transit’s 2024 Northgate-to-Lynnwood extension are fueling two forklifts and a dirt loader in Mountlake Terrace with renewable plant-based diesel. It performs as well as petroleum, the crew says. The test by Skanska USA reflects worldwide attention by the contracting and engineering industries on reducing “embodied carbon,” which refers to sources like concrete-making, heavy equipment and supply chains, as opposed to carbon the driving public spews from our tailpipes." Link to Article

  • June 6, 2022 - Autonomous transit — From the moon to your red light - "By now, everyone in Pittsburgh has most likely witnessed autonomous vehicle testing on our local streets. At the beginning of the autonomous revolution, it was easy to focus solely on cars. According to Venture Beat, in 2019, five manufacturers tested 55 different autonomous vehicle models in Pittsburgh alone. However, the development of autonomous transit systems is much more all-encompassing. Even the sky isn\'t the limit. We see autonomous transportation technology, in Pittsburgh, in everything from space exploration to intelligent traffic systems that include the stoplights on our streets. Let\'s look at some of the unique applications and advancements Pittsburgh companies are testing and improving for autonomous transportation:.. CMU\'s Traffic21 Institute and Rapid Flow Technologies spent several years developing and deploying the Surtrac adaptive traffic signal control system, the market\'s most advanced adaptive traffic signal system. The Surtrac adaptive traffic signal system is unique in optimizing traffic flows in complex, dynamic environments. " Link to Article

  • June 6, 2022 - Nextgov checked back in with the city that houses the innovative Curiosity Lab. - "One of the biggest projects going on right now, which may become a model for other cities that want to connect millions of IoT and other devices to a central hub or command center, is the installation of a communications system that will support true edge networking. The project in Peachtree Corners is being managed by ACiiST, an Israeli company that specializes in edge networking projects for smart cities... In Peachtree Corners, the edge network is being installed on existing streetlight poles. It’s starting off small, just covering the half mile or so of roads around the Curiosity Lab itself. The project is using fiber lines for backup, at least in the initial phases, in order to provide redundancy for the system. Once proven, the edge network can be expanded throughout the city to connect even more smart devices back to the central hub. " Link to Article

  • June 6, 2022 - While Electric Vehicles Proliferate, Charging Stations Lag Behind - "As the Biden administration prepares to give states $7.5 billion for new charging stations, a similar recent effort suggests a difficult path is ahead. States received $424 million that could be used for charging stations as part of a $2.8 billion settlement by Volkswagen AG VOW -0.33%? to resolve allegations that it cheated on diesel emissions tests. So far, more than four years later, they have spent about 48% of those charging dollars. Six states including Illinois and Connecticut that say they plan to use VW settlement money on chargers have yet to disburse any funds. Four states say they plan to use the money for other projects such as lower-emissions bus fleets, according to data from Atlas Public Policy, a Washington, D.C., research firm that tracks the electric-vehicle industry. Thirty states have distributed most of their available charging money, including Hawaii, New Mexico, South Dakota and New York." Link to Article

  • June 3, 2022 - Rising US traffic deaths put focus on one Philadelphia road - "Sonia Szczesna, director of active transportation for the Tristate Transportation Campaign, a nonprofit transportation advocacy organization, said Black and brown communities and low-income communities are often the most impacted by high-fatality roads. “They divide these communities, and often residents have to travel these roadways by bike or by foot without access to high-quality public transportation. So there is an inequity in this infrastructure,” Szczesna said. Data for the first four months of 2022 showed more pedestrians died on Philadelphia roads so far this year than people in cars. And hit-and-runs were higher in the first four months of this year than the same timeframe in the previous two years, worrying police and other city officials. But fatalities on Roosevelt stayed steady during the pandemic rather than increasing, Yemen said, largely because, she believes, of the pilot speed cameras." Link to Article

  • June 3, 2022 - Over 500 injured in London e-scooter crashes last year, as journeys top 1 million - "E-scooters have become an increasingly common sight in UK cities, as many people opt for the eco-friendly, no-strings-attached way of getting around. They’ve had some trouble integrating into the transport system, however, as the latest government statistics on road casualties show. More than 500 people were injured in collisions involving the electric scooters in London alone last year, up from 250 in 2020... There were 1,359 casualties in collisions involving e-scooters last year in England, Scotland and Wales, up from 484 the previous year: a 280 per cent increase according to the latest factsheet. Almost 400 of these incidents were serious, and nine e-scooter riders were killed. The government report describes riders as “vulnerable”, lacking the protection of a vehicle body in the way car users have, and harder to see on the road. Pedestrians have also been caught up in accidents, with injured walkers rising from 57 in 2020 to 223 last year, including 63 who were seriously hurt. Meanwhile the number of injured cyclists tripled in 2021." Link to Article

  • June 3, 2022 - Las Vegas driverless vehicle company going electric - "In Motional\'s Las Vegas headquarters, dozens of cars sit ready for a daily drive and none require a driver to get behind the wheel to safely operate. The fleet of autonomous vehicles have been on city streets downtown and on the Las Vegas Strip for years, but the company has pledged to make the rideshare cars greener and smarter in the near future... Sierra applauded the company\'s move to sunset their gas powered BMW fleet and go electric with Ioniq cars in the next few months. Motional Public Policy senior manager Nick Greif said the company wanted to make personal car ownership obsolete by deploying a new generation of fully autonomous electric cars which can navigate without human interaction ready for rides with the press of an app. The goal, he said, would be to reduce the impact of climate change on Las Vegas and vulnerable communities." Link to Article

  • June 3, 2022 - How Smart Roads Will Change the Way You Drive - "Cities and states are embracing smart road technology to improve traffic management, save energy, and create a safer driving experience... It\'s a simple concept—use smart technology to manage traffic signals and other activities designed to keep cars moving as rapidly as legally possible. As a result, drivers get where they\'re going faster, there are fewer accidents, road deterioration is minimized, and the air quality improves. As a proof of concept, Carnegie Mellon University ran a pilot project in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, using various adaptive traffic signal technologies. In this test, motion sensors were tied to traffic signals, which themselves were connected via signal-to-signal communications. The results? There was a 40% reduction in the time spent stopped at traffic lights and a corresponding 26% decrease in travel times. That also contributed to a 21% reduction in exhaust emissions, so it was a win-win, across the board." Link to Article

  • June 3, 2022 - Even Smaller Cities Are Starting to Turn to New Urban Tech - "Officials in the small city of Columbus, Ind., have placed sensors around biking and multi-use trails to gain insights into how the facilities are used as well as safety trouble spots. In South Bend, Ind., artificial intelligence is used to process road pavement conditions. Meanwhile, Fishers, Ind., hired a team of data analysts to drill into the thousands of data points the city collects and gain new insights. “Honestly, the biggest challenge was taking that group of people with those tools and convincing all the other departments that the interaction with those individuals were of value,” said Scott Fadness, mayor of Fishers, in a panel discussion May 25 at Purdue University’s Discovery Park, an urban tech research facility. Fadness was part of a panel of other Indiana mayors representing small cities to explore the topic of “Smart Cities in the Heartland.” " Link to Article

  • June 1, 2022 - Pittsburgh targets bike, pedestrian infrastructure spending using traffic and crash data analysis - "A new approach to traffic data analysis has given Pittsburgh valuable insight into how it can make its streets safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. The city contracted with StreetLight Data to measure auto, foot and bicycle traffic. StreetLight then overlayed the data with maps of where bike and pedestrian accidents occurred to give the city a better idea of where to prioritize traffic safety measures among the city’s 1,300 core roadway miles... The project used data StreetLight collected, mainly from the pre-pandemic years of 2015-2019, that shows where people were riding and walking. StreetLight tracks movement via data from cellphones and GPS navigation aides to determine when and where trips start and end. It can largely tell the type of travel by speed, the company said. Even if auto traffic moves at a rush-hour crawl, it can still estimate whether it’s a bike or car by the length of the trip. " Link to Article

  • June 1, 2022 - As Baidu announces L5 driverless permits, the conversation about functional safety grows - "In April, Chinese technology company Baidu announced its first-ever SAE Level 5 (L5) driverless permits in China for autonomous ride-hailing on public roads. Baidu specialises in artificial intelligence (AI), which has been developed to the next level with its autonomous vehicle (AV) innovations... Baidu has the largest autonomous driving fleet in China, with over 500 AVs. In expanding its driverless vehicle services, Baidu has worked to meet the unique challenges of Beijing’s complex traffic environment. The company plans to deploy its driverless vehicles in about 65 cities by 2025 and to develop 30 other types of AVs at a later stage, expanding its fleet to provide more convenient driverless services to the public. However, the development of full L5 autonomy raises functional safety concerns. Peter Els, an automotive and mobility analyst with Strategic Automotive Transformation Services (SATS), comments, “Despite the obvious potential in advancing the rollout of AVs, growth in this area has been hampered by a lack of international standards that define the minimum performance and safety requirements that must be met.”" Link to Article

  • June 1, 2022 - Tesla, other EV companies ask for federal investment in heavy-duty truck charging - "Tesla, along with other electric vehicle companies and environmental groups, asked the Biden administration to invest in charging infrastructure for electric buses, trucks, and other medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The groups want the administration to allocate 10 percent of the money for electric vehicle charging in the bipartisan infrastructure bill signed last November — a pot that includes $7.5 billion — to go toward infrastructure for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, they said in a letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg this week... Most cars on the road are passenger vehicles. But medium- and heavy-duty vehicles contribute a disproportionate amount of the smog-causing pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions that come from the transportation sector. Electrifying that category of vehicles, then, could remove a greater chunk of emissions; it would have a significant impact on air quality and lessen climate impacts." Link to Article

  • June 1, 2022 - US Foods seeks to eliminate wasted miles in its routing system - "Dive Brief: US Foods has launched the first phase of a delivery route optimization initiative as it adapts to changing customer order patterns, Chief Commercial Officer and interim CEO Andrew Iacobucci said on the company’s Q1 earnings call. Phase one focuses on identifying wasted miles in its current routing system and, in the coming months, remapping routes so customers are routed to the most efficient distribution center by mileage and service, said Executive VP and Chief Supply Chain Officer Bill Hancock. In phase two, the company will work to replace its current system with dynamic routing technology, according to Iacobucci. The initiative has already led to a roughly 10% improvement in case volumes per mile in the company’s leading markets compared to the same period in 2019, he said." Link to Article

  • June 1, 2022 - Self-Driving ATVs Are Coming - "A team of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) are bringing us one step closer to achieving self-driving all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). The team rode an ATV through various different environments including tall grass, loose gravel, and mud to gather data on how the ATV interacted with these types of off-road environments. The ATV was driven aggressively at speeds up to 30 miles per hour. It slid through turns, went up and down hills, and got stuck in the mud while gathering important data like video, the speed of each wheel, and the suspension shock travel from seven types of sensors. After collecting all of the data, it was compiled into a dataset called TartanDrive. It includes about 200,000 real-world interactions, and the team believes it’s the largest real-world, multimodal, off-road driving dataset. The data could later be used to train a self-driving vehicle for off-road navigation. Wenshan Wang is a project scientist in the Robotics Institute (RI)." Link to Article

  • May 31, 2022 - Pony.ai’s license to test autonomous vehicles with safety drivers in California is revoked - "Pony.ai, an autonomous vehicle startup based in Silicon Valley and Guangzhou, China, is no longer able to test its vehicles in California after the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles revoked the company’s license for “numerous” safety violations. The news was first reported by TechCrunch. The issue is that the company’s workforce of safety drivers are not very safe drivers. The DMV said that, while reviewing Pony.ai’s testing license, it found “numerous violations” on the driving records of the company’s safety drivers. Pony.ai currently has 41 autonomous vehicles and 71 safety drivers registered on its permit in California." Link to Article

  • May 31, 2022 - Ford Trials Geofencing Tech that Could Automatically Reduce the Speed of Vehicles to Improve Safety - "Now, Ford is trialling connected vehicle technology using geofencing – a virtual geographical boundary – that could one day do away with the need for speed limit signs completely. As well as potentially making streets safer for other road users and pedestrians, Ford’s Geofencing Speed Limit Control system could help drivers avoid inadvertently incurring speeding fines and improve roadside appearances. “Connected vehicle technology has the proven potential to help make everyday driving easier and safer to benefit everyone, not just the person behind the wheel,” said Michael Huynh, manager, City Engagement Germany, Ford of Europe... In Europe, up to 29 per cent of road fatalities are pedestrians and cyclists, depending on the country. Setting up 30 km/h zones is considered one of the key measures to reduce the risk to pedestrians in urban areas, as drivers have more time to react and the impact speed is lower. Driver assistance technologies such as Ford’s Intelligent Speed Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go already help ensure drivers do not exceed speed limits." Link to Article

  • May 31, 2022 - An Autonomous Car Blocked a Fire Truck Responding to an Emergency - "ON AN EARLY April morning, around 4 am, a San Francisco Fire Department truck responding to a fire tried to pass a doubled-parked garbage truck by using the opposing lane. But a traveling autonomous vehicle, operated by the General Motors subsidiary Cruise without anyone inside, was blocking its path. While a human might have reversed to clear the lane, the Cruise car stayed put. The fire truck only passed the blockage when the garbage truck driver ran from their work to move their vehicle... Tiffany Testo, a spokesperson for Cruise, confirmed the incident. She said the driverless car had correctly yielded to the oncoming fire truck in the opposing lane and contacted the company’s remote assistance workers, who are able to operate vehicles in trouble from afar.According to Cruise, which collects camera and sensor data from its testing vehicles, the fire truck was able to move forward approximately 25 seconds after it first encountered the autonomous vehicle. " Link to Article

  • May 31, 2022 - Cars still dominate the American commute - "In Germany for example, 23 percent of commuters take the bike to get to work, school or university and another 26 percent use public transportation. Meanwhile, 65 percent take their own car, which still sounds like a lot but is considerably lower than it is in the United States. In the Netherlands, arguably the country most famous for its love of bicycles, 36 percent of commuters take their bike to work while 56 percent opt for their car instead. Americans still largely rely on their car to get to work and back. According to Statista’s Global Consumer Survey, 76 percent of American commuters use their own car to move between home and work, making it by far the most popular mode of transportation... There are several factors contributing to the low adoption of bicycles as a means of everyday transportation: for one, Americans are used to commuting longer distances than people in most European nations, automatically ruling out the bike for many. " Link to Article

  • May 31, 2022 - Stellantis, Samsung plan Indiana electric car battery plant - "A joint venture between Stellantis and Samsung plans to build an electric vehicle battery factory in Indiana that will employ up to 1,400 workers and become the company’s second such factory in North America. The venture announced Tuesday plans to spend more than $2.5 billion on the plant in Kokomo that will supply electric battery modules for a range of vehicles produced at Stellantis’ North American assembly plants. Construction of the plant is expected to start later this year, with the facility expected to open in early 2025 in the city about 60 miles (97 kilometers) north of Indianapolis." Link to Article

  • May 30, 2022 - Try these ride-hailing tips on your next trip - "Most of my ride-hailing experiences have been uneventful — except for one recent trip to the airport. On a rainy afternoon, I failed to connect with my driver, which precipitated a soggy 20-minute delay. That got me thinking: Maybe I could benefit from some advice. 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

  • May 30, 2022 - Walmart and DroneUp expanding drone delivery to 6 states, 4 million people - "The two companies announced on Tuesday a drone delivery service expansion in six states and 34 sites, bringing aerial delivery of thousands of Walmart items to customers within 30 minutes. Walmart said that expansion will cover approximately 4 million Americans... DroneUp is currently operating two hubs in Bentonville and Farmington, Arkansas. The new hubs, which will add 32 locations in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Utah and Virginia by year’s end, will bring the capacity to deliver up to 1 million packages within a year’s time, Guggina wrote. Walker noted that Walmart has 4,700 stores with more than 100,000 of the “most purchased items” within 10 miles of 90% of the U.S. population, providing plenty of opportunity in the future. Walker previously told Modern Shipper that DroneUp expects to be able to fulfill deliveries within 10 miles by 2023. Currently it is 1.5 miles. Average delivery time is 17 minutes from the time the order is placed to delivery. Guggina wrote that typically ordered items include Tylenol, diapers and hot dog buns. " Link to Article

  • May 30, 2022 - Philadelphia Launches Real-Time Smart City Project - "A district in Philadelphia is moving forward with a smart city project to gain real-time insights into air quality, weather, transportation modes and more, providing a dynamic understanding of the urban environment. SmartBlockPHL, part of the larger SmartCityPHL program, is a pilot project and partnership among the city, Comcast, US Ignite and Juganu. It will be deployed in Philadelphia’s Midtown Village with the technology installed on 14 streetlights. “The goal of this project was to test and validate new sensor-based technologies against legacy methods of collecting the same information,” said Labonno Islam, digital engagement and communications manager for the city\'s Office of innovation and Technology. “As the city learns more about the quality of data from this project, its teams will develop ways to operationalize it in the future.” The project is unique in its ability to collect data in real time, and then process it in the cloud." Link to Article

  • May 30, 2022 - Some city transportation authorities have safety apps to report issues and dangers; why not the CTA? - "Reporting safety and security concerns with a few clicks – indeed there\'s an app for that in Los Angeles, where passengers on the Metro can file a report or reach security with just a few taps through the LA Metro Transit Watch app. A spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority called the app their way of directly connecting with passengers 24/7. Passengers contact Metro Security by text message or phone call and can remain anonymous - and they even use the app to submit photos of concerns on trains, buses, platforms, or stops. Passengers can also get push notifications with critical alerts from LA Metro, and there is Spanish-language support. In Miami, passengers are using the Go Miami-Dade Transit app. A spokesperson said incidents reported on the app go directly to security dispatchers monitoring it 24/7. They can send the right first responders that way, and chat with passengers in real time." Link to Article

  • May 30, 2022 - Equitable transportation guidelines adopted by Richmond City Council - "For decades, infrastructure projects in Richmond have prioritized cars over other forms of transportation. Monday night, City Council approved guidelines intended to change that. The Path to Equity policy guide, proposed by Mayor Levar Stoney and approved by all present council members, won’t change anything overnight. Instead, it directs the city to prioritize projects that promote biking, walking and taking the bus as it maps out a multimodal transportation network for the next 30 years. Kelli Rowan, with the city’s Office of Equitable Transit and Mobility, said at a committee meeting last week that the guide will help answer a number of questions: “What transportation assets do we have? Where are the gaps? What people are we serving? What people aren’t we serving?” The plan begins by tracing the history of Richmond infrastructure harming low-income and Black residents. " Link to Article

  • May 27, 2022 - ‘Elon Musk’s Crash Course’ Takes A Cursory Look At Engineering And Regulatory Failure - "A new documentary film published by the New York Times NYT -5% and now streaming on Hulu tries to take a look at Elon Musk’s efforts to promote and sell automated driving on Tesla TSLA -6.9% vehicles, but falls short of what it might have been. At a running time of 74 minutes, “Elon Musk’s Crash Course” tries to cover a lot of ground, but it ultimately seems like it spends too much time on some topics and not enough on some of the most important... Viewers could learn some important lessons about what it actually takes to create, test and validate an automated vehicle if the film had included interviews with the likes of Carnegie Mellon University computer science professor Phillip Koopman or Ann Arbor based-attorney Jennifer Dukarski. Instead we get a lot of words from friends of Brown explaining how interested he was in technology and why he was so adamant about testing the limits of his car." Link to Article

  • May 27, 2022 - Google Parent Picks Phoenix for First Airport Trial for Waymo Driverless Cars - "Alphabet’s Waymo autonomous-car unit is preparing to dip its toes into one of the biggest and most challenging ridehailing markets there is: The ride to and from the airport. Waymo is planning to test service between Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and downtown, the company said at a TechCrunch conference last week. Initially, its driverless Jaguar SUVs won’t attempt to hazard the promenades immediately in front of the terminals at the nation’s ninth-busiest airport. Instead, they will serve rail stations at the airport’s perimeter (see map), letting departing passengers take the shuttle from there to begin the trek to the gates. “Eventually we’ll expand to the terminal,” said Waymo spokesperson Julia Ilina. “Terminal dropoff is a challenging, chaotic thing.”" Link to Article

  • May 27, 2022 - Dortmund started its Smart City initiative early and it’s reaping the rewards - "Dortmund, in Germany, kick-started its Smart City initiative back in 2016. While not all the projects under this umbrella have reached their final stages, the city is already reaping the rewards. ‘Allianz Smart City’ (Smart City Alliance), as the administration dubbed it, has focused on creating an ecosystem of public and private collaboration to deliver on digitalisation, sustainable mobility and boosting the local economy. Now in 2022, the North-Western German city has come out ahead in many regards, with the administration already adopting full electric mobility and fostering a holistic and supportive start-up and SME (Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises) infrastructure, from taking projects from local universities to private investors. In late 2021, Dortmund was named the European Capital of Innovation, beating out cities that could be considered to have more international clout like Dublin. Furthermore, the EU Commission named it among the first 100 cities to receive support in becoming climate-neutral cities by 2030." Link to Article

  • May 27, 2022 - The $15,000 EV Is Here and It’s Cute. But Only in Japan for Now - "Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. unveiled two new electric mini vehicles, betting that consumers will embrace their battery-powered take on a well-loved class of the tiny, affordable Japanese. Marking a key push into an less-served part of the EV market that could help spur wider adoption, the chiefs of the two carmakers took the wraps off Nissan’s “Sakura” and Mitsubishi’s “eK X EV” on Friday. The two small, boxy EVs are set to go on sale in Japan this summer at a starting price of less than $15,000. Small and affordable “kei” mini vehicles are a popular means of transportation in Japan, especially among workers and families living outside of major cities where roads are narrow and public transport networks are sparse. In 2020 they made up more than a third of new passenger car registrations in Japan. " Link to Article

  • May 27, 2022 - Pedestrian deaths spike to a 40-year high across the U.S., new report says - "Walking can be a deadly activity, and it seems to be getting more dangerous every year. On the heels of record-breaking statistics on general traffic deaths earlier this month, the Governors Highway Safety Association released projections that show pedestrian deaths reached a 40-year high in 2021. The 37-page report says pedestrian deaths rose by 714 last year, an 11.5% increase to 7,485... The study shows the majority of deaths are caused by the same types of problem driving — speeding, impaired driving and distracted driving — that have also contributed to the traffic deaths spike during the pandemic. .. The study shows many of the deaths take place in dark areas at night, a total of 76% of the fatalities in 2020. The number of daytime pedestrian deaths remained relatively stable at between 1,068 and 1,311 from 2010 to 2020, but deaths after dark rose from 3,030 to 4,981. Other conditions also are a factor, with far more pedestrians being killed in areas without sidewalks." Link to Article

  • May 25, 2022 - Hyundai Announces $5.5 Billion EV Plant in Georgia - "Hyundai Motor Group confirmed May 20 the company will spend $5.5 billion on a huge electric vehicle plant near Savannah that will employ thousands — a deal Georgia’s governor called the largest economic development project in the state’s history. Hyundai Motor Group CEO Jaehoon Chang made the announcement with Gov. Brian Kemp at the site of the future factory in Bryan County, where state and local officials purchased a flat, sprawling tract for $61 million last year in hopes of luring a major manufacturer... Hyundai said it will employ at least 8,100 workers at the plant near the unincorporated town of Ellabell. It will be Hyundai\'s first U.S. plant dedicated to assembling electric vehicles and will also produce vehicle batteries." Link to Article

  • May 25, 2022 - Bluetooth hack breaks into cars and smart locks - "UK cybersecurity research firm NCC Group has revealed a weakness in Bluetooth Low Energy technology that potentially leaves millions of locks vulnerable — including those on your Tesla or home. NCC Group senior security consultant Sultan Qasim Khan detailed the attack method. Khan hacked the BLE identification of Tesla Phone-as-a-Key entry system and Kwikset/Weiser residential smart locks using what is known as a “relay attack,” which uses two hardware devices — one near the BLE’s recognized device, the other near the lock it controls — to trick the lock into thinking its owner is nearby. By placing one relay device within 15 yards of a Tesla owner’s phone or fob, and another in his laptop near the car, Khan was able to “relay” the BLE identification from the owner’s device to his own, hijacking the ride in an example for Bloomberg News." Link to Article

  • May 25, 2022 - Denver’s streets are deadlier than ever. The city’s new plans for better buses may make them safer. - "More than six years ago, city leaders committed to eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries. Things have not gone well since then, with deaths reaching an all-time high in 2021... That’s despite the city increasing its spending on things like bike lanes and safer intersections, she noted. So while work in those areas is continuing, Kniech and street safety advocates are turning their attention to another space: pushing for redesigns of Denver busiest — and deadliest — roads to prioritize buses over cars. And the city is preparing to oblige. The vast majority of the Regional Transportation District’s decades-long, multi-billion dollar rail expansion program favored the suburbs and downtown Denver while avoiding the city’s neighborhoods. So RTD and city planners have been dreaming up a complementary network of bus rapid transit corridors on busy arterial streets. Many of those roads — Colfax Avenue, Federal Boulevard, Colorado Boulevard, Broadway and others — also account for a disproportionate share of traffic fatalities. " Link to Article

  • May 25, 2022 - Going Nowhere Fast? Smart Traffic Lights Can Help Ease Gridlock - "Smith, a faculty member at CMU\'s Robotics Institute who studies the use of artificial intelligence to coordinate large systems in transportation, manufacturing and other fields, developed traffic signals equipped with individual computers and software with AI capabilities, which can use cameras, radar or inductive loop detectors in the pavement to spot approaching vehicles and adjust their timing... Since then, Smith\'s company, Rapid Flow Technologies, has installed its Surtrac smart traffic management technology in 22 North American cities. Unlike some other smart traffic systems, which update the timing of lights every few minutes based on recent traffic, \"We generate the timing plans in real time,\" Smith explains. \"So, we watch the traffic that\'s approaching the intersection. And then in real time, we generate a signal timing plan for moving that traffic through the intersection. So, we\'re actually scheduling the actual traffic on the road.\"" Link to Article

  • May 25, 2022 - Deaths in truck crashes jumped 13% as feds continued to ignore recommended safety steps - "More than 5,600 people were killed last year in crashes involving large trucks, a 13% increase over 2020 and the largest number in almost four decades, according to preliminary figures released by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The 5,601 deaths from crashes involving trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds was the most since the 5,613 recorded in 1985, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Last year, 4,965 fatalities were recorded... President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law would require automated braking systems for trucks heavier than 26,000 pounds, as well as new standards for rear underguards and a study to see whether side guards were needed as well. The guards are designed to prevent cars from being wedged underneath trucks.,, Despite the board’s recommendations and its most wanted safety improvements, Congress required braking systems only for trucks weighing more than 26,000 pounds, and did not require lane-warning devices or collision avoidance systems." Link to Article

  • May 24, 2022 - An Interstate Across America — For Everyone Besides Drivers, That Is — Would Pay For Itself in No Time - "A continuous cross-continental active transportation trail would pay for itself in less than five years in visitor spending alone, a new analysis argues — and it could have a big impact on the car-free transportation landscape in the communities it runs through, too. According to a new report from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, completion of the Great American Rail-Trail — a 3,700-mile shared-use path stretching from the Capitol steps in Washington, D.C. to the coast of Washington State — would generate more than $350 million per year in economic activity in the form of tax revenue, income for workers, and tourism dollars for local communities. That’s less than a third of the $1-billion the group estimates it’d take to fill the gaps in the existing trail, which is 53 percent complete today. " Link to Article

  • May 24, 2022 - Startup Gatik says it will put self-driving trucks on the road in Kansas - "Autonomous delivery truck startup Gatik on Thursday said it will be putting its box trucks on the road in Kansas after state officials gave it and its partner and customer Walmart Inc (WMT.N) the go-ahead. Kansas Governor Laura Kelly on Friday signed into law a bill permitting use of driverless vehicles in the state without a human safety driver behind the wheel... The Teamsters union, a trial lawyers and a Kansas workers\' group had opposed the bill, citing issues such as insurance and liability requirements. The Teamsters in a statement said the bill was rushed through, and that it allowed autonomous vehicles to operate \"recklessly, risking the lives of our friends and neighbors, and upending the workforce as we know it.\"" Link to Article

  • May 24, 2022 - Mobility leaders seek to ‘unburden’ people from private cars - "Dive Brief: CHICAGO – Over 50 public, private and nonprofit organizations have teamed up to announce a major initiative that supports shared mobility options as the preferred transportation choice over private cars. The Shared Mobility Action Agenda, announced at the 2022 National Shared Mobility Summit, aims to make shared mobility more convenient, practical, accessible, affordable and available than private cars by 2030. The Shared Mobility Network plans to release the first version of its agenda this summer. The network’s immediate goal is to continue growing the number of participating organizations, which currently include the Shared-Use Mobility Center, the Coalition for Reimagined Mobility, the Southwest Pennsylvania Commission, Via and Full Path Transit Technology. " Link to Article

  • May 24, 2022 - Santa Monica company starts driverless food delivery with Uber - "Motional, a driverless car company with offices in Santa Monica, has begun offering food delivery through Uber Eats. The offering is an expansion for Motional who have been working on driverless taxi service for several years... The delivery vehicles are a variation on the company’s all electric taxis and Motional said it has spent months preparing for the launch. Participating merchants will receive a notification when the car arrives, meet the vehicle at the designated pick-up location, and place the order in a specially-designed compartment in the backseat. Upon arrival at the drop-off location, the customer will receive an alert, securely unlock the vehicle door via the Uber Eats app, and collect their order from the backseat. The service will allow Motional and Uber to study the integration of their technologies, consumer demand, the user interactions with the vehicle, and additional autonomy features needed to enable autonomous deliveries." Link to Article

  • May 24, 2022 - Here’s How to Get Infrastructure Funds to Smaller Cities - "It’s the product of a first-of-its-kind partnership among multiple allies: the National League of Cities, U.S. Conference of Mayors, Urban Sustainability Directors Network, the African American Mayors Association, and Results for America, as well as Bloomberg Philanthropies and other foundations including the Emerson Collective, Ford Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation. The Hub will connect America’s local leaders to experts who can bring clarity and direction to what can be a dizzying application process. Through webinars and a range of robust technical assistance packages, Hub experts will help showcase innovations and provide communities with the cutting-edge knowledge they need to compete for federal funds. The Hub will also encourage communities to continue to think big and take on tough challenges. For instance, visionary local leaders see the opportunity to leverage these dollars around climate change and racial wealth equity, and the Hub will support them in advancing ambitious projects that tackle those priorities." Link to Article

  • May 23, 2022 - The Biggest Problem With Flying Cars Is on the Ground - "The startups and investors that have sent hopes soaring for “flying cars” could be in for a rough landing, in more ways than one. Hundreds of companies, new ones and legacy aviation players alike, are working on such vehicles—also called air taxis or eVTOLs (short for electric vertical take off and landing). Five such startups have gone public in the past 12 months. They are trying to shape a near future in which taking a flying cab is an economically viable alternative to taking a terrestrial one. The biggest stumbling block to that sci-fi vision, though, is rather down-to-earth: Flying-car companies haven’t figured out how to site, permit and construct enough places for their vehicles to land and take off to allow a workable business model for making and operating sky taxis." Link to Article

  • May 23, 2022 - Ford-backed Argo AI launches driverless car testing - "Argo AI, a robotaxi startup that has the backing of Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG, said Tuesday it\'s launching driverless test rides in Miami and Austin. The removal of human safety drivers is a milestone for the Pittsburgh-based autonomous vehicle technology company that was founded in 2016. \"Argo is first to go driverless in two major American cities, safely operating amongst heavy traffic, pedestrians and bicyclists in the busiest of neighborhoods,\" Argo founder and CEO Bryan Salesky said in a statement. \"From day one, we set out to tackle the hardest miles to drive — in multiple cities — because that\'s where the density of customer demand is, and where our autonomy platform is developing the intelligence required to scale it into a sustainable business.\"" Link to Article

  • May 23, 2022 - Carriers should invest in technology to attract Gen Z workers, experts say - "With the U.S. workforce slowly undergoing a change from baby boomers to a labor pool full of Generation Z workers, attracting and retaining candidates can be challenging for employers, especially trucking companies. Truck driving is a hard profession and is often a job of last resort for many workers, but leveraging technology to attract younger employees is something almost any company can do, said Jamison Craig, head of growth-North America at Quincus, a Singapore-based software-as-a-service platform for logistics. Craig said many carriers are still using outmoded methods for such things as route optimization, communications and even updates on wait times at loading docks... Craig said trucking companies can address route optimization, wait times and delays by investing in fleet management software programs, along with technology such as dash cams, sensors for trailers, fluid maintenance and tire pressure." Link to Article

  • May 23, 2022 - The first electric fire truck is deployed in the US by LAFD - "The Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) has deployed what is believed to be the first electric fire truck in North America. Rosenbauer, an Austrian-based fire engine manufacturer, claimed to have built “the world’s first fully electric drive fire truck,” the Rosenbauer RTX. Back in 2019, we reported on them bringing a prototype on a tour of North America to show it to some fire departments. The Menlo Park Fire District was the first interested in the truck and aimed to secure the first order, but the LAFD ended first on the list in February 2020. They placed an order for the electric fire engine, which starts at $900,000, but the LAFD configured a version at $1.2 million. They have recently received the truck and officially debuted it this weekend as it is now being introduced in the LAFD fleet of fire engines." Link to Article

  • May 23, 2022 - Uber’s big new update lets you book party buses, electric vehicles and more — here’s what’s new - "Uber announced its latest slate of updates Monday ahead of what’s expected to be a busy travel and events season. The features, announced during its Go/Get virtual event, include: A new option that lets you book a bus or passenger van. A trip itinerary feature to help book rides throughout an extended trip, like a vacation, from one place to another. Voice ordering. An electric vehicle hub for drivers. Uber has been working toward becoming a “super app” as a way to diversify its offerings, which could potentially help drive long-term profitability. For example, the company is adding trains, buses, planes and car rentals to its U.K. app this summer." Link to Article

  • May 20, 2022 - How Cities Can Better ‘Manage’ Car Dependency … And Reduce It - "In a new report from NelsonNygaard, transportation planners proposed an overhaul of the conventional “transportation demand management” plan to “manage” their communities’ dependence on single-occupancy vehicles, rather than simply manage peak traffic flow. Transportation demand management is sometimes used by cities to accomplish driver-focused goals, like cutting congestion at rush hour, but it’s rapidly evolving into an umbrella term that encompasses everything from limited, local strategies, such as workplace bike-to-work challenges, to sweeping and impactful ones, like building great transit systems. The authors argue, though, that even the most well-intentioned TDM plans don’t usually do enough to change how people get around — and that many are tantamount to “tweaking the operations of streets and highways to accommodate ever more cars.”" Link to Article

  • May 20, 2022 - Buttigieg Sends $5B to Cities for Safety as Road Deaths Soar - "With upcoming data showing traffic deaths soaring, the Biden administration is steering $5 billion in federal aid to cities and localities to address the growing crisis by slowing down cars, carving out bike paths and wider sidewalks and nudging commuters to public transit. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Monday announced the availability of money over five years under his department\'s new Safe Streets & Roads for All program. The aim will be to provide a direct infusion of federal cash to communities that pledge to promote safety for the multiple users of a roadway, particularly pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as motorists." Link to Article

  • May 20, 2022 - Autonomous cargo ship completes 500 mile voyage, avoiding hundreds of collisions - "The “world’s first” autonomous commercial cargo ship has successfully completed a near-500 mile voyage in the congested waters of Tokyo Bay, traveling without human intervention for 99% of the trip. The 750 gross-ton vessel was powered by Orca AI, whose software helped the ship avoid hundreds of collisions autonomously. Orca AI is a developer of safety software platforms designed specifically for maritime vessels. Founded in 2018 by two naval technology experts, the company combines sensors with existing safety systems onboard to help improve the safety and navigation of ships on crowded waterways. Headquartered in Israel, Orca AI looks to bridge sea-bound ships to the shore with 24/7 insights to ensure shipping companies keep their cargo safe and efficient at all times, all while providing the technology to bring autonomous cargo ships to reality." Link to Article

  • May 20, 2022 - Will we see self-driving buses on the new bus rapid transit being built in Pittsburgh? - "Just moments into an interview with Vincent Valdes, executive director of Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (the group that decides how to spend federal transportation dollars, locally) Valdes brought up the idea of autonomous buses along the BRT route... Stan Caldwell does a lot of research on technology trends in automated vehicles with his Traffic 21 Institute initiative. He works at Carnegie Melon University and invited Channel 11 to the Navlab, where they’ve been doing research on this type of technology since the 80s. While they’re not testing any automated buses here, CMU is researching what automation would mean for transit. “The role of the drivers will be elevated because they still have to take care of the duties of the passengers, maintaining safety of passengers and everything around the vehicle but they also will have to manage the technology,” said Caldwell. Which is some of the concern for bus riders when Jennifer asked them if they’d ride an autonomous bus." Link to Article

  • May 20, 2022 - Google Has Big Plans for AR. Google Maps Could Be the Key - "Before Google has its own pair of augmented reality glasses, it\'ll need AR to work everywhere. World-spanning AR that blankets the real world using map data has been a goal for several companies lately, and Google is layering its AR using Google Maps. The toolkit, announced at Google\'s I/O developer conference on Wednesday, could leap ahead of several competing efforts from rivals such as Niantic, Snap and Apple by using swaths of existing Google Maps data to generate location-specific AR anchors. Google\'s doing this using the same technique it used to create AR layers on top of Google Maps, called Live View, that were introduced back in 2019. The new ARCore Geospatial API, as it\'s called for developers, could quickly allow specific augmented reality information to be placed at specific locations around the world, so that many people could see it at the same time and interact with it. " Link to Article

  • May 18, 2022 - Hawaiian Airlines Invests in Island-Hopping Electric Seagliders - "It\'s a boat... it\'s a plane... it\'s a seaglider! Fully electric, powered by eight propellers, hovering 30 feet above the ocean, and charging forward at 180 miles per hour -- it\'s how Hawaiian Airlines is betting travelers will one day island hop from Maui to Oahu and beyond. The largest commercial flight operator in America\'s lone archipelago state announced a strategic investment in the Massachusetts firm that\'s developing the breakthrough new boat-plane-glider on Wednesday... Seagliders are categorized as Wing in Ground Effect craft, or WIGs, which are regulated by the US Coast Guard, and not the Federal Aviation Administration... Regent\'s seagliders can glide in and out of harbors, meaning they can use existing infrastructure, reducing capital costs. Their electric-battery-powered motors will also be welcome at Hawaiian, which partly attributed a disappointing $122 million loss in the first quarter to rising fuel prices." Link to Article

  • May 18, 2022 - Bird launches augmented reality-powered parking technology pilot - "Micro-mobility operator Bird has announced the launch of its new parking technology, Bird Visual Parking System (VPS), which is available for free to city partners and requires zero infrastructure or technology investments on behalf of the community. Bird VPS is a scalable, revolutionary new parking tool, powered by Google’s ARCore Geospatial API. The technology enables Bird to geo-localise parked e-scooters with pinpoint accuracy by leveraging years of Google 3D scanning, augmented reality (AR) technology and Google Maps Street View data from around the world. With this new technology, Bird riders can more accurately and precisely end their eco-friendly rides in a tidy manner while adhering to parking guidelines, in an effort to keep walkways and ramps free of obstruction." Link to Article

  • May 18, 2022 - NYC wants to take 25% of its street space away from cars in favor of a walkable/bikeable city - "Back when COVID-19 ravaged New York City and turned the city’s transportation needs upside down, significant portions of the road space were repurposed for non-car use. From bike lanes to public seating and urban parks, roads that previously saw gridlocked traffic were nearly instantly transformed into public spaces that benefitted a wider group of residents. After being forced to realize the benefits of such repurposing of streets, the city is now asking, “Why shouldn’t it just stay that way?” It’s all part of a new plan known as NYC 25×25, which is backed by NYC mayor Eric Adams. The proposal calls for 25% of NYC’s street space to be converted into walkable pedestrian plazas, bike lanes, green space, and bus lanes by 2025. The logic goes that the vast majority of NYC’s streets being dominated by cars doesn’t benefit most city residents, and it doesn’t really benefit cars either. " Link to Article

  • May 18, 2022 - Creaky U.S. power grid threatens progress on renewables, EVs - "Power outages over the last six years have more than doubled in number compared to the previous six years, according to a Reuters examination of federal data. In the past two years, power systems have collapsed in Gulf Coast hurricanes, West Coast wildfires, Midwest heat waves and a Texas deep freeze, causing long and sometimes deadly outages. Compounding the problem, the seven regional grid operators in the United States are underestimating the growing threat of severe weather caused by climate change, Reuters found in a review of more than 10,000 pages of regulatory documents and operators’ public disclosures. Their risk models, used to guide transmission-network investments, consider historical weather patterns extending as far back as the 1970s. None account for scientific research documenting today’s more extreme weather and how it can disrupt grid generation, transmission and fuel supplies simultaneously." Link to Article

  • May 18, 2022 - Driverless vehicles bill approved by Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly - "Kansas Governor Laura Kelly approved a new law on Friday which will allow driverless vehicles to operate in the state. Kelly signed Senate Bill 313 which is described by the Kansas Legislature as permitting the operation of driverless-capable vehicles without a human driver with the automated driving system engaged under certain circumstances. If the driverless-capable vehicle: Is capable of achieving a minimal risk condition... Is capable of operating in compliance with applicable traffic and motor vehicle safety laws. Bears the required manufacturer’s certification label indicating compliance with federal motor vehicle safety standards... Does not exceed 34,000 pounds on tandem axles, until July 1, 2025. Carries a conventional human driver for 12 consecutive months from the date an entity places the driverless-capable vehicle into service in Kansas unless the vehicle is not designed, intended, or marketed for human occupancy or the vehicle lacks manual controls." Link to Article

  • May 17, 2022 - Driverless cars inspire French AI expert to build tool for blind - "A scientist has partnered with a computer vision specialist to develop a harness that warns blind people of hazards in their path, using the same technology as self-driving cars. The harness, which weighs just under a kilogram, is worn around the neck. It does not replace a traditional white cane or guide dog as a navigational aid but it does give advance warning of potential upcoming hazards, including moving obstacles such as e-scooters, bicycles and other walkers, or street furniture such as signposts or flowerbeds. A ‘sound picture’ is played through special speakers which do not cut ambient noises, letting the wearer know the type of obstacle, what direction it is moving in, and how close it is. The idea came to Maël Fabien when he was doing a PhD course in artificial intelligence in Lausanne, Switzerland, and lived near the city’s main ophthalmic hospital. " Link to Article

  • May 17, 2022 - Vehicles Equipped With Active Driving Assistance Tech Slammed Into Cyclists During AAA Test - "The long road towards autonomous vehicles just hit another speed bump. Despite lofty performance promises from carmakers seeking an autonomous future, recent testing from AAA revealed “inconsistent performance” with more basic active driving assistance (ADA) that resulted in vehicles crashing repeatedly into cars and a bicycles. Head-on collisions occurred during each and every one of AAA’s 15 tests featuring oncoming vehicles in a traffic lane, sending test dummies hurling through the air and foam test cars crumbling. Only one vehicle, a Tesla, Model 3, actually managed to significantly reduce its speed before eventually crashing into an oncoming vehicle traveling within its lane, Reuters notes. The test vehicles slammed into a cyclist crossing a travel line in a third of the tests. Reflecting on the results, AAA said the collisions point to the need for constant human attention while drivers have their systems engaged, something evangelists like Tesla CEO Elon Musk have injected with confusion." Link to Article

  • May 17, 2022 - 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS with Drive Pilot: Autonomous on the Autobahn - "This is the brave new future we\'ve been promised for so long: a self-driving car legally operating on real roads. Mercedes in Germany is offering both the EQS and the S-Class with optional Level 3 Drive Pilot support for 7430 euro ($7726) and 5000 euro ($5199), respectively. But finding a road that will allow me to deploy the new Drive Pilot is a challenge, owing to the long list of restrictions around its operation. Although Germany is allowing Level 3 driving automation—on the 1-5 SAE scale that goes from adaptive cruise control to full-Johnnycab robo-chauffeur, this is an \"eyes-off-the-road\" level of conditional driving automation—vehicles can only do so in very limited circumstances. They must be on one of the nation\'s 8200 miles of autobahn highway in traffic traveling at no more than 60 km/h (37 mph) in dry conditions and away from tunnels or construction zones." Link to Article

  • May 17, 2022 - Georgia Connected Vehicle Pilot to Cover 18 Miles of Interstate - "Connected vehicle technology is being expanded into rural roadways in Georgia, as the state expands its ability to collect and process transportation data to improve safety and the overall efficiencies of highways. A partnership among the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), Kia, Panasonic and The Ray, a transportation technology testbed, will expand on a pilot project to deploy a connected vehicle environment along 18 miles of Interstate 85 to collect, process and share real-time roadway data from vehicles outfitted with Panasonic Cirrus technology... The pilot project began in 2019 with four Georgia Department of Transportation vehicles, collecting data and traveling the roadway frequently. This phase of the project involves seven Kia vehicles connected to the project... Some of the use cases currently being deployed in the Georgia connected vehicle project includes features like alerting drivers to rapid braking, which can signal an accident or other events that quickly slow traffic." Link to Article

  • May 17, 2022 - Most electric cars are cheaper to own from day one – report - "Electric cars aren’t just cheaper over the long term but have cheaper total monthly cost from day one for most buyers in the United States, according to a new report from Energy Innovation... This analysis expands on the total cost of ownership calculation – rather than looking at the entire average 12-year period of car ownership, it looks at monthly costs over the length of a six-year financing term. Since 85% of cars in the United States are financed at purchase, this is a more realistic way to view costs than by looking at the sticker price. Energy Innovation’s analysis looks at EV vs. gas vehicle costs in every state and includes financing costs, fuel (based on average fuel costs as of May 4 and average electricity costs), maintenance, insurance, EV incentives, and even dumb EV fees that some states have implemented. " Link to Article

  • May 16, 2022 - San Francisco Police Are Using Driverless Cars as Mobile Surveillance Cameras - "“Autonomous vehicles are recording their surroundings continuously and have the potential to help with investigative leads,” says a San Francisco Police department training document obtained by Motherboard via a public records request. “Investigations has already done this several times.”.. The document released to Motherboard is a three-page guide for how officers should interact with autonomous vehicles (AVs), especially ones that have no human driver inside. It outlines basic procedures such as how to interact with the vehicles... And the section titled “Investigations” has two bullet points advising officers of their usefulness in collecting footage. Privacy advocates say the revelation that police are actively using AV footage is cause for alarm... “??As companies continue to make public roadways their testing grounds for these vehicles, everyone should understand them for what they are—rolling surveillance devices that expand existing widespread spying technologies,” said Chris Gilliard, Visiting Research Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School Shorenstein Center. " Link to Article

  • May 16, 2022 - StoreDot demonstrates extreme fast charging technology capable of delivering 100 miles in 5 minutes - "StoreDot, the pioneer of extreme fast charging (XFC) battery technology for electric vehicles, has successfully, publicly demonstrated its ability to charge a full-scale electric vehicle battery cell with the energy for 100 miles in just 5 minutes live on stage. The presentation took place at EcoMotion Week 2022 in Israel, an increasingly popular global event that brings together leading car makers including General Motors, Volvo, Ford, Continental, The Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance and Hyundai. It further validates StoreDot’s ‘100inX’ strategic technology roadmap, which will transform automotive travel and facilitate the rapid transition to a more sustainable, zero-emissions future by delivering 100in5 by 2024, 100in3 by 2028 and 100in2 in by 2032." Link to Article

  • May 16, 2022 - Survey Cites Fleets’ Growing Acceptance of Alt Fuels, Sustainable Tech - "Overall use of clean fuels and advanced vehicle technologies is rapidly progressing, according to a recent survey of 250 public, private and municipal fleets. But industry experts added that many thorny issues remain. Gladstein, Neandross & Associates made the assessment in its third State of Sustainable Fleets Market Brief. Fleets cited their move toward environmental sustainability and carbon reduction, and the need to find more cost-effective transportation options given today’s record-breaking gasoline and diesel fuel prices... The report also pointed to the accelerating effect of record-setting government funding and legislative support at the state and federal levels. Oregon, Washington, New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts have adopted rules based on California’s that require truck makers to sell increasing numbers of zero-emission trucks." Link to Article

  • May 16, 2022 - Signals along ‘Smart Spines’ optimize traffic flow - "By revamping close to 150 city intersections with adaptive signaling technology, Pittsburgh plans to improve traffic flow and decrease idling times for city buses. The initiative will incorporate technology from Rapid Flow Technologies’ Scalable Urban Traffic Control program (Surtrac), an artificially intelligent adaptive signal control system first deployed in 2012, into eight high-priority traffic corridors, or “Smart Spines,” throughout Pittsburgh. Surtrac uses cameras, sensors and radar technology to first capture real-time traffic conditions at each intersection. With that data, it creates an optimization plan for moving traffic through the intersection, which it then sends to the signal controllers in a specific intersection, to nearby signals and to connected vehicles. “The original application was to decrease congestion and idling time in the neighborhood of East Liberty” where a number of redevelopment projects were already in progress, said Stan Caldwell, executive director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Traffic21 Institute. More>> " Link to Article

  • May 16, 2022 - States band together to push for nationwide fleet electrificatio - "The Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicle initiative has been working since 2020 to develop recommendations for policymakers on how to push truck and bus electrifications in their state. Led by the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management Initiative, the group includes 17 states from across the country as well as Quebec and Washington, D.C., which signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on an action plan for how to push truck and bus electrification in their states. As of March, there is a draft plan in place, and the group collected public feedback on the plan through May 9. Recommendations vary, including calls for heightened sales and fleet purchase requirements to state financing programs for fleet conversions and the coordinated development of long-haul charging infrastructure. Environmental advocates applaud the plan for bringing interstate stakeholders together on actionable electrification goals and say it now comes down to implementation." Link to Article

  • May 13, 2022 - How Anglo American Developed the World’s Biggest Hydrogen-Fueled Truck - "Four years ago, Anglo American Plc couldn’t find any industry partners to support its idea of replacing open-pit mining’s monster diesel trucks with climate-friendly, green hydrogen-fueled vehicles. After investing as much as $70 million on its own to back the concept, the global miner revealed last week a new 220-ton vehicle capable of carrying about 290 tons of ore without producing global warming emissions in the process... Anglo American, like rivals such as Glencore Plc and Rio Tinto Group, are feeling pressure from investors who are concerned about global warming to cut carbon pollution. Replacing the mine haul trucks with hydrogen-fueled ones would slash emissions at Anglo’s open-pit mines by 80%, a key step in reaching the company’s target of carbon neutrality by 2040." Link to Article

  • May 13, 2022 - How Seoul is creating a metaverse for a smarter city - "The city of Seoul, South Korea, is planting the seeds for a metaverse ecosystem called “Metaverse Seoul” for all areas of its municipal administration. The effort combines digital twins, virtual reality (VR) and collaboration to improve city services as well as planning, administration and support for virtual tourism... The platform will help consolidate access to various city services. It will also make it easier to expand services that take advantage of 3D digital twins to improve access to local security footage, report fires and improve public infrastructure. For example, the S-Map service already provides a digital twin for urban planning, real-time fire monitoring and wind path analysis. A safety service called the Ansimi App connects users with Seoul police services, who can tap into local location data and camera feeds to speed investigations. " Link to Article

  • May 13, 2022 - China’s Highway Research Institute to deploy blockchain system - "Beijing BotAioT Intelligent has been tapped by China’s Highway Research Institute to provide electronic blockchain data and certificate storage platform services to enable the institute to improve highway transport infrastructure and equipment calibration test efficiency and traffic flow rates. BotAiot will build a blockchain-based electronic certificate consortium chain for the Highway Research Institute to store and encrypt data collected by online metering and calibration-testing equipment of commercial transportation vehicles originating from both highways and vehicles. BotAiot\'s electronic consortium chain will also provide consortium chain member management, intelligent contract development, certificate issuance, query, cancellation, management and other functions, as well as blockchain custody services." Link to Article

  • May 13, 2022 - Revel aims to charge up NYC’s EV infrastructure - "Fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles made up only 3.4 percent of NYC’s new passenger vehicle sales last year, far behind San Francisco (22 percent), Los Angeles (11.9 percent) and Seattle (11.7 percent), according to Atlas Public Policy, a research group based in Washington D.C. New York even lags the national average of 4.4 percent... Revel, a Brooklyn-based electric mobility company founded in 2018, wants to help solve this electrification conundrum. The brainchild of Staten Island native-turned-Brooklyn resident Frank Reig — co-founder and CEO — Revel is best known for its sky-blue rental mopeds, which can be found in San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; and Miami, in addition to NYC... In addition to the moped rentals, the startup last summer kicked off an Uber-style rideshare service, with 50 Tesla Model Ys operating in Manhattan. At the same time, Revel opened an EV charging \"superhub\" in Brooklyn, in an easily accessible parking lot where 25 fast chargers are available to the owners of any EV brand on a 24/7 basis." Link to Article

  • May 13, 2022 - Autonomous trucking firms launch partnerships with freight transportation providers - "The market for self-driving trucks took three significant steps forward last week with the news that technology providers Embark Trucks Inc., Torc Robotics, and Volvo Autonomous Solutions had announced partnerships with the freight industry heavyweights U.S. Xpress, Penske Truck Leasing, and DHL Supply Chain. Autonomous technology developer Embark Trucks Inc. on Friday said that truckload carrier U.S. Xpress had joined its “partner development program” and plans to add its terminals to Embark’s transfer point network. The company uses such transfer points to move freight from driverless, long-haul trucks completing “middle mile” legs to driver-enabled trucks for first- and last-mile delivery. Since launching that model in 2019 with sites in Los Angeles and Phoenix, Embark says it has conducted hundreds of hauls through the points." Link to Article

  • May 11, 2022 - Busan to create a ‘smart’ container to ship lithium batteries safely - "Municipal authorities in Busan, home of South Korea’s busiest container port, have chosen the design and development of a “smart” container, which can transport batteries safely, following increasing publicity about the dangers of carrying lithium batteries in containers. Busan authorities will work on the so-called Battery Safe Transport Smart Container and its system technology development with South Korea’s largest container manufacturer, Vesta, pallet rental company Korea Pallet Pool and Busan Techno Park. The parties propose a design featuring fire insulation and flame retardancy, sensors and shock protection, alongside the development of a blockchain-based transport information system. The number of battery shipments has been rapidly increasing in tandem with rising demand for electric vehicles. However, lithium batteries, especially, have been known to burst into flames, causing port authorities and ship operators to require such cargo to be declared as dangerous goods." Link to Article

  • May 11, 2022 - White House Aims to Boost Electrical Grid With Grant Program - "Launching a $2.3 billion effort for states and tribes to revamp the national power grid is the latest White House effort to bolster electricity usage to modernize transportation infrastructure. The national power grid is facing numerous challenges resulting from extreme weather, insufficient transmission capacity to transfer power across regions and aging transmission lines and transformers (70% are more than 25 years old), according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Upgrading and expanding the transmission system will improve the national electrical grid’s reliability and resilience while facilitating integration of clean energy sources. “There is no question that a modernized grid is the linchpin to President [Joe] Biden’s goal of a nation powered by reliable, renewable clean energy,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said April 27 in announcing a new formula grant program under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)." Link to Article

  • May 11, 2022 - Pennsylvania taking baby steps away from gas tax, toward fee for miles driven - "Following a slowly growing national movement, Pennsylvania may be ready to try the idea of charging drivers a mileage-based fee to make up millions in transportation revenue lost to more fuel-efficient hybrid and electric cars. Melissa J. Batula, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s acting executive deputy secretary, said the department is working with the General Assembly to draft legislation establishing fees for those who pay little or nothing toward road maintenance. That’s because the state gets about 75% of its road money from the gasoline tax. A commission appointed last year by Gov. Tom Wolf recommended a series of steps to phase out reliance on the gasoline tax, including creating a method for hybrid and electric vehicle owners to help pay for transportation costs." Link to Article

  • May 11, 2022 - Streetlights Offer Path to Rapid mmWave 5G - "Under the terms of their agreement, Ubicquia will use Movandi’s technology to create an mmWave smart repeater that plugs into a streetlight’s photocell socket in minutes — the system is said to be compatible with 360 million existing streetlights worldwide, to accelerate broad 5G mmWave coverage and FWA deployment. These would install in just minutes and lock onto host RAN signals automatically to ensure repeater–to–repeater connectivity without the need for fiber connectivity to the core network. The mmWave smart repeater also integrates with all major RAN/Open RAN technologies, including Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, and Samsung, and supports all global mmWave spectrum bands. The streetlight repeaters, expected to enter test and deployment in 2023, meet utility power, protection, metering, weight, and wind loading requirements, and can ensure optimal outdoor coverage and user experiences by extending the range of 5G mmWave gNBs and redirecting signals around obstacles. " Link to Article

  • May 11, 2022 - The University of Alabama Team Sets Driverless Car Blistering Speed Record but Does Anyone Care? - "Teams from the University of Alabama and Politecnico di Milano formed an Indy Autonomous Challenge team. The Team PoliMOvE says they got a modified, driverless Indy car to hit a blistering 192.2 mph on a NASA runway at Kennedy Space Center... I get that many people believe autonomous cars are cool, and all autonomous car news is exciting car to news to them. However, the hard part of designing autonomous cars seems to be having them avoid obstacles. Inversely, getting them to go in a straight line just isn’t that interesting. As much as I love to see the University of Alabama win at anything (Roll Damn Tide), I just can’t see the value in this. The other part that makes it silly is that land speed records are only really cool because of the mortal element. A car going really fast in a straight line with a computer behind the wheel just isn’t an interesting development. " Link to Article

  • May 10, 2022 - GM Aims to Make U.S. Roads Safer - "General Motors and Inrix are collaborating on a new cloud-based initiative to make U.S. roads safer. The project, Safety View, is described as a software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based solution that allows connected GM cars to provide data on roads, vehicles and vulnerable road users to road transportation authorities. The data has been tailored to complement the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Safe Streets and Roads for All program, and Vision Zero, a drive to eliminate fatalities or serious injuries on the road. Once received, it will allow relevant officials to gain insights into how well road safety initiatives are working and what can be done to improve them." Link to Article

  • May 10, 2022 - Fern Hollow Bridge collapse, as residents push design changes for new bridge By Mark Scolforo | Associated Press, Margar - "Video footage from a transit bus of the Fern Hollow Bridge collapse this year shows one end of the structure had already fallen when an expansion joint at the other end was pulling apart, federal investigators said Thursday. The National Transportation Safety Board issued an update on the Fern Hollow bridge collapse, saying the video is giving them more information about the sequence of events. So far there\'s no evidence of \"widespread deficiencies\" in the \"rigid K-frame superstructure types\" that form the bridge\'s basic structure, the report said. The investigative update said that all aspects of the disaster are still being looked at and that the cause has yet to be determined. Investigators plan mechanical and chemical testing on material samples and will examine plate dimensions and weld quality." Link to Article

  • May 10, 2022 - VW’s 2022 supply of EVs is ‘basically sold out’ in the US and Europe - "Volkswagen’s CEO, Herbert Diess, says that the company is “basically sold out on electric vehicles in Europe and in the United States” for the year, according to a report from the Financial Times. This means that anyone hoping to get an EV from VW, Audi, or any of the group’s other brands may have to wait until 2023, as the company tries to navigate the chip shortage and production issues from COVID shutdowns in China. According to the report, VW expects its backlog of orders to keep growing. It currently has plenty of people on the list waiting to get an EV and expects to add more throughout the year. But supply chain issues will make those difficult to fill. Almost every automaker has had to halt or slow down production thanks to a lack of chips. Some have even resorted to stripping out features from their vehicles just to get them off the assembly line. " Link to Article

  • May 10, 2022 - Porsche leads $400 million investment in EV battery startup Group14 - "Electric vehicle battery startup Group14 has raised $400 million from a group of investors led by Germany\'s Porsche (PSHG_p.DE), the firm said on Wednesday. Part of that money, which boosts Group14\'s valuation to more than a billion dollars, will be used to build a second battery materials factory in eastern Washington state, a few hours from the firm\'s current site in Woodinville, outside Seattle, Chief Executive Officer Rick Luebbe said in an interview... Because Group14\'s silicon-carbon anode material enables lithium-ion batteries to hold up to 50% more energy, Luebbe said they can provide the same range as current graphite-based batteries, but with fewer cells, thus reducing the overall cost and size of the battery pack." Link to Article

  • May 10, 2022 - Mercedes-Benz Drive Pilot Level 3 Autonomous First “Drive”: We Try a World’s First Driverless System - "Late last year I became one of the first people in the world not employed by Mercedes-Benz to legally use the company\'s Level 3 Drive Pilot autonomous system on a public road. German transport authorities had approved the system for use by regular drivers less than 24 hours earlier. Fast forward to May 2022, and the Level 3 Drive Pilot system can now be ordered as an option in Germany on Mercedes-Benz S-Class and EQS models. It\'s not cheap—Drive Pilot will cost the equivalent of $5300 on the S-Class, and $7900 on the EQS, where it must be combined with the $2600 Driver assistance Package—but the future never is. Before the official on-sale date I spent some time in a Drive Pilot-equipped EQS on the traffic-choked autobahn that curls around the south and west of Berlin, Germany, in the jovial company of Jochen Haab, who heads the testing of advanced driver assistance systems at Mercedes-Benz. " Link to Article

  • May 9, 2022 - Check out this solar electric RV that is both a camper and an electric boat… and an e-bike - "Electric campers have a certain charm to them, being able to explore the open road powered by the free sun rays beaming above you. But what if you could combine that freedom with the versatility of an electric boat and an electric bike? That’s exactly what Aigars Lauzis sought to capture when he designed the BeTriton electric camper. It may not be the first three-wheeled electric RV we’ve spotted, but it’s definitely the most versatile. The Latvian-made electric camper isn’t designed for cross-country trips, at least not quick ones. The smaller size means less battery, and that results in a range of around 30 miles (48 km). But it’s what you can do over those 30 miles that really seems to count. The BeTriton (formerly known as the Z-Triton 2.0) doesn’t only house a typical sleeping area for overnights, but the entire contraption also transforms into a boat for water voyages." Link to Article

  • May 9, 2022 - Toyota reinvesting in collaborative safety research - "To adapt to a swiftly changing mobility ecosystem, Toyota announced on April 27 a new five-year, $30-million investment in its Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC). Created in 2011, the CSRC focuses on foundational safety research, and the $85 million apportioned over its first ten years funded research including the factors that lead to distracted driving, and developing tools and testing procedures related to advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS)... The nine new projects will engage the expertise of: University of Massachusetts – Amherst; Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; University of Iowa; Virginia Tech; and Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis." Link to Article

  • May 9, 2022 - ABB to support Shell’s global EV charging ambitions - "ABB E-mobility and Shell are taking their collaboration to the next level to bring flexible and quality charging to millions of electric vehicle drivers. As a leader in EV charging infrastructure, ABB E-mobility has signed a new global framework agreement with Shell to supply ABB’s end-to-end portfolio of AC and DC charging stations. The portfolio ranges from the AC wallbox for home, work or retail installations to the Terra 360 which is ideal for refueling stations, urban charging stations, retail parking and fleet applications. Through this collaboration, ABB E-mobility and Shell will help address two of the challenges to increasing EV adoption. Firstly, charging infrastructure availability, with Shell targeting the operation of over 500,000 charge points globally by 2025 and 2,500,000 by 2030, either at residential, commercial or Shell retail sites. Secondly, the speed of charging, with ABB’s portfolio of charging stations including its Terra 360 charger." Link to Article

  • May 9, 2022 - Cities steadily adding more EV chargers for public to use - "Local governments are making headway as they develop their electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure. “Progress varies depending on what stage governments are at in the electrification strategy and funding availability,” says Brandon Branham, assistant city manager and chief technology officer for Peachtree Corners, Ga., which is part of the Atlanta metro. Its 2022 population is estimated at 45,099. Branham’s community has been working on its electrification strategy for the past seven years. It installed its first public charging infrastructure in 2014, only two years after incorporation as a municipality. “Since then, the city has gone onto testing roadway applied, solar-powered EV charging and it has expanded the public charging network throughout the city... Last month, Lakewood, Ohio (2022 population, 48,676; it’s part of the Cleveland metro) began collecting an EV charging fee of 24 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) at its seven stations located throughout the community. EV drivers had been getting a free charge when powering up at one of the city’s many charging stations. " Link to Article

  • May 9, 2022 - Baker Administration Developing E-Bike Incentive Program - "The Baker administration is developing a new financial incentive to help more Bay State residents purchase electric pedal-assist bicycles, according to officials in the Governor’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA). At April’s virtual meeting of the state’s Zero Emission Vehicle Commission, Dan Gatti, Director of Clean Transportation Policy at the EEA, shared a slide presentation that mentioned the state’s intention to “provide an e-bike incentive through 2025.” According to the same presentation, the program is being designed to “provide incentives for e-bike purchases focused on vehicles used by commuters or delivery applications,” and could be carried out under existing executive authority at the Governor’s office, without necessarily waiting for legislative approval." Link to Article

  • May 6, 2022 - World’s First Flying Car Airport Opens, But You Can’t Fly To Or From It - "Urban-Air Port is opening its first Air-One demonstration site that previews plans for a smart vertiport. Urban-Air Port believes its new Air-One Vertiports will be epicenters of the coming green air transportation revolution. With plans to break ground on its very first location, Urban-Air Port hopes to demonstrate the use case for its planned global infrastructure of automated vertiports. Urban-Air Port plans to build a national network of Air-One Vertiports around the United Kingdom. Their first Air-One Vertiport will open in Coventry where the ambitious project will undergo feasibility testing and real-world data analysis. This innovative project is backed by the UK government to help get things off the ground. According to Urban-Air Port, their network of Air-One Vertiports will allow for the movement of both material goods and people and offer a green automated solution to remedy road congestion, especially in urban settings." Link to Article

  • May 6, 2022 - Smart, Convenient Screws Keep Bridges & Machines Secure Without The Excess Labor - "Have you ever wondered how large infrastructure like bridges, wind turbines, or giant machines stay intact? Well, turns out most of them require workers to spend many man-hours conducting checks to ensure nothing’s amiss. Now, researchers at the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Internet Technologies CCIT have come up with a solution that can cut down the manpower needed to keep these structures safe, by designing a ‘Smart Screw Connection’ that monitors the reliability of screws from miles away... Enter the Smart Screw Connection, which addresses this problem by equipping each screw with a washer and piezoresistive DiaForce thin film. Upon tightening the screw, its sensors take note of the preload force and consistently monitor any changes to the figure. If the preload force were to change due to the screw becoming loose, a change in electrical resistance occurs in the film, which is then “reported to a radio module located on the screw head.” " Link to Article

  • May 6, 2022 - How a pilot’s near-death experience helped inspire a weather app for truckers - "In 2014, Paxton Calvanese launched a unique aviation weather app called Wx24 Pilot. In the ensuing years, he developed a similar road weather app called Drive Weather. With constant refinements and updates, it’s now a popular tool for truckers. Calvanese loves hearing the positive feedback, Some truckers have told him it’s a life-changer. “It probably saved a life or two somewhere along the way,” he said. Perhaps that’s a fitting reward, given that Calvanese’s own near-death experience was the motivation behind creating the initial app... He designed Drive Weather so truckers could enter their destinations and all the stops they wanted to make along the way. The app then shows the weather forecast at the expected times the drivers would get to each point on the trip, automatically updating forecasts and starting points." Link to Article

  • May 6, 2022 - A City Turns to an Algorithm to Prioritize Streetlight Repairs - "With 5,000 broken streetlights and a repair staff short 10 workers, San Diego developed an algorithm to help prioritize fixes. “My team looks at ways to improve the workflow in a way that outcomes are better for employees and also shorten repair and wait times for city residents,” said Kirby Brady, the city’s chief innovation officer and director of the Performance and Analytics Department... The algorithm, which the city has been using for about two months, takes data from about 10 datasets focused on location, residential density, the presence of schools or parks, traffic collision information and streetlight work orders from the city’s Transportation Department. A script combines the data and does the calculations. Factors such as equity, increased traffic collisions or the presence of a park that needs to be well-lit are weighted to produce a ranking of all 5,000 malfunctioning streetlights. In all, San Diego has 65,000 to 70,000 streetlights. " Link to Article

  • May 6, 2022 - Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup needs a $3,900 home device to use it as backup power - "Ford has confirmed the price of its “Home Integration System,” which enables the F-150 Lightning electric pickup to power your home in case of an outage. It will cost $3,895 before installation which is actually quite a good price… When Ford unveiled the F-150 Lightning, one of the features that created the most buzz was its support for bi-directional charging: Ford intelligent Backup Power. It means that the electric pickup truck can send power back to power a home, another vehicle, or virtually anything it can plug into. In March, Ford unveiled the Ford Charge Station Pro, a bi-directional home charging station that works with the upcoming F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck. At the time, we were impressed by the cost of the home charger. At $1,310, it is way more expensive than your average home charging solution, but it is rated 80-amp and it offers bi-directional capacity – two very valuable features. " Link to Article

  • May 4, 2022 - Lime upgrading its fleet of e-scooters and e-bikes in Seattle; move to swappable battery is key change - "As a recent report shows that electric scooters have become a popular transportation option in Seattle, Lime is going all in with a significant upgrade of its fleet of the devices as well as the e-bikes that it has on the city’s streets. Lime is planning to roll out 2,000 new Gen4 scooters by this summer, and it has already swapped 75% of its 2,000 Gen4 bikes. When completed, Seattle will be one of only a handful of cities in North America to have a full fleet of both new Lime models available for citywide use. Washington, D.C., and Atlanta currently have all new bikes and scooters, and Denver is on the way. The most notable upgrade with the Gen4 is a swappable, interchangeable battery that is shared between both scooters and bikes. That move will enhance the efficiency and sustainability of Lime’s operations and improve vehicle availability for riders. Lime also says the new vehicles offer a smoother ride." Link to Article

  • May 4, 2022 - Self-driving tractors plowing ahead in the marketplace - "For farmers, this kind of efficiency is not a luxury. It is a must. Skilled farm labour is nearly impossible to find, a fact that’s long inspired livestock producers to adopt time- and labour-saving technologies such as robotic feeders and dairy cow milking machines. It is the same with tractors. While automobile manufacturers rave about self-driving cars, that technology has been available for tractors for 20 years. In fact, autonomous technologies, like hands-free steering, are now standard on high-powered commercial tractors, including those built by John Deere. While the tractor plows along thanks to features like autosteer and computer-assisted technologies for applying fertilizers or pesticides, the farmer can send work texts or emails, pay bills or even flip through Instagram stories or TikTok videos." Link to Article

  • May 4, 2022 - Seattle addressing some electric scooter safety concerns after survey - "SEATTLE — It\'s been a year and a half since electric scooters hit Seattle. An evaluation from the city\'s Department of Transportation earlier this month found riders took more than 1.4 million trips from October 2020 through September 2021... Officials with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) said the free-floating scooter share pilot launched October 1, 2020. Since then, more than 260,000 riders took more than 1.4 million trips. An SDOT survey of 5,000 riders revealed 70 percent of riders weren\'t following one of the city\'s main rules for the scooters... SDOT officials said the city is planning on making more bike lanes and asking the scooter companies to re-apply for new permits that require them to have a plan to address safety concerns like ensuring riders are wearing helmets. But SDOT officials also said riders play a major role in making this program safe." Link to Article

  • May 4, 2022 - Honda To Invest $40 Billion In Electrification And Launch 30 EVs By 2030 - "Honda has a grand plan. By 2030, it proposes to launch 30 new electric vehicles as it invests 5 trillion yen ($40 billion) into the development of EVs over the next decade. The firm also announced it will spend around 8 trillion yen (@ $62.5 billion) in total on research and development over that time period... Having recently announced a collaboration on reasonably-priced EVs with GM, the Japanese firm says its plans to shift away from conventional gasoline and diesel cars and become a carmaker that only offers electric or fuel cell vehicles by 2040... Honda\'s R&D spending over the past decade amounted to approximately 7 trillion yen (@$54.7b), which means that this investment will be boosted by over 10%. According to Mibe, some 60% of R&D expenditures will be channeled into developing EVs and appropriate software. " Link to Article

  • May 4, 2022 - Driverless trucks tech echoes the big tech frenzy of two decades ago - "Companies with names like Aurora, Embark, Kodiak, Ike, Plus, TuSimple, Waymo and more are promising to change trucking as we know it. They want to put driverless trucks on the interstates to run linehaul between staging yards near interchanges. At least one company is still trying to sell truck platooning technology. Will they fundamentally change trucking? Probably not as much as they might think. And they won’t all make the cut. Trucking has been here before. What we have today is a miniature version of the tech frenzy of 20 years ago. Back in 2002, you heard names like Qualcomm, Internet Truckstop, and PeopleNet, among others – many others. My tech company list from 2002, when I covered the industry, has more than 200 entries. There have been so many name changes and failures, that it’s impossible to say how many survived and in what form. " Link to Article

  • May 3, 2022 - Major Metro Detroit freeway to soon become corridor for driverless cars - "A major freeway in Metro Detroit could soon become the first corridor in Michigan for self-driving cars only. Between Detroit and Ann Arbor rests I-94, which will have a dedicated lane with the necessary infrastructure in place to support autonomous vehicles. Washington, D.C.-based Cavnue was asked back in 2020 to develop a self-driving vehicle roadway in Southeast Michigan. And on Wednesday, the company announced it has raised $130 million to help \"drive innovation and execute on a robust project pipeline--including Michigan but also others.\" A stretch of 25 miles on I-94 will be focused on for development, said officials. Cavnue and the Michigan Department of Transportation will be conducting further traffic studies and operational planning beforehand. " Link to Article

  • May 3, 2022 - BrightDrop And FedEx Set New Guinness World Record - "General Motors\'s BrightDrop announced that, in collaboration with FedEx, it set a new Guinness World Record title for the greatest distance traveled by an electric van on a single charge. The BrightDrop Zevo 600, formerly known as the BrightDrop EV600, completed the nearly 260-mile (418 km) trip from New York City to Washington, D.C., driven by Stephen Marlin. According to the press release, as part of the journey, the Zevo 600 transported a shipment of Full Circle sustainable cleaning products from its headquarters in New York City to a MOM’s Organic Market location in Washington, D.C., a Mid-Atlantic chain of family-owned and operated organic grocery stores. FedEx is a strategic first customer of BrightDrop EVs, which received the first units in December 2021." Link to Article

  • May 3, 2022 - ZipCharge unveils the GoHub: A cheaper, more modular take on portable EV charging - "Portable EV charging developer ZipCharge has announced its latest addition to EV infrastructure with the GoHub. This modular, portable public charging station can be installed anywhere on a footprint the size of a parking space – no matter if its the single-sided 5 charger layout, or the double-sided 10 unit version. The GoHub houses ZipCharge’s Go EV power banks that provide portable energy to both owners and subscribers. ZipCharge is a global portable EV charging network based in the UK with a mission to democratize the charging process for all EV owners, particularly those who don’t have designated off-street or home parking to replenish their vehicles." Link to Article

  • May 3, 2022 - Why Public Transit’s Pandemic Recovery Is Complicated - "Ever since pandemic lockdowns ground life in American cities to an almost complete standstill more than two years ago, big questions have swirled about the future of urban centers: Will the workers who once populated cities return to offices, bringing vitality back with them? Who wants to live downtown? And can they afford it? Many of these questions are entwined with the fate of public transit systems, which have long been buffeted by the same broad trends affecting the cities they serve. As my colleagues and I reported this week, that means cities are trying to figure out how to make people feel safe riding subways, commuter trains and buses amid rising crime and violence. Across the country, transit officials and experts highlighted a fundamental dilemma: Riders feel more vulnerable when fewer people are around. So after ridership plunged because of the pandemic, worries about crime have made it difficult to coax passengers back. Stations and bus stops are emptier, which creates a kind of self-perpetuating cycle." Link to Article

  • May 3, 2022 - China grants first driverless taxi permits to Baidu, Pony.ai - "China has granted Chinese internet services company Baidu and a rival autonomous car company, Pony.ai, permits to provide driverless ride-hailing services to the public in Beijing, a significant regulatory step in the country’s pursuit of driverless technology. The permits given to Baidu and Pony.ai allow them to offer rides without a safety driver behind the wheel to take over in cases of an emergency. The new permits still require a safety supervisor to be seated in the front passenger seat. Baidu said 10 such autonomous cars began offering rides to passengers within a 60-square-kilometer (23-square-mile) area in suburban Beijing from Thursday." Link to Article

  • May 2, 2022 - Electrification meets refrigerated trucks - "Carrier Global, a leading provider of HVAC and cold chain technologies for both buildings and trucks, has been driving toward that opportunity for more than a decade, with its Vector eCool initiative managed by its Transicold division. Among other things, the technology can convert kinetic energy from a trailer axles into electricity and then store it in a battery that powers the refrigeration system. A recent strategic alliance with ConMet, which manufactures wheel components, will amplify this capability, by capturing energy from a vehicle\'s brakes. When the vehicle is parked, the eCool system can be plugged into the grid and charged in roughly four hours, according to Carrier’s marketing literature. The end game: Instead of having to run a separate diesel engine to maintain safe temperatures, the trailer can run off a battery. " Link to Article

  • May 2, 2022 - More Americans view EVs as a primary car in the household, MINI USA survey reveals - "The survey, which repeated the same set of questions used in a 2019 questionnaire carried out by MINI USA, indicates that more Americans – and particularly younger and female consumers – view electric vehicles as a primary car in the household more than any other use case. This represents a shift from 2019 where more respondents selected “commuting car” and “city car” as preferred uses... A point that has remained consistent from both surveys is daily travel distance, as 76% of respondents say that 75 miles of battery range is sufficient for everyday driving... More than two-thirds (67%) of consumers now believe charging should take no more than an hour, an increase from 59% three years ago. Conversely, education on certain key topics has seen minor change over the period for many consumers, particularly regarding the advancement and mainstreaming of EV technology." Link to Article

  • May 2, 2022 - All GM Ultium EVs To Feature Standard Heat Pump System For Improved Performance, Charging, Efficiency - "Electric vehicles are better than internal combustion engine (ICE) equivalents in many respects, but one challenge they face is providing heat in cold weather. While ICEs are far less efficient than electric motors, they do provide an ample source of waste heat. EVs have long relied on resistance heaters that draw power from the battery to heat the cabin. But there is a better solution, the heat pump which General Motors GM +2.3% is incorporating as part of its Ultium energy recovery system that will be standard on all of its new EVs. Unlike a resistance heater, a heat pump doesn’t generate heat, it just transfers thermal energy from one place to another. They utilize refrigerants much like an air conditioner as the transfer medium, but they can do both heating and cooling. Essentially, the heat pump gathers thermal energy from a source and redirects it." Link to Article

  • May 2, 2022 - Electric vs. Gas Cars: What Are the Hidden Environmental Costs of EVs? - "3. Local Climate Extreme heat and cold have negative effects on the efficiency of electric vehicles. EVs in more extreme climate areas in the U.S. can use up to 15% more energy on average, according to Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Engineering and Technology. In the very coldest areas, it can be as much as 40% more energy use. Cold weather slows down the chemical reactions that take place inside the lithium-ion batteries that power all-electric cars, and it requires more power for auxiliary electrical systems such as heating. That extra energy use could translate to higher emissions if that power is drawn from fossil-fuel-burning power plants. But EV battery technology is consistently advancing. Battery packs that take less time to charge and are more energy-dense are in development. EVs are also already built with cooling systems to mitigate the effects of extreme heat on their batteries. " Link to Article

  • May 2, 2022 - Nissan previews ‘ground truth perception’ ADAS capabilities - "Nissan has released details of its latest driver-assistance technology, which it says uses highly accurate, real-time information about a vehicle’s surrounding environment to dramatically enhance collision avoidance. The ground truth perception technology, currently in development, fuses information from next-generation high-performance lidar, radar and cameras. The technology can detect the shape and distance of objects, as well as the structure of the area surrounding the vehicle, in real time with a high degree of accuracy. Using this information, Nissan says it is possible for the vehicle to instantly analyze the current situation, judge and automatically perform required collision-avoidance operations. This technology can also detect slowed traffic and road obstacles in the distance and execute lane changes accordingly. Importantly, the technology can also provide increased support to drivers in areas where detailed map information is not available." Link to Article

  • April 29, 2022 - License to Ill: More Drivers With Bogus Plates Evading Traffic Cams, Costing NYC Up to $75M - "Misplaced or covered-up license plates have allowed drivers to evade red light or speeding camera tickets 1.5 million times since the pandemic hit in March 2020 — and the problem was getting worse in recent months, records obtained by THE CITY show. Delinquent drivers do everything from bending their license plates to putting plastic covers over them to spraying various chemicals to make it impossible for the cameras to accurately read them, according to city Department of Transportation officials... The issue has long plagued the cameras but the number of unreadable images has gone from roughly 1% or lower of all the tickets issued each month from January 2016 until March 2020 to nearly 4% in December 2021, the most recent month available via records obtained through the Freedom of Information Law." Link to Article

  • April 29, 2022 - Allegheny, Indiana, Fayette lead 10-county region in number of slow internet connections - "Allegheny County, followed by Indiana and Fayette counties, had the highest number of homes and businesses with internet connections in a 10-county region with connections so slow they didn’t even qualify as broadband, according to a new study by a Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission-led coalition of nonprofits... “Rural areas were frustrated by the complete lack of access,” Laura Stephany, health policy director, Allies for Children, said during a briefing Monday about the study. “This is an issue of equity. It’s also an economic development issue.”.. The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, Allies for Children, and the Metro21 and Traffic21 initiatives at Carnegie Mellon University, collaborated to form Southwest Pennsylvania Connected, a group to advise applicants for funding from the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Through the law, some $65 billion will be available to broadband installation and expansion projects in the U.S., with priority given to areas with slow speeds and high poverty recipients without access." Link to Article

  • April 29, 2022 - Audi Works to Make Roads Safer for School Buses, Emergency Vehicles - "The U.S. arm of the German automaker has confirmed an expanded partnership with commercial vehicle manufacturer Navistar that will demonstrate how cellular vehicle-to-everything technology can play a part in cutting the number of road accidents and fatalities. Describing C-V2X as a “major step toward safer mobility for drivers, students, paramedics, patients and more,” Audi has explained how it will be used to improve driver information in school zones, at school bus stops and in emergency vehicle situations, with first deployments in summer. Infrastructure expert Applied Information and the Traffic Control Corporation are also involved in the project." Link to Article

  • April 29, 2022 - These highway safety signs cause more crashes than they prevent - "Every year, more than 1.35 million people are killed in car wrecks. In an effort to bring those numbers down, some highway authorities are reminding drivers of the stakes. For a decade, nearly 900 digital signs on Texas highways have sent safety messages to drivers. Most of time, these signs convey a generic message, like “DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE.” For one week per month, they also include a morbid statistic: the number of deaths on Texas roads so far that year. Most U.S. states have similar signs. A new analysis finds they may not have the intended effect. In a surprising paper published Thursday in the peer-reviewed journal Science, researchers find that signs communicating the number of on-the-road fatalities are associated with a slight increase in accidents — 1.35 percent — on stretches of highway downstream of the sign." Link to Article

  • April 29, 2022 - Volkswagen Tests Self-Driving Car on Roads for the First Time - "Volkswagen is testing its autonomous ID BUZZ AD prototype on public roads for the first time. The German automaker took the Level 4 electric vehicle for a test run on the streets of Munich, with VW Group CEO Herbert Deiss as a passenger. The test held major significance, marking the first time the ID BUZZ AD had ventured off a purpose-built test track since it was unveiled at the Munich Motor Show last September. The retro-styled MPV features six Lidar sensors, 11 radars and 14 cameras feeding data into software supplied by Pittsburgh-based self-driving company Argo AI. In the footage, the vehicle has a safety driver, and it is explained that he will keep his hands close to the steering wheel, “ready to intervene if needed.” But the vehicle seems entirely comfortable following its route." Link to Article

  • April 27, 2022 - DOT unlocks money for clean-truck parking capacity - "The Biden administration wants to leverage funds from a new pot of $6.4 billion earmarked for pollution-cutting transportation projects to boost much-needed truck parking capacity across the country. The money will flow to individual states through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Carbon Reduction Program (CRP), administered by the Federal Highway Administration. The five-year program was authorized by the federal infrastructure law signed by President Joe Biden last year... Questioned by lawmakers at a Senate hearing in March on the administration’s efforts to address the lack of truck parking, Buttigieg referenced the CRP as a potential funding source. Other freight-related projects eligible for funding in the CRP include diesel engine retrofits for trucks, as well as projects that deploy smart transportation systems and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications equipment, including retrofitting dedicated short-range communications technology deployed as part of an existing pilot program to cellular vehicle-to-everything technology. " Link to Article

  • April 27, 2022 - Pittsburgh Technology Council starts apprenticeship program to increase diversity in STEM industry - "“There’s no reason this [apprenticeship program] can’t work for tech jobs,” said Ms. Russo, who described the program Friday as part of a presentation by Carnegie Mellon University and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to encourage women and minorities to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math. “How is someone who has been disconnected going to go through a program like this with no pay?” she added. “We’re taking all of the barriers away.”... During Friday’s discussion, Ms. Russo said the Pittsburgh Technology Council identified some problems it hadn’t realized previously. For example, it’s not an easy commute from a place like Monessen to Pittsburgh, so the agency is looking at what it can do to help ease transportation concerns. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation secretary, Yassmin Gramian, told Ms. Russo to contact her after the meeting to see what the state might do to help address that problem." Link to Article

  • April 27, 2022 - UK’s first self-driving bus takes to the road for tests in Scotland - "Stagecoach will be carrying out on-road testing of its self-driving bus from today in preparation for passengers stepping aboard later this summer. Sam Greet, regional director of the company in Scotland, described it as a \"hugely exciting project\". He said: \"This is a major step forward in our journey to fully launch the UK\'s first full-sized autonomous bus service and will provide easy access to a brand-new bus route in the heart of Scotland.\" In the CAVForth pilot scheme, five single-deck autonomous buses will operate across different parts of Scotland, including the Forth Road Bridge between Ferrytoll Park and Ride in Fife and the Edinburgh Park train and tram interchange... This summer each bus will have an experienced driver monitoring the system alongside a bus captain who will move around the vehicle and talk to customers about the service" Link to Article

  • April 27, 2022 - Robotaxi startup Pony.ai gains taxi license in China city - "elf-driving tech company Pony.ai, backed by Toyota Motor Corp, said on Sunday it has obtained a taxi license in China, which will allow some of its driverless vehicles to start charging fares. The company said it was the first autonomous driving company in the country to do so. The startup said it was awarded the license to operate 100 driverless vehicles in the Guangzhou city district of Nansha. Pony.ai last year also won approval to launch paid driverless robotaxi services in Beijing and has since begun offering rides. In Beijing, however, rides are being offered in a much smaller, industrial zone on a trial basis, a Pony.ai spokesperson said. According to the company\'s statement, in Nansha it will start charging fares in the entire 800 square km of the district with driverless cars. Passengers can hail and pay for rides with Pony.ai\'s own app." Link to Article

  • April 27, 2022 - When will robots take our jobs? - "“Moving pallets around, moving forklifts around, moving boxes around in fulfillment centers—that’s an area where we’ve seen just massive robotic explosion,” says Matthew Johnson-Roberson, director of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Amazon operates its own in-house robotics company to push the tech forward. And a growing cadre of startups, such as Berkshire Grey, Covariant, Dexterity, and Plus One Robotics, are offering automation services to the rest of the industry... Goods have a long way to travel to and from warehouses, and the work of truckers is grueling. One of the job’s downsides is the monotony of highway driving—but such dull duties are, again, the sweet spot for automation. Several well-funded companies, including Aurora, Plus, TuSimple, and Google sister company Waymo, are testing automated driving systems. Some companies have proposed first automating the highway part—which comprises over 90% of long-haul trucking—and using human drivers to handle the trickier navigation around cities. " Link to Article

  • April 26, 2022 - Why urban transport urgently needs a digital makeover - "Transforming the future of urban transportation is a now core priority for many employers. These organisations aren’t limited to companies like Amazon, and other retailers, whose business models depend on the ability to fulfil customer service orders from large warehouses often sited far from the neighbourhoods where their employees live. It’s often the case in agriculture, that field and processing plant workers face long commutes, which are hampered by poor public transportation and limited access to vehicles... To dig into the underlying forces that drive these sweeping changes, one of the mobility world’s leading experts, Saskia Hausler, coauthored a special report some years ago. In it, Hausler and her McKinsey colleagues argued that \"as shared mobility continues to gain momentum, automakers and their suppliers need to understand what’s driving its popularity”. As these shifts continue to shape the way policymakers and city planners design what the commute looks like in 2022, it’s clear we’re only partway through the journey." Link to Article

  • April 26, 2022 - As Some Americans Celebrate End Of Travel Mask Mandates, Most Say ‘Not So Fast’ - "Yet despite vocal proponents of the new rule, several polls suggest a majority of the public isn’t ready for masks to come off. An early April Harris Poll showed that 60% of Americans supported extending air travel mask mandates.Flying in spite of the risks may be the new reality, though the Justice Department is appealing the ruling. A recent flash poll conducted by OnePulse just before the ruling also found that 60% of respondents believed the government should extend mask mandates. Nonetheless, 61% said they would wear masks voluntarily if mandates ended... “I believe air travel will continue to increase as we move from a pandemic to endemic posture,” said Stan Caldwell, associate professor of transportation and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University\'s Heinz College." Link to Article

  • April 26, 2022 - Smart Road Pilot P3 Gets Green Light in Kansas - " city in Kansas has approved a 10-year pilot program to deploy a smart pavement technology at five intersections in a public-private partnership. The P3 marks a step forward in deploying the technology, which entails precast concrete road sections embedded with digital technology and fiber optic connectivity for traffic data collection through in-roads sensors, Wi-Fi, 5G and more through antennas in the expansion ports, edge services and cloud access and wireless electric vehicle charging. At a Lenexa city council meeting April 19, members approved a resolution to allow Integrated Roadways to begin design for the first of five intersections, accepting a $250,000 innovative technology program grant from the Kansas Dept. of Transportation, according to the meeting minutes. KDOT first tested the technology on a section of Interstate 35 in 2013. The technology was invented by Tim Sylvester, founder of Integrated Roadways. The technology was further tested in Denver in 2018. " Link to Article

  • April 26, 2022 - How A.I. Can Promote Vision Zero - "Although autonomous vehicles frequently steal the media spotlight, Tanya Mohn argues that there are more practical, immediate ways to use artificial intelligence to improve traffic safety. As Mohn writes, “Artificial intelligence is already being used to enhance driving safety: cellphone apps that monitor behavior behind the wheel and reward safe drivers with perks and connected vehicles that communicate with each other and with road infrastructure.” According to David Ward, president of the Global New Car Assessment Program, there are several “beneficial, low-cost, intermediate technologies that are available now. A prime example is intelligent speed assistance, or I.S.A., which uses A.I. to manage a car’s speed via in-vehicle cameras and maps,” a technology that will soon be mandatory in the European Union. Other technologies include cameras that can assess distracted driving behavior, allowing law enforcement to see whether a driver is holding a phone below the dashboard, for example. " Link to Article

  • April 26, 2022 - Full US transition to electric vehicles still decades away - "The Biden administration is moving the U.S. toward an all-electric vehicle future, though making it a reality may still be decades away... A small but growing number of drivers have already switched to electric vehicles, a trend that will need to continue to grow to deliver an all-electric future. Stan Caldwell, executive director of the Traffic21 Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, said more consumers will move to cleaner vehicles as more options come to the market. “With the significant amount of new products coming online from the manufacturers, that\'s going to have a significant impact, where it\'s not just a couple of offerings out there, you\'re really starting to see wider (offerings),” Caldwell said. “The manufacturing of those companies is really starting to increase — they\'re just making, Ford, GM and Toyota, all the companies — now are all claiming billions of dollars in new manufacturing facilities.”" Link to Article

  • April 25, 2022 - Highway Code: Watching TV in self-driving cars to be allowed - "People using self-driving cars will be allowed to watch television on built-in screens under proposed updates to the Highway Code. The changes will say drivers must be ready to take back control of vehicles when prompted, the government said. The first use of self-driving technology is likely to be when travelling at slow speeds on motorways, such as in congested traffic. However, using mobile phones while driving will remain illegal. No self-driving cars are currently allowed on UK roads, but the first vehicles capable of driving themselves could be ready for use later this year, the Department for Transport (DfT) said. The planned changes to the code are expected to come in over the summer... They will also lay out that users of self-driving cars will not be responsible for crashes. Instead insurance companies, not individuals, will be liable for claims in many circumstances, the DfT said." Link to Article

  • April 25, 2022 - The Rise of the Retro License Plate - "Americans—and their state legislators—love specialty license plates. States have been creating alternative designs for the back-of-the-bumper identifiers since the country’s bicentennial in 1976. But lately, some of the hottest designs have been decidedly retro. This winter, for example, Michigan introduced a new specialty plate based on the design of Michigan license plates from the 1960s. The plates are dark blue—almost black—with gold lettering that simply says the state’s name and “Water-Winter Wonderland.”" Link to Article

  • April 25, 2022 - Audi Urbansphere Is An Autonomous Luxury Car Designed For Chinese Megacities - "Audi has imagined a vehicle primarily for transport in Chinese megacities. Designed from the inside out, the Urbansphere is a commuter that promises personal space, something that is in short supply in these dense metropolitan areas. This effectively translates to an expansive cabin that intelligently connects the physical and digital to help promote a sense of well-being on the move. The Urbansphere was designed and developed collaboratively between Audi’s creative studios in Beijing and its German headquarters in Ingolstadt. And (a new concept for the company), potential local customers took part in the process, contributing their desires and experiences to the development... This latest concept joins two others in the “Sphere” family, the Skysphere and Grandsphere, both shown last year, as Audi’s vision of how it sees the mobility of tomorrow." Link to Article

  • April 25, 2022 - U.S. to grant $6.4 bln funding for projects to reduce carbon emissions - "The U.S. Transportation Department said on Thursday it would award $6.4 billion over five years to states to fund projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The funding, part of a $1 trillion infrastructure bill approved by Congress in November, will help states fund trail facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists and projects that support the deployment of alternative fuel vehicles... Other projects that could be funded include those aimed at reducing traffic congestion and travel demand strategies; truck stop and port electrification systems; public transportation projects such as bus rapid transit corridors or dedicated bus lanes and infrastructure-based intelligent transportation systems and replacing street lighting and traffic control devices with energy-efficient alternatives... Transportation accounts for the largest share of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions - around 27% in 2020. The administration says despite various roadblocks it can still achieve a goal of slashing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030." Link to Article

  • April 25, 2022 - TIME TO GET SMART ABOUT AUTONOMY - "Even with electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles, tires represent the four contact points with the road, and future mobility demands that tires be able to offer digital connectivity to vehicles. Yes, it’s all about connections. The connectivity we refer to is the manner in which future tires will need to communicate with the car, maybe with a fleet manager and even with cities. This relates to smart tires, which have a sensor to transmit information about the tire’s condition and its interaction with the road surface. This interaction is especially vital when it comes to autonomous vehicles. Some will ask: “What happens when you remove the driver and the road is icy, for example?” The smart tire takes on the role of the driver, translating the road to the vehicle. " Link to Article

  • April 22, 2022 - Biden says Americans should decide for themselves if they want to wear masks on public transportation. - "President Biden said on Tuesday that Americans should decide for themselves whether to wear masks, undercutting efforts by his administration to urge Americans to keep wearing face coverings on airplanes, trains and buses even after a federal judge struck down a nationwide mask mandate on public transport. The decision to wear a mask is “up to them,” Mr. Biden told reporters during a trip to New Hampshire to promote infrastructure spending. The Biden administration intends to appeal the ruling, if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decides that extending the measure is necessary. The patchwork of messaging contributed to confusion less than 24 hours after the ruling was handed down. " Link to Article

  • April 22, 2022 - On Streets With Pavement Art, Study Finds Drop in Crashes - "Vehicle crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists fell by 50% and total crashes by 17% on streets with artistic design features, according to a new report from Bloomberg Philanthropies that looks at 17 sites. The report details an analysis comparing crash rates and real-time behavior of pedestrians and motorists at the asphalt art sites before and after the projects were installed. The study included at least two years of data. It also looked at video footage of motorists and pedestrians at five art projects installed in 2021 as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Asphalt Art Initiative. In addition to the crash reductions, the analysis found there was a: 37% decrease in the rate of crashes leading to injuries. 27% increase in the frequency of drivers immediately yielding to pedestrians with the right of way. 25% decrease in pedestrian crossings involving a conflict with drivers. 38% decrease in pedestrians crossing against the walk signal." Link to Article

  • April 22, 2022 - Webinars for older drivers and their caregivers are being held by the Vermont Department of Health to promote safety and independence - "As drivers age they may experience changes in vision, physical fitness and reflexes. By understanding these changes and the risks that come with them, family members, medical professional members and friends can help older Vermonters stay safe, mobile and independent. The Vermont Department of Health, in partnership with the Vermont Agency of Transportation, has launched an Older Driver Safety Program, which includes new resources and a webinar series that begins later this month. The program features information for drivers, their families, caregivers and health care providers, as well as policy makers and public safety officials. " Link to Article

  • April 22, 2022 - FAA awards $4.4M in drone research grants - "The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced Friday that it had granted $4.4 million in drone research, education, and training grants to seven U.S. universities. The drone research will focus on electromagnetic compatibility, detecting and avoiding classifications, and cybersecurity oversight... The University of North Dakota, University of Kansas, and Drexel University will split nearly $1 million to evaluate electromagnetic compatibility – assessing the risks, design vulnerabilities, and other guidance for safer electromagnetic compatibility with emitted and static fields. Four universities will split more than $1.5 million – The Ohio State University ($732,441); Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University ($371,000), Mississippi State University ($330,000), and the University of North Dakota ($80,000) – to study Detect and Avoid Track Classification and Filtering. " Link to Article

  • April 22, 2022 - As cities redesign bus networks, planners stress community engagement - "Lora Byala, CEO of Foursquare Integrated Transportation Planning, explained a redesign as \"looking at every single route in the system and restructuring things in a way that works better.\" A 2021 Transit Cooperative Research Program report called bus network redesigns \"one of the \'hottest trends\' in mass transit.\" Austin, Texas, Baltimore, Dallas, Houston and Los Angeles are among the cities that have implemented bus network makeovers. Boston, Indianapolis, Miami and Washington, D.C. are currently reworking their systems. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, which serves the Philadelphia region, is in the process of a three-year review and revision of its bus network... Equity considerations have gained greater importance in the redesign of bus systems during the last couple of years, said Byala. System overhauls include improving access for communities that rely on the transit network. " Link to Article

  • April 20, 2022 - Proposed California EV regs could be adopted by other states - "The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is about to enact a major update to its Advanced Clean Cars (ACC) program, setting new standards on vehicle emissions and zero-emission vehicle regulations that 16 other states follow. Section 177 of the Clean Air Act allows these states to adopt California’s standards in lieu of federal requirements. The ACC program regulates emissions from light-duty cars and trucks, including both greenhouse gases and smog-forming pollutants. It also sets minimum requirements for sales of zero-emission vehicles in the state, which may be plug-in electric or hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles. The proposed California regulations could influence federal policy as well, said Alice Henderson, director and senior attorney for transportation and clean air policy at the Environmental Defense Fund." Link to Article

  • April 20, 2022 - How Scott Bricker is Changing Pittsburgh’s Streets For the Better - "It’s no surprise that Bricker has several favorite bike trails in Pittsburgh — after all, he is a co-founder and the executive director of BikePGH, a nonprofit organization dedicated to biking education, community and advocacy. BikePGH has transformed Pittsburgh over the past 20 years — more than 100 miles of bike infrastructure and hundreds of bike racks have been installed in the city, thanks to their advocacy. Bricker grew up in Chippewa in Beaver County, and started using a bike to get around regularly when he was in college — he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1999 from Carnegie Mellon University in Oakland. He used a mountain bike to get to class and ride around Pittsburgh... Bricker says BikePGH promotes gender equality in the biking community through programs like WMNBikePGH, which aims to make the biking community less male-dominated. According to the 2020 American Community Survey by the U.S. Census, while 2.4% of male workers older than 16 in Pittsburgh bike to work, only 0.8% of female workers older than 16 do the same. " Link to Article

  • April 20, 2022 - It’s Not Just Dominos: Self-Driving Cars Are Being Tested by These 7 Companies - "Self-driving and autonomous vehicles have been all the rage those past few years. But it’s only recently that companies are starting to incorporate the technology into their business model. Instead of passenger transportation, self-driving cars are starting to be used for safer, more efficient, and on-time delivery offerings... It’s Not Just Domino’s With COVID-19 putting more pressure on e-commerce businesses and restaurants, many companies are experimenting with self-driving cars to ensure they can handle all the orders they receive. 1. Walmart... 2. Amazon... 3. CVS Pharmacy... 4. Stop & Shop... 5. Postmates... 6. AutoX... 7. Kroger Whether it’s Domino’s driverless delivery or Amazon investing in their own autonomous vehicles, self-driving vehicles are proving to be more than a novelty but an essential part of a company’s expanding markets. " Link to Article

  • April 20, 2022 - Pa., national transportation agencies step up battle to eliminate distracted driving as deaths, injuries pile up - "As part of their response to a yearslong rise in highway deaths, national and state organizations are taking aim at distracted driving, hoping to reduce what one official called “a plague on our roads.” Distracted driving, which literally means anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the road, can range from talking or texting on the phone to head-banging to music on the car radio, goofing around with friends, eating, using headphones or applying makeup... As a result, organizations are stepping up efforts to encourage drivers to keep their attention on the road with a special emphasis during April, which is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. For example, the Governors Highway Safety Association announced it is teaming with General Motors on what it calls “an action-oriented, recommendation-rich report” to teach drivers not to distract themselves. Once the report is issued this summer, the association will offer competitive grants to State Highway Safety Offices to implement programs." Link to Article

  • April 20, 2022 - GM patents student driver car that doesn’t need an instructor - "In a recent United States Patent and Trade Mark Filing, GM submitted a design for an autonomous vehicle system designed to measure and train new drivers. This interesting use of autonomous driving tech will be used to judge new drivers and coach them as they learn the basics of driving on public roads. This unique use of autonomous driving technology to train drivers rather than replace them is a new take on the use of this exciting new tech... Although the extensive use of different kinds of sensors has produced smarter vehicles, GM even admits in the patent filing that there may be moments when a human may have to take over and drive without autonomous assistance. GM calls out times when a human may want to drive for personal satisfaction along with instances when the autonomous vehicle is in an environment that it cannot navigate. " Link to Article

  • April 19, 2022 - The Battery That Flies - "The Alia was made by Beta Technologies, where Mr. Caputo is a flight instructor. A five-year-old start-up that is unusual in many respects, the company is the brainchild of Martine Rothblatt, the founder of Sirius XM and pharmaceutical company United Therapeutics, and Kyle Clark, a Harvard-trained engineer and former professional hockey player. It has a unique mission, focused on cargo rather than passengers. And despite raising a formidable treasure chest in capital, it is based in Burlington, Vt., population 45,000, roughly 2,500 miles from Silicon Valley... Electric motors have the virtue of being smaller, allowing more of them to be fitted on a plane and making it easier to design systems with vertical lift. However, batteries are heavy, planes need to be light, and for most of the last century, the e-plane was thought to be beyond reach." Link to Article

  • April 19, 2022 - Mercedes EV Breaks 1,000-Kilometer Range Barrier to Outdo Tesla - " Mercedes-Benz AG electric car drove more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) from Germany to the French Riviera on a single charge, taking the fight to seize the technology limelight from Tesla Inc. to the next level. The EQXX prototype rode from Sindelfingen near Stuttgart via Switzerland and Italy to the Mediterranean coastal town of Cassis, the automaker said Thursday. The sedan’s lightweight chassis and aerodynamic profile allowed it to complete the trip with a battery half the size of Mercedes’s EQS flagship electric vehicle... Mercedes plans to spend 60 billion euros ($65 billion) through 2026 to fend off Tesla and win back the title of the world’s best-selling luxury-car maker from its rival BMW AG. The company has a goal to sell only EVs where possible by the end of this decade and plans to set up eight battery factories with partners." Link to Article

  • April 19, 2022 - How Digital Twins Can Help Speed Up Innovation In Automotive, Smart Cities, Defence & Manufacturing - "Digital twins, simulations of the real world in a digital counterpart, could be a game-changer and a time saver for the future of automotive, electric vehicles, smart cities, defence, and manufacturing. In this special report, Auto Futures talks with leaders in the field to define digital twins, and learn how they can help speed up future innovation. What Are Digital Twins Good For? The Digital Twin Consortium (DTC), a group from industry, government, and academia, is working on consistent vocabulary, architecture, security, and interoperability of digital twin technology. DTC has over 250 members and a variety of working groups for different fields. “We facilitate and create working groups based on interest. Groups are highly collaborative,” says Dan Isaacs, Chief Technology Officer, Digital Twin Consortium." Link to Article

  • April 19, 2022 - Live trial of 5G connected car concept in Virginia - "The Commonwealth of Virginia recently hosted a live trial of a new driver and pedestrian safety concept that allows near-real-time notification of roadway hazards through 5G and edge technologies. This trial is one of three conducted internationally by a public-private collaboration, organized by the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA) and eight member companies representing leading technology companies from around the globe. A related European live-trial was conducted in the city of Turin, Italy. The North American live trial was conducted on the Virginia Smart Road operated by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute in Blacksburg, VA. It was the first of its kind in North America... This live international trial tackled one of the more technical challenges of making the connected car concept a daily reality. The 5G networks underpinning the concept are managed by Communication Service Providers (CoSPs) according to geography, each with different edge solutions that must be able to communicate without interruption of the V2X applications as drivers cross borders." Link to Article

  • April 19, 2022 - USDOT announces initiative to use buses to generate power during natural disasters - "In an effort to build resilience during natural disasters, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced Tuesday it would make available funding for organizations and partnerships interested in developing systems to generate power from electric buses. The Notice of Funding Opportunity would provide $1 million to develop power-sharing standards to help communities grapple with supplying electricity to community buildings, emergency shelters, and hospitals during power disruptions. The Bus Exportable Power Systems (BEPS) Program would be the first step in building community resilience through transit. “Communities and states often need options for generating power immediately after natural disasters,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. “Under this program, we will advance the development of standards for exportable power systems so that communities can take advantage of the power stored by high-tech transit buses to keep the lights on during natural disasters and other emergencies.”" Link to Article

  • April 18, 2022 - Waynesburg to assist CMU with transportation surveys - "Representatives from Waynesburg University’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership will be conducting surveys focused on transportation with residents throughout Greene County during the spring and summer as a part of Carnegie Mellon University’s Rural County Mobility Platform (RAMP) project. Waynesburg University was named a sub-recipient of a grant from the Department of Energy to Carnegie Mellon University’s Mobility Data Analytics Center for the RAMP project in 2019. Originally slated to begin in 2020, the project was postponed due to the pandemic. The three-year project will study transportation issues in Greene County. The goal is to improve mobility in rural Southwestern Pennsylvania, with the potential to advance the fundamental knowledge of how energy-efficient, affordable mobility services can work in rural America, enabling them to be systematically planned, operated, and monitored, inherently merged with system-level modeling." Link to Article

  • April 18, 2022 - Bosch widens autonomous vehicle platform with Five acquisition - "German chipmaker Bosch has acquired autonomous driving software startup Five, strengthening its autonomous vehicle platform. The U.K. company has six location, and all 140 employees will be working on software for autonomous vehicles for Bosch. The financial details were not disclosed. “Automated driving is set to make road traffic safer,” said Markus Heyn, member of the board of management at Bosch. “We want Five to give an extra boost to our work in software development for safe automated driving and offer our customers European-made technology.” Five will be integrated into Bosch’s Cross-Domain Computing Solutions division and will work toward development SAE Level 4 autonomous technology for future vehicles. " Link to Article

  • April 18, 2022 - How scientists are trying to make autonomous tech safer - "With the rise in automation is clear with self-driving cars, delivery drones and robots, ensuring that the technology behind them is safe can often prevent serious damage to human life. But for a long time, there has been no standardised approach to safety when it comes to autonomous technologies. Now, a team of UK scientists is taking on the challenge to develop a new process that it hopes will become a standard of safety for most things automated. Developed by researchers working for the Assuring Autonomy International Programme (AAIP) at University of York in the UK, the new guidance aims to help engineers build a ‘safety case’ in technologies based on machine learning that boosts confidence in them before they reach the market." Link to Article

  • April 18, 2022 - The new frontiers of AI and robotics, with CMU computer science dean Martial Hebert - "This week on the GeekWire Podcast, we explore the state of the art in robotics and artificial intelligence with Martial Hebert, dean of the Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science in Pittsburgh. A veteran computer scientist in the field of computer vision, Hebert is the former director of CMU’s prestigious Robotics Institute. A native of France, he also had the distinguished honor of being our first in-person podcast guest in two years, visiting the GeekWire offices during his recent trip to the Seattle area. As you’ll hear, our discussion doubled as a preview of a trip that GeekWire’s news team will soon be making to Pittsburgh, revisiting the city that hosted our temporary GeekWire HQ2 in 2018, and reporting from the Cascadia Connect Robotics, Automation & AI conference, with coverage supported by Cascadia Capital." Link to Article

  • April 18, 2022 - 7 Smart Cities to Watch in 2022 and Beyond - "StateTech has recognized several cities across the country for their efforts to use data to make services more effective. Those cities make up StateTech’s 2022 Smart Cities to Watch list, a collection of the smart cities that everyone in local IT should keep an eye on for the next year and beyond (check out our 2020 and 2018 editions). Read on to find out how they are excelling at using smart city data to improve the lives of citizens. Click each city (listed alphabetically below) to explore its smart city efforts. Austin, Texas Chattanooga, Tenn. Denver, Colo. Little Rock, Ark. Minneapolis, Minn. Raleigh, N.C. San Antonio, Texas" Link to Article

  • April 15, 2022 - Metro’s 7000-Series Wheel Monitoring Plan Needs Careful Scrutiny, Safety Commission Says - "Metro seeks to bring back its beleaguered 7000-series trains this summer with the help of a new regular monitoring system — a suite of sensors in the tracks that can measure the distance between the wheels on each train car. But the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission, which is providing oversight of the trains’ return, says this new system will need careful scrutiny. In October, a train derailed outside the Arlington Cemetery when it moved through a switching area. No one was hurt, but investigators found the wheels on the train had moved too far apart — an issue that had sprouted up and been addressed nearly two dozen times in recent years." Link to Article

  • April 15, 2022 - Trucking Boom Is Hitting the Brakes as Freight Demand Slows - "The strong freight demand that has delivered bumper earnings for trucking companies during the pandemic appears to be waning, as inflation and sagging consumer sentiment slow an inventory restocking rush that has swamped distribution networks. Rates on trucking’s spot market are sliding and analysts have started to downgrade companies in the sector as truckers prepare to report first-quarter earnings in a market that is signaling growing economic uncertainty. The Cass Freight Index measure of domestic shipping demand edged up a bare 0.6% in March from the month before, an unseasonable slowing of growth at the end of the quarter. Freight-payment company Cass Information Systems Inc. said in an analysis of its closely watched index that the freight market is clearly in a slowdown. At the same time, freight rates appear to be pulling back from recent historic highs. " Link to Article

  • April 15, 2022 - Self-driving car company creating test facility in South Carolina - "A global self-driving vehicle company is establishing a new test facility in South Carolina, the governor’s office announced on Wednesday. Argo AI’s $2.6 million investment in Greenville County is expected to create 40 new jobs, according to a news release. The self-driving technology products company was founded in 2016 and has operations across the U.S. and Europe. Argo AI collaborates with automakers to incorporate its platform into vehicles so they can operate autonomous ridesharing and goods delivery services, the release says. A closed-course track will be built in the South Carolina Technology and Aviation Center for the development and testing of self-driving vehicle technology. Argo AI has other closed-course facilities in western Pennsylvania and Munich, Germany. This one will focus on highway-speed testing as the company works toward commercial autonomous operations across multiple cities, according to the release." Link to Article

  • April 15, 2022 - The future of open city streets could start with smarter traffic lights - "In 2009, the billionaire industrialist Henry Hillman decided his hometown of Pittsburgh could do better. Its traffic congestion problems weren’t as bad as those of most large US cities, but Hillman had the means to do something about them. His foundation donated to CMU with a writ to work on solutions—a prompt that eventually led to Traffic21, an institute charged with devising novel transportation tech and using the city as a lab to test it. Hillman’s grant came at a time when Pittsburgh was looking to reinvent itself. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl dreamed of leading the postindustrial steel town into a new era built on research and entrepreneurship. Traffic21’s executive director, Stan Caldwell, began searching for where to start. Civil engineers consistently pointed to the proliferation of traffic cameras: The tools offered lots of data about how folks moved around, but the people sitting in control rooms didn’t have the training to manage or interpret it. “They were saying, ‘We don’t know how to turn that data into information,’” Caldwell recalls." Link to Article

  • April 15, 2022 - Smart City Boost: Agency Adds Broadband to its Transportation Solutions Toolkit - "Brookings Institution noted that metro traffic congestion was cut in half after COVID-19 hit in 2020, attributing it largely to employees working virtually from home, and more flexible work schedules (though government stay-at-home orders figured prominently as well). The think tank has also reported that 18 million households in rural and urban America are without broadband internet service, which allows streaming of data for smart devices. Considering those factors, the DFW region’s metropolitan planning organization recently informally adopted the policy of funding projects that extend access to broadband internet to underserved communities, while lessening traditional traffic flow. The North Central Texas Council of Governments transportation director Michael Morris took a moment to note that in its March 10 vote, the Regional Transportation Council wasn’t just funding six projects for $11.3 million: It was endorsing a larger idea. “If you approve this today, you are creating a legal foundation that technology is a transportation mode and should be defined as such” by federal law, Morris said." Link to Article

  • April 13, 2022 - Israel investing $6.25 million in autonomous transportation pilot - "Following the Israeli Government\'s decision to promote a national plan for smart-transportation, the Ministry of Transport, the National Public Transport Authority, the Israel Innovation Authority, and Ayalon Highways today announced the launch of a NIS 20 million (approximately $6.25 million) national initiative to conduct autonomous public transportation pilots in Israel. The two-phase initiative is aimed at examining the feasibility of integrating autonomous vehicles in the public transportation system in Israel, and includes an examination of various operational models, looking at economic and operational efficiency... In the past few years, Israel has been a leading country in the field of smart transportation, with over 600 Israeli relevant startups and over 20 development centers for car manufacturers and their suppliers. Simultaneously, in March 2022, an amendment to the country’s Traffic Ordinance was approved that would allow more advanced pilots to be conducted, including the commercial operation of an autonomous vehicle without a driver." Link to Article

  • April 13, 2022 - USDOT announces $20B for transit in 2022 - "President Joe Biden and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced Wednesday that the federal government would invest more than $20 billion into American transit under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The funding represents a 58 percent increase over 2021 and will enable transit agencies in communities of all sizes to modernize and expand their services, the USDOT said... The funding includes $6.9 billion for the Urbanized Area Formula Program supporting transit agencies in large cities and suburbs; $4.1 billion for the State of Good Repair Formula Program; $893 million for the Rural Area Formula grants supporting transit programs in rural areas, and $422 million for the Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities program. " Link to Article

  • April 13, 2022 - The Last Big Obstacle to Electric Cars Is All in Your Mind - "The roughly half of Americans who park in their own driveways or garages can plug in their cars when they get home each night and drive to work the next morning on a full charge. The cost is barely noticeable on their utility bill, about equivalent to running a refrigerator overnight. For the other half of drivers, who don’t have reliable access to off-street parking, it’s more complicated. Some commuters might be able to charge up at work. Maybe your apartment complex or monthly lot has a few spots where you can plug in an EV. God help you if you need curbside charging in a dense city. “In places like Manhattan, I know what a pain it is to find a parking spot,” Jeremy Michalek, a mechanical engineering professor and co-founder of the Vehicle Electrification Group at Carnegie Mellon University, told The Daily Beast. “If you add the constraint that some of those spots have chargers and some of them don’t, it just makes it even more of a nightmare.”" Link to Article

  • April 13, 2022 - Can ‘Buses-As-Flights’ Get Americans Out of Cars — And Planes? - "U.S. airlines are beginning to contract with bus companies to run on-the-ground “flights” between nearby cities — and advocates are suggesting that the intercity bus should no longer be ignored in the conversation about curbing car and plane dependency. American Airlines sparked a curious mix of applause and outrage on Twitter last week when it was announced it would join the growing industry trend of replacing short-leg flights with “on-the-ground” alternatives — or, to be more precise, good old-fashioned buses and shuttles. Tickets for those so-called “buses-as-flights” will be sold exactly as if they were connecting flights, through sites like Kayak and airlines’ own websites, and passengers and their luggage will be ferried directly from their homes to the airport — or, in some cases, directly from terminal to terminal — on buses branded to resemble American’s off-the-ground fleet." Link to Article

  • April 13, 2022 - Report: U.S. Pedestrians Keep Dying at Higher Rates - "According to a press release from the Governors Highway Safety Association, \"U.S. drivers struck and killed 3,441 pedestrians in the first six months of 2021, up 17% – or 507 additional lives lost – from the same period the year before.\" The analysis found that, nationwide, there were 1.04 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people, up from 0.90 in both 2020 and 2019. The data also shows that the rate of drivers striking and killing pedestrians rose to 2.3 deaths per billion vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the first six months of 2021... GHSA recommends combating this crisis with the Safe Systems approach, which relies on five key elements and which has inspired the Vision Zero movement. \" Each of the five elements of the Safe System approach – safe road users, safe vehicles, safe speeds, safe roads and post-crash care – contribute in different ways to provide this multi-layered safety net that can protect people outside of vehicles.\"" Link to Article

  • April 12, 2022 - Here’s what happens when cops pull over a driverless Cruise vehicle - "After stopping the Chevy Bolt-turned-Cruise vehicle, a police officer goes up to its window, tries to (unsuccessfully) open the door, and starts walking back to his cruiser. The autonomous vehicle begins to drive away in what at first seems like the perfect start to a police chase, but then pulls over and puts its hazards on at a point farther down the road. Police drive up behind the vehicle once again, get out of the car, and then hover around the vehicle as they presumably try to figure out how to turn its headlights back on... As Cruise spokesperson Aaron Mclear explained to The Verge, the autonomous vehicle didn’t drive away to escape from police — it was trying to find a safer location to pull over in, a move that most human drivers can’t get away with so easily." Link to Article

  • April 12, 2022 - Electric Vehicle Experts Talks Affordability, Minority Communities and More on ‘Auto Trends’ - "In a two-part radio conversation, Auto Trends with JeffCars.com, a syndicated multicultural automotive radio program, talks with two leading EV experts for its first-ever, high-charged discussion concerning the current state of the EV market. Dr. Jeremy Michalek, who is a professor of mechanical engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, joins the show with extensive knowledge of the EV market. Michalek, who is one of the foremost EV authorities in academia, is also a co-founder of Carnegie’s Vehicle Electrification Group. Alongside him is EV analyst Devin Lindsey, who is an associate director at S&P Global. Lindsey, who is one of the automotive industry’s gurus, concentration centers around alternative propulsion, forecasting and market analysis. More importantly, Lindsey is one of the leading African American EV analysts in the field." Link to Article

  • April 12, 2022 - Musk commits to 2023 Tesla Cybertruck launch and unique ‘robotaxi’ vehicle - "Tesla will launch production of the long-awaited Cybertruck pickup out of its new Austin, Texas, factory sometime next year and is working on a dedicated \"robotaxi\" model using the company\'s autonomous vehicle software, CEO Elon Musk said at an opening day ceremony for the plant. Musk, wearing a cowboy hat and sunglasses, delivered the first batch of Model Y crossovers out of the massive Austin facility late Thursday and said the factory would scale to 500,000 Model Ys per year before adding Cybertruck production. The plant could eventually reach 1 million units per year, Musk said. On a January earnings call, Musk had hedged on a 2023 rollout for the Cybertruck, which originally was targeted for launch last year. Musk was more definitive this week about the Tesla product roadmap." Link to Article

  • April 12, 2022 - Mercedes-Benz Opens its Innovative New ‘Electric Software Hub’ in Sindelfingen, Germany - "Future Mercedes-Benz vehicles will be fully electric and software-defined vehicles that are capable of receiving regular over-the-air- software updates just like a smartphone. By 2025, all new Mercedes-Benz vehicle architectures will be electrical. In order for the automaker to reach its goals, Mercedes-Benz is investing billions in electrification, software development, autonomous driving, connected vehicle technology and digital services. An important step towards that goal will be the company\'s innovative Electric Software Hub at the Mercedes Technology Center in Sindelfingen, Germany. The location, which was first announced in June of last year, is now officially open. It will employ around 1,100 cross-functional teams, including software, hardware, system integration and testing functions will be located under one roof to help create the electric and digital future of Mercedes-Benz." Link to Article

  • April 12, 2022 - Should cars drive like humans or robots? Tesla forces the question - "For a while, his Tesla Model Y was programmed to automatically roll past stop signs at up to 5.6 miles per hour without stopping if it sensed the coast was clear of pedestrians and others. If anything, Tesla\'s experimental driver-assistance features could seem a little conservative to him... Exactly when Tesla\'s software started performing rolling stops isn\'t entirely clear. Last September, a Tesla driver posted a video on social media of a rolling stop. And in January, Tesla released an \"assertive mode\" version of its \"full self-driving beta,\" a premium driver assistance option that featured rolling stops along with \"smaller following distance\" and a propensity to \"not exit passing lanes.\" Tesla recently removed the rolling-stops feature with a software update, but the automaker has opened a question that the average driver may not have thought about: Should cars robotically obey traffic laws, even when human drivers sometimes break them for convenience?" Link to Article

  • April 11, 2022 - Toyota joins Tesla in developing self-driving tech with low-cost cameras - "Toyota Motor (7203.T) unit Woven Planet has joined Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) in trying to advance self-driving technology without expensive sensors such as lidars. Woven Planet told Reuters it is able to use low-cost cameras to collect data and effectively train its self-driving system, a \"breakthrough\" that it hopes will help drive down costs and scale up the technology. Gathering diverse driving data using a massive fleet of cars is critical to developing a robust self-driving car system, but it is costly and not scalable to test autonomous vehicles with expensive sensors, it said... \"We need a lot of data. And it\'s not sufficient to just have a small amount of data that can be collected from a small fleet of very expensive autonomous vehicles,\" Michael Benisch, vice president of Engineering at Woven Planet, said in an interview with Reuters." Link to Article

  • April 11, 2022 - NHTSA Opens Probe Into LG Electric Vehicle Batteries - "U.S. safety regulators have opened an investigation into electric and hybrid vehicle batteries after five automakers issued recalls due to possible defects that could cause fires or stalling. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the probe covers more than 138,000 vehicles with batteries made by LG Energy Solution of South Korea. General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Stellantis and Volkswagen have issued recalls since February 2020, most due to internal battery failures that can increase the risk of fires. The agency says it will write to LG and other companies that might have bought similar batteries to make sure recalls are being done when needed." Link to Article

  • April 11, 2022 - How Cities Are Using Digital Twins Like a SimCity for Policymakers - "Digital twins could also better demonstrate to the public how data drives policy decisions, but it’s tricky, says Ray Gastil, director of the Remaking Cities Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. “The amount of data you need to create a visualization [of an entire city] that looks realistic enough for people to identify with is extraordinarily high,” he says. “The level of representation that you get in even the best work that’s done with cities so far is not at the level of what you find in a sophisticated gaming film animation.” He adds that for most cities, the effort will first concentrate in one particular geographic area or site. Cityzenith has deployed its digital twin technology in four U.S. cities through its Clean Cities Clean Futures campaign to help decarbonize their buildings, starting with specific business districts. It’s expected to sign up a total of 10 cities by the end of this year before taking its digital twin services global." Link to Article

  • April 11, 2022 - 90% of long-haul trucking may soon be self-driving. Are you ready to share the road with an autonomous 18-wheeler? - "Elon Musk has called them the most impactful technology on the horizon. But unions are lobbying against their widespread use, citing studies showing they may kill up to 500,000 jobs. They are autonomous trucks, which supporters pitch as the remedy to a growing demand for shipping and for greater safety on the road. If the technology becomes good enough, the logistics industry will be radically changed, with trucks operating nearly around the clock as they criss-cross the country. The number of companies racing to perfect automated trucking technology is long. Last year, Tesla revealed plans for its own autonomous truck called Semi, which relies on battery power and has a range of up to 500 miles. Meanwhile, Daimler, one of the world’s largest trucking companies, has announced a $573 million investment in self-driving trucks. And the startup Aurora has created its own autonomous truck operating system. Still, it will be years before drivers are completely absent from behind the wheel of 18-wheelers, experts tell Fortune." Link to Article

  • April 11, 2022 - The Pentagon’s Long Road to an Army of Autonomous Vehicles - "The U.S. Department of Defense, once a pioneering incubator for early AV development, is now interacting with top AV startups to imagine the next era of potentially autonomous military vehicles. Though Defense officials signaled to Gizmodo the department’s bullishness on the emerging technology, they’re simultaneously concerned over potential hacking and cybersecurity risks. Gizmodo joined Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks and a group of officials as they observed an autonomous vehicle presentation this week at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park California. When asked about the state of the AV industry immediately following the event, one of Hicks’ Special Assistants spoke positively but said there’s “still some kinks that needed to be worked out.” Foremost among those were concerns around potential hacking and security, the official said." Link to Article

  • April 8, 2022 - PA: Only one of two proposed hyperloop systems involving Pittsburgh remains in active development - "The Pittsburgh region now is down to a single proposed hyperloop system, one that would speed passengers to Chicago in less than an hour in special pods. That\'s because the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, based in Columbus, Ohio, has stopped actively developing a potential route linking Pittsburgh, Columbus and Chicago until the hyperloop technology receives federal government approval. It had been working for more than six years with Virgin Hyperloop One, which last month indicated it would shift its emphasis from moving passengers and cargo to mostly cargo. The other proposal, a route from Pittsburgh to Chicago by way of Cleveland, is still under development by Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc. That company is working with the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, another regional planning organization. " Link to Article

  • April 8, 2022 - Stellantis tests 5G for pedestrian, driver safety notifications - "The maker of Jeep SUVs is offering its assistance in developing technology to provide safety notifications to pedestrians and vehicles. Stellantis NV enrolled its Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid in a trial with the 5G Automotive Association in Blacksburg, Virginia, to pilot new traffic safety roaming technology. Gear installed in the vehicle enabled it to alert nearby infrastructure of its position to notify pedestrians and other vehicles and to receive emergency notifications from the cellular network. The trial comes as the United States has experienced an increased rate of pedestrian deaths. High-speed wireless communication is a key element for automated driving functions as well as future connected and mobility services... For the project, the 5G association also has worked with Intel Corp., Verizon Communications Inc., American Tower Corp., Capgemini SE, Telus Communications Inc., Harman International Industries GMBH, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and the Virginia Transportation Department." Link to Article

  • April 8, 2022 - Texas tollway using satellites to monitor condition of road - "A Texas tollway is using satellite technology to evaluate the condition of the roadway with “millimeter accuracy” to address potential problems before they impact safety or ride quality. SH 130 Concession Co. has partnered with Richmond, Virginia-based EO59, a technology startup that provides remote monitoring services to measure ground and structural movement. Satellites will pass over the SH 130 toll road between Austin and San Antonio every six days and provide measurements on over 30,000 points along the roadway. The data is aimed at preventative maintenance, such as examining micro-shifting of soil and pavement that could lead to major issues on the road if unchecked. Doug Wilson, CEO of SH 130 Concession Co., said that incorporating technologies like InSAR is critical for the company’s predictive approach to keeping the highway safe for both passenger and commercial vehicles." Link to Article

  • April 8, 2022 - Hertz says it will purchase 65,000 electric vehicles from Polestar - "Rental car company Hertz announced plans to purchase up to 65,000 electric vehicles from Polestar, a sub-brand of Volvo and its Chinese parent company Geely. The announcement follows a similar move by Hertz to purchase 100,000 Tesla vehicles in a bid to electrify its global fleet. The new vehicles will be acquired over a period of five years. The Polestar vehicles will available in Europe in spring 2022 and in North America and Australia in late 2022. Neither company disclosed the financial terms of the deal, but the EV maker’s Polestar 2 sedan starts at $49,000, making the deal worth around $3.18 billion if Hertz pays full price for the vehicles. Hertz reported having around 500,000 vehicles in its global fleet last year." Link to Article

  • April 8, 2022 - Google offers employees free electric scooters to get them back to the office - "Google is preparing to bring its employees back to the office this week, and as an added bonus, it’ll be offering them free electric scooters to help ease the transition. The tech giant is teaming up with e-scooter maker Unagi to launch a new program called “Ride Scoot,” in which most of Google’s US-based workers can get reimbursed for the full cost of a monthly subscription to Unagi’s stylish Model One scooter. The Model One, which retails for $990, is a lightweight dual-motor scooter with a top speed of 20mph and a range of 15.5 miles. Unagi founder and CEO David Hyman said the idea was to help Google employees get to work — or even just to the closest bus stop. (Google famously provides free shuttle bus service to its employees in Silicon Valley.)" Link to Article

  • April 6, 2022 - Which Cars Have Self-Driving Features for 2022? - "Vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that automate some tasks — braking, acceleration and steering in some situations — are more common at all price levels for 2022. They also are becoming more sophisticated, with some now making lane changes, allowing for brief hands-free driving and more. It’s important to emphasize, however, that there are no self-driving cars for sale today. Advanced driver-assist tech offers convenience, relief from some driving tasks and some additional safety, but all currently require an engaged driver ready to take over when required... While some tech, such as automatic emergency braking, works in the background, we are looking here at which model-year 2022 vehicles have these key active assistance systems (more detailed explanations are below the vehicle list):" Link to Article

  • April 6, 2022 - UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, IDOT TO DEVELOP DESIGN GUIDELINES FOR SMART WORK ZONES - "The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois (U of I) and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) are working to develop design guidelines for smart work zone systems. According to a blog post from IDOT, the goal of the Illinois Center for Transportation project is to improve safety and mobility in work zones by determining when smart work zone systems are needed, how to design them, and how to ensure the systems are adequately operating... The research team will also develop a tool to assess when smart work zone systems are needed on different types of projects. This tool is expected to help IDOT designers identify the need for smart work zone systems in different projects based on their specific conditions and characteristics, such as work zone length, number of lane closures, and more. " Link to Article

  • April 6, 2022 - How community colleges and developers are preparing for VinFast’s arrival - "April Stanley is a waitress at Al\'s Diner in Pittsboro. She admitted that she had no idea -- there\'s been very little chatter at the restaurant -- about VinFast, the electric automotive company coming to Chatham County that is expected to create 7,500 jobs... \"I would love to be working there. Especially with my skills now. I think it would be really interesting and cool,\" said Alexander. The 20-year-old Alexander is studying robotic welding at Central Carolina Community College. The college received $38 million to create a school-to-career pipeline for VinFast. \"Part of this project is really sitting down with VinFast, taking the time to map out with them What are those jobs? What are those skills? What do we need to add to our catalog of programs so that individuals in our communities are prepared to go into them successfully?\" said Margaret Robertson, Vice President of Workforce Development at Central Carolina Community College." Link to Article

  • April 6, 2022 - Who’s driving that food delivery bot? It might be a Gen Z gamer - "In a low-light Culver City, California control room, Lily Shaw is getting her pilot mood on. A can of mint Guayaki Yerba Mate sits near her carefully manicured fingers. “Good jams to get pumped” from alt rock band Slothrust blast on her earbuds. Horn-rimmed, blue-light filtering glasses protect her eyes. Her favored chartreuse Xbox controller stands ready to command her laptop. Shaw is set for her mission: piloting an order of burritos and doughnuts along Santa Monica sidewalks to a hungry customer. It’s not exactly “Top Gun,” but Shaw’s job at delivery startup Coco highlights a little-known fact about the autonomous delivery robot industry, which is projected to mushroom in growth over the next few years. Those cute sidewalk-traveling ice chests on wheels aren’t completely autonomous, unlike the Roomba roaming your house. " Link to Article

  • April 6, 2022 - Philadelphia Parking Separated Bike Lane Study - "Parking separated bike lanes (PSBLs) are in-street bikeways that are separated from moving motor vehicle traffic by a parking lane and a buffer area... In the City’s study, safety data from peer cities were reviewed to evaluate the effectiveness of PSBLs. Many of the reviewed case studies found that the installation of PSBLs reduce crash rates for motor vehicle drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians, especially at mid-block locations where crash injuries tend to be most severe. PSBLs were also found to reduce people biking on the sidewalk, lower vehicle speeds, reduce interaction between people driving and bicycling, and eliminate the risk of side swiping or overtaking people bicycling. Crashes involving a driver overtaking a person bicycling are the leading cause of fatalities for people bicycling in the US. " Link to Article

  • April 5, 2022 - 5G and 6G networks to give first responders and smart city projects a boost, researchers say - "Though 5G and 6G networks could help first responders and smart city projects with more reliable communications, faster data transfer and new capabilities like intelligent edge computing, they also could introduce new threats, according to a federal report. To aid public sector officials in understanding the implications of 5G, the Department of Homeland Security\'s Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate recently completed an in-depth study of technologies being deployed. “Organizations must balance adoption of these capabilities against the risks and uncertainties in play with both technologies,” S&T Senior Tech Scout Mark Fry said. Global deployment of 5G started in 2019, promising faster and more resilient data transfer. The new networking protocol will enable new technologies like driverless cars and autonomous delivery robots while DHS’ mission will see advancements in sensor networks and autonomous systems, researchers wrote. For state and local governments, the roll out will enable new tools for first responders like priority networks, geolocation and search-and-rescue drones." Link to Article

  • April 5, 2022 - Apple Maps now supports real-time road alerts from emergency vehicles - "Apple Maps now supports real-time alerts sourced from Safety Cloud, a digital alerting platform used by emergency responders and construction zones. Apple\'s primary navigation app already supported real-time alerts from other drivers. The introduction of HAAS Alert\'s Safety Cloud means that Apple Maps users can now receive road hazard warnings reported by professional personnel. HAAS Alerts are sourced from first responders, towing professional, and other emergency vehicles. When users approach one of these incident sites or vehicles, they\'ll receive a real-time alert on their Apple Maps. The HAAS Alert Safety Cloud system is used by more than 1,200 public safety agencies, roadside assistance companies, towing operators, road workers, and other entities with vehicles or roadway equipment. HAAS Alerts, although a lesser-known service among consumers, actually comes standard on many emergency vehicles manufactured by various brands." Link to Article

  • April 5, 2022 - FedEx Teases Texas Drone-Delivery Demo - "The skies over the Lone Star State will get a little more crowded in2023 when FedEx launches the drone-delivery test it announced Wednesday. Starting sometime next year in Texas (FedEx initially said it will take place around Fort Worth, but a final location has not been determined), the delivery firm will test a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) drone from Elroy Air. That startup’s Chaparral autonomous aircraft, unveiled Jan. 22, relies on a gas turbine-electric powerplant, which takes away zero emissions as a selling point but allows for what FedEx predicts will be a 300-mile range. FedEx plans to deploy these winged autonomous planes for “middle-mile” shipments, meaning from one FedEx facility to another instead of dropping off packages in front of customers. Its press release says it began working with Bay Area-based Elroy Air in January 2020." Link to Article

  • April 5, 2022 - Build or buy? Automakers chasing Tesla rethink dependence on suppliers - "utomakers racing to develop battery-powered, software-driven vehicles to compete with Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) are confronting a new challenge: what technology to build themselves, and what to keep buying from suppliers. Becoming more vertically integrated by doing more manufacturing in-house represents a major shift for most global automakers, who have relied for decades on suppliers to produce critical parts and software, and manage sprawling manufacturing networks in low-wage countries. But some established automakers are embracing drastic changes to their longstanding build-or-buy calculations. One factor is the success of Tesla\'s electric vehicles, which rely on proprietary technology the company develops and manufactures itself. Another is the financial damage done by supply-chain breakdowns during the pandemic." Link to Article

  • April 5, 2022 - Ford Testing Smart Traffic Lights for Emergency Vehicles - "The tests were conducted on a road in Aachen, Germany, with eight sets of traffic lights, including two stretches with three consecutive traffic lights just outside the city. A Kuga plug-in hybrid equipped with C-V2X (Cellular Vehicle to Everything) tech was used in two different test scenarios – as an ambulance and an everyday passenger vehicle. The Kuga was fitted with on-board units (for communicating with the infrastructure) and rapid control prototyping hardware (for running the prototype software in the vehicle). For its test of normal, daily driving situations, the SUV was informed by the lights when they would turn from red to green and from green to red. The Kuga then used Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) to adapt its speed to try to ensure it encountered a green light. " Link to Article

  • April 4, 2022 - IDC names 17 winners for its 2022 North America Smart City Awards - "Administration City of Schenectady, New York Community Officials Data Exchange C.O.D.E. Civic Engagement City and County of San Francisco With You On Life\'s Journey – Human Services Agency Data-Driven Policing City of Dallas Violent Crime Evidence-Based Reduction Plan Next-Gen Emergency Services City of Miramar, Florida Miramar Records Management System Digital Equity and Accessibility City of Brownsville, Texas Economic Development City of Burbank, California ONEBurbank Fiber Optic Infrastructure for Economic and Community Development — Burbank Water and Power Education City of Albuquerque, New Mexico Collaboration with Central NM Community College IoT Bootcamp Public Health and Social Services Carnegie Mellon University and Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Utilizing School Bus Routes and Machine Learning to Deliver Meals to Families in Need Smart Buildings City of Mesa, Arizona Mesa City Facilities Automation Smart Water City of Morrisville, North Carolina Connected Parks Initiative Smart Water City of Santa Ana, California Water System Mobile Field Data Management and Mapping Sustainable Infrastructure City of Syracuse, New York Syracuse Smart Street Lighting Transportation - Connected & Autonomous Vehicles, Public Transit, Ride-Hailing/Ride-Sharing City of Virginia Beach, Virginia Virginia Beach Traffic Data-Sharing Partnership Transportation - Connected & Autonomous Vehicles, Public Transit, Ride-Hailing/Ride-Sharing City of Wilson, North Carolina RIDE powered by Via for Wilson, North Carolina Transportation Infrastructure City of Pittsburgh Move PGH Transportation Infrastructure City of Lima, Ohio Smart Train Avoidance Urban Planning and Land Use City of St. Petersburg, Florida Smart Intersection – Vision Zero" Link to Article

  • April 4, 2022 - VIA’s first advanced rapid transit project recommended for federal funding - "The first route in a planned advanced rapid transit system for San Antonio could be well on its way, with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announcing Wednesday the agency would recommend the project for federal funding. What could become San Antonio’s first such system was among seven projects in six states nationwide added to President Joe Biden’s list recommended for funding in 2023. If approved, VIA Metropolitan Transit would receive $158 million from the federal government for the project in 2024. The estimated $320 million project would establish dedicated lanes along San Pedro Avenue for a north-south rapid transit bus corridor between the San Antonio International Airport and downtown. If funded, construction on the 12-mile corridor for a rapid transit system could start in 2025. " Link to Article

  • April 4, 2022 - Waymo’s self-driving cars no longer require a safety driver in San Francisco - "Waymo\'s self-driving cars have been providing lifts to Waymo employees in San Francisco since mid-2021, though always with a safety driver behind the wheel. Now the cars will start operating without a safety driver, though lifts will only be provided to employees. Waymo hasn\'t said when the first members of the public will be able to ride in one of its self-driving cars in San Francisco. Main rival Cruise also has self-driving cars without a safety driver operating on the city\'s crowded roads, and Cruise in February started allowing members of the public to sign up for a ride, though the company hasn\'t said when the first public ride will happen." Link to Article

  • April 4, 2022 - This king-sized e-bike makes cycling a breeze for tall riders - "DirtySixer, a bike builder that specializes in rides for taller cyclists, has released its first e-bike, letting vertically gifted riders enjoy the feeling of breezing along at 20mph with minimal effort. Even the best electric bikes usually come in a pretty limited selection of frame sizes, but as science and tech site New Atlas reports, the eDirtySixer is filling the gap for riders significantly taller than average. At 6\'6\", the company\'s founder David Folch knows all too well the struggles of finding a bike when you\'re much taller than the typical cyclist, and although the eDirtySixer is his first e-bike, he hasn\'t skimped on the components. The bike The boasts 36in wheels with Nextie carbon fiber rims, and an aluminum alloy frame to keep weight down. " Link to Article

  • April 4, 2022 - 7 in 10 drivers use a mobile device behind the wheel: survey - "About 70% of licensed drivers used a mobile device while driving for personal reasons in the past three months, according to newly released survey results, as the U.S. saw more than 3,100 distracted driving-related fatalities in 2020. Urban and suburban drivers were more likely to have used their mobile phones than drivers from rural areas for all reasons studied. The survey of nearly 2,000 licensed drivers in the U.S. was conducted by market research and consulting firm The Harris Poll on behalf of Selective Insurance and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. Traffic deaths have soared in recent years, with 38,824 fatalities recorded in 2020 alone, the highest total since 2007. One-fifth of those deaths were among pedestrians, cyclists and other non-vehicle occupants. That share is on the rise; in 2011, that figure was closer to one in six." Link to Article

  • April 1, 2022 - U.S. seeks new lithium sources as demand for clean energy grows - "The U.S. will need far more lithium to achieve its clean energy goals — and the industry that mines, extracts and processes the chemical element is poised to grow. But it also faces a host of challenges from environmentalists, Indigenous groups and government regulators. Although lithium reserves are distributed widely across the globe, the U.S. is home to just one active lithium mine, in Nevada... The drive for more domestic lithium has opened the potential for mining and extracting in states beyond Nevada. An Australian company called Piedmont Lithium wants to develop an open-pit mining project it has proposed for the Kings Mountain area west of Charlotte, North Carolina... California’s largest lake, the salty and shrinking Salton Sea, is also primed to host lithium operations... In Maine, Plumbago Mountain in the western part of the state has attracted mining interest." Link to Article

  • April 1, 2022 - Officials expected to announce Vietnamese automaker coming to NC, bringing 13,000 jobs - "North Carolina has landed its first auto manufacturer: a Vietnamese startup with plans to build a new line of electric cars in the greater Triangle area, a source tells The News & Observer. A legislative source close to the state’s negotiations process said a Vietnamese auto manufacturer will invest at least $5 billion to build a plant at Moncure’s Triangle Innovation Point, a 2,150-acre “megasite” just north of Sanford. The new facility will employ as many as 13,000 people, the source said... VinFast launched a line of gasoline-powered cars with BMW-licensed engines in 2019, only for Vietnamese consumers. Vuong, who is chairman of VinFast’s parent company, Vingroup, announced in late 2020 that he would back the company’s global ambitions with $2 billion of his personal fortune, according to Bloomberg. Last year, the company announced it would headquarter U.S. operations from Los Angeles, but had not secured a location for its North American production facility. " Link to Article

  • April 1, 2022 - Can blockchains replace GPS mapping? - "GPS mapping requires processing and storing vast amounts of data, and this data is usually stored in a centralised server. This could cause latency issues while accessing and sharing data. On the other hand, blockchain-based decentralised applications distribute data across devices (nodes) on the network. This will reduce latency and ensure seamless access to data. Also, thanks to a network of nodes constantly approving actions and data changes instead of one centralised entity, the application will have up-to-date and accurate information about a location. And due to the consensus mechanism in blockchains that requires verification from multiple nodes in the network, the data cannot be tampered with. The biggest advantage of using blockchain-based mapping will be privacy. In GPS-based mapping, users have to send their location data to multi-faceted billion-dollar organisations that can use geo-tagged information for any purpose they deem profitable. They could sell your data to advertisers, and you can do very little about that. " Link to Article

  • April 1, 2022 - Autonomous Transit Pilot Project in Texas to Expand Service - "The project, known as Arlington RAPID (Rideshare, Automation and Payment Integration Demonstration), is a partnership between the city, UT Arlington, transit provider Via and May Mobility, a maker of autonomous technology and fleet services... The pilot launched about a year ago and has since provided some 28,000 trips. As ridership steadily grew so, too, did the autonomous operation, with the vehicles running in self-driving mode about 80 percent of the time, officials report... In its next iteration, RAPID will use gas-electric hybrid Toyota Sienna vans which are designed for mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) deployments. The van will have a capacity for four to five passengers and will be wheelchair accessible. Communication devices will be installed in the vehicles to allow them to communicate with emergency vehicles." Link to Article

  • April 1, 2022 - FedEx CEO says the company will make ‘an enormous effort’ toward AV trucks in June - "FedEx chief executive Fred Smith told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Tuesday that the company will make big strides in its autonomous vehicle efforts this summer. “You’ll see in late June an enormous effort towards autonomous trucks that move over the highway. Not in the city, where we think our drivers are better for the pickup and delivery of the long-distance vehicles,” Smith said in an interview on “Mad Money.” “We are a long way down the road to doing that. But we’re not going to get rid of our drivers. They’ll do the pick up and delivery and the dredge, if you will, and over time, I’m very confident autonomous trucks are on the way,” he added. FedEx announced it was testing autonomous delivery trucks in China in late 2021 through a collaboration with Neolix, a self-driving logistics company based in the country. FedEx has previously launched initiatives towards autonomous vehicle usage, collaborating with companies including Nuro, DEKA Development Research, Aurora and Paccar. " Link to Article

  • March 30, 2022 - Freight Truck Shortages Are Changing The Face Of Logistics - "Not all experts on freight logistics are quite so optimistic that we will have fully autonomous trucks on the road by 2024 like TuSimple is claiming. Michelle Sodomka, a Senior Director in charge of Open Sky Group’s transportation management practice has 15 years’ experience in risk analysis and mitigation within the logistics industry. She believes a fatal accident could lead to a more restrictive regulatory environment surrounding autonomous trucks and skyrocketing insurance rates. That would make autonomous trucks too cost prohibitive for most shippers.. Nevertheless, she believes the revolution in freight logistics is coming; it is just a matter of timing. Open Sky Group is focused on consulting and implementation of Blue Yonder’s warehouse, labor, and transportation management solutions. Transportation management systems are used by shippers and carriers to more efficiently manage inbound and outbound shipments. Ms. Sodomka does not believe that the emergence of autonomous trucks will impact the planning and execution of transportation shipments. " Link to Article

  • March 30, 2022 - In 2022, Pittsburgh will break ground on a smart city plan over six years in the making - "When the challenge was announced in 2015, Pittsburgh officials were excited about the chance to use the prize money to shake the city’s reputation as a post-industrial steel town, Stan Caldwell, executive director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Traffic21 Institute, who worked on the city’s proposal, told us. “There was a general opinion in Pittsburgh that the challenge was kind of almost tailor-made for us,” Alex Pazuchanics, a former policy advisor to the mayor of Pittsburgh from 2015–2017, told Emerging Tech Brew... The idea for Smart Spines is rooted in an earlier—and still ongoing—project called Scalable Urban Traffic Control (Surtrac), an “intelligent traffic-control system” that began in 2012 and aims to speed up traffic flow and reduce vehicle idle time. The tech, which was developed at Carnegie Mellon University, has since been commercialized via a company called Rapid Flow Technologies. " Link to Article

  • March 30, 2022 - FedEx is testing electric carts for last-mile delivery in big U.S. and Canadian cities - "FedEx plans to test electric carts to make deliveries on its signature Express routes in 10 U.S. and Canadian cities throughout 2022. The company hopes electric delivery carts will help address a major challenge it faces in every big city it serves: lack of parking. E-commerce sales grew 86% over prepandemic levels in February, according to data from Mastercard. But the number of parking spots and loading zones remained largely the same in New York City and Toronto, where the global carrier has been testing the EP1 electric cart made by General Motors’ BrightDrop... Electrifying the global supply chain has been a slow process for the largest global fleet operators, in spite of a flurry of deals between delivery services and EV makers. UPS has a commitment to purchase up to 10,000 delivery trucks from Arrival, and it uses electric bikes and ATVs in Europe. " Link to Article

  • March 29, 2022 - What kids expect from driverless cars, and why it matters - "Many of the girls in the class focused on animals and nature... Further to that, plants and natural materials furnished the interior of their vehicles, with technology taking a back seat... their interior designs seemed to be tailored to comfort and relaxation, with many seating and sleeping arrangement ideas. Boys, on the other hand, wanted to party, it seems. Almost all of the boys in the class focused more on sport, gaming and partying, with concept names such as ‘Games on Wheels’, ‘Party FC Car’, ‘Party! Time!’ and ‘Party Transport’... Practically all of the children honed in on the environmental and social benefits of the vehicle, citing pollution and accident-free mobility for everyone as a core proposition and an absolute necessity in future... Further to that, of the 24 pupils in the class, 16 wanted an in-car toilet, 11 wanted sleeping arrangements and a whopping 20 pupils had imagined eating and drinking facilities too." Link to Article

  • March 29, 2022 - ‘Very significant’: The Mercedes-Benz decision that could fast track autonomous cars - "A recent announcement from Mercedes-Benz could fast track the rollout of autonomous cars and lay the groundwork for widespread adoption, according to industry experts. While self-driving cars already exist (in trials) and are relatively capable, legal disputes over accountability following accidents is one of the most significant barriers preventing them from joining the traffic en masse. However – as revealed to Road and Track earlier this week – the German car giant has now accepted legal responsibility for its autonomous \'Drive Pilot\' system, which can automatically brake, accelerate, steer within its lane, and turn off highways... The most recent announcement is in contrast to Tesla\'s \'Full Self-Driving\' system and General Motors\' \'Ultra Cruise\', which both currently require users to agree to a disclaimer before engaging the technology." Link to Article

  • March 29, 2022 - Ford Creates Unit to Develop Autonomous Vehicles and New Technology - "Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Officer Jim Farley has reshaped the company’s internal operations to accelerate development of autonomous vehicles and foster new technology businesses. Farley formed Ford Next late last year and put it under the direction of Franck Louis-Victor, a hard-charging specialist in new businesses hired last June from Renault SA. The unit contains Ford’s stake in autonomous-auto startup Argo AI and will develop startups in mobility services and other businesses. A joint venture that the automaker struck in January with security specialist ADT Inc. came out of Ford Next... Farley this month announced he was splitting carmaking at the company into two operations: Model e for electric models and Ford Blue for traditional internal combustion engine vehicles. He also has created Ford Pro, which focuses on the highly profitable business of commercial vans and trucks. The automaker’s self-driving unit, Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC, is now part of Ford Next. " Link to Article

  • March 29, 2022 - Metrolinx and OPTA launch passenger accessibility campaign - "Metrolinx has announced that it is joining forces with the Ontario Public Transit Association (OPTA) to raise awareness around accessibility on transit. Through the EnAbling Change campaign – which launched across GO Transit and UP Express services on 21 March 2022 – OPTA and transit agency partners across the province are raising awareness of transit accessibility features, encouraging customers to consider the needs of others and promoting compliance with Ontario’s accessibility standards. The campaign is driven by the transit agency’s firm belief that public transit is for everyone and that getting around via GO Transit or UP Express should be equitable for people of all needs – including those travelling with a cane, support animal or even without any assistance. " Link to Article

  • March 29, 2022 - US startup to staff EV battery plant with displaced coal miners - "Sparkz, a cobalt-free lithium-ion battery manufacturing startup, wants to hire displaced coal miners to staff a gigafactory it plans to build in West Virginia. Sparkz will partner with the United Mine Workers to recruit and train 350 workers, the company announced. Groundbreaking for the facility is expected sometime this year... At a meeting with Biden administration officials at the White House last year, Sanjiv committed to manufacturing electric vehicle components in Appalachia. The startup aims to reduce demand for battery components produced in China, which controls much of the world’s mine production for lithium-ion batteries." Link to Article

  • March 28, 2022 - Verizon, Telus aim to solve roaming challenge in 5G connected car trial - "A live international connected car trial kicked off Wednesday in Virginia, where participants are looking to solve one of the technical challenges for 5G connected cars: vehicles roaming between different operators without interruption to connected services such as traffic safety. The trial is taking place in Blacksburg, Virginia, and involves eight members of the 5G Automotive Association, led by Intel and Verizon, with Telus and Capgemini among others participating. Carriers AT&T and Verizon have each already inked their first 5G connected car deals, with GM and Audi, respectively. In those separate agreements, 5G technology is going to be embedded starting with model-year 2024 vehicles. But as is the case in vehicles, drivers in cars that have 5G-enabled safety and other features will be on the move and it’s key to ensure V2X (vehicle-to-everything) services can happen uninterrupted even as they travel across borders with different networks and edge infrastructure that varies by region and the carrier operating it." Link to Article

  • March 28, 2022 - You Can Save Money With Usage-Based Auto Insurance — But Should You? - "Allstate\'s program is part of a new breed of insurance programs that use vehicle telematics to create pay-as-you-go insurance policies. They include Progressive Snapshot, State Farm Drive Safe & Save and Nationwide SmartRide. On average, consumers can save anywhere between 5% and 50% on insurance using pay-as-you-go insurance. The ideas behind these programs are tantalizingly simple: What if you could only pay for the insurance you use? What if an insurance company could reduce your premiums by verifying your good driving habits in real time? \"Telematics has disrupted the automotive insurance industry by providing insurers with customers’ real-time personalized data,\" says Stan Caldwell, executive director of Traffic21 Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He says insurers can now assess risk by a driver\'s actual behavior rather than the demographic and geographic averages of many drivers. \"Customers who actually drive fewer miles and drive more safely than the average driver can save money,\" he adds. " Link to Article

  • March 28, 2022 - Suzuki joins SkyDrive’s push to build an eVTOL flying car by 2025 - "Japanese eVTOL company SkyDrive has announced it\'s going into partnership with Suzuki, as it works toward the development and full-scale production of a \"compact, two-seating electric-powered flying car,\" which it hopes to debut at the Osaka World Expo in 2025. SkyDrive would appear to be Japan\'s leading eVTOL project. Its parent company, charmingly named Cartivator, was founded on the back of a small investment by Toyota. Its CTO, Nobuo Kishi, joined the company after holding a \"top post\" at Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation, and it partnered with electronics giant NEC on a demonstration aircraft back in 2019." Link to Article

  • March 28, 2022 - How smart is your city? NIST provides a framework to measure - "The goal for developing a guideline and a framework is to provide a standard process for thinking about what gets measured and how, said NIST\'s David Wollman, deputy chief of smart connected systems in NIST\'s Communications Technology Laboratory... An emphasis on citizen engagement in project evaluation might help address a \"techlash,\" according to Stan Caldwell, executive director of Carnegie Mellon University’s transportation research institute, Traffic21. The dissolution of high-profile smart city efforts like San Diego’s smart streetlights program and Sidewalk Labs\' controversial Quayside project in Toronto shows residents\' skepticism of certain smart city projects or technologies. “My advice for cities is that this is the time where you have to be extra cautious about being very transparent about what we\'re doing,” Caldwell said. Cities must engage the public, he said, which often goes counter to how smart cities originally functioned." Link to Article

  • March 28, 2022 - Toyota, Aurora test-drive autonomous ride-hailing fleet in Texas - "Japan\'s Toyota Motor (7203.T) and Aurora Innovation Inc (AUR.O), a U.S. developer of automated driving systems, have started testing autonomous ride-hailing fleet in Texas, with two safety operators and no passenger on board, Aurora said on Tuesday. Toyota\'s Sienna minivans, retrofitted with Aurora\'s self-driving system, will be tested on highways and suburban streets in the Dallas-Fort-Worth area, with the operation including trips enroute to an airport. Autonomous vehicle startups are under pressure to generate meaningful revenue from billions of dollars of engineering investment, but scaling up the fleet is a challenge as technological hurdles remain. \"The route showcases Aurora\'s ability to safely operate at highway speeds, a key technical differentiator that allows it to prioritize popular and lucrative rides,\" the U.S. company said in a statement." Link to Article

  • March 25, 2022 - Locomation signs up 3rd trucking company for its autonomous technology - "Locomation’s autonomous vehicle technology now has a third trucking company as a partner. Stafford, Missouri-based Christenson Transportation will deploy Locomation’s autonomous relay technology on 500 miles of routes on three interstates operating out of its hub in Nashville, Tennessee. Cetin Meriçli, Locomation’s co-founder and CEO, used the platform of the Truckload Carriers Association to make the announcement. At the press conference announcing the signing, Don Christenson, CEO of the company that bears his family name, said the pilot would involve lanes out of the company’s Nashville hub of about 500 miles in length along Interstates 40, 24 and 65. At the press conference were representatives of the two other companies that have signed on with Locomation: Wilson Logistics, which was the first company to do so, and flatbed operator PGT Trucking." Link to Article

  • March 25, 2022 - Toyota, Subaru, Mazda Stick to Bets on Greener Combustion Fuels - "Japanese auto giants are hedging their bets on the future of transportation, pressing ahead with the development of cars that run on cleaner fuels even as the momentum around electric cars builds globally. “The world is moving toward electric vehicles, there’s no doubt there,” Tomomi Nakamura, Subaru Corp.’s president, said at the Suzuka race circuit east of Osaka Saturday. “But is it going to be a world of only EVs? No one can answer that question right now.” Subaru is exploring the potential that other options -- such as cars powered by carbon-neutral fuels -- may have a role to play in lowering fleet emissions, according to Nakamura. Along with Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp., Subaru entered vehicles equipped with engines that burn hydrogen and different carbon-neutral fuels in a road race in Japan’s Mie Prefecture over the weekend. " Link to Article

  • March 25, 2022 - NHTSA Launches Automated Driving Educational Campaign, Teams Up With Engineering Explained - "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched a new educational campaign that is designed to teach drivers about semi-autonomous driving technology and its limitations... While Tesla is the prime example, semi-autonomous driving technology is going mainstream and can be found on an assortment of different vehicles from a variety of companies. To help consumers cut through the hype, the NHTSA has launched an automated driving hub that explains the six levels of automation as well as the benefits of semi-autonomous driving technology... As part of the educational campaign, the NHTSA has teamed up with Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained fame. Thanks to the partnership, Fenske stars in a series of videos that highlight driver assistance systems including automatic emergency braking, automatic high beams, blind spot warning, forward collision warning, and lane keeping assist." Link to Article

  • March 25, 2022 - Volkswagen wants 55% of U.S. vehicle sales to be fully electric by 2030 - "Volkswagen announced its commitment of $7.1 billion over the next five years in the North American region (NAR) to boost its product portfolio, regional R&D and manufacturing capabilities. Scott Keogh, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., shared an update on the strategic roadmap with media. By locally integrating its combustion-engine (ICE) and electric vehicle assembly, American-focused engineering, battery know-how, and software development, Volkswagen aims to drive 55% of U.S. sales to be fully-electric by 2030... Keogh announced that Volkswagen will begin to phase out gasoline-powered vehicles from its American line-up, aiming to exit from sales at the beginning of the next decade, while focusing on the most desirable models. In its place, Volkswagen will advance its electric line-up, including the American-assembled ID.4 in 2022, the ID. Buzz electric microbus in 2024, and new electric SUVs from 2026. " Link to Article

  • March 25, 2022 - Automated trucks could cost 500,000 US jobs, researchers say - "The University of Michigan, in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University, published the findings of a new study that predicts drastic changes in the trucking industry. Under this plan, human drivers would still carry loads from their origination points to truck ports located within about 150 miles. At the titular transfer hubs, trailers and loads would then be shifted from human-controlled vehicles to automated trucks for the long-haul portions of their journey... Study co-author Parth Vaishnav called trucking \"one of the few jobs that give folks with a high school education the chance to make a decent living,\" and warned that there continues to be \" little clarity on how automated trucking will be deployed and its economic and political ramifications.\" Vaishnav believes that \"Ultimately, societal and political choices can determine the mode of deployment of automated trucking capabilities, as well as the winners and losers of any shift to automation of long-haul trucking.\" " Link to Article

  • March 23, 2022 - Electric school buses are reaching cost parity with diesel, and a California district will deploy one of the largest e-bus fleets in the state - "Lots of news in the segment of electric school buses this week, as Highland Electric Fleets signed an agreement with Thomas Built Buses to provide lower upfront costs to customers and expedite EV adoption; their letter of intent will put the price of an electric bus at cost parity with the traditional diesel option. On the opposite US coast, InCharge Energy and its partners announced a project in Southern California to deploy 42 electric school buses, calling it the largest fleet in the state... This EV adoption has begun to snowball thanks to federal and state legislation, as well as blossoming technologies like vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capabilities. Last fall, Highland Electric Fleets and Thomas Built Buses helped supply electricity back to the grid for the first time in Massachusetts." Link to Article

  • March 23, 2022 - Boston to launch e-cargo bike pilot aimed at small business deliveries - "Dive Brief: This summer Boston is launching an e-cargo bike pilot program that focuses on deliveries to and from small businesses which it calls the first of its kind in the U.S. The 18-month e-cargo bike pilot the city planned with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council received nearly $493,000 in funding through the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and the state’s Department of Energy Resources, part of the $5 million in state funding that Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced earlier this month for equitable clean transportation projects in the state. According to the mayor’s office, city funds will nearly double the total funding for the program. In an email, the Boston mayor’s office said the pilot program \"gives Boston an opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and congestion on our streets, all while making them safer for drivers and pedestrians alike.\"" Link to Article

  • March 23, 2022 - GM bets $3.5 billion more on self-driving tech unit as SoftBank exits - "SoftBank Group Corp\'s (9984.T) Vision Fund exited its bet on General Motors (GM) (GM.N) self-driving car subsidiary Cruise as the auto giant upped the ante, investing another $3.45 billion in the loss-making unit... The SoftBank exit comes as Cruise awaits a regulatory permit to allow it to charge riders for a driverless ride-hailing service launched in San Francisco. \"Based on the experience that we have seen from Alphabet\'s (GOOGL.O) Waymo in Arizona, the revenue that you will generate from that deployment will be very, very small,\" said Raj Rajkumar, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, referring to a project developed by the parent of Google. \"It is a long road ahead,\" he said, adding that GM and partners like Honda may have to \"dig deep into their pockets\" to fund the unit for the time being." Link to Article

  • March 23, 2022 - Hyliion Finds There’s More Than One Way To Electrify A Truck - "But just like Tesla, the founder of Hyliion can boast that he’s already got some electrified trucks on the road, as Hyliion’s first units pair a battery-electric motor with diesel or natural-gas engines. And for the longer term, Healy makes a strong case that another system under development by Hyliion will become the industry standard. Hyliion’s Hypertruck ERX range extender swaps out a diesel engine for a bank of electric batteries which are charged via onboard generators that run on tanks of compressed natural gas. The combination gives Class 8 commercial trucks a range of maybe 1,000 miles without having to compensate for massive battery weight and cuts carbon emissions by about 25% compared with diesel, while all-electric trucks so far can provide only 100 to 200 miles of range. Meanwhile, Tesla is pursuing an all-electric technology for heavy trucks while Nikola aims to power its batteries using hydrogen fuel cells." Link to Article

  • March 23, 2022 - MICHIGAN ADVANCES I-375 FREEWAY MODERNIZATION PROJECT IN DETROIT - "The state of Michigan is moving forward with plans to replace the I-375 freeway with an urban boulevard in order to provide easier access between adjacent areas of Detroit. The project will advance to the design phase this spring after the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) concluded its environmental review process. According to a news release from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer\'s office, during construction of I-375 over 50 years ago, prominent Black neighborhoods in the area—Black Bottom and Paradise Valley—were demolished to make way for the freeway at the time. The state of Michigan says the freeway opened in 1964 and created a barrier between the central business district in Detroit and the neighborhoods to the east. Several blocks of commercial and residential buildings were also leveled to make way for the freeway and urban renewal." Link to Article

  • March 22, 2022 - City makes cross-agency data sharing easier - "Officials in San Antonio, Texas, have seen systemic change in support of innovation in the three years since they approved the SmartSA Interlocal Data Sharing Agreement, which makes it easier for partner organizations to leverage data and technology for shared projects... The data-sharing agreement facilitated sharing streetlight location and inventory data with the city, Royall said. “You might think would be really straightforward, but actually in the United States, it’s a pretty complex environment. Some of them are privately owned, some of them are owned by utilities, some of them are owned by the city,” she said. “It’s really important for us to be able to correlate that information.” In 2021, the agreement was ratified across eight public agency partners – CPS Energy, VIA Metropolitan Transit, San Antonio River Authority, Edwards Aquifer Authority, San Antonio Housing Authority, San Antonio Water System, Bexar County Appraisal District and the University of Texas at San Antonio. The Office of Innovation’s Smart Cities team manages the agreement." Link to Article

  • March 22, 2022 - Are Mobility Hubs the Future of Urban Transportation? - "Mobility hubs are more than spots to catch a bus and grab an e-scooter. They are tangible representations of nearly every new trend in mobility today, which generally follows the theme of coordination and collaboration with other mobility operations and stakeholders. And because of this, mobility hubs tend to represent the opposite of how transportation has traditionally been designed and administered. “The system that we had was very siloed,” remarked Andy Wolpert, deputy program manager for Smart Columbus, in Ohio, as he reflected on the evolution of mobility hubs in the city and how they represented a clear deviation from how transportation had always been conceived. In Columbus, transit operated independently from other systems, like park-and-ride operations or private-sector mobility providers like scooters." Link to Article

  • March 22, 2022 - What cyber incident reporting rules mean for critical infrastructure - "Federal officials are beginning work with the private sector to prepare for the historic provision passed last week that requires critical infrastructure providers to notify the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency of malicious cyber intrusions. Critical providers including utilities, banks, energy providers and other sectors will have to alert CISA within 72 hours of a major cyberattack or 24 hours of a ransom payment under new federal regulations. The requirements are part of a long-sought partnership that shields companies from liability and allows for rapid intelligence sharing... The law closes some visibility gaps for both investigators and responders, Sheldon said, which can help strengthen the overall security posture of critical infrastructure providers. However, providers still need to push to incorporate best practices for the purpose of proactive defense, including the use of endpoint detection and response, zero trust and sound log protection practices." Link to Article

  • March 22, 2022 - This Norwegian start-up makes carbon-negative roads - "A typical road is filled with oil: A thick, sticky form of crude oil called bitumen holds together rocks and sand in asphalt. But in Norway, a startup called Carbon Crusher is recycling old roads with a plant-based binder instead. The approach shrinks the carbon footprint of road repair projects so much that the roads actually become carbon negative. The process starts with recycling. Instead of trucking in new materials when a damaged stretch of asphalt needs repair, the company uses a machine that grinds up the top layer of the existing road. The equipment can also be used with concrete, another high-carbon material, as long as the concrete isn’t reinforced with steel. Then, the company uses lignin—a material in plants that’s a major byproduct of the paper industry—to glue the crushed material together. Because trees capture carbon from the atmosphere as they grow, embedding this material in the road actually sequesters that carbon. " Link to Article

  • March 22, 2022 - Tired of waiting for driverless vehicles? Head to a farm - "Beginning this fall, green 14-ton tractors that can plow day or night with no one sitting in the cab, or even watching nearby, will come off the John Deere factory assembly line in Waterloo, Iowa, harkening the age of autonomous farming. The development follows more than a decade-long effort by the world’s largest farm equipment manufacturer, and marks a milestone for automation advocates, who for years have been explaining why driverless cars aren’t quite ready for prime time. “I’m glad to see they’re coming out and will stimulate the other technologies,” said Raj Rajkumar, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and an expert in autonomous cars... But, Rajkumar notes, tractors have it easier because they don’t need to contend with other vehicles, pedestrians or the complexities of an urban scene. Tractors can make use of consistent GPS data, unlike cars that can lose contact traveling through tunnels or amid tall buildings." Link to Article

  • March 21, 2022 - Wind- And Solar-Powered E-Bike Charging Station Opens For Business On Tyneside - "Power Trip, an off-grid e-bike charging station, started generating electricity outside the Cycle Hub bike shop and cafe on 15 March. Overlooking some of the famous Tyne bridges, Cycle Hub is a key destination for cyclists on long-distance cycle routes that follow the River Tyne. Any customers arriving on e-bikes can now hook up to the Power Trip—for pennies—and, as they sip their cappuccinos, charge their batteries with zero-carbon energy. Using an always-generating combination of solar photovoltaic panels and a small wind turbine, Power Trip was developed by Geoff Wallman and fabricated by his girlfriend, Alexandra Prince. Wallman has a Ph.D. in engineering from Newcastle University, where he specialized in combined heat and power generation, or thermoacoustics. His startup, Intelligen International, is based near Hexham in the Tyne Valley, 20 miles from Newcastle." Link to Article

  • March 21, 2022 - U.S. will see ‘meaningful’ autonomous vehicle policy in 2020s -U.S. Transportation Secretary - " U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday said federal policy on autonomous vehicles will undergo \"meaningful\" developments in the coming years, saying policy frameworks had not fully caught up with technological developments. Speaking at the South by Southwest music, technology and film festival (SXSW), Buttigieg said regulation had to set boundaries for self-driving without stifling innovation in an industry that \"is still largely in its infancy.\".. Buttigieg on Wednesday also said he wanted to improve the U.S. public transit system and encourage Americans to buy electric vehicles through government tax incentives to reduce emissions. National U.S. transit use remains some 40% below pre-pandemic levels, according to data from mobility app Transit." Link to Article

  • March 21, 2022 - Harris County’s toll roads are aiming to be more accessible while transitioning to an all-electronic system - "Harris County\'s toll road system is taking steps to become all-electronic. But as part of the process, HCTRA officials say they need to find ways to make the toll roads accessible to more people, including drivers who used to pay cash at the toll booths. Houston Public Media spoke to HCTRA Executive Director Roberto Trevino about his vision for Harris County\'s toll roads... We\'re looking at opening several more locations across the county. As you pay your water bill at a local pharmacy or grocery store, we\'re looking at how we can penetrate the county and other locations, to be a little more customer-friendly as we look at different alternatives to participate. " Link to Article

  • March 21, 2022 - Red-Light Camera Program in Eastern NC City Struck Down - "A North Carolina city\'s red-light camera program is unconstitutional because too little of the money it generates through penalties ends up with the local school system, the state Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday. An appellate panel decided unanimously that Greenville\'s funding framework violates the state constitution\'s directive that the “clear proceeds” of all fines collected must be “used exclusively for maintaining free public schools.” The city contracted in 2017 with American Traffic Solutions of Arizona to install and operate the red-light cameras. Motorists photographed driving through red lights receive citations and face a $100 penalty. Two motorists who were cited sued the city and the Pitt County Board of Education, which ultimately gets the proceeds. The General Assembly has agreed that a local school board must receive at least 90% of the total fees and fines collected to meet the definition of ”clear proceeds.”" Link to Article

  • March 21, 2022 - AWS launches sustainable mobility accelerator for startups - "Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched its Sustainable Cities Accelerator to support startups building mobility and transportation solutions to increase the sustainability of fast-growing urban centres. The Accelerator, launching in collaboration with Freshwater Advisors and Public Spend Forum, is looking for mature clean-tech startups from around the world that are working on micro-mobility, last-mile delivery, urban parking and route optimization, electric vehicle charging infrastructure and applications, Internet of Things (IoT) transportation and traffic optimization, or other solutions to promote sustainable transportation and mobility in urban settings. The goal is to help these startups learn how to innovate and accelerate their growth through advanced cloud-based technologies. This is the second sustainability-focused accelerator program, with last year’s AWS Clean Energy Accelerator resulting in multiple commercial pilot deployments for participating startups." Link to Article

  • March 18, 2022 - Driving an electric vehicle in Pennsylvania: range anxiety, charging and maintenance - "Do the emissions savings outweigh the carbon footprint from manufacturing? Yes, according to Paulina Jaramillo, a professor in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University who studies electric vehicles. “In the worst case scenario where electricity is produced by coal, the benefits are not as significant, they could be pretty similar,” Jaramillo said, “but there’s very few places where everything is now coal electricity.” She noted EVs are cleaner than gas vehicles in terms of other pollutants, such as nitrogen oxide and particulate matter, as well as in noise pollution. Jaramillo acknowledged the concern around lithium-ion batteries that power EVs, as some of the materials needed to make them are mined in developing countries under questionable conditions. She said scientists are working on improvements to battery technology to make them less dependent on what are called conflict minerals. " Link to Article

  • March 18, 2022 - Electric delivery vans set to take off in the US - "A parade of delivery vehicles rumbles through the streets every day, carrying bags and boxes of clothes, groceries and diapers directly to our doorsteps. Vans and trucks burning fossil fuels are fulfilling the nation’s rising demand for online shopping — and they’re bringing noise, noxious fumes and planet-warming gases into neighborhoods across the country. In response, automakers and logistics giants are accelerating efforts to electrify commercial vehicles, which have lagged behind passenger cars when it comes to replacing polluting engines with emissions-free batteries. Among the latest contenders vying to clean up fleets is Arrival. The British startup is partnering with UPS, which has placed an order for 10,000 of the company’s electric delivery vans. Arrival plans to start producing the vehicles later this year in the United Kingdom and the United States. The two companies are collaborating to design vans for drivers making dozens of daily stops, who are hauling ever-growing volumes of goods, said Avinash Rugoobur, Arrival’s president." Link to Article

  • March 18, 2022 - Volkswagen says high demand is helping its EVs turn a profit sooner than expected - "Volkswagen said Tuesday that several of its battery-electric models, including the Porsche Taycan, are already sold out for 2022 and that high consumer demand is helping its electric-car effort become as profitable as its internal-combustion lineup more quickly than expected. Volkswagen has worked for several years on an aggressive plan to transition to electric vehicles, aiming to have EVs account for half of its global production by 2030. While the plan isn’t expected to hit its full stride until the middle of this decade, it’s already bearing fruit. Volkswagen was the leading seller of EVs in Europe, with about 25% of the market. In the U.S., it was second behind Tesla, with about 7.5% share last year." Link to Article

  • March 18, 2022 - Warning: objects in driverless car sensors may be closer than they appear - "Like something out of a spy movie, researchers have demonstrated the first attack strategy that can fool industry-standard autonomous vehicle sensors into believing nearby objects are closer or more distant than they appear – without being detected. The research suggests that in order to fully protect driverless cars from attacks, it may be necessary to add 3D camera capabilities or the ability to share data with nearby cars. The findings will be presented at the 2022 USENIX Security Symposium in August in the US. One of the biggest development challenges for autonomous driving systems is protecting against attacks, and a common way to do this is for separate instruments to check data against each other to confirm their measurements make sense. The most common technology currently used to do this by autonomous car companies is the industry-standard dual-camera LIDAR sensors, which combines 2D data from cameras and 3D data from LIDAR." Link to Article

  • March 18, 2022 - ‘Remote Pod Operator’ Would Solve One Of The Biggest Problems With Autonomous Last Mile Deliveries - "A Swedish freight technology company revealed a new job title at SXSW on Monday which may help answer the interminable problem of getting packages to customers’ front door. The last-mile of delivery is the most costly and time consuming portion of any package’s journey through global shipping. With more customers expecting free shipping, companies and logistics companies are desperate to cut down on those costs. Autonomous vehicles might be the answer to cutting costs and time, if only we could get them to think like a human when encountering problems. Einride has an autonomous pod that can mostly bumble around the streets on its own, but like all autonomous vehicle in existence today, it needs occasional help. Enter the “Remote Pod Operator,” the first of which is trucking veteran Tiffany Heathcott. It’s the operators’ job to monitor the self-driving delivery pods and do their best to help them out of any jams or scraps they may come up against. " Link to Article

  • March 16, 2022 - U.S. eliminates human controls requirement for fully automated vehicles - "U.S. regulators on Thursday issued final rules eliminating the need for automated vehicle manufacturers to equip fully autonomous vehicles with manual driving controls to meet crash standards. Automakers and tech companies have faced significant hurdles to deploying automated driving system (ADS) vehicles without human controls because of safety standards written decades ago that assume people are in control. Last month, General Motors Co (GM.N) and its self-driving technology unit Cruise petitioned the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for permission to build and deploy a self-driving vehicle without human controls like steering wheels or brake pedals. The rules revise regulations that assume vehicles \"will always have a driver\'s seat, a steering wheel and accompanying steering column, or just one front outboard passenger seating position.\"" Link to Article

  • March 16, 2022 - Oklahoma joins neighbor states in quest for dollars to prove hydrogen’s worth - "Oklahoma is ready to demonstrate hydrogen\'s viability as a commercial fuel, and it\'s taking its effort regional through a partnership with two neighboring states. Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana announced this week they have created a regional hydrogen hub with hopes to land a billion dollars or more in federal funds to show off what the states can do. There are lots of ways that effort could and already is happening across the three states, said Kenneth Wagner, Oklahoma\'s secretary of energy and environment... A task force Wagner led in 2021 researched Oklahoma\'s ability to manufacture, store and supply hydrogen as an environmentally friendly alternative fuel that could be used to both power vehicles and generate electricity." Link to Article

  • March 16, 2022 - Connected Cars Are Just As Revolutionary As Electric Vehicles - "With all the media attention for the burgeoning EV market, it’s easy to miss that there is another revolution taking place at the same time. The two overlap and reinforce each other, but they are also clearly discrete as well. That other revolution is connected services, which turn your car into a customizable device like a computer. This shift in vehicle architecture could change the way we use our cars considerably – and fundamentally alter the way we view them... Unsurprisingly, Tesla is the poster child of connected vehicles as well as electrification, showing how related these two areas are. Any Tesla owner will tell you that updates roll out on an almost weekly basis for their cars, bringing with them much more than just bug fixes. New online entertainment services arrive and new games, but also more performance, efficiency and safety features such as the blind spot camera added towards the end of 2021. " Link to Article

  • March 16, 2022 - How the 1970s oil crisis helped Copenhagen become a cycling paradise - "Rush hour in Copenhagen is dominated by people on bicycles: Around two-thirds of the city’s residents now bike to school or work instead of driving. That wasn’t an inevitable reality: Bikes were popular in the city early in the 1900s, but by the 1950s, as people got richer and moved to the suburbs, cars had overtaken bikes on roads. By the 1960s, city planners saw cars as the future and bicycles as outdated. They sketched visions to add new urban highways and take out bike lanes that some thought were a waste of space. But the global oil crisis of 1973—when oil prices quadrupled within a few days—helped push the city in a different direction... As Denmark confronted its dependence on foreign fossil fuels—when the oil crisis happened, imported oil covered 80% of its energy needs—it looked for ways to generate electricity and heat differently and to drive less. " Link to Article

  • March 16, 2022 - Arming Emergency Teams With Data From The Connected Car - "Starting in the second half of 2022, a new service called HALCYON Post-Crash Intelligence (from Beyond Lucid Technologies) shall be provided initially through app stores Amazon Alexa Auto, Android Auto, and Apple’s App Store for CarPlay. Thereafter, subscribers can reach out via the existing voice interfaces to a software system that matches the request for help to a stored profile. That account would contain secure, HIPAA-compliant database housing a critical-health-data profile of the vehicle’s likely occupants—driver and passengers alike. The software will then provide this known medical, and essential, information from the profile to the emergency personnel who are responding to the scene, based on a range of parameters from the location of the incident to whether the region uses a central dispatching service. When the Responders arrive on-scene, they will be able to validate who is actually present, then access the sorts of critical health background data that—if known—might change what they do to care for those who were impacted by the crash." Link to Article

  • March 15, 2022 - Moving Forward—At Restricted Speed - "As the Obama-Biden Administration began in 2009 and 2010, “High-Speed Rail” (HSR) became a buzz-phrase in transportation circles. The High-Speed Intercity Rail Program began, but quickly went nowhere. Democrats sponsored it; Republican governors in Ohio, Wisconsin and Florida killed proposed routes in their states. Only California planned a genuine HSR line, and that project was nearly dead three years ago. Today, it is alive again and making steady progress. So is Brightline in Florida and its subsidiary, Brightline West in Southern California and Nevada, at least as far as Las Vegas. What about the prospect of more fast and frequent service, which seemed possible for a brief moment about 12 years ago? How is the nation faring with efforts to establish high-performance passenger trains?" Link to Article

  • March 15, 2022 - GM electric vehicles to power homes in a new California pilot program - "General Motors on Tuesday announced a pilot program with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. in California that would make its electric vehicles capable of powering a home in the event of a power outage or grid failure. “This is really significant because it’s another benefit of owning an electric vehicle,” GM CEO Mary Barra said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” The move matches similar capabilities by other automakers, including Ford Motor with its upcoming electric F-150 Lightning pickup that’s due out this spring. Ford has partnered with solar company Sunrun for charging and energy accessories to allow such capabilities. EV start-up Lucid Group also has announced similar features for its $169,000 Air sedan. Select PG&E utility customers will take part in the pilot this summer, Barra said. The companies are working to scale the pilot to open it up for larger customer trials by the end of 2022, according to a press release." Link to Article

  • March 15, 2022 - Mass. Clean Energy Center Awards $3 Million to New E-Bike Subsidy Programs - "On Wednesday, the Baker-Polito administration announced that a new statewide clean transportation grant program will award nearly $3 million to five regional e-bike subsidy programs. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s (MassCEC) new Accelerating Clean Transportation for All (ACT4All) program will award funding for 10 projects that will, according to a state press release, “help disadvantaged communities address transportation needs and burdens with innovative, clean transportation solutions.” Half of the winning grants will support regional programs to promote the use of pedal-assist e-bikes, especially in lower-income neighborhoods and communities of color... The City of Boston will soon issue a request for proposals for an cargo e-bike delivery service to serve residents and local businesses in and near the Allston neighborhood. The pilot will build on a 2020 “request for information” from delivery companies “to understand how e-cargo bikes could fit into Boston’s delivery landscape.” " Link to Article

  • March 15, 2022 - ‘I’m the Operator’: The Aftermath of a Self-Driving Tragedy - "In 2018, an Uber autonomous vehicle fatally struck a pedestrian. In a WIRED exclusive, the human behind the wheel finally speaks... Questions of fault when things go wrong have been settled over a century for human driving. But they are still largely the stuff of thought experiments for the cyborgs now roving our streets: vehicles controlled by a machine brain, programmed by human engineers, and usually overseen on the road by some other person behind the wheel. For years, researchers and self-driving advocates had anxiously prognosticated about how the public and the legal system would react to the first pedestrian death caused by a self-driving car... The crash in Tempe ripped those musings into reality—forcing police, prosecutors, Uber, and Vasquez into roles both unwanted and unprecedented in a matter of seconds. At the scene that night, Vasquez stood at the center of a tragedy and a conundrum. " Link to Article

  • March 15, 2022 - Absolving user of blame in driverless cars could accelerate adoption - "TU-Automotive’s editor, Paul Myles, reports that “British lawyers are calling for automakers to shoulder unlimited legal responsibility for a driverless vehicle’s actions on the roads.” Subsequently, drivers will become users-in-charge, absolving human drivers of any blame for the “vehicle’s driving tasks in the event of an accident or breach of any highway regulations. As reported by the BBC, the UK’s Law Commission was asked in 2018 to come up with a series of reports on the regulatory framework for automated vehicles and their use on public roads.” While there is an ongoing discussion about connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) liability in terms of who or what is responsible whenever an accident occurs, in a telephone conversation with TU-Automotive, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) was keen to point out that there are currently no plans to make automakers 100% responsible for accidents caused by one of their vehicles in semi or fully autonomous mode. " Link to Article

  • March 14, 2022 - Study Finds Greater Greenhouse Gas Reductions for Pickup Truck Electrification than for Other Light-Duty Vehicles - "University of Michigan and Ford Motor Company researchers addressed this question in a new study and evaluated the savings in greenhouse gas emissions relative to gasoline-powered pickup trucks. Researchers found that light-duty, battery-electric vehicles have approximately 64% lower cradle-to-grave life cycle greenhouse gas emissions than internal-combustion-engine vehicles on average across the United States... In the study, researchers conducted a cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment of pickup trucks and compared the implications of pickup truck electrification to those of sedan and SUV electrification. With a focus on evaluating greenhouse gas emissions, researchers looked at three different model year 2020 powertrain options—internal-combustion-engine vehicles, hybrid-electric vehicles, and battery-electric vehicles—for midsize sedans, midsize SUVs, and full-size pickup trucks, accounting for differences in fuel economy, annual mileage, vehicle production, and vehicle lifetime across vehicle classes." Link to Article

  • March 14, 2022 - Exclusive: Watching Waymo build autonomous Freightliner Cascadias - "Manufacturing of Waymo Via robot-driven Freightliner Cascadias, part of the future of long-haul trucking, resides in a century-old industrial building on St. Aubin Street where Chevrolet Gear & Axle operated in the mid-20th century heyday of General Motors... Waymo gave Freightliner parent Daimler Truck North America a list of 1,500 requirements it needed to safely integrate the Waymo Driver’s compute system, which covers the back wall of what would otherwise be the sleeper cab. Perception, or what the Waymo Driver sees; component redundancy to account for the lack of a human driver; and dealing with sensor-mucking weather events drove many of the requirements. Under the front of the chassis, a redundant steering system helps assure the truck can safely get to the side of the road if one system fails. Ditto for redundant braking systems beneath the fifth wheel. A redundant battery power system is bolted to the back of the cab. " Link to Article

  • March 14, 2022 - This California City’s Attempt to Charge People for Driving Back-Fired. Here’s Why That Matters for Everyone - "he city of La Mesa seems on the surface to be as progressive as they come. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 2:1 margin—and, generally speaking, the San Diego suburb votes bright blue... It’s the kind of place where someone like Laura Lothian, who is cut from the cloth of conservative cable news, might not be the most popular... But it turns out Lothian is just what progressive La Mesa was looking for. In November, she clinched an unlikely electoral victory, becoming La Mesa’s newest city councillor, by focusing on a single issue: opposing a new road-usage fee, which would charge people for every mile they drive. With gas prices on the rise and inflation reaching the highest level in decades, Lothian gambled that voters would put their pocketbook concerns above their anxieties about climate change. The bet paid off. “This issue brought out everybody—and it changed things,” she says." Link to Article

  • March 14, 2022 - Peachtree Corners testing 5G smart signal and driving app to keep traffic flowing - "There are smart traffic signals all over the U.S. and metro Atlanta, but this one in Peachtree Corners is the first and only running on 5G. The free Travel Safely app runs in the background when you’re driving and gives audible alerts for upcoming traffic signals. Peter Ashley, of Applied Information, said the company started testing its Travel Safely app in Peachtree Corners this week, running it on T-Mobile’s 5G network. “We can definitely see a significant difference,” he said. The app also runs the city’s self-driving shuttles, to tell the signal to give the shuttle a green light. Everything is controlled from its network operations center, which can “monitor, watch, collect the data coming off of them,” Ashley said." Link to Article

  • March 14, 2022 - Self-driving cars could transform the world in unexpected ways - "Another consideration to make before self-driving cars are fully deployed – how can we make sure their use is equitable? “There are three key areas that we need to focus on: policy making, data sharing, and technology deployment,” Dr. Corey Harper, an Assistant Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, told Freethink. He explained that policy could promote self-driving car-sharing companies to equally distribute cars so that no matter where you are, whether you are downtown, in the suburbs, or in low or high-income areas, your wait for a self-driving car is about the same... “We make a lot of decisions without considering some of these under-served populations,” Harper said. “Moving forward, policy data in the technologies we’re deploying is going to be very important for us to get towards that more sustainable, smart city that we all envision.”" Link to Article

  • March 11, 2022 - There are more than 1,800 lampposts in Central Park that double as navigational markers - "While traversing Central Park, you\'ll find a built-in way to help you navigate where you are, should you lose your way in the bucolic setting. On more than 1800 lampposts in the park, there are metal navigational markers with four numbers, and Mary Caraccioli, a spokesperson for the Central Park Conservancy, explained how to read them. \"On each lamppost, you\'ll see a marker that will have numbers that indicate the closest street [and] which side of the park the lamp is closest to,\" she said. \"For example, a number of 6 7 0 1 means you\'re near 67th street on the West Side.\" The first two numbers indicate the street you are aligned with, and the last two numbers indicate east or west. If it\'s an odd number, you are closer to the West Side, if it\'s an even number, the East Side." Link to Article

  • March 11, 2022 - Sony, Honda team up to develop and sell electric vehicles - "Japan\'s Sony Corp and Honda Motor Co Ltd said on Friday they would pair up to develop and sell battery-powered electric vehicles, and said they were open to bringing in other partners. The companies said in a statement they would form a joint venture this year and aim to begin selling the first model in 2025. Honda will be responsible for manufacturing the first model, while Sony will develop the mobility service platform, they said... The announcement comes as the electronics maker was seeking to further its ambitions to become a key player in next-generation automobiles, while automakers like Honda are under pressure to make carbon-free cars as well as vehicles equipped with features beyond traditional means of transportation." Link to Article

  • March 11, 2022 - Electric Planes Are Coming Sooner Than You Think - "Over in Europe, EasyJet’s partnership with U.S. startup Wright Electric has led to development plans for the Wright 1, an all-electric, 186-seat commercial passenger jet with an 800-mile range that’s targeted to enter service around 2030. Up sooner still, Wright Electric additionally announced in November plans for an electric 100-seater, the Wright Spirit, due out in 2026... Venkat Viswanathan, a Carnegie Mellon University mechanical engineering professor and aviation battery expert, says that electric battery power is “going to give an avenue for addressing emissions, at least for a significant portion of aviation.” Yet he adds a caveat that it alone won’t resolve the carbon crisis: “I think there has to be many other pieces—many other competing technologies—that have to be considered for the full arc of the future of aviation.”" Link to Article

  • March 11, 2022 - Car Safety Ratings May Get Boost for Driver-Assistance Technology - "The U.S. government’s annual safety ratings of cars may soon give them credit for having driver-assistance systems, the latest indication that the once-futuristic technology is becoming mainstream. The U.S. Department of Transportation proposed on Thursday that lane-keeping support, automatic emergency braking, blind spot detection and blind spot intervention be incorporated into its Five-Star Safety Ratings program for new cars. The move comes on the heels of the department’s release of data Wednesday showing 38,824 people died in traffic crashes nationwide in 2020. The agency said it marked the highest number of fatalities since 2007. “There’s a crisis on America’s roadways,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement. “These important changes will help save lives on our roadways by ensuring that consumers have the information they need about the latest safety technologies when they buy a new vehicle.” " Link to Article

  • March 11, 2022 - To Reduce Traffic Congestion, Increase Local Micromobility - "A study from Carnegie Mellon University zeroes in on how micromobility — namely e-bikes — can affect congestion in Seattle, finding that if even 10 percent of short car trips during peak afternoon travel were replaced with micromobility, more than 4,800 car trips would not happen, decreasing vehicle miles traveled by more than 7,300 miles a day, a 2.76 reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. “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 the study. It’s estimated that about 50 percent of car trips in urban areas are three miles or less in length, making them a possible candidate for replacement with other modes." Link to Article

  • March 8, 2022 - Ford reveals radical plan to restructure automaker into three business units - "Ford CEO Jim Farley is dividing up company operations, creating three separate automotive business units that include its existing commercial arm, as well as two new ones: Ford Blue, which will focus on the traditional internal combustion engine, and Ford Model e, which will develop the battery electric vehicles and connectivity, the company revealed Wednesday morning. This step is designed to make the 118-year-old automaker more competitive against Tesla, the biggest electric vehicle competitor in the industry, as well as others, Farley told the Free Press during an interview. Each division will have its own leadership, with the traditional vehicle skill team led by Kumar Galhotra, who has been Ford president of the Americas and International Markets Group. The newly created all-electric vehicle (EV) skill team will be led by Farley. " Link to Article

  • March 8, 2022 - California issues permits for self-driving car services - "Two companies received authorization in California on Monday to collect passenger fares and offer shared rides in their autonomous vehicles. The California Public Utilities Commission issued Drivered Deployment permits to Cruise LLC and Waymo LLC, which will allow passenger service in self-driving vehicles — along with a safety driver. Cruise and Waymo were previously permitted to carry non-paying riders on a testing basis as part of the Drivered Pilot program. Cruise will be able to operate at speeds of up to 30 mph on select public roads in San Francisco from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., while Waymo vehicles can provide service at any time in designated San Francisco and San Mateo counties with speeds of up 65 mph, according to the commission. Neither Waymo nor Cruise is authorized to operate their vehicles in heavy rain or fog. " Link to Article

  • March 8, 2022 - Tesla and the ethics of self-driving cars - "Self-driving technology has come a long way in recent years, but it remains far from perfect. And that\'s partially because of decisions made — not by the cars — but by programmers. Tesla recalled 54,000 cars because of a feature built into the car\'s autopilot that allowed it to roll through stop signs. In other words, it was programmed to break the law. Today, On Point: Who should regulate the program in self-driving cars? Guests Rebecca Heilweil, reporter for Vox, covering emerging technologies, artificial intelligence and logistics. (@rebheilweil) Matthew Johnson-Roberson, director of the Robotic Institute and professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University. Former co-director of the Ford Center for Autonomous Vehicles at the University of Michigan." Link to Article

  • March 8, 2022 - The New Frontier In Electric Vehicles: Trains With Batteries Big Enough To Power Small Towns - "Union Pacific recently said it would spend more than $100 million to buy 20 battery-powered locomotives and charging systems from Wabtec and Caterpillar’s Progress Rail, the world’s biggest such purchase to date. Starting in 2023, the Omaha-based railroad will use the trains to pull cars around freight yards in California and Nebraska—rather than on cross-country runs—and estimates the mammoth machines could eliminate 8,000 tons of carbon emissions annually. Adding batteries is also a way to buttress efficiency: Trains haul freight over 480 miles per gallon of diesel fuel per ton. That’s up to four times better than the average for trucks, according to the Association of American Railroads." Link to Article

  • March 7, 2022 - Mileage-based user fee pilot program addresses concerns about privacy, rural drivers, and trucks - "As states across the country debate about how to fund transportation in the future, the Eastern Transportation Coalition’s most recent work takes on the biggest concerns related to a mileage based user fee (MBUF) approach: privacy, rural drivers, and the trucking industry... This work continued to prove that privacy concerns can be alleviated through data protection measures and clear communication with users. During the 2020-2021 passenger vehicle pilot, participants ranking privacy as a high concern dropped from 52% to 7%. It also demonstrated that rural drivers could benefit from a shift to an MBUF system, refuting a common misconception that the MBUF model would harm rural drivers because they tend to drive more than their urban counterparts. In fact, a shift to MBUF is estimated to change household expenses, regardless of geography, by about $1.50 a month." Link to Article

  • March 7, 2022 - How an app is helping Pgh residents avoid dodgy infrastructure - "Increased attention has been paid to Pittsburgh’s infrastructure following the collapse of the Fern Hollow Bridge at Frick Park. But given that the city boasts 446 bridges (well, 445 now) it can be difficult for residents to track down data on the ones they cross the most. A new citizen-created app called Bad Bridges has just debuted to help with this and give some peace of mind to anxious commuters. Software engineer Rainy Sinclair posted the app, which they built on Glitch.com, a free tool they describe as letting users “really easily create web apps that do pretty much anything you want.” They debuted the app on Feb. 22 with a tweet that reads, “Pittsburgh people! Have you recently started wondering how many structurally deficient bridges you regularly cross over? Well, I made a thing that can tell you.” " Link to Article

  • March 7, 2022 - This new e-bike boasts 100-mile range and built-in Garmin radar - "Cannondale has released an updated version of its Mavaro Neo e-bike, with huge range on a single charge and a built-in Garmin radar that alerts you to vehicles approaching from behind. As Ebiketips reports, the 2022 Mavaro Neo follows hot on the heels of the new Tesoro Neo X electric tourer, which launched last week. Both bikes use the new Bosch e-bike smart system, which includes a new high capacity battery to deliver impressive range. The 2022 Mavaro Neo has a maximum range of 175km (just over 100 miles) with power assistance, which is a huge upgrade from the previous model. As Claus Fleischer, CEO of Bosch eBike Systems, explained to TechRadar in an interview last year, the new system also includes a new mobile app that gives you fine control over your bike\'s behavior and performance. " Link to Article

  • March 7, 2022 - New York rolls out statewide cyber command center amid Russian attacks in Ukraine - "Dive Brief: New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams, along with the mayors of Albany, Syracuse, Buffalo, Rochester and Yonkers, unveiled the creation of a Joint Security Operations Center (JSOC) on Tuesday that they say will be a first-of-its-kind center for cybersecurity coordination across the state. The state’s institutions, governments and critical infrastructure – including water, transportation and power sources – are all vulnerable, Hochul said at a Tuesday press conference. \"We cannot expect cities and counties to go it alone,\" she said on Tuesday, as tensions between Russia and Ukraine were becoming increasingly volatile. Russia invaded Ukraine late the next day, according to news reports. Adams also signed an executive order that requires each New York City agency to designate a cyber command liaison to “share information, monitor threats and adopt best practices around cybersecurity,” according to the announcement." Link to Article

  • March 7, 2022 - How urban gondolas grew from a tourist attraction to a viable transit option - "Ever since the Colombian city of Medellín introduced urban gondolas to its public transportation network in 2004, cities from La Paz, Bolivia, to Ankara, Turkey, have used aerial transit systems for more than mere tourism. As of February, Paris is on its way to joining that list. Southeast of Paris, a newly greenlit gondola will connect the Paris suburb of Créteil with the city’s metro system. First proposed in 2008, the gondola has now cleared its feasibility studies, paving the way for construction to start this year; its completion is expected by 2025. The $149 million gondola line will be electric-powered and service 11,000 passengers per day, filling a big transportation gap in an area that’s bisected by several highways, a high-speed rail line, and a rail freight depot. As cities continue to look for cheaper, greener ways to move people, this shows yet again that gondolas can become a serious tool in the public transit tool belt." Link to Article

  • March 4, 2022 - Toyota gears up its first EV with safer, longer-lasting battery - "Toyota Motor Corp, a late-comer to the battery electric vehicle (BEV) market, is weaving in all efforts to make sure its first mass-market model is safer and lasts longer than rivals’ products when it goes on sale later this year... BEVs typically take hours to charge, and using quick-charging methods often cause the battery’s cells to heat up, leading to degradation. That, in turn, reduces cruising range over time, hurting a vehicle’s resale value. Toyota said its batteries, developed with Panasonic Corp, contain a special coolant that does not conduct electricity easily. Battery packs are also structured to keep the cells and coolant separated in case of a leak. This and other innovations mean the new BEV series’ batteries would retain more than 90% of their capacity after a decade, Toyota said." Link to Article

  • March 4, 2022 - Study: More Bike Lanes Needed to Reduce Traffic Congestion - "It stands to reason that moving more car trips in urban areas to micromobility modes will reduce congestion. New research quantifies this reduction, offering another tool for policymakers and infrastructure planners. A study from Carnegie Mellon University zeroes in on how micromobility — namely e-bikes — can affect congestion in Seattle, finding that if even 10 percent of short car trips during peak afternoon travel were replaced with micromobility, more than 4,800 car trips would not happen, decreasing vehicle miles traveled by more than 7,300 miles a day, a 2.76 reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. “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 the study." Link to Article

  • March 4, 2022 - Alto Offers Elevated Rideshare Alternative To Uber And Lyft - "In the business world, regulation has limited the number of monopolies. But in the rideshare business, Uber and Lyft are a duopoly. Uber accounts for 69% of the market, Lyft 30%. Nonetheless, the growing industry remains a tempting target for competitors like Alto. Currently a $61 billion business worldwide, ride hailing is projected to grow to $220 billion by 2025. That is where Alto, a ride hailing service started in 2018, comes in. Based in Dallas, Alto says it is the first ride-hailing provider to hire W-2 employee drivers. Each must pass background checks and get days of training. Alto also manages its own fleet of company-owned “elevated SUVs,” which Alto currently buys from General Motors and Volkswagen. The service is now available in Dallas, Houston, Miami, Washington DC, and Los Angeles. Alto also will soon launch in the South Bay of SF and Silicon Valley. A spokesperson described Alto pricing as “midway between UberX and UberBlack.”" Link to Article

  • March 4, 2022 - New York rolls out statewide cyber command center amid Russian attacks in Ukraine - "Dive Brief: New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams, along with the mayors of Albany, Syracuse, Buffalo, Rochester and Yonkers, unveiled the creation of a Joint Security Operations Center (JSOC) on Tuesday that they say will be a first-of-its-kind center for cybersecurity coordination across the state. The state’s institutions, governments and critical infrastructure – including water, transportation and power sources – are all vulnerable, Hochul said at a Tuesday press conference. \"We cannot expect cities and counties to go it alone,\" she said on Tuesday, as tensions between Russia and Ukraine were becoming increasingly volatile. Russia invaded Ukraine late the next day, according to news reports. Adams also signed an executive order that requires each New York City agency to designate a cyber command liaison to “share information, monitor threats and adopt best practices around cybersecurity,” according to the announcement." Link to Article

  • March 4, 2022 - Motional and Via launch a free robotaxi shuttle in Las Vegas - "The news comes almost a year and a half after the two companies announced their intention to link up to study how autonomous vehicles could interact with public transit networks... As of today, Motional’s robotaxis are available on Via’s smartphone app for passengers in downtown Las Vegas. The service will operate from 9AM to 5PM, Monday through Friday. The vehicles are BMW 5-series sedans and not the Hyundai Ioniq 5 electric SUV, which Motional says will be its future vehicle of choice for its robotaxi service. The vehicles will include a safety driver in the front seat, and pickup and drop-off locations will be pre-determined. The locations, which will be highlighted in Via’s app, include RTC Bonneville Transit Center, Las Vegas City Hall, Container Park, Las Vegas Arts District, and Clark County Government Center." Link to Article

  • March 2, 2022 - AT&T inks last-minute 3G roaming deal with T-Mobile - "At issue are the potentially millions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices connected to AT&T\'s aging 3G network (AT&T has said that 1% of its network traffic is 3G, but has not provided a number of affected devices or customers). AT&T announced in 2019 it would shut down its 3G network by this month, and has since been working to move affected customers onto its 4G and 5G networks... The home alarm industry isn\'t the only one affected by AT&T\'s shutdown plans. Auto makers ranging from Toyota to Audi will also be affected, considering they use 3G connections for connected car applications such as emergency roadside calling. And some automakers are implementing workarounds. For example, both Volkswagen and Audi are using Mojio\'s 4G Upgrade Program. The automakers are purchasing vouchers for Motion by Mojio, which includes a 4G LTE telematics device, new automatic crash notification and e911 emergency response service. " Link to Article

  • March 2, 2022 - Arcimoto and Faction unveil a ‘driverless’ 75 mph three-wheeled electric delivery vehicle - "Arcimoto teamed up with Faction to announce the new Faction D1 electric delivery vehicle based on the Arcimoto FUV, but with updated tech to make it driverless. However, the duo are playing a bit fast and loose with the term “driverless.” Technically yes, there’s no driver in the vehicle. It’s just three wheels, an electric drivetrain, and plenty of room for cargo. But there’s a human operator that controls the vehicle using teleoperation – basically an extremely fancy and expensive full-size RC car. As Arcimoto describes it, Faction’s DriveLink™ and TeleAssist™ technologies are used to “combine autonomy with remote human teleoperation.” While Faction’s technology turns the three-wheeled vehicle into a driverless pod, Arcimoto’s tech is what powers the actual transportation. It retains the same drivetrain as Arcimoto’s well-known Fun Utility Vehicles (FUVs), meaning it can travel at a top speed of 75 mph (121 km/h). The range is rated for up to 100 miles (160 km) while transporting 500 lb (227 kg) of cargo." Link to Article

  • March 2, 2022 - Peduto administration pushed modern private transportation, development that hurt public transit, study says - "Pittsburgh has concentrated too much on innovative transportation options that benefit higher-income residents instead of meeting the needs of those who need public transit the most, a study released Thursday by Pittsburghers for Public Transit said. Under former Mayor Bill Peduto, the study said, the city concentrated on services such as ride-sharing, Zip cars and scooters, which often are too expensive for low-income users. Even the Healthy Ride shared bicycle program has many of its stations outside of low-income areas, the study said. That’s because the Pittsburgh Mobility Collective established under Mr. Peduto hasn’t followed its own goal of encouraging “universal basic mobility,” the study said... The 25-page study, “Mobility For Who? Rebuilding Bridges to Transportation Justice,” was performed by Tech4Society, a student group at Carnegie Mellon University that supports civic organizations, and PPT. They hosted an hour-long panel discussion after its release." Link to Article

  • March 2, 2022 - Truckers look to keep the momentum going - "Shippers are scrambling for trucking capacity at nearly any price. As 2022’s first quarter comes to a close, demand for trucking services of all types—full truckload, less than truckload (LTL), and last mile—continues to race ahead, with capacity struggling to catch up, if at all. Rates are on the rise, a function of too much freight competing for too few trucks. And then there are increasing costs for fuel, driver pay, regulatory mandates, increasingly expensive equipment, and other rising operating expenses. To a person, trucking executives and industry analysts interviewed for this story don’t see any letup in the tight market—and its challenges—with some expecting current market conditions to extend into 2023. The primary issues: a worsening driver shortage, continued port congestion and supply chain hiccups, and the inability of tractor and trailer manufacturers to meet demand for new units. " Link to Article

  • March 2, 2022 - Waymo wins bid to keep some of its robotaxi safety details secret - "Waymo is allowed to keep some of its autonomous vehicle safety data secret after a California court ruled in the Alphabet company’s favor in a lawsuit filed against the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (via TechCrunch). Last month, Waymo sued the DMV to block a public records request from an unidentified party seeking Waymo’s application for a permit to operate driverless cars on public roads. The company argued that the information being sought was a trade secret and that being forced to reveal it would put the company at a competitive disadvantage. The case zeroes in on a tension that’s brewing within the AV industry between a desire to keep information secret from rival companies and the need to earn the public’s trust through transparency and openness. Waymo argues that it is earning the public’s trust by publishing more safety data and driving methodologies than any other AV company in the industry." Link to Article

  • March 1, 2022 - A.I. has mastered ‘Gran Turismo’ — and one autonomous car designer is taking note - "Now, an A.I. program has dethroned the best human players in the professional esports world of Gran Turismo Sport. In a paper published recently in the science journal Nature, researchers at a team led by Sony A.I. detailed how they created a program called Gran Turismo Sophy, which was able to win a race in Tokyo last October. Peter Wurman is the head of the team on the GT Sophy project and said they didn\'t manually program the A.I. to be good at racing. Instead, they trained it on race after race, running multiple simulations of the game using a computer system connected to roughly 1,000 PlayStation 4 consoles... \"It takes about an hour for the agent to learn to drive around a track. It takes about four hours to become about as good as the average human driver. And it takes 24 to 48 hours to be as good as the top 1% of the drivers who play the game.\" And after another 10 days, it can finally run toe-to-toe with the very best humanity has to offer." Link to Article

  • March 1, 2022 - Orlando emphasizes ‘wow factor’ in digital twin project - "Dive Brief: The city of Orlando is investing in a digital twin of its metro region, which will use real-time data to inform decisions on infrastructure, utilities and business development. Unlike many other cities\' digital twins that capture downtown areas, the Orlando project — currently being developed by technology company Unity — will map the entire 40-square-mile metro region, including the Space Coast, amusement parks and the Orlando International Airport. That will allow it to also be used as a model to show off the region to businesses and developers interested in investing in the city, said Orlando Economic Partnership (OEP) CEO Tim Giuliani. The model, slated to be unveiled in October, is a key part of the city’s “digital transformation,” Giuliani said, and will help in scenario planning. “You go from the abstractness of a PowerPoint slide deck with some bullet points to being able to look and see something,” he said. “This is a much easier way to digest the information.”" Link to Article

  • March 1, 2022 - In Paris, a new ‘quiet zone’ will ban through-traffic in the the city center - "In Paris, roughly half of the city’s public space is dedicated to cars. But the city has been fighting to reclaim that space, turning a highway along the Seine River into a park and walking path, redesigning intersections to prioritize pedestrians, giving most space on one of the city’s busiest streets to bikes, banning cars on some streets near elementary schools, and planning dozens of miles of new separated bike lanes. One of the next steps involves banning through-traffic in the heart of the city. By 2024, the city plans to stop cars from driving across four central districts and part of the Left Bank of the Seine. “They’ve been reducing the space for cars, vans, and trucks quite a lot already these last years,” says Pierre Dornier, the France lead for the Clean Cities Campaign, a nonprofit that advocates for reducing traffic in cities to cut pollution. " Link to Article

  • March 1, 2022 - Cummins will buy Meritor for $3.7B - "Cummins Inc., which is rapidly transforming from solely a leading maker of diesel engines into electric powertrains and zero-emissions technologies, said Tuesday it will pay $3.7 billion in cash to acquire Meritor Inc., merging their distinct traditional and advanced technology components. It is unclear whether the Meritor name will live on. Both Cummins and Meritor, spun off from Rockwell International in 1997, are more than a century old... The size of the transaction is the same amount that Volkswagen AG’s Traton Group paid to acquire Navistar International Corp. last year. BorgWarner Inc. paid $3.3 billion to acquire the assets of one-time No. 1 automotive supplier Delphi Technologies in 2020 after Delphi split off its autonomous and advanced technologies unit to create Aptiv PLC. Only the $7 billion merger of ZF and Wabco Holdings in 2020 was bigger." Link to Article

  • March 1, 2022 - Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg Says Pittsburgh Will Play Role In Switch To Electric Vehicles - "In his interview with Secretary Buttigieg, KDKA money editor Jon Delano noted three things that might encourage people to buy electric vehicles: more charging stations so you can travel anywhere, a much shorter time to charge or fill up with electricity and guaranteeing it’s cheaper to drive an electric vehicle over a gas one... The Transportation Secretary sees Pittsburgh as playing a key role in the nation’s changeover to electric vehicles. “Everything from the kind of research jobs connected with Carnegie Mellon which is at the forefront of a lot of transformation and innovation to union electrical worker jobs installing these electric charging stations to jobs even in manufacturing them in the first place,” he says. “A place with a proud industrial tradition as well as amazing educational and medical institutions, there is no question in my mind that Pittsburgh is positioned to be at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution.” " Link to Article

  • February 28, 2022 - NYC Traffic Cameras With Mics Are Now Ticketing Noisy Cars - "A BMW M3 owner was ticketed in New York for violating the city\'s Noise Code after being recorded and photographed by a new type of traffic camera that can measure the decibel levels near the roadway as a vehicle passes. These new devices can automatically issue a ticket if the car is exceeds noise thresholds. More reports indicate we could expect to see more new \"noise cameras\" popping up nationwide. The ticket was issued by New York\'s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), posted to the Lowered Congress Facebook page and reported on by Road & Track. It instructs the owner of the car to have the allegedly noncompliant muffler repaired or replaced, and to take the vehicle to a DEP location for inspection once complete... A $875 charge is threatened if the vehicle owner does not comply, and additional fines are threatened if the notice goes unanswered. " Link to Article

  • February 28, 2022 - The Electric Future of Snowmobiling - "“You can connect so much more with the outdoors when you don’t have the noise,” said Bruneau, CEO and co-founder of Taiga, a Montreal-based power sports company. “When you don’t have the smell.” Taiga is the maker of one of the world’s first electric snowmobiles, and has since applied the technology to personal watercraft as well. The company is at the forefront of a burgeoning electric recreation industry, which aims to reduce not only decibels and fumes but also reliance on fossil fuels that, when burned, contribute to climate change. From the outside, the Taigas look nearly identical to their gas counterparts. But with the ability to go from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour — or approximately 62 miles per hour — in as little as 2.9 seconds, they have more torque than many combustion-engine sleds." Link to Article

  • February 28, 2022 - PA: All aboard! State finalizing agreement with Norfolk Southern for a second Amtrak from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg - "Pennsylvania and Norfolk Southern Railway are finalizing an agreement for several hundred millions of dollars in rail and station improvements over the next five years that will clear the way for a second daily Amtrak trip between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. Gov. Tom Wolf and Federal Railroad Administrator Amit Bose were joined by railroad officials, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and local elected officials at a news conference Friday afternoon at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh to announce the pending deal. The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, Western Pennsylvanians for Passenger Rail and the seven towns with stations between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg have been lobbying for more rail service for more than 10 years... The rail yard improvements in Pittsburgh, Johnstown, Portage, Altoona and Harrisburg would create more track space so freight trains can clear the main line for passenger trains to pass through. That work could take five years or more to complete." Link to Article

  • February 28, 2022 - Meet the Carnegie Mellon grads digitally mapping all 446 of Pittsburgh’s bridges, hoping to avert future collapses - "One week into his freshman year at Carnegie Mellon University, Alexander Baikovitz received an assignment from his robotics professor to be completed over 2,000 miles from Pittsburgh. It was 2016, and his professor — world-renowned roboticist Red Whittaker — tasked students to design a robot that would inspect the stability of an aging nuclear site deep within the interior of Washington state. Just a few hours drive from Portland, Ore., the site held 56 million gallons of radioactive waste in an underground rail tunnel. After a year’s worth of work, his team made a big prediction the following May. “We actually predicted that this tunnel would collapse,” Mr. Baikovitz said. “Coincident with our predictions, on the day of my semester presentation to Red\'s course, that tunnel actually collapsed.” Now the CEO of Bloomfield-based Mach9 Robotics, 23-year-old Mr. Baikovitz and his team of fellow CMU graduates are again harnessing the power of technology to take innovative steps to predict — and hopefully prevent — future infrastructure failures in Pittsburgh. " Link to Article

  • February 28, 2022 - Virgin Hyperloop switches focus from passengers to cargo as it lays off half its staff - "Virgin Hyperloop has laid off almost half its staff as the company switches its focus from transporting passengers to shifting freight. Cuts totaling 111 jobs were confirmed by Virgin Hyperloop to The Financial Times, which spoke to former employees at the company. They described the scale of the redundancies as “definitely not expected.”... Virgin Hyperloop, formerly known as Hyperloop One, has achieved significant milestones, including the first ever test-run with human passengers. But, like many companies trying to bring the experimental technology to fruition, it’s also struggled with attracting funding and talent, and meeting deadlines. In 2017, company execs told The Verge they expect to see “working hyperloops around the world... by 2020.” That date was later pushed to 2021. There are currently no working hyperloops in action." Link to Article

  • February 25, 2022 - These floating charging points will let ships draw electricity from offshore wind farms – and could recharge battery-powered vessels of the future - "Danish shipping firm Maersk Supply Service is to launch an electricity charging system that will give ships access to renewable energy while they\'re at sea. The Stillstrom venture comprises a collection of offshore buoys that allow ships to plug into electricity generated by offshore wind farms, as well as onshore power-generation sites. The project aims to cut the use of fuel-burning generators used by ships to power onboard systems while they\'re anchored or moored... Ships would be able to use the Stillstrom buoys as mooring points and as sources of electricity. The buoys would be connected by cables to nearby offshore wind farms or onshore electricity-generation sites. Stillstrom has been under development since 2019. A pilot charging buoy will take to the seas in 2022. According to Toft, the venture\'s aim for 2022 is to \"prove the concept.\" It would then aim to install the system at 50 to 100 ports over the next 5 years. " Link to Article

  • February 25, 2022 - MA: ‘A fantastic new bus facility’: As MBTA transforms bus fleet to electric, Massachusetts officials highlight new garage and billions in federal cash - "The MBTA\'s effort to transform its bus fleet to all electric vehicles is getting a major boost from federal funds, with officials on Monday getting a look at how those dollars will turn an ancient garage into a modern one with zero emission battery electric buses. State and federal officials broke ground on the MBTA\'s new Quincy bus maintenance facility on Burgin Parkway, which is benefiting from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The MBTA is receiving $2.2 billion over the next five years, including $420 million for stations and facility improvements — like the bus facility in Quincy... The Quincy garage will open in 2024, and it will accommodate up to 120 battery electric buses. The MBTA has already funded the design of the next facility in the queue at the Arborway in Jamaica Plain. That will lead to an all-electric fleet for that area, and will also help the MBTA expand service from that garage." Link to Article

  • February 25, 2022 - A new Tesla rival? Volkswagen looks to buy Huawei’s self-driving business - "What do you do if you fear Tesla\'s dominance? You get your own self-driving business. At least that\'s what Volkswagen is planning to do, according to a report by Germany’s Manager Magazin published on Thursday. Will the move prove fruitful? Volkswagen and Huawei are in talks about merging. The first would acquire the latter\'s autonomous driving business in order to compete with giants like Tesla. There is currently no mention of pricing but the deal is being heralded as revolutionary. Huawei\'s self-driving capabilities have significantly improved over the last few years and could soon compete with Tesla\'s especially since the latter seems to be struggling of late. Despite claims by Tesla\'s CEO Elon Musk that its technology is crash-free, the software is still widely viewed as unsafe if not downright dangerous. Meanwhile, Volkswagen has already experimented with autonomous vehicles, unveiling a prototype for a fully autonomous car all the way back in early 2017." Link to Article

  • February 25, 2022 - First Hydrogen Train in Japan to Hit the Rails for Test Run - "Japan’s largest railway company will begin testing the country’s first hydrogen-fueled train next month in a step toward the nation’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. The two car “Hybari” train -- a combination of hybrid and the Japanese word for a lark -- cost about 4 billion yen ($35 million) to develop and can travel up to 140 kilometers (87 miles) at a top speed of 100 km/h on a single filling of hydrogen. East Japan Railway Co., which developed the train in partnership with Toyota Motor Corp. and Hitachi Ltd. plan to use them to replace its diesel fleet and look to export markets. Commercial services should begin in 2030... Europe has been a pioneer in hydrogen trains, with Germany rolling out the world’s first train built by Alstom SA in 2018. Siemens AG and Deutsche Bahn AG are developing new regional trains and special fueling stations and will test them in 2024." Link to Article

  • February 25, 2022 - GM seeks U.S approval to deploy self-driving vehicles - "General Motors Co (GM.N) and its self-driving technology unit Cruise have petitioned U.S. regulators for permission to build and deploy a self-driving vehicle without human controls like steering wheels or brake pedals, Cruise said Friday. Cruise said in a blog post it sought permission to deploy the Cruise Origin that does not need features like a steering wheel to operate safely. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has authority to grant petitions to allow a limited number of vehicles to temporarily operate on U.S. roads that do not have required human controls... The Origin, which was developed with GM and Cruise investor Honda Motor (7267.T), has two long seats facing each other that can comfortably fit four passengers. Production is expected to begin in late 2022 in Detroit at a GM factory with vehicles delivered in 2023, Cruise said Friday." Link to Article

  • February 23, 2022 - Why Vision Zero is a Human Rights Issue For the Deaf — and the Rest of the Disability Community - "The following are some best practices that would reallocate space from single-occupant vehicles and reprioritize pedestrians, with a focus on visual and physical access to spaces: High risk users must lead design: Architects, designers, urban planners, and engineers should design spaces with people instead of for people. This isn’t just about a robust engagement process – it’s about letting these people lead... More time for pedestrians: Pedestrian intervals are often too short for disabled people, the elderly, and young children. Drivers hit pedestrians 60 percent less when leading intervals are implemented. Calmer, safer streets: Road diets, which narrow streets, force drivers to slow down by design... DeafScape: From deaf landscape architect Alexa Vaughn, this concept follows DeafSpace, where landscapes are designed for deaf people. While DeafSpace and DeafScape solutions were originally designed for deaf people, many other groups have benefited, including people with dementia, and people with autism." Link to Article

  • February 23, 2022 - Lithuania to use drones and AI for road inspections - "AB Keli? prieži?ra - a state-owned company that maintains more than 21,000km of national roads – has joined forces with technology companies Thrust and Agmis to introduce the AI-powered drone-based system for automated road inspection. The joint project, called GreenBee, aims to improve the quality and scope of road network inspection and also to reduce CO2 emissions created while performing inspection tasks. Currently road inspections are performed using specialist vehicles that drive slowly, allowing visual inspection of the infrastructure. Depending on the type of the road, these inspections are performed monthly, weekly or sometimes daily. Each year road inspection vehicles travel thousands of kilometres, emitting tonnes of CO2. With GreenBee road inspection, vehicles will be replaced by UAVs equipped with high-definition cameras and multiple sensors. The drones will fly along the inspection routes and gather data for further analysis. Acquired video and sensor data will be analysed by employing AI and computer vision technologies to identify defects and troublespots." Link to Article

  • February 23, 2022 - Self-Driving Vehicles Are Hitting the Roads All Over Texas, and More Could Show Up in Dallas - "The Dallas City Council is also trying to entice Ford Motor Co. and Argo AI with $3 million in tax incentives to build its new self-driving vehicle factory in the Big D. Dallas is a finalist for the facility, along with two cities in California... These partnerships create hundreds of jobs in the DFW area, and some think this tech is the answer to several problems that have been exacerbated by the pandemic — problems like drunk driving and a trucker shortage. But there are still plenty of questions about the safety of self-driving technology... Since 2018, vehicles in Waymo’s autonomous taxi service, Waymo One, have been involved in 18 accidents and 29 “disengagements,” according to the company. Disengagements are instances when a human had to take over the vehicle to prevent an accident. Those 18 collisions involved pedestrians, cyclists and drivers, and other objects." Link to Article

  • February 23, 2022 - This super-realistic virtual world is a driving school for AI - "Last year, frustrated by the pace of the industry, Urtasun left Uber, where she led the ride-hailing firm’s self-driving research for four years, to set up her own company, called Waabi. “Right now most approaches to self-driving are just too slow to make progress,” says Urtasun, who divides her time between the driverless-car industry and the University of Toronto. “We need a radically different one.” Waabi has now revealed the controversial new shortcut to autonomous vehicles that Urtasun is betting on. The big idea? Ditch the cars. For the last six months Waabi has been building a super-realistic virtual environment, called Waabi World. Instead of training an AI driver in real vehicles, Waabi plans to do it almost entirely inside the simulation. The plan is that the AI won’t be tested in real vehicles on real roads until a final round of fine-tuning. " Link to Article

  • February 23, 2022 - New Monitoring Technology Can Pull a Car Over if the Driver Is Incapacitated - "An increasing number of new vehicles sold in the U.S. can slow down a vehicle within its lane if a driver becomes unresponsive, but they can’t pull over to the side of the road automatically and call for help, and they can’t detect what’s wrong with the driver. But we should expect to see those features in the future, says Jake Fisher, senior director of CR’s auto test center... Early versions of these technologies are already appearing on cars in other regions. For example, some Volkswagen Arteon sedans sold in Europe and equipped with the Emergency Assist 2.0 feature will turn on their flashers and pull over to the side of the road if a driver becomes unresponsive... In Japan, Mazda has said it will debut its Co-Pilot system on new vehicles this year. Tamara Mlynarczyk, a Mazda spokesperson, tells CR that the system is “continuously monitoring” the driver’s performance. " Link to Article

  • February 22, 2022 - EV startups hunt for an edge as big automakers roll out vans and trucks - "As traditional automakers prepare to churn out electric vans and trucks, startups are focused more than ever on finding a competitive or technological edge to stay on the road once their bigger rivals start moving through the gears. Spurred on by looming bans on combustion engines in China and Europe, major automakers are striving to bring their commercial electric vehicles (EV) to market fast and ensure they don\'t get caught out again by another Tesla... Now, Bedeo and Protean plan to develop new EV platforms for commercial vehicles and passenger cars using in-wheel motors, Bedeo Chief Executive Osman Boyner told Reuters. In-wheel motors - stand-alone electric motors that can be housed in all or some the wheels of an EV - don\'t need axles and powertrains so they free up more space inside vans and trucks, as well as extend battery range by reducing vehicle weights. " Link to Article

  • February 22, 2022 - ‘Charging As A Service’ For Electric Vehicles Growing As A Market Offering - "Which Charging As A Service offering will win-out or is there sufficient demand to warrant all of the growing supply? Good questions. There are multiple market studies that suggest fleets — especially service contractors and local businesses — will shift to EVs to save on operational fuel, repair expenses and sustainability impacts with many of them welcoming battery assistance. But just like most market segments, if there will be winner(s), it likely shall be those design the user experience around the customers’ ease of use. “To meet the global demand for electric transportation, the ability to deploy and manage EV charging must be both simple and accessible for all,” suggests Yosuke Matsumoto, the General Manager of New Downstream Division at Mitsui, EV Connect’s investment partner. In other words, customers appear amped up for this growing change, as long as it’s easy." Link to Article

  • February 22, 2022 - Waymo will test its autonomous trucks in Texas with brokerage firm CH Robinson - "Waymo announced a new partnership with CH Robinson, a Fortune 500 company and global logistics provider, to test its autonomous trucks in Texas. It’s the latest deal that highlights the Alphabet company’s growing autonomous truck venture, Waymo Via. As part of the new collaboration, Waymo and CH Robinson will oversee a pilot in which Waymo’s test fleet of autonomous trucks will make deliveries, traveling a 240-mile route between Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston... Waymo has made a flurry of deals in recent months aimed at growing its nascent trucking business. The Google spinoff has said it has no plans to own or operate its own fleet of trucks and instead will work with truck manufacturers, carriers, and brokers to integrate its technology into the business of hauling freight. That’s where CH Robinson comes in. The Minnesota-based company, which has a market cap of $11.68 billion, is a freight brokerage with access to 200,000 shippers that make 20 million deliveries a year." Link to Article

  • February 22, 2022 - Pittsburgh AV startup Argo AI expands to Los Angeles with new engineering and development office - "Argo AI, a Pittsburgh-based autonomous vehicle startup, announced the opening of a new engineering and development office in Los Angeles. It marks the sixth of such facilities for the fast-growing company, which is actively hiring for dozens of roles in its native Pittsburgh as well as in Austin, Texas; Miami, Florida; and Seattle, Washington, in addition to its new office in LA. Argo is also hiring in Munich, Germany, where its European engineering headquarters is based. As part of the LA expansion, Argo announced that Yisong Yue, a professor of computing and mathematical sciences at the California Institute of Technology, will help lead the new office as its principal scientist. " Link to Article

  • February 22, 2022 - US approves new headlights that won’t blind oncoming drivers - "U.S. highway safety regulators are about to allow new high-tech headlights that can automatically tailor beams so they focus on dark areas of the road and don\'t create glare for oncoming drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it issued a final rule allowing what\'s called “adaptive driving beam headlights” on new vehicles. It will go into effect when published in the Federal Register in the next few days. The headlights, commonly used in Europe, have LED lamps that can focus beams on darkness such as the driver\'s lane and areas along the roadside. They also lower the intensity of the light beams if there\'s oncoming traffic. Camera sensors and computers help determine where the light should go. “This final rule will improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists by making them more visible at night, and will help prevent crashes by better illuminating animals and objects in and along the road,” the agency said in a news release on Tuesday." Link to Article

  • February 21, 2022 - LAX Automated People Mover set to open to the public by 2023 - "LAX airport is nearing closer to the finish line of a $2 billion project called the Automated People Mover. It\'s part of a $14 billion project, making this one of the largest airport projects in the country right now. The construction has caused frustration for travelers but the Automated People Mover, or APM, is getting closer to welcoming people on-board. It\'ll take travelers to different terminals plus parking lots and car rental structures for free. \"We want this to be the most modern, most advanced airport,\" said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Construction crews started on the APM in 2019. The train line is about two and a quarter miles\' long. It\'ll take about 10 minutes to get from one end to the other. If all goes according to plan, the APM should start testing trains this year. They plan to open it up to the public by 2023." Link to Article

  • February 21, 2022 - Trenton receives $5 million grant to make MOVES for residents - "Trenton has been awarded $5 million in a state grant to kick start planning a transportation project involving autonomous vehicles. The grant comes from the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Local Transportation Project Fund. It will be used to plan the Trenton Mobility and Opportunity: Vehicles Equity System (MOVES) Project. Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora says 70% of households in his city have only one car or no car at all... The goal of the project is to deploy 100 autonomous vehicles throughout the city to provide low cost, environmentally friendly transportation. For example, a resident on West State Street needs to get to their doctor on South Clinton Avenue. The resident would request the vehicle through an app or at one of 60 kiosks closest to them. The vehicle will come pick them up and drop them off at either their doctor’s front door or at the closest kiosk." Link to Article

  • February 21, 2022 - Intel’s Mobileye, partners to launch self-driving shuttles in U.S. in 2024 - "Intel Corp\'s Mobileye unit plans to build and deploy self-driving electric shuttle vehicles with its partners in the United States in 2024, in a bid to scale up its automated driving systems beyond taxis and delivery vehicles, executives told Reuters. Mobileye, Benteler EV Systems and Beep will launch the on-demand driverless shuttles, which will feature 12 to 14 seats and no steering wheel or pedal. The shuttles will be operated in \"contained geo-fenced areas\" where speed limits are 35 miles an hour or less, Hinrich Woebcken, advisory board member for Beep, a mobility service provider, said. They expect to have a couple of hundred of the vehicles on U.S. roads in the first year of their deployment, with a goal to boost the number to between 10,000 and 15,000 globally, the executives said." Link to Article

  • February 21, 2022 - Hydrogen Cars and Buses Seize the Spotlight at Beijing’s Winter Olympic Games - "When Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, it used the global spotlight to showcase the then-emerging technology of electric vehicles... So what does it say that China is now using the Winter Olympics to promote advances made in hydrogen-powered vehicles? Hydrogen cars haven’t really caught on the way battery-powered vehicles have, even though they too offer the advantage of producing no tailpipe emissions — aside from water. Just under 9,000 hydrogen vehicles were sold in China between 2015 and 2021, a tiny fraction of the 302 million vehicles on the road. But now, more than 1,000 hydrogen vehicles are traversing the streets of Beijing and Zhangjiakou, the mountainous region about 220 kilometers (136 miles) northeast of the capital, where ski jumping and snowboarding events are being held. The vehicles include more than 800 buses from automakers including Beiqi Foton, Geely and Yutong. Toyota’s hydrogen-powered Mirai cars and Coaster vans are also running through the Olympic venues, ferrying athletes and Olympic staff." Link to Article

  • February 21, 2022 - Schneider National blames ‘firmware defect,’ not cyberattack, for network outage - "Schneider National is blaming a “firmware defect” tied to an external vendor’s equipment for a massive computer network outage that knocked the trucking giant offline on Thursday. In a statement to FreightWaves on Monday, the company said it is operating normally and “began accepting orders and dispatching our drivers electronically on Saturday.” On Thursday, Schneider (NYSE: SNDR), headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin, was forced to switch to manual operations to book freight, execute loads and pay carriers, citing a “temporary systems issue.” The company, which has been in business for 87 years, didn’t disclose the name of the external vendor with the firmware defect that caused its entire network to shut down, other than to state that the affected equipment has been replaced, “enabling Schneider to resume normal activity.” " Link to Article

  • February 18, 2022 - Tesla Recall Disables Boombox Feature, Which Doesn’t Meet Pedestrian Safety Standards - "Tesla issued a recall and a software update for over 578,000 Model S, X, Y, and 3 vehicles because a novelty function may drown out or interrupt pedestrian warning sounds that are required by federal regulations. The recalled vehicles are equipped with Tesla’s Boombox function, which the automaker’s website advertises as allowing drivers to “delight pedestrians with a variety of sounds from your vehicle’s external speaker.” Tesla’s website also warns drivers that they should check local laws before using this function. However, since 2018 federal safety regulations have required that hybrid and electric vehicles play warning sounds at low speeds to alert pedestrians to their presence. If the sounds a driver chooses to play through the Tesla’s external speaker do not meet standards set forth by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the Boombox feature would be in violation of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 141." Link to Article

  • February 18, 2022 - GM Turns Dr. Evil Into a Climate Change Hero for Super Bowl Ad - "The spot opens as Dr. Evil declares the complete takeover of GM. That corporate domination turns out to be great news for the ill-intentioned team, as they can now use the auto brand’s modular platform and battery system, Ultium, to power their entire evil operation. (The Ultium platform powers GM’s growing fleet of electric vehicles, including the GMC Hummer EV SUV and pickup, the Cadillac Lyriq, Chevy Silverado EV and the BrightDrop EV600.) Scott Evil goes on to share more good news: Dr. Evil can reduce tailpipe emissions with this acquisition. It’s a new priority for the villain, who, as Number Two explains, is now only the “second-greatest threat” to the world after climate change. That realization—on top of Scott’s announcement of his newborn son, who bears an eerie resemblance to Dr. Evil—convinces the pinky-wielding malefactor to accept a new challenge: In order to destroy the world, he must first prevent climate change." Link to Article

  • February 18, 2022 - California Becomes the First U.S. State to Hit 1 Million Plug-In Cars - "California has become the first U.S. state to register more than a million plug-in cars, with almost one-quarter of them arriving in 2021 alone, as electric vehicle sales finally accelerate after years of slow growth. In California’s case, reaching the 1-million milestone took 11 years. As of Dec. 31, California drivers had registered 663,014 purely electric cars and 379,125 plug-in hybrids, which use gasoline when not running on electricity. Of those, 183,933 battery-electric cars and 63,141 plug-in hybrids were bought or leased in 2021, according to data from the California Energy Commission. Together, they accounted for more than 12% of all light-duty vehicles sold in the state last year. Electric vehicle sales in several key markets around the world are now showing rapid growth, as the number of available models expands and consumers become comfortable with the technology. BloombergNEF estimates that the inflection point where EV sales take off can happen once they represent at least 10% of new car sales, with China and Europe already passing that mark. " Link to Article

  • February 18, 2022 - Ex-SpaceX Engineers Create Autonomous Rail System That May Solve Supply Crisis - "Three former SpaceX engineers have founded Parallel Systems, a firm specializing in autonomous battery-powered electric rail vehicles for shipping and freight. To do this, small autonomous vehicles are planned to be the stars of the show. These hold up cargo, like shipping containers, and allow it to be transported on railway tracks just like larger trains do, taking some of the pressure off the trucking industry, according to the firm. Since they’re individually powered, the railcars can be joined together to create a larger fleet or split off to multiple destinations with the cargo in hand. It also means that they’re more flexible, as the “platoons” won’t need to meet a certain amount of cargo before they can start moving. Parallel’s architecture ensures that the vehicles will be able to give switching yards a miss, too, saving priceless time. These are often congested areas where freight is manually sorted and reloaded onto trains. " Link to Article

  • February 18, 2022 - Fujitsu to develop ‘social digital twin’ - "Japanese technology company Fujitsu and researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) are collaborating on the development of a ‘social digital twin’ that could be used to model traffic, economic activity, and climate and public health measures. Masami Mizutani, who is leading the project at Fujitsu, told Cities Today: “‘Typical’ smart city digital twins manage the data in terms of the relationship between the real world and virtual space. Fujitsu’s Social Digital Twin is a complete digital reproduction of behaviours of a society by constructing a human model and a social model that reacts in real time to changes in society at large, reflecting shifting relationships between the behaviour of people and goods, the economy, and society in minute detail... A project through CMU’s Mobility Data Analytics Center (MAC) will use real-world data, including input of traffic regulations and the movement of vehicles, to evaluate the effectiveness of measures designed to dynamically estimate and control traffic flow. " Link to Article

  • February 16, 2022 - Uber’s app will beep until you buckle your seatbelt - "Uber has no qualms about annoying its customers to pressure them to do something. The latest example is a new feature that will emit a series of chimes until passengers buckle their seatbelts. Previously, Uber drivers would rely on signage to encourage passengers to secure their seatbelts. (Google “Uber seatbelt sign,” and you’ll see plenty of examples.) Now the company wants to cut out the middle man and just use a beeping noise to get the job done. It’s a fairly simple approach: the driver’s app will issue a series of beeps, while the rider’s app will send push notifications reminding them to buckle up. Most vehicles in the US have seatbelt reminders built-in, but that does not typically cover rear-seat passengers. The app notifications are meant to serve as a workaround." Link to Article

  • February 16, 2022 - Sidewalk detection and safety monitoring are creating ‘watershed moment’ for micromobility - "Transportation robotics company Superpedestrian announced last week it had closed a $125 million funding round to expand its scooter safety technology. The investor interest also represents the current “watershed moment” for micromobility, said Director of Development and Public Affairs Paul White. Superpedestrian spun out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2013 with a system that could detect mechanical problems on scooters and small electric vehicles. That has evolved into its Pedestrian Defense safety system, which uses onboard sensors to detect when a vehicle is riding on a sidewalk, going the wrong way down a street or veering wildly. It can intervene by redirecting or stopping the vehicle... Smart Cities Dive spoke to White about how cities can keep pedestrians safe and where micromobility goes from here. " Link to Article

  • February 16, 2022 - E-scooter bill would clear way for more Pennsylvania cities to join Pittsburgh - "Pittsburgh last year became the first city in Pennsylvania to legalize low-speed electric scooters and, as part of a two-year pilot, Spin e-scooters became available to rent for use on city streets. Now, a bill moving through the state Senate would allow select Pennsylvania cities, including Greensburg and New Kensington, to legalize and regulate e-scooters through similar pilot programs. Senate Bill 892 would allow select Pennsylvania cities to designate where e-scooters could be used. Currently, e-scooters are illegal in Pennsylvania and not classified in the state’s motor vehicle code. In Pittsburgh, only Spin e-scooters are allowed, thanks to the pilot program written into last year’s budget. “Low-speed scooters are part of the next generation of transportation,” said state Sen. Daniel Laughlin, R-Erie, the prime sponsor of the bill. " Link to Article

  • February 16, 2022 - Fewer robot cars are driving more miles in California - "California, you may have noticed more robot cars on your roads than usual over the past year. That’s because autonomous vehicle testing is booming in the state, with AV companies having driven more than 4 million miles in 2021, according to data released by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. This represents a sharp increase over the previous two years, a sign that the AV industry has come roaring back after the pandemic-influenced lockdowns of 2020. There were also fewer companies testing vehicles overall, a reflection of the increased pace of mergers and acquisitions that have taken place in recent years. Of the 50 companies registered with the DMV, only 22 reported testing during the year. Despite skepticism about the longer-than-expected timeline to mass adoption of AV technology, the companies say they expect to begin to roll out their first commercial services starting this year." Link to Article

  • February 16, 2022 - States must develop EV infrastructure plans to access $5B in federal funding: DOE, DOT - "Dive Brief: States will need to develop electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure plans to access $5 billion in federal funding under a new program announced Thursday by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Department of Energy (DOE). The program will allocate funds the 2021 infrastructure law set aside for the development of a national charging network. The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program will make $615 million available to states in fiscal year 2022. A second, $2.5 billion competitive grant program for states, designed to boost charging access along alternative fuel corridors and in rural and underserved communities, will be announced later this year. The Biden administration will provide states with guidance on the NEVI program that outlines allowable uses of the funds, where stations should be located and some required characteristics about their charging capacity, according to senior administration officials." Link to Article

  • February 15, 2022 - Connecticut’s roads are deadlier than ever. Figuring out why is complicated. - "Teams at the state Department of Transportation and UConn’s Connecticut Transportation Safety Research Center cross-reference data from the police departments with data from death certificates and toxicology reports to get an even fuller picture of the accident. Experts are still pulling together all these pieces for 2021 crashes, so they don’t completely understand the underlying causes for the increase in fatal crashes since the start of the pandemic. “We don’t have a really perfect picture as to what’s causing it,” said Eucalitto. “We have some beliefs and assumptions.” Reckless driving One thing is for sure: People are driving faster. “During the lockdown, as traffic dropped, people had more opportunities to go faster because there weren’t more cars on the roadway. And what we’re also seeing is that those speeds haven’t decreased now that traffic has picked back up,” said Eric Jackson, director of the Connecticut Transportation Safety Research Center, which maintains the state’s crash data repository. " Link to Article

  • February 15, 2022 - Moscow to build driverless tram network as part of big autonomous transport push - "The initiative appears to be part of a larger move towards autonomous transport of several other modes, including mainline network trains and robotic taxis, or “robotaxis”. Driverless trams may be launched in testing mode in Moscow from the end of 2022 to the beginning of 2023. Liksutov, the Deputy Mayor of Moscow for Transport, made the announcement at the discussion Robots in the City: The Future of Megacities with Autonomous Transport, held by the Noôdome community in Moscow. Liksutov outlines that, in terms of legislation, everything is done to ensure that driverless transport appears as quickly as possible... As far as driverless transport is concerned, Moscow primarily relies on the rail public transport. Moscow together with Yandex work on the driverless tram project, planned to be tested since 2022 – at first, at depots, later at nights, and finally – with passengers. 80 percent of tram lines are already segregated from other road users. " Link to Article

  • February 15, 2022 - Startup awarded $5 million to build autonomous car that ‘runs on light’ - "Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), an agency of the US military akin to Darpa, is funding a $4.8 million project spearheaded by Boston University College of Engineering, the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Lightmatter, a startup developing “photonic supercomputing” chips. Electro-photonic computing, or optical computing, is thought to hold the promise of solving one of the biggest technical hurdles that self-driving cars face today – delivering high performance, low latency computing power that is also energy efficient. At the end of the IARPA-funded experiment, the scientists hope to have “a fully functioning prototype of a self-driving car that runs on light”... The team’s hybrid electro-photonic approach has been motivated by the development of photonic chips that compute using photons, not electrons, at speeds on the order of tera operations per second, while consuming much less energy. " Link to Article

  • February 15, 2022 - An autonomous delivery robot can climb stairs, and may be the next big innovation in last-mile delivery - "Many companies have already launched their first prototypes, but the robots developed by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) and CARNET have a standout feature — they\'re able to go up and down stairs, according to the press release. The new robots were developed by the UPC and CARNET, a research hub located in Catalonia (Spain) specialized in mobility and innovation funded by the Volkswagen group, SEAT, and the UPC itself. The Institute of Robotics and Industrial Informatics (IRI) coordinated the project, which began in 2017. These robots will be used for last mile delivery and will start operating in a pilot phase this year in Esplugues de Llobregat (Spain), Hamburg (Germany), and Debrecen (Hungary)." Link to Article

  • February 15, 2022 - INDOT installs cameras on plow trucks - "The Indiana Department of Transportation is giving Hoosiers a new way to check road conditions. Crews have installed cameras on most of their plow trucks. During this snowstorm, nearly 1,000 INDOT trucks are on the roads across the Hoosier State, according to spokesperson Mallory Duncan. You can view real-time images from the plow trucks on INDOT’s Trafficwise website. “It could be helpful for a manager to radio in and be like, ‘Hey, we saw this on your route. Can you clarify?\'” Duncan said. The cameras were installed last year and are being used for the first time this winter, Duncan said. They’ve helped keep some INDOT managers off the road during the storm, she added. “It also allows them to be in one single location, and they can monitor the roads, they can monitor their crews,” Duncan said. “They don’t have to be out driving, which is dangerous.” " Link to Article

  • February 14, 2022 - Companies are racing to make self-driving cars. But why? - "Koopman believes that the safety hype around AVs is exaggerated. “There’s nothing I’ve seen showing whether AVs will be safer than humans in the short to medium term,” he says. “Machine learning is brittle, and it struggles with things it hasn’t seen before.” ... If road safety is the goal, there are already plenty of available technologies that automakers could invest in, rather than leapfrogging to fully autonomous vehicles. Take advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS), such as automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection. Such features have already been shown to save lives, but their capabilities vary wildly from one model to another — assuming they’re available at all. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, automatic emergency braking wasn’t installed on 57 percent of the vehicles produced by Stellantis or 42 percent of those from GM during the 12 months ending last Aug. 31. Improving and standardizing ADAS is relatively low-hanging fruit compared with building self-driving cars, with more assured safety benefits." Link to Article

  • February 14, 2022 - Self-driving big-rigs will haul freight in Arizona - "Since late December, San Diego autonomous driving outfit TuSimple has run seven semi-truck trips between Tucson and Phoenix without a driver in the vehicle. These driver-out demonstrations aim to prove that TuSimple\'s artificial intelligence autonomous driving technology works repeatedly along a real freight hauling route. And this spring, the recently public company hopes to add another layer of proof by delivering actual freight for Union Pacific — one of the nation\'s largest railroad shippers. While not groundbreaking by itself, the deal with Union Pacific announced Wednesday aims to provide additional evidence that TuSimple\'s technology can add value to the freight hauling industry in real-world conditions... TuSimple will own and operate the 53-foot big rig making the roughly 80-mile trip between the Tucson railyard and a distribution site near Phoenix using open, public roads without a human in the vehicle. " Link to Article

  • February 14, 2022 - New video footage shows the upcoming Jetson ONE eVTOL (briefly) taking off, and flying over water - "The video shows the Jetson ONE taking off and operating with a person inside, which is refreshing to see from an eVTOL company, even at low altitudes. However, the footage also showcases how agile and light the aerial vehicle is – a huge benefit for future customers wanting to fly solo. By folding to 90cm wide in just seconds, the Jetson ONE can fit in a van, pickup or trailer. The company told us it also has tiny wheels that can’t be seen in the video, which allow for it to be rolled by one person. Co-founder and CTO Tomasz Patan also spoke about the company’s mission, and hinted at more exciting aerial technologies to come:... Before we see any flying cars, the company will focus on getting the Jetson ONEs it has already sold out to customers around the globe, beginning this fall. The eVTOL currently costs $92,000 and requires a $22,000 deposit. " Link to Article

  • February 14, 2022 - Self-Driving Car Companies Zoom Ahead, Leaving U.S. Regulators Behind - "Cruise, Tesla, Alphabet Inc\'s Waymo, and Aurora Innovation Inc are among many companies aiming to deploy fully autonomous vehicle technology in the United States within the next two to three years, whether or not federal regulators give them a clear legal framework for doing so. Autonomous vehicle (AV) startups and automakers are under pressure to start generating revenue from billions of dollars of engineering investment over the past decade. Proposed legislation to create a national framework of rules to govern autonomous vehicles remains stalled in Congress, despite the industry\'s lobbying. That has left autonomous vehicle companies free to deploy robo-taxis or self-driving trucks in some states, such as Arizona and Texas, but not in others. Waymo has provided thousands of rides in driverless robo-taxis in Phoenix, though the service remains limited... Unions, however, urged Congress to be skeptical. " Link to Article

  • February 14, 2022 - How a big blue van from 1986 paved the way for self-driving cars - "In 1986, a blue Chevy van often cruised around the streets of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania near Carnegie Mellon University. To the casual observer, nothing about it appeared out of the ordinary. Most people would pass by it without noticing the camcorder peeking out from its roof, or the fact that there were no hands on the steering wheel. But if any passerby had stopped to inspect the van and peer into its interior, they would have realized it was no ordinary car. This was the world’s first self-driving automobile: A pioneering work of computer science and engineering somehow built in a world where fax machines were still the predominant way to send documents, and most phones still had cords. But despite being stuck in an era where technology hadn’t caught up to humanity’s imagination quite yet, the van — and the researchers crammed into it — helped to lay the groundwork for all the Teslas, Waymos, and self-driving Uber prototypes cruising around our streets in 2022. " Link to Article

  • February 11, 2022 - Federal officials reviewing ‘phantom braking’ complaints from Tesla drivers - "Tesla began a new approach to its technology in May 2021, using a new feature called \"Tesla Vision,\" as opposed to the previously-used technology of radar sensors that used to work together with the vehicle\'s surrounding cameras, the Post reports. Many safety experts, and Tesla owners, believe that the phantom braking problems arose after Tesla made these updates. “Phantom braking is what happens when the developers do not set the decision threshold properly for deciding when something is there versus a false alarm,” Phil Koopman said to The Washington Post. Koopman is a Carnegie Mellon University professor who focuses on autonomous vehicle safety. Koopman also said to the Post, “What other companies do is they use multiple different sensors and they cross-check between them — not only multiple cameras, but multiple types of sensors,” such as radar and lidar, a type of sophisticated sensor that uses laser lights to paint a dot matrix mapping the environment." Link to Article

  • February 11, 2022 - Ford, Google are founding partners in Michigan Central Innovation District - "A few years ago, Ford stepped in to save the historic Michigan Central Station from destruction, with the idea that it could serve as a hub for a burgeoning mobility industry in Detroit\'s Corktown neighborhood. Now, according to Ford, those plans have started to bear fruit because it just announced Google as its first corporate partner in the Michigan Central Innovation District. If all that sounds like a lot of jargon bordering on technobabble, you\'re not alone, but it\'s a lot more simple than it sounds. The area surrounding Michigan Central Station will have special permissions from the city and state to help speed the development of new mobility solutions, be they first-mile-last-mile scooters or autonomous vehicles. It also groups these companies near one another, which might help facilitate cooperation and partnership." Link to Article

  • February 11, 2022 - Watch the First Flight of a Piloted Electric Race Airplane - "After years of development and delays, Air Race E has carried out the first piloted flight of an all-electric race airplane. The 10-minute test flight by the Nordic Air Racing team took place January 28 at Jarlsberg, Norway’s Tønsberg Airport (ENJB). Organizers said it represents a significant breakthrough, not only in the sport of air racing, but across the entire aviation industry. The flight paves the way for the world’s first electric air race series, Air Race E, which is scheduled for 2023... Headed by international air racing promoter Jeff Zaltman, Air Race E will pit some of the world’s top pilots against each other head to head at a number of high-profile events around the world. The races will follow a similar format as the popular Air Race 1 series, known as Formula One Air racing. " Link to Article

  • February 11, 2022 - Airstream Goes Electric (and Remote Controlled) - "Airstream, the brand of silver-bullet shaped campers, has rolled out an electrified travel trailer that will help its parent, RV giant Thor Industries, navigate towards an emissions-free future. The rig, dubbed the eStream, is only a concept and isn’t yet available for purchase, but it showcases technology that Chief Executive Officer Bob Wheeler says will soon trickle through the booming RV industry. It has a pair of electric motors driving its axle, essentially making it easier to tow. If it’s being towed by a gas-powered vehicle, the drivetrain will offset some emissions; if it’s being towed by another electric vehicle, the camper will extend its range. The powered axle will also help the rig navigate slick or uneven terrain, according to McKay Featherstone, the brand’s vice president of product development and engineering. Its cleverest party trick, however, is moving while unhitched. The trailer can be driven independently via a smartphone, precluding the fraught process of backing into a tight camping spot." Link to Article

  • February 11, 2022 - Mach9 Robotics’ new Pittsburgh Bridge Initiative aims to triage infrastructure repair - "Founded in 2021, Bloomfield-based startup Mach9 Robotics launched a new effort this week to use its integrated hardware and mapping software to provide bridge inspections and assessments in response to the collapse of the Fern Hollow Bridge last Friday. The Pittsburgh Bridge Initiative, as the company is calling it, will involve a concerted program to map, monitor and assess the approximately 450 bridges in the Pittsburgh region over the next year. After meeting at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, Mach9’s three cofounders — Alexander Baikovitz, Haowen Shi and Josh Spisak — joined last spring’s batch of companies in the prestigious accelerator Y Combinator, which helps startups workshop their ideas and provides them with access to early funding. Mach9’s support from Y Combinator, along with its first place win in last year’s CMU McGinnis Venture Competition and investments from Tiger Global Capital Management, Soma Capital and 99Tartans put the nascent company on Technical.ly’s first-ever Pittsburgh RealLIST Startups last month." Link to Article

  • February 9, 2022 - PennDot is canceling tickets of drivers caught by speed cameras in Bucks work zone - "Peter Spera of Langhorne said he did not knowingly speed in a work zone. He was not going to pay the fines. His rights were violated. And in part because of his resistance, PennDot has agreed to throw out hundreds of citations and refund fines to motorists caught by an automatic speed-enforcement camera in part of a Route 1 construction zone in Lower Bucks County. “How can you give me a violation when you didn’t tell me to slow down, drive 45 mph or less, and didn’t tell me I was in an active work zone?” Spera said, noting there were no warning signs present on the stretch he was driving... Crews “inadvertently” used the speed limit for an adjacent work zone when setting up the equipment, according to Gramian’s letter. “As a result some of the vehicles receiving warnings and violations were traveling below the ‘11 miles per hour over the speed limit’ threshold established in legislation,” it said." Link to Article

  • February 9, 2022 - Audi and Aptiv invest $285 million in ‘orchestral director’ for self-driving car data - "U.S. automotive parts supplier Aptiv joined Samsung Electronics, German chipmaker Infineon, and Volkswagen Group premium brand Audi as a major shareholder in Austria’s TTTech Auto. Unlike VW associate Argo AI, the Vienna-based firm doesn’t design algorithms to navigate cars through their environment. Instead it ensures mission-critical data circulates throughout the vehicle reliably and swiftly to minimize safety risks—an increasingly complex task as computing requirements of assisted and automated driving features soar... Much like ensuring an airplane’s electronics function under the most demanding fail-safe requirements, it’s the kind of inner plumbing that only gains notice when something goes wrong. Without being able to guarantee this level of safety, automakers will be loath to market automated driving features. Its main product is MotionWise, a software program akin to an operating system. It is designed to be microprocessor agnostic while simultaneously meeting the highest industry IT fail-safe standard known as ASIL-D. " Link to Article

  • February 9, 2022 - Slow down: States get infrastructure cash for speed cameras - "Under new federal guidance issued Wednesday, states can now tap billions of federal highway dollars for roadway safety programs such as automated traffic enforcement. They are being told that cameras that photograph speeding vehicles are an established way to help bring down rising traffic deaths... Sometimes dubbed “speed traps,” automated traffic enforcement can rake in millions of dollars in ticket revenue for local communities but has spurred backlash and isn\'t widely embraced. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates only about 159 communities make widespread use of speed cameras, even after the National Transportation Safety Board in 2017 urged greater use of them to deter crashes. Motorists often complain speed cameras can be inaccurate, but are almost impossible to dispute in court. Eight states specifically forbid the use of speed cameras, while another two dozen or so have no specific legislation to support their use." Link to Article

  • February 9, 2022 - Fancy a spin in a robotaxi? Cruise is now inviting the public to try its self-driving cars in one U.S. city - "General Motors–backed autonomous driving startup Cruise said on Tuesday that it has opened up its self-driving car fleet in San Francisco to the public. While capacity is limited with only a handful of cars available, the opportunity to sit in the back seat of a car that steers itself as if by ghostly hand is no longer reserved for a select few engineers, test drivers, and GM chief executive Mary Barra. “We’re opening a sign-up page on our site today so you can get a driverless ride soon—and free, for now,“ Cruise interim CEO and cofounder Kyle Vogt said in a post. “We’re starting with a small number of users and will ramp up as we make more cars available.” In a letter to shareholders, CEO Barra said, “This major milestone brings Cruise even closer to offering its first paid rides and generating $50 billion in annual revenue by the end of the decade.” " Link to Article

  • February 9, 2022 - F-150 Lightning Power Play: First Electric Truck To Enhance Your Home Energy Independence - "Ford and F-Series, America’s best-selling trucks for 45 years, are partnering with Sunrun, the nation’s leading solar company, to enhance home energy management, leveraging the substantial onboard battery capability of the all-electric F-150 Lightning. Americans experienced the most power interruptions on record in 2020, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration; and with F-150 Lightning, homeowners can use their truck to maintain their routines during brief or extended outages... In the future, Ford will introduce additional F-150 Lightning features to help customers potentially save money and take pressure off the electric grid during peak usage. Ford Intelligent Power, for example, will allow customers to power their homes with their truck’s battery when electricity rates are higher, while charging the truck when rates are lower – or from their own solar-powered rooftop." Link to Article

  • February 8, 2022 - Tesla Model 3, Kia Niro EV receive highest marks in latest JD Power EV study - "One of JD Power\'s newest studies, the Electric Vehicle Experience study, is back for its second year, and according to the 2022 results published on Thursday, a couple things haven\'t changed since 2021. Once again, the top-rated electric cars are the Tesla Model 3 for the premium electric vehicle segment, and the Kia Niro EV for the mass market contenders. The EV ownership experience, based on a 1,000-point scale, is measured by 10 factors, including range, access to charging stations, at-home charging and cost of ownership. Acing many of the categories is the Model 3, which scored 777 points. The Model Y comes in second place with 770 points to tie the premium segment\'s average. Third place is the Model S with 756 points, while the Audi E-Tron rounds things out with 718 points." Link to Article

  • February 8, 2022 - How to Make Cybersecurity a Priority for Smart Cities - "For cities pursuing smart city strategies, whether that involves connected streetlights with sensors or technology at intersections to make them safer and ease traffic congestion, IT leaders have a responsibility to understand how their vendors are securing the solutions they are providing. IT security teams should be involved in all requests for proposals to ensure there is an audit trail and proper certification that vendors are conducting their own security reviews of components and following industry standards for securing Internet of Things devices... They should work proactively to understand how their vendors are encrypting data and ensuring there is multifactor authentication for network access control... Further, security patches and updates for connected devices should not be reliant on the city or town having a valid warranty for those products; they need to be continuous and ongoing... Additionally, cities should conduct regular audits — quarterly, if possible — to ensure their IoT devices are being patched. " Link to Article

  • February 8, 2022 - Toyota develops autonomous drifting tech as a potential safety feature - "What if your next car could help you drive like drifting master Ken Gushi? As far-fetched as that sounds, engineers at the Toyota Research Institute are pursuing this goal. On Wednesday, TRI announced it\'s built a customized Supra sports car that, on a closed circuit, can autonomously drift around obstacles, a world-first according to the organization. Drifting is cool and all, but who cares about a car that can slide around corners all by itself? What\'s the big deal? Well, this is a potential safety feature. In the future, Toyota could use such technology to augment human drivers\' abilities, to provide autonomous control in critical, at-the-handling-limit situations. Say you\'re starting to spin after hitting a patch of black ice. A professional driver might apply throttle and just enough steering angle to drift his or her vehicle to maintain control and prevent a crash, something that normal motorists would not have the skills to do." Link to Article

  • February 8, 2022 - Autonomous Roadways: Collective Perception Allows Vehicles to See More - "To combat this issue, Nebot and his team at the Australian Centre for Field Robotics, including Dr. Mao Shan and Dr. Stewart Warroll, are developing a system in which autonomous vehicles can communicate with one another. The system is called vehicle-to-X (V2X) communication via intelligent roadside stations. These stations would read and interpret signals from surrounding vehicles and redistribute the information, notifying other cars on the road about upcoming obstacles. The idea is called “collective perception.” It would give autonomous vehicles a kind of x-ray vision, or spatial infrastructure, that they could use to navigate all obstacles in their general proximity. This technology would benefit all cars on the road, including non-autonomous vehicles, Nebot explains. If a vehicle is non-autonomous but has been detected by the station, then even if it cannot engage with the system, other autonomous vehicles on the road would be able to." Link to Article

  • February 8, 2022 - President Biden, U.S. Department of Transportation Releases Toolkit to Help Rural Communities Build Out Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure - "The U.S.?Department of?Transportation today released a new, free resource to help rural communities across the country take full advantage of federal funding for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. The guide, titled Charging Forward: A Toolkit for Planning and Funding Rural Electric Mobility Infrastructure, can help connect community members, towns, businesses, planning agencies, and others with partners needed for these projects. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes a total of $7.5 billion to build out a nationwide network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers. The toolkit contains best practices for planning EV charging networks and tips to navigate federal funding and financing to help make these projects a reality. DOT will also be holding workshops with rural communities to utilize the toolkit most effectively. This toolkit is being released in anticipation of the distribution of $7 billion in funds to accelerate the deployment of a national electric vehicle charging network from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. " Link to Article

  • February 7, 2022 - As the U.S. doubles down on infrastructure, here’s how to build bridges for people instead of cars - "In the United States, infrastructure tends to really mean two things: roads and bridges. The subtext there is that most infrastructure projects are primarily built for cars. But they don’t have to be. Across the country, new bridges that are open, under construction, or in the design phase are turning cars-only projects into multimodal connectors. By cutting down on the road space meant for cars, and stretching out spaces for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transit, these new bridges are pushing the definition of American infrastructure. In Portland, Oregon, Tilikum Crossing was the city’s first new bridge over the Willamette River in more than four decades, when it opened in 2015, and was the first in the country to be built for transit, pedestrian, and cyclist use only. " Link to Article

  • February 7, 2022 - First U.S. mile of wireless EV charging road coming to Motor City - "he first mile of wireless electric vehicle charging public road in the United States will be built in Motor City. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer this week announced a construction contract to create the nation’s first wireless charging system on a public road in Detroit, the city known for putting the world on wheels. The innovative street infrastructure will be designed to charge EVs while in motion or when parked. The governor said officials chose Electreon to build an electric road system in Detroit as part of the inductive vehicle charging pilot program. State coffers will contribute $1.9 million toward the project, expected to be completed next year. The test project will be part of the Michigan Central mobility innovation district in Corktown. The district is meant to foster new urban transportation concepts." Link to Article

  • February 7, 2022 - Union Pacific orders ten Wabtec FLXDrive battery-electric locomotives, the largest investment by a North American railroad - "North American railroad Union Pacific announced it has purchased ten FLXDrive battery-electric locomotives from manufacturer Wabtec. The purchase marks the largest number of FLXDrives placed in a single order for Wabtec, as well as the largest investment in battery-electric locomotives by a North American railroad (Union Pacific)... Union Pacific considers trains the most environmentally-friendly means to transport freight and has recently made further vows to help reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions. This past December, the American railroad published its first comprehensive Climate Action Plan, outlining efforts to significantly reduce emissions throughout its operations. As part of that plan, UP plans to reduce its Scope 1 and 2 emissions 26% by 2030, and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. That’s why a purchase from Wabtec makes a lot of sense. Wabtec Corporation ($WAB) is a manufacturer and freight company with over 150 years of expertise in locomotives." Link to Article

  • February 7, 2022 - Cruise to raise $1.35 bln from SoftBank as it readies robotaxis - "Self-driving tech firm Cruise on Tuesday said SoftBank Group Corp’s (9984.T) Vision Fund has agreed to invest an additional $1.35 billion through a second tranche, as it works to launch a commercial ride-hailing service in San Francisco. Cruise, majority owned by General Motors (GM.N), has strong financial support from its investors including Honda and Microsoft and is not planning to raise more funds from the capital markets in the near term, GM chief executive Mary Barra said." Link to Article

  • February 7, 2022 - To Improve Cycling In America, New Report Calls To ‘Build Better Bike Networks Now’ - "Just about everything about cycling in the United States – from bike paths and connected networks to the culture itself – is about 40 years behind peer nations in Europe. But that could change if cities and towns around the country prioritize building safe bicycle facilities to link more people and neighborhoods to more places. Those are the highlights of a new report, “Benchmarking Bike Networks,” released on Wednesday by the League of American Bicyclists, that addressed the importance of safe bicycle infrastructure... The report offers examples, guidelines and a summary of best practices for different street contexts based on traffic speed and traffic volume to help make it easier for communities to know how to build networks. If widely implemented, a strong infrastructure could increase safety and accessibility for cyclists, both for transportation and recreation. " Link to Article

  • February 4, 2022 - Waymo sues state DMV to keep robotaxi safety details secret - "Waymo, the driverless car company operating an autonomous taxi fleet in San Francisco, is suing the California Department of Motor Vehicles. The immediate issue: whether the company, owned by Google parent Alphabet Inc., can hide from the public safety-related information by designating it as a trade secret. The topics Waymo wants to keep hidden include how it plans to handle driverless car emergencies, what it would do if a robot taxi started driving itself where it wasn’t supposed to go, and what constraints there are on the car’s ability to traverse San Francisco’s tunnels, tight curves and steep hills. Waymo also wants to keep secret descriptions of crashes involving its driverless cars. That’s among the information the DMV requires to determine whether to issue permits to deploy robot vehicles on public roads." Link to Article

  • February 4, 2022 - Building smart cities and counties with the Infrastructure Act - "Looking at the Act’s funding provisions, one can certainly envision how cities and counties can make significant progress in their smart city visions based, for the most part, on a foundation built by these building blocks. However, to move towards this end state, it will be necessary to align numerous initiatives funded via different sections of the bill. Unfortunately, the Act maintains the legacy silos and assigns multiple federal agencies to manage parts of the Act with funds distributed to the states for execution by states and localities. As such, the potential for wasteful, uncoordinated spending is very real. Surely the way to get the most out of these funds is to find ways that different programs can support each other – after all, building blocks work best when connected. This is particularly crucial in progressing the smart city/county concept and putting America into leadership. " Link to Article

  • February 4, 2022 - After Pittsburgh bridge collapse, Biden touts infrastructure plan at Carnegie Mellon - "Just a few hours after a bridge collapsed in Pittsburgh on Friday morning, President Joe Biden gave a speech in the city, emphasizing the need to improve the nation’s infrastructure. His event and the subject matter were scheduled before the Fern Hollow Bridge, near Frick Park, fell, injuring 10 people. Biden visited the collapse site, speaking with emergency personnel and making brief remarks... Biden gave his speech at Mill 19, a collaborative innovation space for A.I., automation and robotics, located at the site of a former steel mill. In that setting, Biden said Pittsburgh is “transforming” itself from “being told you’re a city without a future to becoming a city of the future.” " Link to Article

  • February 4, 2022 - U.S. Transportation Agencies Issue RFP for Battery-Electric Automated Buses - "The Automated Bus Consortium, a collective of U.S. transit agencies and departments of transportation, has released a request for proposals (RFP) to procure up to 70 full-size Level 4 automated buses. This is a designation of highly automated vehicles as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Level 4 buses operate in pre-determined environments and still have drivers, steering wheels and pedals. These vehicles will be deployed in revenue service on pilot routes selected by each participating agency, resulting in advancements in understanding the impacts of automation. The RFP represents the first-ever battery-electric automated bus procurement and large-scale deployment for full-sized buses, and was issued by the State of Michigan, which is serving as the lead procurement agency on behalf of the consortium agencies. " Link to Article

  • February 4, 2022 - Autonomous trucking firm TuSimple expanding footprint - "Autonomous driving technology startup TuSimple has reached an agreement with one of the largest industrial and commercial real estate developers in the country that expands the TuSimple \"Autonomous Freight Network.\" Hillwood, an acquirer and developer of industrial properties, will integrate TuSimple\'s infrastructure specifications into current and future industrial and commercial properties, starting with a million square foot state-of-the-art facility built within its 27,000-square-acre AllianceTexas development. The AllianceTexas Mobility Innovation Zone (MIZ) provides partner companies access to a testing and commercialization ecosystem, freight-critical resources, and partnerships to comprehensively adopt, integrate and scale so-called \"Level 4\" autonomous trucking operations. Hillwood Chairman Ross Perot, Jr., said his company chose to partner with TuSimple \"to provide the guidance and technical parameters required to prepare this new facility for the rapid adoption and expansion of autonomous trucking operations throughout the region and beyond.\" " Link to Article

  • February 2, 2022 - Driverless cars won’t be good for the environment if they lead to more auto use - "But while attention has understandably focused on safety, the potential environmental impacts of automated vehicles have largely taken a back seat. We study automated vehicle technologies and how consumers are likely to use them. In two recent studies, our research teams found two creative ways to assess the real-life impacts that automated vehicles could have on the environment. By analyzing drivers’ use of partially automated vehicles and simulating the expected impact of future driverless vehicles, we found that both automated vehicle types will encourage a lot more driving. This will increase transportation-related pollution and traffic congestion, unless regulators take steps to make car travel less appealing." Link to Article

  • February 2, 2022 - Buttigieg releases national plan to reduce road deaths - "Seeking to improve what has been among the nation’s grimmest public policy challenges, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg released a plan Thursday with the goal of reducing, and eventually eliminating, tens of thousands of annual road deaths. The Transportation Department strategy calls for following a “safe system” approach that emphasizes the inevitability of human mistakes and the need for planning to minimize their impacts on everyone who uses roads. The efforts come amid new safety spending in the infrastructure law President Biden signed in November... The strategy lays out steps the department will take over three years in five categories: safer people, roads, vehicles and speeds, and improving post-crash care. It calls for tying together the work of transportation agencies that oversee highways, trucking, and driver and car safety, while appealing for the private sector and state and local governments to support a no-fatalities goal. " Link to Article

  • February 2, 2022 - Wait, So Where Will Urbanites Charge Their EVs? - "Whatever the strategy, though, cracking the problem is vital if cities—and the feds—want to stick to bigger goals for improving equity, accessibility, and racial justice, which many politicians have named as priorities. After all, low-income folks can’t switch from traditional cars to electric ones until they have abundant access to affordable charging infrastructure. The capitalist temptation would be to let private companies battle to see who can put more chargers in more places. But that risks creating charging deserts, the way the US already has food deserts, poor neighborhoods where grocery chains don’t bother setting up shop. Public schools in the US have a similar structural inequality: The higher the tax base, the better the local education. And since the still-nascent charging business is actually pretty bleak right now, the government will likely need to keep directing resources or subsidies to low-income communities to make sure they’re included once the EV economy booms. " Link to Article

  • February 2, 2022 - DOT pumping $1.2 billion into rural freight network - "The Biden administration on Tuesday released $246 million in FY22 funding toward completing a 3,000-mile rural freight and passenger network expected to reap time and cost savings for long-haul trucking. The money is part of a $1.2 billion, five-year funding package authorized in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS), a network running through 13 states from New York to Mississippi. It is approximately 85% completed and is expected to be 100% complete and open to traffic by 2040. The ADHS was initiated in 1965 because the Appalachian region was underserved by an interstate highway system that bypassed the rugged terrain in parts of the region. The 33 corridors that make up the system link to interstate highways and connect to regional and national markets." Link to Article

  • February 2, 2022 - Goodbye to the Days of the ‘Rust Belt’ - "This past week Intel announced that it will build its new, $20 billion state-of-the-art chip plant near Columbus, Ohio. The company says that the location could eventually expand into a $100 billion complex with as many as eight fabrication facilities. As Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger put it, “We helped to establish the Silicon Valley, now we’re going to do the Silicon Heartland.”... Programs like the Cincinnati Talent Acceleration Program, a partnership between the University of Cincinnati and Microsoft with funding from the Ohio Department of Higher Education, are helping existing workers to develop skills for tech-driven manufacturing jobs. Leading Midwest research universities such as Carnegie Mellon, Michigan, Ohio State, Purdue and Indiana can provide reliable pipelines of engineers, operations researchers and supply-chain managers. " Link to Article

  • February 1, 2022 - Rich Fitzgerald and Farnam Jahanian: Autonomous vehicle testing bill essential to regional economy - "The Pennsylvania Senate Transportation Committee will soon consider Senate Bill 965 to set rules of the road for self-driving vehicles. This would cover basic topics like insurance, registration, inspection and meeting federal safety standards — just the same as you’d expect for a vehicle an individual would drive. Passage of SB 965 would give PennDOT the ability to play a stronger role in overseeing autonomous vehicle testing and deployment. In short, SB 965 aims to ensure the continued safe development of this homegrown industry that is already creating thousands of jobs in Pennsylvania. We applaud the work of SB 965’s author, Sen. Wayne Langerholc, R-Cambria, for collaborating with PennDOT Secretary Yasmin Gramian to write a bill that is supported by many regional leaders including Sen. Jay Costa, D-Allegheny, Sen. Wayne Fontana, D-Allegheny, Sen. Pat Stefano, R-Somerset, Sen. Devlin Robinson, R-Allegheny/?Washington, and Sen. Elder Vogel, R-Beaver." Link to Article

  • February 1, 2022 - The self-driving car industry is abandoning the term ‘self-driving’ and leaving it to Tesla - "So long, Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets; hello, Autonomous Vehicle Industry Association! The AV industry’s top lobbying group in Washington, DC is rebranding, dropping the reference to “self-driving” in exchange for a more straightforward moniker. The group, which was founded in 2016 by Waymo, Ford, Lyft, Uber, and Volvo, lobbies lawmakers to pass legislation favorable to its members. It has since grown to include the top AV operators in the country, including Cruise, Aurora, Argo AI, Motional, Nuro, and Zoox. It’s the latest move by the AV industry to distance itself from the term “self-driving,” which many observers interpret as an acknowledgment of Tesla’s influence on the public’s awareness of the technology. Tesla sells a feature called “Full Self-Driving,” which is a beta version of an advanced driver-assist system that controls some of the car’s functions on local roads but still requires human supervision. In contrast, autonomous vehicles are cars that can operate on public roads without any human intervention or supervision." Link to Article

  • February 1, 2022 - Ford aims to be the Tesla of connected commercial vehicles - "At an event in Sonoma, California, this week, Farley and other Ford executives are rolling out more details of their Ford Pro commercial vehicle strategy - and setting ambitious goals. \"This is a first move by Ford to really start to scale and commit serious resources to digital software and services-based revenue,\" Farley told Reuters. Ford Pro is a standalone unit created last May to focus exclusively on commercial and government customers. Ford has set a goal to increase Ford Pro\'s annual revenue to $45 billion by 2025, up 67% from 2019. Farley said Ford Pro is paving the way for Ford to expand digital service offerings to retail customers. The U.S. and European commercial vehicle markets are fragmented, Farley said. Ford can use its position as the leading commercial vehicle brand in the United States and Europe to be a leader in pulling the pieces together as commercial fleets go electric." Link to Article

  • February 1, 2022 - Massachusetts will host the first US solar on highway sound barriers - "Massachusetts-based Ko-Solar wants to put solar panels in places no one really notices, like on industrial building roofs, in parking lots, and sound barriers on highways. It may finally get its chance, in the Boston area. And that will be a US first. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) yesterday announced that it has signed a letter of intent to build a highway solar noise barrier project along Interstate 95 in Lexington, on an existing noise barrier on Route 128... The state will observe the installation for a couple of years, observing a number of things. It wants to ensure the metal grids don’t damage the sound barriers and also wants to know how weather affects the solar installation, how and whether the installation impacts the effectiveness of the sound barriers, and whether any glare occurs from the solar panels that could impact drivers." Link to Article

  • February 1, 2022 - GM to spend nearly $7B on EV, battery plants in Michigan - "General Motors is making the largest investment in company history in its home state of Michigan, announcing plans to spend nearly $7 billion to convert a factory to make electric pickup trucks and to build a new battery cell plant. The moves, announced Tuesday in the state capital of Lansing, will create up to 4,000 jobs and keep another 1,000 already employed at an underutilized assembly plant north of Detroit. The automaker plans to spend up to $4 billion converting and expanding its Orion Township assembly factory to make electric pickups and $1.5 billion to $2.5 billion building a third U.S. battery cell plant with a joint-venture partner in Lansing... The state’s economic development board on Tuesday approved $824 million in incentives and assistance for Detroit-based GM. The package was unveiled and authorized by the Michigan Strategic Fund Board. " Link to Article

  • January 31, 2022 - GE Appliances goes autonomous - "If you get the chance to visit GE Appliance’s famed Appliance Park in Louisville, you might also get a chance to see the starts of a logistics revolution. Instead of tractor trailers, a small fleet of pods from Einride, a Swedish freight technology company, are shuttling trailer-load quantities of material between the five manufacturing and assembly facilities on the campus. They are aerodynamic and futuristic not to mention all electric and autonomous. No operator is behind the wheel – in fact, there’s no wheel. You can click here to watch a YouTube video of the pods in action. The pods are one of two projects that GE Appliance, a Haier company, is doing with Einride. In the other, the appliance manufacturer is using all-electric drayage trucks from Einride in Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky, with a goal of saving 970 tons of CO2 emissions within the first year. The electric vehicles are not autonomous. The deployments are part of a billion-dollar investment commitment by GEA in its U.S. manufacturing and distribution operations. " Link to Article

  • January 31, 2022 - UK Startup Wants to Build 200 Flying Taxi Vertiports in 65 Cities - "U.K. startup Urban-Air Port (UAP) announced that it has secured a new investment from Supernal, which was previously the Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group. The funds will help it build 200 vertiport sites in 65 cities across the globe over the next five years, a press statement reveals. In September last year, we reported that UAP had partnered with Hyundai to work on improving the world\'s lagging flying taxi infrastructure and help launch the world\'s first fully operational urban airport (aka vertiport), called Air-One, by early 2022. .. Now, UAP says it is one step closer to providing the \"essential infrastructure\" required \"to help enable mass adoption of eVTOL aircraft.\" The company also confirmed that Air-One will open for public visitation in Coventry City Centre in April in order to showcase its new infrastructure technologies. " Link to Article

  • January 31, 2022 - Boeing sinks more money into electric air taxi project it’s co-developing with Kitty Hawk - "Wisk Aero, the electric air taxi startup, raised $450 million from Boeing in a new funding round that it claims will make it “one of the most well-funded [advanced air mobility] companies in the world.” In its announcement, Wisk highlights the fact that its “a privately-backed AAM leader,” setting up a contrast with a slate of similar startups that have gone public in recent months by merging with special purpose acquisition companies, also known as SPACs or “blank check” companies. Wisk Aero was formed in 2019 as a joint venture between Boeing and Kitty Hawk, the flying taxi company bankrolled by Google co-founder Larry Page. Wisk says it will use the new funds to undertake a period of rapid growth, adding new employees to its current workforce of approximately 350 people and kicking off a manufacturing process that it says will result in a full-scale, commercially operational air taxi business within the next five years. " Link to Article

  • January 31, 2022 - WisDOT introduces new online tool to help identify areas of public transportation need for non-drivers - "The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) launched a new GIS mapping tool that will help policy makers, transportation planners and mobility providers align transportation resources with underserved populations throughout the state. More than one million people in Wisconsin are non-drivers—many of whom are seniors, individuals with disabilities, young people and low-income individuals. The Non-Driver ArcGIS Online Application, available on the WisDOT website, enables state and local decision makers to locate non-driver populations in their area and begin to plan or expand public transportation options... The Non-Driver ArcGIS Online Application allows users to access census data and WisDMV data on a state map. Users can view estimates of how many non-drivers live in each county, municipality or census area. By comparing non-driver location data with transportation service mapping, users can identify ‘hotspots’ of underserved and unserved Wisconsin non-drivers. " Link to Article

  • January 31, 2022 - Major legal changes needed for driverless car era - "In these cars, the driver should be redefined as a \"user-in-charge\", with very different legal responsibilities, according to the law commissions for England and Wales, and Scotland. If anything goes wrong, the company behind the driving system would be responsible, rather than the driver. And a new regime should define whether a vehicle qualifies as self-driving. In the interim, carmakers must be extremely clear about the difference between self-drive and driver-assist features. There should be no sliding scale of driverless capabilities - a car is either autonomous or not. And if any sort of monitoring is required - in extreme weather conditions, for example - it should not be considered autonomous and current driving rules should apply." Link to Article

  • January 28, 2022 - Detroit Tests Cloud-enabled Pavement Monitoring - "In Detroit, about 20 city-owned Ford F-150 and F-250 trucks are testing a cloud-based solution that automatically monitors road pavement quality in real time. The pilot involved the installation of Tactile Mobility’s Tactile Software Processor, which uses signal processing, microphysical experiments and machine learning to analyze data it collects from sensors inside the vehicle, such as tire grip estimation, wheel speed and wheel angle. With that data collected as the vehicles drive through the city, the technology calculates a rating based on the Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating (PASER) system that evaluates road conditions. In Detroit, the data goes from the vehicles to the Tactile Cloud. The city’s geographic information system automatically pulls it in as a map layer to show in real time where potholes or cracks exist. By comparison, PASER tests are typically done by survey vehicles once or twice a year and produce highly accurate quality scores." Link to Article

  • January 28, 2022 - Snow way it’s staying on the highway, how the plows predict the future - "The South Dakota Department of Transportation has been nationally recognized by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and their Research Advisory Committee, who select 16 projects each year... He says that nowadays, there’s a lot more to snowplows than meets the eye. They’re equipped with all kinds of gadgets, gizmos and gear to make sure that when you hit the streets, you’re safe and sound. “They are no longer trucks,” says Carlson. “What we call them now, is they’re computers on wheels.” The trucks have smaller versions the MDSS system called MDC’s. “It records with our plows up or down the amount of material going out of the back of the truck, and if anything’s fallen from the sky,” Carlson says. Which gives them a forecast of how that road is progressing and determines the output of materials. " Link to Article

  • January 28, 2022 - IIHS Says That Every Semi-Autonomous Car On The Market Is Not Good Enough - "The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is developing a new ratings program that evaluates the safeguards that vehicles with partial automation employ to help drivers stay focused on the road. The safeguards will be rated good, acceptable, marginal or poor. To earn a good rating, systems will need to ensure that the driver’s eyes are directed at the road and their hands are either on the wheel or ready to grab it at all times. Escalating alerts and appropriate emergency procedures when the driver does not meet those conditions will also be required... While most partial automation systems have some safeguards in place to help ensure drivers are focused and ready, none of them meets all the pending IIHS criteria." Link to Article

  • January 28, 2022 - Electric Cars Are Too Expensive For Many, But Retrofitting Could Be The Answer - "Europeans on average earnings could soon be forced out of their cars and on to the bus by environmental rules effectively banning sales of cheap new internal combustion engines (ICE) in favor of unaffordable electric cars; but help is at hand. Transition-One, a small start-up company from Orleans, France, is coming to the rescue with its plan to convert your small and popular ICE vehicle at a price you can afford and with a performance fit for most normal people’s local needs. Transition-One’s business is currently centered on France, but it has big ambitions to grow globally, CEO Aymeric Libeau said in an interview... At first, the conversion is only available for little cars like the Fiat 500, Renaults Clio, Twingo and Kangoo van, and BMW Mini. Transition-One hopes to reduce the conversion price to about €5,000 ($5,700). The cheapest battery-electric vehicle (BEV) is at least 3 times that amount." Link to Article

  • January 28, 2022 - 14 streetlight sensors are collecting data on a Center City block as part of a ‘smart cities’ pilot - "Fourteen streetlights along a single block in Center City have been outfitted with optical sensors as part of a pilot program to track environmental factors and how city sidewalks are being used. Installed on 13th Street between Chestnut and Walnut, the SmartBlockPHL pilot is run by the city in collaboration with Comcast, Juganu, and U.S. Ignite — an National Science Foundation-led initiative that promotes “the smart community movement.” The technology can detect and collect real-time data on pedestrian, vehicular, and bicycle traffic and weather conditions like air quality and humidity. The sensors were installed and calibrated last July, according to SmartCitiesPHL Director Emily Yates. Data collection began in December 2021 and will continue through the end of this year. " Link to Article

  • January 26, 2022 - GM expands market for hydrogen fuel cells beyond vehicles - "General Motors is finding new markets for its hydrogen fuel cell systems, announcing that it will work with another company to build mobile electricity generators, electric vehicle charging stations and power generators for military camps... GM is not alone in entering the hydrogen generator market. Multiple companies, including AFC Energy in the United Kingdom, are selling or testing the products, said Shawn Litster, a professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University who has studied hydrogen fuel cells for about two decades. There will be more demand for the generators as vehicles switch from internal combustion to electric power. Police departments and municipal governments, he said, will need backup power to charge emergency vehicles in case of a power outage. Hydrogen can be stored for long periods and used in emergency cases, he said." Link to Article

  • January 26, 2022 - Las Vegas unveils digital twin of downtown - "Dive Brief: The city of Las Vegas unveiled a digital twin of a 7-square-kilometer section of its downtown earlier this month to help model current and future scenarios that will help it set priorities and take action to address energy use, emissions, traffic, parking, noise, and emergency management. The digital model is a collaboration between the city, Chicago-based digital twin platform Cityzenith and Las Vegas-based data firm Terbine. The model uses street-level data collected in real time through Internet of Things sensors and the city\'s 5G network. Unveiled at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the project will help the city visualize data that it can share with other organizations for planning and training. Future stakeholders could include real estate owners, university researchers, architects and casino operators, according to project organizers." Link to Article

  • January 26, 2022 - Can AI-powered congestion pricing improve transportation equity? - "Some cities have used congestion pricing for years, but its widespread adoption could make commutes worse for low-income drivers who cannot afford to pay to use the faster roads. The researchers suggested refunding some of the money from highway tolls in a way that ensures equity; this way, lower income drivers would get more money back than their more affluent counterparts... “We can achieve both the goals of equity and of efficiency by enabling people to trade time for money,” Devansh Jalota, a doctoral candidate with Stanford University Autonomous Systems Laboratory said in a news release. The idea has two objectives: making sure no one ends up paying more than before -- after accounting for the financial benefits of saving time in traffic -- and designing a system that improves equity outcomes for lower income drivers. " Link to Article

  • January 26, 2022 - SpaceX Veterans Aim To Shake Up Freight Rail With Electric, Robotic Trains - "Founded by a trio of former SpaceX engineers, including CEO Matt Soule, Parallel’s idea for smaller, flexible zero-emission trains pulling no more than 50 cars and operating with greater frequency than traditional behemoths that haul over 150 boxcars at a time caught the attention of tech-oriented venture firms, including Anthos Capital, Congruent Ventures, Riot Ventures and Embark Ventures. With their backing and from other investors, Parallel just raised $49.6 million to refine prototypes and software for its futuristic trains and, eventually, shift more freight hauling from trucks... Big batteries for trains can also be spread across multiple cars, rather than being concentrated in a single vehicle. Additionally, since trains rolling on steel wheels and tracks don’t require as much power to keep moving as trucks on the highway do, Parallel can use cheaper, less energy-dense types of batteries than an electric Tesla or Nikola semi will need. " Link to Article

  • January 26, 2022 - Why Pittsburgh’s New Airport Will Be the Right Size for the Future - "The New York Times called it the “airport of the future” — the 1.82 million-square-foot terminal complex at Pittsburgh International Airport that opened to great fanfare in 1992. With its landside and airside buildings, underground tram and novel, X-shaped gate courses, the terminal became a model for other airports around the world... The Allegheny County Airport Authority has a memorandum of understanding with Carnegie Mellon University to help identify innovations or new technology — which could include autonomous shuttles to extended parking lots — but nothing has been decided. With many parking spaces moving to the garage, some of the extended lot could open up to commercial development. The purpose of the future, 700,000-square-foot terminal, which broke ground on Oct. 14, is to serve travelers leaving Pittsburgh or flying here from elsewhere — not as a connection hub. The airy design will consolidate ticketing, security checkpoints and baggage claim and at the same time increase the area for concessions and retail — and provide more space for social distancing. " Link to Article

  • January 25, 2022 - Utah Is Building a ’15-Minute City’ From Scratch - "Anew planned community in Utah will strive to make it possible for residents to meet all their daily needs within 15 minutes without getting in a car — and to serve as a model for other U.S. developers who want to build basic mobility into the foundations of their designs. Late last year, officials in Draper, Utah began a nationwide search for development partners to build the Point, a from-scratch neighborhood and “innovation hub” that will be constructed on roughly one square mile of state-owned land. But unlike many master-planned communities — a term that, at least in the U.S., has become heavily associated with tidy grids of suburban homes lining auto-centric roads — the Point will explicitly aim to “reduce the need for cars with extensive, regionally connected biking, walking, and transit systems.” " Link to Article

  • January 25, 2022 - Metro Transit Rolls Out Solar-Powered Tech At Bus Stops - "It looks like e-book, but the tablet affixed to the bus stop at the corner of Como Avenue and 15th Avenue Southeast gives real-time transit information powered by the sun. Metro Transit is testing four solar-powered signs at bus stops across Minneapolis, an effort that is cheaper and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. It only needs two hours of sunshine to get batteries charged up and comes at a fraction of the cost of other LCD monitors at other stops, which cost upwards of $20,000 compared to $3,500 to $5,000 per installation of the solar signs, said Jacob Brown, the assistant manager for transit information at Metro Transit. Federal grant money is funding the project. “Anything we can do to lower energy consumption is great,” Brown said. “A much smaller cost, and provides the same benefit, too. Real-time information for our customers.” " Link to Article

  • January 25, 2022 - NTSB chief to fed agency: Stop using misleading statistics - "Jennifer Homendy, the chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that she’s surprised the wording remains on the department’s website even as the Biden administration pledges to embark on a broader strategy to stave off crashes through better road design, auto safety features and other measures. Auto safety advocates have been calling on the department for years to stop using the statistic, including requests by Homendy in recent months as well as a letter from auto safety groups to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg last month. They call the figure an unacceptable “excuse” for surging crashes. In a section touting the safety potential of automated vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website states “94% of serious crashes are due to human error.”" Link to Article

  • January 25, 2022 - DOE: MY 2021 EVs Had a Median Driving Range about 60% That of Gasoline Powered Vehicles - "For the 2021 model year, the median driving range of all-electric vehicles was 234 miles while the median range for gasoline vehicles was 403 miles, according to the data released by the Department of Energy (DOE). Although this is a sizeable difference, EV ranges have been increasing rapidly. While the maximum range for any EV offered in the 2021 model year was 405 miles, there are already EV models offered for the 2022 model year achieving a maximum range of more than 500 miles. As more long range EVs become available, the discrepancy in range between gasoline powered vehicles and EVs is likely to continue to narrow. Range for EVs is based on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates for a single charge. Range for gasoline vehicles is based on tank size and EPA combined fuel economy rating." Link to Article

  • January 25, 2022 - L.A. Just Ran (and Ended) the Biggest Free-Transit Experiment in the U.S. - "In March 2020, Los Angeles’ public-transit agency, Metro, stopped collecting fares on its buses as a COVID-19 safety precaution. For the next 22 months, Metro waived fares for anyone who wanted to keep riding its buses, anywhere they wanted to go (as long as they wore a mask, of course). And people did keep riding. Outside of the initial stay-at-home order in the spring of 2020, Metro’s ridership never dipped below 50 percent of before-times ridership, with buses eventually recovering to within 10 to 15 percent of pre-pandemic numbers. While the agency doesn’t know exactly how many people were riding fare-free buses during this time — because fare collection is one of the ways to track ridership — a spokesperson says that from April 2020 to December 2021, it’s safe to say Metro’s buses provided about 281 million fare-free boardings. This means the agency has inadvertently been conducting what may be the biggest free-transit experiment in U.S. history. " Link to Article

  • January 24, 2022 - Aurora co-founder Drew Bagnell resigns from company’s board but will remain in chief scientist post - "Drew Bagnell, one of the three co-founders of autonomous vehicle company Aurora Innovation Inc., has resigned from the company\'s board of directors, though he\'ll maintain his position as Aurora\'s (NASDAQ: AUR) chief scientist. His departure from the eight-person board leaves the Pittsburgh-based company without a board director who resides in the region it calls home, which is also where the majority of its more than 1,500-person workforce lives. Per a regulatory filing, Bagnell\'s resignation is not due to \"any disagreement with (Aurora) concerning any matter relating to its operations, policies, or practices.\" The filing stated that Bagnell submitted a notice of resignation on January 12... In the same filing, however, Aurora announced the appointment of Claire Hughes Johnson to serve as its latest board director, who provides work as a corporate officer and advisor for payment processing software company Stripe Inc. " Link to Article

  • January 24, 2022 - Vehicle-to-Everything Technology and Autonomous Long-Haul Trucking Are Among Winning Emerging Automotive Technologies - "As automotive technology trends continue to create new and exciting opportunities within the industry, tech-savvy companies are building and launching innovations that are changing the auto sector’s landscape. Businesses looking to follow suit and capitalize on the latest trends have a lot to discover, with autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence (AI) applications, vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology, tech-driven vehicle insurance and voice-operated features taking center stage as some of the most important emerging technologies. To keep pace with disruptive tech companies that are active in the automotive sector, and convert digital threats into opportunities in 2022, automakers and aftermarket players need to grasp how these developments are impacting their vertical, and see which companies are leading the way. " Link to Article

  • January 24, 2022 - On making the (better) grade - "Federal, state and railroad officials continue to seek more effective ways to improve and promote grade crossing safety. It’s a multipronged (and collaborative) effort — from developing awareness campaigns to analyzing data to implementing technology... And nine out of 10 railroad-related fatalities are the result of vehicle-train crashes or pedestrian rail trespass incidents, DeAngelis said. As communities begin to recover from the pandemic, and with more motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians on roads, some safety officials and advocates say accidents and incidents are on the rise. In December, Progressive Railroading reached out to a range of representatives from Class Is and transit agencies to share what they’re doing to improve grade crossing safety. We asked: What are you doing to promote grade crossing awareness? What new technology is out there to help prevent crossing incidents? How are partnerships with safety organizations, state and local agencies, and other railroads helping the industry make a better grade at crossings? " Link to Article

  • January 24, 2022 - National coalition to advance the development of hydrogen fuel cell buses formed in the U.S. - "The Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus Council (HFC Bus Council) has formed a first-of-its-kind national coalition of public transit agencies, manufacturers and suppliers that are working together to advance the hydrogen fuel cell electric bus economy and its applications in the public transit sector. The formation of the HFC Bus Council comes at a time of historic levels of investment in public transit, alongside nationwide commitments to transition fleets to zero-emission propulsion... Founding members include MTD, SunLine Transit Agency, Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA), Foothill Transit, Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTCSNV), Utah Transit Authority (UTA), Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation (IndyGo), Interurban Transit Partnership (The Rapid), Intercity Transit, Sangamon Mass Transit District, Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County, NFI Group, ENC, Hexagon Purus, Trillium, Ivys Energy Solutions and Ballard. " Link to Article

  • January 24, 2022 - DARPA to Field Test Autonomous Military Off-Roader - "The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is set to field-test autonomous technology on military off-road vehicles in March. Last year, the agency selected Carnegie Mellon University, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the University of Washington for phase 1 of the Robotic Autonomy in Complex Environments with Resiliency (RACER) program. The program seeks autonomous technologies that “enable unmanned ground vehicles to maneuver in unstructured off-road terrain at the limit of the vehicle’s mechanical systems and at, or beyond, human-driven speeds and efficiencies.” The selected teams will demonstrate “platform-based autonomy”— which they have been developing on DARPA-provided vehicles — at the first RACER-hosted field experiment, which involves navigating up to five kilometers of complex terrain. The self-driving vehicles, based on the Polaris RZR S4 1000 platform, are equipped with “360-degree range and image sensing such as multiple LIDARs (Light Detection and Ranging), stereo camera pairs, color and infrared imaging cameras, RADAR, event sensors, and inertial measurement sensing.” " Link to Article

  • January 21, 2022 - State legislation seeks to expand driverless cars on the road - "“This legislation is critical from two different perspectives: One is a competitiveness angle, both internationally and domestically, and the other requires a particular nature where testing has to happen on public roads with real traffic,” says Raj Rajkumar, the co-director of General Motors-Carnegie Mellon Vehicular Information Technology Collaborative Research Lab. Rajkumar says it’s much easier to test and work with developers when they’re all in the same state, so it would benefit Pennsylvania to create laws that are more friendly to autonomous vehicle testing. “If it is being permitted in 39 states, but not in the brain and heart of autonomous vehicle technology development, that doesn’t make sense,” says Rajkumar. He says as technology improves, it needs to be tested in real conditions. " Link to Article

  • January 21, 2022 - S.Korea’s LG Energy Solution plans U.S. battery JV with Honda -report - "South Korean battery maker LG Energy Solution (LGES) plans to build a battery joint venture (JV) with Japan\'s Honda Motor Co Ltd (7267.T) in the United States, South Korea\'s Maeil Business Newspaper said on Friday, citing an unnamed industry source. The potential battery JV between LGES and Honda could cost as much as 4 trillion won ($3.4 billion) and have an annual production capacity of up to 40 gigawatt hours (GWh) of batteries, enough to power 600,000 electric vehicles (EVs), the newspaper reported. The report did not have details, such as the timeline of when the JV would be built and begin operations." Link to Article

  • January 21, 2022 - BP claims EV charging stations ‘on the cusp’ of being more profitable than gas pumps - "Oil giant BP claims the use of its BP pulse electric vehicle chargers is “on the cusp” of being more profitable for the company than filling up an internal combustion-powered car with gas. Once that happens, it could mark a major turning point for EVs and “big oil”. The business of EV charging – filling up a car with electrons rather than petroleum-based gas or diesel – has always been a loss leader for oil companies like Shell and BP, who are seemingly being dragged into the electric future kicking and screaming. That may be about to change, however, as BP’s latest numbers show that, on a margin basis, its UK-based “BP pulse” network of fast battery charging stations, is nearing the levels of profitability they see from filling up with petrol. And the division could be profitable on its own by 2025." Link to Article

  • January 21, 2022 - Building machines that work for everyone – how diversity of test subjects is a technology blind spot, and what to do about it - "People interact with machines in countless ways every day. In some cases, they actively control a device, like driving a car or using an app on a smartphone. Sometimes people passively interact with a device, like being imaged by an MRI machine. And sometimes they interact with machines without consent or even knowing about the interaction, like being scanned by a law enforcement facial recognition system. Human-Machine Interaction (HMI) is an umbrella term that describes the ways people interact with machines. HMI is a key aspect of researching, designing and building new technologies, and also studying how people use and are affected by technologies. Researchers, especially those traditionally trained in engineering, are increasingly taking a human-centered approach when developing systems and devices. This means striving to make technology that works as expected for the people who will use it by taking into account what’s known about the people and by testing the technology with them. But even as engineering researchers increasingly prioritize these considerations, some in the field have a blind spot: diversity." Link to Article

  • January 21, 2022 - Philip Koopman: Autonomous vehicle safety bill needs improvement - "The Warrendale-based SAE did issue the J3016 standard mentioned in the bill, but it is a terminology standard only. It does not impose requirements on driving automation systems, and is not intended to ensure safety. I should know, because I’m a member of the SAE committee that issued it. There is another SAE standard, however, that does cover testing safety: SAE J3018. This standard provides guidance for training safety drivers and ensuring that HAV public road testing is done in a responsible manner. Because Pittsburgh is, and will remain, a development center for HAV technology, with-driver testing will always be essential for the newest innovations... Putting SAE J3018 into this bill would not be onerous. After all, Pittsburgh-based Argo AI already conforms to that standard, and Motional has also been evaluated for testing safety along similar lines. The New York City DOT already requires conformance to J3018, and Massachusetts is pursuing that path as well. " Link to Article

  • January 19, 2022 - Kenworth sees orders for electric trucks triple in 3 months - "Orders for Kenworth Truck Co. medium- and heavy-duty battery-electric trucks have tripled in the past 90 days as fleets take advantage of incentives to offset the upfront cost and add zero-emission capacity ahead of coming sales quota regulations. The electric versions of the Class 6 cabover K270 and conventional Class 8 T680 daycab and demonstration hydrogen-powered fuel cell T680 built with Toyota Motor Corp., were offered to the media for literal around-the-block rides and drives at the Paccar Innovation Center on Thursday. About 30 Kenworth customers got the same PowerPoint presentation followed by in-vehicle experience on Wednesday. ‘Orders from every region in the country’ “We’ve quoted electric vehicles in 44 states,” Hank Johnson, Kenworth general sales manager for vocational and medium-duty trucks, told FreightWaves. “We’ve taken orders from every region of the country and most of Canada.” " Link to Article

  • January 19, 2022 - Toyota will retrofit late-model cars with new technology - "Toyota will inaugurate a service called Kinto Factory that will add modern features like electronic driving aids to select late-model cars. The program will launch in Japan in January 2022, and it aims to let motorists benefit from new technology without having to buy a new car. Kinto Factory will initially offer customers two basic services: upgrading and remodeling. Upgrading is defined as retrofitting safety and convenience functions, like emergency braking assist, a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, and a hands-free tailgate or trunk lid. Remodeling involves replacing worn or damaged parts inside and out, such as the upholstery, the seat cushions, and the steering wheel. Personalization will join the list of services at a later date, partly because it involves gathering data on how drivers use their car. " Link to Article

  • January 19, 2022 - The Role Of The Connection In The Second Era Of The Connected Car - "A quarter of a century ago, the First Era of the Connected Vehicle was kicked-off by the former CEO of General Motors, Rick Wagoner, at the 1996 Chicago Auto Show. “Project Beacon” was eventually renamed to OnStar and was enabled by in-vehicle sensors, live advisors and multiple intelligent algorithms. However, the connection itself wasn’t all that intelligent; only a conduit for the information flow between vehicles and operation centers. Point to point... How The Second Era Is Different The major difference shall be the multipoint-to-multipoint communication, which can either be characterized as local networks, broadcast networks or some combination thereof. Vehicle to Everything (V2X). Such systems will allow low-latency, local awareness, which is the underpinning of many applications, especially safety-related ones... In this Second Era, though, the infrastructure has already been launched: 5G. Per 5Gradar.com, the revised towers will “… bring ultrafast speeds, greater capacity, and ultra-low latency – characteristics that will allow mobile networks to offer connectivity reliable enough to support critical applications for the first time.” " Link to Article

  • January 19, 2022 - Traffic Cameras in Chicago Disproportionately Ticket Black and Latino Motorists - "When then-mayor Richard M. Daley ushered in Chicago’s red-light cameras nearly two decades ago, he said they would help the city curb dangerous driving. “This is all about safety, safety of pedestrians, safety of other drivers, passengers, everyone,” he said... But for all of their safety benefits, the hundreds of cameras that dot the city – and generate tens of millions of dollars a year for City Hall – have come at a steep cost for motorists from the city’s Black and Latino neighbourhoods. A ProPublica analysis of millions of citations found that households in majority Black and Hispanic ZIP codes received tickets at around twice the rate of those in white areas between 2015 and 2019. The consequences have been especially punishing in Black neighbourhoods, which have been hit with more than half a billion dollars in penalties over the last 15 years, contributing to thousands of vehicle impoundments, driver’s license suspensions and bankruptcies, according to ProPublica’s analysis." Link to Article

  • January 19, 2022 - Mississippi using LiDAR technology for road construction - "The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) announced Monday that it will be using light detection and ranging (LiDAR) to improve road construction efficiency and safety around the state... MDOT said it had purchased LiDAR drones to add to its fleet of vehicles that use LiDAR to take measurements and map out road construction projects. Mississippi is one of the first states in the southeast to use LiDAR drone technology in state transportation work, the department said. The drones allow MDOT workers to perform their fieldwork much faster than traditional measuring tools. The technology also increases safety for MDOT workers, greatly reducing their time on the job near or in moving traffic." Link to Article

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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