• December 7, 2022 - The world’s first fully automated parking system has been approved for public use in Germany. - "The driverless parking system allows users to drop their Mercedes S-Class or EQS electric car at a drop off point after notifying an app. The system then checks that the route to a specific parking spot is clear and drives the vehicle autonomously to the correct location, wherever that might be in the parking garage. Later, the vehicle returns to the pick-up point in exactly the same way. This relies on the interaction of the intelligent infrastructure supplied by Bosch and installed in the parking garage and Mercedes-Benz technology in the car... Bosch and Mercedes-Benz obtained the world’s first special permit to operate Automated Valet Parking in 2019 using development vehicles without human oversight in the parking garage of the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. The approval that has now been issued goes beyond this, allowing commercial operation with privately owned vehicles in the P6 parking garage at Stuttgart Airport and follows approval by the German government for driverless cars earlier in the year. " Link to Article

  • December 6, 2022 - FTA has $3 million in funding available for Standards Development Program - "The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for $3 million under the Standards Development Program for an organization to develop an industry assessment and standards and tools in safety and other areas to address transit industry needs. The organization will develop voluntary standards and best practices to help transit agency implementation. Developing transit standards are important for ensuring safety, security, accessibility, fare collection, operations and maintenance, intelligent transportation systems, and more are uniform and adopted across the industry. Transit standards development can help identify and expand upon information gaps and promote technological advancements. The NOFO builds on a prior FTA program that developed reports consisting of gap analyses and recommendations for transit standards development. " Link to Article

  • December 6, 2022 - CSX seeks FRA approval to use Trip Optimizer’s automatic start and stop feature - "CSX Transportation is awaiting regulatory approval to become the first railroad to use Trip Optimizer’s Zero-to-Zero function, which allows the advanced cruise control system to automatically start and stop freight trains. The goal, CSX says, is to save fuel as part of the railroad’s effort to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 37% by 2030. “Zero-to-Zero is a big piece of that … to improve fuel economy on line-of-road. We’re doing everything we can to reach those goals,” says Corey Davis, CSX’s director of fuel strategy and utilization, who headed the railroad’s Zero-to-Zero test program. In conventional Trip Optimizer use, the system’s auto throttle mode works at speeds of 12 mph and above. Wabtec says Trip Optimizer can apply dynamic brakes, and when air brakes are required can recommend how much air the engineer should use and for how long, as well as when to release brakes. CSX trains have rolled off more than 23 million miles under auto control so far this year, Davis says. " Link to Article

  • December 6, 2022 - Chinese tech giant Baidu to build world’s largest fully driverless ride-hailing service area in 2023 - "Chinese tech giant Baidu Inc announced plans on Tuesday to build the world\'s largest autonomous ride-hailing service area in 2023. The announcement came during a celebration of Apollo Day, Baidu\'s autonomous driving tech event. The plan outlined a goal to expand the operation area for Baidu\'s fully driverless robotaxis, allowing it to reach more potential customers. Additionally, the company revealed a series of new technology breakthroughs including an AI big model built for autonomous driving perception, high-definition autonomous driving maps, a closed-loop autonomous driving data system, and the successful end-to-end adaptation of AI chips for autonomous vehicles. Chen Jingkai, Baidu\'s autonomous driving technology expert, said the generalization ability of its autonomous driving technology has progressed at a more advanced pace than expected. Now, the lead time to deploy autonomous driving technology in a new city is only 20 days. " Link to Article

  • December 6, 2022 - A safety app ‘SafeUP’ allows women and girls to plan and share their journeys on public transportation with real-time arrival information - "SafeUP is a new startup leading a community safety app which enables women and girls to crowdsource their safety and protect one another in real-time. Their partnership with Moovit, which is a popular creator of an urban mobility app, will allow members to easily plan their journeys and navigate public transportation while sharing their safety status. In honour of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, this app design furthers safe accessibility to public transportation, with access to other additional opportunities for employment, education, social activities, and more to come. Women are more likely to walk and take public transport as their means of transportation, but, according to the ONS, nearly 50% of women feel unsafe while doing so. The figure is even higher among females aged 16 to 34, which is currently at 60%." Link to Article

  • December 6, 2022 - Continental Advances Development of Brake Green Caliper for Electric Vehicles - "Future electric vehicles will gain additional range thanks to a new brake design from Continental: The so-called Green Caliper, a newly developed brake caliper for disc brakes, is significantly lighter than previous designs and has a lower residual brake torque. In combination with the brake disc, the lower mass – in individual cases up to five kilograms per brake – and the reduced friction between brake pad and disc contribute to increasing the range of an electric vehicle. This major advance was made possible by targeted further development to meet the requirements of a brake in an electric vehicle. Unlike the brakes in a conventional vehicle, those in an electric car are activated much less frequently. This is because in over 80 percent of all deceleration situations, the brake is not needed at all due to recuperation." Link to Article

  • December 5, 2022 - Tesla Semi completes first 500-mile journey with full load - "The Tesla Semi has completed a 500-mile trip with a load weighing 81,000 pounds, Tesla owner Elon Musk tweeted Saturday. The first test run was an important step for the Austin, Texas-based company’s all-electric Class 8 commercial truck, which was supposed to be in production in 2019. Tesla’s Semi program has suffered repeated delays, including the departure of a key executive and supply chain issues. Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) first announced the Semi-truck back in 2017. The Semi truck’s first deliveries are scheduled to PepsiCo subsidiary Frito-Lay sometime over the next several weeks. Tesla has already installed a Megacharger on a Frito-Lay distribution site in Modesto, California. Along with PepsiCo, the Semi has attracted thousands of orders from fleets. Mass production of the Semi — up to 50,000 units per year — is expected to take place at Tesla’s Austin Gigafactory, which also produces the Model Y electric vehicle. " Link to Article

  • December 5, 2022 - Florida THEA Connected Vehicle Pilot reports success with final data report - "The pilot began in September 2015, when the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) designated THEA as a test bed for CV technology. The award led to a full-scale operation of CV devices throughout downtown Tampa, culminating in a collaboration between Honda, Hyundai America Technical Center and Toyota Motor North America. This industry-wide collaboration is among the first of its kind, where auto manufacturers joined in deploying vehicles with CV technology to provide the next evolution of delivering safer transportation. Thanks to THEA’s efforts as an early adopter, Tampa was one of the first cities in the nation to deploy CV technology on actual city streets, fitting transportation infrastructure, transit vehicles, and over 1,100 volunteer drivers with the ability to receive safety alerts. The THEA CV pilot produced a large amount of open shared data that can be used to help spur private/public collaborations, eventually resulting in better driving conditions. " Link to Article

  • December 5, 2022 - Tesla now detects Autopilot cheating devices - "Tesla is now starting to detect Autopilot cheating devices that enable you not to hold the steering wheel, and it is acting on it if you use it. In order to use Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta, Tesla requires drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel. However, Tesla is not equipped to detect hands on the steering wheel. It can only detect torque being apply to it, so the automaker regularly asks drivers to apply some torque to the wheel in order to keep using Autopilot. It pushed some people to use what has been called “defeat devices.” It can be as simple as jamming a water bottle in the steering wheel to apply some pressure to some custom-made devices to trick Autopilot’s driver monitoring system. NHTSA even had to intervene and ban devices that were clearly marketed for that purpose." Link to Article

  • December 5, 2022 - American EVs reduced gasoline consumption by just 0.54% in 2021 - "Electric vehicles have never been more popular. Just about every automaker is in the midst of an electrification effort, spurred on by impending government regulations around the world aimed at reducing our dependency on fossil fuels. But is the movement having an effect? Here in the US, plug-in vehicles are selling better than ever, despite supply chain shortages and frequent hefty dealership markups. According to Argonne National Lab, between 2010 and the end of 2021, the US had bought more than 2.1 million plug-in vehicles, including 1.3 million battery EVs. That sounds like a very impressive number, but bear in mind that\'s out of a total national vehicle pool of nearly 276 million cars and trucks. Argonne estimates that despite all these plug-ins, national gasoline consumption was reduced by just 0.54 percent in 2021." Link to Article

  • December 5, 2022 - Tesla, Quebec, LG, and others work on new ‘battery passport’ - "Tesla, Quebec, LG, and others, through the Global Battery Alliance, are working on a new “battery passport” to help track battery materials. The project is important to make EV batteries sustainable and is critical to the new EV incentive in the United States. One of the biggest arguments from EV naysayers is that battery material mining is just as polluting as burning gasoline. That’s plain false based on important studies, but it doesn’t mean that there’s no room for improvements in making battery material mining more sustainable and ensuring that all the resources come from ethical operations – especially without child labor. Global Battery Alliance (GAB) is pushing a new solution called a “Battery Passport.” GAB is an industry group made up of over 100 companies involved in the EV battery supply chain from mining companies like Glencore to automakers like Tesla and battery cell makers like LG. " Link to Article

  • December 2, 2022 - Where ‘Vision Zero’ Is Working - "A recent chart and report from the International Transport Forum is what gives me hope. In the report, “Monitoring Progress in Urban Road Safety,” the authors compare the decrease in road traffic deaths across 22 major cities that participated in a pledge to reduce traffic deaths. New York City is the only US city included, and one of just four where the city significantly outperformed national-level safety figures. Between 2010 and 2020, NYC’s traffic deaths fell 19%, while the US death rate rose 8% — an improvement that translates into a significant number of saved lives. And there is reason to believe that the city can do better now that the framework and the constituency for safety reforms is in place... " Link to Article

  • December 2, 2022 - What’s behind the electrolyzer craze for green hydrogen? - "An electrolyzer separates water into oxygen and hydrogen, effectively the opposite of a fuel cell, which uses water and electricity to separate hydrogen and oxygen, creating water vapor as the only emission. In an electrolyzer, water is pushed through a stack with electricity. That pulls apart hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Producing emissions-free hydrogen is attracting federal and state incentives at unheard of levels. It bodes well for fuel cell electric vehicles. Especially long-haul trucks that could travel up to 1,000 miles on a single fill-up of liquid hydrogen. We’re not there yet, but the potential is greater than ever. Companies are embracing the prospects. Cummins Inc.’s New Power division expects $3 billion in annual revenue from electrolyzers by 2030. Tier 1 automotive supplier Robert Bosch plans to invest up to $591 million in electrolyzer components by the end of the decade. German manufacturers ThyssenKrupp and Siemens Energy already make electrolyzers." Link to Article

  • December 2, 2022 - Lyft Aspired to Kill Car Ownership. Now It Aims to Profit From It - "Today the company announced it wants to be the place to go to care for your own car. Lyft\'s app will offer a way to find and reserve parking in 16 cities, summon roadside assistance, and schedule vehicle maintenance. Adding those new services is a small step for an app but part of a much bigger shift in ride hailing. As Lyft and its larger competitor Uber search for a way to finally generate a profit, some visions they once espoused for the future have been tweaked, if not left on the side of the road. Lyft once pushed for an end to personal car ownership. Now it’s betting that will continue and even provide a new source of revenue. Some 75 percent of its users own a car. “We’re meeting our riders and customers where they are,” says Jody Kelman, the company’s head of fleet." Link to Article

  • December 2, 2022 - Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta now available to all in N. America, Musk says - "Tesla Inc\'s Full Self-Driving Beta software is now available to everyone in North America, Elon Musk said early on Thursday, as the automaker awaits regulatory approval for its cars to be driven without human oversight. \"Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta is now available to anyone in North America who requests it from the car screen, assuming you have bought this option,\" Musk tweeted. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment. Musk said last month that Tesla\'s advanced driver assistant software would not gain regulatory approval in 2022. Musk hopes to provide an update to Full Self Driving (FSD) in 2023 to show regulators that the technology is much safer than the average human driver. The Silicon Valley automaker sells a $15,000 FSD software add-on which enables its vehicles to change lanes and park autonomously. That complements its standard \"Autopilot\" feature, which enables cars to steer, accelerate and brake within their lanes without driver intervention." Link to Article

  • December 2, 2022 - Electric cars to become the ‘biggest data collection device’ by 2030 when self-driving will be common, says VW CEO - "While Volkswagen\'s ex-CEO was of the opinion that Level 3 self-driving needs radar equipment, contrary to Elon Musk\'s opinion it can be done with Tesla Vision cameras only, its successor now says that autonomous Volkswagens will be a common sight in 2030. Sitting down for an interview, Mr. Thomas Schaffer added that the company\'s expensive testing vehicles are scouring the streets of Munich and Hamburg right now and there will be a commercial autonomous ride-hailing fleet of VW ID Buzz electric cars there by 2025... In the meantime, all that computing power needed to provide the complex calculations of the raw input coming from its sensory sidekicks will turn electric cars into \"the biggest data collection device there is.\" While that might sound scary for the privacy-minded, Germany has one of the strictest security safeguards, too, and that\'s one of the reasons the legislation around autonomous driving is so complex to navigate:" Link to Article

  • November 30, 2022 - US airport introduces autonomous car hailing service to take people from parking lot to terminal - "SELF-DRIVING technology firm Mapless AI has begun testing its driverless cars at Pittsburgh International Airport. Speaking with The U.S. Sun, Mapless AI co-founder Jeff Johnson said the trial phase will involve a human driver behind the wheel in case of emergency. When asked how long Mapless AI plans to keep an emergency driver onboard, Johnson said: “This will last as soon as we have confidence that we can remove the driver.\" He added: \"We would like to be deploying within two years or so, but of course, that’s all fluid and subject to change.\" Mapless AI\'s cars are delivered to the airport’s parking lots through a version of driverless technology known as teleoperated driving. Teleoperated driving allows vehicles to be controlled remotely. This remote communication is achieved through encrypted data communication between onboard vehicle sensors and a remote driving console, MotorTrend reports. " Link to Article

  • November 30, 2022 - Trucking industry slams FMCSA’s proposed electronic ID mandate - "The advance notice of proposed rulemaking issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in September responded to a request by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. CVSA contends that establishing a unique, universal electronic vehicle identifier for all commercial motor vehicles would boost safety by improving how roadside inspectors target unsafe vehicles and drivers... The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators fully supports the petition... The Truck Safety Coalition, which filed jointly with Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways and Parents Against Tired Truckers, also backed the proposal, contending that it has for too long relied on an “honor system” when it comes to enforcing safety... But the petition was roundly rejected by an overwhelming majority of the more than 1,700 comments FMCSA received on the proposal — most of which were from owner-operators citing privacy concerns... Even the American Trucking Associations and the Truckload Carriers Association, whose members typically support technology aimed at improving safety, declined to back the proposal." Link to Article

  • November 30, 2022 - NYC to expand bike lanes, public spaces in 2023 - "New York City’s Department of Transportation plans to significantly expand bike lanes and public spaces next year, according to a press release on Monday. The agency plans to make it easier for bicycles and pedestrians to access the Washington Bridge, which connects the Bronx and Manhattan and adds protected bike lanes and two-way bike boulevards to several streets. It also aims to improve public spaces in Brooklyn, including an overhaul of the Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park... The upgrades build on the city’s Open Streets program — which closes some streets to vehicle traffic for use by pedestrians and cyclists — and its efforts to create the largest bike network in the U.S., which surpassed the 1,500-mile mark in October." Link to Article

  • November 30, 2022 - Labor shortages hinder public transit rebound: APTA report - "Public transit is slowly making a comeback in the U.S. since ridership declined after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Transit systems have surpassed 70% of their 2020 ridership levels, but severe public transit labor shortages are hindering fuller recuperation. In March, 96% of 190 agencies surveyed by the American Public Transportation Association reported experiencing labor shortages, according to a report released last month by the association. The shortages are most acute at agencies serving large, urbanized areas and agencies with greater ridership. Workers are leaving transit jobs due to concerns about wages, safety, inflexible schedules and lack of professional growth, the report stated. But there are a number of strategies that transit agencies can take to recruit new employees and streamline the hiring process." Link to Article

  • November 30, 2022 - Wabtec advancing electricification of vessels - "Wabtec Corp. said it’s participating in the Hypobatt project, which is developing a megawatt-charging standard and infrastructure for ferries in European ports. Hypobatt is short for hyper powered vessel battery charging system. Pittsburgh-based Wabtec (NYSE:WAB) is working in a consortium with 18 partners who are responsible for a 42-month project to identify maritime charging solutions that reduce contact time, wait time and maintenance cost... The project also will develop a fully automatic and safe electric ship connection system with the capacity to fully charge a vessel’s battery while at the dock. The consortium is targeting to reduce connection time to less than 30 seconds, charging time by 10%, and space dock side for the system by 20%. Additionally, it aims to improve charger availability by 95% and battery life by 10%. The consortium will demonstrate the technology at the ports of Norddeich and Norderney, Germany. The testing will be conducted on a vessel of the Reederei Norden-Frisia shipping company." Link to Article

  • November 29, 2022 - Why solar electric vehicles might be the next generation of EVs - "The world’s first commercial solar electric vehicles are hitting the U.S. and European markets in the next few years. German company Sono Motors, Southern California-based Aptera Motors, and Dutch company Lightyear are all producing electric vehicles with integrated solar panels, which can harness the sun’s power to provide around 15-45 additional miles on a clear day. These vehicles also have regular, lithium-based batteries that can be charged using electricity from the grid, so for longer drives these cars essentially function like a standard EV. But for commuters and other short-distance drivers, the majority of their miles could be fueled almost entirely from the sun, free of charge... The Sono Sion, which is expected to begin production in Europe in mid-2023, is priced starting at just $25,000. Its battery has a 190-mile range, and while the car also has 465 integrated solar half-cells on its exterior, the boxy, five-seat hatchback appears unassuming and practical." Link to Article

  • November 29, 2022 - Cruise, Waymo push robotaxis amid doubts about self-driving tech - "Cruise and Waymo are plowing ahead with plans to bring robotaxis to more cities, despite growing disillusionment among investors and automakers about the timeline for self-driving cars. Why it matters: The two companies already operate driverless taxis in San Francisco and Phoenix... Catch up quick: Other key players are shutting down, merging or paring back... Meanwhile, another AV company, Motional, is partnering with Uber and Lyft to add Hyundai robotaxis to their ride-hailing fleets in several cities starting next year. The big picture: This could be the beginning of an industry-wide shakeout in which the leaders pull away from the pack, similar to what happened in the auto industry in the first half of the 20th century." Link to Article

  • November 29, 2022 - Autonomous Vehicles: How Is Europe Doing? - "Even discounting the overly optimistic expectations of the recent past, it’s clear that autonomous vehicles will have a major impact on the automotive and transportation industries. The AV era is not a question of if but of when, and the “when” varies by region and by AV use case. This article will focus on how Europe is doing in AVs across multiple segments of the AV industry. Comparisons with the U.S. and China are included where data is available. To get a basis for the comparisons, I have included a big picture of how the AV industry is likely to evolve in the next decade or so. This includes AV hardware and software technology along with the use cases, standards, and regulations shaping the AV market. Table 1 summarizes the phases of AVs’ evolution. The timeline across the bottom doesn’t indicate specific years but starts around 2015 on the left and ends in the 2030 timeframe on the right. " Link to Article

  • November 29, 2022 - Building out nationwide EV charging is taking longer than consumers think, Fuels Institute says - "“EVs will play a major role in the path towards a lower carbon transportation space, but there’s a huge difference between perception and reality,” John Eichberger, executive director for the Fuels Institute, a nonprofit fuels research organization founded by the National Association of Convenience Stores, said during a recent webinar addressing the current EV landscape... One hurdle is complications with electric vehicle supply equipment permits. The EV industry currently lacks a set of clear, coherent guidelines from higher levels of government to foster EV coordination, Eichberger said. He noted that improved policies coordinated among jurisdictions can create consistency, predictability and economies of scale. In July 2021, the Fuels Institute made a state-level prioritization forecast of EV-charging installation. The forecast considered factors such as number of expected plug-in EVs over the next decade, housing mix, miles traveled and parking habits in each region, among other factors. " Link to Article

  • November 29, 2022 - Goldman Sachs says U.S., Europe could end reliance on Chinese EV batteries by 2030 - "Nov 22 (Reuters) - The United States and Europe could cut their dependence on China for electric vehicle batteries through more than $160 billion of new capital spending by 2030, the Financial Times reported on Monday, citing a Goldman Sachs forecast. The investment bank\'s analysts believe demand for finished batteries could be met without China within the next three to five years, as a result of investments in the U.S. by South Korean conglomerates LG and SK Hynix (000660.KS), according to a Goldman report to clients viewed by the newspaper. The report calculated that to achieve a self-sufficient supply chain, countries competing with China would need to spend $78.2 billion on batteries, $60.4 billion on components and $13.5 billion on mining of lithium, nickel and cobalt, as well as $12.1 billion on refining of those materials, FT said." Link to Article

  • November 28, 2022 - Road tolls ‘best way’ to cut congestion in Scots cities - "Sustainable transport charity Transform Scotland said that was a conclusion of research they commissioned by Edinburgh Napier University looking into the demand management measures that could reduce road traffic in Scotland. But Transform Scotland says that business groups have felt there could be hostility to the prospect of people paying to enter a city centre with concern congestion charges would \"discourage travel and damage city economies which are already struggling post-Covid.\".. In a bid to encourage the use of public transport, the city council\'s transport convener Scott Arthur stated that a fee could be used as the council tries to improve bus links in the next few years. The study by the renowned Transport Research Institute at Edinburgh Napier comes as the Scottish Government committed in December 2020 to reduce all car traffic by 20% by 2030 as part of its net zero carbon emissions plan." Link to Article

  • November 28, 2022 - FCC Unveils New Broadband Map - "As promised, the FCC has released its first draft of a new broadband availability map meant to more accurately represent broadband coverage as the Biden administration pushes tens of billions of dollars toward its universal broadband pledge. The map shows location-level information(opens in new tab) about broadband availability, an upgrade from the census-level data the Federal Communications Commission previously collected and which had allowed some broadband dead zones to appear live if they were in census blocks with service elsewhere. The FCC has signaled the maps are an iterative process that will be improved by challenges to errors. The better maps were mandated by Congress but the FCC was already at work on improving its broadband data collection, which had been roundly criticized on the Hill." Link to Article

  • November 25, 2022 - Robot invasion: Thousands of people descend on Pittsburgh for first-of-its-kind expo showcasing robotics tech - "An estimated 5,000 people entered the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh on Wednesday to attend the inaugural Robotics Discovery Day, a free event put on by the Pittsburgh Robotics Network. For Joel Reed, executive director of the nonprofit robotics advocacy organization, seeing the faces of the thousands of students who visited as they looked at and learned about all of the robotics-based innovations taking place right here in Pittsburgh brought him immense joy. And that feeling wasn\'t limited to only the younger attendees who came in from nearly 65 area schools, he said. \"We\'ve seen people of all ages taking photos with the robots, sitting and engaging with all of the exhibiting companies that have been here,\" Reed said. \"It\'s been really exciting.\" Nearly 50 robotics and robotics-related companies occupied a booth in the Robozone during the event, representing about half of the more than 100 members that make up the PRN." Link to Article

  • November 25, 2022 - SAIC Motor to launch robotaxi service in Shenzhen, China - "The company is one of a growing list of companies that are testing autonomous vehicles in the country with others like Pony.ai, Baidu, XPeng and Xiaomi. Previously, SAIC partnered with Pony.ai for robotaxi project in Shanghai, China. According to a report from Gasgoo, SAIC Motor will also expand the current service going in Shanghai’s Lingang area and Anting Town using second-generation SAIC robotaxis for the first time. This will take place simultaneously during the first service in Shenzhen. SAIC is developing four strategic projects for intelligent transportation: Robotaxis; Level 4 intelligent heavy-duty trucks; and two autonomous projects with IM Motors and Rising Auto in China. The robotaxis will use SAIC Motor’s Marvel R model equipped with six solid-state lidar units, five panorama cameras, four circum-viewing cameras, five radars and 12 ultrasonic radars. " Link to Article

  • November 25, 2022 - How data sharing revs up mobility decisions - "State and local governments looking for transportation and mobility-related data to help them with decision-making around new mobility technologies can tap into the U.S. Department of Energy\'s Livewire Data Platform. The expanding, unified platform features data from federal, regional, local, academic and industry projects and allows easy and secure access for sharing, leveraging and preserving mobility data. The platform was developed in 2019 by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a consortium of multiple national laboratories, but it is now available to anyone who requests an account... Livewire currently features over 330 datasets from DOE Energy Efficient Mobility Systems program projects. It features a range of datasets at the vehicle, traveler and system levels, allowing researchers to study how advanced technologies—such as connected, automated and electric vehicles, alternative fueling infrastructure, rural electrification or multimodal transportation—affect energy consumption." Link to Article

  • November 25, 2022 - Projects granted $74M to advance battery reuse, recycling - "The Energy Department on Wednesday awarded nearly $74 million from the bipartisan infrastructure law for 10 projects to advance recycling and reuse of batteries for electric vehicles and other purposes. The funding will go to academic and commercial applicants in seven states, including four in California. Other grant winners are in Nevada, Michigan, New Jersey, Tennessee, Indiana and Alabama. The University of California-San Diego will receive $10 million to develop and scale-up technology to recycle lithium-ion batteries, while Element Energy in Menlo Park, Calif., will receive $7.9 million for a wind-energy project in west Texas. The company is working with Next Era Energy Resources to pursue commercial-scale technology to boost the second-life battery market for energy storage." Link to Article

  • November 25, 2022 - Wabtec (WAB) to Take Over Super Metal for Global Expansion - "To boost its presence in the international markets, Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation WAB, operating as Wabtec Corporation, reached a definitive agreement to acquire the Brazilian company Super Metal. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Super Metal is a leading supplier of automated vehicles and equipment solutions supporting rail operations. The buyout will boost Wabtec’s Railway Maintenance portfolio. The acquisition is a highly prudent move as it expands Wabtec’s rail maintenance portfolio in South America by complementing its presence in Contagem, Brazil, with respect to freight rail manufacturing. Explaining the rationale behind the deal, Pascal Schweitzer, the group president of Wabtec’s Global Freight Services, said: “Super Metal is a great addition to our maintenance of way portfolio. Their differentiated road-to-rail solutions will accelerate our international growth in key regions such as Latin America, Asia, and Africa.”" Link to Article

  • November 23, 2022 - SEPTA selects ZeroEyes for gun detection pilot program - "Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) selected ZeroEyes for a pilot program designed to reduce the likelihood of gun-related violence on train platforms. Implementation will begin in approximately two months. SEPTA is the first major transit system to deploy ZeroEyes\' solution, which is an A.I.-based gun detection video analytics platform developed by former Navy SEALs. Layered on top of SEPTA\'s existing security cameras, ZeroEyes\' proprietary software will identify brandished guns and alert safety personnel and local law enforcement within three to five seconds. Former U.S. military and law enforcement specialists monitor every detection 24/7/365 from the in-house ZeroEyes Operations Center (ZOC) to deliver accurate and actionable intelligence on gun-related incidents, including the gunman\'s appearance, clothing, weapon and real-time location. Furthermore, ZeroEyes\' A.I. does not perform any facial recognition, nor receive, record, store or share videos or images of any person." Link to Article

  • November 23, 2022 - Uber Health hopes employers will cover the costs of workers’ medical transportation - "The news: Uber Health is expanding into the employer market. The ride-hailing app’s self-insured employer customers will start to cover trips to the doctor’s office for their workers. Uber Health announced the move at last week’s HLTH conference, per Fierce Healthcare. How we got here: Uber Health partners with providers, insurers, and other healthcare stakeholders to book non-emergency medical transportation for patients and provide rides for caregivers. For example, Uber Health recently teamed up with CVS Health to give consumers in underserved communities free rides to medical appointments... Uber Health is also a covered benefit in some Medicare Advantage and Medicaid plans. Members can get free transportation to physician appointments. Uber Health turns to employers next: Self-insured employers pay for their workers’ healthcare costs. That means they’ll want to ensure their employees make it to medical appointments so their conditions don’t progress and become more expensive down the road." Link to Article

  • November 23, 2022 - California commits $2.6B to sustainable mobility, prioritizing low-income communities - "The California Air Resources Board announced Thursday a $2.6 billion clean mobility plan focused on directing benefits from the transportation transition to low-income communities and those disproportionately burdened by pollution. Initiatives will include incentives for cleaner trucks and buses, bike- and car-sharing, and consumer rebates for clean cars. According to a CARB press release, more than 70% of the $2.6 billion in the fiscal year 2022-23 funding will benefit “priority populations.”... The plan includes: More than $2 billion for zero-emission trucks and buses and off-road equipment, including school buses, transit buses, and drayage trucks. $33 million to help small truck fleets transition to cleaner technologies. $135 million for demonstration and pilot projects, including commercial harbor craft. $326 million for consumer vehicle purchase incentives. $55 million for clean mobility investments. " Link to Article

  • November 23, 2022 - Robot delivery startup Nuro is laying off 20 percent of its workers - "Nuro, the autonomous delivery startup, is laying off 20 percent of its staff, or about 300 employees, the company said in an email to employees that was later published online. (TechCrunch was first with the news.) The company’s founders said it grew too rapidly in the past year thanks to an abundance of capital and a growing sense of competition. But Nuro has since run into economic headwinds that are challenging the entire tech industry, and it could no longer sustain the size of its workforce... Laying off team members is always the last resort, but unfortunately it was needed after other options were exhausted,” co-founders Dave Ferguson and Jiajun Zhu wrote. “This result is on us; we doubled the size of our team in less than two years and significantly increased our operating expenses, assuming the funding environment would remain strong. This was a mistake.”" Link to Article

  • November 23, 2022 - GM Startup BrightDrop Projects $1 Billion in Revenue in 2023 - "BrightDrop, a General Motors Co. startup focused on offering electric delivery options, told investors Nov. 17 it’s on track to reach $1 billion in revenue in 2023. The startup has previously only given specific revenue expectations of $5 billion by mid-decade and possibly $10 billion by 2030. The company confirmed it will generate up to $10 billion in revenue and reach 20% profit margins by the end of the decade. Also on Nov. 17, the company unveiled BrightDrop Core, a subscription-based software platform to help customers better optimize their business. It combines data from BrightDrop products to give better visibility, insight and control of their operations, GM said. BrightDrop Core will be available in early 2023. BrightDrop launched in 2021 with products targeting last-mile delivery and fulfillment, including its Zevo lineup of electric delivery vans, the BrightDrop Trace eCart and the BrightDrop Core software suite. The company has more than 25,000 reservations and letters of intent for its products from companies including Walmart, Hertz, FedEx and Verizon." Link to Article

  • November 22, 2022 - Ford says making its own parts for electric vehicles could offset job losses - "Ford Motor is attempting to build as many of its own parts as possible for its electric vehicles to offset an expected 40% reduction in workers needed to build such cars and trucks, CEO Jim Farley said Tuesday. Farley compared Ford’s latest efforts to source its own parts to the early days of the auto industry, when companies including Ford controlled most, if not all, of the components going into a vehicle. “We’re going back to where we were at the beginning of the century. Why? Because that’s where the value creation is. It’s a huge transformation,” Farley told reporters after an auto conference for the Rainbow Push Coalition, a human and civil rights organization founded by Rev. Jesse L. Jackson. In addition to making sense for the business, he said retaining the jobs and workforce is another reason Ford wants to build more parts in-house rather than purchasing them from suppliers. " Link to Article

  • November 22, 2022 - Grant to help LSU build AI to study, improve traffic - "The LSU Center of Analytics and Research in Transportation Safety was awarded a grant from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. With this funding, the university hopes to build on artificial intelligence to help us better understand how we react when behind the wheel. “We will use video from roads and interstates to analyze videos and using artificial intelligence to turn it into data,” said Helmut Schneider, Executive Director of the Center for Analytics & Research in Transportation Safety. In Louisiana, the number of fatal commercial vehicle crashes jumped by more than 28% from 89 fatalities in 2020 to over 100 fatalities in 2021. “In some respect, we have specific issues in Louisiana with speeding, impaired drivers, and seatbelt usage,” said Schneider. With nearly $1,000,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation, this will allow researchers to build a dashboard to provide more detailed insights into what the contributing factors are behind crashes." Link to Article

  • November 22, 2022 - Traffic sensor along U.S. 97 to provide more insight for improvements along corridor - "Over the last 10 years, the corridor of Highway 97 between Union Gap and Toppenish has seen 350 serious injury crashes and 22 fatal crashes. That doesn\'t even include the number of collisions that haven\'t been accounted for. \"The tribe is on a different system than the state and the federal government is, and so we\'re trying to merge all that together to get a comprehensive view of what\'s going on,\" said Hollyanna Littlebull, a Yakima Nation DNR Engineering That is why the Yakima Nation is installing the first traffic sensor along this corridor that will be able to collect real time data... Now with the new camera, the Yakima Nation will receive information like average speed and road conditions, to provide info about how dangerous this intersection can be." Link to Article

  • November 22, 2022 - Why local governments struggle to hire tech workers in 5 charts - "Rising salaries, a persistent talent shortage and changing expectations among workers are making it difficult for local governments to hire the tech workers they need, according to researchers and city officials... While some local governments can pay tech workers compensation that’s competitive with the private sector, most cannot, said Farhad Omeyr, program director of research and data at the National League of Cities’ Center for City Solutions. Increasing home prices — along with the associated property tax revenue — and an influx of federal funding stabilized city budgets during the depths of the pandemic. But higher inflation, a potential recession and a looming decline in federal funding could threaten the financial footing of many local governments, he said. As a result, cities are hesitant to raise wages significantly, Omeyr said." Link to Article

  • November 22, 2022 - Meet the Biden official overseeing $7.5B for EVs - "Gabe Klein is a key figure in the Biden administration’s plans to build out infrastructure for America’s future electric cars, buses and trucks. But his biggest accomplishment may involve bicycles. In September, Klein, who has run transportation departments in Washington and Chicago, was named executive director of the new Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, which was created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed by President Joe Biden last November. Just as the EV is a fusion of vehicle and an electrical appliance, the joint office fuses expertise from two federal agencies, the departments of Energy and Transportation. As far as anyone knows at DOE or DOT, it is the first joint office between government departments in U.S. history." Link to Article

  • November 21, 2022 - How Sysco Corp. Plans To Deploy 800 Battery Electric Class 8 Trucks (And That’s Just The Beginning) - "It’s a staggering number of electric trucks: 800 Class 8 battery electric tractors. While many forward-thinking fleets are piloting one electric truck or planning for tens of electric trucks in the next several years, Sysco Corp. signed a letter of intent earlier this year to deploy up to nearly 800 battery electric Freightliner eCascadia Class 8 tractors by 2026. Before you pick your jaw up off of the floor, Marie Robinson, chief supply chain officer, Sysco Corp., shared the fleet’s true electric vehicle target. “Our actual stated public goal is to electrify 35% of our U.S. broadline fleet; so it’s more like 2,500 electric trucks by 2030,” Robinson explained. That’s a lot of electric trucks. Yet, given where we are in the fourth quarter of 2022–the equipment isn’t in question. Freightliner unveiled its production model eCascadia earlier this year, sporting 320-470 HP, a typical range of 230 miles (depending on vehicle configuration), multiple battery options and maximum capacity of almost 440 kWh. " Link to Article

  • November 21, 2022 - Electric vehicles are less reliable because of newer technologies, Consumer Reports finds - "Electric vehicles are among the least reliable cars and trucks in the automotive industry today, according to Consumer Reports rankings released Tuesday. When compared with hybrid and gas-powered cars and trucks, electric vehicles powered entirely by batteries were the worst-performing segment, aside from traditional full-size pickup trucks, according to Consumer Reports. Reliability issues with electric vehicles were expected, since most automakers, with the exception of early EV leader Tesla, launched fully electric models in recent years, said Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports. He said companies have not had time to iron out issues that impact reliability... Unlike all-electric vehicles, hybrid cars and trucks were among the most reliable in the study. That’s largely because many hybrids, such as the Toyota Prius, have been on the market for years, so automakers have been able to work out problems they’ve encountered." Link to Article

  • November 21, 2022 - ASCE and Accelerator for America Release Map to Showcase Infrastructure Projects - "— The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in partnership with Accelerator for America today announced the release of a new map which features projects that are getting underway with funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), otherwise known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). As the one year anniversary of the BIL approaches on November 15th, funding has been steadily making its way to state and local agencies across the nation, and now it is possible to track how communities are benefiting from investments. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests in all 17 of the infrastructure categories included in ASCE’s 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, which was released eight months before official passage of the law and had assigned our nation’s infrastructure a cumulative grade of ‘C-’. Communities are now benefiting from replaced lead service lines, safer roads and bridges, and new transit connections." Link to Article

  • November 21, 2022 - Electric vehicle sales rise as registrations jump 57% through September - "Through the first nine months of this year, registrations for electric vehicles rose 57% compared to the same period last year, according to data from Experian Automotive cited by Automotive News. More than 530,000 new battery-electric vehicles were registered in the U.S. through September... While Tesla still dominates the market with nearly 350,000 registrations through September, traditional automakers and new startups accounted for 183,750 registrations, a 71% increase for non-Tesla vehicles. Automakers have announced $24 billion in new electric vehicle and battery manufacturing facilities through the first five months of this year, according to the Center for Automotive Research. Through 2026, nearly 150 new plug-in electric vehicles will be on the market in the U.S. in addition to those released this year, according to data compiled by Automotive News. But as the market for plug-in vehicles continues to grow, sales of hybrid vehicles sank 16% in the third quarter, according to Kelley Blue Book." Link to Article

  • November 21, 2022 - City Council looks to make e-bikes safer following rash of deadly NYC fires caused by batteries - "The New York City Council will consider a package of bills aimed at improving the safety of e-bikes after a score of deadly fires connected to the electric batteries powering them. The FDNY says that fires caused by e-bike lithium-ion batteries have injured 140 people and killed 6 so far in 2022, a massive increase from the 13 injuries and 0 deaths attributed to them in 2019. Safety issues with the batteries came to the fore earlier this month after more than 40 people were injured in a massive inferno at a Midtown high-rise, which firefighters say started in an apartment where at least 5 e-bikes were being stored for repairs." Link to Article

  • November 18, 2022 - Autopilot Who? Israel Wants To Trial Autonomous Buses - "Israel will become one of the first countries to trial autonomous buses as the nation looks at ways to automate mass transport options. The move is being made to reduce traffic congestion while increasing safety and improving service. Four bus companies have been selected for the initial trials: Egged, Metropolin, Dan and Nateev Express. Naturally, the first trial bus journeys won’t be available for the public to board, with each company tasked with proving the safety, viability, and business feasibility of their autonomous vehicle, which will be conducted on closed roads. Once approved, the aggressive strategy will see autonomous vehicles make their move to the public road, plying bus lines for a two-year trial period. The goal will be to transition to a fleet of autonomous vehicles that operate without drivers in as little as a few years. According to The Jerusalem Post, one of the motivators behind the move is to tackle Israel’s lack of manpower, with the nation facing a severe shortage of bus drivers. " Link to Article

  • November 18, 2022 - No more stop-and-go? AI-equipped cars join the morning rush to influence human drivers - "On a stretch of I-24 in Tennessee that is newly equipped to serve as a testbed for intelligent transportation technologies, 100 vehicles with AI-driven adaptive cruise control will join the morning rush hour next week so that researchers can assess whether cars directed by AI can help to ease stop-and-go traffic jams by altering the behavior of human drivers. The testing is being conducted by the CIRCLES Consortium, which consists of researchers from partners including Vanderbilt University, the University of California, Berkeley, Rutgers University-Camden and Temple University, plus participation from Nissan North America, Toyota, General Motors and the Tennessee Department of Transportation. It will take place from November 14-18 in the Nashville-Davidson County area on a four-mile section of I-24 outfitted with around 300 ultra-high-definition cameras mounted on poles every 600 feet, which produce images that are “converted into a digital model of how every vehicle behaves with unparalleled detail” ..." Link to Article

  • November 18, 2022 - How a ‘City Bus Manager’ Video Game Could Become an Advocacy Tool - "A new video game releasing today will challenge players to successfully run a virtual version of their city’s bus network — and the developers behind it hope it can create a new generation of transit advocates, even as they acknowledge that the complex realities of a transportation network can’t be gamified. On Nov. 10, developers at German video game company PeDePe and publisher Aerosoft released an early access edition of City Bus Manager, a tycoon-style game where players can build bus depots and stops, manage routes, and juggle the struggles of keeping a transit network running and riders happy. In an interesting twist, though, the game allows its players to run virtual buses through a detailed map of a real city of their choice — and gives them a budget commensurate with that city’s size and modal share, unless they opt for an “easy” mode with fewer constraints on their finances. " Link to Article

  • November 18, 2022 - Waymo’s robotaxis are basically mobile weather stations now - "Waymo, the Alphabet company that aims to deploy fleets of robotaxis all over the country, has been quietly investing in weather research since its early days as a “moonshot” project out of Google’s X division. And while its autonomous vehicles still struggled to navigate certain inclement conditions, the company has gotten a lot better at detecting and predicting the weather in the cities in which it operates — even creating a first-of-its-kind fog map for San Francisco. The map is a product of millions of data points collected by Waymo’s fleet of autonomous vehicles as they traverse San Francisco’s fog-drenched streets. Combined with special weather-detecting vehicles equipped with visibility sensors, Waymo is able to create a new meteorological “metric” that it then feeds to its autonomous “Waymo Driver” to aid its decision-making." Link to Article

  • November 18, 2022 - Nagoya startup offers unique tactic to sell driverless tech - "In the field of self-driving cars, Japanese companies are being left in the dust of their U.S. rivals, including Waymo LLC of Google operator Alphabet Inc. and General Motors affiliate GM Cruise Holdings. However, a Nagoya University startup is throwing its hat in the ring using a unique strategy. Tier IV Inc. is contemplating a business plan that offers its software for free, in principle, to encourage more companies to use its self-driving technologies. Shinpei Kato, chief technical officer of the company who studied autonomous driving at Carnegie Mellon University in the United States, founded the Nagoya-based company. “The value of software will continue to rise. We want to enhance the system capabilities and increase sales,” Kato said. Tier IV purchased a chassis from automakers to develop an autonomous driving system. Automakers were brought together in late September for a trial experiment on their self-driving cars along Tokyo’s Aomi waterfront. " Link to Article

  • November 16, 2022 - Self-Driving Survivors Struggle With ‘Trough of Disillusionment’ - "There’s a phrase that keeps getting tossed around in the autonomous vehicle business: trough of disillusionment. Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt said it on General Motors’s recent earnings call, and Aurora Technologies CEO Chris Urmson used a variation of if on Bloomberg Television to describe where the industry is right now. Their comments came after Ford and Volkswagen-backed Argo AI shut down and after a year-long rout in self-driving tech stocks. What’s happening is a brutal shakeout among companies trying to monetize a new technology. Money poured into startups during bubbly days before and during the pandemic. Many of those investments aren’t panning out. Companies with cash, technology chops and patient ownership are still in the game. Any company missing just one of those three pieces are going away. The remaining players are still getting funded and are still eyeing a big prize if they can scale up a business before investors lose interest." Link to Article

  • November 16, 2022 - Hydrogen fuel cells seek transport niches EVs can’t reach - "A battery-powered, relatively light-weight family sedan may boast a range of around 400-500 kilometres before it must recharge, however a heavy-duty truck would be lucky to get half that range. A larger battery, for longer range, would be bulky, taking away precious cargo space and means an extra payload of as much as five tons for an already heavy, fully loaded vehicle. By comparison, Volvo says its hydrogen fuel cell heavy duty trucks have a range of up to 1,000 kilometres while the batteries themselves weigh less than two tons. Hydron, a startup of less than 100 people based in Southern California, is working closely with Cummins on its fuel cell technology to produce a heavy-duty truck capable of pulling 40,000 pounds (over 18 metric tons) for long haul destinations." Link to Article

  • November 16, 2022 - Kodiak Robotics Shows What Happens When A Robotruck Blows A Tire - "To demonstrate the effectiveness of its Kodiak Driver autonomous technology in self-driving commercial trucks, Kodiak Robotics decided to see what would happen in the event of a tire blowout. It\'s an important issue since commercial trucks are vulnerable to tire blowouts which can lead to accidents due to long drives, heavy weight and heat buildup according to a federal report. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company recently set up a test at a West Texas proving grounds where a Kodiak self-driving truck\'s Class 8 tractor pulling a trailer ran over a test rig puncturing the front, driver-side tire during autonomous operation. Bottom line, the tire blew and the truck stopped and that was that. You can see the entire test in the video below." Link to Article

  • November 16, 2022 - American drivers are finally getting high definition headlights (adaptive driving beam) - "Because standard 108 defined headlights is only having high or low beams, it tacitly excluded all of the technical advances that followed, specifically adaptive driving beam, or ADB, headlight systems, such as what are found on Audi\'s matrix LEDs, Lexus\'s BladeScan system, or Ford\'s adaptive front-lighting system-- none of these you will find operable stateside... Broadly, ADB are headlights that actively adapt to the prevailing weather conditions and around obstacles like rain, snow, and oncoming traffic. Outside of the US, for example, Audi offers its digital matrix LED headlights, LEDs arrayed in a grid pattern and granularly controlled by a central processing unit called a DMD, or digital micromirror device. They operate a lot like the digital projection technology that they\'re based on. The light produced by the LEDs is reflected by an array of more than a million micromirrors, each of which measures just a few hundredths of a millimeter." Link to Article

  • November 16, 2022 - Archer electric air taxi to take flight from Newark airport - "Archer Aviation Inc. and United Airlines announced their first airport-to-city-center electric air taxi route, slated to fly between United’s hub at Newark Liberty International Airport and New York City beginning in 2025. According to the Nov. 10 announcement, the proposed course marks the first specific route in the electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle (eVTOL) industry. Archer’s goal is to provide passengers with safe, quick, quiet and cost-effective transportation to and from EWR. Based in Santa Clara, Calif., Archer estimates it will take less than 10 minutes from the downtown Manhattan Heliport to reach EWR in its all-electric Midnight aircraft — a low-noise, sustainable alternative to helicopters. By comparison, the company estimates that a similar trip by car can take more than an hour during rush hour traffic. " Link to Article

  • November 15, 2022 - Volvo reveals new $80,000 electric SUV with Luminar lidar - "Volvo’s plans to exclusively sell all-electric vehicles by 2030 kicked off Wednesday with the reveal of its EX90 – the first in a new lineup of EVs for the Swedish automaker. The carmaker is calling the seven-seat SUV its new flagship vehicle, starting at just under $80,000. The company said production of the car is expected to begin in the U.S. next year in South Carolina, with production in China to follow. U.S. customer deliveries are scheduled to begin in early 2024, Volvo said. The EX90 resembles Volvo Cars’ current lineup of vehicles. On a full charge, the car is expected to achieve up to 300 miles of range, according to the company... The car also marks the introduction of Luminar Technologies’ lidar system as standard equipment in a commercially built vehicle. Many in the automotive industry believe lidar is the next-generation of safety technology and a step closer to more highly-automated or autonomous vehicles." Link to Article

  • November 15, 2022 - Autonomous vehicle highway to open in Virginia - "Dive Brief: A recently overhauled stretch of Interstate 66 in Northern Virginia will fully reopen by the end of the month, featuring three regular lanes, two managed lanes in each direction, and improved interchanges, said Nancy Smith, corporate affairs director at the consortium in charge of construction. The project is also the first roadway to use a vehicle-to-infrastructure system developed by Ferrovial — a Cintra subsidiary — to support self-driving vehicles, according to Cintra, part of the I-66 Express Mobility Partners Company joint venture that also includes infrastructure companies Meridiam, John Laing Plc and APG. “Infrastructure-based sensing and [vehicle-to-everything] communication will enhance the on-board capabilities of connected and autonomous vehicles and will allow them to operate more safely and effectively than they could do on their own,” said Adrian Talbot, head of the Centre of Excellence for Mobility at Ferrovial, in an email." Link to Article

  • November 15, 2022 - Transit Agencies Increasingly Dependent on Federal Funding - "Transit agencies nationwide are taking in less farebox revenue, with agencies recovering, on average, just 12.8 cents for every dollar they spent on operations in 2021, down from 32.3 cents in 2019. According to an article in The Center Square by Elyse Apel, Tom Gantert, and Brett Rowland, “Once the pandemic hit, transit operational costs increased while passengers abandoned public transportation for various reasons – including fear of COVID-19, working from home and having some transportation shut down.” Many transit agencies also eliminated fares in an effort to assist low-income riders and encourage more people to use public transportation. The federal government allocated $71.7 billion to transit in four Covid-19 relief packages. This was a significant shift from pre-pandemic years: in 2019, federal funding made up 7.1 percent of transit operating expenses. In 2021, federal dollars funded 36.2 percent of operations. “The National Transit Authority stated 852 transit agencies across the U.S. spent $13.1 billion in federal pandemic relief funds mostly on operational expenses in 2021, a 95% increase from the previous year.”" Link to Article

  • November 15, 2022 - Report Says DOT ‘Management Challenges’ Include Reducing Highway Fatalities - "A new Department of Transportation inspector general report concluded that DOT’s key 2023 “management challenges” range from reducing highway fatalities to successfully implementing the variety of Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act programs... “In particular, DOT’s success will require identifying the root causes of the increased fatalities,” the IG said. “This effort will require sustained research, data analysis and careful coordination between the department and its operating agencies, state and local governments, industry and other stakeholders — as well as efficient stewardship of over $34 billion in IIJA program and grant funding aimed at improving transportation safety.” The management challenges report is required annually by law and helps the department focus attention on effectively managing its programs and operations while advancing its strategic goals." Link to Article

  • November 15, 2022 - It’s Been a Good Election Year for Transportation Funding - "Transit advocates scored a big victory in suburban Detroit Tuesday, when Oakland County, Michigan voters approved a plan to raise property taxes and institute countywide bus service for the first time. It was one of many victories that transportation groups hailed after this week’s election, when the vast majority of ballot questions to fund roads and transit sailed to victory. Across the country, 14 out of 19 measures to back public transit passed. More broadly, voters approved 88% of state and local proposals to boost or maintain spending on roads and other transportation infrastructure, according to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association. Those 380 approved ballot questions will generate $19.6 billion in revenue in 18 states, the group said... Texas approved the largest share of new money of any state, according to ARTBA. Most of the $12.9 billion its voters approved support special units of government that build roads and other infrastructure in new housing developments." Link to Article

  • November 14, 2022 - This new ‘smart’ cord lets everyone cash in on utility EV-charging perks - "Al Choperena, CEO of Irvine, California–based Smartenit, thinks his company’s new smart EV charging cord is the answer to this either-or dilemma. It’s cheap — between $350 to $500 depending on whether it’s designed to plug into a standard 120-volt or 240-volt household outlet — compared to at least $1,000 for a Wi-Fi-connected, 240-volt Level 2 home charger, a price that doesn’t include installation. Smartenit’s cord, by contrast, doesn’t require professional installation. But Smartenit’s EV charging cord is also just as smart as other smart chargers — if not a little bit smarter, in Choperena’s opinion. That’s because it comes embedded with hardware and software that can integrate not just with EV-charging smartphone apps and utility rate and alert programs but also with myriad other energy-aware devices such as smart thermostats and remote-controllable lights and appliances. " Link to Article

  • November 14, 2022 - Porn and Putin-focused hacks of charging stations drive new cybersecurity steps for an EV boom - "“Permissive access to chargers was adequate for traditional power systems,” but “vehicle-grid integration” to manage charging “adds orders of magnitude of operational complexity,” added Duncan Greatwood, CEO of cybersecurity specialist Xage. Vulnerability is significant because “cybersecurity strategies were only introduced into the energy sector in the last 18 months,” he said... By 2030, they could be 52% of new car sales, according to a BloombergNEF estimate reported September 20. And vulnerabilities will increase with that rapid EV ecosystem expansion across the power system’s attack surface, cybersecurity specialists agreed. Those vulnerabilities threaten more serious impacts than ridiculing Putin or random porn attacks, power industry, private cybersecurity providers, and cybersecurity research leaders said. An October 25 Office of the National Cyber Director-led forum recognized that new answers for EV ecosystem cybersecurity are needed. But stopping Black Hat attackers with financial or worse motives who seem always a step ahead will be challenging, those leaders acknowledged." Link to Article

  • November 14, 2022 - Google and Renault are creating a ‘software-defined vehicle’ - "In 2018, Google partnered with Renault Group to bring Android-powered infotainment systems to cars. The two companies are now building on this partnership to design and deliver the digital architecture for a more complex concept, a \"software-defined vehicle\" (SDV). This partnership has a twofold goal of creating both in-vehicle software and cloud software to enable the SDV platform and a Digital Twin, according to the release. The term \"Digital Twin\" refers to the copy of a vehicle that will feature the most advanced AI capabilities \"for an easier and continuous integration of new services into the vehicle and the creation of new onboard (In-Car Services) and offboard applications,\" according to the company. A SDV with over-the-air, continuous upgrades will build on the existing Android Automotive Operating System and Google Cloud technology collaboration. Renault will leverage Google\'s Cloud technology to securely manage data capture and analytics. They\'ll also use Google\'s ML and AI capabilities. " Link to Article

  • November 14, 2022 - Tesla applies for machine-to-machine cellular data service in its electric cars - "Tesla has applied to offer telecommunication services in Canada, including “machine-to-machine cellular data service” in its electric cars. Starting with the Model S in 2012 and for a decade now, Tesla has been leading the auto industry in the level of connectivity inside its vehicles. Tesla has made software a priority in its product, and internet connectivity enables it to push software updates over-the-air to its customer fleet as well as collect data from it, which has been particularly useful in its effort to develop self-driving technology... Lately, there have been indications that Tesla could take the level of connectivity in its vehicles to a new level. Today, we learn that Tesla applied for a Basic International Telecommunications Service (BITS) license with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). If approved, it would technically allow Tesla to become a telecommunications reseller service in Canada." Link to Article

  • November 14, 2022 - Novel Efforts Underway To Feed EV Charging Deserts - "Somerville, Mass.-based SparkCharge likes to describe itself as sort of a Doordash or Ubereats for EV charging. Through its Currently mobile app, an EV owner can order a recharge and a SparkCharge van is dispatched to the driver\'s location, “the same way me and you get food and pizza delivered,” SparkCharge CEO Josh Aviv told Forbes.com. Its portable Roadie hardware is basically a stack of batteries that can be wheeled right up the the vehicle. It’s especially useful for fleets, rental car companies or insurance roadside services. A stack of four Roadies can provide about 60-70 miles of range in an hour. Aviv said many of the communities SparkCharge services are under served by what he termed “traditional charging companies,” so his company is making up the difference." Link to Article

  • November 11, 2022 - After Natural Disasters, Electric Vehicles Come to the Rescue - "While Ford has made two-way charging and the ability to power a home “if need be” a routine selling point in TV ads for the Lightning, evidence suggests that most EV buyers are like the Fergusons: Disaster preparedness hardly factors in their thinking. In a survey of more than 1,500 US EV owners commissioned by Bloomberg Green, none of the 1% of respondents who filled in their own reasons for purchasing an electric car mentioned it. The majority cited cost savings and environmental benefits... But while it may not drive sales, EVs’ backup-power potential is a perk that can delight owners and cement their loyalty. After Westley posted images of his storm experience on social media, Ford CEO Jim Farley shared them on his LinkedIn feed, saying that the company saw an uptick of owners using the vehicles in this way after the storm. " Link to Article

  • November 11, 2022 - UDOT releases all comments on the Little Cottonwood Canyon Gondola: there are over 13,000 - "After a 45-day public comment period on the Little Cottonwood Canyon Gondola, the Utah Department of Transportation released all comments to the public Monday. In all, they received 13,443 comments. After a lengthy process, UDOT identified the Gondola as the preferred alternative to improve transportation and environmental impacts in the canyon on Aug. 31... The Gondola plan B may take years to secure the federal, state and/or private funding to be implemented. In the meantime, UDOT proposed a phased plan, beginning with the Enhanced Buse Service... The UDOT website explains, “The proposed phasing would include increased and improved bus service as described in the Enhanced Bus Service Alternative (with no canyon roadway widening), tolling or restrictions on single occupancy vehicles, and the construction of mobility hubs." Link to Article

  • November 11, 2022 - Honda Plans to Make Self-Driving Micro Cars for People Who Can’t or Won’t Drive - "Honda is testing out tiny autonomous cars in Japan that are meant to appeal to old and young people alike. The so-called “micro-mobility devices” are part of Honda’s attempt to branch out to those who can no longer drive themselves or are otherwise uninterested in cars, such as the elderly or the members of Gen Z, according to Bloomberg. Japan is currently undergoing a shortage of workers as folks retire and exit the workforce; many of them are no longer able to drive themselves to work, and have withdrawn from social settings for the same reason. Honda’s small AVs could help older people rejoin society, and also help them regain their mobility safely with Honda’s CiKoMa and WaPOCHI, which are passenger cars and a robot that tracks and helps pedestrians navigate a given setting." Link to Article

  • November 11, 2022 - Bike or scoot your way to transit and earn rewards along the way, with new pilot program! - "Each week during the pilot, after taking at least one qualifying trip, the service provider on which you took the trip will send you an email, text, or in-app notification with an offer for free mobile transit tickets on the Transit GO Ticket app, and chances to win Transit GO Rewards points... The Bike and Scoot to Transit pilot program is brought to you by Bytemark (the developer of Metro’s Transit Go Ticket app) in partnership with Ford Smart Mobility, the Seattle Department of Transportation, King County Metro, and Sound Transit. The pilot program is made possible by funding from a U.S. Department of Energy grant awarded to Ford Smart Mobility to further research around first- and last-mile connections to transit. Additional funding for mobile transit tickets and rewards points distributed through this pilot program is provided by the Seattle Department of Transportation and King County Metro." Link to Article

  • November 11, 2022 - Nikola, ChargePoint to boost charging infrastructure for commercial EVs - "Electric-truck maker Nikola Corp (NKLA.O) said on Tuesday it will partner with charging company ChargePoint Holdings (CHPT.N) to speed up the deployment of the required infrastructure for commercial EVs. Many fleet operators are inclined to use more electric vehicles as they aim to reduce carbon emissions and meet sustainability targets, however, the lack of proper infrastructure has been a deterrent. Nikola said with access to ChargePoint\'s products it will be able to reduce the time required to build infrastructure projects that will help its customers manage charging of their vehicles, plan schedules and streamline delivery routes. The companies, however, declined to provide the financial details of the partnership. The announcement of the deal comes a week after Nikola said that scaling up charging infrastructure for fleets was a hurdle, exacerbated by end-customers\' reluctance to spend capital for the development." Link to Article

  • November 9, 2022 - Foxconn is investing another $70 million in Ohio’s Lordstown Motors to pursue revamped ‘EV program’ - "Global tech company Foxconn has announced it will invest at least another $70 million and up to $170 million total in EV startup Lordstown Motors. Foxconn’s $70M investment in Common Stock shares of Lordstown will help the company with its corporate strategy, while the two parties are shifting their previously announced $100 million joint venture into a Preferred Stock investment that will fund a “new EV program” run within Lordstown Motors instead. Lordstown Motors Corp. ($RIDE) is an EV startup with a short but colorful history. The company swung for the fences early, as it hyped up its first vehicle – the Endurance pickup truck. With over 100,000 reported reservations in place, there was a lot to be initially excited about. However, the Lordstown hype train began to slow down after one of the Endurance prototypes caught fire in early 2021, quickly followed by a less-than-stellar performance at the San Felipe 250, due to incorrect estimates of the pickup’s energy consumption." Link to Article

  • November 9, 2022 - City of Tampa testing solar sidewalk to power traffic intersection - " Tampa leaders are increasing their efforts to create a resilient and sustainable community. The city is currently testing out a solar sidewalk at Cass Street and Jefferson Street near Perry Harvey Sr. Park. The sidewalk is made of solar panels that absorb power from the sun and converts it into electricity to power the traffic lights. \"So as far as we know, this is the first intersection in the country that has a dedicated solar array powering the intersection,\" Brandon Campbell, the Smart Mobility manager, said. Crews installed the first panels in the summer of 2020. The city started thinking about a plan after Hurricane Irma when a lot of traffic signals went out during the aftermath of the storm... The panels can power the traffic lights for several days. Right now, they’re producing about 75% of the power needed for the intersection." Link to Article

  • November 9, 2022 - Automakers are going all-in on gaming to keep us in our cars - "Every new car release means another competitor for brands — and the industry seems to be pumping out new vehicles every day. Companies are chasing every avenue to attract customers in this competitive market. And the latest? Well, that’d be gaming. Besides, of course, a vehicle’s visual appeal and the joy of being in the driver’s seat, designers are focusing their attention on our overall in-car experience. This is especially the case with EVs and their time-zapping charging. Sitting in the car gets boring, and carmakers want to entertain us. One company entering this space is N-Dream, the Swiss startup behind the AirConsole game platform. N-Dream was inspired to create an in-car gaming experience after CEO Anthony Cliquot saw “people playing games on their phone despite a big screen in front of them” while charging their EVs. " Link to Article

  • November 9, 2022 - Joby’s Air Taxi Takes Step Toward Approval With FAA Proposal - "US aviation regulators proposed standards for an air taxi made by Joby Aviation Inc., paving the way for the first official certification of the novel electric aircraft. The Federal Aviation Administration on Monday revealed “airworthiness criteria” for Joby’s JAS4-1, a four-passenger craft designed to lift off like a helicopter and then fly horizontally like a plane. The action, which gives the public and industry 30 days to comment, lays out the steps Joby would take to get agency approval. The announcement is a significant milestone for Joby and could become a template for other air-taxi manufacturers trying to create a new form of urban transportation. Multiple hurdles remain before Joby can begin carrying passengers for hire as it attempts to become an airline and the government creates new regulations to oversee such operations. " Link to Article

  • November 9, 2022 - White House says $185 bln in infrastructure funds released to date - "The White House on Friday said it has released $185 billion in funding from the $1 trillion infrastructure bill that seeks to fix crumbling roads, expand broadband internet, replace lead pipes and improve the electrical grid. White House Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator Mitch Landrieu said the administration had already identified 6,200 projects for funding and hired more than 3,000 new federal workers to oversee the massive five-year infrastructure spending law signed by President Joe Biden in November 2021. \"There\'s a lot of pressure to go fast and to do more,\" Landrieu told reporters, saying the administration had gotten about one-fifth of the funds in the first year \"out the door... I think our pace is pretty good.\" The department plans to soon award MEGA, RURAL and Bridge investment large grants after previously announcing $3.7 billion for various projects. " Link to Article

  • November 8, 2022 - Japan to Greenlight Self-Driving Vehicles in 2023 - "Japan is set to become the latest country to allow driverless vehicles on its roads. The National Police Agency has confirmed plans to incorporate Level 4 autonomous driving into traffic law next April... The move will pave the way for vehicles such as robotaxis and self-driving shuttle buses to operate in Japan, as we are already seeing in the United States and China... As was identified when a framework for the new Japanese legislation was put in place earlier this year, it is also hoped that it will enable the rollout of unmanned vehicles to transport elderly people in lowly populated rural areas. Full details of the new rules are likely to be published at the end of November, after a period of public consultation." Link to Article

  • November 8, 2022 - All routes lead to cleaner air - "One of the longest running smart transport projects is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. In July 2012, the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University deployed its adaptive traffic signal technology, Surtrac in nine traffic junction sites in the East Liberty area of the city. The AI/robotic system treats traffic control at these junctions as a single machine scheduling issue... Stephen F Smith, research professor and director of the Intelligent Coordination and Logistics Lab, The Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University explained: “At the beginning of each planning cycle, a given intersection perceives the approaching (or already queued) traffic from its local sensors and builds a prediction of when it expects each approaching vehicle to arrive at the intersection. Then, in real-time it constructs a \"signal timing plan” (a schedule of ‘green’ times for each intersection phase) that moves all of the sensed traffic through the intersection in a way that minimises cumulative wait time." Link to Article

  • November 8, 2022 - Amazon, Rivian rolling out EVs in more cities ahead of holidays - "On Monday, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and electric vehicle maker Rivian (NASDAQ: RIVN) announced an expansion of their electric delivery partnership, bringing the service to over 100 U.S. cities ahead of the holidays. More than 1,000 custom Rivian EVs will be on the road delivering for Amazon in the coming months. New cities added to the companies’ network include Austin, Texas; Boston; Denver; Houston; Indianapolis; Las Vegas; Madison, Wisconsin; Newark, New Jersey; New York; Oakland, California; Pittsburgh; Portland, Oregon; and Salt Lake City and Provo, Utah. While still representing a small portion of Amazon’s fleet of 30,000 branded delivery vehicles and 20,000 branded trailers, custom EVs from Rivian are steadily weaving their way into the fabric of the company’s transportation network." Link to Article

  • November 8, 2022 - In bicycle simulator lab, bike boxes emerge as safest intersection treatment - "How do you accurately gauge what type of bicycle infrastructure treatments work best? Crash data alone is far from robust enough to get a clear picture. Video evidence can be helpful, but it’s a pain to gather and it’s not easy to create the controlled environments necessary for scientific research when you rely on real-life traffic. That’s where an innovative lab at Oregon State University in Corvallis comes in. Researchers there have a bicycle simulator that mimics traffic conditions (which you might recall from a story we shared back in 2011). And since it’s in a lab, riders can be tracked with all sorts of helpful technology to better understand how they react to different situations. A new study by Logan Scott-Deeter, David Hurwitz, Brendan Russo, Edward Smaglik and Sirisha Kothuri published in Accident Analysis & Prevention (Elsevier, January 2023), used the simulator to compare three popular design treatments aimed at making bicycling safer. " Link to Article

  • November 8, 2022 - Gov. Wolf signs legislation permitting driverless vehicles on public roads into law - "With the stroke of Gov. Tom Wolf\'s pen, House Bill 2398 has now become law following months of negotiations and the bulk of it will take effect in July 2023. Late last month, the bi-partisan bill passed the House with a vote of 119-79 in favor after making its way through the Senate with a vote of 29-20 in favor. The law amends the state\'s Title 75 Motor Vehicle Code so that it no longer requires a licensed human driver to be inside a highly automated vehicle when that vehicle is undergoing testing on public roadways, a necessary step for the commercialization of this technology. Pennsylvania joins over a dozen states that permit similar testing arrangements for autonomous vehicle (AV) companies that have demonstrated the ability to meet certain advanced safety requirements and protections, one of which is the requirement that AV certificate holders operating in the commonwealth carry a minimum of $1 million in insurance coverage." Link to Article

  • November 7, 2022 - Nikola cuts workforce, slows production of loss-making electric trucks - "Electric truck maker Nikola Corp. is laying off 7% of its workforce — and 100 employees — and slowing production of its battery-electric trucks because the more it makes, the more money the company loses. In a news-filled, third-quarter earnings report on Thursday, Nikola also said it is revising an executive compensation plan that could have made multimillionaires of top leaders if certain share price thresholds were met... Economic headwinds, rising inflation and borrowing costs, and unforeseen costs associated with purchasing troubled battery pack supplier Romeo Technology led Nikola to pull guidance on production for Q4 and 2023... Nikola also indefinitely delayed construction on the third phase of its $600 million plant in Coolidge, Arizona. The company remains on track to deliver hydrogen fuel cell-powered electric trucks in the second half of 2023 and finish the second phase of the Coolidge plant, which would allow it to build 20,000 Class 8 trucks a year. " Link to Article

  • November 7, 2022 - Dubai challenges engineers to build driverless bus to ease congestion - "A competition to design and build driverless buses for the streets of Dubai has been shortlisted to 12 finalists — each bidding to win a $1 million prize. They include entries from France, the UK, China, Taiwan and the US, and have come from academic institutions and private businesses. The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority challenged local and international engineers to solve the first and last mile challenges facing public transport users in reaching their final destinations... For the automated bus challenge, six international companies qualified for the final stage in the industry leaders category: Adastec from the US, King Long from China, Alexander Dennis from the UK, Navya and Gaussin from France and iAuto from Taiwan. Meanwhile, the six universities qualified for the finals in the local academia category are Khalifa University of Science and Technology, American University of Sharjah, Heriot-Watt University, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, University of Dubai and the University of Bolton." Link to Article

  • November 7, 2022 - Lyft to lay off nearly 700 employees - "Lyft plans to lay off 13% of its workforce, the company announced Thursday. In a company email, co-founders CEO Logan Green and President John Zimmer said a looming recession and increasing rideshare insurance costs made the layoffs necessary. Lyft did not change its financial guidance for the third quarter of 2022 or its 2024 financial targets... In addition to its ride-hailing service, Lyft is the largest bikeshare company in the U.S. But it struggled to deal with rising costs this year. As of Friday morning, the company’s shares had fallen about 68% since the start of 2022. It’s been a tough year for micromobility services, with economic headwinds forcing other companies to reduce their staff and shutter operations, including Bird, Spin, Superpedestrian and Voi. " Link to Article

  • November 7, 2022 - Cities Turn to Transit Improvements to Shape Their Future - "The idea to bring fare-free transit to Kansas City, Mo., started much like any other annual budget planning session and grew into something more. “And it just leads you to kind of dream a bit,” is the way Mayor Quinton Lucas described the idea’s origins during the American Public Transit Association (APTA) TRANSform Conference last month. He explained how the review of budgets brought to the foreground some realizations about fare collection — and the many complexities around it, like acquiring new equipment, counting money, and interactions between bus operators and riders... The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority’s (KCATA) move toward eliminating fares started off with “taking off small bites,” said Lucas, which meant removing fares for certain groups like those residents experiencing homelessness, school children and veterans. By 2020, the city’s transit service then removed fares for everyone, in an experiment watched anxiously by other transit agencies, city officials and naysayers." Link to Article

  • November 7, 2022 - Hitachi Rail hiring rapidly in Pittsburgh as it works to complete new $70M facility in Maryland - "Joseph Pozza understands how some reintroductions might be in order when it comes to providing an update on the latest major project by Hitachi Rail North America. It\'s a company whose roots in the region date to 1881 for which Pittsburgh remains the North American headquarters despite acquisitions before the pandemic in which London-based Hitachi Rail bought the company that had owned the long-time local rail firm Union Switch and Signal, the name perhaps most familiar as a local presence... The company\'s latest big move is the recent announcement that it was starting to build out a new $70 million train factory and 800-yard test track in Hagerstown, Maryland, a project expected to employ 460 people directly for Hitachi." Link to Article

  • November 4, 2022 - Volocopter raises another $182M in urban air mobility race - "Volocopter, a German electric air taxi manufacturer, announced Tuesday it’s raised an additional $182 million as it continues to test various aircraft and pursues certification of its VoloCity air taxi. Company executives heralded the new funding “despite the generally tense economic climate.” Momentum continues to build around the advanced air mobility sector, which saw $5.8 billion in investments in 2021, according to a Deloitte analysis released this year. The pending introduction of eVTOLs, or electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, is seen as one transportation innovation that could reduce metropolitan areas’ road congestion. But regulation and commercialization remain works in progress. Although Volocopter is focused on launching in international cities like Singapore, Rome and Paris, it’s also set its sights on U.S. cities, including Los Angeles." Link to Article

  • November 4, 2022 - E-scooter accidents surge as the micromobility devices’ popularity grows - "As the presence of electric scooters continues to grow in U.S. cities, so do the safety risks that come with them. The number of e-scooter-related emergency room visits in the U.S. has surged by nearly 450% from 7,700 in 2017 to 42,200 in 2021, according to a recent report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. And those estimates likely represented an undercount, the federal agency added. The vehicles can become safety hazards for many reasons, such as when they obstruct sidewalks when parked, are used by riders who are inexperienced, distracted or impaired, and when colliding with cars or pedestrians on sidewalks or roadways, according to a report published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the Transportation Research Board. " Link to Article

  • November 4, 2022 - Kiewit: Computer errors played role in Denver I-70 flooding - "Dive Brief: Kiewit Meridiam Partners found computer errors were responsible in part for flooding a low-lying portion of I-70 that nearly submerged cars as heavy rain slammed Denver this summer. The contractors were tapped to design, build and maintain the 10-mile, $1.2 billion Central 70 project that runs through northeast Denver. Drainage systems did not perform as planned on the newly opened roadway and the pumps did not kick on automatically like they were supposed to amid an Aug. 7 flash flood. Firefighters had to rescue 11 people from vehicles, according to the Denver Post, but no one was injured. Kiewit is looking into the incident, and found technical errors were responsible for the pump problem. “Our investigation of the August malfunction determined that computer settings that manage the pumps were set incorrectly,” said Matt Sanman, spokesperson for Kiewit. “" Link to Article

  • November 4, 2022 - Gov. Wolf signs legislation permitting driverless vehicles on public roads into law - "With the stroke of Gov. Tom Wolf\'s pen, House Bill 2398 has now become law following months of negotiations and the bulk of it will take effect in July 2023. Late last month, the bi-partisan bill passed the House with a vote of 119-79 in favor after making its way through the Senate with a vote of 29-20 in favor... The bill\'s adoption is the result of work from a coalition of advocates, including Pittsburgh-based AV companies, research firms, universities and PennDOT. Opponents of the bill have expressed concerns over the potential labor implications it carries especially as it relates to claims that there aren\'t enough protections for unions and workers, like truck drivers, that the implementation of this technology is set to impact the most. \"I encourage the General Assembly to ensure that Pennsylvania workers are supported in the event that highly automated vehicles cause disruption to the current and evolving workforce,\" Wolf said." Link to Article

  • November 4, 2022 - Montgomery County launches smart energy bus depot microgrid - "AlphaStruxure, an Energy as a Service (EaaS) company, and Montgomery County officials celebrated the launch of the Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot microgrid Tuesday, an integrated electric bus charging infrastructure project in Silver Spring. AphaStruxure led this project, a joint venture with Schneider Electric and global investment firm the Carlyle Group, which will power 70 electric buses, providing sustainable transport for Montgomery County residents. The Brookeville depot is the first microgrid to power electric buses in the greater Washington region. The 6.5 MW microgrid includes bus-height solar canopies, renewable natural gas-ready on-site generation, battery energy storage, and over 4.14 MW of charging capacity. This project is delivered at no upfront cost to the county through an EaaS contract, a long-term agreement ensuring predictable operating expenses and guaranteed performance without upfront capital expenditures." Link to Article

  • November 2, 2022 - Why Are U.S. Transit Projects So Costly? This Group Is on the Case. - "For the last two years, a group of researchers at the New York University Marron Institute of Urban Management has been building a big database of public transit projects around the world. Their goal: To understand what drives the costs of transit projects, what makes some places more expensive than others, and how costs can be brought down... This month, the Transit Costs Project is planning to publish an overview of its findings. Among them: The United States is the sixth most expensive country in the world when it comes to building rapid rail projects. The reasons why range from the politicization of project management to the expanding role of consultants, the costs of labor, and efforts to limit disruption to normal traffic flow during construction. " Link to Article

  • November 2, 2022 - Your New Mazda Knows if You Are Naughty or Nice and Doesn’t Keep It a Secret - "The Japanese automaker says in its Connectivity Privacy Policy that’s applicable in the U.S. that it “may collect, use, share, store, and secure data collected from your Mazda vehicle.” It does so through a factory-installed telematics system which is nonother than the combination of new hardware and software that we have seen installed on newer vehicles. Whilst online, Mazda can tap this rich source of data and learn more about you and how you handle your vehicle in one or more situations. Mazda says the car’s telematics control unit (TCU) is activated before or after it reaches dealerships and underlines that the system cannot be deactivated by anyone else other than the marque. It also says that selling the car, transferring it, or terminating the lease will not stop this data collection unless the existing owner or the next one decides against it. " Link to Article

  • November 1, 2022 - High-Tech Cars Are Killing the Auto Repair Shop - "Over the past decade, cars have gotten more complex and computerized. Each vehicle is now studded with sensors, packed with hundreds or thousands of computer chips, and controlled by software. Auto industry insiders have waxed poetic about the safety benefits of the “software-defined vehicle”—which also enables revenue-boosting data collection and subscriptions that make it safer to be an auto executive too. Less talked about are the consequences of computerized cars at the auto shop. Fixing complex vehicles requires increasingly expert and expensive knowledge, and tools that are in limited supply. It’s part of the same trend that has driven some farmers to hack their own tractors and triggered legal fights over what rights consumers have over their own vehicles." Link to Article

  • November 1, 2022 - SEPTA is working out kinks in its mobile phone ticketing feature. Volunteer testers report frustration - "The authority is forging ahead. It sent an additional 2,500 email invitations Wednesday afternoon to people who had expressed an interest in participating in the trial. At least 1,000 people downloaded the new software in the first 24 hours, officials said. And contactless payments with bank cards are coming soon. The drive to upgrade its fare-collection technology comes at a pivotal time for SEPTA: It needs to revive its ridership before federal pandemic-recovery aid for transit systems is all spent. Overall, about 60% as many people are taking the authority’s buses, subways, trolleys, and Regional Rail trains as did in 2019. Tester Todd Schwartz, of South Philadelphia, said he was disappointed because he expected an experience similar to using the Google or Apple payment platforms. “It’s laborious, and they’re defeating the purpose by adding an extra step,” he said. “It would be easier just to flick out your Key Card.”" Link to Article

  • November 1, 2022 - Wayside Cameras, Integrated Sensors as Logistics Tools - "In Canada, a few shippers and some regulators are a step ahead of Amtrak and the STB in deploying such digital tool sets. I recently interviewed RailState Co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer John Schmitter as to how this works across his company’s networked system. RailState is a small start-up company. Its rail industry founders are James Heller and Schmitter. Their company’s private off-site cameras/sensors are located along the right-of-way of CN and Canadian Pacific strategic routes. I have been following this company’s network rollout for about two years. Based on Schmitter’s responses to my questions, and my previous association with network monitoring systems including highways, I’d like to share the following observations with my Railway Age audience... Instead, its camera images capture actual dated and timeed movement volume and speed and pattern numbers that actually can populate one’s spreadsheet cells with highly accurate and open sharing data. " Link to Article

  • November 1, 2022 - Using Tech To Make Transit Accessible For Those Without Smartphones - "Making real-time transit information accessible in more places, however, is an expensive and sometimes intrusive endeavor that often requires coordination with other agencies to access existing buried utilities. So agencies in the Twin Cities, Boston, New York City and beyond are experimenting with technology such as e-paper as a way to get around it. The e-paper signs, which Metro Transit first deployed in 2021 are different — and cheaper to procure — than the full-color displays that they have installed at their rapid bus stops, as well as on stops on Nicollet Mall. The full-color displays, which cost just under $10,000 for the computer and monitor alone, rely on fiber and hardwired electrical connections, as well as an onboard computer and air conditioning, to work. Riders say the e-paper signs, which cost between $3,500 to $5,000 each, are easier to read because they are high-contrast and don’t produce glare. " Link to Article

  • November 1, 2022 - Self-driving car company’s sudden shutdown is a ‘shock’ - "A promising autonomous vehicle company that had raised billions of dollars has suddenly folded. Argo AI, headquartered in Pittsburgh, had been considered an up-and-coming startup. News of its shutdown came as its main backers, Ford and Volkswagen, decided to no longer invest. “The shutdown of Argo AI was a big shock to the Pittsburgh community, especially because they were kind of seen as a Cinderella story for autonomous vehicle companies, growing up with homegrown talent and getting on the national stage, being based here in Pittsburgh,” said Stan Caldwell, Executive Director of Traffic21, a traffic research institute with Carnegie Mellon University... With that said, he doesn’t expect the industry to take a downward turn. “I believe the industry is still going to be thriving, here in Pennsylvania and nationally,” he said. “But this has just been such a volatile industry. This is a very new industry. And there are a lot of players that continue to come in and out.”" Link to Article

  • October 31, 2022 - Self-driving car company’s sudden shutdown is a ‘shock’ - "Argo AI, headquartered in Pittsburgh, had been considered an up-and-coming startup. News of its shutdown came as its main backers, Ford and Volkswagen, decided to no longer invest. “The shutdown of Argo AI was a big shock to the Pittsburgh community, especially because they were kind of seen as a Cinderella story for autonomous vehicle companies, growing up with homegrown talent and getting on the national stage, being based here in Pittsburgh,” said Stan Caldwell, Executive Director of Traffic21, a traffic research institute with Carnegie Mellon University... “I believe the industry is still going to be thriving, here in Pennsylvania and nationally,” he said. “But this has just been such a volatile industry. This is a very new industry. And there are a lot of players that continue to come in and out.”" Link to Article

  • October 31, 2022 - Why Some Pittsburghers Want To Scrap Their Famous MaaS Pilot - "A coalition of disability rights groups is calling on Pittsburgh to build a better transportation system for people with mobility challenges rather than the headline-grabbing pilot that doesn’t center the most vulnerable. Last week, Pittsburghers for Public Transit, Access Mob Pittsburgh, and the city’s Task Force on Disabilities called on local leaders to scrap the famous Move PGH pilot, which has been touted by news outlets around the world (including this one) as perhaps the first city-wide “mobility as a service” (MaaS) effort in the United States. Since July 2021, the program has allowed residents to purchase transit fares, find people to carpool with, check out carshare vehicles, and rent e-bikes and mopeds, all in a single app." Link to Article

  • October 31, 2022 - U.S. in ‘Valley of Death’ as Autonomous Cars Write Checks the Tech Can’t Cash, Warns Pete Buttigieg - "“It feels like the widespread use of autonomous driving is seven years away, and it’s been seven years away for 10 years,” says U.S. Department of Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg. “So the question is, will it be seven years away 10 years from now, or will we actually be getting somewhere?”... Buttigieg says: “There is a very serious danger right now in this kind of valley of death between where we started and where we’re headed, where these technologies do run the risk of making things worse. Especially if people see ADAS, which is an automated driver assistance system, and treat it like a driver replacement system.... Because of this jumbled messaging, consumer perception of self-driving cars is in a risky place.Buttigieg warns that we are approaching a “dangerous transition” before we reach the self-driving “promised land.” If we ever make it there, he believes that self-driving tech could be an important tools that we should use to cut traffic deaths here in the U.S." Link to Article

  • October 31, 2022 - EV’s Carbon Footprint Will Decrease over Time, Report Says - "Using life-cycle-analysis procedures, a study conducted for the Fuels Institute, a non-advocacy research and social welfare organization, found that EV greenhouse gas emissions become less carbon intense than an ICE vehicle at just 19,000 miles in states with low-carbon electricity. This study includes the delivery of electricity to an EV as part of its overall emissions footprint, in addition to the emissions brought on by material sourcing and manufacturing, whereas ICE vehicles take on a higher footprint from the delivery of fuel as well as the process of combusting fuel. Painting a broader picture, the study also shows that a typical ICE vehicle will emit 66 tons of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) over the course of 200,000 miles, while hybrid and battery electric vehicles account for 47 tons and 39 tons over the same mileage, respectively." Link to Article

  • October 31, 2022 - U.S. autonomous vehicle group picks ex-Senate aide as director - "A group representing self-driving car companies is appointing a former U.S. Senate aide as its new head as the industry works to convince U.S. policymakers to speed the deployment of autonomous vehicles and jumpstart stalled legislation. The Autonomous Vehicle Industry Association (AVIA) has tapped Jeff Farrah as its first executive director, the group told Reuters... AVIA members includes Argo AI — backed by Ford Motor Co and Volkswagen AG — Aurora, General Motors Cruise unit, Ford, Lyft, TuSimple, Uber, Volvo Cars, Alphabet’s Waymo and Zoox, a unit of Amazon.com. In August, U.S. House members launched a bipartisan effort to help revive stalled legislative efforts to boost self-driving vehicles." Link to Article

  • October 28, 2022 - Remote AV Testing Made Possible By $5.1 Million Investment In Univ. Of Michigan Site - "As an autnomous car weaves its way around a test track, navigating a roundabout, avoiding other vehicles and a simulated child, researchers in remote locations are monitoring the test scenarios they created using virtual reality and other technologies. That demonstration Monday at Mcity, on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor, Mich., was made possible by a $5.1 million investment by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the world\'s first purpose-built test facility for connected and autonomous vehicles to create Mcity 2.0... Basically, the new capabilities provided by the NSF\'s funding allows researchers across the U.S. to create simulated scenarios to test connected and autonomous vehicles on an physical track using virtual reality software, accessing the results remotely via the cloud." Link to Article

  • October 28, 2022 - Can You Make Drivers Pay Attention to Cyclists? - "“The future of bike safety” was how Audi had described this gathering held as part of a multiday press event* for its new Q4 e-tron, an electric SUV the company is rolling out to considerable fanfare for its next model year. While some reporters took the vehicles themselves on test-drives up the Southern California coast, a handful of us rode laps around them to test how Audi’s proposed onboard tech might protect cyclists and reduce the likelihood of a deadly crash... It uses a system called C-V2X, or cellular vehicle-to-everything, which lets vehicles tap into a dedicated, industry-standard radio frequency to communicate with just about anything, from streetlights to rail crossings to bike computers, as long as the “everything” has a corresponding beacon installed. " Link to Article

  • October 28, 2022 - The Trust In America’s Driverless Car Future, Visualized - "Pew recently shed more light on their survey and shared the difference of opinion between Americans over 50 and younger Americans about driverless cars... Key Takeaways Almost every third American adult is still uncertain about the impact that driverless passenger vehicles will have on society. Nineteen percent of American adults aged 50 and up think driverless passenger vehicles will be good for society, whereas among the younger cohort, aged 18-49, that number jumps to 33 percent. Younger Americans are more convinced than their older neighbors that the number of traffic fatalities and injuries will go down when driverless passenger vehicles become mainstream. Older people seem to be more lenient about having 18-wheeler autonomous trucks and are a little bit more opposed to the idea of driverless delivery vehicles." Link to Article

  • October 28, 2022 - As E-Scooter Use Booms, So Do Safety Concerns - "The rapid proliferation of e-scooters (electric scooters) in recent years on U.S. roads and sidewalks has brought about a number of welcome changes, from increasing exercise opportunities and positive impacts on the environment and the economy, to better options for getting around more easily and inexpensively. But along with these benefits come notable safety challenges, and work must be done to address regulatory, infrastructure and educational deficiencies that are putting riders at risk. Those are some of the main highlights of a new report, E-scooter Safety: Issues and Solutions, released earlier this month by the Transportation Research Board (TRB), intended to help navigate safety issues. The new resource identifies emerging behavioral safety issues arising from the expanding use of e-scooters and discusses what cities are doing to prevent and mitigate injuries. " Link to Article

  • October 28, 2022 - Pedal Your Bedroom Everywhere With An E-Bike That Carries Your Housing Needs - "The GoLo GoCamp, created by Felvobike Technology, is a solar-powered, electrically-assisted bike that puts glamping onto wheels. The camper can fit a stunning list of things on its back, including a 33 by 86-inch bed, a dining table, storage, and even a fridge. When parked, it can extend its canopy, and a table can be pulled out for its user to enjoy a meal outdoors while the sun sets. And for the digital nomad ever ready for their next adventure, feel free to work on the road, as GoCamp comes with lightning and USB ports. The camper is only 34 inches wide and 117.3 inches long, allowing travelers to navigate down narrow pathways. It has a 400-watt solar system on its roof that keeps the bike’s 1,000 Wh battery, and refrigerator charged up." Link to Article

  • October 26, 2022 - CFX will test a possible future for EV driving, charging as you go - "When the five-mile Lake/Orange Expressway is completed in 2026, it will have one mile that’s electrified for charging electric vehicles. Executive Director Laura Kelley of the Central Florida Expressway Authority said that pilot program will cost about $10 million. The toll road’s overall cost? $460 million. Kelley said that, down the road, it could lead to freight being shipped across the country without the need to stop and refuel. The one mile of wireless charging will use technology patented by the European company Evolgy. The expressway authority is building it in partnership with ASPIRE, an engineering research center supported by the National Science Foundation at Utah State University. Kelley, who is chair-elect of the ASPIRE excutive advisory board, and CFX governing board chairman Sean Parks are in Logan, Utah, this week for ASPIRE’s annual meeting. " Link to Article

  • October 26, 2022 - A startup’s big bet on a Southwest electric truck corridor - "Startup TeraWatt’s announcement Thursday of a Long Beach, California, to El Paso, Texas, corridor of high-speed charging stations for electric trucks will cost hundreds of millions. With $1 billion in capital to work with, TeraWatt CEO Neha Palmer sees similarities to building electricity-gobbling data centers for Google... In an infrastructure challenge that will require many players and projects, Volvo Trucks North America is farthest along with details. It is working with three dealers on a Southern to Northern California Electrified Charging Corridor Project... The cliche description of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure no longer applies. The ramp-up of electric trucks, especially medium-duty trucks, is advancing much faster than expected... The sunny climes of the American Southwest host testing of numerous battery-electric and autonomous trucks. It doesn’t snow. It’s rarely cold. So batteries perform better. But the density of freight coming out of Long Beach and north from Mexico drove TeraWatt’s decision to begin buying up properties in 2018. " Link to Article

  • October 26, 2022 - Families shocked when battery replacement for electric vehicle tops $20,000 - "Some electric car owners, especially those with earlier models, have been shocked to find out how much it costs to replace their batteries. “I don\'t understand why they make the battery so expensive when you have to change it,\" Scarborough resident Phyllis Lau said, who owns a 2018 KIA Soul all-electric vehicle. Lau’s electric SUV came with a warranty for the battery that covers 160,000 km, or eight years, whichever comes first. The family said this year their vehicle clocked in more than 170,000 kilometres, which put them outside the warranty period when the battery failed. When the vehicle wouldn’t work, Lau took it to her local dealership and was told it needed a battery replacement. With the new battery, labour and taxes, she said it would cost about $23,000." Link to Article

  • October 26, 2022 - Report: Automakers Have Spent $75 Billion to Date on Self-Driving Cars - "Nevertheless, a vehicle that drives itself safely remains something of a Holy Grail for many an automaker. And finding the Holy Grail, it turns out, doesn’t come cheap. A new Bloomberg report (via Autoblog) suggests that automakers have spent no less than $75 billion to date in developing driverless vehicles. Bloomberg‘s analysis takes a somewhat skeptical approach to the amount of money spent, citing “scant sign of meaningful revenue emerging from robo-car services after all that cash incineration.” One thing seems to be certain: it’s taking a lot longer to get to a fully driverless (or, to put it another way, fully self-driving) automobile than many in the space had anticipated. The article goes on to detail an array of responses to the current situation — ranging from some companies, such as the driverless taxi company Cruise, seeking to expand and others pondering consolidation. " Link to Article

  • October 26, 2022 - - "Subaru aims to have servers constantly gathering data on the position of the vehicle to predict its course up to roughly ten seconds down the road. The predictions will be fed back to the car and used to control speed and direction if the data connection is interrupted. When there are long data interruptions, the vehicle will slow down with limited navigation within the range of onboard sensors. Therefore, the more vehicle data its system gathers, the better the predictions will be. The Japanese automaker aims to bring other vehicle makers on board by licensing deals and other agreements. In fact, the maker of the Outback and Legacy is already testing a system version on a test track via a 4G-enabled vehicle. " Link to Article

  • October 25, 2022 - Thousands of EV chargers will soon line America’s highways - "Jeremy Michalek, a professor of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, tells Popular Science that you have to consider where people are currently charging and how charging needs to adapt depending on where people are traveling. “The priority is in two places. It’s along highway corridors so that if you own an electric vehicle and you go to visit somebody in another part of the country, you don’t end up without a place to charge,” Michalek says. “The other focus is for communities that don’t have much off-street parking. Those households aren’t going to have a charger in their garage, especially if they don’t have a garage, so they’re going to rely on public infrastructure for charging the vehicle on a day-to-day basis.”" Link to Article

  • October 25, 2022 - WYDOT to test automated variable speed limit program - "The Wyoming Department of Transportation is announcing a pilot program to semi-automate variable speed limit signs this winter in an effort to increase safety and to accommodate for Wyoming’s quick-changing weather conditions. Typically, variable speed limit changes are prompted by WYDOT and Wyoming Highway Patrol personnel driving on that section of highway based on specific criteria like weather conditions. The new automated program uses data from WYDOT sensors to adjust the speed indicated on the variable speed limits when employees may not be in the area to initiate the changes themselves. This results in quicker speed adjustments, which can match how quickly conditions change on Wyoming highways... For example, if sensors indicate traffic can resume normal interstate speeds but there is an active crash investigation and cleanup in the area, troopers can hold the lower speed limit to protect first responders and keep the traveling public safe." Link to Article

  • October 25, 2022 - FedEx is shutting down its robot delivery program - "FedEx is stopping development of its last-mile delivery robot, Roxo. The news was first reported by Robotics 24/7, with FedEx confirming to the publication that the company would be shifting focus away from the bot to more “nearer-term opportunities.” Roxo was announced in 2019 as a collaboration with DEKA, makers of the iBot wheelchair, which used multiple sets of wheels to “walk” up and down stairs, and raise its user from a sitting level to eye-height... Fedex’s chief transformation officer, Sriram Krishnasam, announced to staff this week that development of Roxo (part of an internal project named DRIVE) was shutting down... Roxo’s closure follows news earlier this month that Amazon is also stopping field tests of its last-mile delivery robot, Scout. Amazon said it’s not stopping development of the robot entirely but merely “scaling the program back.” The company said aspects of the program “weren’t meeting customers’ needs,” but didn’t go into detail as to why." Link to Article

  • October 25, 2022 - Your Car’s Driving Assistance Tech Isn’t Meant to Be Used Alone—Here’s Why - " A new study finds that drivers using driver assistance features often treat their vehicles as fully self-driving. \"These applications still require the human to keep their eyes on the road and hands ready to take over the wheel, just as we have been doing with traditional cruise control for decades,\" Stan Caldwell, a professor of transportation and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University told Lifewire in an email interview... Vehicles that you can buy currently can have levels 1 and 2 automation and include applications such as automated lane keeping, adaptive cruise control, and automated emergency braking, Caldwell said. \"Level 3 automation is coming, and already on some roads in Germany with Mercedes, where eyes can be off the road, but the human driver still may have to take over,\" he added. \"My concern is that if people are already over-relying on Level 2 automation, the situation may get worse.\"" Link to Article

  • October 25, 2022 - U.S. awards $2.8 billion in grants for electric vehicle batteries in 12 states - "he Biden administration on Wednesday awarded $2.8 billion in grants to build and expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles in 12 states. A total of 20 companies will receive grants for projects to extract and process lithium, graphite and other battery materials, manufacture components and strengthen U.S. supply of critical minerals, officials said. The announcement comes as the administration seeks to boost production and sales of electric vehicles as a key part of President Joe Biden’s strategy to slow climate change and build up U.S. manufacturing... Albemarle Corp., Piedmont Lithium Inc., Entek and Syrah Technologies are among 20 companies to win Energy Department grants that will help fund projects in at least 12 states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee and Washington state. At least two projects will be located in states that have yet to be selected." Link to Article

  • October 24, 2022 - Georgia District Tests Connected School Buses, Signal Priority - "Placing traffic signal priority technology on school buses seems to come with on-time arrivals, significant fuel savings and even better behaved students. These were some of the findings in what has been described as the first major look at the benefits of connected vehicle technology applied to school bus fleets. The pilot study was conducted by Fulton County, Ga., in the city of Alpharetta, a part of the Atlanta metro area... Two buses were equipped with the connected vehicle radio equipment, which communicated with 62 signalized intersections along the bus routes. As the bus approached, those intersections reviewed real-time activity like pedestrians in the crosswalk, and then made decisions around whether the signal can safely give the school bus a green light, with minimal disturbance to the rest of the traffic. In most cases, it did." Link to Article

  • October 24, 2022 - Pitt uses drone to create 3D model of new Fern Hollow Bridge construction - "Mr. Fascetti, an associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, is part of a team preparing a digital model and history of the construction of the new Fern Hollow Bridge. The project involves piloting a hexacopter drone for 11½ minutes every two weeks to record photo and laser images of the progress of construction, about 170 million pieces of information each week. The project received a $141,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to create the digital model, believed to be the first of its kind in the country. Mr. Fascetti’s team is following the emergency replacement of the bridge after the previous structure collapsed in January. The project is part of the work of the Impactful Resilient Infrastructure Science and Engineering consortium, where the university works with private contractors and government transportation officials to develop new construction practices and solve problems. " Link to Article

  • October 24, 2022 - Cycle Over The Ocean’s Surface With This New Electric Water Bike - "Ever wanted to cycle across the seas? Well, you soon can, thanks to Manta5’s newest electric hydrofoiling bike. The ‘SL3’ is the company’s newest iteration of the vehicle after it first released the first-ever hydrofoil eBike. Now the New Zealand-based brand is back and has revamped its ocean cruiser to make it easier for people to adapt to riding on the waves. According to its website, the bike made its first strait breaker across New Zealand’s Notorious Cook Strait—covering some 16.27 miles of unpredictable tidal surfaces in about 2.5 hours—“without getting wet.”... At first glance, the SL3 looks strikingly like a bicycle poking out of the water. If you were on the beach and saw someone out at sea with it, you might do a double-take. But beneath the surface is a different story. In place of ‘wheels’ are stabilizers and a propeller that helps drive it over the water... " Link to Article

  • October 24, 2022 - MnDOT stops installing system designed to reduce rural intersection crashes - "The Minnesota Department of Transportation has stopped installing a smart warning system at rural intersections that alerts drivers to oncoming traffic, despite recent research touting its effectiveness in reducing fatal and serious injury crashes. The agency has opted to abandon the system, in which a beacon flashes on both the major and minor road when drivers approach an intersection. MnDOT is opting to use its federal dollars to put in more traffic signals, roundabouts and J-turns — intersections where drivers are forced to make a right turn, go down several hundred feet to an opening in the median and make a U-turn before returning to the original intersection to complete their movement. \"We were hoping they would work,\" MnDOT traffic engineer Derek Leuer said of the Rural Intersection Conflict Warning System (RICWS). \"We could not find they significantly reduced crashes.\" " Link to Article

  • October 24, 2022 - Ford to open R&D center in Atlanta in bid to attract tech talent - "Ford Motor Co. on Thursday announced it is opening a new research and development center in Atlanta, a move the automaker said is aimed at building a pipeline of software experts by tapping into the city\'s diverse pool of tech talent. The Ford Atlanta Research and Innovation Center, or FARIC, joins R&D facilities Ford already operates in Tel Aviv and Palo Alto, California. FARIC\'s work will focus on developing software solutions in areas including digitally connected vehicles and artificial intelligence... Part of the center\'s mission will include increasing Black, Hispanic and female representation in software engineering and other \"high technology\" careers. Ford said some of the strategies for achieving that including leveraging relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the region and the Atlanta University Center Consortium; establishing and deepening relationships with regional colleges and universities; and creating flexible, non-traditional career pathways for people interested in software and high-tech jobs." Link to Article

  • October 21, 2022 - AUVSI slams US states mulling the creation of drone toll lanes - "AUVSI, the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of uncrewed systems, autonomy, and robotics, says it’s willing to take the fight to state legislative sessions to stop all proposals that infringe on the FAA’s authority of the airspace, promote the creation of drone toll lanes, and seek to impose undue taxes on drone operations. The drone advocacy group, which focuses on educating lawmakers and promoting smart policy that supports industry growth and innovation, says it has seen a dangerous trend emerge lately. Several state legislative bodies – including those in Texas, Louisiana, West Virginia, and Mississippi – have introduced bills that seek to restrict and tax drone operations. Focusing primarily on “avigation easements” or the property right acquired from a land owner for the use of airspace above a specified height, these measures promote the creation of toll lanes in the sky for drones." Link to Article

  • October 21, 2022 - E-bikes gain momentum as a climate, traffic solution - "Earlier this year, Denver launched one of the nation’s most ambitious programs to encourage e-bike adoption. It offers $400 rebates for e-bike purchases, $1,200 for residents with low incomes, plus an additional $500 for cargo bike models. The program has proved immensely popular, with all vouchers claimed almost as soon as they become available. The latest rebates in September were gone in less than 10 minutes. More than 4,000 e-bike purchases have been supported by the rebates, according to Grace Rink, chief climate officer for the city and county and executive director of the Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency. Roughly half of the purchases were from income-qualified residents... Many other states and cities have backed e-bike incentive programs. Some legislatures have passed measures with broad bipartisan support, while others have been part of larger packages that faced opposition, mostly from Republicans. But local programs have taken off regardless of state politics, including utility-led efforts in Iowa and Texas." Link to Article

  • October 21, 2022 - How Cities are Deciding Where Electric Vehicle Chargers Should Go - "The New Jersey city of Hoboken, which sits across the Hudson River from New York City, has an ambitious goal: It wants to put electric vehicle charging stations within a five-minute walking distance of every household in the city... In Los Angeles, city leaders pushed early to roll out charging infrastructure as a way to meet the climate goals established by the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015... In San Antonio, the city had been moving ahead with a plan to install chargers at 25 city-owned locations, in a partnership with Blink Charging. But the Texas city had to put those plans on hold for several months after receiving a complaint that some of its existing locations were not accessible for people with disabilities... The city of Seattle struggled to get electric hook-ups for its public chargers because of a building boom that led to 18-month wait times to turn on new power. " Link to Article

  • October 21, 2022 - This Is What the Gas Station of the Future Will Look Like -

    Drivers filling up at the Shell station on Fulham Road in southwest London can get coffee, sodas, snacks, and basic groceries such as milk and eggs. One thing that’s not on offer: gasoline. Since January the station has been all-electric, with the old gas pumps replaced by 10 rapid chargers set under soaring wood awnings where people can plug in and top up. “It gives us all a glimpse into the future of mobility,” says Istvan Kapitany, who oversees Shell’s global retail operations.

    With 46,000 stations in 80 countries, Shell is the world’s biggest gasoline retailer. The Fulham station is one of several prototypes it’s planning as more cars shift to battery power, aiming to get feedback on what works while laying the groundwork to hit a target of net-zero emissions by 2050.

  • October 21, 2022 - Urban spaces get an AI makeover - "Digital recreations make it easier for city planners to envision potential projects that could ultimately facilitate safer street conditions, Zach said during the Route Fifty Future Cities summit. Dall-E is a machine learning model developed by research lab OpenAI that can produce realistic cityscapes from text and image prompts. While renditions may not look as realistic as professional designs, the rapid pace of AI advances may enable Dall-E to catch up to professional planners, he said. Dall-E can realize an image in 20 minutes for a dollar or two, reducing the cost and time it would take for staff to do the same job, Katz said in an email. Officials from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and New York have requested AI transformations of city streets, he said. " Link to Article

  • October 19, 2022 - Electric buses establish a ‘resilience hub’ using V2B for emergency backup power - "Electric buses are an upgrade over their gas-powered counterparts in every single way. New technology and software solutions are unlocking the potential behind these zero-emission heavy-duty EVs.The mighty machines are now being used to build a vehicle-to-building (V2B) “resilience hub” with emergency backup capabilities. ns. The project is being funded by the California Energy Commission (CEC) and is designed to show the value of bidirectional charging and V2B capabilities in electric buses. You may have heard of vehicle-to-grid (V2G), which uses two-way flow to send energy from an electric vehicle or bus back to the grid. Several companies are solely focused on advancing bidirectional EV charging solutions to reduce emissions further and provide backup energy options." Link to Article

  • October 19, 2022 - Driving Blind: This Headset Lets You Drive in a Car Without Windows - "Though Honeywell is currently developing the 360 Display for military ground vehicles, it\'s already eyeing other use cases, like mining, firefighting and construction -- anywhere a driver needs to \"move safely in a low visibility or hazardous environment.\" The company also says there are applications in shipping (where sonar could be fed in to show underwater hazards) or aviation. In a future where airspace becomes more congested with drones and autonomous electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles, or EVTOLs, the 360 Display could allow human pilots to safely navigate the skies and know the exact distance and location of other aircraft. And according to Heck, this display could make life on the road easier for regular drivers. \"It absolutely could be adapted to consumer vehicles. You put on a visor, or maybe someday in the future a pair of glasses, and you can have your speedometer, your navigation, your stereo controls ... right in your field of view.\"" Link to Article

  • October 19, 2022 - GM created a new energy business to sell batteries and solar panels in bid to dethrone Tesla - "General Motors is creating a new energy business to sell batteries, charging equipment, solar panels, and software to residential and commercial customers in a broad-based effort to create a range of accessories that can help sell its lineup of electric vehicles. The new division, GM Energy, is also a direct shot at Tesla as a major player in renewable energy generation and storage. GM has said it intends to eventually overtake Elon Musk’s company in vehicles sales — and now it wants to challenge it on the energy front as well. Travis Hester, GM’s chief EV officer, said the company is making a serious grab for a piece of what is potentially a $120-150 billion market for energy generation and storage products. The aim is to make GM’s brand synonymous with not just electric vehicles, but a whole host of products and services in orbit around EVs and their rechargeable lithium-ion batteries." Link to Article

  • October 19, 2022 - NASA says its space tech could cut electric car charging times to 5 minutes or less - "Experimental technology used to cool equipment in space might soon be able to cut the charging times of electric vehicles to five minutes or less, NASA said this week. The federal space agency-funded technology, in partnership with Purdue University, says the research they\'re planning for future space missions shows its tech could charge an electric car within minutes instead of hours, according to an Oct. 5 blog by NASA. Using a technique known as \"subcooled flow boiling,\" the tech could boost the amount of electrical current EV chargers by roughly 1,400 amps, nearly five times the rate of up to 520 amps currently supplied to EVs, NASA said. Standard EV chargers that consumers can buy tend to provide less than 150 amps, the blog added. " Link to Article

  • October 19, 2022 - Locomation furloughs staffers amid continuing national tech downturn - "Lawrenceville-based autonomous trucking startup Locomation Inc. has issued a series of furloughs for some of its workers amid the tech-driven downturn seen across the country over the better part of this year. Finch Fulton, the vice president of policy and strategy at Locomation, declined to disclose how many staffers the company furloughed but noted that the roles affected by the furloughs are those \"not related to the go-to-market\" strategy of the company. Additionally, the roles seeing furloughs were not concentrated in any one department... The furloughs at Locomation come a few weeks after another Pittsburgh-based autonomous vehicle startup reduced its workforce. In July, Strip District-baed Argo AI LLC cut its workforce by 150 people, about 5% of its overall headcount. Another Pittsburgh autonomous robotics company, Seegrid Corp., cut its workforce by 90 workers, or a decline of about 25% overall, in August." Link to Article

  • October 18, 2022 - WATCH: China Unveils Fastest Maglev Train in the World With a Speed of Up to 600 km Per Hour - "The Chinese, who were earlier dependent on imports for high-speed technology, have managed to build Maglev- the world’s fastest train. Yet, running at a top speed of 600 kmph is perhaps not this train’s most impressive feature. That honour is likely to go to how it achieves this feat in the first place: magnetic levitation... The Maglev is already in use in China’s Shanghai region, transporting people from the Shanghai airport to town. At its top speed, the train will be able to cover the distance between the Dragon’s administrative capital and its financial capital within 2.5 hours. Cities like Shanghai and Chengdu are already conducting research on how such high speed could enhance inter-city and inter-province travel. While those cities are trying to figure out the viability of ultra-fast long-distance transportation, and while other countries (Japan and Germany, for instance) try to reach the velocity achieved by the Dragon, China has already begun experimenting with maglev cars." Link to Article

  • October 18, 2022 - SEPTA unveils safety plan for vulnerable population - "The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority this week released a comprehensive plan to address the safety and security of the system\'s vulnerable population. That population includes individuals experiencing homelessness, substance abuse and mental health issues, SEPTA officials said in a press release. The population has grown in recent years, which prompted the launch of the Safety, Cleaning, Ownership, Partnership and Engagement (SCOPE) program last year... In its first year, the SCOPE program has mobilized partnerships with government entities, nonprofit organizations, businesses and academic groups that work to address these challenges. SEPTA has also upgraded its security measures, increased the frequency of system cleaning and expanded the number of social service outreach workers on the system from seven to more than 50." Link to Article

  • October 18, 2022 - Confused drivers think they have ‘self-driving’ cars. That’s dangerous, an insurance group warns - "Drivers are putting too much trust in their vehicles’ driver-assist features, which may lead to dangerous situations, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The organization, which researches vehicle safety, released a study Tuesday finding that 53% of General Motors’ Super Cruise users, 42% of Tesla Autopilot users and 12% of Nissan’s ProPilot Assist users were comfortable letting the system drive the vehicle without them watching what was happening on the road. Some even described being comfortable letting the vehicle drive during inclement weather and in parking lots. These systems are all driver-assist features that combine adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping systems, primarily to keep a car in a lane and following traffic on the highway. They all require an attentive human driver to monitor the road and take full control when called for. The IIHS did not survey owners of other systems with similar capabilities, like Ford’s BlueCruise." Link to Article

  • October 18, 2022 - Pitt, Pa. Turnpike team up to make Mon-Fayette Expressway a test bed for innovative construction - "The Pennsylvania Turnpike, which is building the toll road first discussed in the 1960s, approved a $2.7 million agreement last week with the University of Pittsburgh for a series of pilot projects during highway construction... The four pilot projects will be: • Redesigning noise walls using a hollow, honeycomb-like material to reduce sound and treating it with a catalyst that will capture nitrogen oxides generated by vehicles with combustion engines... • Using the natural vibrations that vehicles cause on road surfaces to generate electricity for road signs... • Creating a digital, three-dimensional model of a one-mile section of the highway as it is being built... • Testing which method works best for recharging electric vehicles as they drive over the road surface. " Link to Article

  • October 18, 2022 - New Help Available for Underserved Places Applying for Federal Grants - "The Biden administration announced two new efforts Thursday to help vulnerable communities get no-cost help applying for federal grants to improve their infrastructure. Administration officials unveiled opportunities for both providers of technical assistance, and would-be recipients of it, as part of an effort the White House is calling the Thriving Communities Program. Congress set aside $25 million for the initiative this spring. The grants address a common concern among state and local officials, who worry that the process of applying for federal grants and complying with the rules for recipients could strain the resources of small or poor communities." Link to Article

  • October 17, 2022 - ‘It’s a scam’: Even after $100 billion, self-driving cars are going nowhere - "“It’s a scam,” says George Hotz, whose company Comma.ai Inc. makes a driver-assistance system similar to Tesla Inc.’s Autopilot. “These companies have squandered tens of billions of dollars.” In 2018 analysts put the market value of Waymo LLC, then a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., at $175 billion. Its most recent funding round gave the company an estimated valuation of $30 billion, roughly the same as Cruise. Aurora Innovation Inc., a startup co-founded by Chris Urmson, Google’s former autonomous-vehicle chief, has lost more than 85% since last year and is now worth less than $3 billion. This September a leaked memo from Urmson summed up Aurora’s cash-flow struggles and suggested it might have to sell out to a larger company. Many of the industry’s most promising efforts have met the same fate in recent years, including Drive.ai, Voyage, Zoox, and Uber’s self-driving division. " Link to Article

  • October 17, 2022 - Michigan board approves $400 million to advance EV batteries - "A Michigan economic development board approved more than $400 million in state incentives Wednesday for two battery factories estimated to cost $4 billion and bring 4,500 jobs to the state. Pending approval by state lawmakers, the incentive packages would draw from a fund created less than a year ago to help the automotive state land major business expansions in the wake of news that Dearborn-based Ford Motor Co. would begin building electric vehicle battery plants in other states... A Michigan energy-storage company, Our Next Energy, would be allocated $236 million in the agreement for an up to $1.6 billion project in Van Buren Township outside of Detroit. An allocation of $175 million in incentives will go to a $2.4 billion factory planned by Chinese manufacturer Gotion for Big Rapids in northern Michigan. The factories would produce components used for electric vehicle batteries. " Link to Article

  • October 17, 2022 - Flooded Tesla EVs From Hurricane Ian Exploding All Over Florida - "Florida State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis on Twitter wrote, “There’s a ton of EVs disabled from lan. As those batteries corrode, fires start. That’s a new challenge that our firefighters haven’t faced before. At least on this kind of scale”. In Naples, Florida alone, there have been four reports of Tesla fires since Hurricane Ian struck. EV fires have always posed problems for firefighters. The energy stored in the batteries doesn’t dissipate over time. “So you have the stored energy in the batteries,” Stephen Gollan with Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue told News Nation. “Just because the vehicle is submerged doesn’t mean the energy is discharged in any way. Anytime you mix electrical components and salt water together, it is a recipe for disaster.”" Link to Article

  • October 17, 2022 - Uber is back in the robotaxi game after signing 10-year deal with Motional - "Nearly two years after selling its autonomous vehicle research division to a competitor, Uber is finally back in the robotaxi business. The company signed a 10-year multimarket deal with Motional, a joint venture between Hyundai and Aptiv, to deploy autonomous vehicles on its ride-hailing and delivery platforms, the companies announced. Motional’s autonomous vehicles will ferry both passengers and delivery items for Uber and its Uber Eats division, with trips expected to start later this year. The deal isn’t exclusive: Motional also operates an autonomous taxi service in Las Vegas with Uber’s main competitor Lyft, while Uber has a 10-year deal with Nuro to use the company’s driverless delivery pods in California and Texas. (Uber also has a delivery pilot underway with Motional in Santa Monica.) But the Uber-Motional partnership has the appearance of being far larger and more ambitious than either of those projects. " Link to Article

  • October 17, 2022 - MobilityData takes over micromobility open-data standard - "MobilityData, a nonprofit aiming to ease travel through shared data and information, will permanently oversee the General Bikeshare Feed Specification, an open standard for micromobility data-sharing, according to a news release Tuesday. The North American Bikeshare and Scootershare Association collaborated with bike-share system owners and operators, app developers and tech vendors to develop the first version of GBFS, releasing it in 2015. After a competitive search process, the organization partnered with MobilityData in 2019 to advance the standard once NABSA realized it lacked the expertise and resources to ensure GBFS’ success, the news release said. Now, NABSA is turning over control of GBFS to MobilityData... Nearly 9 in 10 cities in North America require micromobility services, including bike- and scooter-share companies, to use GBFS, which provides real-time information about a shared mobility system, according to NABSA." Link to Article

  • October 14, 2022 - Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute is moving into new space - "Currently located within Newell - Simon Hall at 5000 Forbes Ave. along CMU\'s Oakland campus, the RI is setting its sights on leasing additional space in a former Barnes & Noble location on Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill. This will be an expansion to the institute\'s current footprint, which is also scattered across other buildings on CMU\'s campus... CMU professors Jean Oh, head of the Bot Intelligence Group; Zac Manchester, who runs the Robotic Exploration Lab; and Sebastian Scherer, the AirLab leader, will use the space for their respective research teams that conduct robotics-based work relating to aerial autonomy, collaboration and exploration, among others. \"This move is just the beginning of a major expansion of the Robotics Institute,\" Aupperlee said in an email to Pittsburgh Inno. \"When the Robotics Innovation Center opens at Hazelwood Green, it will provide CMU robotics researchers with roughly 150,000 square feet for research, integration, iteration and commercialization.\"" Link to Article

  • October 14, 2022 - Portland wants to be America’s most prominent smart city - "The very definition of smart city has changed for Portland. “We don’t really talk much about technology anymore. What we talk [about] now is data, community engagement around data and technology,” Martin said. The mission of Smart City PDX has also shifted. Martin and his team are more focused on building data systems that help the city government better manage and analyze information internally. Moreover, the team is investing time and effort into talking to communities and building the trust necessary for the city to collect data. Recently, Martin’s team built a data system to analyze and show how the $208 million fund the city received from the American Rescue Plan, also called the Covid-19 Stimulus Package, is allocated. “It’s not as sexy as original smart cities, in that it’s not about fancy technologies. It’s really about using data as a component of solving problems to make Portland a more livable city,” Martin said." Link to Article

  • October 14, 2022 - TRB releases new report identifying deficiencies impacting e-scooter rider safety - "A new research report released by the Transportation Research Board (TRB), E-scooter Safety: Issues and Solutions, finds that amid a rapid rise in the use and prevalence of electric scooters (e-scooters) on US roads and sidewalks, more must be done to address regulatory, infrastructure and educational deficiencies that are putting riders at risk. The report also calls on State Highway Safety Offices (SHSO) to monitor all available data and determine how best to incorporate e-scooters into their behavioral safety plans. The research was conducted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in conjunction with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Safe Streets Research and Consulting; Equitable Cities; and Populus. The report, released under the Behavioral Traffic Safety Cooperative Research Program (BTSCRP), found that available data and research evaluating e-scooter safety are lagging behind the rapid adoption and expansion of this form of transportation commonly referred to as micromobility." Link to Article

  • October 14, 2022 - Tesla will remove more vehicle sensors amid Autopilot scrutiny - "Tesla Inc said on Tuesday it will remove ultrasonic sensors from its vehicles starting this month, as it moves ahead with using only cameras in its safety and driver-assistant features. Tesla vehicles now have 12 ultrasonic sensors on the front and rear bumpers, and short-range sound sensors are mainly used in parking applications and to detect close objects... Tesla said it will remove ultrasonic sensors from the Model 3 and Model Y globally over the next few months, followed by the Model S and Model X in 2023. The transition will temporarily limit automated parking features, but not affect crash safety ratings, Tesla noted. “It remains to be seen whether this will be ‘two steps forward and one step backward’ or the other way around,” said Raj Rajkumar, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University" Link to Article

  • October 14, 2022 - Switching To Zero-Emission Trucks Could Save Thousands Of Lives, Study Finds - "Moving to zero-emission trucks and clean energy sources could avoid tens of thousands of premature deaths and 1.75 million asthma attacks, according to a new study. The study by the American Lung Association focuses on the health impacts of switching to zero-emission heavy duty vehicles in areas of the United States that have 8,500 or more truck trips per day. The report estimates that in counties with major trucking routes, the transition to zero-emission heavy-duty transportation and clean, non-combustion energy by 2050 would result in up to $735 billion in cumulative health benefits, 66,800 avoided deaths, and 1.75 million avoided asthma attacks." Link to Article

  • October 12, 2022 - The Dreadful Toll of Wildlife-Vehicle Collisions — and What We Can Do About It - "Advances in research technology over the past decade have revolutionized experts’ understanding of how wildlife move across landscapes and are now helping to resolve wildlife-vehicle conflicts that are rising due to increased development. One example is GPS collars that are affixed to big game, as well as other mammals and birds, and transmit electronic signals via satellite from some of the most remote regions in the U.S. to researchers throughout the country. This data captures exactly where and when animals move within large landscapes, enabling scientists and engineers to pinpoint where the construction of wildlife crossings — mostly overpasses and underpasses that help animals traverse highways — can most effectively improve motorist safety and facilitate animal migrations. Studies show that a well-placed underpass or overpass can reduce wildlife-vehicle accidents by over 90 percent, providing a high rate of return on federal and state investments in such structures." Link to Article

  • October 12, 2022 - Uncharted is integrating the internet of things with sidewalks - "Uncharted installs digital dashboards a few inches into the ground that sense and collect different types of data. The dashboards are then used to create a \"digital twin\" of the city, consolidating the management of the entire community’s infrastructure in one space, an accompanying software program. If we want to get technical (which we do because this is Climate TECH Weekly), the in-the-ground dashboard is a platform as a service (PaaS) that can house an entire city’s monitoring and management information in one place. And the information is all collected via the tech inside the city’s sidewalk. Seriously. Citing the ground — sidewalks — as an accessible area to house a city’s internet of things (IoT) operations, Uncharted creates and paves a sustainably sourced polymer fiber around the dashboards in place of traditional cement. " Link to Article

  • October 12, 2022 - Gatik Goes Driverless In Canada For Grocery Giant Loblaws - "The announcement marks the first time Gatik trucks are making deliveries with no human in the driver\'s seat in Canada, marking expansion of the Mountain View, Calif.-based company\'s driverless delivery operations. “As of today Gatik is the first and only autonomous trucking company operating in a commercial capacity without anyone behind the steering wheel across multiple customers and multiple sites now,” said Gautam Narang, CEO and co-founder, Gatik in an interview with Forbes.com. Gatik is now moving select online grocery orders for Loblaw’s PC Express service with a fleet of multi-temperature autonomous box trucks in Brampton, Ontario near Toronto. The approximately 13 mile route runs between Loblaws\' micro fulfillment center to a retail location according to Narang." Link to Article

  • October 12, 2022 - Robot trucks get their own safety inspection treatment - "Robot trucks are getting their own Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance inspections because, well, they are not like other trucks. It took 2 1/2 years of work by commercial motor vehicle inspectors, state highway patrols, inspection and enforcement experts, motor carriers, autonomous truck developers and government officials to develop standards to inspect trucks with automated driving systems... The new rules approved Sept. 22 by the CVSA differ from how an inspector treats a human-driven truck. They bridge a trust gap between the trucking industry and law enforcement, Dan Goff, head of external affairs for Kodiak Robotics, told FreightWaves... CVSA inspectors also will conduct in-transit inspections at certain intervals throughout the trip. On the road, an ADS-equipped truck would have to show that it: — Has passed the origin/destination inspection. — Has automated driving systems functioning. — Runs within its operational design domain, the conditions in which it is intended to operate safely. " Link to Article

  • October 12, 2022 - AI traffic cameras can catch drivers using mobile phones, even at 186mph! - "New ‘Heads-Up’ Real Time solution from Acusensus(opens in new tab) is now being rolled out in the UK to efficiently detect and notify police of dangerous driver behaviours, namely driver mobile phone use and seat belt non-compliance. The technology also simultaneously refers speed and licence plate identified incidents. The solution uses multiple cameras to monitor traffic and its Australian makers say it can capture photos of every passing vehicle, at speeds of up to 186mph... The new technology will be trialled by traffic officers in Devon and Cornwall over the next two months, allowing them to crack down on motoring offences not caught by standard speed cameras. Speaking to NationalWorld(opens in new tab), Superintendent Adrian Leisk, of Devon & Cornwall Police said: “We are employing this new technology to send a clear message to anyone who continues to use their phone behind the wheel – you will get caught." Link to Article

  • October 11, 2022 - What’s that bag of white stuff? Some Uber drivers worry they’re drug mules - "A bag of white stuff. A cigar box wrapped tightly in duct tape. A bottle of pills labeled as a prescription amphetamine. Drivers for Uber’s courier service don’t always know what’s inside the suspicious-looking packages that people ask them to deliver — but some know they don’t want to be a part of it. NBC News spoke to six drivers from around the U.S. and Australia who said they are worried they’re being used as unwitting “drug mules,” ferrying across town what they believe may be narcotics while doing work for Uber Connect, a courier service the tech company started early in the coronavirus pandemic. " Link to Article

  • October 11, 2022 - ‘Minimobility’ could fill the gap between micromobility and electric cars, analysts say - "“Minimobility” vehicles may be the next wave of transportation coming to cities, according to a September report by the McKinsey Center for Future Mobility, an international mobility consulting firm. Shared use of these three- or four-wheeled electric-powered vehicles that carry one to two people is gaining interest in Europe, especially in France, according to the center. The total addressable market for such vehicles could reach ”$100 billion annually across China, Europe and North America by 2030,” the report said. “In urban areas, minimobility may emerge as a viable alternative, bringing the added benefits of decreased congestion, reduced space requirements and lower emissions.” Minimobility vehicles are easier to build, smaller, cheaper and more energy efficient than cars, according to the report. They are also slower and potentially safer than other mobility types." Link to Article

  • October 11, 2022 - The Long Road to Driverless Trucks - "Eventually, the industry will also embrace electric trucks powered by battery rather than fossil fuel, and this will raise still more questions for autonomous trucking. Where and how will the batteries get recharged? Won’t this prevent self-driving trucks from running 24 hours a day, as the industry has promised? “There are so many issues that in reality are far more complex than they might seem on paper,” said Steve Viscelli, an economic and political sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania who specializes in trucking. “Though the developers and their partners are putting a lot of effort into thinking this through, many of the questions about what needs to change cannot yet be answered. We are going to have to see what reality looks like.”" Link to Article

  • October 11, 2022 - Drones could make last-mile package deliveries greener - "Using drones for the last mile of package deliveries uses less energy and creates fewer emissions than conventional means, a new study shows. As consumers, we’ve gotten used to the immediacy of deliveries. Order a product one day and have it at your house the next. But the logistics behind this massive movement of goods—and its environmental impact—mean that better solutions are needed to balance consumer demand and the energy consumption of “last-mile” deliveries. To address this issue, researchers looked at what they refer to as “an increase in the demand for last-mile delivery while trying to reduce the environmental impacts of the transportation sector.” Many companies are exploring using autonomous vehicles to perform last-mile delivery, says Thiago Rodrigues, a PhD candidate in civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University." Link to Article

  • October 11, 2022 - Philadelphia to launch ‘Smart Loading Zones’ pilot program - "Pebble at Sidewalk Labs is working with the city of Philadelphia to create bookable loading zones to improve traffic flow in Center City, as well as improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers. Starting Oct. 17, 21 zones throughout Walnut, Chestnut, and Sansom streets will be available to reserve through the Pebble Driver App, the city announced Monday. According to Smart Cities Director Akshay Malik, once drivers are within half a mile of a loading zone, they’ll be automatically assigned to an available spot... Users will be charged up to $3 an hour. Drivers who park in Smart Loading Zones without reserving the space could be ticketed or even towed. Mike Carroll, deputy managing director for Philadelphia’s Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems, says this program won’t eliminate congestion completely, but could be another tool to limit the number of drivers blocking traffic." Link to Article

  • October 10, 2022 - GM’s Cruise wants to add 5,000 more robotaxis to American streets. This city warns it could backfire - "GM’s self-driving car subsidiary Cruise said earlier this year that it wants to add as many as 5,000 more robotaxis to American streets, including in San Francisco, where it currently maintains a fleet of fewer than 100 cars... Cruise requested approval for a new vehicle that could vastly expand the size of its San Francisco-based fleet – as much as 50 times the size – as it strives to reach $1 billion in revenue before 2025. But San Francisco has concerns ranging from general traffic to dangerous situations that have already been encountered, the city said in a 36-page response, filed last week as part of a request for public comment issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (or NHTSA) in response to GM’s request to be exempted from some federal safety standards for its new self-driving vehicle, known as the Cruise Origin." Link to Article

  • October 10, 2022 - Here’s how self-driving cars put Arizona traffic laws to the test - "These commercial enterprises will create a significant test for Arizona HB 2813, a law that went into effect last year regulating fully self-driving cars in Arizona including post-accident conduct by the self-driving vehicle system... Passengers in self-driving cars and occupants of other vehicles who may be involved in an accident would be wise to carry and to have the right monetary limit for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Here’s why – if the self-driving vehicle is not at fault and the other driver is uninsured, the other driver/passengers in both vehicles could look to their uninsured motorist coverage for compensation. If the self-driving car is at fault and only carries the minimum levels of liability insurance, a victim may not be fully compensated unless they carry sufficient underinsured motorist coverage to supplement other available coverage. " Link to Article

  • October 10, 2022 - ‘Pittsburgh knows how to make things’: Global manufacturing summit takes stage in Downtown - "It was the Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit, the latest major international conference to take over (part of) the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. When Pittsburgh was first announced as the location of GMIS’s inaugural America edition, everyone from Gov. Tom Wolf to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development issued statements about the honor. Previous GMIS events have been in Dubai and Yekaterinburg, Russia. The summit is co-chaired by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the United Arab Emirates. The panels were star-studded — at least when it comes to Pittsburgh tech. Bryan Salesky, CEO of Pittsburgh-based autonomous vehicle company Argo AI, spoke with Carnegie Mellon University professor Martial Herbert about another buzzword that had been on previous panelists’ lips: automation. “The field has evolved tremendously over the past decade or so,” Mr. Hebert said. And that has meant tighter collaboration between academic institutions and industry, which he described as a “complete transformation.”" Link to Article

  • October 10, 2022 - Meet the Pittsburgh startup that’s gearing up to insure driverless cars - "As self-driving car companies continue to develop the fledgling technology, a local startup is already selling insurance to the industry. North Side-based Koop says it’s cracked the code for how to underwrite the autonomous vehicle sector, despite its short track record. Driverless tech still must undergo years of research and development before reaching consumers. Locally-based Argo AI began to test robotaxis in Miami in December and launched a second pilot in Austin last week. Aurora Innovation, also headquartered in Pittsburgh, runs self-driving trucks in Texas. Koop uses data from such test fleets to set prices for coverage. It’s preparing for a future where increased automation could shift crash liability from human motorists to manufacturers. Koop co-founder and head of operations Jim Duan said the startup is helping to fill a critical gap." Link to Article

  • October 10, 2022 - Intel’s Mobileye files for listing in first sign of thawing tech IPO market - " Intel Corp\'s (INTC.O) self-driving unit Mobileye on Friday unveiled its filing for a U.S. initial public offering, testing support for a high profile stock debut even as the market for new issues has virtually collapsed. The tech IPO market globally is in the middle of its worst drought in nearly two decades. U.S. listings have raised a little over $7 billion so far this year, according to data from Dealogic. Last year traditional IPOs, excluding special purpose acquisition companies, had raised a record $154 billion. Mobileye\'s IPO, coming on the heels of Porsche\'s blockbuster debut in Europe, could, however, be an early sign of improving investor sentiment. If Mobileye\'s debut is received well, it may embolden other big names such as Instacart, Reddit and ServiceTitan, which postponed their IPOs earlier this year until the market improves." Link to Article

  • October 7, 2022 - At high-risk rural intersections, smart warning systems may reduce dangerous right-angle crashes - "Smart intersection-warning systems may help prevent the most severe crash types at rural intersections, according to a new study by U of M researchers... At this type of intersection, a high-volume major road typically intersects with a lower-volume minor road; the major road is uncontrolled while the minor road is controlled by a stop sign. Intersection conflict-warning systems (ICWSs) are a safety measure aimed at reducing right-angle crashes at these intersections... Researchers examined 56 Minnesota intersections that had been treated with an ICWS to determine the impacts on crash reduction. They looked at the annual crash rates—per year, per intersection—before and after system activation, comparing the ICWS intersection group with control (non-ICWS) intersection groups. Data for three years before IWCS activation and up to five years after activation was included, ranging from 2010 to 2018. " Link to Article

  • October 7, 2022 - Truck parking a ‘national concern,’ Buttigieg says - "Referring to the lack of truck parking as a “national concern,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the administration will utilize the 2021 infrastructure law to address the problem. In a Sept. 29 letter to OOIDA President Todd Spencer, Buttigieg outlined some of the ways his department plans to tackle the issue. “The U.S. Department of Transportation shares your view that truck parking shortages are a national concern affecting the safety and well-being of truck drivers and other roadway users, as well as air quality, energy use, and the efficiency of U.S. supply chains,” Buttigieg wrote. In February, OOIDA and ATA sent Buttigieg a joint letter asking the DOT to take steps to end the truck parking crisis. Buttigieg’s response shared the trucking groups’ sentiment about the parking shortage being a safety issue." Link to Article

  • October 7, 2022 - SEPTA offers new way for customers to report cleanliness issues on system - "Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) customers have a new way to report cleanliness issues on the system: scanning QR codes with their smartphones. The QR Vehicle Cleanliness Survey asks customers to rate the cleanliness of their bus, train or trolley. The QR codes will be posted on a limited number of vehicles on each mode. Customers can find them near vehicle exit doors. “Data collected from this survey is an essential tool allowing us a quicker response time when addressing these issues,” said SEPTA CEO and General Manager Leslie S. Richards. “Employing this technology stresses our commitment to providing a clean and safe environment for our customers throughout the system.” Once the customer scans the code, the application will direct customers to complete a two-minute survey. The data is received by SEPTA’s operations vehicle maintenance group who will know how long the vehicle has been in service at the time of survey completion. " Link to Article

  • October 7, 2022 - Toledo Technology Academy pushes electric vehicle education after GM announcement - "General Motors announced last Friday it will invest $760 million into its Toledo Propulsions Systems facility on Alexis Road to produce drive units for electric vehicles. The goal is to put Toledo on course for a future in EV manufacturing. Local trade schools, like the Toledo Technology Academy of Engineering, are adapting to prepare their students for the emerging industry. While the school has had electric vehicle clubs going back 20 years, now they\'re emphasizing the technology more than ever and making sure their curriculum is giving their students hands-on learning to get a jump start in Toledo\'s changing market, such as inside the school\'s engineering and technology wing. Inside the large workshop, a group of busy seniors are fine-tuning their latest project: a robotic arm. " Link to Article

  • October 7, 2022 - Using AI and robots to speed up optimization of new battery development - "A team of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University has developed a new approach to speeding up the process of creating ever more optimized batteries. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the group describes how they paired a unique type of robot with an AI learning system to create ever more useful non-aqueous liquid electrolytes. As sales of handheld devices have skyrocketed and car makers have turned to electric vehicles, demand for batteries that last longer and charge more quickly has risen as well. Unfortunately, the science of developing new batteries to serve such needs has lagged—it typically involves the use of intuition on the part of chemists along with persistence. Such efforts can take years. In this new study, the researchers in Pittsburgh sought to speed up the process by using automation techniques. " Link to Article

  • October 5, 2022 - The Long Road to Driverless Trucks - "Restricting these trucks to the highway also plays to their strengths. “The biggest problems for long-haul truckers are fatigue, distraction and boredom,” Mr. Rodrigues explained on a recent afternoon as one of his company’s trucks cruised down a highway in Northern California. “Robots don’t have a problem with any of that.” It’s a sound strategy, but even this will require years of additional development. Part of the challenge is technical. Though self-driving trucks can handle most of what happens on a highway — merging into traffic from an on-ramp, changing lanes, slowing for cars stopped on the shoulder — companies are still working to ensure they can respond to less common situations, like a sudden three-car pileup." Link to Article

  • October 5, 2022 - Stuck on the Streets of San Francisco in a Driverless Car - "Still, even for someone like me — a reporter who has spent a fair amount of time with this kind of technology over the past few years — riding through a major city in a car without a driver was an eye-opener. Not to say there weren’t issues. As the car passed the joyriding teenagers a second time, it swerved sharply to the right, presumably because it mistook them for pedestrians. At another intersection, it hit the brakes just as the light changed to red, skidding to a stop in the middle of a crosswalk, its nose sticking out into the intersection. A pedestrian yelled at my robot driver and flipped it off as he walked by. I couldn’t say if that was more or less satisfying than flipping off a human. And then, just as we hit some nighttime traffic, the car detected a possible accident and pulled over. It was a false alarm, but the car wouldn’t budge. My ride was over." Link to Article

  • October 5, 2022 - Smart Cities Connect 2022: Philadelphia Prioritizes Smart Streetlight Installation by Need - "Earlier this year, the city of Philadelphia began a streetlight conversion project to upgrade 120,000 lamps over three years. Speaking Tuesday at the Fall 2022 Smart Cities Connect conference, city officials said they wanted those lights to provide some immediate smart city benefits while also serving as building blocks to support future benefits. Speaking on a panel about Philadelphia’s smart streetlights, Philadelphia Smart Cities Director Akshay Malik noted that he last served as a data scientist for the city’s department of transportation. There, he worked on Philadelphia’s Vision Zero plan to reduce traffic deaths and injuries." Link to Article

  • October 5, 2022 - You can now buy an amphibious electric vehicle for $50,000 - "The Atlas EV is the world’s first fully electric amphibious 8×8 XTV, and it can be yours for just $50,000. You may be asking why. Why not! We are seeing new electric vehicles come to the market almost every week now, so it was just a matter of time until we saw an amphibious electric vehicle. And I’m not talking about a military vehicle here, but an actual recreational amphibious electric vehicle that anyone with $50,000 burning a hole in their pocket can buy. Argo, a Canada-based company manufacturing “extreme terrain vehicles,” is behind the new Atlas EV. It already offers a wide array of fossil fuel-powered off-road vehicles, including amphibious ones, but the Atlas EV is their first all-electric one. " Link to Article

  • October 5, 2022 - States get final OK to build highway EV charging network - "All 50 states received final approval Tuesday to begin construction on a first nationwide network of EV charging stations that places one roughly every 50 miles (80 kilometers) along interstate highways, part of the Biden administration’s plan to spur widespread adoption of zero-emission cars. The Transportation Department said it had OK’d EV charger plans from a last set of 17 states, triggering the release of $1.5 billion in federal funds to all jurisdictions nationwide — or $5 billion over five years — to install or upgrade chargers along 75,000 miles (120,000 kilometers) of highway from coast to coast, with a goal of 500,000 EV chargers nationwide. Plans for the other 33 states and the District of Columbia were approved earlier this month. By year’s end, drivers could start seeing expansions and upgrades to existing highway EV stations in states such as California, Colorado, Florida and Pennsylvania that now feature at least four fast-charger ports, enabling EVs to fully recharge in about an hour." Link to Article

  • October 4, 2022 - When Will AVs Actually Start to Smooth Traffic Flows? - "Autonomous vehicles have the ability to make traffic move smoother. But first, they need to be more widely deployed. And that means creating the right regulations for the right cars. At least 20 percent of the vehicles on the roadways will need to be autonomous in order to realize the traffic operational gains that come with connected vehicles, according to new research from Carnegie Mellon University. “One of the goals of our work was to quantify the amount of AVs [autonomous vehicles] under which we would begin to realize these traffic and congestion benefits; surprisingly, we found that only 20 percent are needed,” said Carlee Joe-Wong, one of the authors of the report, Mixed-Autonomy Era of Transportation: Resilience and Autonomous Fleet Management. “And that 50-ish percent AVs was sufficient for realizing most of the gains.”" Link to Article

  • October 4, 2022 - Volvo has developed the world’s first interior radar system for cars - "Set to debut on its upcoming flagship EX90 electric SUV, Volvo\'s new radar system is designed to monitor both the cabin and trunk of a vehicle in order to prevent the car from being locked while anyone is still inside. The idea is to guard against situations where pets or children may be inadvertently trapped inside a car on a hot day, with the car surfacing reminders if it recognizes that there are still occupants inside when being locked. Additionally, the car\'s climate control can also be set to stay on if a passenger is detected, further lowering the risk of heatstroke. While the thought of leaving a pet or child inside a car on a hot day is unimaginable to most people, it can happen to anyone. In its press release, Volvo cited statistics from the US where more than 900 children have tragically died due to hyperthermia since 1998. " Link to Article

  • October 4, 2022 - Why activists are calling on Carnegie Mellon University and the City of Pittsburgh to ban facial recognition tech - "Ethical concerns about artificial intelligence are why local groups such as Partnership to Advance Responsible Technology exists, and why CMU’s own Block Center for Technology and Society launched the Responsible AI initiative in April... Under a new mayor — Ed Gainey — there’s a new chance to protect residents from “mass surveillance” and racial profiling, Fan said. But first, the City of Pittsburgh and CMU need to commit to a future without facial recognition technology, according to activists. While outlining the negatives associated with such technology, Fan criticized former Mayor Bill Peduto who she said left a legacy where innovation is prioritized over what’s good for the city’s most vulnerable residents. “In Bill Peduto’s chapter [as mayor] he saw CMU and Pittsburgh as a laboratory,” Fan said at the rally, “one where university research and technology helped cops and militaries enact surveillance, fear and violence to build their shiny vision of smart city Pittsburgh.” " Link to Article

  • October 4, 2022 - More than 300 new mines needed to meet electric vehicle demand, says analyst - "More than 300 new mines will be needed globally to meet growing demand for electric vehicle (EV) batteries, according to a new forecast from a mining analyst. Benchmark Mineral Intelligence estimates at least 384 new mines for graphite, lithium, nickel and cobalt will be required to meet electric vehicle demand by 2035. If battery materials can be recycled in large enough quantities, the firm says about 336 new mines would be needed. Andrew Miller, Benchmark\'s chief operating officer, said he wasn\'t surprised when they arrived at the numbers... He said new tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act in the U.S. will benefit Canada, because they apply to vehicles built in North America, that use minerals mined from the U.S. or its free trade partners. Miller said recycling batteries to recover their metals will become more important as demand grows and the mining industry struggles to keep up. " Link to Article

  • October 4, 2022 - Allegheny County to launch pilot program for low-income public transit users - "Fares on Pittsburgh Regional Transit, the region’s largest public transit provider, are $2.75 per ride, among the highest rates in the country. Transfers were recently made free, as part of an effort to help increase accessibility. Pittsburgh Regional Transit CEO Katharine Kelleman said that PRT will be participating in the 12-month pilot program. The pilot is expected to launch a date to accept applications in November. Discounted and free fares for low-income riders has been a longtime goal of local advocacy groups. The Fair Fares for a Full Recovery Coalition — composed of advocacy groups Just Harvest, Pittsburgh Food Policy Council, Pittsburghers for Public Transit, and UrbanKind — commended the county and Fitzgerald for launching the pilot program. According to the coalition, PRT fares fall heaviest on low-income households, who are simultaneously the most reliant on public transit and the highest likelihood of paying the full cash fare, which doesn’t grant a free transfer." Link to Article

  • October 3, 2022 - Future EVs should charge by day — study - "The Stanford University study comes at a fluid moment in the trajectory of the electric vehicle and its fueling. Automakers plan to deliver millions of EVs in the coming years, but drivers’ charging habits are still unwritten. Electric companies and the federal government, which will spend $7.5 billion in the next five years to build out EV-charging infrastructure, have not yet made key decisions about where chargers will be located or when they are intended to be used. John Gartner, an EV and charging researcher at the Center for Sustainable Energy who is unaffiliated with the study, said the notion of moving charging to the sunny hours in an EV-heavy world makes sense. “This load shifting of EV charging has great synergies to the growing percentage of renewable energy which on many days will be available in abundance before peak demand begins in the evening hours,” Gartner wrote in an email. " Link to Article

  • October 3, 2022 - China’s flood of new electric cars cost 20% more to insure than fuel-powered cars - "In general, the insurance premium for new energy cars — which includes electric — is about 20% higher than it would be for comparable traditional fuel-powered cars, said Wenwen Chen, director at S&P Global Ratings, who leads the firm’s research for China insurance. Many factors go into determining pricing. But Chen said insurance companies find that the loss ratio — a measure of cost for insurers — tends to be higher for new energy vehicles than for internal combustion engine cars. One of the main reasons she cited for a higher loss ratio is more accidents, especially more costly ones — since new energy vehicles often use parts that aren’t mass-produced yet. In the U.S., insurance for electric cars also tends to be about 15% more expensive than that for combustion engine cars — primarily because electric cars in the U.S. tend to be luxury vehicles, according to Chase Gardner at Insurify, which compares car insurance rates in the U.S." Link to Article

  • October 3, 2022 - Are electric air taxis ready for takeoff? Maybe sooner than you think - "The aviation industry is betting millions of dollars air taxis will play a big role in the future of transportation. Over the past few months, U.S. carrier United Airlines ordered 200 air taxis from Eve Air Mobility and another 100 from Archer Aviation. American Airlines had an agreement for 250 from Vertical Aerospace. Last year, Canadian helicopter operator Helijet inked a deal with Blade Air Mobility. The partnership gives Blade the rights to Helijet\'s routes and infrastructure, and Helijet access to Blade\'s air taxis. Automakers are also showing interest in the eVTOL space, which has significant overlaps with electric vehicles. They are already pouring money into developing EV batteries. Hyundai, GM and Volkswagen are all working on developing their own air taxi prototypes. Automakers can offer air taxi-makers manufacturing expertise as well. Daimler has partnered with Volocopter, while Joby Aviation counts Toyota as a major investor." Link to Article

  • October 3, 2022 - HMG to turn out all green models of Hyundai, Kia, Genesis from new EV plant in Georgia - "South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group would roll out all green models of Hyundai Motor, Kia, and luxury marque Genesis from its first electric vehicle-dedicated plant in the United States possibly from 2024 to better respond to the Inflation Reduction Act restricting tax grants to EVs assembled in the U.S. The Korean auto mogul in May had entered an agreement with the State of Georgia to complete an EV and battery facility with an annual capacity of 300,000 units at an investment of $5.54 billion in Bryan Country, near the Port of Savannah – the largest container terminal in the U.S. – in the first half of 2025. It had not specified then the models to be turned out from the new plant. Ground-breaking was supposed to take place early 2023, but the IRA has hastened the construction timetable. The facility in coastal Georgia will become the group’s first EV-dedicated plant for all three auto brands – Hyundai Motor, Kia and Genesis." Link to Article

  • October 3, 2022 - Monitoring systems to ensure bus drivers’ health on the road - "Beijing has taken measures to improve transport safety management through the use of digital technology, giving drivers 1,800 wristband sensors for the real-time monitoring of vital signs and mental stress. Beijing Public Transport Group, the capital\'s main bus operator, recently equipped drivers — particularly those driving on highways or on long cross-provincial trips — with the monitors in an effort to raise safety. In cooperation with professional institutions, the group has tested more than 40,000 drivers for psychological suitability, with a second round of driver compatibility testing already completed. With a population of over 21 million, Beijing\'s motor vehicle ownership, congestion and traffic intensity have all increased rapidly in recent years. As a result, accidents involving buses, as well as the driving safety of drivers, have drawn increasing attention. \"The emotion-sensing equipment is part of efforts to improve driving safety, which demonstrates care for drivers,\" said Wu Ruidong, a news commentator. " Link to Article

  • September 30, 2022 - Volvo Trucks to begin customer testing of fuel cell trucks in 2025 - "Volvo Trucks are running tests of fuel cell electric trucks that only emit water vapour and have an operational range comparable to diesel trucks, up to 1,000 km. A second pilot phase is to follow in a few years’ time and will see customer tests on public roads. The testing of fuel cell electric trucks in commercial traffic will start in 2025 with selected customers in Northern Europe, followed by additional trucks in more countries over the coming years. Hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric trucks will be especially suitable for long distance and heavy, energy-demanding assignments. They could also be an option in countries where battery charging possibilities are limited... The goal of the pilot tests will be to look at all different aspects of the truck’s operation including working components, handling and driver experience." Link to Article

  • September 30, 2022 - DARPA is experimenting with giving driverless combat vehicles off-road autonomy - "DARPA’s Robotic Autonomy in Complex Environments with Resiliency (RACER) program has successfully completed one experiment and is now moving on to even more difficult off-road landscapes at Camp Roberts, California, for trials set for September 15-27, according to a press release by the organization published last week. The program has stated that its aim is “to give driverless combat vehicles off-road autonomy while traveling at speeds that keep pace with those driven by people in realistic situations.” Autonomous software stacks for the DARPA-provided robot systems have been developed by Carnegie Mellon University, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the University of Washington. Each of these models were tested in “Experiment 1” earlier this year at Fort Irwin, California, and are now involved in the current new trials. Experiment 1 ran through March-April 2022 on six courses of combat-relevant terrain where each of the teams undertook more than 40 autonomous runs of about 2 miles each, reaching speeds just under 20 miles per hour." Link to Article

  • September 30, 2022 - ADOT develops first-of-its-kind technology to warn of wrong-way drivers - "The Arizona Department of Transportation tells ABC15 it was a string of wrong-way crashes that pushed them to look for a solution, and they used technology to do it... The cameras are not the only part of the pilot program. ADOT said they have added larger wrong-way signs and lowered them. Some even light up to catch a driver\'s attention. Arrows have been added to the pavement, too. The I-17 Wrong-Way Detection Pilot Program was then developed and began in 2018. It was the first in the nation to be able to detect wrong-way drivers in real time. The first phase is a 15-mile stretch along I-17 between I-10 and Loop 101. ADOT tells ABC15 that the cameras have detected more than 300 wrong-way vehicles on I-17 since 2018. Luckily, many of those drivers have self-corrected before entering the mainline. But it still triggred an immediate alert for first responders to try and catch up to those drivers." Link to Article

  • September 30, 2022 - FAA Releases Vertiport Design Standards to Support the Safe Integration of Advanced Air Mobility Aircraft - "The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today released new design guidelines for vertiports, infrastructure that will support Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) aircraft. The design standards will serve as the initial step to provide key information for airport owners, operators and infrastructure developers to begin development of facilities that will support operations of AAM aircraft that are electrically powered and take-off and land vertically... Safety-critical geometry and design elements... Lighting, markings and visual aids... Charging and electric infrastructure... On-airport vertiports... Elevated vertiports... This vertiport guidance will be used until performance-based vertiport design guidance is developed. The final design standards are based on research conducted by the FAA, collaboration with industry partners and feedback from the public. " Link to Article

  • September 30, 2022 - NACTO Pushes Back as Big Auto Seeks Safety Exemption for Driverless Cars - "The National Association of City Transportation Officials officials is crying foul as two of America’s largest automakers try to weasel past federal safety standards to deploy autonomous vehicles without any human safety controls on our roads. In letters to federal regulators, NACTO is opposing petitions by Ford and General Motors for an exemption that would let the companies annually field 2,500 Automated Driving System vehicles without steering wheels, brake pedals and mirrors — that is, the controls that lets humans take over if the high-tech machinery goes haywire. The cars would be used for ride sharing and delivery services and wouldn’t be sold directly to consumers, the companies said. The feds should deny the petitions until the companies can provide evidence or data their ADS vehicles are “at least equal to the overall safety level of a compliant vehicle driven by a reasonably prudent, licensed driver,” NACTO Executive Director Corinne Kisner wrote to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration." Link to Article

  • September 28, 2022 - Every New York City subway car will soon have 2 security cameras - "New York City\'s Metropolitan Transportation Authority will install security cameras across the city\'s entire fleet of subway cars in an attempt to enhance safety, Gov. Kathy Hochul\'s office announced Tuesday. The step comes as overall crime in the city increased last month. \"My number one priority as Governor is keeping New Yorkers safe,\" Hochul said in a statement. \"I am proud that we will be installing cameras on all Subway cars — expanding our security capabilities, deterring crime, and providing our law enforcement with support.\" Using $2 million in funding from the Urban Area Security Initiative federal grant program as well as $3.5 million from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, more than 12,700 cameras will be purchased and installed in subway cars. In total, each subway car will receive two cameras. " Link to Article

  • September 28, 2022 - As Self-Driving Cars Hit the Streets, New Equity Concerns Emerge - "State and local officials need to act proactively to make sure that widespread use of self-driving vehicles doesn’t leave out historically disadvantaged communities, a team of researchers from the Urban Institute warned in a new report. The researchers said a broad shift from human drivers to software-piloted vehicles could help poor people and non-white communities, if the technology can reduce the number of traffic deaths and cut down on the air pollution that disproportionately affects those residents. Autonomous vehicles could also increase transportation options for older people or people with disabilities, the Urban analysts said. But none of those advantages are guaranteed, they cautioned." Link to Article

  • September 28, 2022 - Volvo’s New EX90 Electric SUV Will Be Equipped for Future Self-Driving - "The all-electric EX90 will sit alongside the XC90 in Volvo’s range when it launches. Ahead of the reveal of the car, Volvo has been sharing details of the safety features that it plans to pack into the new EV. One of those headline features is a new array of sensors built into the EX90 to spot hazards and read the road ahead. During a presentation about the new car, Volvo chief executive Jim Rowan explained that the new car would be fitted with eight cameras, five radars, 16 ultrasonic sensors, and a LiDAR sensor. That LiDAR sensor will be built into the roofline on the car, while the other cameras and sensors will be placed strategically around the rest of the EX90." Link to Article

  • September 28, 2022 - Demand on the rise for electric vehicle charging at multifamily properties - "Vickery’s recommendations for multifamily owners and managers include: Developers of new properties should plan to add at least one two-car charger per garage level or garden-style apartment building. Installing additional electrical conduits to power and support future EV chargers is essential to meet expanding demand in the long term. Plan for single-user chargers in an assigned garage or parking spaces, which could command a higher premium. Companies retrofitting their properties for EV chargers should carefully consider the chargers’ placement in order to minimize installation costs, as well as surface versus garage locations. “It is very expensive to retrofit EV stations due to the need for tearing up pavement to install conduit and hardware, and potentially add dedicated transformers,” Vickery said. “That said, communities without chargers will significantly reduce their ability to compete over the next five years as EVs become the rule rather than the exception." Link to Article

  • September 28, 2022 - State Data Show Uber and Lyft Drivers Were Involved in Over 1,000 Crashes in the City of Boston Last Year - "Uber and Lyft drivers were involved in 1,098 crashes in the city of Boston last year – roughly a quarter of all motor vehicle collisions in the city – according to data from a state agency that regulates the app-based ridesharing companies. This year, for the first time, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, which publishes an annual data report on Uber and Lyft activities across the state, included a new column in its reporting spreadsheet to record the number of crashes that these companies’ drivers were involved in in each city and town. The 2021 report indicates that Uber and Lyft drivers were involved in 2,267 crashes across Massachusetts last year. Nearly half of those crashes – 1,098 – occurred in the City of Boston." Link to Article

  • September 27, 2022 - Daimler Truck boosts electric truck range with new battery chemistry - "Daimler Truck is changing battery chemistry for its future long-haul electric trucks to boost driving range beyond 300 miles on a single charge while eliminating the use of cobalt and nickel. The world’s largest truck maker showed its eActros long-haul electric truck for the first time Sunday evening before the opening of the IAA Transportation 2022 show. Rather than the commonly used lithium-ion chemistry, the eActros long-haul truck will use lithium-iron phosphate (LFP), expected to allow more charging cycles and more usable power per cell. The truck also will be equipped for megawatt charging, which is unavailable in any current electric truck. “Customers can go from a 20% to 80% state of charge in less than 30 minutes,” said Karin Rådström, head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks. That should allow most charging needs to be met at fleet depots rather than through public infrastructure. " Link to Article

  • September 27, 2022 - Harvard engineers develop solid-state battery that lasts 20 years, charges in 3 minutes - "Harvard’s Office of Technology Development has granted an exclusive technology license to Adden Energy, Inc., a startup developing innovative solid-state battery systems for use in future electric vehicles that would fully charge in minutes. Adden Energy has closed a seed round with $5.15M in funding led by Primavera Capital Group, with participation by Rhapsody Venture Partners and MassVentures. The license and the venture funding will enable the startup to scale Harvard’s laboratory prototype toward commercial deployment of a solid-state lithium-metal battery that may provide reliable and fast charging for future EVs to help bring them into the mass market." Link to Article

  • September 27, 2022 - To break an impasse in connected vehicle tech, transportation leaders call for a federal policy framework - "Because experts worry there will not be enough spectrum for vehicle-to-everything communications in the long term, the FCC needs to do a complete analysis of the transportation industry’s spectrum requirements, said Jon Peha, an engineering professor and expert on information networks at Carnegie Mellon University who previously served as the FCC’s chief technologist. The agency initially dedicated 75 MHz of spectrum in the 5.9 gigahertz band for intelligent transportation systems, but the new policy slashed that figure to 30 MHz, effectively making DSRC obsolete, Peha said. Now the only technology that anyone can use in the band is cellular vehicle-to-everything, or C-V2X, “which means any infrastructure that had already been deployed will no longer be useful,” he said. “You have to change your plans to adopt the current technology.”" Link to Article

  • September 27, 2022 - Ford, T-Mobile Partner To Prevent Collisions With Pedestrians, Bicyclists - "Ford Motor Co. is partnering with T-Mobile and others to research using smartphone-based communication technology to help warn drivers of pedestrians and bicyclists -- even those hidden from direct view. The technologies are being demonstrated at the Intelligent Transportation Society of America’s World Congress in Los Angeles this week. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration data estimates traffic fatalities increased 13% in 2021 versus the prior year, while bicyclist traffic fatalities increased 5%. The concept is for a smartphone app for pedestrians and others that communicates potential risks to connected Ford vehicles with SYNC providing in-vehicle screen alerts, complementing other technologies such as Ford Co-Pilot360 advanced driver assistance systems." Link to Article

  • September 27, 2022 - The Uber Hack’s Devastation Is Just Starting to Reveal Itself - "ON THURSDAY EVENING, ride-share giant Uber confirmed that it was responding to “a cybersecurity incident” and was contacting law enforcement about the breach. An entity that claims to be an individual 18-year-old hacker took responsibility for the attack, bragging to multiple security researchers about the steps they took to breach the company... T Uber also said on Friday that it has “no evidence that the incident involved access to sensitive user data (like trip history).” Screenshots leaked by the attacker, though, indicate that Uber\'s systems may have been deeply and thoroughly compromised and that anything the attacker didn\'t access may have been the result of limited time rather than limited opportunity." Link to Article

  • September 26, 2022 - DARPA Kicks off 2nd Field Experiment for Off-Road Autonomous Vehicles - "The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has mapped out a second off-road landscape course for combat ground vehicle teams under its Robotic Autonomy in Complex Environments with Resiliency program. The latest field experiment is scheduled to be held at Camp Roberts in California, and to run from Sept. 15 to 27, DARPA said Friday. DARPA has tapped Carnegie Mellon University, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of Washington, each of which has developed autonomous software stacks for the robot systems during the primary trial, to take part in the second field experiment. The first field experiment ran from March to April and constituted six courses of combat-relevant terrain, where RACER fleet vehicles underwent over 40 autonomous runs of two miles each and reached speeds just under 20 miles per hour. For the second field experiment, RACER fleet vehicles will run on steeper hills and slippery surfaces to test the robot system’s capacity to keep control while navigating long-range courses with obstacles. " Link to Article

  • September 26, 2022 - Those making $50K or less could get toll relief at Downtown, Midtown tunnels - "Those making $50,000 a year or less could get toll relief at the Downtown and Midtown tunnels connecting Norfolk and Portsmouth next year. Eligible drivers will get 50% off two-axle tolls on the tunnels with an E-ZPass Virginia account, according to the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization. The rebate can be used for 10 transactions a week and will be applied to the E-ZPass Virginia account the day after the toll is used. Enrollment in the program starts on Nov. 1, 2022, and the rebates will start as soon as the enrollee links the program code to a valid E-ZPass Virginia transponder." Link to Article

  • September 26, 2022 - FMCSA to recruit truck drivers for autonomous vehicle study - "The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is calling on 100 truck drivers to participate in an experiment using a simulator to evaluate distractions that occur while driving trucks equipped with lower-level autonomous technology. The research, which will also include a non-simulator training study session, will assess driver readiness when assuming control of a truck with Level 2 (L2) and Level 3 (L3) autonomous driving systems (ADS) and develop a driver-distraction training program, according to a notice to be published in the Federal Register on Wednesday. The notice is a request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to review and approve the study. The public will have 60 days to comment on it. FMCSA states in the notice that more research is needed on ADS in trucking because so far most are installed in passenger vehicles, with ADS in commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) only recently being used in real-world operations." Link to Article

  • September 26, 2022 - U.S. DOT announces $160 million for transportation technology projects - "The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration announced Monday it’s accepting applications for two grant programs furthering the use of technology designed to make transportation safer, cleaner and more efficient. The Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation, or SMART, and the Advanced Transportation Technology and Innovation, or ATTAIN, programs together make about $160 million in new funding available to communities advancing transportation technology initiatives. “From connected vehicles that make driving safer, to smart traffic signals that reduce congestion, to sensors to detect the quality of pavement to help prioritize repair, our SMART grants will fund technology that makes people’s lives better in communities across America,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a press release." Link to Article

  • September 26, 2022 - Chinese cities race to experiment autonomous driving, ready to accelerate commercial use - "China’s advantages lie in top-level design, large market, and complete industrial chain... China already has a top-level design in the autonomous driving industry chain. The 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) details the scientific and technological blueprints for quantum communication, 5G/6G, blockchain distributed systems, industrial Internet of Things, semiconductors, and the new-energy vehicle (NEV) industry chains. The automatic driving industry chain should combine the future industry chain of the new generation communication network, distributed system, smart city planning, and NEV, forming a one-stop comprehensive application scenario, and its future is unlimited, Chen Jia, an independent research fellow on international strategy, told the Global Times on Sunday." Link to Article

  • September 23, 2022 - Transit app adds Pittsburgh bike-rental program POGOH to its system - "The popular Transit app is adding Pittsburgh\'s bike-sharing program, POGOH, to its system so users can rent bikes using the same app they use for Pittsburgh Regional Transit purchases. The bicycle system, which earlier this year began replacing its fleet with a combination of regular pedal bikes and electric-assist bikes, is available through the Transit app beginning Tuesday. Users who register their POGOH account with Transit can unlock bikes by opening the Transit app and scanning a QR code on a rental bike... Transit works in conjunction with Move PGH, a city-led program funded by the Richard King Mellon Foundation that coordinates shared transportation options in Pittsburgh. It says more than 75,000 people each month use the app to plan their commute in the Pittsburgh area." Link to Article

  • September 23, 2022 - One Kentucky weigh station has cameras that can see inside your cab — but they’ll be installed in 13 more locations soon - "A tech company recently shared details about its partnership with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) to utilize the company’s “Driver Focus Camera” systems to catch in-cab violations at weigh stations. Perceptics, a technology company focusing on vehicle identification and license plate recognition products, shared a blog post detailing their work to help KYTC monitor driver behavior through camera technology installed in a weigh station. Perceptics installed the “Driver Focus Camera” technology at the Laurel County I-75 Northbound Weigh Station to help the Kentucky State Patrol “capture near real-time, high-resolution images of drivers as they exited the highway.” In the six months that that the camera technology has been installed at the I-75 weigh station, it has resulted in 137 seatbelt violations as well as violations for driver cell phone use and for drivers failing to wear corrective lenses." Link to Article

  • September 23, 2022 - Out-of-state drivers rack up more than $43M in unpaid tolls, fines - "A joint legislative committee in Annapolis learned Wednesday that out-of-state drivers have racked up more than $43 million in unpaid tolls and fines. The problem is the state doesn\'t have a mechanism in place to go after those offenders. According to transportation officials, the millions of out-of-state drivers are racking up is money that could go to road and bridge repair and paying for highway services like helping drivers who run out of gas. Maryland transportation officials currently rely on the honor system to collect tolls and fees from out-of-state drivers, but that approach has saddled the state with millions in unpaid violations. Drivers who pay tolls are furious their neighbors are getting away with it. " Link to Article

  • September 23, 2022 - Volkswagen launches New Mobility unit with emphasis on AV and EV tech - "Volkswagen is taking steps to increase its market position as an electric vehicle maker by creating a new division dubbed “New Mobility.” The division will work specifically on the development of electric and autonomous vehicles. The department will take over responsibility for current ID-badged vehicles and future electric vehicles, which will be based on the VW Group’s new SSP scalable electric car architecture. The division will also assume responsibility for the company’s Trinity project, which is tasked with creating a new generation of electric vehicles. The Trinity Project’s flagship sedan will be available in 2026 and feature Level 4 autonomy, allowing hands-free driving in most scenarios. Level 4 falls short of full-driverless capabilities offered by Level 5 vehicles. The New Mobility division will be headed by Thomas Ulbrich, a 30-year Volkswagen veteran and current head of development. Ulbrich will also earn a seat on the supervisory board of Cariad, Volkswagen’s struggling software unit. " Link to Article

  • September 23, 2022 - Freightliner SD Plus standardizes critical road, site safety technologies - "To extend sister brand Detroit’s latest safety technology offerings and elevate driver productivity, Freightliner is upgrading the electrical systems and interiors of its vocational and medium-duty series, respectively yielding the 108SD Plus/114SD Plus and M2 106 Plus/M2 112 Plus models. Plus series trucks’ new electrical architecture invites the Detroit Assurance 5.0 suite of safety systems, available with Detroit DD engines and, for the first time, certain Cummins packages. Standard SD Plus and M2 Plus safety features include Active Brake Assist and Lane Departure Warning. Side Guard Assist, augmenting safe vehicle operation on the road or jobsite, leads optional features. Detroit Connect Suite generates key Plus series vehicle performance information to support better fleet manager decision-making and reduce downtime. Within minutes of a fault event, for example, the Virtual Technician remote diagnostic service informs managers of fault severity, and when, where and how to best fix the issue. " Link to Article

  • September 21, 2022 - Are community colleges accessible enough to students without cars? A national group tracks proximity to public transportation. - "Nearly one-third of 118 community college and technical school campuses in Pennsylvania are not within walking distance of a public transit stop, and that could be a problem for students without cars or with car problems, according to new research from a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit. \"Our students are one flat tire away from dropping out of school,\" said Abigail Seldin, CEO of the Seldin/Haring-Smith Foundation. \"Conversely, they may be one consistent, well-designed, affordable bus route from completion.\" Her organization, which released a national report on the topic last year, is creating detailed maps for each state, showing proximity to public transit stops for every community and technical college campus, including branches and satellites. The group released maps for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware to The Inquirer last week." Link to Article

  • September 21, 2022 - The first digital train in Germany debuts in Hamburg - "oday, Germany\'s first semi-autonomous digital train rolled into service on the S-Bahn in Hamburg. The train was developed through a joint project by city authorities, Deutsche Bahn and Siemens Mobility. What makes this train unique and \'digital\', as transport authorities put it, is that it can perform a range of functions through software that does not require human input. Furthermore, the innovative train concept brings with it promises of increasing capacity by around 30% without upgrading the rail infrastructure itself. Instead, because of the innovations in the control section, S-Bahn Hamburg can run more trains safely... Importantly, although the digital train represents the next step for trains, it does not require major redevelopment of the lines, meaning that it can be launched everywhere. Also, the train is not completely autonomous. Although it can accelerate, stop, open and close doors by itself, a trained driver will be monitoring the situation on board and also assist with turning." Link to Article

  • September 21, 2022 - Florida DOT Tries New Tech to Improve Work Zone Safety - "The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has announced the launch of a yearlong technology pilot program to improve safety for those driving and working on the state’s roadways... This work involves one.network’s Live Link application, which lets work zone supervisors in the state map closures and deliver real-time alerts about the status of work zones. James Harris, founder and CEO of one.network, explained that Live Link allows work crews to input lane closure information as soon as the first cone is placed. Additionally, they can indicate temporary speed restrictions and the number of workers present in a specific zone. The tool leverages the on-the-ground knowledge of the workers at these sites. After the construction supervisors input this information, Tillander explained that it is then shared with third-party navigation app providers, and those providers publish the data for road users through various apps." Link to Article

  • September 21, 2022 - Dutch students devise carbon-eating electric vehicle - "Called ZEM, for zero emission mobility, the two-seater houses a Cleantron lithium-ion battery pack, and most of its parts are 3D-printed from recycled plastics, Lahaije said. The target is to minimize carbon dioxide emitted during the car\'s full lifespan, from manufacturing to recycling, he added. Battery electric vehicles emit virtually no CO2 during operation compared with combustion-engine vehicles, but battery cell production can create so much pollution that it can take EVs tens of thousands of miles to achieve \"carbon parity\" with comparable fossil-fueled models. ZEM uses two filters that can capture up to 2 kilograms (4.41 lb) of CO2 over 20,000 miles of driving, the Eindhoven team estimated. They imagine a future when filters can be emptied at charging stations. The students are showing their vehicle on a U.S. promotional tour to universities and companies from the East Coast to Silicon Valley." Link to Article

  • September 21, 2022 - As Driverless Cars Falter, Are ‘Driver Assistance’ Systems in Closer Reach? - "David Harkey, president of I.I.H.S., said that the industry’s reality check over the technical challenges, and attendant public disillusionment, is masking genuine progress. For one, the building blocks of partial autonomy cars are already in every showroom. Automated emergency braking is standard on every new car as of September, thanks to a voluntary agreement forged in 2016 among automakers, I.I.H.S. and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Such radar- or camera-linked brakes have cut police-reported rear-end collisions by a striking 50 percent, Mr. Harkey of the I.I.H.S. said, according to their research, adding that automated pedestrian braking has reduced the number of car-human collisions by 30 percent versus cars without the feature. And anti-lock brakes; cameras, radar and ultrasonic sensors to manage blind spot and lane departure monitors; and adaptive cruise control have become standard as well." Link to Article

  • September 20, 2022 - Aptera publicly debuts the gamma version of its 1,000-mile-range solar electric vehicle - "Following the teasing of interior images of the gamma version of its upcoming solar electric vehicle (SEV) last month, Aptera officially debuted the full prototype in front of a crowd in San Diego at Fully Charged Live. The gamma version now marks Aptera’s biggest milestone as it approaches SEV production in 2023... In early August, Aptera began teasing its latest prototype – gamma. It initially began with a social media post with images of the interior that offers a clean, minimalist look, complete with instrument cluster and center display screens. Video footage released later in August gave the public an even closer look at the gamma phase Aptera. Now, we have gotten an even better view of Aptera’s gamma SEV, both inside and out during Fully Charged Live, taking place in the startup’s home town of San Diego. Have a look. " Link to Article

  • September 20, 2022 - Cities turn to microtransit to fill gaps in public transportation - "More than 1 million rides have taken place since February 2020 using Jersey City, New Jersey’s on-demand microtransit system, a service model that is filling gaps in traditional public transportation networks among cities both large and small. Ride-hailing vehicles, vans, shuttles and buses can all function as microtransit. They can be used on fixed or flexible routes and schedules, as well as with on-demand scheduling. Today, more than 100 on-demand microtransit systems are operating in about 40 states, according to Via, a company that provides cities and transit agencies with technology and service operations for on-demand public transportation, paratransit and non-emergency medical transportation... That’s also how Jersey City’s program works, said Barkha Patel, director of the city’s newly formed infrastructure department. The city contracted with Via in 2020 and is investing $7.5 million this year to support the service, keeping the cost to riders at $2.00 to $2.50 per ride, depending on the zone." Link to Article

  • September 20, 2022 - Deere Invests Billions in Self-Driving Tractors, Smart Crop Sprayers - "For decades, Deere DE -2.87%? & Co. has dominated the hardware that powers the American farm industry with tractors, harvesters and other machinery used to plant seeds and reap crops. Now, Deere aims to extend its dominance to software to make those machines—and agriculture—more efficient and productive. The company this year is rolling out self-driving tractors that can plow fields by themselves, and sprayers that distinguish weeds from crops. Deere, which helped make satellite-guided tractors ubiquitous in the U.S. Farm Belt over the past 20 years, is investing billions of dollars to develop smarter machines that the company said will make farming faster and more efficient than it ever could be with just farmers behind the wheel. “It’s all about doing more with less,” said John May, Deere’s chief executive. By the end of the decade, Mr. May projects that 10% of Deere’s annual revenue will come from fees for using software." Link to Article

  • September 20, 2022 - GM’s Cruise Will Start Making Its Own Chips for Self-Driving Cars - "General Motors’ self-driving car division Cruise is developing microprocessors in an effort to steer away from third-party chip companies. High prices and low inventory at Cruise partner Nvidia have convinced the GM subsidiary that relying on others for vital components like chips is neither practical nor cheap. Never mind the chip shortage; Cruise was unhappy with Nvidia’s prices. The company’s head of hardware, Carl Jenkins, explained to Reuters that Cruise wasn’t buying enough chips to get a discount, since it’s a small division of GM:... Instead of ordering more chips from Nvidia, Cruise started developing its own chips for use in the upcoming Origin model, a boxy self-driving EV with no pedals or steering wheel that’s allegedly going to be ready by 2023." Link to Article

  • September 20, 2022 - GM’s self-driving car arm will take driverless cars to Texas and Arizona this year - "In June, Cruise started operating its self-driving taxi service in San Francisco where it charges for rides in Chevrolet Bolt EVs that operate without a human safety driver. Cruise uses a fleet of 30 Bolts to ferry the paying passengers around parts of the city. Those Bolts are currently built at Orion Assembly plant in Orion Township. Now the San Francisco-based Cruise, of which GM owns an 80% stake, will bring a driverless taxi fleet to Austin, Texas, and Phoenix, Arizona, in the next three months, Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt said Monday. Initially, Cruise\'s operations in Austin and Phoenix will be small to generate revenue, with a plan to scale up operations next year, Vogt told an audience at a Goldman Sachs conference Monday, where he also said Cruise aims to hit $1 billion in revenue by 2025, said Cruise spokeswoman Tiffany Testo." Link to Article

  • September 19, 2022 - Electrify America wants to make EV chargers as easy to use as gas pumps - "Electrify America has unveiled a redesign of its charging stations designed to make them more consumer friendly. The changes include labels that clearly indicate charging levels, a new \"balanced charging\" system that delivers the maximum charge possible to each vehicle and clearer payment options. The updates were made following EV driver surveys and are designed to create a more familiar \"gas station\"-like experience, the company said. One of the biggest issues with charging stations, they found, is that consumers often don\'t know the charging speeds of their own EVs — so the current labeling (CCS and CHAdeMO) may not make sense. To that end, Electrify America will keep the CHAdeMo for low-level (up to 50kW charging), but use new labels above that: Ultra-Fast (up to 150 kW and Hyper-Fast (up to 350kW), not unlike mid-grade and premium gas options. " Link to Article

  • September 19, 2022 - Pa. Turnpike jumping into solar power as it explores electrified road services for electric vehicles - "The Pennsylvania Turnpike is jumping into solar energy production to power its maintenance and office buildings with a long-term goal: using solar-generated power to electrify portions of the toll road so electric vehicles can charge as they travel. The agency is waiting for an occupancy permit to open a solar field at a maintenance facility and new regional trades headquarters along Turnpike Route 66 near Jeannette. That will be the first of a series of solar facilities planned across the state... At the same time, Pennsylvania officials are working with the Ohio Turnpike and experts from special programs at Utah State University on a pilot project to electrify part of the highway. That is expected to begin with a demonstration project using a turnpike parking space as a charging station in the next 18 months, followed by electrifying part of the toll road system straddling the Ohio-Pennsylvania border so drivers can power up while they drive." Link to Article

  • September 19, 2022 - First Drone Earns FAA Type Certificate - "The Matternet M2 has become the first non-military unmanned aircraft system (UAS/drone) to earn its FAA type certificate. In an announcement on Wednesday, drone delivery system developer Matternet stated that the M2 underwent four years of evaluation by the FAA prior to certification. The company noted that the M2, along with several other drone models, has been used in the U.S. for Part 135 on-demand air carrier operations under an exemption while being evaluated... The Matternet M2 is designed to carry payloads of up to 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) and 4 liters over distances of up to 20 kilometers (12.5 miles). The company partnered with UPS to launch the first revenue drone delivery operations in the U.S. in 2019. As previously reported by AVweb, the FAA published airworthiness criteria for the proposed certification of ten unmanned aircraft systems (UAS/drone) models, including Matternet’s M2, in 2020." Link to Article

  • September 19, 2022 - Paving the Way for a Smarter, Safer Future of Autonomous Vehicles - "“The benefits are [AVs] enable movement without a driver’s license, and they ultimately will produce greater safety,” says Robin Chase, co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar and founder of the New Urban Mobility alliance (NUMO), an urban mobility nonprofit based in Washington, DC. “Today, we as a society have accepted crazy fatality and accident rates,” Chase says. “And that will not be the case for autonomous vehicles.” Additionally, AVs could expand mobility “to people who are blind, people who have epilepsy, or people who are too young or too old.” AVs could also reduce the number of cars on the road, freeing up space used for on-street and sheltered parking. In the United States, about 75.9% of people commute to work alone. As part of fee-based public transit systems with carbon incentives like congestion pricing, Chase says, automated rideshares and shuttle fleets could significantly decrease the 6.9 billion hours Americans spent in traffic in 2014 and reduce private car use. " Link to Article

  • September 19, 2022 - Truly autonomous cars may be impossible without helpful human touch - "The central premise of autonomous vehicles - that computers and artificial intelligence will dramatically reduce accidents caused by human error - has driven much of the research and investment. But there is a catch: Making robot cars that can drive more safely than people is immensely tough because self-driving software systems simply lack humans\' ability to predict and assess risk quickly, especially when encountering unexpected incidents or \"edge cases.\" \"Well, my question would be, \'Why?\'\" said Kyle Vogt, CEO of Cruise, a unit of General Motors (GM.N), when asked if he could see a point where remote human overseers should be removed from operations. \"I can provide my customers peace of mind knowing there is always a human there to help if needed,\" Vogt said. \"I don\'t know why I\'d ever want to get rid of that.\" This is the first time Cruise has acknowledged the long-term need for remote human operators. " Link to Article

  • September 16, 2022 - Why Smart Cities are About More Than Just Tech - "From optimizing school bus routes using machine learning to testing new ways to gather data on air quality, Metro21: Smart Cities Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh has worked on a wide range of projects over the years. The organization’s aim is to look for ways that cutting-edge technology can benefit cities and their residents. Karen Lightman joined Metro21 in 2017 and is now executive director. The institute, established in 2015, serves as an intermediary between local government and nonprofit partners who have identified problems they want to solve and faculty researchers seeking to test their work in real-world settings. Route Fifty talked with Lightman about the kinds of problems smart cities technology can address and how important equity is in those projects. This conversation has been edited for length and clarity. " Link to Article

  • September 16, 2022 - Hyundai Motor to Launch S. Korea’s First Level 3 Self-Driving Vehicle in Q4 - "The country is likely to see its first Level 3 self-driving car in the fourth quarter of the year. Hyundai Motor Group said on Sunday that its luxury brand Genesis G90 model, which will hit the market late this year, will be equipped with the Level 3 Highway Driving Pilot (HDP) system. It would be the first launch of such a vehicle in the domestic market. According to the classifications of the United States Society of Automotive Engineers, there are six levels of autonomous vehicles from zero to five, with the highest level 5 meaning that the car is fully automated with no need for the driver to do anything but ride along. The level 3 system is able to safely operate under certain conditions without requiring the driver to monitor the roadway or remain engaged in the driving task. " Link to Article

  • September 16, 2022 - Pennsylvanians are still uncomfortable sharing the road with self-driving vehicles, poll finds - "Pennsylvanians aren’t happy about the idea of sharing the road with self-driving vehicles, according to results the New York-based bipartisan polling firm RABA Research released Thursday. When asked how “comfortable” they are sharing the road with “highly automated, driverless vehicles,” over half of respondents said they were either “somewhat uncomfortable” or “very uncomfortable” with the idea. The poll results come just a few months after lawmakers in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow autonomous vehicle companies to test their cars on public roads without a human in the car to take over in case of emergency... PennDOT research conducted this year found that Pennsylvanians who are closer in proximity to autonomous vehicles are more likely to approve of them. That means people in Pittsburgh, the state’s autonomous hub, approve more of driverless cars than people elsewhere in the state. Thirty-one percent of Pittsburghers PennDOT polled held a “very positive” opinion of autonomous vehicles. " Link to Article

  • September 16, 2022 - Uber Eats to Begin Delivering Food with Autonomous Vehicles - "Autonomous vehicles have been getting smarter and safer, but can they replace human drivers? We’re about to find out with a new partnership between Uber and a robotic vehicle startup called Nuro. The two have signed a 10-year deal to have Nuro’s robotic vehicles delivering Uber Eats orders, and it might save you some cash if you’re lucky enough to have a robot deliver dinner. Nuro was founded in 2016 by former Googlers, and it recently became the first autonomous vehicle company to be granted a commercial license in California, followed by Arizona and Texas. That means Nuro robots can drive on public roads in a business capacity, as opposed to strictly for research, earning money for the company with every delivery. That makes it a natural choice for Uber’s ongoing efforts to phase out humans. The partnership will begin with autonomous deliveries in Mountain View, California and Houston, Texas." Link to Article

  • September 16, 2022 - New ride-sharing service in Charlotte helps to protect women - "A new women-only rideshare company here in Charlotte is looking to target more women riders and drivers. It\'s called Just Her Ride Share. Kimberly Evans, the founder of Just Her Rideshare, said she started Just Her Ride Share to provide a safe and stress-free alternative for women. The company based in Charlotte started in 2020. To really make the best experience for riders, Evans participated in a customer discovery program at UNC Charlotte. She determined most women felt uncomfortable with male drivers and ultimately preferred female drivers. A 2018 Alarms.org survey proved the same. The data showed that 45% of the women surveyed prefer female drivers. It also showed that 23% of women who ride Uber say they’ve had to report an uncomfortable encounter with an Uber driver. " Link to Article

  • September 14, 2022 - Bike Lanes Don’t Make Cycling Safe - "Although the U.S. Department of Transportation recommends bike lanes, other studies have reached similar conclusions to Forester and Heine, such as a 2019 analysis of bike lanes and crashes in Colorado (which includes a literature review). The author concluded that separated bike lanes raise the number of crashes by 117 percent compared with shared roadway. Separated bike tracks, which are separated from cars by a median strip, parking lane, or row of plantings, increased crashes 400 percent more than a bike lane. In many urban settings the safest place for a bike is in the middle of a car lane, with bike lights and a helmet lamp for the rider, cycling behind vehicles rather than beside them. Naturally, cyclists have no place on urban or interstate highways. Cyclists should operate with the same rules as motor vehicles, stopping at STOP signs and traffic lights, and signaling when they turn." Link to Article

  • September 14, 2022 - A dumb box no more: Warehouses are built with intelligence in mind - "he basic warehouse is made up of four walls. What makes a facility effective is what is built inside those four walls. In 2022, that means building facilities with the future in mind, yet one capable of leveraging robotics and business intelligence today. The warehouse is no longer just a dumb box. With estimates of just between 5% and 10% of all global warehouses having some form of automation, and the need to improve efficiency, especially in e-commerce warehouse operations, the opportunity ahead is massive for warehouse operators. But warehouses that are not capable of handling sustainability programs, electric vehicles or any of the modern technologies that generate reams of data sets are no longer considered the future. Whether it is robots, EVs, solar panels or some other technology, that data collection and analysis is now vital to running an efficient warehouse." Link to Article

  • September 14, 2022 - Should Public Transit Be Free? Freakonomics Asks the Experts - "Some have argued that free transit can’t work, citing a variety of reasons. As Stephen Dubner points out on his recent podcast for Freakonomics Radio, “it’s complicated.” In the podcast, he speaks with Boston Mayor Wu, Robbie Makinen from the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, UCLA transportation researcher Brian Taylor, London transportation executive Shashi Verma, and a traffic planner in Stockholm who believes so thoroughly in free fares that he shows people how to dodge them, going so far as to create an “insurance plan” to pay their citations if they got caught. The arguments for free transit are many. Dr. Destiny Thomas recently articulated an equity perspective on the issue in a conversation with Kea Wilson on Streetsblog USA. People can’t afford transit fares, she said, and because we live in a society where basic needs are monetized, they are stuck. Arguing that transit subsidies are “unfair” puts the burden of solving issues like climate change, once again, on the people who are suffering and struggling the most." Link to Article

  • September 14, 2022 - Waymo to Test Freightliner Redundant Autonomous Truck on Texas Highways - "In 2020, Waymo partnered with Daimler Truck to develop a redundant, level-4-autonomous-ready truck platform powered by the Waymo Driver. In the coming weeks, the company will begin testing these autonomous Freightliner Cascadias on public freeways across Dallas and Phoenix. The testing will make use of Waymo\'s recently opened trucking facility in Dallas, a transfer hub that is an early endpoint of its driverless route. According to officials, it\'s the first custom-designed hub of this type designed for deploying autonomous trucks. Waymo and Daimler Truck North America shared some insights with reporters in a virtual briefing Aug. 23, including the fact that these redundant systems will need more power and add some weight to the trucks." Link to Article

  • September 14, 2022 - Across the Country, Local Public Safety Agencies Detail Value of FirstNet Adoption - "The First Responder Network Authority recently released an annual report to Congress for 2021, titled “A Decade of Accomplishments,” revealing the rapid adoption by first responders of its namesake dedicated public safety network. In fiscal year 2021, the FirstNet Authority reports, FirstNet adoption had spread to 18,500 public safety agencies, up from 2,500 in fiscal year 2018, its first year of widespread availability. Network adoption now spans all 50 states, five territories and the District of Columbia. FirstNet, built by federal contractor AT&T, is a national high-speed wireless broadband network solely for use by first responders, including law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical personnel and others. Thanks to FirstNet’s rapid expansion in the past year, the public is now beginning to see specific local use cases of the network and its benefits to the public safety community." Link to Article

  • September 13, 2022 - Box-Shaped Device That Sucks Up Tire Pieces Can Finally Make Cars Emissions-Free - "Tires on EVs, unfortunately, still produce emissions, which in turn makes zero-emissions cars not truly emissions-free. Thankfully, a London-based startup called The Tyre Collective may have found a way to cut down on this unseen pollution. As vehicles drive along roads, tiny bits of the wheels pill and scatter over the asphalt. To add to this, the main ingredient in rubber tires isn’t even rubber. Instead, it’s a concoction of harmful substances that are mixed together to create the material. As the tires shed on the road, these little pieces will ultimately find their way into waterways, soil, and the air around us. A road test conducted by the research organization Emissions Analytics showed that a gas-powered car sheds 73 milligrams of tires per 0.6 miles, while an EV sheds 15 milligrams more for the same distance. This is due to the fact that electric cars often weigh more than traditional cars do thanks to their batteries." Link to Article

  • September 13, 2022 - Nissan releases bi-directional charger for LEAF electric vehicle - "Nissan has worked with Fermata Energy to develop a bi-directional charger for use with the Nissan LEAF electric vehicle in the United States. With Nissan’s approval, along with its UL 9741 certification for bi-directional charging systems, the Fermata Energy FE-15 charger has passed key requirements from Nissan, and has been verified to be compatible with the Nissan LEAF. Usage of the approved charger will also not impact the LEAF’s battery warranty. Bi-directional charging technology means not only charging the Nissan LEAF, but also sending energy stored in the vehicle battery back to the building or the grid. Ideal for companies with fleet vehicles, the Fermata Energy Demand Charge Management application, along with the FE-15 charger, continuously monitors a building’s electrical loads, and may draw on the Nissan LEAF’s energy to provide power to the building during more expensive high-demand periods. " Link to Article

  • September 13, 2022 - Pittsburgh Regional Transit announces timeline for fully nondiesel-powered bus fleet - "Pittsburgh Regional Transit, the region\'s largest transit authority, announced it will be ramping up its purchasing of electric buses by 2025 and is committing to buying zero-emission buses exclusively come 2032. It\'s a move that will tentatively see PRT reach its newly-set goal of having a fully zero-emission fleet by 2045. It will cost PRT an estimated $1 billion to fulfill such an endeavor over the next 20 years of the transition, though that\'s not a new expense in its entirety. According to PRT CEO Katharine Kelleman, the transit authority\'s buses tend to have a lifespan of 12 years and as old buses are phased out, new ones are regularly bought to replace them. PRT said a 40-foot electric bus costs about $1 million to purchase, about 60% more than its roughly $600,000-$700,000 diesel-powered equivalent. However, Kelleman said that over the lifetime of both buses, the roughly 20 parts found in the electric engine are cheaper and easier to replace compared to the more than 300 parts that make up its diesel-burning alternative. " Link to Article

  • September 13, 2022 - Automakers race to build EV battery supply chains in North America - "Electric vehicle makers across the country spent the summer investing in ambitious supplier deals and production plans to bolster their supply of EV batteries. Skyrocketing demand for the vehicles has highlighted constraints in the supply and processing of minerals needed for EV batteries. Industry observers warn that global graphite demand could soon outstrip supply, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk is among a number of executives sounding the alarm on lithium processing constraints. At the same time, companies are striving to shift sourcing and production to North America in order to qualify for the Biden administration’s EV tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act. Here are some of the plans automakers have announced in recent months to keep up with demand and begin to build an EV supply chain in North America." Link to Article

  • September 13, 2022 - Free dinner? Free parking? Northern Virginia transportation leaders exploring creative options to incentivize commuter behavior - "Imagine you’re getting ready to drive to work and suddenly an alert comes across your phone: There’s a disruption on your route causing back-ups, but if you alter your plans – maybe you take the bus or Metro, or you delay your trip slightly – you get free dinner on the higher transportation powers that be. That could soon be a reality in Northern Virginia, according to transportation officials at the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Future of Transportation panel discussion Thursday morning. The plan is what Virginia Department of Transportation Chief Deputy Commissioner Cathy McGhee called “dynamic incentivization,” and it’s part of the Regional Multi-Modal Mobility Program (RM3P, as transportation officials call it), a collaboration between VDOT and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority that will aim to use real-time transportation data from the public and private sectors to “give the public the tools to make more informed travel choices.”" Link to Article

  • September 12, 2022 - Des Moines has a ‘digital twin’ that drives development decisions - "Des Moines has mapped much of its downtown using 3D technology and is now using it to evaluate how proposed projects would change the city\'s skyline or block views of the Capitol. What\'s happening: DSM\'s Geographic Information System (GIS) team is creating a \"digital twin\" of Des Moines using laser light technology to map topography, buildings and even light poles or trees. The project received a special achievement award in July from Esri, an international supplier of geographic information system software. Why it matters: As the technology advances, it could be used in virtually any area of DSM, Erin Olson-Douglas, the city\'s Development Services Director, said in a presentation to the city council last month. State of play: The maps are already being used to project structure and tree shadows, helping to better plan public gardens and the locations of signs." Link to Article

  • September 12, 2022 - FROM BUILDINGS TO STREETS, SINGAPORE EMERGES AS THE LARGEST DIGITAL TWIN COUNTRY - "Singapore, according to the World Economic Forum, has the most sophisticated digital twin to date. Singapore has really gained a reputation for being among the smart city digital twins that is more sophisticated. Even as early as 2014, the nation debuted Virtual Singapore, a digital portrayal of the nation. These digital twins, or representations, were essentially created to support policy decisions, test new technologies, and facilitate collaboration between government agencies inside a realistic city model. But that’s not all; thanks to efforts and initiatives taken by numerous businesses and even government agencies, the nation quickly embraced digital twin technology. Vizzio Technologies released what it calls the “world’s largest” digital twin of a country not long after GPS Lands Singapore finished work on the “world’s first” digital twin of the whole country." Link to Article

  • September 12, 2022 - Six Arguments Against ‘Speed Limiting’ Technology — And How to Quash Them - "Europe is on the brink of putting “Intelligent Speed Assist” technology on all new cars to slow drivers down to local limits — and even some U.S. states are hoping to follow suit. But the minute “speed governors” get mentioned, tempers flare, and it could make the movement to throttle U.S. drivers a challenging fight to win. Today on The Brake, we asked mobility researcher David Zipper to give us a breakdown of the most common speed-limiting technologies available today, and to share how he responds to six of the most common concerns about them — from the valid to the downright silly." Link to Article

  • September 12, 2022 - Shanghai sees intelligent cars as a US$72 billion industry by 2025, unveils plan to spur autonomous driving tech - "Shanghai is doubling down on intelligent cars, and specifically autonomous driving technology, as the engine of a high-potential growth industry that can produce 500 billion yuan (US$72 billion) in economic value by 2025. A new plan, released by the General Office of Shanghai Municipal People’s Government on Monday, calls for establishing a “domestically leading innovation and development system” for intelligent cars, with the city making “significant progress in the research and development of core technologies” and achieving “self-sufficiency of core equipment”. More than 70 per cent of vehicles produced by 2025 should have level 2 (L2) and L3 driverless systems, while L4 systems should be realised in “specific areas and scenarios”, according to the plan." Link to Article

  • September 12, 2022 - Report: Louisiana’s Transportation Trust Fund expected to lose more than $500M over next decade - "Louisiana’s Transportation Trust Fund is expected to lose more than a half billion dollars in revenues over the next decade due to increasing fuel efficiency and electric vehicles, according to a recent report from the Louisiana Legislative Auditor. Louisiana Legislative Auditor Mike Waguespack published a report on the state’s Transportation Trust Fund last week that evaluates the sufficiency of the fund to meet Louisiana’s transportation needs, and highlights ways to increase revenues... \"However, Act 578 of the 2022 Regular Legislative Session will enable the state to begin collecting road usage fees from these types of vehicles, assuming that all Act 578 road usage fees will be collected as required,\" Waguespack wrote. \"We projected these fees will be sufficient to offset the impact of external electric charging vehicles on motor fuel tax collections, but not the impact of more fuel-efficient vehicles. As a result, the state still could lose $322.9 million from calendar years 2023 to 2032.\" " Link to Article

  • September 9, 2022 - Will EVs be Ford’s ‘revival’? The automaker’s CEO, Chairman, and VP of sustainability believe so - "The American automaker is in the midst of a complete brand overhaul, and its strategy to convert models people recognize the most into electric is paying off so far. Ford first converted its legendary performance car to electric with the Mustang Mach-e. The Mach-e is Ford’s best-selling EV, with 25,765 sales in 2022. In August, Mach-e sales reached 3,120, 115% more than August 2021. In April, Ford launched the Ford F-150 Lightning, introducing the first EV truck to its lineup. The F-series is Ford’s trademark – their best-selling truck brand – and the Lightning lives up to it in every aspect. Ford F-150 Lightning sales are climbing with 6,842 since its release; the automaker has already delivered its EV truck to a customer in all 50 states. August was the EV truck’s best month so far, selling 2,373. Yet Ford says it would sell more electric vehicles if it could keep up with demand. They are selling out as fast as they can make them." Link to Article

  • September 9, 2022 - Surging city traffic deaths now exceed fatalities on rural roads, study finds - "And the upward trend in urban crash projections will rise as populations and vehicle miles traveled in those areas increase, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports. A national census of fatal traffic crashes shows deaths in urban areas surged 34% between 2010 and 2019, while those in rural areas fell 10%. Since 2019, 19,595 people have been killed in urban locations compared to 16,340 in the countryside. And it\'s worth noting, AAA says, that more than 70% of the 4 million miles of public-access roads in the U.S. are rural, according to Federal Highway Administration statistics. Yet while speeding occurs on all routes, those in urban areas account for a \"disproportionate number of speeding-related fatalities.\"... The study also found that collisions with pedestrians or bicyclists accounted for the most significant proportion of all fatalities (29%) regardless of speed in the city." Link to Article

  • September 9, 2022 - ‘Beautiful and Deadly’: Rural roads have disproportionate share of traffic deaths - "The population is lower and traffic congestion is less, but that doesn’t stop rural roads from having a disproportionate share of highway deaths. In a 73-page study released last week by the Governor\'s Highway Safety Association, America’s Rural Roads: Beautiful and Deadly, researchers found that about 48% of U.S. traffic deaths occurred on rural roads from 2016-20 even though only about 19% of the population lives in rural areas. As a result of the study of federal accident statistics, paid for by State Farm Insurance, the association is pushing for states to improve their education and safety efforts in rural areas. The issues on rural roads — distractions, impaired driving, speeding and not wearing seat belts — often are the same as in urban areas, but they occur at a higher rate in rural areas, often with deadlier results. In 2020, drivers taking a trip the same length were 62% more likely to die if they were in a rural area rather than an urban area, the study said. " Link to Article

  • September 9, 2022 - Goodyear expands its electric vehicle tire portfolio with new all-season and ultra high-performance options for its ElectricDrive tire line - "To stay ahead of growing demand in the electric vehicle market, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has launched the all-new Goodyear ElectricDrive all-season tire and two new sizes for its ultra-high performance tire, the Goodyear ElectricDrive GT. With the addition of four new sizes to its EV tire lineup, Goodyear ElectricDrive is now a fit for 44% more battery electric vehicles operating in the U.S. today. The new Goodyear ElectricDrive comes with a 60,000-mile tread life limited warranty, V speed rating and is available in sizes 215/50R17 95V XL and 215/55R17 94V SL. This all-season tire is built for commuter touring sedans and CUVs, making it a fit for vehicles like the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Bolt and Volt and the Kia Niro EV." Link to Article

  • September 9, 2022 - Oakland’s First Sidewalk Poetry Contest Celebrates Its History and Future - "The sidewalks of Oakland (Pittsburgh) have undergone a revamping, with lines of poetry scattered across the neighborhood reflecting on the beloved history and heart of Oakland. Oakland Business Improvement District held its first sidewalk poetry contest to celebrate April as National Poetry Month. This project was inspired by artist Marcus Young with Public Art Saint Paul in St. Paul, Minnesota. Lisa Kay Schweyer, a contest winner and a program manager for the transportation research institute Traffic21 at Carnegie Mellon University, wrote her poem about some of the overlooked but important Oakland features. Schweyer said she hopes the group will continue this project as a testament to the “transient nature of Oakland” “Eventually the paint will disintegrate, so it’s a transient way to highlight how people feel about the community and it gives people who are walking something to look at while they’re looking down other than their phones,” Schweyer said." Link to Article

  • September 7, 2022 - What RoadBotics’ acquisition by Michelin means for the homegrown AI company - "Since 2016, Pittsburgh-based RoadBotics’ artificial intelligence technology has mapped the condition of infrastructure for 250 governments across the world. Still, the Carnegie Mellon University spinout wants to go bigger. Thanks to its recent acquisition by Michelin, the French tire manufacturing giant, the company can look forward to reaching more customers, faster. “The exciting part for RoadBotics is that moving into this much larger organization should really transform the way that we can get what we do in front of more people,” cofounder Benjamin Schmidt, Ph.D., told Technical.ly. Schmidt was previously RoadBotics’ CEO, but his title was changed to global CTO at the time of the acquisition... What RoadBotics gets out of the deal (for which financial details were not disclosed) is the international company’s resources and guidance. With Michelin’s financial support, Schmidt said, the Pittsburgh company will be able to reach more people and provide services in a more timely manner." Link to Article

  • September 7, 2022 - Philadelphia Plans for a Transit Revolution - "As reported in an article for TransitCenter, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is underway with a number of large-scale transit planning projects with the potential to reinvent transit in and around the city. Three planning initiatives are pushing forward the vision put forth in the SEPTA Forward strategic plan—Reimagining Regional Rail, the Bus Revolution, and the Trolley Modernization project. According to Ryan Judge, director of strategic planning at SEPTA, the three plans are designed to work in concert. “SEPTA’s COVID-19 recovery planning process, undertaken in the summer of 2020, produced the conclusion that the agency would need to continue to provide transit service as the core of the region’s mobility systems, and ensure that the various transit modes in the system functioned as a cohesive, integrated system,” according to the article. " Link to Article

  • September 7, 2022 - As California Pushes Toward EVs, Flex Alert Asks People Not to Charge Cars During Peak Hours - "Power officials are urging people not to charge their electric vehicles during peak hours during this heat wave as they extended a Flex Alert Thursday. The state has been encouraging everyone to drive electric cars to help with climate change. But in this super hot climate right now, residents are being asked to be careful about when they charge to reduce the risk that they\'ll lose power altogether. On Thursday, some drivers said they could avoid charging their cars between 4 and 9 p.m. at what Pasadena calls it the nation’s largest EV public charging station— while others said holding off would be difficult. " Link to Article

  • September 7, 2022 - Report: Aurora ponders possible sale to Microsoft or Apple amid other options - "Pittsburgh-based autonomous vehicle startup Aurora Innovation Inc. is weighing the possibility of selling itself to Microsoft Corp. or Apple Inc., amid other options, as the company considers a response to ongoing market conditions and timeline delays by various partners. According to a report from Bloomberg, Aurora (NASDAQ: AUR) CEO and Co-Founder Chris Urmson \"inadvertently sent\" a memo to staff outlining this plan as well as potential cost-cutting measures in a message that was originally intended solely for the company\'s board. In that memo, Urmson also reportedly suggested measures like taking the company private, spinning off or selling certain company assets and pursuing a small capital raise to extend the company\'s runway, Bloomberg reported. " Link to Article

  • September 7, 2022 - Steady ride: Self-driving car seats promise motion sickness cure - "While self-driving cars bring the promise of being able to sit back and enjoy the scenery for some would-be drivers, those who suffer from car sickness may feel apprehensive at the prospect of long rides where the machine does most of the driving. To ease their pain, and the pain of other passengers, Japanese auto supplier NHK Spring says it has found the cure: a car seat that minimizes motion sickness for passengers in autonomous vehicles. The headrest supports the occipital bone behind the ear from both sides, the company says, keeping the head steady when the vehicle speeds up or slows down, or when the wheels hit a curve -- situations that can trigger symptoms for people with motion sickness." Link to Article

  • September 6, 2022 - L5 Adoption Hinges On 5G/6G - "In addition, 5G and 6G networks will help fully autonomous vehicles become mainstream. Humans will be less anxious about ceding control of a car to a computer, or so the theory goes, if the vehicle is able to quickly and clearly communicate with its passengers about what it is doing and why. Also, consumers will be more likely to embrace these vehicles if they are able to use the network to create a more custom and entertaining experience than can be found in a car with a lower level of autonomy. Of course, no one knows what exactly it will take to reach L5 or mainstream adoption. Technical challenges, like navigating through a snowstorm with blocked sensors and social challenges like government regulation are not easily solved with wireless networks. B " Link to Article

  • September 6, 2022 - China says automakers must have licences for mapping data in smart cars - "China has said that automakers must apply for licences to collect geographic data using sensors on their intelligent vehicles, highlighting Beijing\'s security concerns about the growing sophistication of smart cars\' mapping capabilities. The statement, a clarification of China\'s surveying and mapping law, reflects regulators efforts to prevent any scenario where highly-detailed visual data collected by smart cars could fall into the hands of hostile foreign actors. The rules, effective since publication, could further complicate the local operations of foreign companies like Tesla (TSLA.O), which already have to seek partnerships with Chinese firms when it comes to collecting and processing such data. Automakers and developers of autonomous driving software should either apply for mapping licences or ask a licensed company to collect, store, transform and process geographic data, according to the statement published on Tuesday by the Ministry of Natural Resources." Link to Article

  • September 6, 2022 - Uber and Lyft Drivers in New York Struggle With City’s EV-Charging Divide - "Manhattan\'s abundance of electric-car chargers is a boon for the burgeoning number of Tesla drivers in New York\'s wealthiest borough. But for the vast majority of ride-share drivers who live elsewhere in the Big Apple, that network is largely out of reach. This EV-charging divide poses a challenge for ride-hailing leaders Uber and Lyft, which need more drivers behind the wheels of electric vehicles to meet their lofty emissions-reduction goals... Manhattan is New York’s richest borough and has by far the most chargers, according to the Department of Transportation. However, most Uber and Lyft drivers live in the outer boroughs. At 40%, Queens has the highest concentration of ride-share drivers in the city, according to the Taxi and Limousine Commission, yet has only 16% of the city’s over 1,900 public chargers. " Link to Article

  • September 6, 2022 - DriveOhio launches Smart Mobility Ambassador Program for students statewide - "Self-driving cars, drones and electric vehicles – what’s it all about, where are the job opportunities, and how can students get involved? To help answer these questions, DriveOhio, the Ohio Department of Transportation’s smart mobility hub, is scaling up its Smart Mobility Ambassador Program across the state. As the school year begins, the program will provide increased opportunities for K-12 students to get involved in real life Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills development. The Smart Mobility Ambassador Program, which began in 2020 as a pilot program in central Ohio, is now launching statewide in an effort to get more students thinking about transportation as a future career path. Currently, the program is seeking interested K-5 afterschool program leaders to incorporate DriveOhio’s STEM projects and content, such as coding and hands-on activities, into afterschool programs and events... " Link to Article

  • September 6, 2022 - EV Makers Lucid, Nikola Plan for Stock Sales as Time Runs Out on Cash Burn - "It was probably a case of now or never for the the latest pair of electric vehicle makers to announce fundraising plans as they burn through cash. On Tuesday, Nikola Corp. said it will sell as much as $400 million in an at-the-market offering, one day after peer Lucid Group Inc. filed to sell up to $8 billion in mixed securities, including common stock. Both shares fell on the news, with Nikola hitting a six-week low and Lucid reaching the lowest since May. The two announcements came even as traders shy away from cash-hungry firms amid the prospect of higher interest rates. That juxtaposition may indicate the companies have little choice, with some expecting market conditions to deteriorate next year as the economy slows and potentially dips into recession. " Link to Article

  • September 5, 2022 - You can now drive partially ‘hands-free’ in France. This is what’s changing - "You can now drive hands-free in France but only if you meet the many conditions as the long road towards autonomous driving unwinds. On Thursday, France authorised “level 3” autonomous driving. What this means is that the driver can hand over control to the vehicle but must be ready to drive when needed. Level 3 autonomous driving has been authorised in Europe since July this year but the bloc and France have added certain rules. The big difference with level 3 is that the driver is no longer responsible for driving. Instead, it is the car manufacturer who is liable in the event of an accident. Another important aspect of the move in France is that the road the cars drive on must have a central separator from other roads and must be closed to pedestrians and cyclists. Additionally, the maximum speed will be 60km/h but that will increase to 130km/h as France adopts the United Nations regulations." Link to Article

  • September 5, 2022 - Bosch investing $200M to make hydrogen fuel cells for Class 8 trucks - "German automotive supplier Robert Bosch will invest more than $200 million and add up to 350 jobs to expand an Anderson, South Carolina, facility to build hydrogen-powered fuel cells for heavy-duty truck makers starting in 2026. Bosch currently supplies fuel cell technology to startup Nikola, which plans to begin production of its fuel cell electric Tre cabover truck in 2023. It plans a fuel cell sleeper cab for long-haul later. Nikola licensed Bosch technology to assemble its own fuel cell modules at its plant in Coolidge, Arizona. Nikola has completed a fuel cell truck pilot with Anheuser-Busch in California. The prototype Tre models logged more than 12,000 miles and hauled 2 million pounds of freight. Nikola is now testing prototype fuel cell trucks with Total Transportation Services Inc." Link to Article

  • September 5, 2022 - The Department of Energy wants feedback on how to recycle lithium-ion batteries - "The Department of Energy just took a first step toward launching new lithium-ion battery recycling programs in the US. It issued a Request for Information (RFI) yesterday to ask for public input on how to spend $335 million in federal investments for battery recycling that was included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed last year. Lithium-ion batteries used to power electric vehicles and store renewable electricity are a major building block for a clean energy economy. Recycling could ease the impending squeeze on materials needed to meet rapidly rising demand for those technologies — especially as the Biden administration tries to keep the US on track to meet pollution-cutting goals it’s agreed to under the Paris climate accord." Link to Article

  • September 5, 2022 - New Jersey pilot program testing alternative to gas tax. Volunteers can earn up to $100 - "A new pilot program is asking New Jersey drivers to track their mileage to explore a new way of funding roads and bridges. Officials are exploring whether a mileage-based fee would work better than a state gas tax. \"This is a data collection exercise,\" said Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation. \"No decisions are being made for New Jersey about how we\'ll fund transportation. But without data, we can\'t make good decisions.\" And to get that data, about 400 drivers are plugging a small device under their dashboards to keep track of how far they drive. There\'s an option that would allow GPS or a mileage-only option. For three months, miles will be counted and then the device is returned. Volunteers can earn up to $100, and they\'ll find out their final mileage tally." Link to Article

  • September 5, 2022 - To save lives, issue connected vehicle technology waiver, NTSB tells FCC - "In mid-August, the Federal Communications Commission succeeded in its long-held plan to reallocate a portion of the spectrum from car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication (known as V2X) to Wi-Fi instead. .. This has dismayed the NTSB, which has written to the FCC as part of the commission\'s public comment period as it considers a waiver requested by automakers to deploy C-V2X technology. Conceptually, C-V2X works the same as the older V2X—direct vehicle-to-vehicle or vehicle-to-infrastructure communication but using cellular radio protocols instead of the dedicated short-range radio communication protocol. The FCC should grant this waiver, said the NTSB, which notes in its letter that it has recommended that the nation adopt wireless-based collision-avoidance technology since 1995. Connected vehicle technology would reduce the ever-escalating carnage on US roads, said the NTSB, and the agency also urged the FCC to make sure that Wi-Fi devices don\'t encroach on the remaining 30 MHz of intelligent transportation system frequencies." Link to Article

  • September 2, 2022 - GM’s Cruise unit recalls and revises self-driving software after crash - "General Motors\' startup unit Cruise LLC (GM.N) said Thursday it had recalled and updated software in 80 self-driving vehicles after a June crash in San Francisco that left two people injured. Federal regulators said the recalled software could \"incorrectly predict\" an oncoming vehicle\'s path. Cruise said it had determined this unusual scenario would not recur after the software update. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has stepped up its scrutiny of advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous vehicle systems in recent months. Last year, it directed all automakers and tech companies to promptly report crashes involving self-driving vehicles." Link to Article

  • September 2, 2022 - Locomation’s latest partnership adds its autonomous tech on 500 more vehicles - "Locomation Inc., based in Lawrenceville, announced it picked up another major partnership with a trucking company, the fourth in the past year for the budding autonomous trucking startup. El Reno, Oklahoma-based Stevens Trucking Co. has signed an eight-year commercial agreement with Locomation that will look to deploy the Pittsburgh company\'s autonomous technology across 500 trucks from Stevens, a multi-year deal that is tentatively set to start in late 2023 or early 2024. The Oklahoma trucking company now joins Wilson Logistics, PGT Trucking and Christenson Transportation as the latest firm to partner with Locomation for future deployment of the Pittsburgh company\'s technology on its vehicles... Locomation\'s total figure of trucks equipped with its tech now stands at an anticipated 3,100 units combined across all four of these companies should the startup deliver to these firms in the coming years. Stevens Trucking\'s footprint spans all 48 contiguous states, though its 400 employees primarily operate in Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois and Ohio." Link to Article

  • September 2, 2022 - The space race for our cellphones - "SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert late last week announced plans to start delivering service through SpaceX\'s Starlink by the end of next year in the United States... Sievert described the vision as putting cell towers in the sky, but \"a lot harder.\" The partnership would effectively enable cellphones to do what satellite phones can do, Jon Peha, former FCC chief technologist and professor of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, tells Axios. \"They\'re no longer separate devices. It\'s one device that does both,\" he said. State of play: AST SpaceMobile and Lynk are other major competitors working to make cell coverage direct from space a reality... The ultimate goal is to offer high-speed mobile internet access via satellite. \"No one company or even a number of these companies [will] be able to meet all the needs,\" Peha said." Link to Article

  • September 2, 2022 - Technology Delivering New Data Sources for Claims Investigations - "The driver of the 2021 Toyota Sienna said he crashed because another car bumped the rear of his vehicle while passing on the right, causing him to lose control. It was the wrong car for lying about the cause of an accident. Timothy Staab, owner of Delta Analysis, said most late-model Toyota and Lexus models are equipped with vehicle control history (VCH), which adds an extra level of data in addition to the event data recorders (EDR) that are now standard equipment in almost all automobiles. Staab, a retired police chief who now makes his living investigating vehicle accidents for insurers, was among several experts who spoke Wednesday about the promise of technology at the Combined Claims Conference. Staab’s presentation focused specifically on how the safety devices in today’s cars offer a fountain of data that can be tapped to reconstruct accidents." Link to Article

  • September 2, 2022 - Preventing wrong-way crashes: KYTC receives $5.14m in federal funds to improve Interstate safety - "The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) received $5.14 million in federal funds to improve highway safety on Interstates through innovative solutions to prevent wrong-way crashes. “Wrong-way driving is a major safety challenge, not only in Kentucky, but also throughout the United States,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “These funds will allow us to use innovative video technology to help monitor and bolster safety on corridors prone to these types of incidents.” Kentucky’s Wrong Way Driving and Integrated Safety Technology System will use cutting-edge computing and video processing to implement a pilot program aimed at detecting and deterring wrong-way incidents by alerting the wrong-way driver, other drivers and emergency responders. In addition, the system will improve existing intelligent transportation systems to monitor and detect other safety concerns related to pedestrians, debris and halted vehicles on the roadway." Link to Article

  • August 31, 2022 - Badge launched for people with invisible disabilities on public transport - "A new badge and card has been launched to assist people with invisible disabilities while they use public transport. The \"Please Offer Me A Seat\" badge and card was launched on Sunday (28 August). The badge was launched by Transport For Ireland (TFI) alongside Invisible Disability Ireland. If a passenger with an invisible disability has trouble while standing on public transport, the badge can let them signal to passengers to offer them a seat. Examples of invisible disabilities include fibromyalgia, autism, head injuries, chronic pain, poor balance and multiple sclerosis, along with more. The badge and card is eligible to be used on Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Iarnród Éireann- Irish Rail, Luas, Go-Ahead Ireland, and TFI Local Link services." Link to Article

  • August 31, 2022 - Should Public Transit Be Free? Freakonomics Asks the Experts - "The topic of fare-free transit is hot. Public transit is a public good and it’s also good for the environment, economic opportunity, social mobility, traffic congestion. Various places around the country are piloting the idea: Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has pushed for a free bus system, and Kansas City eliminated bus fares. In California, several bills in the legislature would create free transit for youth, and some local agencies aren’t waiting for them to pass. Temporary fare-free programs at agencies around the state have been supported by cap-and-trade grants, with the expectation that more people riding means less people driving, and fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Some have argued that free transit can’t work, citing a variety of reasons. As Stephen Dubner points out on his recent podcast for Freakonomics Radio, “it’s complicated.” " Link to Article

  • August 31, 2022 - Waymo’s driverless vehicles are picking up passengers in downtown Phoenix - "Waymo’s fully driverless vehicles are picking up passengers in downtown Phoenix, five months after the Alphabet-owned company expanded its service area to include denser, more complex areas of the city. Waymo has been testing its vehicles in several suburban towns outside of Phoenix since early 2017, including Chandler, Mesa, Tempe, and Gilbert. It also operates a commercial ride-hailing service called Waymo One using a mix of vehicles with and without safety drivers. The company expanded its service area to include downtown Phoenix earlier this year. Last year, the company launched its Trusted Tester program, which is basically a rebranding of the early rider program it ran in suburban Phoenix. Customers interested in using Waymo’s robotaxis join a wait list and, once approved, sign nondisclosure agreements to get access to the company’s early technology. Those individuals are now able to ride in Waymo’s fully driverless vehicles in downtown Phoenix." Link to Article

  • August 31, 2022 - Michigan Awards Seed Money for Transportation Innovation - "The Ann Arbor project is being led by Bluecity, which was awarded $100,000 by Michigan. The company will work in partnership with the University of Michigan, Velodyne Lidar and others to place its real-time traffic monitoring technology at five intersections in Ann Arbor... Other companies awarded grants as part of the Mobility Funding Platform include GEKOT, (Great Engineering Kids of Tomorrow,) which installs collision avoidance and theft prevention software onto e-scooters at Oakland University. The company was awarded $70,000... Mouvit will deploy its autonomous sidewalk bots in communities around Dearborn. The company, which was awarded $100,000, will partner with Lawrence Technological University, The Henry Ford Museum, Stantec and others... Nimbus is creating small three-wheeled electric vehicles, which cost only about $10,000, have a range of about 100 miles and can charge quickly and easily overnight on a standard wall outlet. As part of the Mobility Funding Platform program, the company was awarded $15,000, to help the company further develop the vehicle at the proving grounds of Kettering University’s GM Mobility Research Center." Link to Article

  • August 31, 2022 - These Hybrid VTOLs Fly Faster and Farther Than Pure Electric Aircraft - "Sticking a small “e” in front of VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft changes everything. The e designator—standing for electric—means battery packs connected to electric motors. These quiet, carbon-emissions-free craft have so far been the darlings in an industry with a reputation as a big polluter. Joby, Illium, Archer, Wisk and eHang, among many others, have attracted serious investors as they race each other towards certification. The fastest known eVTOL in development is the Joby S4, with a top speed of 205 mph and 150-mile range. But recently Horizon Aircraft showed off a half-scale prototype of its Cavorite X5 VTOL, which the company says has a projected top speed of 285 mph, although design and power specs suggest its real-world results could be higher by 10 mph. Its theoretical cruise speed of 250 mph would deliver a range of 250 to 600 miles, depending on loading and configuration." Link to Article

  • August 30, 2022 - Direct-to-satellite Starlink coming to Tesla vehicles, but not in the way you’d expect - "SpaceX’s announcement with T-Mobile saw the companies announce that SpaceX will use a portion of T-Mobile’s existing 5G spectrum, the “mid-band PCS,” to allow updated Starlink satellites to connect directly to cellphones. This connection will be limited – at only 2-4 megabits per cell area – but it will be enough to allow T-Mobile customers on their standard plans to send text messages or make phone calls even in some of the most remote areas of the globe. Musk said this speed is enough to support one or two thousand phone calls per cell area. This won’t support massive amounts of data, but it is more than enough to reach out via phone call or send text messages if you are truly in need of communication. Because the satellites will use an existing spectrum, this means that existing cellphones will be able to connect through the service." Link to Article

  • August 30, 2022 - Driverless technology needs education – self-driving vehicles will not eliminate crashes - "IAM RoadSmart has urged the House of Commons Transport Committee to make sure that autonomous vehicles do not negatively impact road safety or impose restrictions on drivers. The main concern for road safety is the level of knowledge and experience of current UK motorists... Research conducted by IAM RoadSmart, in collaboration with Southampton University, shows that there could be an over-reliance on self-driving technology, particularly when control is switched between the vehicle and the driver. However, coaching was clearly shown to deliver safer drivers in simulator studies. The charity has urged car makers and government to educate drivers about the capabilities of the technology, to help them understand that they still must pay attention, and appreciate how different types of roads users, such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycles, will interact with autonomous systems." Link to Article

  • August 30, 2022 - Eve Announces First North American UAM Simulation In Chicago - "On Tuesday, urban air mobility company Eve Holding, Inc (Eve) announced its first UAM simulation in Chicago, Illinois. The simulation event will happen over three weeks, starting with ground testing on September 12. The North American event follows a similar series of experimental flights in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. That was in May when Eve used piloted helicopters to gather aerial data to evaluate various system technologies in urban scenarios. The Chicago simulation will use helicopters powered by Blade Air Mobility (Blade) as a substitute for an eVTOL. The simulation will mimic the complete UAM process, albeit with a helicopter, and the touchpoints needed for an urban service. Flight testing will begin in mid-September, with weekday morning and afternoon flights. Seats will be available for the public to experience what commuting by an electric vehicle aircraft (EVA) or eVTOL will look like" Link to Article

  • August 30, 2022 - One state maps out its drone-enabled future - "The Ohio Department of Transportation has released what it calls the nation’s first advanced air mobility (AAM) framework. An initiative of DriveOhio, the state’s smart mobility hub, the framework aims to nurture the development of Ohio’s drone industry through research on enabling cargo and freight delivery, on-demand transportation between nearby cities and emergency response services. The framework describes the existing unmanned aircraft ecosystem, Ohio-specific activities, route planning considerations and recommendations for establishing vertiports, officials said in a press statement. It also includes a strategic map for supporting the emerging drone industry in Ohio... An Uncrewed Traffic Management (UTM) system is being developed by a partnership that includes the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Office of Statewide Planning and Research, the Federal Aviation Administration, DriveOhio/FlyOhio, the Ohio Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center, Ohio State University and industry participants." Link to Article

  • August 30, 2022 - Michigan expands EV charging network with AI-powered partner - "Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II announced the state has expanded its partnership with Volta Charging to build out electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Volta’s PredictEV software uses machine learning to identify the optimal locations to place charging stations, based on EV adoption in those areas, demand and expected utilization. The company announced it would add at least eight more chargers at several Kroger grocery store locations, in a bid to “accelerate the delivery of affordable, equitable access to charging,” state officials said. Earlier this year Volta was named a partner with the Michigan Office of Future Mobility and Electrification and utility DTE Energy to deploy charging infrastructure. Its technology analyzes data on local mobility, demographics, commercial use and data specific to sites to provide “high-resolution answers” to questions about EV infrastructure needs. " Link to Article

  • August 29, 2022 - Across the Country, Local Public Safety Agencies Detail Value of FirstNet Adoption - "The First Responder Network Authority recently released an annual report to Congress for 2021, titled “A Decade of Accomplishments,” revealing the rapid adoption by first responders of its namesake dedicated public safety network. In fiscal year 2021, the FirstNet Authority reports, FirstNet adoption had spread to 18,500 public safety agencies, up from 2,500 in fiscal year 2018, its first year of widespread availability. Network adoption now spans all 50 states, five territories and the District of Columbia. FirstNet, built by federal contractor AT&T, is a national high-speed wireless broadband network solely for use by first responders, including law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical personnel and others. Thanks to FirstNet’s rapid expansion in the past year, the public is now beginning to see specific local use cases of the network and its benefits to the public safety community." Link to Article

  • August 29, 2022 - Testing Foamed Concrete with Machine Learning - "The research in Cement and Concrete Composites has employed three powerful machine learning algorithms (GEP, GBT, and ANN) due to their nonlinear capabilities. Specifically, the algorithms are used to predict the compressive strength of foamed concrete. Material ratios of both water to cement and sand to cement were optimized using parametric analysis by the authors. Model performance, parametric analysis, and sensitivity analysis of variables are presented in the paper, and it has been proposed that a machine learning-based approach can be used to select the optimal foamed concrete composition. The study revealed a strong correlation between foamed concrete density and compressive strength. Optimal algorithm parameters for the three machine learning-based models were also revealed in the author’s work. All optimized AI models yielded a strong R correlation, which reflects a strong agreement between the predicted and experimental results." Link to Article

  • August 29, 2022 - Google’s Waze is shutting down its carpooling service - "Google-owned navigation service Waze is shutting down its six-year-old carpooling service, citing shifting commuting patterns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting in September, the company will begin the process of winding down its carpooling service, which had been available in the US, Brazil, and Israel. Waze said it will explore other ways it can help serve the 150 million customers worldwide that use its navigation app. First launched in the Bay Area in 2016, Waze Carpool eventually expanded to all 50 states in the US as well as Brazil and Waze’s country of origin, Israel. The service was different from carpooling services offered by Uber and Lyft insofar as it let nonprofessional drivers offer rides to people traveling on a similar route for a nominal fee. In 2018, the company launched its own standalone carpool app. " Link to Article

  • August 29, 2022 - Volvo completes California electric truck pilot with key findings to help the heavy-duty EV rollout - "Here are a few of the best practices Volvo and its partners found during the program: Route efficiency – Several factors can impact the range of a large, battery-operated trucks, such as hills, traffic, weather, and driving patterns. Volvo is introducing an Electric Performance Generator (EPG) based on information pulled from the study to find the most efficient routes. Charging station availability – To make long-range hauling possible, reliable and cost-effective charging must be available. Several partners worked with Shell Recharge Solutions to install 58 EV chargers. Training and support – Volvo worked with dealerships to support customers buying Volvo VNR electric trucks. The Trucking company also launched a technician training program, so workers can learn how to fix and work on heavy-duty electric trucks. In addition, Volvo Trucks worked with a local organization, Reach Out, to create training materials for first responders. The training covers high voltage EV components and how to handle them safely." Link to Article

  • August 29, 2022 - Electric school buses give back over 80 hours of power to Massachusetts energy grid - "Several places are seeing spikes in energy use nationwide with hot summer weather. The city of Beverly, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston, has another plan to beat the heat. The city is using its electric school buses to send energy back to the grid to help conserve and reduce emissions. Highland Electric Fleet partnered with several leaders such as Thomas Built Buses, Proterra, Rhombus, and Synop to make the idea a reality... The EV bus maker is helping jump-start the heavy-duty EV movement with its services. More importantly, Highland is utilizing its vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology to send energy back to the grid. It was the first to use V2G in Massachusetts and Vermont. In 2021, Highland worked with the same partners to send about three MWh of energy back to the grid." Link to Article

  • August 26, 2022 - With cash and rebates, cities coax residents to swap cars for e-bikes - "Cities, states, and major companies are racing to give people incentives to switch to electric bikes for their work commute or gadding about town — experiments they hope will reduce car traffic and improve people\'s health... But they\'re expensive — typically around $2,600 for a commuter version, and $5,000 for a cargo model — so lawmakers, businesses, and others are trying to make them more accessible. Driving the news: The number of e-bike incentive programs nationwide exploded 0ver the last year as the COVID-19 pandemic drove enthusiasm for all things bicycle — e-bikes in particular. About 80 e-bike incentive programs are active, have been proposed, or completed across the U.S. and Canada, according to a tracker maintained by Portland State University\'s Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC). Some offer cash subsidies, rebates, tax credits, or low-interest loans. Others give people free use of an e-bike for a limited time, or offer a bike \"lending library.\" " Link to Article

  • August 26, 2022 - Pilot announces plans to bring ‘self-driving truck services’ to Pilot and Flying J truck stops - "In the August 23 announcement, Pilot said that it has entered into a partnership with Kodiak Robotics, Inc. “to develop autonomous truck services at Pilot and Flying J travel centers.” As part of the partnership, Kodiak and Pilot have begun work on an “autonomous truckport” in the Atlanta area “to evaluate potential service offerings and explore scalable solutions.” Pilot says that these services will include spaces to pick-up and drop-off autonomous trucking loads; conduct inspections; maintain and refuel trucks; and the ability to transfer data for processing, such as feature development and mapping... As part of the partnership, Pilot Company has made a strategic investment in Kodiak and will join Kodiak’s Board of Directors. " Link to Article

  • August 26, 2022 - In-app drink-riding test launched for e-scooter riders - "Micro-mobility provider Tier has unveiled a new bespoke in-app test to deter riders from drink riding and to point them towards an alternative form of transport if they have been drinking alcohol. Designed to encourage riders to check their sobriety, the test asks them to match the angle of their phone with an angle displayed on a screen. The rider will be asked to do this three times within a set period. If a rider passes all three screens within the allotted time frame, they will be able to take a Tier and if they fail, riders will be encouraged to use an alternative method of transport. The test – which is now available for IoS riders in some of Tier’s operating cities – has been developed following research conducted by the behavioural and insights consultancy innovationbubble to make sure that it addresses the behavioral changes that occur when alcohol is consumed. It also comes shortly after research in Oslo, Norway – one of Tier’s core markets – found that four in 10 of all injuries on e-scooters involved intoxicated riders." Link to Article

  • August 26, 2022 - Tesla’s Full-Self Driving software is going up in price again - "Tesla’s increasing the price of its Full-Self Driving (FSD) software to $15,000. In a post on Twitter, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the new price will go into effect in North America starting September 5th, representing a $3,000 jump. Drivers who order a vehicle before September 5th won’t have to pay the newly-increased price, Musk says. The price hike comes as Tesla begins rolling out FSD beta 10.69 to drivers, a version Musk calls “a big step forward.” It’s still unclear whether Tesla plans on raising the price of its FSD subscription, which currently costs $199 per month." Link to Article

  • August 26, 2022 - Disability rights groups battle Lyft for wheelchair accessible vehicles — again - "Lurio is one of many people across the country who say they are unable to use Lyft because the ride-sharing company won’t make wheelchair accessible vehicles (or WAVs) available to passengers with nonfolding wheelchairs in areas outside of where Lyft is required by state laws to do so (or “non-access” regions, as disability rights groups call them). Advocates aren’t seeking any monetary damages but, instead, are asking Lyft to help WAV drivers reach riders in need by both allowing drivers to categorize their vehicles as WAVs, and turn off any app blockers that would prevent riders from selecting the company’s accessible ride option in these non-access regions. Attorney ??Jeremiah Frei-Pearson said Lyft does this in cities located in states with government regulations, including Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, Phoenix, San Francisco, and some surrounding areas. But disability rights groups want Lyft to make this access available nationwide. " Link to Article

  • August 24, 2022 - Wheelchair-accessible taxi shortage leaves people stranded, and socially isolated - "There were 975 active wheelchair-accessible vehicles (WAVs) registered in Victoria in June 2021, according to the Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria annual report 2020-21. More than 1 million people in Victoria identify as living with a disability, 17 per cent of whom cannot access public transport such as trains, trams and buses. Elderly people and those with an injury are also reliant on accessible \"maxi taxis\". And in some regional cities there are none or very few to go around... Stephen Armstrong, owner of Ballarat Taxis for almost 40 years, said the shortage of drivers caused by COVID-19 border closures was making it difficult to keep taxis on the road. \"We\'re in the same boat as most other industries in and around Ballarat, and for that matter, throughout the whole of Victoria, who are struggling to get a workforce at the moment,\" Mr Armstrong said." Link to Article

  • August 24, 2022 - Pittsburgh Technical College and Aurora team up for new associate’s robotics and engineering program - "Pittsburgh Technical College has teamed up with Strip District-based autonomous vehicle company Aurora Innovation Inc. for the creation of a new degree program aimed at equipping those looking to pursue a career within the growing robotics industry. To be completed over the course of 18 months, PTC\'s associate degree in robotics and autonomous engineering technology program is aimed at producing students who will be able to fill service engineer technician roles at companies like Aurora (NASDAQ: AUR), where demand for such workers is expected to grow as these companies deploy their autonomous and robotics-driven technology at a commercial scale in the coming years. The college plans to offer the inaugural cohort of this program in October and has room for about 20 students." Link to Article

  • August 24, 2022 - Ohio State Researchers Develop Smart Wind Sensor for Drones - "A team of researchers at the Ohio State University has designed a smart wind sensor that could one day be used on drones and other small, autonomous aircraft, which are poised to become fixtures of daily life. As these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) become increasingly prevalent, keeping the air space they use safe will become a priority, and wind sensors — anemometers — play a critical role in ensuring the safety of the simultaneous takeoffs and landings that are expected. Current anemometers like the pitot tube are mostly unsuitable for UAVs — smaller ones in particular — because of high power consumption, aerodynamic drag, complex signal processing and expense. The Ohio State anemometer seeks to fill this technology gap by using smart materials and an aerodynamic shape, according to a research paper, “Airfoil Anemometer With Integrated Flexible Piezo-Capacitive Pressure Sensor,” which was recently published in the journal Frontiers in Materials." Link to Article

  • August 24, 2022 - France is giving €4,000 to people who trade in their car for an e-bike - "France’s government increased the size of the subsidy it offers to people who trade in their gas-powered cars for electric bikes to as much as €4,000 (approx. $3,976) per person, according to The Times. The money is meant to incentivize people to ditch their polluting modes of transportation in favor of cleaner, more environmentally friendly alternatives. People who live in low-income households in low-emission urban zones that trade in their cars are eligible for the full €4,000 subsidy to put toward the purchase of an e-bike. (Traditional, non-motorized bikes also qualify for the incentive.) French citizens from higher income brackets can claim smaller subsidies. The subsidy, which was first introduced last year, was recently increased after officials determined that more needed to be done to catch up to bike-loving rivals like the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark. The French government has said it wants 9 percent of the country to switch to bicycles by 2024, compared with only 3 percent now. " Link to Article

  • August 24, 2022 - DHS Tests New Tech that Could Bring Emergency Alerts to Vehicle Screens - "Emergency alerts for hazards and evacuations could be coming to vehicle infotainment screens in the future, as emergency communications technologies become increasingly interconnected. The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate tested the Wildland Urban Interface integration model on Tuesday as part of an incorporation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Integrated Public Alert & Warning System. This will allow authorities to disseminate Wireless Emergency Alerts “with new capabilities, such as displaying hazard and evacuation alert information on the ‘infotainment’ screens in vehicles.” The new integration between IPAWS and technologies like GPS navigation will allow for the almost real-time dissemination of critical information to the public in their vehicle’s center console screen. According to FEMA, the WUI is “the zone of transition between unoccupied land and human development. " Link to Article

  • August 23, 2022 - Pittsburgh tests program to provide free transportation for lower-income residents - "Pittsburgh is launching a pilot program that will provide 50 city residents with free access to public transportation and other alternate means of transportation for one year. Officials said the initiative would help alleviate the financial burden of transportation... Participants in the “Guaranteed Basic Mobility” program will be able to ride the bus, light rail, POGOH bikes, Spin Scooters or order a Zipcar free of charge. Eligible participants will be residents who receive some form of government assistance and who lack regular access to a personal vehicle. They must also be actively seeking a job or pursuing more hours of work... The new pilot will be supported by a $200,000 grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation. Spin, the participating scooter company, has put up $50,000 toward the project. The 50 residents who take part in the pilot will be recruited by the city’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, Carnegie Mellon University and the Manchester Citizens Corporation." Link to Article

  • August 23, 2022 - Smart streetscapes center plans community-driven research in 3 cities - "A group of universities in Florida, New Jersey and New York announced last week they are forming a federally funded center to research “smart streetscapes.” The Engineering Research Center for Smart Streetscapes will explore improvements related to road safety and traffic efficiency, public safety, assistive technologies, the future of outdoor work and hyper-local environments. Researchers plan to partner with municipal agencies and community organizations in West Palm Beach, Florida; New Brunswick, New Jersey; and Harlem, New York. The center’s leaders have taken into account lessons from past smart cities projects’ pitfalls, said Jason Hallstrom, the center’s deputy director and chief research officer... The center is funded by the National Science Foundation for the next five years with $26 million, with the potential to renew for another five years thereafter. Columbia University, Florida Atlantic University, Lehman College, Rutgers University and the University of Central Florida are the center partners. " Link to Article

  • August 23, 2022 - People are now testing Tesla’s ‘full self-driving’ on real kids - "Cupani filmed the test of \"full self-driving\" in a parking lot. His son stood near the end of an aisle holding a smartphone to film the test... Detecting smaller objects like young children quickly and accurately will generally be more difficult than sensing large objects and adults for a computer vision system like what Tesla vehicles rely on, according to Raj Rajkumar, a Carnegie Mellon University professor who researches autonomous vehicles. The more pixels an object takes up in a camera image, the more information the system has to detect features and identify the object. The system will also be impacted by the data it is trained on, such as how many images of small children it\'s exposed to. \"Computer vision with machine learning is not 100% foolproof,\" Rajkumar said. \"Just like diagnosis of a disease, there are always false positives and negatives.\" " Link to Article

  • August 23, 2022 - Nicholtown rideshare program offers a lift, at lower-cost - "It’s not Uber and it’s not Lyft, but there’s a new rideshare program in Greenville. It’s called Carolina RIDES+. The non-profit launched their pilot program in the Nicholtown neighborhood offering low-cost rides to people who need it most. “People that are working 2nd shift or 3rd shift jobs have no options” said Kevin Woods Director of Operations, Southeast Transportation Service. Woods says typically, his drivers pickup Medicare and Medicaid recipients to appointments, but lately he’s been driving people like Angeline Evans... “It’s an average of $30 to $40 dollars coming and going both ways” she said. That was until Carolina RIDES+ asked her to catch a ride with them. “Anything to help me save a buck, I’m game,” said Evans. The non-profit partners with Southeast Transportation to offer $10 to $25 dollar rides." Link to Article

  • August 23, 2022 - Stellantis plans a profitable goodbye for combustion muscle cars - "Stellantis NV\'s (STLA.MI) Dodge brand plans to squeeze maximum profit from the farewell party for its petrol-burning Challenger and Charger muscle cars, which are scheduled to go out of production at the end of next year, the company said on Monday. Dodge will offer seven low-volume \"heritage-influenced\" versions of the Charger and Challenger at certain dealerships - previewing them under cover at events starting Monday in a throwback to marketing tactics that were old when the brand\'s current leaders were starting their careers... Stellantis has said it will retool the Brampton, Ont. factory that builds the Charger and Challenger \"to support the company\'s electrification plans,\" as part of a broader $2.8 billion investment that will include conversion of an assembly plant in Windsor, Ont. to build a new \"multi-energy vehicle\" architecture." Link to Article

  • August 22, 2022 - Can a new ‘Smart City’ traffic system make Mobile more navigable? - "Thirteen traffic lights along Government Street, up to Broad Street, are now connected to the Traffic Management Center (TMC) at Wallace Tunnel, run by the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT). ALDOT monitors the traffic in real time and adjusts the light timing as needed. In addition, the lights have different timing cycles depending on the time of day, in order to decrease congestion at peak times. Through the use of this program, which has been running since late April, traffic delays have decreased by 21% overall, and 26% in the evening, according to Jeremy Borden, a transportation engineer with ALDOT." Link to Article

  • August 22, 2022 - Jacksonville To Replace Monorail With Autonomous Shuttles - "Jacksonville, Florida’s monorail system will be replaced by autonomous shuttles, reports Dan Zukowski in Smart Cities Dive. “The aging 2.5-mile elevated transit system will become part of 10-mile automated shuttle service with transit-oriented development at some stations.” The Jacksonville Transportation Authority will repurpose parts of the three-decade-old monorail system to build 10 miles of shuttle paths. The 3-mile first Bay Street Corridor phase “will connect major sports stadiums and entertainment venues along Bay Street with the existing monorail.” Rather than major construction, implementation work for the project will consist of the installation of cameras, antennas, and sensors at intersections... According to Zukowski, “Funding for the $49 million contract comes from a $12.5 million U.S. Department of Transportation BUILD grant, the Florida Department of Transportation, the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization and JTA.” The second phase will be funded by the city’s gas tax." Link to Article

  • August 22, 2022 - Duke taps Ford F-150 Lightning energy to stabilize grid, flipping the ‘EVs break grid’ script - "Ford and Duke Energy are planning to use F-150 Lightning batteries as backup energy storage to conserve energy use on the grid. Duke Energy, one of the largest utility companies with over 7.4 million customers in the Carolinas, Florida, Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, is filing a petition for a new pilot program with the North Carolina Utilities Commission. The new program intends to help lower vehicle lease payments for eligible EVs, including the Ford F-150 Lightning. Meanwhile, utility customers will be able to use energy from their EVs to give back to the grid. The exchange will help stabilize the energy grid, helping to break the “EVs are bad for the grid” naysayers. New technology will allow for a two-way flow of energy to the EV and back to the grid. The program will start in the Carolinas, where Duke supports around 2.1 million energy users." Link to Article

  • August 22, 2022 - Lyft and Motional’s all-electric robotaxi service is now live in Las Vegas - "Motional, which is a joint venture between Hyundai and Aptiv, has been testing its autonomous vehicles in Las Vegas through a joint partnership with Lyft for over four years now. The testing began as a weeklong pilot between Aptiv and Lyft during the annual Consumer Electronics Show in 2018 and has since gone on to complete over 100,000 passenger trips... A safety driver will remain behind the steering wheel in case something goes wrong, similar to how other robotaxi services have launched over the years. But Motional and Lyft say fully driverless vehicles will join the service next year. Unlike other robotaxi services in the US, Motional and Lyft aren’t requiring potential riders to sign up for a waitlist or sign a non-disclosure agreement to join a beta-testing program. And rides will be free; the companies plan to start charging for the service next year." Link to Article

  • August 22, 2022 - Infrastructure money to almost double zero-emission buses on road - "The agency said it has awarded $1.6 billion through a pair of programs to transit operators across the country. The money will be used to purchase about 1,800 buses — including 1,100 that aren’t dependent on fossil fuels — and to construct maintenance and charging facilities while training workers. 10 steps you can take to lower your carbon footprint The funding is one of the most direct ways the $1 trillion infrastructure package promises to cut carbon emissions from transportation, the nation’s biggest source of greenhouse gases. Federal officials will have another four rounds of funds to distribute in the coming years after Tuesday’s initial awards. The money is expected to help transit agencies accelerate plans to transition from diesel buses to battery- or hydrogen-powered buses. Nuria Fernandez, the head of the FTA, said the money is a sorely needed infusion for transit agencies on tight budgets, allowing them to upgrade services while switching to sustainable fuels." Link to Article

  • August 19, 2022 - Pole-mounted electric vehicle chargers can make charging more accessible, and their convenience may get more people driving EVs - "The city of Melrose, Massachusetts recently worked with local utility company National Grid to install 16 pole-mounted EV chargers in 10 places around town. The chargers in Melrose are \"first-in-the region,\" according to National Grid, and \"intended to expand EV adoption, accelerate usage and lower installation costs.\" Installing the chargers on the electric utility poles can benefit EV drivers who don\'t have private garages or dedicated charging parking lots that are private. The cost of installing the chargers is also reduced by 70% if they\'re put on utility poles instead of in the ground, because installation doesn\'t require digging... A study of Californians who bought EVs between 2012 and 2018 found that one in five of them switched back to gas-powered vehicles because of the inconvenience of charging. The same study found that around 70% of those drivers didn\'t have access to the Level 2 type of charging they needed at home or at their workplace. " Link to Article

  • August 19, 2022 - Green Technology Why golf carts—golf carts!—are a transportation mode of the future. - "The phrase “the future of transportation” tends to conjure up visions of hyperloops, self-driving cars, and flying taxis whizzing through and between cities. But what if the next chapter of urban mobility instead gives a starring role to … the golf cart? It isn’t crazy in the slightest. In 2015, researchers at Harvard Business School investigated whether Tesla, the poster child of automotive innovation, offered a truly disruptive model for transportation. Their conclusion: A “souped-up golf cart”—not a Tesla—offered the most transformative potential. Indeed, these puttering vehicles, most often associated with leisure and affluence, just might provide a pathway toward safe, affordable, and entertaining rides for the masses... Peachtree City Mayor Kim Learnard says that her town now has more than 10,000 registered golf carts among its roughly 13,000 households... Learnard said that most residents still commute by car, but that the carts have replaced automobiles for many short trips to a restaurant, school, or friend’s house." Link to Article

  • August 19, 2022 - BMW and Toyota Are Teaming Up on a New Hydrogen-Powered SUV - "Hydrogen’s latest rebuttal against the dominant paradigm comes in the form of a partnership between two carmaking juggernauts: BMW and Toyota. Like virtually every other carmaker on the planet, the two have tried their hand at hydrogen before—from BMW’s curious V-12-equipped Hydrogen 7, to Toyota’s remarkably normal, fuel cell-powered Mirai. BMW has been defending hydrogen for years, while continuing to further its full battery-electric agenda through new models like the iX, i4, and i7. Meanwhile, Toyota has pioneered volume hybrid gas-electric drivetrains with the sales tsunami that began with the Prius. The anticipated 2025 ramp up may come as a surprise to hydrogen skeptics, but critics should note that the Bavarian brand’s past collaborations with Toyota on the Z4 and Supra were mutually beneficial, both from a creative and business perspective. " Link to Article

  • August 19, 2022 - Argo AI partners with 412 Food Rescue for autonomous meal deliveries in Pittsburgh - "Argo AI LLC, the Pittsburgh-based self-driving vehicle technology startup, announced a new partnership with a local volunteer-run food salvage platform and a food distributor to autonomously deliver meals to those facing food insecurity throughout the region. The partnership will see Argo autonomously deliver meals sourced by food saved from 412 Food Rescue, a local nonprofit that recovers surplus food from retailers and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. Argo will also partner with its food service provider Parkhurst Dining — the contract dining division of Eat’n Park Hospitality Group — to deliver surplus food Argo originally offered to its employees out of its Strip District headquarters... While a human safety operator will remain in the vehicle per current Pennsylvania law, Argo is also hoping that another demonstration of its tech\'s potential will further validate its planned offering to the public as it readies an eventual commercial rollout." Link to Article

  • August 19, 2022 - The electric car Battery Belt is reshaping America’s heartland - "The climate bill President Biden signed into law yesterday will open up tens of billions of dollars in subsidies for high-tech electric vehicle plants across the South and the Midwest, Joann Muller reports. Why it matters: The package is a big down payment on addressing climate change and moving toward energy independence as the U.S. races to build a domestic supply chain for batteries and other critical materials. It could also be a major economic jolt for a large swath of the country some are calling the Battery Belt, where lots of EV-related factories and facilities are being built... Between the lines: In essence, the U.S. has shifted the incentives for EV adoption from consumers to manufacturers — instead of making electrics cheaper for car buyers, the new law rewards carmakers for building EVs with U.S.-made batteries." Link to Article

  • August 17, 2022 - Traveling this summer? It’s never too soon to start planning your ground transportation. - "Getting around on vacation is getting harder than ever. With another car rental shortage forecast for this summer, you might find yourself stranded at your hotel or vacation rental. But there are new ways to solve your ground transportation problems... Travelers are starting to rethink ground transportation. Stan Caldwell, an associate professor of transportation and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, says new \"mobility as service\" platforms are offering travelers more options for getting around. If you\'re traveling to Pittsburgh, consider downloading the Transit app, which partnered with MovePGH to let users combine inexpensive, shared mobility options with the city\'s mass transit. \"These services include public transportation, bike and scooter share and ride-hail services like Lyft and Uber,\" he says. If you\'re headed to Europe, you can download an app called Whim that allows you to access transportation options in places like Antwerp, Belgium; Helsinki; and Vienna." Link to Article

  • August 17, 2022 - Nader takes on Tesla’s autonomous algorithms - "Consumer advocate Ralph Nader, whose book, Unsafe at any speed, forced carmakers into fitting seat belts as standard, has his eyes on Tesla. In a post regarding the car company’s autonomous driving technology, Nader said: “Tesla’s major deployment of so-called Full Self-Driving (FSD) technology is one of the most dangerous and irresponsible actions by a car company in decades. Tesla should never have put this technology in its vehicles. I am calling on federal regulators to act immediately to prevent the growing deaths and injuries from Tesla manslaughtering crashes with this technology.” The argument that autonomous cars are dangerous is only half the story. Just like seat belts and airbags – if every car is fitted with the same level of autonomous technology – the risk of something going wrong isdrastically reduced. In other words, autonomous cars are safest when humans are taken out of the equation." Link to Article

  • August 17, 2022 - Autonomous Mobility Pilots Show Opportunities and Shortfalls - "Wegscheider is one of the co-authors of the report Shared, Autonomous, and Electric: An Update on the Reimagined Car. As for shared autonomous shuttles, Wegscheider described the value proposition of these deployments as “a really strong one,” saying these have the ability to provide the convenience of ride-hailing at a potentially much lower cost. This is because drivers account for approximately 70 percent of the operating cost today, he explained. However, since most AV shuttles are developed on the fixed-route model, many riders would likely choose an on-demand robo-taxi offering door-to-door service. Where both shuttles and robo-taxis might show potential is in their ability to integrate into the larger transportation system, which would include public transit, micromobility and others. Incentivizing shared rides could help to solve some of the traffic congestion issues associated with ride-hailing." Link to Article

  • August 17, 2022 - U.S. court upholds FCC reallocation of auto safety spectrum - "A U.S. appeals court on Friday rejected a legal challenge to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) 2020 decision to shift much of a key spectrum block set aside for auto safety to accommodate the burgeoning number of wireless devices. The Intelligent Transportation Society of America and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials last year brought a legal challenge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia seeking to reverse the FCC\'s reallocation of 60% of the 5.9 GHz band spectrum block. The spectrum block was reserved in 1999 for automakers to develop technology to allow vehicles to talk to each other to avoid crashes but has so far gone largely unused." Link to Article

  • August 17, 2022 - As self-driving car testing drives forward in Pa., experts and lawmakers turn their eyes to safety regulations - "And just last week, Pittsburgh-based self-driving car developer Argo AI announced the formation of an independent safety council designed to monitor the company’s practices. Stakeholders can agree on one thing: Safety is important.And as the Pennsylvania Senate prepares to consider legislation that could make it possible to conduct self-driving testing without a person behind the wheel, the issue is more important than ever. Certain details about Argo AI’s committee remain murky. But as the technology advances and may soon be on Pittsburgh streets, experts agree any move to improve self-driving safety is a good thing. “It’s always good to see an autonomous vehicle company getting independent advice because independence is absolutely essential for safety,” said Philip Koopman, a professor in Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who has been active in the space since before self-driving vehicles existed. " Link to Article

  • August 16, 2022 - China launches ‘Tianfu Constellation’ satellites for smart city construction - "This series of seven satellites features low cost, low power consumption, low weight and high resolution. Remote sensing data obtained through the satellite network can be applied in many industries such as natural resources, ecological environment, smart agriculture, smart forestry, smart water conservancy, and disaster prevention and mitigation. The seven satellites will guarantee the smart city construction and operation of Meishan and even cities across China. Each weighs 42 kilograms and can work for eight years in space. According to Yang Zhenyu, deputy general manager of Huantian Intelligence, another seven satellites will be sent to space before 2024. The 14 satellites will play a role in resource investigation, agricultural yield estimation, weather and sea state forecast, disaster prevention and mitigation, environmental monitoring, urban planning management and military reconnaissance, Yang said." Link to Article

  • August 16, 2022 - US FHWA & FTA Award $45.2 million (ATCMTD) for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) - "Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) together awarded $49.2 million in innovative technology grants to improve mobility and multimodal connections for millions of Americans who travel on our nation’s highway and transit systems. Grants can be applied to technologies ranging from systems that detect and prevent wrong-way crashes to advanced technology to improve trucking operations and terminal operator activities at a port. A full list of recipients is included below. The FHWA awarded $45.2 million in Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD) grants to 10 projects using advanced intelligent transportation systems (ITS) technologies that improve mobility and safety, reduce congestion and support underserved communities. The FTA awarded $4 million in Enhancing Mobility Innovation (EMI) grants to nine transit agencies and organizations in six states and the District of Columbia to improve access and mobility for transit riders." Link to Article

  • August 16, 2022 - Former Volkswagen and Sony plant in Mount Pleasant will become training site for emergency response crews and state road workers - "The test facility, known as Pennsylvania Safety, Transportation and Research Track, will use 80 to 100 acres of land at the former Volkswagen and Sony plant, state and local officials announced Thursday. The facility, which could cost as much as $20 million, will be a free training site for emergency response crews and state road workers, and lease time to private companies developing self-driving vehicles and other transportation products. State Transportation Secretary Yassmin Gramian said officials have been talking about such a facility for about four years... Mr. Kopko said Michigan and Florida have similar facilities, but they aren’t as wide ranging as the Westmoreland County facility will be. Academic institutions such as Carnegie Mellon University, which is a leader in self- driving technology, also will be able to use PennSTART. “None of (the other facilities) are as much a jack-of-all-trades facility as this will be,” Mr. Kopko said. “Anything we want to test, this facility gives us that opportunity.”" Link to Article

  • August 16, 2022 - Paul Moller’s 50-year dream to build a flying car won’t die - "Moller is hardly the first inventor bent on making flying cars a reality, but he’s likely the one person who’s been at it the longest... Moller’s distaste for batteries in the new generation of flying cars makes him the outlier. A year ago, he stopped work on a hybrid model of the Skycar, opting for a version only with a rotary-powered engine. “Even though the battery safety brings in some issues, the rest of the aspects in terms of the number critical points of failure and so on are a lot fewer,” says Shashank Sripad, a battery researcher at Carnegie Mellon University who recently co-authored an article on the promise of urban aircrafts. “I would say I’m very optimistic.” The top air-taxi contenders today, including the EHang 216, the A3 Vahana, Wisk’s Cora, and the Archer Maker, are all battery-powered. " Link to Article

  • August 16, 2022 - Inside one battery company‘s plan to put the supply chain first - "In 2019, the Sparkz team set out to find a battery that could avoid supply-chain constraints and safety concerns while still providing competitive energy density, cycle life, and cost, Malhotra said. Through partnerships with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Sparkz ultimately licensed patents for battery tech that doesn’t require cobalt, a scarce mineral used in many lithium-ion batteries on the market today. Now, Sparkz is putting that strategy to the test as it begins to build out its manufacturing capacity. The company plans to begin production at its pilot facility in California later this year and have between 0.2 GWh and 0.5 GWh of battery capacity up and running at a new plant in West Virginia by late 2023 or early 2024." Link to Article

  • August 15, 2022 - Hundreds of new mines required to meet 2030 battery metals demand — IEA report - "Global battery and minerals supply chains need to expand ten-fold to meet projected critical minerals needs by 2030, a report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) has found. The report concludes the industry needs to build 50 more lithium mines, 60 more nickel mines and 17 more cobalt mines by 2030 to meet global net carbon emissions goals. Pressure on the supply of critical materials will continue to mount as road transport electrification expands to meet net-zero ambitions. According to the IEA, demand for electric vehicle (EV) batteries will increase from around 340 GWh today to over 3500 GWh by 2030... The IEA suggests innovative new extraction and processing technologies such as direct lithium extraction (DLE), high-pressure acid leaching (HPAL), and re-mining from mining waste could go a long way in bridging the gaping emerging supply gaps." Link to Article

  • August 15, 2022 - Plug-in hybrids gain ground in U.S. after losing favor to electric cars - "But a funny thing happened on the way to obsolescence: Plug-in hybrid sales are climbing in the United States, in part because of the recent surge in gasoline prices. Automakers sold a record 176,000 such cars last year, according to Wards Intelligence, up from 69,000 in 2020. This year, sales of plug-in hybrids could reach 180,000, analysts said, even as the overall new-car market drops to 14.4 million from 15.3 million a year earlier, according to Cox Automotive. All-electric cars have seized around 5 per cent of the new-car market, and most analysts and industry executives expect them to eventually surpass hybrids as automakers commit to eliminating tailpipe emissions, a major contributor to climate change. But hybrids – led by a growing selection of plug-ins – still make up about 7 per cent of sales, and that number could grow for at least a few years." Link to Article

  • August 15, 2022 - GM Cruise Self-Driving Vehicles Have Been Involved in Nine Hit-and-Runs This Year - "Now we see another unanticipated problem, as The Examiner reports the driverless Cruise cars have been involved in nine hit-and-run accidents this year. This is ostensibly because the drivers in the other vehicles don’t know how to stop and share information with the other driver when there is no other driver, or they see the car is driverless, and figure they can just probably get away with it because what is the robot going to do... But the pattern of hit-and-runs suggests that in the way that these autonomous vehicles currently operate, confused drivers have no idea how they should react properly in an accident situation. This was not a question on my driver’s license test! " Link to Article

  • August 15, 2022 - United Airlines Places $10 Million Downpayment On Flying Taxis - "Electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) startup Archer Aviation first acquired United as a customer in January 2021. The airline then placed an order worth $1 billion from the Palo Alto-based company. Options were included for aircraft worth an additional $500 million. The agreement will allow United to operate as many as 200 of Archer\'s eVTOLs. Customer deliveries are planned to begin in 2024, pending regulatory approval. United Airlines will be the launch customer for the four-seater eVTOL that Archer is currently developing. Yet to be mass-produced, the vehicle, called Maker, is currently undergoing flight testing. It will be able to travel for up to 60 miles on a single charge at speeds of 150 miles per hour. You can already catch a glimpse of it in the air in the video shared by the company\'s CEO below." Link to Article

  • August 15, 2022 - Tech Company Testing Remote Operators as Self-Driving Car Backups - "Now in August we learn that MIRA GmbH, a subsidiary of German automotive and arms manufacturing giant Rheinmetal AG is rolling out a pilot trial of just that very idea with its teleoperated driving system in Düsseldorf, Germany... Wait, you must be asking—why is a remote operator needed for a self-driving car? Wouldn\'t that make it, um, not self-driving? Good catch. The idea here is to utilize the remote driver as a backup in place of the human monitors currently employed by companies testing self-driving cars. Today, these drivers ride along, often in the driver\'s seat, ready to intervene in case the machine does something unexpected or dangerous and control needs taken back from the software... MIRA envisions a few initial use cases. In fully equipped self-driving cars, a remote human driver can remain \"on call\" in the event of an \"unsolvable driving task\" arising." Link to Article

  • August 12, 2022 - Drones carrying parcels found to use much less energy per parcel than diesel trucks - "A team of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University has found that drones carrying parcels use much less energy per parcel than diesel delivery trucks. In their paper published in the journal Patterns, the group described their tests of drones carrying packages and how they compared with trucks. In this new effort, the researchers looked at the delivery of single small packages to a single destination—such as a customer\'s home... In so doing, they found that for single delivery of a package, drone delivery has a much smaller carbon footprint. More specifically, they found that a drone delivery accounted for 84% less greenhouse gas emissions than a diesel truck—it also used 94% less energy. The researchers note that carbon savings depended very much on where in the country the electricity used to charge the drone batteries was produced. " Link to Article

  • August 12, 2022 - FHWA Charting Path for National EV Charging Network - "FHWA has outlined areas in which today’s nascent development of EV charging infrastructure — which has evolved on an ad hoc basis mostly by private industry — must be improved on a national scale if states are to use $7.5 billion in bipartisan infrastructure law money earmarked to increase public use of EV charging and alternative fueling facilities. “Currently, there are no national standards for the installation, operation or maintenance of EV charging stations,” FHWA stated in its June 22 notice of proposed rule-making and comment solicitation. It added that “wide disparities exist among EV charging stations in key components, such as operational practices, payment methods, site organization, display of price to charge, speed and power of chargers, and information communicated about the availability and functioning of each charging station.”" Link to Article

  • August 12, 2022 - Wolf, Carnegie Mellon president among Pennsylvanians at Biden’s signing of CHIPS and Science bill - "rominent Pennsylvanians attended President Joe Biden’s signing of the CHIPS and Science Act, a new law that directs billions to spur domestic semiconductor manufacturing and could potentially unlock billions more for scientific research. Gov. Tom Wolf and Carnegie Mellon University President Farnam Jahanian were among a large audience Tuesday on the White House South Lawn as Mr. Biden signed the bipartisan bill into law, which will provide $52 billion for the industry and a 25% tax incentive for companies that invest in domestic chip manufacturing. The act also authorizes about $200 billion to be appropriated over the next decade for various research programs, a portion of the legislation that garnered the backing of universities and tech councils." Link to Article

  • August 12, 2022 - White House Summit Brings AAM Into National Focus - "The White House this week turned its attention to the future of advanced air mobility, gathering government, industry, and other leaders to focus on the challenges and opportunities of integrating eVTOLs and UAS into the national airspace system. FAA acting Administrator Billy Nolen, in his prepared remarks for the summit, said the agency is “looking at every aspect of this enterprise—the vehicle itself, the framework for operations, access to the airspace, operator training, infrastructure development, and community engagement.” For the FAA, it\'s not just about air taxis, but also about everything supporting air taxi flights, including operational rules and pilot training standards. “We’re modifying our regulatory approach to enable powered lift operations including the certification of powered-lift vehicles and the pilots who operate them,” he said. “Longer term, the agency plans to continue to develop permanent regulations to safely enable powered-lift operations and pilot training and certification.”" Link to Article

  • August 12, 2022 - California becomes first state to roll out submetering technology to spur EV adoption - "Dive Brief: California regulators last week approved first-of-their-kind protocols on submetering technology, which would essentially allow EV owners to measure their vehicles’ energy consumption separately from their main utility meter. Thanks to the decision, owners of EVs, as well as electric buses and trucks, will be able to avoid installing an additional meter to measure the electricity that is consumed by their vehicle, removing a key barrier to EV adoption across the state. The CPUC’s decision is the culmination of a decade of efforts to develop submetering capabilities and standardize communication protocols, President Alice Reynolds said at a meeting Thursday. “We really are hoping to build on efforts to accelerate and facilitate greater customer control over how and when they charge their vehicle, and enable customers to better manage their demand and to benefit from electric vehicle-specific rates,” she said." Link to Article

  • August 10, 2022 - Warehouses are Turning to EV Charging - "As the push to electrify driving grows, warehouse developers are increasingly focused on charging. The biggest barrier facing a massive uptake of electrical vehicles (EVs) is charging stations. It was the elephant in the room five years ago, and it’s barely budged since then. On the shipping side, companies seeking fully electrified fleets will need a place to charge up. The warehouse makes the most sense considering our nation’s highways still have a ways to go in terms of charging stations. As of January 2022, there were approximately 113,600 charging outlets for plug-in EVs in the US. A good chunk of these is found in California, home to 41,300 private and public power outlets. Contrast this with China which has built out 800,000 across the country. From a shipping perspective, time is critical. " Link to Article

  • August 9, 2022 - Baidu’s robotaxis can now operate without a safety driver in the car - " Baidu has obtained permits to run a fully driverless robotaxi service in China. It says it\'s the first company in the country to obtain such permissions. Back in April, Baidu received approval to run an autonomous taxi service in Beijing, as long as there was a human operator in the driver or front passenger seat. Now, it will be able to offer a service where the car\'s only occupants are passengers. There are some limits to the permits. Driverless Apollo Go vehicles will ferry paying passengers around designated zones in Wuhan and Chongqing during daytime hours only. The service areas cover 13 square kilometers in Wuhan\'s Economic & Technological Development Zone (WHDZ) and 30 square kilometers in Chongqing’s Yongchuan District. The WHDZ has been overhauled over the last year to support AV testing and operations." Link to Article

  • August 9, 2022 - Tesla (TSLA) announces it produced its 3 millionth electric car - "Tesla has announced that it has recently produced its 3 millionth electric car since its inception back in 2004 (though production only started in 2008)... Just last month, Tesla announced that Fremont factory had produced its 2 millionth electric car. The other million vehicles came from Gigafactory Shanghai, Berlin and Texas, which are all still ramping up production... Tesla has famously set a goal to be able to produce 20 million electric vehicles per year by 2030. At the meeting, Musk said that he believes Tesla will need about 12 Gigafactories in order to achieve that goal. The automaker is already operating four Gigafactories, though it is still ramping up production at all those locations. At the meeting today, Musk said that Tesla is likely to announce the next Gigafactory location later this year. " Link to Article

  • August 9, 2022 - Tesla is in hot water with California DMV over its Autopilot and self-driving claims - "Over the years, Tesla has been criticized for how it advertises its Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS). One of the main concerns has been the actual names of the systems: Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Capability. Some people believe that the names suggest that the systems are autonomous, even though they are only driver-assist systems. California DMV, which has some authority over Tesla since it has a lot of operations in the state, has shared those concerns in the past. Now it is putting pressure on Tesla with not one but two filings with California’s Office of Administrative Hearings, claiming that Tesla is falsely promoting those systems as “autonomous” (via CNBC): " Link to Article

  • August 9, 2022 - GM’s hands-free driving tech is set for a massive expansion - "General Motors\' hands-free driving tech will soon work on many more North American roadways. Why it matters: No one can buy a self-driving car yet — not even from Tesla, which falsely markets its partially automated, assisted-driving beta feature as \"full self-driving.\" But as cars come equipped with ever more capable assisted-driving systems, consumers will have the chance to try out — and potentially learn to trust — vehicle automation. The latest: Starting later this year, GM\'s hands-free driving system, Super Cruise, will be available on 400,000 miles of roads in the U.S. and Canada, the company says. That\'s double its current operating area, and more than triple the coverage for Ford\'s similar BlueCruise feature. " Link to Article

  • August 9, 2022 - Move over, autopilot: This AI can avoid other planes - "With all this busyness in the skies, researchers at Carnegie Mellon are working on an artificial intelligence pilot system that can carry out tasks like predicting what another aircraft might do, or keep an eye out for nearby planes using cameras on an aircraft. The idea is that an AI like this could help fly drones, assist a human pilot, or even someday fly a plane on its own. Right now, in a flight simulator, the AI is able to figure out what another aircraft is doing, or might do, and then figure out how to safely land the plane accordingly... In this case, the AI is looking out for another plane, not a car, of course. “It basically looks at their behavior for 10 seconds,” says Jay Patrikar, a doctoral student in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. “It tries to judge: ‘They are here. What are they potentially likely to do?’” " Link to Article

  • August 8, 2022 - World’s First ‘Bio-Motion’ Bike Light Makes Cyclists Look Like Humans - "To accomplish that, the Flock Light uses an LED array that lights up the cyclist’s legs and throws a “halo” of light on the road around the rider. The effect is like stage lighting: the moving rider stands out in the resulting glow. Project Flock also designed the light to sense ambient light changes, so it should shine more brightly as conditions get darker. Finally, it doesn’t seek to grab drivers’ attention by blinding them. Opting against the rapidly-blinking-super-high-power-LED model, the Flock Light looks to attract attention with the human body itself. “A human form is far more recognizable to the human brain than a red flashing bike light because we react to it on a more emotional and cognitive level,” Ottaway asserts. Whether human bodies or bright red flashing lights make you react more emotionally, the Flock Light is the first of its kind to make us consider the question." Link to Article

  • August 8, 2022 - Ford’s ambitious new patent may be game-changer for drone delivery - "In Ford’s system, the delivery vehicle becomes the hub while the drones serve as spokes. Drones would be docked and launched from on top of the vehicle, which then pilots the aircraft to their drop-off location. Then, the drones would communicate with nearby Ford vehicles to find the closest place to dock. The model laid out by Ford could have a major impact on drone delivery and last-mile delivery more broadly. As it stands, commercial drone delivery services overwhelmingly operate out of stationary hubs... Ford’s patent actually resembles one published by Amazon about a year ago. In Amazon’s model, delivery vans would instead release a fleet of small, ground-based drones... The automaker’s model is also similar to a system proposed by Walmart last month. The world’s largest retailer apparently is looking to combine drones with autonomous delivery vehicles to add a failsafe to its last mile. " Link to Article

  • August 8, 2022 - Porsche’s new companies are all about electric bikes - "In the future, you may come across a lot more two-wheeled Porsches on the streets. The luxury automaker has launched two new joint ventures with Dutch company Ponooc Investment B.V., and they\'re both all about electric bikes. Porsche eBike Performance GmbH is based in Ottobrunn near Munich and will develop components, including motors and batteries. Anything it creates will then be used by P2 eBike GmbH, the second joint venture based in Stuttgart, to manufacture Porsche-branded e-bikes for consumers that the company plyans to launch starting in the middle of the decade. Porsche is far from a newcomer in the e-bike space. In 2021, it debuted two electric bikes inspired by the Taycan and were made to complement the Cross Turismo, which has a rear carrier. Those bikes, however, along with their motors and gear shifting systems, were manufactured by Japanese bicycle industry giant Shimano. " Link to Article

  • August 8, 2022 - This tech-fueled service will provide bus transportation for Seattle Public Schools - "When Seattle Public Schools students return to the classroom in September, many of their families will be along for the ride — at least virtually. The district of more than 50,000 students has contracted with California tech startup Zum to provide half of its bus service. Using the Zum system, “all of the stakeholders are connected. There’s a full transparency and visibility at all times of where the children are,” said founder and CEO Ritu Narayan. “People used to say, I can track my pizza [delivery], but I have no idea where my children are once they are on the school bus. That issue is completely removed.” Parents get a Zum app to track their kids’ buses and drivers. Students tap an RFID-enabled pass when boarding vehicles to sign into the ride." Link to Article

  • August 8, 2022 - The case for bidirectional EV charging is growing stronger - "Electric vehicles are building market share across the United States in places such as California, Florida, New York, Texas and Washington state. At the same time, the country’s aging electrical grid appears increasingly unable to handle the rising demand for charging services during peak load times. Bidirectional charging through vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology represents at least a partial solution to this dilemma, according to Katherine Stainken, vice president of policy for The Electrification Coalition, which recently published a report of policy recommendations regarding advancing V2G adoption. By enabling EVs with these capabilities, fleet managers can collaborate with local utilities on demand response and position their EV fleets as a potential source of backup power during outages. " Link to Article

  • August 5, 2022 - Florida Bridge Contractor Automates Rebar Tying to Shave Labor and Days off the Timeline - "In projects over the last two years, they have leveraged new technology from Pittsburg-based Advanced Construction Robotics that automates the tying of rebar, freeing up crews for other tasks. This has delivered a measurable return in terms of cost and timeline savings, and has helped Shelby Erectors win business, including rebar work on the Wekiva Parkway project on Florida’s beltway. The Advanced Construction Robotics TyBOT robot self-locates, self-positions and ties up to 1,100 intersections per hour. Shelby Erectors also plans later in 2022 to implement IronBOT, a rebar placing robot that carries and places rebar bundles weighing up to 5,000 pounds, enabling rebar contractors to increase productivity by up to 250%." Link to Article

  • August 5, 2022 - Navy testing autonomous transit for high speed, cargo ship - "The Navy is preparing a high-speed transport vessel to become the first “fully operational US naval ship” to be capable of autonomous travel in a commercial sea lane, a major advancement from the relatively smaller drones the service has previously transited autonomously... The Navy has been experimenting with autonomous ship navigation in recent years and has successfully sailed its prototype medium-sized unmanned surface vessel Sea Hunter between San Diego and Hawaii multiple times. But the difference between autonomous travel for Sea Hunter and an EPF is size. The former, clocking in around 140 tons, is a prototype that was built from the ground up with the idea that it will one day transit the ocean with minimal or even no human intervention. The latter is a military cargo ship, designed to move personnel, vehicles, supplies and other materials overseas and is nearly 10 times larger." Link to Article

  • August 5, 2022 - Argo AI announces council to oversee safety standards of its self-driving cars - "The Argo Safety Advisory Council is made up of external experts who will advise the company on safety practices and building public trust in self-driving vehicles. The move comes as Pennsylvania looks to make the state more attractive to autonomous vehicle companies. In June, the Pennsylvania House passed a bill that would allow self-driving cars to, well, self-drive — without a human present who could take over in an emergency situation. The idea isn’t universally loved. Earlier in the year, a Pennsylvania Senate committee considered a similar law that never made it to the full Senate for voting. The Argo Safety Advisory Council’s members include former medical officer and former chairman for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Mitchell Garber and Robert Sumwalt; former FBI assistant director Christopher “Todd” Doss; David Kelly, former acting administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; and Annette Sandberg, former administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration." Link to Article

  • August 5, 2022 - Cellphone, Wi-Fi service expanding across NYC subway system - "New York City’s sprawling subway system will be fully wired for cellphone and Wi-Fi service within about 10 years under a plan approved by transit officials this week. Riders will be able to use their phones throughout the 418 miles of subway tunnels under the plan approved by Metropolitan Transportation Authority board members Wednesday. The $600 million project will be built by Transit Wireless, the telecommunications company that already provides cellphone service in the city’s 281 underground subway stations. Subway riders can now use their phones to text, call or access the internet at underground stations but usually lose service once the train starts moving. Transit Wireless plans to expand service to trains in the tunnels and also to the system’s 191 aboveground stations and to 21 Staten Island Railway stations." Link to Article

  • August 5, 2022 - Autonomous Truck Developer Under Federal Investigation After Highway Crash Prompts Safety Issues - "In early April, a tractor trailer fitted with autonomous driving technology veered off the road without warning, cutting across the I-10 highway in Tucson, Arizona and slamming into a cement barricade... Now, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, an agency within the DOT that regulates trucks and buses, has launched a “safety compliance investigation” into the company. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is joining in the investigation, as well. TuSimple says human error is to blame for the April incident, but autonomous driving specialists say details in the June regulatory disclosure and internal company documents show fundamental problems with the company’s technology. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University dispute that it was all human error. They say common safeguards – like making sure the system can’t respond to commands more than a couple hundredths-of-a-second old or making it so that an improperly-functioning self-driving system can’t be engaged – would have prevented the crash. " Link to Article

  • August 3, 2022 - With millions in federal funding, PennDOT charges ahead on EV infrastructure development in Pa. - "State officials and community partners – including representatives from Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities, Sheetz, and PPL Electric Utilities – gathered at the charging stations of a Sheetz gas station in Carlisle on Thursday to discuss how federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) will be used for EV infrastructure development in Pennsylvania. “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has given us a great opportunity, and I’m proud of the progress that we – along with our partners – have made to prepare Pennsylvania for a future filled with electric vehicles,” Department of Transportation Secretary Yassmin Gramian said. The commonwealth is slated to receive $171.5 million in National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure funds over the next five years with an additional $2.5 billion in grant funding available for charging and fueling infrastructure." Link to Article

  • August 3, 2022 - Nikola acquires struggling Romeo Power to secure battery supply - "Nikola Corp. is acquiring struggling startup Romeo Power Inc. in a $144 million all-stock deal that Nikola says will assure its supply of battery packs critical to assembling electric trucks. The transaction exchange ratio implies Romeo’s shares are worth 74 cents each, a 34% premium to its closing price Friday of 55 cents. Romeo shareholders get a 4.5% pro forma ownership of Nikola. The boards of both companies have approved the deal. The deal potentially preserves up to 400 jobs at Romeo... Nikola expects to save $350 million on battery costs by 2026 and reduce non-cell-related battery pack costs by 30%-40% by the end of 2023 because of the acquisition. Nikola is providing Romeo $35 million to keep operating until the deal closes, expected at the end of October." Link to Article

  • August 3, 2022 - Here’s what science says about electric cars and their impact on noise pollution - "Electric and hybrid gas-electric cars emit very low sounds at low speeds because they don’t have internal combustion engines producing noise and vibrations. To ensure that pedestrians will hear electric and hybrid vehicles coming, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires these vehicles to emit sounds ranging from 43 to 64 decibels when they are moving at less than 18.6 mph. Each manufacturer uses its own warning sounds. At high speeds, there may not be much difference between gas-powered cars and EVs or hybrids. That’s because other factors like tire and wind noise become louder as cars move faster. Infrastructure also contributes to street noise. Cracks, depressions, and holes in roads can increase sound levels as cars travel across them. Lower-income communities tend to have poorer-quality streets and highways. So failing to fix roads could drown out any improvements in a community’s soundscape from EVs, quite literally" Link to Article

  • August 3, 2022 - California lawmakers want to decarbonize shipping, but is the technology ready? - "Late last month, Long Beach, California, signed onto a historic effort to clean up the shipping industry when city council members unanimously passed a resolution to reach 100 percent zero-emissions shipping by 2030. The move comes just months after a similar declaration from Los Angeles, whose port abuts Long Beach’s to make up the San Pedro Bay Port Complex — the U.S.’s largest port, handling more than 275 million metric tons of furniture, car parts, clothes, food and other cargo every year. Together, the two cities’ resolutions represent one of the world’s most aggressive shipping decarbonization targets and reflect a growing desire among policymakers and environmental advocates to drive down the industry’s emissions... But getting to net-zero shipping is a monumental task that will require significant technological advancement and investments in alternative fuels — in addition to ambitious pronouncements from policymakers. Although some zero-emissions solutions already exist, experts say they need to be refined, scaled up and supported by government policies to facilitate industry-wide decarbonization." Link to Article

  • August 3, 2022 - Will ‘connected cars’ persuade drivers to pay for a high-spec ride? - "This time it had reset the vehicle to its original 60kWh range (about 215 miles), a big drop from the 90kWh (more than 300 miles) its battery was capable of following repairs under warranty a few years before. Tesla wanted $4,500 to change the car back to the longer range, in what has been labelled battery ransom... Tesla is by no means the only carmaker to have irked potential buyers with features (of the kind available at zero upfront cost on a smartphone) that can be withdrawn if you don’t pay your dues. Mercedes-Benz charges £19 a year for the ability to access a to-do list and calendar through the dashboard. Volkswagen charges £590 for the navigation upgrade for recent models. Those are software downloads, but a subscription-like “microtransaction” model is also creeping into cars’ hardware. BMW has started offering heated seats for £15 a month in the UK: the technology is installed but is usable only if paid for upfront or monthly. " Link to Article

  • August 2, 2022 - Why Cities Are So Bad at Counting Bicyclists — And Why it Matters - "In a recent paper for the National Institute for Transportation and Communities, researchers took a close look at the shockingly nascent science of bicycle counting and how cities could do a better job of measuring where its residents ride... Unlike previous studies, the data included both physical counters that automatically sense when a person on two wheels is rolling by a specific location, as well as more diffuse data from bikeshare providers, voluntary ride-tracking app Strava, and the Big Data company Streetlight, which uses anonymized cell phone data to automatically sense how many people are pedaling through an entire region in real time... To get the most accurate possible bicycle traffic forecast, Kothuri and her team developed a “pooled” model that synthesizes data from every available traffic source across the six cities — though she cautions that creating a bespoke, city-specific model using a similar methodology would yield the most accurate predictions, and that local leaders should consult her paper for tips on how to do it right. " Link to Article

  • August 2, 2022 - This Artificial Intelligence Bot is Designing Better Streets Than Some Engineers - "ANew York City-based artist is rapidly transforming U.S. streets into walkable paradises with the help of artificial intelligence, and breaking down Americans’ stubborn inability to imagine how their communities could be designed around people instead of automobiles. Since launching a mere seven days ago, Twitter account @betterstreetsai has gone viral with its quick-and-dirty renderings of how auto-centric roads might be transformed into picturesque pedestrian plazas, generous cycletracks, and more, all made in minutes with the help of the artificial intelligence-powered illustrator DALL-E-2 — and yes, the account takes requests. Here’s one Streetsblog requested of Highway 19 in Pasco County, Florida, which holds the dishonor of being the single most deadly street in America for pedestrians — but could become an epic light rail corridor flanked by affordable housing and shared use paths, after a few edits." Link to Article

  • August 2, 2022 - USDOT names three winners of Inclusive Design Challenge - "The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) named the first, second and third place winners of its first Inclusive Design Challenge. The challenge launched more than two years ago to spur innovation in automated vehicle accessibility... Purdue University secured the top $1 million prize with its project Efficient, Accessible and Safe Interaction in a Real Integrated Design Environment for Riders with disabilities (EASI RIDER)... AbleLink Smart Living Technologies was awarded the $700,000 second place prize for its project, WayFinder ADS – Enabling Independent Use of Autonomous Vehicles by Individuals with Cognitive Disabilities and others with Special Needs... The University of Maine (UMaine) was awarded $300,000 for its third place project, Autonomous Vehicle Assistant (Ava): Ride-hailing and localization for the future of accessible mobility." Link to Article

  • August 2, 2022 - We might be having the completely wrong conversation about truck parking - "The University of Pennsylvania’s Steve Viscelli, a sociologist and former truck driver, proposed another fix. We could reduce the demand for truck parking spaces — even without reducing how much freight is moved by truck... He said that it’s a “fundamental sign of inefficiency” that trucks are parked for so many hours a day — especially considering many of those drivers are waiting, often unpaid, for shipments. So, instead of merely increasing the amount of truck parking, Viscelli said we should reduce the number of drivers who have to work overnight. In the good ol’ days, before deregulation drove down the cost of trucking labor, companies had planned routes that relayed shipments across the U.S. Let’s say we have two trailers: one headed east and one headed west. A Detroit-based driver hauling the westbound trailer could drive to Chicago. There, the driver meets a St. Louis-based driver who has an eastbound trailer. They can swap their trailers and head back to their home terminals, where they again swap their trailers with another driver." Link to Article

  • August 2, 2022 - Coming to a giant airport screen: Your personal flight information - "Inside a terminal at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, thousands of passengers a week are finding their way to gates using technology that looks like something out of a futuristic sci-fi movie. Delta Air Lines recently introduced a “Parallel Reality” system that lets travelers access individual flight information on a shared overhead screen based on a scan of their boarding pass — or their face. The twist is that 100 people can do this at a time, all using the same digital screen but only seeing their own personal details... In Detroit, an overhead motion sensor that tracks moving objects anonymously follows passengers after they scan their boarding pass or face to know where to direct flight information, Ng said. Travelers need to opt in to Delta’s facial recognition technology to use the face scan. " Link to Article

  • August 1, 2022 - Pop-up bike lanes assessed with high-tech and low-tech strategies in New Jersey - "How can a city judge whether a proposed bike lane will meet the needs of all transportation users? Start with a temporary one and evaluate it before building the real thing. Rutgers University researchers worked with Asbury Park, New Jersey, to do just that using a combination of high-tech and low-tech strategies... They recorded the bike and e-scooter user experience before and after the bike lane installation with eye-tracking glasses and galvanic skin response sensors that record stress levels. The footage and lidar scans allowed them to simulate the on-site micromobility rider experience via a virtual reality headset in a campus VR lab. Traffic camera footage provided further information on interactions among bikes, scooters, cars, buses, and pedestrians. Defining the bike lane — in particular, the use of traffic cones to create tighter turn radiuses at intersections — succeeded in encouraging slower speeds and safer driving, the researchers reported,,, " Link to Article

  • August 1, 2022 - Driverless cars now legal in Shenzhen - "The government in Shenzhen, China announced new provisions that lay out comprehensive rules governing the use of autonomous vehicles in the city. The regulations are set to take effect on August 1, and they grant permission for autonomous vehicles to operate in Shenzhen without a person in the driver’s seat. The new regulations allow autonomous vehicles to operate in designated areas of the city. According to the regulation, companies must obtain relevant permits. To hit the road, the vehicles must be registered with the Ministry of Public Security. To engage in business activities, like charging for robotaxi rides, companies need permission from the Ministry of Transportation... If no driver is in the driver’s seat, the responsibility falls to the owner or manager of the vehicle. The regulations also state that if the accident is caused by a defect in the autonomous car, then the owner of the car can seek compensation from the manufacturer. " Link to Article

  • August 1, 2022 - Hyundai gets $1.8B in aid to build electric cars in Georgia - "The state of Georgia and local governments are giving $1.8 billion in tax breaks and other incentives to Hyundai Motor Group in exchange for the automaker building its first U.S. plant dedicated to electric vehicles near Savannah, according to the signed agreement disclosed Friday. The deal calls for Hyundai to invest $5.5 billion in its Georgia plant and hire 8,100 workers. It’s the largest economic development deal in the state’s history and comes just months after Georgia closed another major deal with electric vehicle maker Rivian to build a factory in the state." Link to Article

  • August 1, 2022 - US DOT Launches $1.75B Transit Accessibility Program - "The U.S. Dept. of Transportation has opened a competition for a new Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) program that provides $1.75 billion over five years to add elevators, ramps and other features to make more transit stations accessible to people with disabilities. The new All Stations Accessibility Program, or ASAP, aims to address the more than 900 stations on U.S. transit systems that are not fully accessible. On July 26—the 32nd anniversary of the signing of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act—U.S. DOT’s Federal Transit Administration released a funding-availability notice for $343 million, the fiscal year 2022 installment of ASAP grants." Link to Article

  • August 1, 2022 - At Philadelphia Eviction Court, Showing Up on Time Is Half the Battle - "But new research shows that default judgments, which are served to defendants who are late or fail to appear in court, are disturbingly common in Philadelphia. And among all the barriers tenants face in trying to prevent eviction, their experience is made even harder by one important factor in Haughton’s story: a long trip to the courthouse. To understand why so many tenants are served default evictions, David Hoffman, a professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, and Anton Strezhnev, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Chicago, analyzed 200,000 evictions filed in Philadelphia from 2005 through 2021... They found that nearly 40% of evictions resulted in default judgments, and that the farther away tenants lived from the courthouse, the more likely they were to get served with one. For every hour in increased travel time, the probability of a default judgment increased by 3.9 to 8.6 percentage points. " Link to Article

  • July 29, 2022 - Study: solid state batteries can further boost climate benefits of EVs - "Solid state batteries can reduce the carbon footprint of electric vehicle batteries by almost two-fifths – further increasing EVs’ advantage over fossil fuel vehicles. That’s according to research commissioned by Transport & Environment (T&E) from Minviro, a company specialised in raw material life-cycle analysis, which compared emerging solid state technology to current battery chemistries. A solid state battery, which stores more energy with less materials, can reduce the already decreasing carbon footprint of an electric car battery by a further 24%, the study finds. The analysis compares a NMC-811 solid state battery, which is one of the most promising chemistries being developed, to current lithium-ion technology. Solid state technology uses solid ceramic material instead of liquid electrolytes to carry electric current, also making the batteries lighter, faster to charge and eventually cheaper. Battery manufacturers forecast that solid state batteries will be used in EVs in the second half of the decade." Link to Article

  • July 29, 2022 - Audi: Myth Surrounding Self Driving Cars Explained By Experts - "Will self-driving cars soon be a reality? And how will people’s attitude have to change to ensure autonomous driving meets with broad acceptance? The &Audi study “SocAIty”, compiled with the help of renowned experts, looks into these questions, among others. It also clears up some of the widespread myths surrounding the topic... Myth No. 1: Self-driving cars will be like normal cars, just without drivers... Myth No. 2: Once the software is developed and available, autonomous cars will be able to drive anywhere... Myth No. 3: Self-driving cars will make driving less fun... Myth No. 4: Self-driving cars are a hacking liability... Myth No. 5: Self-driving cars will require fewer parking spaces... Myth No. 6: The technology is already developed, but laws on autonomous driving are still lacking... Myth No. 7: In extreme cases, autonomous vehicles will have to make life-and-death decisions... Myth No. 8: As a technology, self-driving cars will be so expensive that few people will be able to afford it. " Link to Article

  • July 29, 2022 - Michigan can set aside roadways for exclusive use by automated vehicles under new law - "Michigan’s transportation department now has the power to designate some Michigan roadways and driving lanes for the use of automated vehicles. That’s the result of a law signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer Monday. The new policy also gives the Michigan Department of Transportation permission to work with a third party to develop that technology... Supporters are cautioning it could be years before the state implements automated vehicle roadway technology on a large scale. Collin Castle is the program manager for intelligent transportation systems at the Michigan Department of Transportation. He said the state first needs a better understanding of designs for the potential roadways and how they would serve the driving public." Link to Article

  • July 29, 2022 - City-university partnerships are a win-win. Here’s how they can best work together to fight climate change and adopt new tech. - "These partnerships are a \"win-win\" scenario, said Karen Lightman, the executive director of Metro21: Smart Cities Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. \"It\'s free advice for the city to take or leave,\" she told Insider. \"City-university collaboration gives researchers an opportunity to do something that\'s meaningful and real-world based.\".. Atlanta-based Georgia Tech runs Smart Community Corps, a summer program that pairs the students from Georgia Tech and other colleges and universities in Georgia to work on real smart-city projects across the state. For example, students have worked on a traffic monitoring project in Valdosta and smart-pedestrian planning in Clayton County. Working on city projects also shows students that public service is a career option, Lightman said. Students may choose to live and work in the city after graduation once they\'ve been involved in a partnership, which helps municipalities retain talented residents and benefits the community in the long run. " Link to Article

  • July 29, 2022 - Miami’s First Fleet of Driverless Cars Hits the Streets - "According to Pittsburgh-based autonomous vehicle technology developer, Argo AI, no sentient beings are required to man its fleet of driverless vehicles, which debuted yesterday on public roads in Miami — and it\'s completely safe and legal. \"Elevators used to be a novelty, but today we take them for granted,\" Alex Roy, Argo AI\'s director of special operations, points out. \"The two most common misconceptions about driverless vehicles are that they will never work, or that they will work everywhere overnight. The reality is, driverless vehicles are on the road in several cities right now, and that number will only grow.\" While some companies have begun testing vehicles with safety co-drivers and engineers in the front seat, Argo AI says it\'s the first to go fully driverless in the Magic City. " Link to Article

  • July 27, 2022 - Las Vegas startup launches driverless car rental service - "Las Vegas-based startup Halo.Car launched a transportation service this week that allows customers to rent cars piloted by a remote driver, operating the vehicle from Halo.Car’s office. The service, which is temporarily free, is still in its testing phase and only available in the downtown Las Vegas area. The remotely driven cars will also have a safety driver inside, in case any problems arise. The electric vehicles are controlled through six cameras that stream video directly to the remote pilots at Halo.Car’s office, and the pilots’ workspace looks similar to an arcade game with a steering wheel, pedals and large computer screen. Halo.Car founder and CEO Anand Nandakumar says the Halo.Car delivery service will only use EVs and hopes to make a positive impact on the climate while making EVs more accessible to the public." Link to Article

  • July 27, 2022 - HS2 reports hydrogen generator trial success - "Use of two hydrogen power units on a site in west London slashed carbon emissions by 51t per 400 hours while producing the electricity required for operations on the rapid rail link project. HS2 air quality manager Andrea Davidson said the use of hydrogen rather than diesel to power site equipment brought “major” benefits. The results of the trial were announced as the government held its Hydrogen Investment Summit, where energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng set out progress made on unlocking £9bn of investment to realise the “enormous potential” of the natural gas. Ministers also officially opened the £240M Net Zero Hydrogen Fund for bids as well as launching the Hydrogen Business Model, which is designed to incentivise the production and use of low-carbon hydrogen." Link to Article

  • July 27, 2022 - Warehouse Developers See Spark of Demand for Electric-Vehicle Chargers - "Industrial real-estate developers say they have been receiving more requests to install charging stations at distribution centers, a sign that logistics companies are preparing for a shift in the power behind transport amid elevated fuel prices and a drive to rein in carbon emissions. Attention to charging infrastructure is growing as truck and automobile makers turn more of their manufacturing efforts over to developing electric vehicles. Additionally, battery makers are extending their research as they try to make lighter power sources that can allow vehicles to travel longer distances before they need to be recharged. Still, much of the investment in charging infrastructure so far has focused on passenger cars rather than commercial trucks. The high stakes involved in shipping operations, where unexpected or lengthy downtimes for charging can disrupt supply chains, are leading more companies to seek their own solutions." Link to Article

  • July 27, 2022 - Ford is testing a robotic EV charger to assist disabled, elderly, and less mobile drivers - "However, others may need a little more assistance. To help solve this issue, Ford Motor Company is trialling a robotic EV charger system that less mobile users can activate from their phone without leaving the vehicle, offering a new level of inclusivity that the EV community embraces... The charging station itself was custom built by Dortmund University in Germany, where real-life testing took place following initial trials in a lab. The design allows a driver to pull up and activate the station using their smartphone. This activates the station cover to slide open to make room for a robotic charger arm that extends towards the EV inlet and connects using a tiny camera... Ford states that in the future, the entire process can become fully-automated with little to no driver involvement. Simply send your EV off to charge and instruct it to return to you when finish. " Link to Article

  • July 27, 2022 - This small city ditched its buses. Its public Uber-like service has been a big hit - "Some cities and towns around the U.S. have begun to embrace the model, including the small city of Wilson, North Carolina, population 49,000. The town, about 55 miles east of Raleigh, took the dramatic step of replacing its bus system with on demand minivans about two years ago, and says it\'s been a game changer for residents. Before, the city had five fixed bus routes that ran once an hour... Lentz said the city spent years exploring the idea of replacing its fixed bus routes with on-demand rides, and finally took the leap in September 2020 in partnership with a company Via, which provided software, vehicles and drivers in exchange for city funding... These days, the service runs about 3,700 trips a week, Lentz said, or more than two and a half times the 1,400 rides the old bus system ran in a typical, pre-pandemic week. " Link to Article

  • July 26, 2022 - The unsinkable potential of autonomous boats - "In Norway, an autonomous battery-powered container vessel is shuttling fertilizer between a factory and a local port, and pending a successful trial, it could be fully certified within the next two years. A commercial tanker called the Prism Courage recently traveled from Texas, through the Panama Canal, to South Korea, guided by software from Avikus, a subsidiary of HD Hyundai, a shipbuilding operation that was spun off of the car group. There are even some boats meant to transport humans that can now operate on their own: A self-driving water taxi created by the artificial intelligence startup Buffalo Automation was ready to ferry people across the Tennessee River in downtown Knoxville, at least as of April... Some current AI sailing software is assistive, and requires at least some form of monitoring from a person onboard, while more advanced technology can operate a ship entirely independently, without any need for humans." Link to Article

  • July 26, 2022 - Colorado to add 150 new connected vehicle devices to roadways - "The company, Yunex Traffic, announced it will provide 150 roadside devices over the next year to expand Colorado’s connected vehicles initiative, which kicked off in 2016. The devices, called RSU2X units, can receive data and send messages to vehicles equipped with their own transmitters... “Instead of one speed limit sign or traffic delay notification that applies to everyone over long stretches of roadway, we’ll soon have just-in-time information sent right to a vehicle’s display based on its precise location and surrounding conditions,” explains a Colorado DOT video. Colorado is one of many states steadily building out connected-vehicle tech — there are connected vehicle deployments in at least 26 other states, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. And nine other states are currently planning their first connected vehicle projects. While reducing congestion is a common goal for state transportation departments, safety considerations tend to be the top priority." Link to Article

  • July 26, 2022 - GM, Ford seek U.S. OK to deploy self-driving vehicles without steering wheels - "General Motors (GM.N) and Ford Motor (F.N) have asked U.S. auto safety regulators to grant exemptions to deploy a limited number of self-driving vehicles without human controls like steering wheels and brake pedals. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Wednesday published the separate petitions and opened them for public comment for 30 days. NHTSA has authority to grant petitions to allow a limited number of vehicles to operate on U.S. roads without required human controls. Both automakers want to deploy up to 2,500 vehicles a year, the maximum allowed under the law, for ride sharing and delivery services. Neither seek approval to sell self-driving vehicles to consumers." Link to Article

  • July 26, 2022 - Driverless vehicles include one for the handicapped - "A driverless vehicle for people with disabilities is being tested in Sangam-dong, a western Seoul district being used as a pilot zone for autonomous cars, a first for the country. The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced Wednesday that a total of seven driverless vehicles will ply a designated route in the self-driving test bed area of Sangam-dong in Mapo District, western Seoul, starting Thursday, up from four already in use. They are a combination of minibuses and cars. Among them, a vehicle that can be used by people in wheelchairs will be introduced. The customized van has a lifting platform at the back to help people in wheelchairs get in and out. Seoul wants to improve transportation for the disabled, the city explained." Link to Article

  • July 26, 2022 - VDOT preparing to use artificial intelligence to predict traffic - "State transportation officials are gearing up to use an artificial intelligence system that will monitor emerging conditions to predict the impacts of traffic disruptions in Northern Virginia and the Fredericksburg metropolitan area... The new AI support system is intended to improve the effectiveness of real-time integrated transportation information, an agency report states. Information is expected to be provided through digital message boards, 511 Virginia and third-party applications including Waze and Google Maps. Officials hope the system will reduce congestion, improve safety, mobility and travel time and make travel times more reliable... The rollout is planned as part of a broader transportation monitoring program known as the Regional Multi-Modal Mobility Program, or RM3P, that started with a proposal from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority in 2018 and has since expanded from the region down the I-95 corridor to Fredericksburg." Link to Article

  • July 25, 2022 - Here’s what it looks like to ride a Chinese robotaxi with no steering wheel - "Baidu has unveiled plans for an electric self-driving car with a removable steering wheel, marking another step forward in the fast-moving robotaxi race in China. The Chinese tech giant, the country\'s answer to Google (GOOGL), revealed the Apollo RT6, its sixth-generation autonomous vehicle, at its annual flagship conference on Thursday. Baidu\'s ride-hailing service, Apollo Go, currently operates in 10 Chinese cities. The new vehicle will roll out through that program sometime next year. Once regulators give the green light, the Apollo RT6\'s detachable steering wheel will legally be able to come off, a company executive said Thursday. The company said its new self-driving car has dramatically lowered the production costs from previous versions, by about half. Those cost savings will be passed on to passengers as the company prepares to introduce the cars to its existing fleet of robotaxis around the country, according to CEO Robin Li." Link to Article

  • July 25, 2022 - Transit app Moovit rolls out more personalized trip-planning features - "Transit app Moovit is aiming to be more helpful when it comes to helping users get to their destination. Starting today, the app is rolling out more personalized trip-planning features in 3,500 cities across 112 countries to build on its existing route suggestions. One of new functions is called Smart Cards. Intel-owned Moovit will populate travel suggestions on the home screen based on factors such as your location, the time of day and week, your previous activity and items you mark as favorites... Another of the three new features is called Smart Trips. You\'ll be able to set your preferred transit options when you set up the app or through the preferences menu on the Suggested Routes screen. .. The last of the new features is Smart Returns. You can quickly select a trip back to the last location you departed from. " Link to Article

  • July 25, 2022 - Automakers targeting average households with new crop of EVs - "In their first rollouts of electric vehicles, America\'s automakers targeted people who value short-range economy cars. Then came EVs for luxury buyers and drivers of pickups and delivery vans. Now, the companies are zeroing in at the heart of the U.S. auto market: The compact SUV. In their drive to have EVs dominate vehicle sales in coming years, the automakers are promoting their new models as having the range, price and features to rival their gas-powered competitors. Some are so far proving quite popular. Ford’s $45,000-plus Mustang Mach E is sold out for the model year. On Monday night, General Motors’ Chevrolet brand introduced an electric version of its Blazer, also starting around $45,000, when it goes on sale next summer. Also coming next year: An electric Chevy Equinox, with a base price of about $30,000, whose price could give it particular appeal with modest-income households. " Link to Article

  • July 25, 2022 - Municipalities Explore Autonomous Vehicles to Expand Citizen Mobility - "Around the nation, cities are experimenting with autonomous vehicles, or AV, as part of their transportation mix. In Ann Arbor, Mich., residents can shuttle across town in self-driving vehicles thanks to a partnership between May Mobility, the University of Michigan’s Mcity and the economic development organization Ann Arbor SPARK... Anticipating the trend toward autonomy and seeking to establish themselves as leaders in civic tech, many cities now have AV pilots up and running as a way to enhance safety, promote sustainability and expand public transit... For Ann Arbor’s AV initiative, “there isn’t any funding from the city itself,” she says. Instead, funders for the AV project include Mcity; important Safety Technologies, an emerging technology company working on pedestrian safety; 4M, Ann Arbor’s first co-living townhomes; the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Office of Future Mobility and Electrification; and Ann Arbor SPARK." Link to Article

  • July 25, 2022 - Hitachi trials smart mobility app in Genoa using Bluetooth and AI to connect all transport modes - "Its new 360Pass uses artificial intelligence and Bluetooth sensors to connect Genoa’s entire public transportation system and make journeys as seamless as possible while capping their cost. Hitachi hailed the service as a “world first for smart mobility” and said it could improve urban transport in other cities around the world. Hitachi’s 360Pass is the result of a partnership with the Municipality of Genoa and the city’s public transport operator AMT in a six-month pilot that started on May 9, using the local brand name GoGoGe... The 360Pass all-in-one approach harnesses the power of computers to suggest the smartest journey across all mobility options... Proposed itineraries include alternatives from both public and private transport modes, such as electric car-sharing services, e-scooters and even parking spots... Bluetooth-enabled sensors simply identify when passengers have boarded, as well as when they disembark, allowing hands-free payment and automatically calculating “the cheapest possible fare” at the end of the day." Link to Article

  • July 22, 2022 - The UK wants to host a “drone superhighway” - "The UK government has just announced the construction of the world\'s longest and largest drone \"superhighway\" in what could be a major shake-up for logistics and delivery workers everywhere. The 164-mile superhighway, dubbed \"Skyway\", will aim to connect towns such as Reading, Oxford, Milton Keynes, Cambridge, Coventry and Rugby, and is set to be completed within the next two years. The project will be led by Reading-based tech firm UTM (Unified Traffic Management) and software vendor Altitude Angel, alongside BT, EE, and \"a number of UK tech start-ups\". The consortium behind the project said that though drones currently \"cannot be flown without a human pilot, except in rare circumstances\" the new highway will remove this obstacle \"by enabling any drone manufacturer to connect a drone’s guidance and communication systems to a virtual superhighway system which takes care of guiding drones safely through ‘corridors’, onward to their destinations, using only a software integration\"." Link to Article

  • July 22, 2022 - BMW Group launches pilot for automated driving in-plant - "The aim of the AFW pilot project is for vehicles to move autonomously around logistics areas and assembly safely, efficiently and without requiring a driver. To make this happen, the BMW Group has been collaborating with Seoul Robotics from South Korea and Embotech from Switzerland... Automated driving within the plant is fundamentally different from autonomous driving for customers. It doesn’t use sensors in the vehicle. In fact, the car itself is more or less blind and the sensors for maneuvering them are integrated along the route through the plant... Initially, the vehicles will only move through the assembly area and then to logistics. Fresh off the production line, they will drive themselves to a parking area, ready for their onward journey by train or truck. Essentially, the technology can be used from the moment the cars are capable of driving independently in production—just after the first ignition of the engine, in other words." Link to Article

  • July 22, 2022 - Why Delivery Robots Could Leave Driverless Cars in the Dust - "Delivery robots could also be a boon for entrepreneurs looking to cut down on their emissions. Kashani says that roughly 1.5 percent of all CO2 emissions come from cars making shopping trips within a three-mile radius of their homes. Sidewalk robots are much less energy intensive, with Serve\'s robots using 85 percent less energy than a two-ton car. There are some parts of the delivery experience that sidewalk robots simply can\'t replicate, however, such as entering an apartment building and scaling stairs, but Kashani believes people will be more eager to run downstairs if they don\'t have to tip a driver. While it may be a while before you can send a car out to deliver a burrito, smaller autonomous vehicles are making strides that are expected to bring much-needed innovation to business owners." Link to Article

  • July 22, 2022 - Washington, DC, among cities piloting transparency standard for digital tech - "Dive Brief: Washington, D.C. last month, along with Boston and two other international cities, joined an approximately four-month pilot aimed at growing trust in increasingly digitized public spaces through visual icons and QR codes that inform the public of nearby technology like sensors and cameras. The cities are piloting Digital Trust for Places and Routines (DTPR), an open-source communication standard for transparency and accountability around digital technology. According to a press release from Helpful Places, the consulting group coordinating the pilot, testing the standard will help residents “understand and interact with smart technologies installed in their cities.” A spokesperson for the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), which serves Washington, D.C., said in an email that signs using the DTPR visual language will be located near intersections where new technology is being piloted for bike and pedestrian safety. The signs and accompanying web pages inform users what data the technology is collecting, who’s collecting it, and what it’s being used for." Link to Article

  • July 22, 2022 - Biden mulling plan to add butane to summer gas to lower price at pump - "Saving 10 to 15 cents a gallon may sound good, especially at a time when it feels like every penny counts but scientists said there is a downside to butane in summer gas. Just like it does in a lighter, butane evaporates quickly into the environment, causing ozone pollution on hot summer days. “And so the fact that it likes to evaporate from the gasoline instead of going through the engine is what makes it a serious thing when it comes to ozone pollution,” said Neil Donahue, an atmospheric chemist at Carnegie Mellon University. Donahue said butane in summer gas would cause health problems whose cost far outweighs the 15 cents per gallon savings. “Putting butane in gasoline in the summer to lower the sticker price to make gas cheaper, makes using that gas more expensive. We pay in people getting sick,” Donahue said. " Link to Article

  • July 20, 2022 - Electric vehicle sales hit new record in Q2 - "The number of battery-electric vehicles sold in the U.S. set a new record in the second quarter of this year, according to data released Wednesday by Cox Automotive, a global company that owns Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book among other brands. Sales rose more than 66% over the same period last year to 196,788 vehicles. For the first half of 2022, buyers snapped up 370,726 EVs. The market share for pure electric vehicles reached 5.6% in the second quarter, more than double the 2.7% they accounted for in the second quarter of 2021. The data also showed a shift toward pure battery-electric vehicles, as sales of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles all dwindled... But a report released this week by the Zero Emission Transportation Association found that gas-powered vehicles are three to five times more expensive to drive per mile than EVs, exacerbated by the sudden rise in gas prices." Link to Article

  • July 20, 2022 - Vertical Aerospace says American Air has confirmed delivery slots for first 50 VX4 zero-emissions aircraft - "Shares of Vertical Aerospace Ltd. EVTL, +3.80%, a company specializing in zero-emissions aviation, said Friday that American Airlines AAL, +0.48% has confirmed delivery slots for the first 50 VX4 aircraft of an initial pre-order of up to 250 aircraft, with an option for up to 100 more. \"The commitment to pay pre-delivery payments and confirmation of slot reservations for the first 50 aircraft is believed to be the first of its kind for a major airline in the eVTOL industry, and it marks a significant milestone in the partnership between American and Vertical,\" the company said in a statement. Vertical Aerospace went public in 2021 via a merger with a special-purpose acquisition corporation, raising the funding needed to get its five-seat VX4 air taxi certified. The VXR can fly four passengers and a pilot more than 100 miles with zero emissions and minimal noise. Shares jumped 10% premarket on the news, but are down 57% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 SPX, -0.84% has fallen 20%." Link to Article

  • July 20, 2022 - Swytch shows off first pocket-sized electric bike battery for DIY e-bike conversion kit - "The update includes a new handlebar mount that clamps into a rigid plastic case housing the battery. But unlike most e-bike batteries that are the size of a small fire extinguisher, the Swytch battery is the size of those graphing calculators you probably used in high school trig class... The rest of the kit is fairly standard, consisting of a basic hub motor designed to swap onto the front wheel of a bike. It hits 25 km/h (15 mph) in Europe and 32 km/h (20 mph) in the US, and it gets a standard-issue 250W label. It’s nothing fancy, but it gets the job done and it’s how most e-bikes in the world are built. Hub motors are simple and effective, so there just isn’t much left to innovate there. Instead, Swytch focused on innovating on the battery side, which has a much larger impact on riders." Link to Article

  • July 20, 2022 - Tesla has a new self-diagnostic feature in its app - "Tesla has been working on a new “self-diagnostic” feature in its app that the automaker runs when certain types of service appointments are requested. For better or worse, Tesla has been heavily betting on its mobile app to handle service... Some prefer this experience; others would like to be able to talk to a technician about their issues beforehand. One of the main reasons Tesla believes this is a more efficient model for them is the level of connectivity inside its vehicles, resulting in the ability to remotely diagnose a lot of issues. Some of them are even fixed remotely through a software update, but the remote diagnostic capability is also useful to pinpoint problems that need a physical fix before the vehicles come into the service center." Link to Article

  • July 20, 2022 - Alphabet’s Wing Develops Fleet of New Drones for More Efficient Package Delivery - "Alphabet Inc.’s Wing subsidiary has developed a fleet of new drone prototypes designed to more efficiently deliver packages ranging from small pill bottles to items weighing as much as 7 pounds... For the time being, Wing LLC’s delivery test operation is sticking with its Hummingbird W-B aircraft, a hybrid that can take off like a helicopter and fly horizontally like a plane, Chief Executive Officer Adam Woodworth said in an interview... The prototypes are all based on the Hummingbird, which the company says can carry about 2 pounds (0.9 kilograms) and has made hundreds of thousands of deliveries in Dallas suburbs, Virginia, Australia and Finland. They use many of the same components, such as motors and guidance systems, and follow similar designs. The company is also considering building a prototype designed to make flights many times farther than the current 6-mile range and one to deliver goods over shorter distances in urban environments, Woodworth said. " Link to Article

  • July 19, 2022 - Microtransit Changes Up the School Commute for Arizona Students - "A new on-demand, microtransit service in Chandler, Ariz., could take over for the parental taxi. Chandler Flex, a new transit service in this Phoenix suburb will operate as a free service for students... The city credits the program as “a good solution for students needing rides to and from school outside of the normal school bus hours,” said Crampton. The service will be operated by Via, a transportation company operating on-demand, microtransit services in a number of markets. The fleet will include five minivan-like vehicles offering shared rides. Riders can use a mobile app to book a ride, or call a service number. As in other markets, riders will then be directed to walk to a “virtual bus stop” — which is generally a nearby street corner — to be picked up." Link to Article

  • July 19, 2022 - How Transit Agencies Are Engaging the Transit Professionals of Tomorrow - "For youth interested in transit, delving into the field has long meant knowing someone who worked inside. That’s how Austin Lee set his sights on becoming a San Francisco Muni mechanic. Lee – who this fall will begin his second year studying to be an auto mechanic at Skyline College, a community college five miles south of San Francisco’s southern border – began riding Muni by himself since freshman year of high school. And although he spent time making videos of Muni buses and bus models on Minecraft, it wasn’t until he met a mechanic during a solitary visit to a Muni bus garage in 2018 that he learned more about being a mechanic and working for Muni... To ensure young transit riders felt safe sharing about their experiences using Muni and what needed to be improved, they created the Youth Transportation Advisory Board... ." Link to Article

  • July 19, 2022 - HERide Is a Ride-Sharing App That Connects Women Drivers With Women Passengers - "Five thousand, nine-hundred eighty-one. That’s the number of sexual assault claims Uber received in 2019. In 2020 that number was lower due to pandemic lockdowns, but there were nearly a thousand assault reports, and troublingly, 141 reports of rape. Lyft isn’t much better, recording 4,158 sexual assault incidents between 2017 and 2019. Suffice to say, women’s safety is at risk when using ride-sharing services. And as Black Enterprise reports, stats like these inspired two entrepreneurs to create the women-only ride-sharing app HERide. Created in 2020 by former ride-share driver Jillian Anderson and DeVynne Starks, HERide is precisely what it sounds like: A ride-sharing app for women. Anderson says the idea for the app came to her while she was out driving one night. Women she picked up kept expressing the need for a ride-sharing option that put their safety first." Link to Article

  • July 19, 2022 - On TikTok, Teens Stuck in the Suburbs Get the Urbanist Pitch - "This educational corner of TikTok is not as popular as makeup tutorial TikTok or viral dance challenge TikTok or healthy-recipe TikTok. But after the platform hooked young people during the pandemic, videos breaking down topics like housing, transportation, architecture and city planning have found a growing audience. In the burgeoning niche that is CitiesTok, dunking on the suburbs does well (800,000 of the 176 million views on the #suburbs hashtag are on a video about the “profoundly sad” homogeneity of modern suburban developments). So do spins on more traditional TikTok trends with a wonkier flavor (“Gorgeous gorgeous girls advocate for affordable and accessible public transit,” proclaims another post). Self-described “teen architecture enthusiast” Louisa Whitmore, 17, has racked up more than 13 million likes on her @louisatalksbuildings account, with critiques of the Watergate’s brutalism and New York’s super-tall skyscrapers. Jonathon Stalls, 39, uses his growing platform as @pedestriandignity to share reflections from his months walking across the US by foot." Link to Article

  • July 19, 2022 - Visa study: Transit payment practices becoming more contactless - "Visa released the results of its second “Future of Urban Mobility Survey” and reports “the speed, security and ease of digital payments have helped shift global consumers’ payment preferences.” The survey involved 11,550 adults who take transit in 14 global markets including in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, United Kingdom, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Peru, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The survey found 45 percent of respondents prefer to pay for transit with contactless payments and 91 percent strongly or somewhat expect contactless payment options to be available. This is a slight increase over last year’s survey where 88 percent of respondents expected their local transit systems to offer a contactless option for payment. Visa explains those with time-pressed lifestyles tend to want contactless payments. Survey respondents cited convenience (44 percent), fast transactions (40 percent), less worry about cash on hand (38 percent) and reduced contact (35 percent) as benefits to using contactless payment options." Link to Article

  • July 18, 2022 - Switzerland will build an autonomous, underground freight transport system - "Cargo sous terrain is a collaborative effort of multiple Swiss firms engaged across transport, logistics, retail, telecom, and energy sectors. The concept uses the principle of automatic conveyor systems to connect production and logistics hubs with urban centers. Hubs in the system are equipped with vertical lifts that can load and unload goods in an automated fashion into the transportation system that is completely underground. Moving the goods in the transportation system are vehicles powered by electric drives that move at a constant speed of 18 mph (30 kph) and carry goods in pallets or modified containers... However, the project that will commence on August 1st only includes a short phase of 43 miles (70 km) between the cities of Härkingen-Niederbipp and Zurich, which will include 10 connection hubs and is expected to be completed by 2031. The estimated project cost for this pilot phase is now $3 billion dollars with the cost of the entire project ballooning to $35 billion." Link to Article

  • July 18, 2022 - Resorts World Vegas Loop connection is a short trip, but a big step - "Although it’s a short distance across Las Vegas Boulevard, the recently opened Vegas Loop link connecting the Las Vegas Convention Center to Resorts World is a big deal. When first floated, Elon Musk’s Boring Co.’s plan to shuttle passengers underground via Tesla model vehicles was doubted. Many critics believed the initial plan to shuttle passengers between the convention center’s West, Central and South halls wouldn’t come to fruition. Well it did, and the $47 million experiment paid for by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority thus far is working. The Convention Center loop has been in operation about a year-and-a-half and has seen over 700,000 passengers, as noted during a June Las Vegas City Council meeting when the downtown link for the project was approved. The Resorts World link travels only between the resort and the convention center for now, but it marks the first of 55 planned stations up and down the Strip and into downtown." Link to Article

  • July 18, 2022 - Pilot Programs Aim to Address Gaps in Transportation Access - "New pilot programs in Oakland and Bakersfield, California, and in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, are working to address gaps in reliable and affordable transportation options by testing the concept of Universal Basic Mobility (UBM)... Pittsburgh’s UBM pilot is the newest of the three and is just getting ready to launch. Similar to the California pilots, it will focus on underserved populations, selecting fifty residents to receive unlimited transit trips, free bike-share and scooter services, and Zipcar credits. This collection of services, known as Move PGH, is designed to work together to support different travel needs, with multi-modal trip planning provided in the transit app. Spin told the City of Pittsburgh: “We hope Move PGH can become a model for how micromobility operators can collaborate with cities and other mobility companies to better serve the public.” Researchers at Carnegie Mellon are evaluating this pilot and will collaborate with the UC Davis research team on an overall evaluation of all three pilots." Link to Article

  • July 18, 2022 - U.S., Japanese insurers back autonomous vehicle firm May Mobility - "U.S. auto insurer State Farm and Japanese insurance company Tokio Marine (8766.T) have joined in a $111 million funding round for autonomous vehicle technology startup May Mobility, the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company said on Tuesday. The funding will allow May Mobility to continue work with Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) on self-driving people movers, May Mobility said in a statement. May said it is aiming to take human drivers out of vehicles in commercial operation by next year. State Farm, one of the largest U.S. auto insurers, invested through its State Farm Ventures arm, which puts money into startups working on technology that could improve vehicle safety. Insurance industry support for autonomous vehicle technology could be crucial as self-driving vehicle companies work to convince regulators that robot vehicles can be safer than human-driven ones." Link to Article

  • July 18, 2022 - Tesla alums launch a new electric RV startup: Lightship - "A bunch of Tesla alums has launched a new electric RV startup with its first product being a travel trailer equipped with an electric powertrain to help increase the range of an electric vehicle towing a trailer. At Electrek, we have been arguing that the RV market is primed to be electrified for a few years now, but there are only a few projects being developed. Winnebago has its e-RV electric motorhome concept and the electric Airstream concept, but it appears that we are still far from an actual product that we can buy... Lightship aims to deliver a trailer equipped with its own electric powertrain that would result in the EV pulling it not losing its range. Of course, the electric trailer could also be useful to gas-powered trucks and not only EVs, but it is designed to enable a great RVing experience for electric vehicle drivers. " Link to Article

  • July 15, 2022 - Black Pedestrians Killed at Higher Rates as Traffic Deaths Rise - "Black pedestrians are twice as likely to be killed than white people, and Native Americans are about three times as likely to be killed. People in low-income neighborhoods were also killed at much higher rates, according to the 2022 Dangerous by Design report by Smart Growth America. Pedestrian deaths are up 62% since 2009, and low-income communities are less likely to have sidewalks, marked crosswalks, and access to parks, the group found. The findings increase pressure on the Biden administration to take further action to prevent rising road deaths, particularly among people of color. The administration has touted safety and equity initiatives in infrastructure among its top priorities... The report uses only final crash data through 2020, but early 2021 estimates are “jaw-dropping,” it found. Roughly 43,000 people died in crashes last year, the most since 2005, early federal data estimate. The Governors Highway Safety Association recently estimated that drivers in 2021 killed the most pedestrians in 40 years." Link to Article

  • July 15, 2022 - This futuristic self-driving Mercedes-Benz bus just made a landmark journey - "The Mercedes-Benz Future Bus\' CityPilot technology is based on Highway Pilot system found in the autonomous Mercedes-Benz Actros truck, but with adaptations that make it suited to an urban environment. As a result, the bus is able to recognise and communicate with traffic lights, allowing it to drive through the junctions they control... Using cameras and radar systems to scan and monitor its surroundings, along with a GPS system which locates the vehicle to within centimetres, the Future Bus has made its first public journey, a 20km trip from Amsterdam\'s Schiphol airport to the nearby town of Haarlem. The route involves bends, tunnels and traffic lights, all of which the bus successfully navigated without incident.There was still a driver on the bus who put the vehicle into autonomous mode prior to the journey, however." Link to Article

  • July 15, 2022 - Pittsburgh’s RoadBotics just got acquired by Michelin - "East Liberty-based RoadBotics has been acquired by French tire manufacturing giant Michelin. The 2016-founded Carnegie Mellon University spinout specializes in using artificial intelligence to map the status and condition of a region’s infrastructure through visual and other data inputs. Its signature AI platform RoadWay has provided over 250 governments across the world with new assessment and management capabilities for their roads, per the company. RoadBotics is led by cofounders Benjamin Schmidt, Ph.D., who is CEO, and Christoph Mertz, Ph.D., who is chief scientist. (Previous cofounder and CEO Mark DeSantis is now heading Bloomfield Robotics.) The company has previously raised $11.4 million in venture capital. In a sparse press release on the news, Michelin said the deal would further Michelin DDi (or “Driving Data to Intelligence”), an initiative focused on preventative road safety, by incorporating RoadBotics’ computer vision technology. The service will be available in North America first before heading to Europe, the firm said." Link to Article

  • July 15, 2022 - Tesla’s high-profile Autopilot executive departs - "Andrej Karpathy, a high-profile Tesla executive who played a key role in developing the electric car maker\'s artificial intelligence and driver assistant technology, said on Wednesday he is leaving the company. The departure of Karpathy, who provided no reason for leaving, comes at a critical time as Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk races to achieve full self-driving capability this year, after missing earlier targets several times... The departure of Karpathy, whose title was senior director of AI, came after Tesla on Tuesday said it was shutting its office in San Mateo, California, part of the company\'s team developing \"Autopilot\" driver assistant technology, and laying off over 200 people there... \"I would imagine that there will be an internal promotion to fill Karpathy\'s position. It would not be easy to get somebody externally with Karpathy\'s experience and knowledge,\" said Raj Rajkumar, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University." Link to Article

  • July 15, 2022 - Pilot and GM plan coast-to-coast EV fast-charging network - "Pilot Co. will install 2,000 electric fast chargers at 500 of its U.S. truck stops over the next few years, creating a coast-to-coast network in partnership with General Motors. Startup EVgo (NASDAQ: EVGO) will install, operate and maintain the chargers. The chargers are branded as part of GM’s Ultium Charge 360 network. Chargers will begin appearing at U.S. Pilot and Flying J service plazas in early 2023. The majority of the 500 installations will be in place by 2025, Cathy Zoi, EVgo CEO, said on a conference call with news media Wednesday... The new direct-current (DC) chargers will serve passenger vehicles from all brands placed at roughly 50-mile intervals across the county... The network doesn’t address heavy-duty trucks because so few are on the road. " Link to Article

  • July 13, 2022 - High gas prices have some consumers looking to electric vehicles – but supply chains lag behind demand - "The national waitlist for the 2022 F-150 Lightning, Ford’s all-electric pickup truck, already has more than 200,000 reservations, enough to sell out three years’ worth of production. Buoyed by federal and state incentives and an influx of new models by major manufacturers, interest in electric vehicles has moved beyond the early adoption stage and is nearing mainstream acceptance... But that acceptance has been stymied by supply chain shortages that continue to delay production of electric and conventional vehicles alike, stalling the rate of vehicle production at well below pre-pandemic levels... The production shortage is in part due to a continued global dearth of semiconductors used to manufacture microchips, which control everything from engine functions to voice command systems in new vehicles... Though all cars use microchips, electric vehicles use about twice as many as internal combustion vehicles." Link to Article

  • July 13, 2022 - Boston Joins Project to Grow Transparency Around Urban Tech - "Helpful Places, a startup with a mission to increase transparency and communication related to urban tech, has launched the Digital Trust for Places and Routines (DTPR) project, described as an “open source communication standard” for cities to adopt. Four cities — Boston; Washington, D.C.; Innisfil, a small Canadian city near Toronto; and the Angers-Loire metropolitan region in France — will participate in a monthslong study as they install signage on urban tech devices to better inform the community about the nature of the technology and why it’s there... The hope, said Helpful Places officials, is the project will lead to a more comprehensive set of best practices for cities to follow as they deploy an increasing number of data-collecting technology into the public space... Boston has been working with Helpful Places since 2020 when the city began deploying signage on traffic study areas across numerous neighborhoods. " Link to Article

  • July 13, 2022 - The first self-driving vehicle test track and research facility in the region may be coming to UConn. Here’s what it could look like. - "A vacant portion of the University of Connecticut’s campus in Mansfield is on track to become the first autonomous vehicle and smart city research facility in the region. The proposed Spectrum Park development is spearheaded by Eric Jackson, executive director of the Connecticut Transportation Institute, and Steve Cortese, head of Promesa Capital LLC, who envision a facility that will drive innovation, foster job growth, and above all, improve safety... Once finished, Jackson and Cortese said that the Spectrum Park research center will be a place where various companies can test smart car and infrastructure technology in collaboration with UConn researchers. The facility will include crash-test sites, simulated urban, rural and highway driving environments, intersections, roundabouts, parking lots, ramps and other forms of smart infrastructure." Link to Article

  • July 13, 2022 - ‘Hit the kill switch’: Uber used covert tech to thwart government raids - "Uber’s use of what insiders called the “kill switch” was a brazen example of how the company employed technological tools to prevent authorities from successfully investigating the company’s business practices as it disrupted the global taxi industry, according to the documents. During this era, as Uber’s valuation was surging past $50 billion, government raids occurred with such frequency that the company distributed a Dawn Raid Manual to employees on how to respond. It ran more than 2,600 words with 66 bullet points. They included “Move the Regulators into a meeting room that does not contain any files” and “Never leave the Regulators alone.” That document, like the text and email exchanges related to the Amsterdam raid, are part of the Uber Files, an 18.7-gigabyte trove of data that former top Uber lobbyist Mark MacGann provided to the Guardian. It shared the trove with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a nonprofit newsroom in Washington that helped lead the project, and dozens of other news organizations, including The Washington Post. " Link to Article

  • July 13, 2022 - Ford-Backed Driverless Car Startup Lays Off 150 Workers - "Argo AI, a Ford Motor Co.-backed startup focused on driverless-car technology, laid off about 150 workers this week, a belt-tightening measure following years of fast-paced hiring. The layoffs represented about 6% of the company’s more than 2,000-person workforce, a company spokesperson said. “With incredible growth and progress made in our mission to deploy driverless vehicles, we are making prudent adjustments to our business plan to best continue on a path for success,” Argo said in a statement. The spokesman added that the Pittsburgh-based startup is taking this step to correct an aggressive period of hiring and get its staffing levels back in line to hit operational goals... As Argo has built up its business, it has lured talent from established tech companies, such as Apple Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc. Still, the prospects of commercializing fully driverless technology remain uncertain with many executives saying the technical and regulatory hurdles are steeper than they initially envisioned." Link to Article

  • July 12, 2022 - Tool can help you find rail crossings ranked high for predicted accidents - "After last week’s deadly train derailment near Mendon, Missouri, KMBC 9 Investigates found a straightforward tool that checks the probability of an accident at a rail crossing. The Federal Railroad Administration’s Web-Based Accident Prediction Formula can help determine the chances of a predicted collision between a vehicle and a train. It can also help state and local authorities determine the next steps to improve safety at railroad crossings. It does not rank crossings in terms of most to least dangerous. Instead, the tool can use data like accident rates, number of crossings and the number of trains to rank the possibility of a train vehicle collision." Link to Article

  • July 12, 2022 - Volvo Group Venture Capital invests in transit software provider Optibus - "Volvo Group Venture Capital today announced a strategic investment in Optibus to advance the transition to electric buses and the digitalization of public transportation operations, the companies said in a press release. Optibus provides an artificial intelligence platform for transit scheduling and route planning... According to the companies, just 2% of transit buses in the U.S. market are electric, compared with 20% in Europe. As the bus market changes due to digitalization, electrification and new business models, cities and transit agencies will need more advanced software solutions, the companies said... In April, Optibus acquired Trillium, a provider of public transportation passenger information systems. That acquisition was aimed at helping transit agencies manage ongoing disruptions in bus and rail schedules due to the pandemic, labor shortages and changes in ridership, Amos Haggiag, co-founder and CEO of Optibus, said in a prior interview. " Link to Article

  • July 12, 2022 - IKEA has launched an international carpool trial - "IKEA has launched an international carpool programme in collaboration with Liftango to accelerate its sustainability goals. The company aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the total value chain by 50% by 2030. The carpool trial (one of the largest of its kind) will begin this month across three continents including Europe, North America and South East Asia, encouraging employees to adapt to new mobility solutions through a customized app. The app, dubbed Ride2Work, has been developed by global carpooling technology provider Liftango, which aims to reduce the number of cars on the road by collaborating with companies pursuing zero-emission goals. According to IKEA, the ride-sharing app is an answer to providing safe and sustainable commuting alternatives. At the same time, many employees are still hesitant about using public transport in the aftermath of the pandemic. " Link to Article

  • July 12, 2022 - New service with bikes that ride the rails starting in Boone - "Iowans will soon be able to ride the rails on what are known as “railbikes,” which resemble steel-framed go-carts that you pedal on railroad tracks with a battery assist like electric bicycles. Mary Joy Lu is CEO of Rail Explorers which is launching service in Boone this month. Lu says railbike riders will start at the historic Boone Depot, pedaling across farmland into the Des Moines River valley. “We’re allowing an hour-and-a-half to two hours depending on how long people are staying out there,” Lu says. “I think with the motors, it makes pedaling effortless so people of all ages and ability really aren’t going to be troubled, so that everyone will be able to travel at a pretty constant, consistent speed.” Rail Explorers is partnering with the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad and anyone who’s taken the Boone Dinner Train will be familiar with the stretch of track as it’s the same course. " Link to Article

  • July 12, 2022 - U.S. safety regulators to probe crash involving self-driving car from GM-backed Cruise - "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Thursday said its Special Crash Investigation Program is probing the incident, which occurred June 3 in San Francisco – a day after California regulators granted Cruise permission to commercialize its robotaxi fleet. Occupants of both vehicles involved in the crash received medical treatment for “allegedly minor injuries,” according to a mandatory report filed by Cruise with the California Department of Motor Vehicles. According to the report, filed by Cruise Vice President of Global Markets Todd Brugger, a Toyota Prius entered an intersection after traveling straight via a lane designated for turning. The Cruise vehicle was attempting to make a left-hand turn across several lanes of traffic and had stopped to allow the car to turn. The Prius was traveling about 40 mph in a 20 mph speed zone when it struck the Cruise vehicle, according to the filing. The Cruise vehicle was in “autonomous mode” at the time of the crash. " Link to Article

  • July 11, 2022 - Tesla, Ford and GM Raise EV Prices as Costs, Demand Grow - "Auto makers have been raising prices on electric cars, partly to offset the soaring cost of materials used in their large batteries. Car executives also are capitalizing on strong consumer interest in EVs, as a new wave of plug-in vehicles hits the market... Overall, the average price paid for an electric vehicle in the U.S. in May was up 22% from a year earlier, at about $54,000, according to J.D. Power. By comparison, the average paid for an internal-combustion vehicle increased 14% in that period, to about $44,400. The companies say they are trying to offset a recent price rise in raw materials that go into the batteries to power electric cars, by far the most expensive component of an EV... GM departed from the trend this month by cutting the Chevrolet Bolt’s price in the U.S. by about $6,000, to about $27,000, among the least expensive EVs on the market. " Link to Article

  • July 11, 2022 - Patents for driverless car technology rise as makers try to avoid litigation - "Patents for automotive wireless technology submitted by car makers have jumped by 4.9 per cent in the last year, according to research published today. Figures from intellectual property law firm Mathys & Squire went up from 945 in 2020 to 991 – a threefold increase on 2016 levels. According to Mathys & Squire, the reason behind such a spike lies in the automotive industry developing their own technology to avoid lawsuits from telecom giants, which are seen as more litigious and protective of its own technology. “The automotive industry knows access to wireless communications technology is vital to its future,” said Andrew White, partner at the law firm. “They fear that telecom companies might frustrate their access to this technology. Wireless communications technology is a key component in the automotive industry’s push towards driverless cars, as it allows vehicles to communicate with other ones and therefore avoid collisions. " Link to Article

  • July 11, 2022 - Bike Share Pittsburgh is donating 450 retired Healthy Ride bikes as part of Recycle a Bicycle Program - "In May, Bike Share Pittsburgh unveiled POGOH, its revamped and rebranded bike share program. It replaced the 7-year-old Healthy Ride program, phasing out the nextdoor-manufactured vehicles in favor of an all-new fleet of more than 350 bikes, split 50/50 between pedal and electric-assist bikes, available at 38 stations around the city. The Healthy Ride bikes were retired for several reasons, including increased interest in electric-assist bikes to help riders climb Pittsburgh’s steep hills, as well as a lack of support from bike manufacturer nextbike, which had shifted most of its operations to Europe... In December 2021, Bike Share Pittsburgh posted an application form on its website, through which organizations could submit bids for a share of the 450 bikes. It closed the form after just one month: The nonprofit had received 54 unique applications, asking for some 1,000 bikes in total." Link to Article

  • July 11, 2022 - Walmart wants to combine robot and drone delivery - "Walmart (NYSE: WMT) has a war chest of institutional funding at its disposal, and its massive scale allows it to spend that money on any number of speculative ventures without undertaking potentially disastrous risk. Already, the company has experimented with solutions like drone delivery, food delivery robots and fully autonomous box trucks. A new patent, though, seeks to combine all three. The patent, filed last week with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, describes a solution that combines driverless technology with delivery drones and robots. Under the proposal, Walmart would use automated guided vehicles (AGVs) that follow a predetermined route. But if they run into any obstacles, they would automatically release a drone to complete the delivery." Link to Article

  • July 11, 2022 - Uber rides are getting safer, but the roads are deadlier than ever - "Uber said 3,824 sexual assaults occurred during trips in 2019 and 2020, a 38 percent drop from the 2017–2018 report, which logged 5,981 assaults. The decrease could be related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in an 80 percent drop in Uber’s ride-hailing business during 2020. Still, Uber says the vast majority of trips, 99.9 percent, occur without a safety incident... There were 101 traffic fatalities across Uber’s platform in 2019 and 2020, including 14 drivers and 19 riders. The remaining people killed were other vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, or pedestrians. Notably, there were 23 pedestrians and three bicyclists or scooter riders killed by Uber vehicles... Uber says that traffic fatalities per vehicle mile traveled increased 7 percent between the two reported timeframes but that the company’s fatality rate was still half the national average. More than half of the deaths were related to risky driving behaviors, such as drunk driving, lack of seat belts, or speeding, the company said. And 94 percent of the deaths were the result of a third-party driver." Link to Article

  • July 8, 2022 - Amazon cancels or delays plans for at least 16 warehouses this year - "After spending billions doubling the size of its fulfillment network during the pandemic, Amazon finds itself in a perilous position. In the first quarter of 2022, the e-commerce giant reported a $3.8 billion net loss after raking in an $8.1 billion profit in Q1 2021. That includes $6 billion in added costs — the bulk of which can be traced back to that same fulfillment network. Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) CFO Brian Olsavsky said the company chose to expand its warehouse network based on “the high end of a very volatile demand outlook.” So far this year, though, it has shut down or delayed plans for at least 16 scheduled facilities... The slowdown can be attributed to a few different factors. Many point to inflation as the main culprit — with less disposable income, shoppers are trying to save by spending less online, putting their money into things like travel and fuel. Subsiding pandemic fears are also driving a departure from e-commerce and a return to in-person shopping. " Link to Article

  • July 8, 2022 - California facing calls to allow testing of heavy-duty autonomous trucks - "A group of autonomous vehicle developers and business leaders is calling on California Gov. Gavin Newsom to revisit rules prohibiting large trucks with autonomous driving capabilities from public testing in the state, arguing California stands to reap both environmental and economic benefits of the emerging technology. In a letter to Newsom earlier this week, dozens of autonomous vehicle developers, logistics firms and others urged the governor and the California Department of Motor Vehicles to begin a rulemaking process to allow heavy-duty self-driving trucks to be tested and eventually deployed on public roads. Signees include Waymo, TuSimple, Gavit, Uber Freight, UPS, Embark, Volvo and others. Since 2019, California has allowed light-duty autonomous trucks and other vehicles to be tested and used for commercial purposes on state roads. " Link to Article

  • July 8, 2022 - ‘Surreal’: Cruise’s driverless cars block traffic for nearly two hours in San Francisco - "Nearly 20 driverless cars caused a major kerfuffle on the corner of San Francisco’s Gough and Fulton streets Tuesday night, the San Francisco Examiner reported earlier this week... Sean Sinha, a bouncer at Smuggler’s Cove, posted multiple photos of the incident on Reddit showing clusters of the cars just sitting in the middle of the road. “The first thing I say to my coworker is that they\'re getting together to murder us. It was a pretty surreal event,” he posted. “Humans had to come and manually take the cars away... Following the traffic obstruction on Gough Street and a similar incident that allegedly occurred at midnight that same evening, a Cruise spokesperson provided the following statement to the Examiner: \"We had an issue earlier this week that caused some of our vehicles to cluster together. While it was resolved and no passengers were impacted, we apologize to anyone who was inconvenienced.” " Link to Article

  • July 8, 2022 - Federal Transit Administration Grant to Expand Access to Transportation Assistance Programs - "The Pennsylvania departments of Transportation (PennDOT) and Human Services (DHS) have been awarded a $750,000 grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to expand its Find My Ride (FMR) online tool, Pennsylvania’s “one-stop shop” for access to human services transportation. Pennsylvania was among 17 states that received funding through FTA’s Innovative Coordinated Access & Mobility (ICAM) Pilot Program, which received millions more in funding thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL)... FMR Apply was developed collaboratively with transit agencies and streamlines the application process for the five largest transportation assistance programs in the state, including the Senior Shared Ride program, the Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP), ADA complementary paratransit, the Persons with Disabilities program and the Free Transit Program. Additionally, FMR Apply allows third-parties, such as a family member or healthcare provider, to apply for services on behalf of a rider." Link to Article

  • July 8, 2022 - FCC authorizes SpaceX to provide mobile Starlink internet service to boats, planes and trucks - "The Federal Communications Commission authorized SpaceX to provide Starlink satellite internet to vehicles in motion, a key step for Elon Musk’s company to further expand the service. “Authorizing a new class of [customer] terminals for SpaceX’s satellite system will expand the range of broadband capabilities to meet the growing user demands that now require connectivity while on the move, whether driving an RV across the country, moving a freighter from Europe to a U.S. port, or while on a domestic or international flight,” FCC international bureau chief Tom Sullivan wrote in the authorization posted Thursday." Link to Article

  • July 6, 2022 - How bike parking pods could make US cities better for cyclists - "Paying hundreds or thousands of dollars to replace a bike can be a painful inconvenience for more privileged New Yorkers, but for working-class riders—especially delivery workers—it can be economically devastating. Thinking about the larger implications of his experience gave Stuart a business idea. In 2017 he created a company called Oonee with the goal of building out a missing piece of bicycle infrastructure in the US: secure parking. Stuart and cofounder J. Manuel Mansyll developed a kit that can make modular parking “pods” to store anywhere from eight to 80 bicycles or scooters in a spot that’s protected from rain and theft. Each pod is operated with a smart access system that can be controlled with a keycard or a smartphone. The units are outfitted with security cameras, and insurance against theft is provided for users. Membership is free." Link to Article

  • July 6, 2022 - GM is training more first responders for EV emergencies in the US and Canada - "GM is training more first responders to be able to handle emergencies involving electric vehicles. The automaker is \"significantly expanding\" its EV First Responder Training program in the United States and Canada as electric vehicle sales continue to grow. Its initiative will primarily focus on training firefighters and equipping them with the necessary knowledge about full electric vehicle technologies. GM says it\'s hoping to dispel misconceptions when it comes to handling EVs in emergency situations. One of those misconceptions is that water is dangerous around EV batteries — turns out the recommended way to put out lithium-ion battery fires is by using copious amounts of water. " Link to Article

  • July 6, 2022 - New Tool Gives Public 3D View of Transportation Project - "Officials with NCDOT’s Public Involvement unit and Highway Division 2 demonstrated the 3D virtual room for the future Kinston Bypass during a meeting of the I-42/U.S. 70 Corridor Commission in New Bern. “This is exciting new technology that will allow citizens to have the public involvement experience on their own schedule,” Jeff Cabaniss, the Division 2 engineer, said at the meeting. The commission, which advocates for improvements along the U.S. 70 corridor east of Raleigh, includes elected and public officials from Carteret, Craven, Johnston, Lenoir and Wayne counties. On the website, visitors can navigate through a 3D room, which looks like a typical NCDOT public meeting. Within the virtual room, visitors can look through the large map of the proposed project. They can also see an overview video of the future bypass; 30-second videos at each interchange; and maps of each section of the project. " Link to Article

  • July 6, 2022 - Daimler Truck tests fuel-cell truck with liquid hydrogen - "Daimler Truck is now putting another prototype into operation to test the use of liquid hydrogen... Daimler Truck prefers liquid hydrogen in the development of hydrogen-based drives. In this aggregate state the energy carrier has a significantly higher energy density in relation to volume compared to gaseous hydrogen. As a result, more hydrogen can be carried, which significantly increases the range and enables comparable performance of the vehicle with that of a conventional diesel truck. The development objective of the series-ready GenH2 Truck is a range of up to 1,000 kilometres and more. This makes the truck suitable for flexible and demanding applications, especially in the important segment of heavy-duty long-haul transport. The start of series production for hydrogen-based trucks is planned for the second half of the decade." Link to Article

  • July 6, 2022 - New traffic technology available for El Paso drivers on the road, online - "HELP Alerts are now live statewide and TransVista will be using them to alert motorists for incidents lasting more than four hours. The alerts are like TxDOT traffic alerts and will be sent to cell phones located in the geo fence set up by TxDOT Operators, much like Amber and Silver Alerts are sent on cell phones. No mobile app or pre-registration is needed for drivers to participate. Agencies who offer the HELP Alerts service push a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) to travelers in and approaching a major incident area. The WEA message relays instructions for registering for road closure updates. Once registered, users can receive updates about the closure from the agency as well as send messages to the agency’s representatives... The alerts operate through the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS), FEMA\'s national system for local alerting that provides authenticated emergency and life-saving information to the public." Link to Article

  • July 5, 2022 - Ørsted to trial drones for carrying parts to offshore wind farms - "Danish clean energy group Ørsted (CPH:ORSTED) today said that together with compatriot transport and logistics company DSV it will test using long-distance drones to transport spare parts and tools at Anholt offshore wind farm in the Kattegat offshore Denmark. The trial is part of Ørsted’s efforts to optimise wind farm availability and lower carbon emissions from service logistics as it aims to become carbon-neutral by 2025. Cargo drones can reduce the need for transport by ship and make quick deliveries if technicians find that special spare parts, especially small parts, are needed for repairs." Link to Article

  • July 5, 2022 - Near Earth Autonomy landed a $10M equity investment for its autonomous aircraft tech - "Near Earth was founded as a spinout from Carnegie Mellon University at the end of 2012 and counted around 90 employees as of November... In a city known for its success with self-driving road vehicles, CEO Sanjiv Singh told Technical.ly in the fall that Near Earth’s developmental challenges are “exactly the opposite” of those of most of the AV industry. All autonomous vehicle developers look to address two main cases, Singh said: normal scenarios, and scenarios where something goes wrong. In the case of road vehicles, developing the autonomous platform to respond to a problem is easier, because it can direct the car to stop or pull over... But for aircraft, because air travel is already extremely controlled, the general and normal scenarios an autonomous aircraft may come across are relatively simple to account for. The cases in which something goes wrong, however, present a huge challenge. Aircrafts, unlike cars, cannot simply pull over or land in the event of an error or system breakdown. " Link to Article

  • July 5, 2022 - Tesla closes an office as layoff hits Autopilot jobs, including hourly ones - "Tesla (TSLA.O) has shuttered its office in San Mateo, California and laid off roughly 200 employees working on its Autopilot driver-assistant system there, one of the people told Reuters, in a move seen as accelerating cost-cutting. Most of the laid-off people had been hourly workers, that person said. Early this month, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk told top managers he had a \"super bad feeling\" about the economy and that the maker of electric cars needed to cut staff by about 10%. Later, the billionaire said that the 10% cuts would apply only to salaried workers and that hourly staff numbers were still expected to grow. \"Tesla clearly is in a major cost-cutting mode,\" said Raj Rajkumar, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. \"This (staff reduction) likely indicates that 2Q 2022 has been pretty rough on the company due to the shutdown in Shanghai, raw material costs and supply chain problems.\"" Link to Article

  • July 5, 2022 - 4 ways communities can implement smart streetlights, traffic sensors, and other technology, according to leaders in cities with successful smart city projects - "But, starting small, such as deploying smart streetlights on a couple of blocks before expanding citywide, allows cities to experiment and test solutions to see what works best, Karen Lightman, executive director of the Metro21: Smart Cities Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, said. Otherwise, city leaders may risk wasting money on technology that isn\'t the right fit. Cities also need to gather a small amount of data before they can know how to best use smart technology, Lightman added. In Pittsburgh, Lightman\'s team is working on a Smart Loading Zones project to help delivery drivers find places to park in the city that uses cameras to capture the license plates of vehicles illegally parked in loading zones. It launched in April with 15 parking spaces. " Link to Article

  • July 5, 2022 - UPS Gets A Visit From Its Upcoming eVTOL Aircraft - "The near future for aviation is small and electric, as UPS had an exciting visit to the central Louisville hub from its eVTOL aircraft from Beta Technologies. This marked the first electric aircraft flight to the cargo carrier\'s WorldPort hub and the future of aviation... The electric aircraft has a cargo capacity of 1,400 pounds, so UPS will be dedicating the future fleet to transport time-sensitive deliveries in small and mid-sized markets that would otherwise fly on a small conventional plane. Instead of relying on airports, the eVTOL aircraft can take off and land on the property at UPS facilities and housing estates. And since it\'s electric, the aircraft will come without a conventional plane\'s noise or operating emissions, posing as a non-disturbance to residential communities." Link to Article

  • July 4, 2022 - Ride-sharing and e-scooters are growing twice as fast as mass transit - "A new study finds that alternative mobility services, from ride-sharing to e-scooters, will grow twice as fast as traditional public transit annually through 2030. Why it matters: If powered by electricity from renewable sources, many of these new modes of transportation could improve air quality, reduce noise levels, and shrink cities\' carbon footprints. That\'s according to the study conducted by Oliver Wyman Forum and the Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS) at the University of California-Berkeley. Yes, but: More ride?hailing and car-sharing could make congestion worse if commuters choose these services over mass transit. The big picture: The researchers note that subways, buses, and commuter light rail are by far the most efficient and environmentally friendly ways to move people around cities. During the pandemic, however, many people avoided mass transit in favor of shared bicycles, scooters, and car services. That lost revenue weakened many cities\' public transportation systems." Link to Article

  • July 4, 2022 - Honda’s Safer Scooter Could Help Ease Congestion, Cut Emissions - "Carved out of Honda’s business-creation program, the startup has developed an e-scooter that’s hyper-focused on safety. The three-wheeler, which can get about 30 kilometers per charge, is fitted with a self-balancing mechanism developed by a long-time Honda engineer... Yotaro Mori, Striemo’s co-founder and CEO, said he was inspired to create the scooter after unsatisfactory experiences testing out similar products overseas... Mori said that he spent years of after-work hours designing a three-wheeler concept, tinkering with a system that stabilizes the vehicle by measuring its center of gravity to one-tenth of a millimeter. Today, Striemo is taking orders for around 300 scooters that will initially be released to consumers in Japan. Mori aims to build from there —expanding into Europe in 2023 and then targeting a global rollout." Link to Article

  • July 4, 2022 - China’s Baidu races Waymo, GM to develop self-driving cars - "Baidu and a rival, Pony.ai, received China’s first licenses in April to operate taxis with no one in the driver’s seat but with a safety supervisor on board. That came 18 months after Waymo started driverless ride-hailing service in Phoenix, Arizona, in October 2020... Autonomous driving is one of an array of emerging technologies from artificial intelligence to renewable energy that China companies are pouring billions of dollars into trying to create, urged on by the ruling Communist Party. Beijing wants to join the United States, Europe and Japan in the ranks of technology powers to build its prosperity and global influence. That holds out the possibility of new inventions but also fuels tension with Washington and its allies, which see China as a strategic challenger... The ruling party is promoting automation to shore up economic growth by making its shrinking, aging workforce more productive. China’s working-age population has fallen by 5% since its 2011 peak and is forecast to slide further." Link to Article

  • July 4, 2022 - Wheelchair Users Want New Road Money Spent On Safety - "Disability rights and highway safety advocates say some of the funding from the new $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure law, which includes $11 billion for transportation safety programs, should be spent on curb ramps, more accessible sidewalks and roads engineered to slow down traffic and provide safe crossings for people with disabilities. The law includes the “Safe Streets and Roads for All” initiative, which will provide $5 billion in grants to local governments over five years to support projects and strategies to reduce crashes and fatalities. The law also boosted funding for the Federal Highway Administration’s state-administered highway safety improvement program. It added a provision aimed at improving safety for “vulnerable road users” such as older adults, people with disabilities and bicyclists. If those users comprise 15% or more of the total number of annual fatalities in a state, it will have to dedicate at least 15% of those funds the next year to improve those road users’ safety." Link to Article

  • July 4, 2022 - Uber drivers are liking the Teslas - "Uber’s plan to electrify its driver fleet by 2030 seems to be off to a good start. The ride-hailing company announced today that over 15,000 Uber drivers have signed on to rent Tesla vehicles through its partnership with car rental company Hertz. Uber claims the deal is its “largest-ever expansion” of EVs on a mobility platform in North America and that there have already been more than 5 million Tesla rides driving over 40 million miles since the program started last year... Uber drivers that are interested in renting a Tesla must have completed at least 150 trips and maintain a 4.85-star rating to be eligible. It costs about $300 a week to rent the Tesla, and drivers receive an extra dollar per trip (max $4,000 a year) and are enrolled in the company’s newer “Uber Green” ride-hailing category." Link to Article

  • July 1, 2022 - GM adds Plug and Charge capability to existing and future EVs - "GM is committed to delivering a simplified, efficient and accessible EV charging experience. Now, the company is taking its next step on that journey and expanding its existing collaboration with EVgo to add a new Plug and Charge service to the Ultium Charge 360 ecosystem. GM is the first OEM to introduce a Plug and Charge feature to the company’s existing and future EVs that is designed to work on multiple, public networks in North America. Plug and Charge streamlines the EV charging process for customers. Drivers with an EVgo account, active OnStar connected services and the GM brand app for their vehicle (myChevrolet, myCadillac, myGMC) must perform a one-time activation of Plug and Charge within the app. Once activated, they can simply plug in the charging cable and energy will start to flow to their vehicle — no additional steps needed." Link to Article

  • July 1, 2022 - First voyage on the solar electric SILENT 60 yacht - "Their research into solar yacht technologies began in 2004, kicking off five years of gathering sailing data before constructing the company’s first fully self-sufficient solar-powered catamaran, the Solarwave 46. After a five-year trial at sea that began in 2010, Silent Yachts had a proven solar yacht concept, and began serial production of luxury sustainable vessels in 2016 with the SILENT 64. By 2018, The SILENT 64 had become the first serial-production solar-powered bluewater catamaran to cross the Atlantic, from Cartagena, Spain, to Barbados in 16 days. In 2021, Silent Yachts launched the SILENT 60 yacht as a more powerful, revamped generation of its 64-foot predecessor. After accepting and invite from Silent Yachts to climb aboard the SILENT 60, I learned much more about the solar electric catamaran firsthand, in addition to what the company has in store next." Link to Article

  • July 1, 2022 - CrackPro RMV: A Truck-Mounted Robot That Finds and Seals Road Cracks - "A robotic sealcoat vehicle has hit the market that automatically finds and seals cracks and only uses two workers. The CrackPro Robotic Maintenance Vehicle is the result of a partnership between SealMaster and Pioneer Industrial Systems, whose president, Todd Hendricks, invented the concept. He said he got the idea in 2019 after watching a crack seal crew and thought there should be a safer, more efficient way... As the AI vision system finds and measures the cracks, the data is used to map the cracks and send the information to the robotic arm. The driver can watch a monitor, which shows a camera feed of the arm. An LED light on the windshield turns red when the driver needs to stop to let the robot work and turns green when it’s time to move... The next development will be for automatic safety-cone pickup and placement. " Link to Article

  • July 1, 2022 - IIHS survey finds consumers don’t fully trust semi-autonomous driving features - "A new survey released last week by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) concludes that drivers are interested in partial driving automation, but are less comfortable with hands-free features in a vehicle that is not fully self-driving... The survey found that 80% of respondents want to use lane centering, but more prefer versions that require their hands to be on the wheel (36%) than those that do not (27%)... While 73% said they would use automatic lane changes, 45% said they preferred the feature to be driver-initiated, against 14% who wanted it to be initiated by the vehicle. More than three-quarters of respondents said they want auto lane change to have a hands-on requirement. A majority of drivers said they would be comfortable with all of the driver-monitoring strategies included in the survey: sensors on the steering wheel, or a driver-facing camera that tracks where they are looking, or a camera that tracks head, eye, or hand movement. " Link to Article

  • June 29, 2022 - Work Zones Cause Crashes—but Only Sometimes - "Road construction zones are a headache for drivers and a hazard for workers, but, when it comes to safety, a new study suggests the likelihood of crashes increases when the work zones are long, the roads are busy, and the time is during daylight hours. The study by a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, which was published in the journal Analytic Methods in Accident Research, provided new insights into a common problem for transportation agencies, said Sean Qian, one of the study’s authors and a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. For years, he explained, transportation officials have observed that crashes increase in road construction zones. That would make sense given the amount of disruption that work zones cause, including new traffic patterns, narrower lanes and the nearby construction activity." Link to Article

  • June 29, 2022 - Cities Can Soon Add More Speed Cameras To Their Streets, But No One’s Rushing To Be First - "The change comes as Washington, along with most of the country, continues to witness the escalation of a traffic safety crisis without one clear cause. However, high rates of vehicle speeds, known to be one of the single biggest factors that determine the severity of injuries sustained from a crash, are not trending in the right direction... Starting on July 1 of this year, speed cameras can be installed on any street adjacent to a hospital, park, or along a designated walk-to-school route for any school. For those types of cameras, there isn’t an upper limit on the number of cameras that can be added. In addition, cities can add at least one speed camera, at a location identified as a “priority location” in a road safety plan as submitted to the Washington State Department of Transportation, or at a location where there has been a “significantly higher” rate of collisions than the citywide average over the past three years." Link to Article

  • June 29, 2022 - Sensible self-driving cars go to the extremes of the Arctic Circle - "A long-term self-driving service has been launched north of the Arctic Circle to put an all-weather autonomous driving system to the test, while providing a transport link to a local hospital. The pilot project in Norway will see two electric Toyota Proace vehicles, equipped with autonomous driving software, operate a 3.6km route in the town of Bodø. Bodø has a subpolar climate with challenging weather conditions that change dramatically throughout the year, with an annual mix of rain, wind, snow, daylight hours and varying temperature. “Bodø is known for experiencing four seasons in one day, it’s really exciting to see how the technology behind the autonomous shuttles will work in such a challenging climate,” said Smarter Transport Bodø project manager Rune Eiterjord. Eiterjord added that if the self-driving vehicles can operate in Bodø, they will be able to work “anywhere in the world”." Link to Article

  • June 29, 2022 - Qualcomm and its Industry Partners Demonstrate C-V2X Technology in Georgia That Ensures School Buses and Fire Trucks Never Get Stuck at Red Lights - "Most drivers have experienced a speeding fire truck or police vehicle quickly approaching from behind requiring them to quickly react to get out of the way. The danger of these situations is compounded when approaching a busy intersection at high speed when the traffic light is red. For the first responders rushing to a scene, speeding through red lights at intersections is not only dangerous to themselves, but for other nearby drivers and pedestrians. But new wireless communications technologies being developed and tested by leading companies, including chipmaker Qualcomm Technologies, Applied Information, Audi of America, Commsignia and the city of Peachtree Corners, Georgia, can help make roads by connecting vehicles to nearby vehicles and infrastructure such as traffic lights. C-V2X, short for \"cellular vehicle-to-everything\", provides low latency communications for connecting vehicles to infrastructure without a cellular network or service plan. " Link to Article

  • June 29, 2022 - The City Released Legislative Proposals for Congestion and Traffic Safety in the 2022 Omnibus Plan. Here’s what you need to know - "In order to avoid increased congestion as economic prosperity and office commute activities return to Philadelphia, the City is working to implement policies and solutions to address these issues through strategic planning and legislative tasks. To address speeding and reckless driving, the City is working to: Expand camera-assisted traffic enforcement Save lives with safe speeds by authorizing local control of speed limits To strengthen alternatives to driving, the City is working to: Effectively regulate rideshare services Improve transit options, bicycle infrastructure, and Indego, the City’s bike-share program Expand access to commuter benefits program to all large employers To address inefficient use of space, the City is working to: Better manage the use of curb space Incentivize sanitation and delivery activities in non-congested hours" Link to Article

  • June 28, 2022 - Pennsylvania Study Looks at Work Zone Crashes, Risk Factors - "New research from the Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), found that work zones more than 1.8 miles long could increase crash risks; and that road work scheduled for night hours do not increase crash risks. “So far, we cannot say what mitigation efforts can lead to the safest work zones; this will be our next step. But this provides insights on under what conditions a work zone can lead to more crashes, and when a work zone does not,” said Sean Qian, professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Mobility Data Analytics Center... If lengthy work zones on heavily traveled roads have shown increased accident risk during day hours, transportation officials may want to consider steps to make these work zones safer as a result, say researchers. " Link to Article

  • June 28, 2022 - Pittsburgh Regional Transit receives grant to study Strip District-Oakland-Overbrook corridor that could include suspended cable cars - "Pittsburgh Regional Transit can begin a more detailed look at one of its most intriguing projects — which could use suspended cable cars — as a result of a federal grant. The agency learned Thursday it will receive a $594,000 grant to begin studying a new transit corridor linking the Strip District, Hill District, Oakland, Hazelwood and Carrick/Overbrook. PRT had identified establishing the new corridor as a top priority last year when it released its 25-year plan called NEXTransit because it would directly link additional neighborhoods with Oakland, one of the biggest employment centers in the state with its concentration of universities and hospitals... One of the intriguing aspects of the proposed corridor is that it could use an incline or suspended cable car system to move passengers from the Strip District to the Hill District and Oakland. Right now, there is no easy route for buses to make that trip because of the steep slope between the two areas." Link to Article

  • June 28, 2022 - GM’s Cruise starts charging fares for driverless rides in San Francisco - "General Motors Co\'s (GM.N) Cruise has started charging fares for driverless rides in San Francisco, the company said on Thursday, a step towards commercialization of the service. Cruise earlier this month became the first company to secure a permit to charge for self-driving car rides in the U.S. city, after it overcame objections by local officials. read more Self-driving test cars with human safety drivers have become a constant sight in San Francisco, and completely driverless ones are increasingly common too. Turning them into a fledgling business in a major U.S. city marks a milestone in the long, delayed journey toward driverless taxi service." Link to Article

  • June 28, 2022 - Swedish Startup Paves Way to Driverless Pod Tests on US Roads - "Electric truckmaker Einride AB has received approvals to test its driverless vehicle on public roads in the US, paving the way for the company to conduct a pilot with partner GE Appliances. The approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration marks “the first time a purpose-built autonomous, electric truck without a driver on board receives public road permission,” Einride said Thursday. The Swedish company’s driverless Einride Pod will be remotely monitored by a human operator, while transporting goods on public roads with mixed traffic. Initially it’s just one cabless pod on the streets as well as tests with teams at various warehouses for loading and unloading. Einride and GE Appliances, a Haier company, partnered in October last year to implement Einride’s electric and cabless pods on a GEA campus in Louisville, Kentucky. The first tests took place on predetermined routes and a controlled environment." Link to Article

  • June 28, 2022 - Energy Blog: Hydrogen Could be Sweet for Heavy-Duty Trucks - "Ultimately, researchers are working to match the time it takes a trucker to fuel a diesel truck, about 10 minutes. According to NREL, that requires an average hydrogen gas mass flow rate of 10 kilograms per minute, and 20 kg per minute peak, based on a maximum vehicle storage potential of 100 kg hydrogen gas. Such a rate is some 10 times the average mass flow rate now used for light-duty fuel cell EVs. In April, researchers exceeded the goal, accomplishing an average mass flow rate of 14 kg per minute with a fill of 40.3 kg into a bank of 8 storage tanks in 2.87 minutes. Ultimately the researchers are working to fill 60 kg to 80 kg in under 10 minutes... In the shorter term, industry executives see the sweet spot for hydrogen in long-range, heavy-duty trucks. Those using lithium-ion batteries would take two hours or more to charge. Hydrogen, especially with the work being done at NREL, looks like a faster way to stay on the road. " Link to Article

  • June 27, 2022 - Why Wireless Charging Could Be The Next Big EV Upgrade - "Wireless charging can be advantageous to the driver for many reasons. A significant benefit is that the vehicle can be charged while in motion as opposed to charging the EV while parked and waiting for a full charge. As wireless charging functions automatically, there\'s also no need for people to plug or unplug cables, thereby safeguarding against human error... Wireless charging also makes it convenient to charge EVs since the driver only needs to park over the charging pad and wait until the EV is fully charged. With so many benefits on offer with wireless charging, it is easy to see why it is set to be the next big upgrade for EVs. That said, when the upgrade will actually happen is another question entirely. While some believe it will manifest soon, others suggest the technology needs more time. As of today, there have been some attempts to integrate wireless charging. " Link to Article

  • June 27, 2022 - Toyota will recycle electric vehicle batteries with Tesla co-founder’s project - "Toyota is partnering with Redwood Materials, a battery recycling company helmed by Tesla co-founder JB Straubel, to collect and recycle vehicle batteries. The plan is to take old, worn-out batteries and either refurbish them or break them down so their materials can be used to create new batteries. Redwood specifically plans on producing materials for anodes and cathodes — two major components of a battery cell. The company’s ultimate goal is to create a “closed-loop supply chain for electric vehicles,” meaning that it takes batteries from old EVs and turns them into batteries for new cars. While Toyota is currently launching its first long-range battery-electric vehicle, newer cars aren’t the current focus of the partnership’s efforts, given that their batteries are still relatively new. Instead,Toyota and Redwood are focusing on “the first wave of battery-electric vehicles,” which are over 20 years old and nearing their end of life. Mostly, that means first-generation Toyota Priuses in California. " Link to Article

  • June 27, 2022 - Esri Releases Interactive Map Showing U.S. Bridge Conditions - "The iconic Brooklyn Bridge in New York City is considered “the most troubled” bridge in the country, according to a new trove of bridge condition data compiled by the GIS and mapping technology company Esri. The company recently released the U.S. National Bridge Inventory, an interactive mapping tool that shows the conditions of hundreds of old bridges around the nation, which are 100 years old or older... The bridge condition data comes from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Bridges are ranked as good, fair or poor. Some 68.3 percent of the 1,430 old bridges included in the map are ranked as fair, with 16.7 percent of them receiving a good rating, and 15 percent receiving a poor rating. The average age among the bridges is 116.2 years, with a daily traffic count of more than 28.3 million vehicles." Link to Article

  • June 27, 2022 - FedEx invests in FourKites to build intelligent supply chain platform - "FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and Chicago-based supply chain visibility provider FourKites have partnered to build a global supply chain intelligence platform, the companies announced Tuesday. Under the agreement, FedEx has invested an undisclosed amount in FourKites. The new platform, FourKites X, will aim to help large shippers and logistics providers with features like dynamic planning, real-time visibility, proactive alerts and supply chain optimization insights. FourKites customers will be able to integrate the platform with their existing systems... FourKites and FedEx cited an array of global disruptions as the catalyst for the partnership, namely port congestion, ongoing geopolitical issues and the COVID-19 pandemic. Those factors and others have contributed to a supply chain bullwhip that’s left retailers with their hands full after enduring months of inventory shortages." Link to Article

  • 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