• March 31, 2023 - America Splits Into Thirds on Electric Cars - "Thirty-four percent of Americans would consider an electric vehicle (EV) for their next car. Thirty-one percent are not open to it. The 35% in the middle are still making up their minds. That’s the conclusion from a new Reuters/Ipsos poll on America’s attitudes toward electric cars. Americans are split roughly into thirds on acceptance of EVs... Sales will speed up, Reuters and Ipsos found, if range increases. Thirty-five percent of respondents “wanted an EV that offered 500 or more miles of electric driving range per full charge.”... Another 37% of respondents said they need at least 300 miles of range... Price is, unsurprisingly, also a factor. More than half of respondents — 56% — would be willing to pay no more than $49,999 for an EV. The average new EV sold for $58,385, according to Kelley Blue Book estimates, which is still well above the price of the average new car. " Link to Article

  • March 31, 2023 - How 3D printing could revolutionize auto manufacturing - "In an industrial office park south of Los Angeles, an American automaker is churning out sports cars in an attempt to transform manufacturing as we know it. “It’s literally like saying in the typewriter era, ‘I’m about to create a desktop system,’” said Kevin Czinger, founder and CEO of Czinger Vehicles and Divergent Technologies. Czinger’s system is making cars and car parts. They’re designed using artificial intelligence, constructed with specialized 3D printers and assembled by a team of robots... The Divergent Blade, which was designed by Czinger, made headlines for featuring a fully 3D-printed body and chassis when it was unveiled in 2015. Customer deliveries for Czinger’s latest offering, the 21C, are scheduled for later this year. The 21C has a $2 million base price, and as Czinger was quick to point out, set records at both WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and the Circuit of the Americas in 2021." Link to Article

  • March 29, 2023 - Philly receives SMART Grant from U.S. Department of Transportation - "Officials with the City of Philadelphia announced it had been awarded a $2 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant for the Philadelphia Digital Right of Way and Mobility (ROW) Improvement project. The grant, part of the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grants Program, will allow the city to support digitizing street, sidewalk, and curbside space within the project area and developing an online application to communicate ROW information to ROW users, officials said... Officials said the project will build upon other city efforts, including SmartCityPHL’s Smart Loading Zones Pilot project started in Fall 2022, focusing on safe and efficient curb space solutions." Link to Article

  • March 29, 2023 - Truckers preview next-generation electric big rigs at Port of Stockton - "Parked on the Port of Stockton grounds Thursday were two black and white Nikola zero emission semi-trucks that were being shown to truck driver fleets. Nikola Motor is a truck original equipment manufacturer and energy company that focuses on making one hundred percent zero emission semi-trucks while also making hydrogen energy, according to Damon Owens, head of truck marketing at Nikola motors. One of the trucks shown was a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle that had a range of 500 miles and the other was a battery electric vehicle that had nine battery packs that delivered 733 kilowatt hours of battery capacity with a 330-mile range. Both were class eight trucks and carried the same electric motor. Dave Dein, co-founder of Next Generation in Trucking Association and the truck driving program coordinator and instructor at the Patterson High School Supply Chain and Logistics Training Center, test drove the battery electric truck in hopes of seeing what new technology would be coming to the truck industry." Link to Article

  • March 29, 2023 - Federal law designed to make trucking safer may have aggravated worst issues - "Starting Dec. 18, 2017, federal law required truck drivers to digitally log their working hours in their cabs. Truckers can drive no more than 11 hours a day within a 14-hour window, according to a law that dates back to 1938. A federal study estimated that the ELD rule would prevent 1,844 crashes and 26 deaths annually. Five years later, it doesn’t appear that truck drivers’ most-hated law has ushered in that reign of safety. Fatal crashes involving a large truck, per 100 million miles traveled by truck, increased by 5.4% from 2016 to 2020, according to the most recent federal data. One 2019 study found that unsafe driving activities increased as a result of ELD enforcement... The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which oversees the enforcement of the ELD mandate, declined to comment on record about the impact of the rule. The percentage of drivers with speeding violations slightly increased from 4.45% in 2018 to 5.07% through 2023, according to FMCSA data." Link to Article

  • March 29, 2023 - 5G drives connected car surge - "The continued trend for embedded mobile network access to become standard on ever more cars will see in-car connectivity hit the accelerator over the next seven years to reach 828.7 million, triple the 2022 total of 279.3 million, according to a study from Rethink Research. As a result, said the company’s latest Wireless Watch research report and forecast on the connected car market, revenues derived from car connectivity will increase even more sharply and quadruple to $244bn by 2030, as 5G access becomes increasingly prevalent to deliver added-value services such as ultra HD streaming and more advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) features. The report defines car connectivity as internet access over a public cellular network via an embedded SIM in the vehicle, rather than just a user’s smartphone tethered to a satellite navigation system. It explored the evolution from 2023 to 2030 by region, drilling down into eight countries in the vanguard of car connectivity, or where the most rapid growth will occur." Link to Article

  • March 29, 2023 - Women are less likely to buy electric vehicles than men. Here’s what’s holding them back. - "In the first half of 2021, less than 30 percent of electric vehicles were purchased by women. However, a separate 2022 survey found that 47 percent of women say that in the next five years they’d be interested in purchasing one, compared with 53 percent of men... A survey conducted last January by consumer advocacy nonprofit Consumer Reports with over 8,000 respondents offers some insight as to why this gender gap persists. Men were both more familiar with how electric car charging works and more likely to have been in an electric car than women... Women were twice as likely to say they were concerned about their safety at public charging stations. Unlike gas stations, charging stations do not have employees on site and tend to be more out of the way — often they are situated in the back of parking lots. And in comparison to the five minutes it takes to fill up a car with gas, electric cars require at least 30 minutes to recharge." Link to Article

  • March 28, 2023 - Rural utilities turn ‘disruptive’ as they embrace renewables - "Last year, Kit Carson Electric Cooperative Inc. hit a long-awaited milestone: It met 100 percent of its daytime energy demand with solar power. The New Mexico utility’s achievement was the result of years of new solar construction and power purchase agreements — steps that the small, rural cooperative was only able to take after making a radical change to its management structure. In 2016, Kit Carson left the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc... Since then, four more of Tri-State’s original 44 utility members either have left or plan to leave. The turbulence at Tri-State may be isolated to the West, but it foreshadows a national quandary. Each of the nation’s 900 or so co-ops faces a rapid energy transition that could upend traditional business models. “We’re seeing some really ambitious co-ops start pushing their decarbonization goals further,” said Sam Mardell, senior associate on RMI’s carbon-free electricity team. “That’s making these organizations really rethink the way they provide energy.”" Link to Article

  • March 28, 2023 - United Airlines and Archer Reveal First Air Taxi Route in Chicago - "United Airlines and Archer Aviation plan to launch an aerial ridesharing service in Chicago using Archer’s Midnight eVTOL air taxi, the companies announced on Thursday. The commercial air taxi route, scheduled to launch in 2025, will transport passengers between O’Hare International Airport and Vertiport Chicago, the city’s only downtown heliport facility. Vertiport Chicago lies about 12 miles (19 kilometers) southeast of the airport, in Chicago’s Illinois Medical District. According to Archer, the trip will take about 10 minutes via air taxi, whereas the same trip might take as long as an hour or more by car during rush hour traffic... The Chicago route is the second such air taxi route that Archer and United have announced. In November they revealed a planned air taxi route between Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey and the Downtown Manhattan Heliport in New York City. " Link to Article

  • March 28, 2023 - How ChatGPT Will Make GM Trucks And SUVs Smarter On The Road - "The emergence of ChatGPT as a new-generation AI assistant is taking the world by storm. It is only a matter of time before this new AI tool makes its presence felt in the automotive industry. GM wants to be the first to take notice of this new tool. In a recent media interaction reported by Reuters, GM’s vice president indicated that ChatGPT might make its way into many GM SUVs and trucks planned in the coming years. This announcement can be the next move in GM’s association with Microsoft, which happens to be a prime investor in ChatGPT’s parent company, OpenAI. General Motors hasn’t revealed when the integration of ChatGPT will happen in its future vehicles. However, it has hinted that its AI assistant will behave slightly differently than ChatGPT. GM will only use some of the OpenAI models using ChatGPT for answering unpredictable but viable solutions." Link to Article

  • March 28, 2023 - 2 Cruise self-driving cars ram into storm damage in SF neighborhood, company confirms - "A couple of driverless cars got caught in the middle of a closed-off intersection in San Francisco\'s Nob Hill neighborhood Tuesday night. Two Cruise self-driving cars could be seen driving through yellow \"caution\" tape and on top of downed power lines just off of Leavenworth and Clay Streets. One resident on Twitter described the vehicles as being \"tangled up like flies in sticky traps.\" The ride service company responded with a statement saying, \"Given the damage caused by last night\'s storms, some of our cars briefly entered areas with downed trees or power lines. Some were able to proceed autonomously, but where needed, we immediately dispatched teams to remove the vehicles.\" The total number of Cruise cars impacted by the storms was not disclosed." Link to Article

  • March 28, 2023 - Hydrogen hub, carbon projects face internal, external hurdles - "The head of the public-private partnership that is shepherding Pennsylvania\'s application for a potential hydrogen hub centered around the Pittsburgh region said success isn\'t just about winning funding but a real pathway to decarbonization. Team Pennsylvania Foundation President and CEO Abby Smith told a Carnegie Mellon University Energy Week audience Wednesday afternoon that she hopes the $8 billion in federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to start up between eight and 10 hydrogen hubs around the country not only does that but also helps to build relationships between companies, governments and communities that become the starting point for future projects... Destenie Nock, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, said the focus should be on a wider scope of industrial development than a single plant to make the biggest impact and to provide a voice consistently throughout the process and not just at certain points. " Link to Article

  • March 27, 2023 - The AV Revolution Probably Won’t Revolutionize Parking in Dense Cities - "“On the surface it makes sense; the car comes and picks me up, I get where I’m going, and then it leaves and picks up someone else,” said Nico Larco, director of the Urbanism Next Center at the University of Oregon... To settle the debate, at least one for city, Larco and his colleagues modeled the AV-saturated future of three neighborhoods in ultra-expensive San Francisco, a city with one of the highest incentives to locate more developable land for affordable housing. Rather than assuming that AVs would be a parking-reduction panacea, though, the researchers modeled a range of scenarios wherein the demand for car storage dropped by as little as 20 or as much as 80 percent — and asked tough questions about whether the specific parcels that drop in demand would free up would actually be redeveloped into an apartment building, based on existing market incentives, lot size, and other factors." Link to Article

  • March 27, 2023 - U.S. Steel to produce new InduX steel for electric vehicles this summer - "United States Steel Corp. will begin producing a new type of steel for electric vehicles this summer at its plant in Arkansas. The Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel provided a look what it\'s calling InduX on Thursday at the Ceres Global conference in New York City. InduX is designed to capitalize on the growing market for domestic sources of steel for electric vehicles. U.S. Steel (NYSE: X) said it\'s wide, thin and lightweight and can be used not only in electric vehicles but also generators and transformers. It\'s going to build 200,000 tons a year of InduX steel at Big River Steel once the non-grain oriented (NGO) line is commissioned. U.S. Steel invested $450 million at Big River Steel to get it working." Link to Article

  • March 27, 2023 - Cities see hyperlocal ‘activity centers’ as key to sustainable growth, less car dependency - "Sprawling, car-reliant suburbs have among the highest carbon emissions per household, while densely populated and transit-rich neighborhoods near city centers have among the lowest levels, according to the New York Times. Conventional wisdom suggests that greater population density translates to more walking, biking and public transit use, thus lowering carbon emissions from cars. But the relationship isn’t actually so straightforward, with local policies playing a major role, researchers say. That means decisions made today about city growth strategies will have ripple effects in the decades to come. Enter activity centers. A Brookings Institution analysis indicates activity centers are spread across — and within — the country’s major metro regions, with most locals living within three miles of one. Officials in San Antonio; Boise, Idaho; Cape Cod, Massachusetts; and elsewhere are using activity centers as blueprints to create greener built environments." Link to Article

  • March 27, 2023 - Curbside EV charging startup wins urban infrastructure award at SXSW - "Brooklyn-based startup itselectric earned the 2023 SXSW Innovation Award for Urban Infrastructure last week for its “Power From the People” curbside electric vehicle charging concept. The company aims to make curbside charging posts available to cities and property owners at no cost, with the company managing installation and maintenance of the level 2, 240-volt chargers. Residential property owners will have the opportunity to earn passive income from the chargers, with the amount varying based on electricity rates and charger use, it says... It uses a “behind-the-meter” connection that obviates the need to work directly with electric utilities, it says. Almost any structure that has a curb and an electrical meter, including single-family and multifamily homes and commercial or public buildings, could be candidates for installation, it notes. It works with each city to ensure that “necessary permits and permissions are in place.”" Link to Article

  • March 27, 2023 - Here’s How Artificial Intelligence is Being Used to Improve Bridge Safety in Miami-Dade County - "The AI pilot program with the FDOT began in 2019 and is being tested out on the 5th Street Bridge which goes over the Miami River. Engineers showed NBC 6 how the technology works. “When it opens, we have defined an area that is unsafe for pedestrians or any cars or bicyclists and it will stop the bridge from opening if they are in that unsafe area,” said Orozco. There are four sensors which are placed on the four corners of the bridge. The LIDAR sensors (which stands for laser imaging, detection, and ranging) can detect moving objects like pedestrians, cyclists and cars in a mapped-out inclusion zone. If someone passes through the barriers when they’re not supposed to, it sends a signal which automatically connects to the bridge controls to shut off... The human bridge operator has a series of safety checks, but this is an added layer of protection to remove human error. " Link to Article

  • March 24, 2023 - What Is a Digital Twin? And How Can It Make Companies—and Cities—More Efficient? - "San Francisco International Airport spans over 5,000 acres, with 18 million square feet of indoor space across 97 buildings, serving more than 42 million passengers last year. To keep the facility running smoothly, the airport’s managers rely on a digital twin—a three-dimensional virtual replica of the airport that is continuously updated with data gathered from embedded sensors or other connected devices throughout the airport. Thanks to the data, the digital twin changes with its physical counterpart in real time, making it a useful tool for studying performance, running simulations and making predictions about the physical asset it mirrors. The airport’s operator, a department of the city of San Francisco, started to bring all the data about the airport into a centralized digital twin in 2014. Although data sources are still being added to the virtual model, the technology already is helping the airport run better, according to Geoff Neumayr, the airport’s chief resiliency and sustainability officer." Link to Article

  • March 24, 2023 - Oregon halts electric vehicle rebates due to demand, money - "Oregon will temporarily suspend rebates for buying or leasing an electric vehicle for a year starting in May because too many people are applying and the program is running out of money, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Thursday. A growing number of Oregonians are buying or leasing electric vehicles, with over 60,600 registered in the state. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality announced Wednesday the suspension of the Clean Vehicle Rebate Program that has disbursed more than $71 million over five years to help people buy or lease roughly 25,000 of those vehicles. A fifth of the rebates went to low- and moderate-income households, state data shows." Link to Article

  • March 24, 2023 - J.D. Power study shows EV home charging experience impacted by rising costs - "According to J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience Home Charging Study released on March 16, 2023, the growing EV market has experienced rising electricity rates partly due to the recent inflationary period, which has led to lower satisfaction with home charging. Although more than two-thirds (68%) of EV owners have a permanent level 2 charging station at home, their overall satisfaction decreased by 12 points from last year on a 1,000-point scale, the study found. The speed for all three home charging segments is another factor bringing down overall satisfaction in the study... The 2023 study’s primary findings are as follows: The importance of educating owners grows as electricity prices rise: Only 51% of EV owners, up slightly from 49% a year ago, claim to be aware of utility company programs for charging their vehicles at home... More than one-third of owners (35%) say they always schedule a time to charge their car at home, compared to 49% who say they don’t utilize any scheduling. " Link to Article

  • March 24, 2023 - U.S. DOT announces $94M in SMART grants for state, local projects - "The $94 million funds 59 projects across 33 states. Each project was awarded a maximum of $2 million for this round of funding. Some of the projects receiving a funds from this round of grants include connected vehicle projects, sensor deployments, curb management and “smart” traffic signal technologies, according to a news release. The SMART grant program, announced in September, was established by the 2021 infrastructure spending bill. The bill includes $500 million for transportation over five years with the aim of using technology to create safer, more equitable, efficient and innovative transportation systems. Another five state DOTs plan to use the funds for projects to improve safety for workers and drivers in work zones, including a multi-state collaboration that will deploy automated truck-mounted crash attenuators and projects using a specification for data-sharing called the Work Zone Data Exchange, the news release said." Link to Article

  • March 24, 2023 - New data shows distracted driving has increased - "The National Transportation Safety Board is now calling distracted driving an epidemic, with deadly crashes up 22 percent last year. resulting in nearly 46,000 people dying. There\'s a number of contributing factors to those crashes such as drunk driving or not buckling up. But Dr. Matt Young with Texarkana Emergency Center says one that\'s becoming more prevalent is distracted driving. Most everyone has been guilty of taking their eyes off the road to answer the phone or reply to a text. But every time you do that, experts say you\'re risking your life and the lives of others... According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, more than 3,000 people died in 2020 from distracted driving, and nearly 324,000 were injured. Distracted driving laws have been passed in many of the 50 states, but differ in requirements and in level of enforcement." Link to Article

  • March 22, 2023 - EVFLY spins up one of the first commercial eVTOL operations in deal for 200+ AutoFlight aircraft - "Weeks after successfully completing the longest eVTOL flight to date in its Prosperity I all-electric aircraft, AutoFlight has secured a major purchase commitment from EVFLY. The advanced air mobility services provider has signed a deal with AutoFlight for over 200 of its eVTOL cargo and passenger aircraft, which will eventually operate in one of the first commercially available global fleets... The eVTOL developer announced a signed contract with EVFLY this morning, which entails the purchase of 205 Prosperity I Passenger and Cargo aircraft. The immediate focus of the eVTOL operations will be in the Middle East, which both parties agree could serve as a nascent hot spot for commercialized advanced air mobility (AAM)." Link to Article

  • March 22, 2023 - Four Reasons Self-Driving Cars, Not Drones, Will Deliver Your Packages - "If the future of e-commerce is best represented by Jeff Bezos vs. Elon Musk, then the Tesla Inc. (TSLA) - Get Free Report founder holds a decisive edge over his compatriot at Amazon Inc... 1. Bureaucratic Purgatory Drones are stuck in bureaucratic purgatory. Despite years of studies, meetings and hearings, the Federal Aviation Administration has yet to issue rules that govern the use of commercial drones... 2. Amazon Losing Interest? Bezos ignited the drone crazy with his 60 Minutes interview. The company’s size and clout suddenly made drones top of mind for retailers. 3. Economics And Aesthetics Don’t Work The complexity of drones makes it hard to see how the technology can drive efficiencies in an industry that depends on moving large quantities of goods in the shortest amount of time, Ladd said... 4. Need And Urgency For Drones Has Dissipated The country has significantly changed since Bezos’ interview a decade ago. " Link to Article

  • March 22, 2023 - Can Lightning’s electric motorcycle really charge as fast as a gas tank fill-up? - "Lightning Motorcycles, the Southern California-based boutique e-motorcycle manufacturer, claims that its new fast-charging electric motorcycle can recharge nearly as fast as a combustion engine motorcycle can refuel its tank. Previously, the quickest DC fast-charging electric motorcycles like the models from Energica or Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire One boasted a recharge time of around 30 minutes for a nearly topped-up battery. But Lightning claims it can blow those figures out of the water by using new fast-charging battery technology from Enevate. The company’s next-generation silicon-anode batteries claim a much faster recharge time, which Lightning says allows its electric motorcycles to get a nearly full battery recharge in as little as 10 minutes. That’s still a bit longer than a gasoline fill-up, but since most touring riders generally use a fuel-stop as a chance to stretch their legs after a few hours on a cramped bike, a 10-minute refueling window is fairly reasonable in the touring world." Link to Article

  • March 22, 2023 - Your Car Could Be Spying on You. Good! - "Systems like Tesla Autopilot, GM’s Super Cruise, and Nissan’s ProPilot Assist can automatically follow traffic and even drive hands-free on highways but need drivers to be ready to take over from the supposedly smart software at any moment. To guarantee drivers aren’t napping, Snapchatting, or Candy Crushing when they’re using these advanced driver-assistance features, automakers have rolled out a second layer of technology called driver-monitoring systems. Their job is to look for signs that a human—notoriously unpredictable as they are—is indeed ready to take over when those limited automated-driving features get out of their depth. Driver-monitoring systems are making their way into vehicles not just because automakers need them to enable automated wizardry but because they’re facing increasing pressure from regulators and safety groups in Europe and the US. All new car models sold in Europe will have to have driver-monitoring systems by mid-decade, even if they don’t come with partially automated features." Link to Article

  • March 22, 2023 - VW And GM Are Passing Tesla In The Race To Sell Affordable EVs - "European auto giant Volkswagen on Wednesday said it’s readying the 25,000 euro ($26,400) ID. 2ALL, a compact hatchback, along with nine other new electric vehicles for sale by 2026. GM, which already has the Bolt, the top-selling EV in the U.S. priced below $30,000, is adding an electric version of the Chevrolet Equinox this year, starting at $30,000. Fisker Inc., which is preparing to start delivering electric Ocean SUVs in the coming weeks, plans to add the Pear, a small crossover with a $29,900 base price, in 2024. By comparison, the cheapest Tesla, an entry-level Model 3 sedan, costs $43,000 before taxes—even after the carmaker recently slashed thousands of dollars off the sticker price to help it qualify for a new federal tax credit. The absence of a relatively inexpensive vehicle isn’t much of a problem for Tesla, though such models are vital to expanding the overall EV market in the years ahead, says Ed Kim, president of industry researcher AutoPacific." Link to Article

  • March 21, 2023 - Self-driving startup Gatik to double workforce, strikes Kroger deal - "Self-driving trucking startup Gatik will double its workforce by year end, a top executive said, after it announced a deal on Wednesday with grocer Kroger Co (KR.N) to transport goods within its Dallas, Texas network. Gatik, which operates traditional mid-sized trucks fitted with its autonomous technology, aimed to expand to 15 new U.S. states over five years, CEO Gautam Narang told Reuters. The company focuses on transportation over short, fixed routes for businesses. Many in the autonomous driving industry are cutting staff or shutting down, but Gatik has found a niche by limiting its work to routes with relatively little complexity. It delivers goods, for example, from larger distribution centers to retail locations for companies such as Walmart and Pitney Bowes. The company has hauled more than half a million customer orders on its mid-sized box trucks that have no human in the cab." Link to Article

  • March 21, 2023 - Driverless Amish buggy travels two miles before crashing - "Police said Joseph Zook parked his buggy at a Lowe’s Home Improvement store in Watertown, New York. While Zook was inside, officials said the two horses became free and pulled the buggy onto the street and crashed into a couple of vehicles. It’s unclear how the horses got loose. “I saw in my mirror two horses coming full speed, and I’m thinking Amish people know what they’re doing. They’re going to stop and then I’m hit, but I’m fine,” said Sheyenne Webber, whose vehicle was hit. “They’re saying the horses are fine. This is crazy, like, you know, when does this happen?” The two horses were injured, and a member of the Amish community retrieved them to take them to a farm. It appeared the animals were not seriously hurt. No people were injured in the incident." Link to Article

  • March 21, 2023 - Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta v11 is coming this weekend, if you believe Elon Musk - "FSD Beta enables Tesla vehicles to drive autonomously to a destination entered in the car’s navigation system, but the driver needs to remain vigilant and ready to take control at all times... Since the wider release of the beta last year, there are currently over 400,000 Tesla owners in the program in North America – virtually every Tesla owner who bought the FSD package on their vehicles. However, the bulk of these owners have yet to receive significant FSD beta updates as Tesla was supposed to release v11 to the fleet in November 2022, but the update has been stuck in testing within Tesla’s closed fleet since then... Today, Musk said that it will finally go to a wide release this weekend:... Tesla is slowly releasing it to more beta testers, but it has yet to go to a broader release... " Link to Article

  • March 21, 2023 - General Motors looking to weave artificial intelligence into the driving experience - "General Motors is looking to enhance the driving experience by integrating artificial intelligence into the auto industry. According to reports, the Detroit, Michigan-based automaker plans to introduce ChatGPT, a popular artificial intelligence bot developed by OpenAI, and add an A.I. vehicle assistant for drivers... CEO Mary Barra detailed the new initiatives for General Motors on \"The Claman Countdown\" Tuesday. \"Having an assistant and really being able to use voice that is clear enough that you can ask questions and get answers, I think that\'s what the artificial intelligence will enable us to do,\" Barra told host Liz Claman... General Motors is also investing in technological advances beyond A.I. such as the autonomous Cruise. Barra shared that the \"purpose-built ride-share vehicle\" has \"campfire style seating because when you don\'t need to drive, you can actually look at each other.\" " Link to Article

  • March 21, 2023 - Scout Motors picks South Carolina for new $2B EV plant - "A Volkswagen Group-backed automotive company announced plans this week to open a $2 billion electric truck and SUV manufacturing plant just outside of Columbia, South Carolina. Scout Motors Inc. and South Carolina officials said Friday that the company would be establishing its first manufacturing plant in Blythewood at an industrial site. At full capacity, more than 200,000 vehicles may be produced annually at the facility, which is expected to create 4,000 or more permanent jobs, Gov. Henry McMaster’s office said in a news release. Scout Motors, an independent company headquartered in Virginia and backed by Volkswagen, plans to produce all-electric trucks and SUVs in the style of the Scout vehicles produced by International Harvester between 1960 and 1980." Link to Article

  • March 20, 2023 - This is what it might take to get everyone to stop driving gas cars - "Electrek spoke with Brad Greenwood, professor of information systems and operations management at George Mason University’s School of Business, about his recent research, which found that EV subsidies rolled out in China – similar to the US’s new $7,500 EV tax credit – incentivized people to buy EVs as second vehicles, but they kept buying and driving gas cars as well... Electrek: What do you think would make subsidies more effective? Brad Greenwood: That’s a matter of speculation. What appears to be critical, though, is mandating abandonment of a gas car when purchasing the EV – that is, the gas car needs to be traded in, at least in the emerging stage of the market. We’re obviously going to need a lot more research to substantiate the factors that increase or decrease the efficacy of subsidies, but that’s the direction we’re pointed in now. " Link to Article

  • March 20, 2023 - Florida’s ‘Move Over’ law isn’t stopping deadly crashes, but could upgraded car technology help? - "So the career-long start-up guy started Emergency Safety Solutions (ESS), a company aimed at eliminating roadside crashes with existing technology; his company is just upgrading. Take your standard passenger vehicle hazard lights. Typical hazard lights on passenger vehicles flash one to two hertz per second. Tucker said those standards hadn\'t been updated since 1951. So his company, ESS, developed hazards that flash about three hertz per second faster, giving the lights on the front and back of a vehicle more of an emergency look when they flash. A Virginia Tech Transportation Insitute study commissioned by ESS found drivers moved over or slowed down 80% of the time when the rapid flash hazards were mobilized compared to 30% with common hazards... In addition, ESS has created a digital alert system inside the vehicle that warns drivers of a disabled vehicle up to four football fields away. " Link to Article

  • March 20, 2023 - “Will Never Forget This”: Elderly Men Enjoy Their First Ride In Driverless Car In Viral Video - "A video of two elderly men experiencing a ride in a driverless car for the first time in their lives is going viral on the internet. Posted on Instagram by the elderly man who goes by Patriotic Kenny, the video shows two men, Kenny and Jerry, surprised by a ride in a self-driving car. The caption of the video reads, \"Riding in a self-driving car was an experience of a lifetime!\" According to Mr Kenny\'s bio, he is an 81-year-old navy veteran from the United States. The video shows Mr Kenny examining the car before getting inside. Moments later, he realises that the car was driverless and asked a woman named Kline, \"Do you trust this?!\" Throughout the car ride, the elderly man asked several questions to Amanda. Impressed by the driverless car, he said, \"I\'ll never forget this.\"" Link to Article

  • March 20, 2023 - Nissan to overhaul electric powertrains for EVs, hybrids in search of cost cuts - "Japan, March 9 (Reuters) - Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T) on Thursday said it will overhaul its approach to powertrains for all-electric and hybrid petrol-electric vehicles as it aims to bring hybrid prices in line with those of petrol-powered cars by 2026. The Japanese automaker said it will use the same components across models to make electric powertrains - the assembly which propels a vehicle - smaller and lighter, and reduce development and production costs by 30% within three years versus 2019. It will also use solid-state batteries with materials that are cheaper than those usually used, such as nickel and cobalt, Senior Vice President Toshihiro Hirai told reporters." Link to Article

  • March 20, 2023 - Through pilot, MnDOT brings trip planning apps to Greater Minnesota - "In the Twin Cities and more than 200 urban areas across the globe, bus and train riders, bike and scooter users and those who rely on dial-a-ride services to get around can use the Transit app to plan trips and, in some cases, prepay fares. Now those who live in southern and western Minnesota can do the same. Through a pilot program launched this month, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is working with 13 rural public transportation providers and intercity bus companies to incorporate schedules into the app, allowing riders in parts of Greater Minnesota to explore travel options using public transit and connecting services just like those in the metro... By aggregating schedules in Transit app, McFadden said it will be easier to plan trips within and between cities in the pilot area. " Link to Article

  • March 17, 2023 - The true impact of winter on electric car performance revealed: New test shows plummeting temperatures can slash battery range by up to a THIRD - "If you\'re thinking about buying an electric car, you need to know that they do not like Britain\'s chilly winters and when temperatures drop they will not perform to the levels quoted... A review of 12 battery-powered cars on sale in Britain today found that the worst fell 32.8 per cent shy of its claimed driving range on a full charge in winter conditions. The least impressive performer among the selection of EVs was China\'s new Ora Funky Cat, which starts from £31,995 in the UK. The study - conducted by consumer magazine What Car? - found it could only go for 130 miles before the battery ran flat. That compares to an \'official\' figure of 193 miles, which is based on mandatory laboratory tests of every vehicle before they hit showrooms." Link to Article

  • March 17, 2023 - Specialized’s new Globe Haul ST e-bike is meant to fill the gap between commuter e-bike and a car - "Making its debut today is the Globe Haul ST(opens in new tab), the first model in what will be a line of electric cargo bikes... For improved stability and handling under load, the bike sports 20\" diameter wheels with extra wide, 3.5\" tires. The pedal assist comes in the form of their own Globe branded, 700w rear hub motor with five modes and is paired with a 772wh frame battery that is said to last up to 60 miles on a single battery charge... In line with many of the cargo e-bikes on the market today, Specialized recognizes that one bike may be used by various household members. As such, the step-through frame is a \'one size fits most\' with a telescoping seatpost and quill stem to accommodate riders between 4’5” all the way up to 6’4”... Launching alongside the bike is a bike-specific accessory line with panniers, a rear passenger seat, foot pegs, racks and a plug-in throttle." Link to Article

  • March 17, 2023 - General Motors Reveals Details on New Hands-Free Tech - "General Motors has revealed what to expect from its new Ultra Cruise hands-off tech when it launches on the Cadillac Celestiq in 2024. The next-generation advanced driver assistance system has been designed to enable hands-free driving in 95% of all driving scenarios, with 360-degree visibility delivered via a unique sensor suite... While Super Cruise currently functions on 400,000 miles of compatible U.S. and Canadian roads, it is understood that Ultra Cruise-equipped cars will work on around 2 million miles of highways at launch, with this set to expand over time to include rural and urban roads. But with the Celestiq likely to cost more than $300,000 access to Ultra Cruise, which will be reserved for GM’s most premium EVs, won’t come cheap. And it’s worth bearing in mind that it is considered Level 2 tech, as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers. That means the driver must remain engaged at all times. " Link to Article

  • March 17, 2023 - ‘Talking’ concrete could help prevent traffic jams and cut carbon emissions - "An increasing number of U.S. interstates are set to try out a Purdue University invention that could save millions of taxpayer dollars and significantly reduce traffic delays. The invention, a sensor that allows concrete to “talk,” decreases construction time and how often concrete pavement needs repairs while also improving the road’s sustainability and cutting its carbon footprint. Embedded directly into a concrete pour, the sensor sends engineers more precise and consistent data about the concrete’s strength and need for repair than is possible with currently used tools and methods... More than half of U.S. states with concrete interstate pavement have signed up to participate in a Federal Highway Administration pooled fund study to implement the sensors. The participating states are Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Kansas, California, Texas, Tennessee, Colorado and Utah. The technology also is on track to hit the market later this year as the REBEL Concrete Strength Sensing System, a product of WaveLogix. " Link to Article

  • March 17, 2023 - Electric cars tune out AM radio - "Some electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers are eliminating AM radios from their cars, which government officials fear could put people at risk in an emergency, Joann Muller reports. Why it matters: AM radio is one of the critical ways that federal, state and local officials communicate with the public during natural disasters and other emergencies. If drivers don\'t have access, they might miss important safety alerts. What\'s happening: Automakers say EVs\' electric motors interfere with AM frequencies, creating annoying buzzing noises and faded signals... Seven former Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrators also raised the issue in a recent letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and several congressional committees, per the Wall Street Journal. The other side: Automakers say consumers are moving away from radio and television for news and information, and so the government\'s emergency management system needs to adapt to new technologies, too." Link to Article

  • March 15, 2023 - China releases guideline for intelligent-vehicle basic maps - "China\'s Ministry of Natural Resources has recently released a guideline for the standard system construction for intelligent-vehicle basic maps. The document guides the standardization of these maps from the aspects of general application, production update, application service, quality detection, and safety management. It stresses promoting the coordinated development of these maps and geographic information with automobile, information and communication, electronics, transportation, information security, password, and other industries, and gradually forming a standard system of intelligent-vehicle basic maps that meets the needs of the country\'s technological and industrial development. The guideline proposes that more than 10 standards for intelligent-vehicle basic maps should be developed in advance, covering technical requirements and specifications such as basic general application and data acquisition to meet the urgent needs of deep application of intelligent-vehicle basic maps. According to the guideline, China will initially build a standard system for intelligent-vehicle basic maps to support autonomous vehicle driving by 2025." Link to Article

  • March 15, 2023 - Norfolk Southern to open Ohio training center amid safety investigation - "Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE: NSC) is creating a regional training center in Ohio and expanding its first responder training program amid pressure to improve safety practices, according to a Wednesday announcement. Plans for safety training center were made a day after the National Transportation Safety Board announced it opened a special investigation into the Atlanta-based transportation service company\'s organization and safety culture. Due to the amount and severity of the company’s recent accidents, the NTSB urged Norfolk Southern to review and assess its practices and implement changes to improve safety... The company’s new safety training center will provide free training for first responders from Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and the greater region. The company intends for the facility to improve coordination between railroads and first responders in an emergency response." Link to Article

  • March 15, 2023 - Uber launches airport guides to help cut pickup confusion - "We\'ve all been there before — at an airport, tired after a long flight and searching for the rideshare pickup area. Uber now hopes to simplify that experience. What\'s happening: The rideshare giant announced Tuesday that it\'s adding step-by-step instructions within its app to navigate travelers from the plane to their Uber pickup zone. The handy feature — which will include directions and accompanying photos — will be available at more than 30 airports worldwide to start, including San Francisco International Airport... Details: As part of the announcement, Uber also said it\'ll soon roll out \"walking ETAs\" at more than 400 airports, so travelers can more accurately know when to call for a ride and cut down on their wait times. The company\'s expanding its reservation feature in several cities as well to include more ride types." Link to Article

  • March 15, 2023 - Chinese carmaker to launch 72 satellites to assist intelligent driving - "Hangzhou-based Geely unveiled its Galaxy, or Yinhe, range of electrified and fully electric cars in late February — and the vehicles will be getting assistance from orbit. Geely established a space-focused arm in 2018 named Geespace to provide autonomous driving solutions by building a satellite network... Until now its satellite constellation plans had been vague, stating only that the network would be designed to provide centimeter-level accuracy positioning, high-precision maps and connectivity for its vehicles. Now the firm states that it aims to put 72 satellites into orbit by 2025 as a first phase of its constellation to provide intelligent driving functionality for the Galaxy range of cars. The constellation will provide global positioning services without blind spots, according to Geely. To do this it will augment the signals of China\'s Beidou navigation and positioning system, which is China\'s answer to GPS, while also using the services of China\'s Tiantong 1 mobile communications satellites in geostationary orbit." Link to Article

  • March 15, 2023 - US Electric Cars Set Record With Almost 300-Mile Average Range - "American drivers like everything supersized: spacious SUVs, hulking pickup trucks, the wide open road. It only makes sense, now that everything is going electric, that they also demand the world’s biggest batteries. The average electric car sold in the US is fast approaching 300 miles between charges, according to a Bloomberg analysis of more than a decade of EV sales. Last year’s average range climbed to 291 miles, putting the US average above all other major car markets and a third higher than the global average.America’s distaste for small vehicles is so great that automakers don’t even attempt to import many of their popular low-range models, such as the Fiat 500e city car — Europe’s fourth best-selling EV — or China’s top-selling EV, the Hongguang Mini. The typical US battery range has quadrupled since 2011, when the only widely available EV was the Nissan Leaf with just 73 miles per charge. " Link to Article

  • March 14, 2023 - Gen Z’s Turn Against Driving Is a Mirage - "Can a youthful generation liberate our car-clogged cities? It’s a question that more than a few people have been wondering lately. “Throughout the rich world, the young are falling out of love with cars,” proclaimed a February headline in The Economist. Another recent article, in the New York Post, noted that around 25% of American 16-year-olds had a driver’s license in 2020, down from 40% in 1997. “Zoomers are shunning cars and driver’s licenses,” observed the Washington Post. “Will it last?” It almost certainly won’t. Despite the fond hopes of many urban planners and mobility advocates (as well as some journalists), generational preferences are no match for decades of autocentric development that all but force most US residents to drive, even if they would prefer not to. In fact, the decline in car use among teenagers may not represent disinterest as much as unaffordability, which would carry grave implications for equity." Link to Article

  • March 14, 2023 - One of the biggest autonomous transportation tests is operating deep underwater - "More than 80% of the ocean remains unexplored by humans but could soon be mapped by autonomous underwater robots. But is that all unmanned submarines will be used for? Autonomous robot submarines — also referred to as autonomous underwater vehicles, or AUVs — are able to explore high-pressure areas of the ocean floor that are unreachable by humans through preprogrammed missions, allowing them to function without humans aboard, or controlling them. They’re often used by scientists for underwater research as well as oil and gas companies for deep water surveys, but as defensive security threats continue to grow, the largest sector in the AUV market has become the military. AUVs can be helpful tools in military ocean exploration, obtaining critical information such as mapping the seafloor, looking for mines — a current use case in the Russia-Ukraine war — and supplying underwater surveillance. Navies worldwide are investing in unmanned underwater vehicles to elevate their fleet of below-water defense tools. " Link to Article

  • March 14, 2023 - Pittsburgh pledges to study rail infrastructure in an attempt to prevent derailments - "Leaders in Pittsburgh joined those in half a dozen other Western Pennsylvania municipalities Tuesday to call for an investigation into the region’s rail infrastructure, and to urge tighter rules for railroad companies. In a joint statement, Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey joined mayors of other communities to express concern about how the aftermath of the East Palestine freight train derailment could impact residents in Western Pennsylvania... The city pledged to collect information about “the state of our rail infrastructure,” to better understand how to prevent derailments from happening within city limits. Council said it would “work collectively to focus investments and response plans in the areas that pose the greatest risk to our residents.”" Link to Article

  • March 14, 2023 - Embark Lays Off Workers, Explores Liquidation or Sale - "Autonomous trucking company Embark Trucks announced March 3 it is winding down operations and is exploring a liquidation or sale. Embark said it is laying off 70% of its workforce — 230 employees — and is closing offices in Houston and San Francisco. It also indicated to the remaining 30% of the staff that they are being kept on to facilitate the company’s shutdown. The layoffs are expected to take place in the coming weeks. According to a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the next step for the San Francisco-based company may be a liquidation, and it is actively looking for a buyer... Embark is just the latest transportation startup to struggle as concerns about the economy grow. In late February Pittsburgh-based autonomous platooning startup Locomation denied published reports it was closing, but it acknowledged laying off an unspecified number of employees." Link to Article

  • March 14, 2023 - Argo AI co-founders launching another self-driving startup in Pittsburgh - " The co-founders of Strip District-based autonomous vehicle startup Argo AI LLC are looking to launch another company in the self-driving industry following Argo\'s shuttering last fall, and they\'re planning to base that venture here in Pittsburgh. Bryan Salesky, past CEO of Argo, and Peter Rander, past president, have already hired about 50 employees, some of whom are Pittsburgh-based, and the yet-to-be-unveiled autonomous vehicle company has reportedly secured funding from an investor, according to a published report and confirmed by a source familiar with what they have planned. Salesky and Rander could not be reached for comment as of the publication of this article. " Link to Article

  • March 13, 2023 - What To Expect When You Rent A Car Now (You’ll Be Surprised) - "One of the most surprising recent developments has been with Hertz, which has charged forward with EV adoption. Stan Caldwell, who teaches transportation and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University\'s Heinz College, says it\'s one of the standout trends of 2023. In September, Hertz announced it would order up to 175,000 EVs from GM over the next five years. Just a few days later, it announced a deal with BP to expand the number of charging stations. \"Hertz is not only incorporating more EVs into their fleet through its five-year deal with GM, but also getting into the charging infrastructure business with BP Pulse,\" he says. Hertz\'s ambitions seem clear: It wants travelers to think of Hertz when they think of renting an EV, and with such speedy EV adoption, it may get its wish." Link to Article

  • March 13, 2023 - Paid express lanes grow more popular in once-reluctant South - "Unlike traditional toll plazas where every vehicle that passes through pays a standard fee, price-managed lanes allow some drivers to pay up to circumvent congestion — and the fee usually increases as the traffic does. According to the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA), which lobbies on behalf of the projects, 54 of the 89 tolling facilities that opened in the U.S. in the past decade were for price-managed lanes. They can be found across the South in Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia, as well as such other places as California, Colorado, Washington and Minnesota. Opponents call them “Lexus lanes,” implying that only drivers of expensive cars can afford to use them, but Lee prefers another name: “choice lanes.”" Link to Article

  • March 13, 2023 - Smart security arrives at Fiumicino Airport - "A hi-tech revolution is taking place at Fiumicino Airport, where security checks before boarding, at Terminal One, are even quicker and easier. Indeed, thanks to a technology that performs a real ‘CT scan’, passengers are now able to carry liquids even larger than 100ml in their hand luggage, as well as computers, tablets and mobile phones without having to separate them from their suitcases. The new technology, introduced last year for frequent travellers, has now been extended to all passengers departing from Terminal 1, which hosts about 70% of departures from Fiumicino. The installation of C3 standard Explosive Detection System hand baggage screening equipment has been completed after a period of testing. This is the highest security standard for hand luggage screening, which will increase the level of security and further enhance the passenger experience. " Link to Article

  • March 13, 2023 - Honda’s latest autonomous robot is designed to move things around construction sites - "Honda is known for both vehicles and robots, and over the last few years it has tried combining those two things with the Autonomous Work Vehicle (AWV). It just unveiled a new 3rd-generation version designed to transport up to two palettes worth of goods around worksites with no human assistance. This time, though, Honda is keen to find companies willing to try it out. The AWV has evolved from what was basically an ATV with the top chopped off, to a glorified autonomous electric wagon to the current model. Compared to the 2nd-generation version, the latest AWV has a larger bed size (two pallets) and higher capacity (2,000 pounds); a higher self-driving speed of up to 10 MPH; a larger battery that offers up to 10 hours and 28 miles of endurance; better avoidance functions; and a lower bed for easier loading. " Link to Article

  • March 13, 2023 - Adjustable cantilevers could make rail electrification greener by reducing need for bridge lifts - "A Dynamic Electrification innovation by engineering consultancy Furrer+Frey is one of 24 projects to win funding from the first stage of the Global Centre of Rail Excellence’s (GCRE) Innovation in Rail Construction competition. These projects have been selected by the GCRE for their potential to make the UK’s railways stronger, greener and more affordable. Railway bridge and tunnel lifts – or demolitions – to make way for OLE have become commonplace as engineers strive to make the modern technology compatible with older, often Victorian, infrastructure. As the electrified line reaches a piece of infrastructure like a bridge or level crossing, the OLE has to either dip underneath or rise up higher and if the gradient of the overhead wires is too sharp, the train’s pantograph (the arm that connects the top of the train to the wires) can become disconnected." Link to Article

  • March 10, 2023 - Motorists fear self-driving cars, AAA says - "Almost 70% of people said they were afraid of self-driving vehicles, up from 55% last year, according to a new survey from AAA survey. Such findings mean automakers need to do a better job at making self-driving technology safer and more reliable, the auto club said Thursday. \"We were not expecting such a dramatic decline in trust from previous years,\" said Greg Brannon, AAA\'s director of automotive research, said in a statement. \"Although with the number of high-profile crashes that have occurred from over-reliance on current vehicle technologies, this isn\'t entirely surprising.\" Most of those high-profile crashes involving self-driving vehicles come from Tesla. Last month, the Elon Musk-owned automaker recalled some 363,000 vehicles with self-driving technology because the cars sometimes ignore posted speed limits or blow past intersections. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched investigations into 35 separate Tesla crashes, 19 of which were fatal, since 2016." Link to Article

  • March 10, 2023 - Why the humble city bus is the key to improving US public transit - "Public transit in the U.S. is in a sorry state – aging, underfunded and losing riders, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. Many proposed solutions focus on new technologies, like self-driving cars and flying taxis. But as a researcher in urban policy and planning, I see more near-term promise in a mode that’s been around for a century: the city bus... As I show in my new book, “The Great American Transit Disaster: A Century of Austerity, Auto-Centric Planning, and White Flight,” few U.S. politicians have focused on bus riders’ experiences over the past half-century. And many executives have lavished precious federal capital dollars on building new light, rapid and commuter rail lines, in hope of attracting suburban riders back to city centers and mass transit. This was never a great strategy to begin with, and the pandemic-era flight of knowledge workers to home offices and hybrid schedules has left little to show for decades of rail-centric efforts. Meanwhile, countries in Europe and Latin America have out-innovated the U.S. in providing quality bus service." Link to Article

  • March 10, 2023 - 45 projects receive first Reconnecting Communities grants from US DOT - "U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced Tuesday the first round of grant awards for the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program, which aims to restore connections between communities that had been severed by highways and other transportation infrastructure. Grants totaling $185 million will go to 45 projects, part of a $1 billion investment over five years funded through the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law. The DOT also established the Reconnecting Communities Institute, which will “provide technical assistance to build organizational and community capacity available to grant recipients and other eligible entities interested in reconnecting communities,” according to the press release. The initial round of grants consists of 39 planning grants and six capital construction grants... An additional $3 billion will be available from the Inflation Reduction Act through the Neighborhood Access and Equity Grant Program, which can also fund projects that reconnect communities, the press release said. The Transportation Department said it anticipates launching this program later this spring." Link to Article

  • March 10, 2023 - Getting around rural America without a car is hard. These communities developed solutions - "In rural areas, residents can be miles away from essentials like doctors and grocery stores instead of minutes. Without transportation, people who don’t have a car or can’t drive often have to move closer to services. More than a third of state rural health offices reported lack of transit was the biggest barrier to elderly people staying in their homes, according to research from Carrie Henning-Smith, who studies rural health at the University of Minnesota. Rural America tends to be sicker, poorer and older than its urban counterparts. Henning-Smith said the negative-but-true statistics make it even more important for rural residents to be able to access transit. “There\'s greater need for transportation among older adults in rural communities, but more transportation challenges in getting people where they need to go,” she said. “And that will only increase as the years go on, and the population continues to age in rural places.”" Link to Article

  • March 10, 2023 - Auto Cyberattacks Becoming More Widespread - "In 2022, there was a big spike in deep/dark web activity and incidents related to application programming interfaces (API), compared with the previous year, according to Upstream’s 2023 Global Automotive Cybersecurity Report. Some 63% of incidents reported last year were attributed to black-hat actors across a wide spectrum of attack vectors. Among the targets were telematics and application servers, remote keyless entry systems, ECUs, infotainment systems, mobile applications, EV charging infrastructure, and Bluetooth... The good news is that OEMs are taking this challenge seriously. For example, GM’s cybersecurity organization implemented a three-pillar approach based on industry and government best practices to deploy defense-in-depth, monitoring and detection, and incident response to protect GM and its customers. The company also is actively involved in industry-side efforts such as Auto ISAC, the Cyber Readiness Institute, and the Cyber Auto Challenge." Link to Article

  • March 8, 2023 - Ford launches Latitude AI subsidiary in Pittsburgh with 550 former Argo AI employees - "About 550 former Argo AI employees have been hired on by Ford Motor Co. to oversee the buildout of Latitude AI, a new Pittsburgh-based subsidiary of Ford to develop advanced hands-free driving features for vehicles... With Latitude, Ford is hoping to further improve its advanced driver assistance technology called BlueCruise, which allows drivers in select Ford vehicles to take a hands-off approach to driving along many major highways and roads across the country so long as these drivers keep their eyes on the road, which the vehicle can monitor with driver-facing cameras. Eventually, Ford envisions that Latitude will develop a hands-free and eyes-off-the-road automated driving system for millions of its vehicles in the coming years... Sammy Omari, executive director of ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) Technologies at Ford, has been tapped to serve as the CEO of Latitude. Peter Carr will serve as chief technology officer, and David Gollob is the subsidiary\'s president. " Link to Article

  • March 8, 2023 - U.S. Pedestrian Deaths Keep Rising - "Pedestrian deaths have surged on U.S. roads in recent years, and they are climbing again. Pedestrian deaths hit a 40-year high in 2021, and numbers for the first half of 2022 were up about 5% over the same period in 2021, according to a new Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) analysis. It cites a variety of contributors, including heavier vehicles that are more likely to injure or kill people on foot. Roads, meanwhile, are designed to prioritize fast-moving traffic over the slower speeds that are safer for pedestrians, according to the GHSA. Many parts of the United States lack adequate sidewalks, crosswalks and lighting, the group noted. In addition, dangerous driving surged at the start of the pandemic and has not abated." Link to Article

  • March 8, 2023 - Feds close probe into TuSimple autonomous truck crash - "The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has closed its investigation into a heavily publicized crash of a TuSimple autonomous truck. TuSimple said it responded to several FMCSA requests following the April 6 non-injury incident on Interstate 10 in Arizona. The probe closed with no penalties. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration declined to open a separate probe, the company said. A driver-supervised autonomous truck took an unintended sharp left turn across a lane of westbound traffic on I-10 and struck a concrete barrier. The safety driver tried to countersteer the truck, which followed a computer-generated command that was several minutes old. TuSimple initially said the incident was driver error. Later it acknowledged its compute system and the safety driver both bore responsibility. The company grounded its fleet of mostly Navistar International trucks and made software fixes to avoid a repeat occurrence." Link to Article

  • March 8, 2023 - Warning devices for stopped trucks to go by wayside? - "Two self-driving truck companies have told regulators their technology for warning motorists of a truck stopped on the side of the highway is safe enough to replace traditional reflective signs and road flares. Waymo LLC and Aurora Operations Inc. have asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to exempt for five years their highly automated (Level 4 and Level 5) trucks from regulations requiring such roadside warning devices. If FMCSA approves the exemption, the companies would be allowed to use cab-mounted beacons instead. “Waymo and Aurora believe it is possible to achieve the safety purpose of the warning device in an alternative way by using forward- and rearward-facing amber flashing lights mounted on the cab at a height above the upper edge of the sideview mirrors,” FMCSA stated in a notice to be posted in the Federal Register on Friday." Link to Article

  • March 8, 2023 - Ohio rail union blasts Norfolk Southern’s ‘disregard’ for workers’ safety - "The Ohio contingent of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way – Employes Division (BMWED) told Gov. Mike DeWine in a letter this week that Norfolk Southern failed to adequately protect workers on the scene of the Feb. 3 train derailment in East Palestine... The letter also criticized Norfolk Southern for including discussions about the use of automated track inspection (ATI) in negotiations over sick leave. As the derailment cleanup was occurring, BMWED was negotiating with NS over sick leave, and the two parties eventually reached an agreement. But one of the initial conditions that NS brought up that was later discarded called for BMWED to withdraw its objections before the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) over ATI, which uses machines to scan the track structure for track defects. The union’s position is that while ATI is beneficial, human inspections should also occur because they can spot defects that ATI might not on the right-of-way. " Link to Article

  • March 7, 2023 - ‘Technology lanes’ coming to U.S. 75 HOV with low emission and EV component - "The under-utilized HOV, high occupancy vehicle, lanes of U.S. 75 between LBJ and Allen will be converted to a one-of-a-kind lane called the \"Technology Lane.\" Webb tells WFAA the project was funded two years ago. The lanes will be general-purpose lanes for all vehicles. But, during morning and evening rush for two hours going south and two hours going north Monday through Friday, the lanes will be for high-occupancy vehicles, low emission and electric vehicles. This means Central Expressway will go from four general purpose lanes to five lanes except for between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and 6 p.m... The plans required federal approval because the HOV lanes were funded federally with air quality money. Webb tells WFAA that the Regional Transportation Council, TxDOT, and FHWA (Federal Highway Administration) have discussed more than a half a dozen options to improve congestion and reduce under-utilization of the lanes." Link to Article

  • March 7, 2023 - Postal Service begins mass purchase of electric mail trucks - "The U.S. Postal Service today began awarding contracts to order thousands of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) to replace its aging, gasoline-powered mail trucks, in accordance with its December announcement that it would acquire at least 66,000 BEVs as part of its 106,000-truck acquisition plan by 2028. USPS has now put that plan into motion by awarding contracts for 9,250 commercially available, left-hand drive (LHD) Ford E-Transit vans, and also placing initial orders for more than 14,000 charging stations to be deployed at Postal Service facilities. At the same time, USPS also ordered 9,250 commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) internal combustion engine vehicles, citing an “urgent need for vehicles” as part of its delivery vehicle replacement plan." Link to Article

  • March 7, 2023 - Philly bike share program aims to increase ridership among low-income residents, teens, people of color - "Philadelphia\'s bike share program is aiming to increase rider access as a part of a new five-year plan. Indego is specifically seeking to grow ridership among people of color and low-income communities through its new equity plan, which calls for expanded routes in underserved neighborhoods and more e-bikes. The bike program currently has over 190 stations and more than 1,900 bikes throughout Philadelphia. Within the program\'s first year, analysis revealed that the least-used rental stations were in areas where the median income is $25,000. The plan aims to create a pricing structure that is more representative of the city and would entice more people to actually ride the bikes. There is also an emphasis on eliminating non-financial barriers that can dissuade riders, especially youths aged 14-21 and older adults ages 62 and older. Those barriers include the ability to ride a bike, communication methods, technology access, digital literacy and payment systems." Link to Article

  • March 7, 2023 - Tesla officially opens Superchargers to non-Tesla EV owners in the US and explains how it works - "Tesla has finally started to open some Supercharger stations to non-Tesla electric car owners in the US, and it explained how it works. It has been a long time coming, but we also knew it was finally coming soon as we started to spot Tesla installing the “Magic Dock” at some Supercharger stations in the last few days. While those stations were now equipped with the integrated CCS adapter to work with non-Tesla EVs, the automaker had yet to officially open them up through the app and start onboarding electric cars owners to its charging network... In the app, electric car owners can see the station and select the stall where they park. After, they simply have to grab the handle where the CCS adapter will come out of the Magic Dock: " Link to Article

  • March 7, 2023 - Waymo is starting driverless taxi tests in Los Angeles - "Late last year, Waymo secured a Driverless Pilot permit from the state of California, bringing the alphabet-owned brand one step closer to launching its autonomous taxi service in the state. Now, Waymo is already expanding its service area, announcing plans to begin testing driverless cars in Los Angeles. The company tells Engadget that the test will mark the first time that fully autonomous cars will roam the streets of LA, and that thanks to successful tests in San Francisco, its been able to roll out autonomous drivers in new cities with \"little-to-no on-board engineering work.\"... That doesn\'t mean the company is ready to launch its Waymo One taxi service in California, however. The LA test will likely follow the same course as Waymo\'s fleet in San Francisco: a limited number of vehicles only available to riders in the Waymo Research Trusted Tester program. " Link to Article

  • March 6, 2023 - High levels of chemicals could pose long-term risks at Ohio train derailment site, researchers say - "“It’s not elevated to the point where it’s necessarily like an immediate ‘evacuate the building’ health concern,” said Dr. Albert Presto, an associate research professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon’s Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, who is working on the university’s chemical monitoring effort in East Palestine. “But, you know, we don’t know necessarily what the long-term risk is or how long that concentration that causes that risk will persist.” Much of what scientists know about chemical exposure comes from people’s contact with chemicals at work, Preston said, which generally means exposure for about eight hours a day. People now living in East Palestine are in constant contact with the chemicals, he said, and the impact of that kind of exposure on the human body is not fully understood." Link to Article

  • March 6, 2023 - BMW’s Hydrogen Babysteps Keep Fuel-Cell Cars in Slow Lane - "BMW AG is showing off its first hydrogen-powered iX5 sport utility vehicles this year but still has some way to go to make the technology a viable alternative to battery-electric cars... The German manufacturer plans to ship around 80 of the SUVs to Europe, Asia, the US and the Middle East for use in test drives and car shows, part of a drive to offer customers options outside of pure battery cars in the electric shift. Hydrogen vehicles are struggling to take off because of high costs and a fledgling fueling infrastructure. That BMW’s test fleet remains small is a reflection of the difficulties hydrogen cars — a technology companies have worked on for decades — have been having breaking into the mainstream. Only around 60,000 of them are on the roads, with Hyundai Motor Co.’s Nexo the bestseller last year. That compares with a fleet of roughly 19 million battery-electric vehicles, according to BloombergNEF estimates. " Link to Article

  • March 6, 2023 - Tesla’s Full Self Driving Isn’t The Only Technology With Speed Sign Detection Problems - "Speed limiting technology has also been mandated over in Europe, where the EU’s Vehicle General Safety Regulation has now been in force for a little over 6 months. It introduced a range of mandatory advanced driver assistant systems to all new cars aiming to improve road safety, and establishes the legal framework for the approval of automated and fully driverless vehicles in the EU. The new safety measures will help to better protect passengers, pedestrians and cyclists across the EU, expectedly saving over 25,000 lives and avoid at least 140,000 serious injuries by 2038. The 2019/2044 regulation also mandates all new cars that have already launched be fitted with an Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA) by 7 July 2024. Tesla’s struggles though help to demonstrate how difficult it is to get this technology working in practise. ISA is designed to inform the driver when they are speeding and reduce the speed of the vehicle. " Link to Article

  • March 6, 2023 - Self-driving vehicles could reduce risk in mobile work zones: study - "Using a self-driving truck to follow a manned vehicle during “moving work zone” operations could help prevent roadway worker injuries, results of a recent study show. Moving work zones involve crews completing work from a series of vehicles. According to the University of Missouri Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the last vehicle in the line faces highest risk of involvement in an incident... Under this configuration, an operator in the leader vehicle uses a tablet to control the follower truck, setting the vehicle’s speed and maintaining its following distance. The controls also allow for stopping the follower vehicle – equipped with detection systems for front and side obstacles – in emergencies... The researchers received responses from 43 state departments of transportation after conducting a nationwide survey about the use of autonomous work vehicles. Four states – Colorado, Missouri, North Dakota and Rhode Island – are using or in the process of implementing the leader-follower method, while 19 are exploring the system. " Link to Article

  • March 6, 2023 - Roll Mobility, a new app that’s a Yelp for accessible spaces, launches at a brewery that sets the standard - "Trying to join her friends at a restaurant on a recent Friday required real effort from Allyson Mallory. First, she had to find a handicap-accessible parking space at a grocery store across the street. Then she had to maneuver her electric wheelchair across snow-covered sidewalks — or try anyway. Finding they had not been shoveled, she had to turn around, go back and find a better path. All that to get to a pizza joint designed to be wheelchair-friendly. Ordeals like that have led to the creation of a new app that offers accessibility reviews of local businesses open to the public. The app, called Roll Mobility, was designed by four people — three Coloradans and another expert based in the UK. Launching this month, it gives people in chairs information about the accessibility of different spaces before they go out. " Link to Article

  • March 3, 2023 - GM’s plan to deploy self-driving Cruise Origin on hold as feds weigh exemption request - "General Motors\' mission to get 5,000 self-driving Cruise Origin vehicles in cities nationwide hangs on whether federal regulators will grant the automaker\'s request to exempt the vehicle from federal safety standards. GM plans to start building the Origin at Factory Zero in Detroit/Hamtramck this year but needs approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to put the vehicles on the roads. The Origin is a small bus-like vehicle that will transport up to six people without a driver. It operates through autonomous technology and has no manual steering controls or pedals... That government approval depends on how satisfactorily GM answers some big questions NHTSA is asking about the operational safety of the self-driving cars Cruise already has on roads now. In some cases, those cars have caused traffic backups and other public safety disruptions." Link to Article

  • March 3, 2023 - FHWA declines to set truck standards in EV charging rule - "he Biden administration has largely avoided taking into account the concerns of the trucking industry in rolling out its first set of standards and requirements for a nationwide electric vehicle charging network. The intentional hands-off approach, according to a final rule to be published by the Federal Highway Administration on Tuesday, is meant to avoid getting in the way of evolving technology for powering medium- and heavy-duty (MD/HD) electric trucks. “The FHWA … cannot regulate minimum standards that have not yet been identified or innovated in the industry,” the agency stated. “FHWA understands that the MD/HD charging industry is very nascent and rapidly evolving. As such, FHWA has not modified the language in this final rule to specifically accommodate MD/HD needs so as not to preempt the pace of technological innovation.”" Link to Article

  • March 3, 2023 - Venture capital dries up for Pittsburgh driverless car startups, prompting a call for diversification - "For the third quarter of 2022, $5.5 billion was invested in the sector, down 55% from the previous quarter and 79% lower than the same period a year ago, according to PitchBook, a Seattle-based company that tracks investments. Turning back the revenue spigot for startups has meant lean days for entrepreneurs. “It’s been very difficult for a startup in the last three or four months, both here and nationally,” said Matthew Johnson-Roberson, director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, which recently expanded on Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill’s business district. “There’s just been this big pullback.” Robotics is a growing part of the Pittsburgh-area economy, with more than 100 companies supporting 15,000 jobs and drawing $3.4 billion in venture capital and private equity since 2012, according to the Pittsburgh Robotics Network. Driverless vehicles are a small part of the sector, which has been dented recently by the layoffs at Locomation and the shuttering of Argo AI." Link to Article

  • March 3, 2023 - Investors Go Back To Basics With Simpler Self-Driving Vehicles - "British AV software company Oxbotica, Sweden\'s Einride, America\'s Outrider and British supplier Aurrigo International Plc are among a number of companies drawing investor interest with more focused approaches, aimed at smaller, simpler customer segments - from mining vehicles to tractors or forklifts. After watching robotaxi firms spend billions on technology that could still be many years away, investors are looking for startups that burn less cash and are preferably already generating revenue, said Kasper Sage, managing partner at BMW\'s venture capital fund BMW iVentures, which led autonomous forklift company Fox Robotics\' $20 million funding round in October... Faced with the long-term conundrum that people and robots do not mix well, investors have gone back to basics, targeting less-complex, less cash-intensive forms of autonomy with a clearer path to payback, operating at lower speeds with little to no traffic. " Link to Article

  • March 3, 2023 - Canyon (finally) brings its car-replacing e-bike to the US market - "Reviewed by us back in 2020, Canyon\'s Precede:ON urban e-bike is finally coming to America after receiving much acclaim on the other side of the Atlantic. The car-replacing e-bike won the German Design Award for 2021 for its sleek and somewhat futuristic aesthetics, and will be rolled out into the US market in three models ranging between $2,999 to $4,299. Perhaps better known for their direct-to-consumer race machines like the Canyon Aeroad or Canyon Inflite so often seen ridden to victory by the likes of Mathieu van der Poel, the Precede:On is Canyon’s first foray into commuter e-bikes. All models come with high quality Bosch motors, an Ortlieb rear rack, fenders and a host of smart features — all beautifully integrated. " Link to Article

  • March 1, 2023 - Madison shows off its groundbreaking electric fire truck - "The Madison Fire Dept. is helping lead firefighters across the country into a new era, one that does not rely on trips to the gas station. On Tuesday, the department debuted its first electric fire truck, the Pierce Volterra zero-emissions pumper. Madison Fire Chief Steven Davis explained the new vehicle will provide all of the pumping power they need to protect the city now, without pumping out the emissions that contribute to climate change. “We are eager to lead change by responsibly supporting our environment together with achieving our critical daily missions,” he continued. Its maker, Pierce Manufacturing, claimed the 21-ton vehicle was not just the first one in the United States, but it was also the first one in North America. The new truck seats six and carries a thousand feet of 5? hoses and another 500 feet of 2.5? hosing. It can carry 500 gallons of water and houses a pump that shoot out 1,500 gallons per minute." Link to Article

  • March 1, 2023 - National Transportation Safety Board releases preliminary report on East Palestine train derailment - "According to the report, before the derailment, an alarm instructed the crew to stop the train to inspect a hot axle, and an automatic emergency brake initiated. The report indicates that after the train stopped, the crew observed smoke and fire and notified dispatch of a possible derailment. With dispatcher authorization, “the crew applied handbrakes to the two railcars at the head of the train, uncoupled the head-end locomotives, and moved the locomotives about 1 mile from the uncoupled railcars. Responders arrived at the derailment site and began response efforts,” the report states. NTSB investigators identified and examined the first railcar to derail, which was the 23rd railcar. Surveillance video from a residence showed what appeared to be a wheel bearing in the “final stage of overheat failure” moments before the derailment." Link to Article

  • March 1, 2023 - Nikola says it may run out of money in next 12 months - "Nikola Corp. said in a government filing Thursday that it may run out of money in the next 12 months and have to “modify or terminate” its business. The startup booked $6.5 million in revenue in the fourth quarter. But the cost of those sales was more than seven times the revenue generated. Such is the life of a startup trying to launch battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and fuel cell-electric Class 8 trucks and simultaneously start a hydrogen production, distribution and sales business. While the numbers looked pretty ugly, Nikola still has nearly $1 billion in cash and borrowing ability to keep the business going into 2024, Chief Financial Officer Kim Brady said on a call with analysts Thursday. However, in its Securities and Exchange Commission 10-K filing for 2022, Nikola said it may not have enough money to stay in business a year from now." Link to Article

  • March 1, 2023 - New Self-Driving Car Tech Could Make U.S. Roads More Dangerous - "In the coming months, the most advanced type of self-driving car on the market will hit U.S. roads. Last month, Mercedes-Benz announced it will become the first automaker to deploy Level 3 in the states: Mercedes will offer Nevada customers its Drive Pilot system in the second half of 2023, the company announced. Later this year, it aims to expand Level 3 to California... o learn more about the controversy around the Level 3 rollout, we spoke with Missy Cummings, an engineer at George Mason University who served as one of the U.S. Navy’s first female fighter pilots and a senior safety advisor to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration... When I was at NHTSA, I saw it wasn\'t just a Tesla problem — there are all sorts of problems with all manufacturers. The autonomy system in a car sometimes just gives up when it doesn\'t recognize what to do in a particular situation. " Link to Article

  • March 1, 2023 - These electric driverless baggage vehicles are now whizzing around one of the world’s best airports - "Auto-Dolly and Auto-DollyTug are electric driverless baggage vehicles, and they’re now on the job at a huge airport in Asia. These EVs, which are made by Coventry, UK-based transport tech company Aurrigo, transport baggage between the terminal and planes. Auto-Dolly picks up a luggage container and drives itself to the plane. It’s able to recognize people and objects on the road and avoid them. Once it reaches the plane, automatic mechanical arms transfer the luggage container onto the pallet loader... Singapore Changi Airport, one of the largest transportation hubs in Asia, has signed a multiyear partnership agreement with Aurrigo to jointly develop and test the Auto-Dolly and Auto-DollyTug. The partners are also testing Aurrigo’s airport simulation software platform Auto-Sim." Link to Article

  • February 28, 2023 - Pittsburgh’s street infrastructure is getting a smart tech upgrade - "With a $28.8 million investment grant award that came from a combination of federal, city and state funding, the Steel City is welcoming the SmartSpines project, which will use advanced transportation technologies to modernize traffic signals. The goal is to improve “safety, efficiency, system performance, and infrastructure return on investment.” These changes won’t happen all at once. According to the City’s website, the project will happen in three phases over the next two years. During that time, changes will include new vehicular signal heads, new pedestrian countdown signs, and new accessible pedestrian signs. Drivers can also look forward to smart software implementation such as a cloud-based user priority system for the Pittsburgh Regional Transit Bus Rapid Transit project, an adaptive signal system that detects and optimizes movements on a “per-person” basis, an advanced traffic management system, and an advanced traffic signal performance measures software platform." Link to Article

  • February 28, 2023 - Nikola will offer a driver-assist system for its trucks starting next year - "Nikola will begin offering an advanced driver-assist system on its electric heavy trucks starting late next year, the company said Wednesday. The system, made by Plus and called PlusDrive, is similar to the highway driving systems offered by automakers including Tesla, General Motors and Ford Motor – while a human driver must be present and attentive, the system can handle most highway driving tasks on its own, in addition to assisting the human driver in non-highway situations including backing up to loading docks. Plus says its “autonomous driving technology offers the industry’s best-in-class perception system and deep learning models to quickly, accurately, and safely perceive the vehicle’s surroundings, predict what’s coming next, and control the vehicle to make its next move.” But a Nikola representative told CNBC the system as it will be integrated into the company’s semitrucks is designed to be an “eyes-on-road, hands-on-wheel” system." Link to Article

  • February 28, 2023 - Locomation shutting down operations by month’s end - "Locomation Inc., a 2018 spinout company from Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center that worked to develop autonomous trucking solutions, will cease to exist by month\'s end as the company disclosed it lacked the funds necessary to continue operations. \"We are ending significant operations this month,\" Finch Fulton, vice president of policy and strategy at Locomation, said... Fulton said Locomation\'s CEO and Co-Founder Çetin Meriçli declined to issue a statement at this time. Current employee count at Locomation stands at about 80 workers, almost all of whom work out of the company\'s Lawrenceville headquarters at the Tech Forge building it leased from the Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Fulton said about a dozen or so employees will stick around in the coming weeks to see the final wind-down of the company as it looks to sell its assets and IP to interested buyers." Link to Article

  • February 28, 2023 - How an autonomous train-bus hybrid could transform city transit - "“Cities all over the world have proposed light rail systems that either get greatly reduced or don’t happen at all because of the expense of putting rail in the roadbed. It’s highly disruptive to the business community,” said Lisa Chamberlain, a communications lead for the Global Centre for Urban Transformation at the World Economic Forum. “For residents, it’s very expensive.” A Chinese company has a radical new solution. It’s a train-bus hybrid that runs on rubber wheels but follows a predetermined track. It’s called Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART), and it’s made by the CRCC, a Chinese mass transit manufacturer... The ART vehicle costs about $2.2 million and is estimated to cost around 1/5 the price of a traditional tram system per mile. It uses stabilizing technology like active suspension systems which help to make it steadier than a city bus." Link to Article

  • February 28, 2023 - Duke Energy to build ‘first-of-its-kind’ facility to accelerate fleet electrification with Daimler, Electrada - "Dive Brief: Duke Energy announced Tuesday that it will construct an electrification depot at its Mount Holly Technology and Innovation Center in North Carolina to help develop, test and deploy zero-emissions light-, medium- and heavy-duty commercial electric vehicle fleets. Duke will partner with EV infrastructure developer Electrada to develop the fleet charging center, and Daimler Truck North America will be a founding participant in the fleet EV charging program. The charging center will be capable of providing energy from either the bulk electric system or the utility’s Mount Holly microgrid, which is powered by carbon-free resources. According to Duke, the project “is the first electric fleet depot to offer a microgrid charging option.”... Daimler Truck North America has a manufacturing facility near the planned charging center. " Link to Article

  • February 27, 2023 - Dynamic pricing is heading LTL’s way — or is it? - "Anyone who has booked an airline ticket online has interacted with a model known as “dynamic pricing.” Put simply, it’s the process by which airlines adjust fares, often on a moment’s notice, to reflect real-time changes in supply-and-demand conditions. The less-than-truckload industry, hardly a first mover in information technology, is slowly but inexorably moving in that direction as well. For LTL, the shift is a big deal. For generations, LTL pricing has been a static phenomenon. It has taken two forms: One is direct base rate pricing typically between large shippers and their carriers. The other is what is called “blanket” pricing, in which carriers load pricing matrices into third-party logistics providers’ TMSs. Those prices are then offered to small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs) that engage with carriers through their 3PL provider partners. Both models reflect pricing schemes that don’t change frequently." Link to Article

  • February 27, 2023 - Hertz to Benefit From $1 Billion BP Electric Vehicle Investment - "Hertz and BP announced the intention to bring fast charging infrastructure to car rental locations in major cities across the United States as part of a $1 billion investment in electric vehicles (EVs) by the gas company. The companies will prioritize the fast-charging installations in major cities, including Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Miami, New York City, Orlando, Phoenix, San Francisco and Washington, DC. Many fast-charging installations will include gigahubs locations, such as the station previously announced by bp and Hertz at Los Angeles International Airport. The hubs will serve rideshare and taxi drivers, car rental customers and the general public at high-demand locations." Link to Article

  • February 27, 2023 - Smart Boat Sensors Advance at Miami Boat Show - "Technology shown at the Miami International Boat Show in Miami last week converts data from analog boat sensors into digital data on a dashboard providing a coherent view of all sensor activity on a boat. Boats typically have numerous sensors, such as devices at a fuel tank, bilge pump, batteries or even the engine itself. However, the analog sensors generally provide rudimentary information, such as a red light if there’s a problem. Airmar Technology Corp. has created a set of smart boat modules to capture the data from analog devices and convert it into digital data and then combine it all into a networked display... While connected sensors in newer boats have been steadily advancing technologically, the large installed base of boats with analog sensors now has a path to becoming part of the Internet of Things." Link to Article

  • February 27, 2023 - Nikola will make Plus autonomous truck technology standard in 2024 - "Nikola Corp. will test autonomous driving software from Plus on its battery- and fuel cell-electric trucks later this year and become the first zero-tailpipe-emission truck maker to make it standard in 2024. Plus requires drivers in the cab as it opens up more autonomous features through its PlusDrive system. It is aiming for driverless operation. But it wants to log 8 billion miles of operation with safety drivers monitoring the technology before removing the driver. The Plus automated driving approach goes beyond advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) features like lane keeping and automatic emergency braking. It includes lane centering, lane changes, merges and adjusting to stop-and-go traffic. Regenerative braking adds energy back into the battery. Multiple cameras make up an advanced sensor suite that fuses cameras with short-range radar and lidar. Plus describes the driver’s role as that of a pilot." Link to Article

  • February 27, 2023 - U.S. Electric Vehicle Sales Poised For A Breakout Year - "China is the largest market for electric vehicles in the world. Germany was the second until the US just displaced Europe\'s largest economy as EV sales accelerated. BloombergNEF data shows the US is now the world\'s second-largest EV market, shifting Germany down to the third spot. Last year, nearly one million EVs were sold in the US, compared with 650,000 in 2021. Not surprising is Tesla\'s dominance in overall sales. Elon Musk\'s automaker sold a whopping 510,610 vehicles last year. Ford Motor Company was number two with 74,000... Last month, Tesla slashed the prices of its vehicles so buyers could take advantage of the $7,500 US government tax credit. Now the Model Y sold out until April. Electrek\'s Fred Lambert said the price cuts sparked \"unprecedented demand\" in the US. Meanwhile, Ford shares stumbled this past week after it paused production and shipments of its electric F-150 Lightning pickup due to a potential battery issue. " Link to Article

  • February 24, 2023 - Throughout the rich world, the young are falling out of love with cars - "The Supreme Court said in 1977 that having a car was a “virtual necessity” for anyone living in America. By 1997, 43% of the country’s 16-year-olds had driving licences. But in 2020, the most recent year for which figures are available, the number had fallen to just 25%. Nor is it just teenagers. One in five Americans aged between 20 and 24 does not have a licence, up from just one in 12 in 1983. The proportion of people with licences has fallen for every age group under 40, and on the latest data, is still falling. And even those who do have them are driving less. Between 1990 and 2017 the distance driven by teenage drivers in America declined by 35%, and those aged 20-34 by 18%. It is entirely older drivers who account for still increasing traffic, as baby-boomers who grew up with cars do not give them up in retirement." Link to Article

  • February 24, 2023 - If ‘self-driving’ Teslas are defective, why are regulators letting them stay on the road? - "Safety officials are struggling not only with new technology in the auto industry but also with Tesla in particular, an automaker that “thumbs its nose at NHTSA on a regular basis,” said Phil Koopman, a professor and autonomous technology expert at Carnegie Mellon University. So, in its negotiations with Musk, why did NHTSA not require that FSD or the defective functions be turned off while Tesla attempts a fix? NHTSA won’t say. Koopman, emphasizing he’s only speculating, said it’s possible NHTSA feared being sued by Musk, which would require a huge commitment of resources and would drag out the situation. “NHTSA would be motivated to get this thing fixed in a way that involves the least trauma and gets it done faster,” Koopman said. Bryant Walker Smith, law professor at the University of South Carolina, said regulators are just coming to grips with the recent radical changes in automotive technology. Even the term “recall” is becoming outmoded: The Tesla fix will be delivered wirelessly to cars wherever they are through what’s called over-the-air software delivery. Smith proposes the term “virtual recall.” " Link to Article

  • February 24, 2023 - Oshkosh Corp. opening Innovation Center in Strip District - "Oshkosh Corp. (NYSE: OSK), named after the Wisconsin town from which it has grown into a significant public company manufacturing fire trucks and a wide variety of what it calls \"mission-critical vehicles and essential equipment,\" is working to establish a new Pittsburgh presence on Smallman Street. The company, which generated $8.2 billion in net sales in 2022, has its name on Oxford Development Co.\'s Factory 26 tech flex property in the Strip and is shooting to open what will be a new Innovation Center there in June... The company has leased about 17,000 square feet in the building, a mature warehouse building that Oxford invested to upgrade into a new tech flex property, seeking to capitalize on the influx of robotics, autonomous vehicle companies and artificial intelligence firms setting up in what\'s become known as Robotics Row. " Link to Article

  • February 24, 2023 - Cruise hits 1 million driverless miles - "Cruise announced today its fully driverless vehicles have traveled over one million miles just 15 months after the company gave its first fully driverless ride. A majority of Cruise’s fully driverless miles were driven in San Francisco, where cruise first rolled out its robotaxis in November 2021. Since its start in 2013, Cruise’s strategy has been to automate vehicles in the most difficult driving environments first so that its autonomous driving system could be rolled out to cities that are easier to drive in... Cruise has recently started testing its purpose-built Origin vehicle on public roads in San Francisco. Origin is a fully autonomous vehicle with no front seat or steering wheel, designed specifically for giving autonomous taxi rides. " Link to Article

  • February 24, 2023 - Mercedes-Benz is building its very own in-car operating system - "Mercedes-Benz has previewed its brand-new purpose-built operating system, MB.OS. It means future Mercedes cars will run supercomputers and a comprehensive suite of sensors as it climbs towards more self-driving functionality. MB.OS is purpose-built software, using chip-to-cloud architecture to power an all-new infotainment suite and autonomous driving features. At the same time as revealing the new Mercedes Modular Architecture (MMA), which MB.OS is built on, the German brand has also disclosed details of a special relationship with Google to create the next-gen navigation system - which essentially puts all things Google Maps integrated into the car. The really interesting bit - to get our super-nerd on - is the Chip-to-cloud IoT (Internet of Things) stuff. It mitigates the chances of bad actors breaching devices because the direct relationship to the cloud removes potential gateways for hackers to exploit. Robust cyber security is especially important to Merc’s future, for a highly connected, lounge-like cabin and self-driving car ambitions. " Link to Article

  • February 22, 2023 - The Electric Vehicle Transition In Historical Comparison - "Advocates for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are enthused about the potential for them to displace most internal combustion energy (ICE) vehicles within a decade or two. The figure below shows a number of projections of BEV market share for new vehicle sales from a variety of groups, some of which are more aspirational than predictive. But rapid growth in EV sales seems to be the consensus. Are there reasons to doubt this? Many have noted that the rate of market penetration for new technologies has greatly increased in recent decades; in the U.S. smartphones reached saturation in a decade, compared to up to 50 years for appliances like washing machines. Others have compared Tesla to the Model T, suggesting their vehicles are so revolutionary that they will displace ICEs at the same speed that the Model T replaced horses." Link to Article

  • February 22, 2023 - Self-driving car could end traffic light need, says firm involved in trial - "The two cars, built by Japanese manufacturer Nissan, have completed hundreds of laps around a 2.7-mile (4.3km) route featuring busy A-roads in south-east London during the past two years. SMLL was responsible for installing about 270 cameras along the route, which relayed information to the cars about potential issues ahead, such as buses stopped in the left lane. The trial was part of a ServCity project, thought to be the country\'s first trial of driverless technology involving the use of infrastructure on the roadside as well as the vehicles\' own systems. ServCity is a £10.7m consortium project involving Nissan, Hitachi, Connected Places Catapult, the University of Nottingham, TRL (formerly Transport Research Laboratory) and SBD Automotive. Robert Bateman, who manages ServCity for Nissan, said there had been significant differences in London\'s trials compared with those in the US and Japan." Link to Article

  • February 22, 2023 - Interest Grows in Pennsylvania’s Grant Program to Electrify Fleets - "Pennsylvania’s new $12.7 million environmental grant program to electrify freight truck fleets is generating interest from municipal and commercial truck fleet owners. The “Electrifying Truck Fleets for Cleaner Air in Our Communities” program was launched in November to create a transformational change in transportation and combat air pollution by helping to electrify local freight trucks, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection said. The grant application deadline has been extended by a month to March 31 to allow applicants more time to develop their fleet electrification plans prior to applying. To participate, an applicant must schedule and hold a pre-application meeting with DEP no later than March 1... Funding will cover local freight trucks (garbage, recycling, utility and delivery trucks), electric vehicle charging infrastructure and installation. Those receiving the grants must scrap older diesel vehicles within two years and have new EV trucks on the road." Link to Article

  • February 22, 2023 - Biden administration open to legislation after Ohio derailment - "Other groups, including rail unions, have already been pointing to an Obama-era rule that would have required trains carrying “high hazardous materials” to install electronic braking systems to stop trains more quickly than conventional air brakes. They argue the brake requirements wouldn’t have stopped the derailment but could have mitigated its impacts. The rule came after one of the deadliest train derailments, in 2013, when a train carrying crude oil dislodged from its tracks in the small town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, killing 47 people and engulfing much of the town in flames... The rule was finalized in 2015. The industry had been arguing that the price tag for rail companies to install ECP was too high and not economically justified. After the Government Accountability Office released a 2016 report that found fault in the agency’s cost-benefit analysis, the Trump administration repealed the brake requirement since the “expected benefits do not exceed the expected costs.\"" Link to Article

  • February 22, 2023 - Tesla Recalls More Than 300,000 Vehicles Over ‘Self-Driving’ Safety Concerns - "U.S. safety regulators have pressured Tesla into recalling nearly 363,000 vehicles with its “Full Self-Driving” system because it can misbehave around intersections and doesn’t always follow speed limits... Raj Rajkumar, a professor of computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, doubts that Tesla can fix all of the problems cited by NHTSA with a software update. The automaker, he says, relies only on cameras and artificial intelligence to make driving decisions, a system that will make mistakes. “Cameras can miss a lot of things,” Rajkumar said. “These are not straightforward issues to fix. If they could have fixed it, they would have fixed it a long time back.” Most other companies with self-driving vehicles use laser sensors and radar in addition to cameras to make sure vehicles see everything. “One sensing modality is not perfect by any metric,” Rajkumar said." Link to Article

  • February 21, 2023 - Transportation company Via valued at $3.5 billion after latest fund-raise - "Via is valued at $3.5 billion, the transportation company said on Monday, after it raised fresh capital in a funding round led by 83North. The company, which was founded in 2012 with a few vans in New York City, raised $110 million in the latest round that also drew participation from Exor N.V., Pitango, Janus Henderson, CF Private Equity, Planven Entrepreneur Ventures, Riverpark Ventures, and ION Crossover Partners. Via develops public mobility systems by building a network of buses, shuttles, wheelchair-accessible vehicles and autonomous and electric vehicles in over 35 countries. It plans to use the capital to expand its products, improve its end-to-end digital infrastructure for public mobility and expand into new markets and verticals." Link to Article

  • February 21, 2023 - Amazon, Toyota hang onto stakes in Pittsburgh-based driverless vehicle startup Aurora - "Amazon and Toyota each hold significant stakes in self-driving vehicle startup Aurora Innovation Inc., evidence that interest in autonomous vehicles isn’t fading even as the sector has struggled to find the best commercial use for its innovations. Strip District-based Aurora has been pushing ahead in the trucking sector and recently tapped a new president who will work in Texas, where it is piloting deliveries for customers there. Japanese carmaker Toyota Motor Corp. currently holds about 47.6 million shares, or 6.4%, of Class A Common Stock in Aurora, according to a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Seattle-based online retailer Amazon Inc., which also has its own self-driving vehicle operation underway, holds about 35.2 million shares or 4.5% of Class B Common Stock, according to a separate SEC filing. " Link to Article

  • February 21, 2023 - First electric air taxi takes flight around New York City - "If you’re driving around New York City, keep a lookout for flying electric air taxis, or eVTOLs, as the historic test flight took place at the Westchester county airport in White Plains, NY. Vermont-based BETA Technologies, an electric aviation and aerospace manufacturer, teamed up with Blade Air Mobility, which provides cost-effective air transportation alternatives in some of the most congested areas globally (US, EU, Canada, and India) to make it a reality. BETA’s air taxi, ALIA-250 EVA, has been in the works for three years, influenced by the design of the Arctic tern. Since terns migrate further than any other bird, visiting all corners of the earth, it inspired the company to engineer the most efficient flying method. The ALIA-250 EVA has two versions – one optimized for passengers and the other for cargo. The eVTOL is powered by a distributed, direct-drive electric propulsion with 250 NM range and a 50-minute charge time." Link to Article

  • February 21, 2023 - INDOT working on wireless charging pavement - "Hoosier drivers might soon be able to charge their electric cars, while they are heading to work. The Indiana Department of Transportation is working with Purdue on this first of its kind project. They are working to develop a contactless wireless-charging concrete pavement highway segment. Officials say it’s a similar concept to recharging your cellphone by sitting it on a wireless pad without ever plugging it in. They say the project started in 2021, and it’s three phases. Phase one and two include pavement testing and analysis and optimization research. Officials say the laboratory testing phase has now been completed at the INDOT Research campus, and engineers are working on the final design for a physical testbed. Phase 3 includes construction of a quarter-mile testbed on U.S. 231/U.S. 52 in West Lafayette." Link to Article

  • February 21, 2023 - Biden to require EV chargers to be universal for federal funds, expects Tesla to open some chargers - "The Biden administration on Wednesday is announcing new requirements for electric vehicle chargers that receive federal funds, including limiting funds to chargers that can serve electric vehicles regardless of brand. This requirement is expected to push Tesla in particular away from chargers that only serve its own vehicles. White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu told reporters Tuesday that he expects Tesla to open a portion of its chargers, making at least 7,500 chargers available to all electric vehicles by the end of 2024. Landrieu said the new stipulation is part of an effort to build a network of chargers that “will work for everyone, everywhere, no matter what type of car or state they’re in.”" Link to Article

  • February 20, 2023 - Sneak Peek: Detroit’s Michigan Central mobility lab opens soon - "A new innovation lab dedicated to solving the world\'s most pressing transportation problems is opening soon in Detroit — the first phase of Ford Motor\'s ambitious research hub, Michigan Central. Why it matters: The driving principle behind Michigan Central, a vision of Ford executive chair Bill Ford, is that improved transportation leads to better economic mobility — equitable access to jobs, health care, education and more. Driving the news: Newlab, an inventor community launched in New York\'s Brooklyn Navy Yard, is partnering with Michigan Central to develop a mobility innovation ecosystem centered at Detroit’s historic Book Depository building, set to reopen this spring, Axios is first to report." Link to Article

  • February 20, 2023 - GE demonstrates robot that inspects, restores natural gas pipelines - "The robotic system, the PipeLine Underground Trenchless Overhaul system, or PLUTO, can internally rehabilitate existing pipelines without the normal digging, cutting, and extraction associated with replacing aging pipes, the companies said. Researchers said the system has the potential to cut the cost of rehabilitating pipelines between $1 million and $10 million per mile to as low as $200,000 to $500,000 per mile... Duncan said the system allows for the flexibility of Sprayed-in-Place Pipe (SIPP) technology over long distances from a single excavation. Additionally, the system can alter a new pipe’s thickness in specific locations without requiring putting a customer liner in place. The technology, researchers said, contrasts Cure-in-Place Pipe (CIPP) liners that require customization and advanced manufacturing and risk being torn or kinked when deployed. The PLUTO system, they said, manufactures the new, custom-fit pipe from a single dig site." Link to Article

  • February 20, 2023 - FMCSA changing how it identifies unsafe carriers - "he Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration plans to change the way it evaluates trucking company safety by upgrading its current ranking model as opposed to installing a new one. In a notice to be published Wednesday, FMCSA announced it has determined that an advanced statistical model known as Item Response Theory (IRT) — a model touted by the National Academy of Sciences — is “overly complex,” and therefore the agency would not be using it to regulate carrier safety. Instead, FMCSA has committed to improving its own Safety Management System (SMS) as the way it labels carriers with the highest crash risk and those not fit to operate... FMCSA summarized the proposed improvements to SMS as: Reorganized and updated safety categories, including new segmentation. Consolidated violations. Simplified violation severity weights. Proportionate percentiles instead of safety event groups. Improved intervention thresholds. Greater focus on recent violations. Updated utilization factor." Link to Article

  • February 20, 2023 - https://www.motorbiscuit.com/green-yellow-red-now-engineers-want-4th-traffic-signal-light/ - "With an eye to taking autonomous flight to the next level, the US Air Force has awarded a contract to Reliable Robotics to study how to turn multi-engine transport jets into robotic aircraft that can handle all aspects of a flight by themselves, from taxi to landing... If the concept works, it will allow the Air Force to improve its cargo missions without the need for training more pilots or building new aircraft. It will also introduce a new level of potential safety because, with improved artificial intelligence systems, autonomous flight computers will be better able to respond to some emergencies thanks to their ability to immediately calculate alternative flight paths, where a human pilot would have to rely on intuition. The new contract is aimed at producing autonomous flight systems that can handle all aspects of flight, from taxiing to take off to landing, with humans needed only for remote supervision. " Link to Article

  • February 20, 2023 - What does adding a fourth light to traffic signals do? - "Traffic engineers want to add a fourth “white” light. With the additional light, they say travel times decrease as does fuel consumption. The secret is autonomous vehicles controlling traffic flow. Autonomous vehicles communicate with the traffic signal, which the white light indicates. The light signals that AVs are adjusting light times to help better increase flow based on communicating with other AVs in proximity. Drivers behind AVs would follow what it does. If it stops, the driver stops his car. When the AV goes through an intersection, the driver behind the AV goes through it. Once more driver-controlled vehicles get in proximity to the signal, the white light would go dark and drivers revert to following the traditional red, yellow, and green lights. “This concept we’re proposing for traffic intersections, which we call a ‘white phase,’ taps into the computing power of autonomous vehicles themselves,” says Ali Hajbabaie, associate professor of civil, construction, and environmental engineering at NC State. " Link to Article

  • February 17, 2023 - For some electric vehicle owners, recharging now more costly than filling up - "Power rates across the region have jumped an average of 30% since last summer, while gasoline prices have receded well below their peak in June of 2022. Web engineer Matt Cain, who lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, said he ran a price comparison when his electricity bill shot up in January and found that his overall costs for utilities had climbed a whopping 50%... Cain said the price hike hasn\'t changed his driving habits. But it has prompted his wife, who works at a local community college, to charge the car at work where it\'s cheaper. \"It\'s not a point of pain for me, but it\'s something I\'ve noticed,\" he said. On Reddit, other EV owners have noted the rising recharging costs. One Massachusetts resident said their power company, National Grid, jacked up local electricity prices to 44 cents per kilowatt-hour — three times the national average." Link to Article

  • February 17, 2023 - Electric Vehicles Are A Status Symbol Now - "“You’re talking about renters who may not have the option to install charging infrastructure,” Jeremy Michalek, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and the director of its Vehicle Electrification Group, told me. “And even if they have charging infrastructure this year, renters tend to move, and they don’t know whether they’ll have that access next year. Even a lot of homeowners don’t have off-street parking, and relying entirely on public charging infrastructure is a whole different ball game.” For those who can plug in at home, everyday driving gets better—no more service-station pit stops to top off the dinosaur car. If you can’t charge at home or at work, car ownership may get more annoying. As Michalek noted, fast-charging stations aren’t meant to be treated like gas stations. " Link to Article

  • February 17, 2023 - Ford building $3.5B Michigan EV battery factory - "Ford Motor Co. said Monday that it will invest $3.5 billion in a new lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery factory in Marshall, Michigan. In addition to nickel cobalt manganese (NCM), LFP is the second battery chemistry the company will offer, Ford said, and will allow diversification of its battery supply chain, as well as quicker scaling of its production capacity, making electric vehicles (EV\'s) more affordable and accessible. Ford said it is the first automaker to commit to both NCM and LFP technology and that the factory will be the first automaker-backed LFP plant. LFP batteries, the company said, are durable, tolerate frequent charging and yet use lower-cost materials. Ford will incorporate the batteries in multiple pickup and passenger vehicle EV models starting this year with the Mustang Mach-E. Production at the new BlueOval Battery Park Michigan plant in Marshall, the company said, is scheduled to begin in 2026." Link to Article

  • February 17, 2023 - Here’s What A Level 3 Self Driving 2024 Mercedes-Benz S-Class And EQS Can Really Do - "Where most of the car manufacturers, including Tesla, hit a roadblock after Level 2, Mercedes has inched closer to perfection with Level 3. This level of autonomous driving can also be called ‘conditional driving automation’. Mercedes has called this technology Drive Pilot system, and it will let the driver of the car assign the driving task to the car in certain conditions. This technology will take the driving responsibility from the driver in areas with high traffic density. Once activated using buttons located on the rim of the steering wheel, the system will control the speed of your car considering the difference in distance with the vehicle ahead. This will help the car move on its own and stay within its lane. The Drive Pilot will use an array of technologies and equipment like cameras, radar and ultrasound sensors, microphones, GPS, LiDAR, and a digital HD map to create a 3D image of the road ahead and the surroundings. " Link to Article

  • February 17, 2023 - Should Electric Scooters Make A Universal Sound To Alert Pedestrians? - "This is one of the many reasons why major players in the e-scooter industry in Europe are working together to develop a standardized sound for e-scooters to emit in order to alert road users about their presence. Dott, a Dutch company with a focus on responsible micro-mobility, as well as researchers from the University of Salford in the U.K., and the Unione Italiana dei Ciechi e degli Ipovedenti (UICI), or the Italian Union of the Blind and Visually Impaired are all working together on this project. As of this writing, the specifics of the project aren\'t specifically laid out just yet, however, the organizations intend to develop and implement at least three warning sounds for electric scooters. As mentioned, the goal is to increase their \"visibility,\" or rather, increase alertness of people in areas where a lot of people ride electric scooters. " Link to Article

  • February 15, 2023 - States love jokes on road safety signs. The feds aren’t laughing. - "New Jersey had a message for drivers who might be thinking of hitting the road while under the influence of marijuana: “We’ll be blunt/Don’t drive high.” Another tried to protect woodlands: “Hold on to your Butts/Help prevent Forest Fires.” The state was engaging in what is all but tradition for transportation agencies looking to spice up their roadside safety messages with jokes and pop culture references. One researcher gathered more than 350 examples of the messages from 12 states in 2020. But late last year, the Federal Highway Administration responded to New Jersey’s efforts at humor with a leaden warning, asking that it “cease and desist.” " Link to Article

  • February 15, 2023 - Driverless car milestone as Amazon tests taxi with no steering wheel on public road - "Amazon subsidiary Zoox has claimed a major breakthrough for the robotaxi industry after its self-driving vehicles, which have no steering wheels or other manual controls, took to California public roads over the weekend. Use of the boxy electric vehicles is to be limited to full time employees who will be able to use the service only to travel the short distance between two Zoox headquarters buildings about a mile (1.6km) apart in Foster City, near San Francisco, during regular office hours, the company said in a blog post... The service was tested during the weekend and will be made available to Zoox employees beginning in the next few months, according to the company." Link to Article

  • February 15, 2023 - Locomation demos its autonomous trucks as it preps for pilot launch - "Lawrenceville-based Locomation Inc. has begun offering stakeholders and members of the media the opportunity to ride inside the cabin of its autonomously driven trucks. It\'s the first time the company has made such an opportunity available to those outside of its workforce, and it comes as it prepares to launch a pilot program with one of its partners, which could occur as soon as this summer. But it\'s also an effort that highlights how Locomation\'s technological achievements aren\'t just hype or vaporware and that it has enough confidence in the technology to not only test it on public roads, but also to let outsiders serve as validators of its claims as well... Locomation asked Pittsburgh Inno and an official with the Federal Highway Administration to ride along inside one of its autonomously driven trucks on a 20-mile stretch up and down Pennsylvania Route 576, " Link to Article

  • February 15, 2023 - This startup’s EV battery can charge to 80% in 10 minutes - "The Fremont, California-based company develops batteries with lithium-ion cells that have pre-lithiated silicon dominant anodes. Ionblox says its batteries achieve up to 50% higher energy density, five times more power, and an extreme fast charge of 10 minutes to 80%. It’s currently producing its large format pouch cells of up to 50Ah on its pilot production lines. Ionblox’s batteries can be used in both eVTOLs and EVs, and it’s working with General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler to achieve recharge time that “can finally last the same amount time as a gas fill-up.” The batteries’ cell performance has been verified by the US Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory... Lithium-ion batteries with pre-lithiated silicon dominant anodes use silicon as the main material for the anode. In conventional lithium-ion batteries, the anode is made of graphite, but in Ionblox’s batteries, a pre-lithiated silicon-dominant anode material is created by combining silicon with a small amount of lithium. " Link to Article

  • February 15, 2023 - Tesla Autopilot Not at Fault in Fatal Crash, Safety Probe Finds - "The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has given its verdict on a high-profile fatal crash involving a Tesla Model S that made national headlines in April 2021. In a written report, the NTSB found there was no evidence that the company’s driving assistance tech, Autopilot, was being used at the time of the incident, in Spring, Texas. Coverage of the aftermath of the crash, which claimed the lives of the driver and another male occupant, sparked feverish speculation regarding the use of Autopilot as a potential cause – particularly after a local police officer said there was no one at the wheel when the P100D model was recovered, following its collision with a tree." Link to Article

  • February 14, 2023 - A Study Proves Stoplights Need a Fourth Color: White - "More electric vehicles (EVs) and autonomous vehicles (AV) are already leading engineers to implement electric roadways and city planners to design dedicated lanes for AVs—and now, the humble traffic light is next for a makeover. For the dawning age of the self-driving car, transportation engineers from North Carolina State University are proposing the addition of a fourth “white light” whose function would be to alert humans to simply “follow the car in front of them.” That’s because to leverage the full potential of autonomous cars means to also embrace their ability to act as a kind of hive mind. Because they’re essentially computers on wheels, these cars can network with both the traffic light and other nearby self-driving cars to help ease traffic delays and increase fuel (or electricity) efficiency. The team’s results were published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems on Monday." Link to Article

  • February 14, 2023 - The Inconvenient Truth About Electric Vehicles - "For those who can plug in at home, everyday driving gets better—no more service-station pit stops to top off the dinosaur car. If you can’t charge at home or at work, car ownership may get more annoying. As Michalek noted, fast-charging stations aren’t meant to be treated like gas stations. Using them can mean driving a few miles to the closest one, possibly waiting in line for a plug, then waiting to actually get the electricity into your car (that time is decreasing as the tech gets better, but it’s still much longer than pumping a liquid fuel for a minute or two). The cost is more than the time and the nuisance. Fast-charging in public is marked up and costs more than charging at home. " Link to Article

  • February 14, 2023 - Polestar and Rivian Say EVs Aren’t Enough to Hit Climate Goals - " Electric vehicle startups Polestar Automative Holding and Rivian Automotive Inc. are known for doggedly tracking their individual corporate emissions, detailing the environmental toll of everything from the lights in their factories to the rubber in their cars’ tires. On Wednesday, the EV rivals paired up with consulting giant Kearney to raise a flag on the industry more broadly: In a new report, they argue that the transition to electric vehicles alone won’t be enough of a solution to meet the emissions threshold laid out in the Paris Agreement... The report is essentially a math exercise — mashing up the emissions threshold laid out in the Paris treaty to keep global warming at or below 1.5C against a projection of total auto emissions, from the mining of metals to manufacturing to driving to scrapping or recycling. It concludes that EVs are not enough; even battery-powered vehicles juiced exclusively by renewable sources won’t keep the auto industry under its climate targets." Link to Article

  • February 14, 2023 - I took a ride in UPS’s first all electric semi truck - "UPS has taken delivery of it’s first all-electric semi truck, the eCascadia Freightliner. It’s now in operation at the company’s Compton facility. It might not be a Tesla, but according to 30+ year driver Sal Larios, it sure drives like one... The truck is the first of an initial delivery of ten. They’ll be used to move items across shorter distances, from warehouse to warehouse, as opposed to, say, cross country... The Freightliner eCascadia, made by Daimler Truck, can go up to 250 miles on a charge. Last year, I got to take a ride in the prototype. The truck takes about an hour and a half to recharge. UPS has already installed one fast charger at it’s facility and has plans for more... It barely feels like we’re pulling 15,000 pounds, which is just an empty air container. The truck can handle up to 80,000 pounds, which is on par with a diesel semi." Link to Article

  • February 14, 2023 - 5G hits the streets of New York - "With 56% of New York City households lacking both home and mobile broadband connections, a consortium is taking steps to supply at least mobile access via sidewalk kiosks, the latest of which include 5G. Called Link5G, these kiosks also provide free Wi-Fi access, a built-in tablet to access maps and other resources including phone connections, a USB-port to charge mobile devices, a jack for headsets, and a button to make 911 calls. Some also include two 55-inch screens for digital signage that can provide the city with ad revenue to help pay for the kiosks. Perhaps the most interesting feature, though, are the 5G cellular antennas near the top of the 32-foot structures. While the rest of the services supported by the kiosks are free to the public, 5G, with a maximum theoretical speed of 20Gbps, will only be accessible to paying customers of commercial wireless carriers that acquire rights to use the 5G antenna." Link to Article

  • February 13, 2023 - Tesla’s Pickup Truck Is Coming Soon. Maybe. - "More than three years after Elon Musk stunned the auto industry with an electric pickup truck that looked more like a stealth fighter than a way to haul two-by-fours and drywall, Tesla said last month that it would begin building the vehicle by the end of 2023. The announcement has helped fuel a recovery in Tesla’s share price, but also revived a debate about whether the often-delayed pickup, called the Cybertruck, is a work of genius or evidence of Mr. Musk’s hubris... These challenges probably help explain why Tesla is two years behind schedule in manufacturing the Cybertruck, which the company plans to produce at its factory in Austin, Texas. “Tesla thinks they can solve any problem and don’t have to learn from anyone else,” said Raj Rajkumar, a professor of engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, “and then they get stuck in a corner.”" Link to Article

  • February 13, 2023 - US Traffic Safety Push Delivers $800 Million for Street Fixes - "...thanks to $24.8 million from the US Department of Transportation’s Safe Streets and Roads for All program. Established in 2022 by President Joe Biden’s infrastructure law, the program is awarding $800 million to support local initiatives aimed at reducing road deaths and injuries. The discretionary grants will fund 510 projects, the majority of which will help local governments and tribal communities come up with their own road safety action plans, the agency announced on Wednesday. This is the first round of funding: In total, the program sets aside a record $5 billion over five years, with the next funding opportunity of $1.1 billion set to be released in April. For advocates of infrastructure-based safety improvements, the USDOT announcement represents a welcome shift from the usual federal approach to funding, which is typically disbursed to state transportation departments — and often allocated toward highway construction — instead of to local areas most in need." Link to Article

  • February 13, 2023 - Illinois DOT Uses Scuba Team For Bridge Inspections - "Low visibility poses a particular challenge, Illinois DOT noted in a blog post, as few bodies of water in Illinois offer more than a couple of feet of visibility – even with the aid of lights... Given the murky and dark conditions, inspections are typically tactile, with the diver relying mainly on the sense of touch to detect potential defects, foundation exposure, undermining, and scouring... Over the last several years, many state departments of transportation tested a range of new technologies for improving underwater bridge inspection techniques. For example, in 2019, the Michigan Department of Transportation deployed four unmanned surface vessels or USVs equipped with sonar and a topside camera; a vessel allowing inspectors to take measurements and capture images while positioned safely on the shoreline. Such USVs not only help improve efforts to detect streambed erosion and degradation around a bridge’s substructure, they also keep people out of harm’s way." Link to Article

  • February 13, 2023 - This DIY kit lets you build your own street-legal tiniest car in the world - "The Peel P50, produced in the early 1960s, was the smallest production automobile in the world. And now a new kit allows handy folks to build their own replica, although this time, it’s electric!... The new company, known as P50 Cars, has created a replica that is much easier to get your hands onto than one of the original 50 production models. There are both gas-powered and electric versions available, though I’m not sure who would bother with a gas-powered model... The electric version is said to use a 4 kW motor that gets the little vehicle up to a sprightly 28 mph (45 km/h)... The vehicle is said to be street legal in most jurisdictions as a kit car, moped, or motorcycle... The kits aren’t cheap, though neither are most electric microcars these days. The self-assembly kit starts at £10,379 (approximately US $12,600). A fully-assembled model will set you back £13,972 (approximately US $16,970)." Link to Article

  • February 13, 2023 - Electric semi-trucks are ready to be deployed, but there aren’t near enough plugs to charge them - "Electric semi-trucks are ready to go. The technology is there, manufacturers have capacity to produce them, and demand is only going to increase... Daimler, the leading US heavy-duty truck manufacturer, unveiled the Class 8 Freightliner eCascadia, its first fully electric semi-truck, in May of 2022. Its current production capacity is around 2000 trucks per year and it wouldn\'t be hard to double that number to 4000, O\'Leary said in a recent media briefing reported by Trucknews.com. But there are only around 100 electric trucks out on the streets. If the US EV charging infrastructure is already not enough for the rapidly increasing number of electric cars being bought and used — it needs to be quadrupled by 2025, and to grow more than eight times by 2030, according to a new report out of S&P Global Mobility — it\'s definitely not enough for fleets of big trucks with big batteries. " Link to Article

  • February 10, 2023 - Self-Driving Car Services Want to Expand in San Francisco Despite Recent Hiccups - "The plan, which could put as many as 5,000 of the new vehicles on the streets within two years, makes Cruise’s past issues “far more consequential,” the city said. If the company does not significantly improve performance of its technologies, it “could quickly exhaust emergency response resources and could undermine public confidence in all automated driving technology.” The autonomous cars can watch for pedestrians, change lanes and make right-hand turns. But they may struggle to deal with more complicated or unusual situations, like unprotected left-hand turns and broken traffic lights that engineers call “edge cases,” because they do not happen as frequently as other scenarios. “Sometimes these cars just need a human to help them out of a tough spot,” said Phil Koopman, an engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University who specializes in autonomous vehicles." Link to Article

  • February 10, 2023 - Autonomous Zamboni developed by Carnegie Mellon students - "Using artificial intelligence, the student team nicknamed “AI on Ice” is developing an autonomous or self-driving Zamboni machine. More precisely, they are taking the two-Zamboni machine convoy — traditionally driven by two people — and making the second one autonomous, though tethered electronically to the lead Zamboni, mimicking its speed and direction. A safety driver would be aboard the autonomous Zamboni. The invention has already gotten some ice time at the Penguins training facility, the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry. It will need further refinement before appearing for a demonstration at a future Penguins home game. If it performs as planned, fans long mesmerized by the Zamboni and its ability to systematically scrape up and resurface ice will have another reason to marvel as the autonomous machine in the rear “learns” from the human driving up front." Link to Article

  • February 10, 2023 - This One-Person eVTOL Lets You Do Barrel Rolls Like a Fighter Jet—and You Don’t Even Need a License - "It seems to be the year of the personal flying machine minus the pilot’s license. Three firms have announced one-person eVTOL aircraft that will be sold to the public this year. The Ryse Recon, Jetson One and RotorX Dragon will be certified under the FAA’s Ultralight category, which does not require a pilot’s license, though each company is mandating training. A fourth personal eVTOL from France, the AirRacer, will be coming to the US to show off its easy-flight abilities. The brainchild of Franky Zapata, a former Jet-Ski racer who has since invented wild flying contraptions like the Flyboard Air, the AirRacer is a very different animal... Unfortunately, the AirRacer will never be for sale. The company said it designed the AirRacer to test its flight-controller technology as well as show the public it is capable of building an aircraft that is “safe, easy and accessible for all.”" Link to Article

  • February 10, 2023 - California Utility to Give Rebates to Drivers of Pre-Owned EVs - "In an effort to make electric vehicles more affordable, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. will distribute more than $78 million to California drivers who purchase or lease pre-owned electric vehicles. Current PG&E electric customers may qualify to receive a $1,000 or $4,000 rebate, based on household income, when purchasing or leasing an eligible pre-owned all-electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid EV. The program receives its funding from the California Air Resources Board\'s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard, an initiative designed to reduce the state\'s greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. " Link to Article

  • February 10, 2023 - How Autonomous Cars Could Impact Energy Use - "A new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) warns that, without changes in technology, the growth of autonomous vehicles will spur massive energy consumption. As Rima Sabina Aouf reports in Dezeen, “The study found that with a mass global takeup of autonomous vehicles, the powerful onboard computers needed to run them could generate as many greenhouse gas emissions as all the data centres in operation today.” As Aouf explains, “The high emissions are the result of the huge computing workload placed on each self-driving vehicle.” The vehicles use ‘deep neural networks’ to constantly make inferences that drive decisions. According to the study, “One billion vehicles would make 21,600 trillion inferences. To put that into perspective, the researchers say all of Facebook\'s data centres worldwide currently make a few trillion inferences each day.”" Link to Article

  • February 8, 2023 - Caltrain gains the funding for electrification - "Caltrain announced, Tuesday, that it will receive $367 million to finish its long-sought $2.4 billion electrification project, which it claims is the first undertaking in North America in a generation to transition from diesel trains to an electrified system. The money will keep the electrification project on track for completion in the fall of 2024 and will strengthen the agency’s financial outlook, a spokesperson for Caltrain said... Caltrain Executive Director Michelle Bouchard said that the project will provide more frequent service to riders and “enhanced amenities.” The number of trains will increase, service will be modernized and new safety elements will be added, the agency said. Amenities will include digital trip information on board, increased storage capacities, baby changing tables, Wi-Fi and power outlets at every seat, and reduced noise and air pollution. It will also set the framework for California’s future high-speed rail network that will run on the Caltrain corridor." Link to Article

  • February 8, 2023 - FMCSA proposes new requirements for driverless trucks - "The federal government is taking the next step toward regulating highly automated trucks with a proposal that will consider requiring carriers to notify the government if they plan to operate such vehicles in interstate commerce. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Wednesday will issue a new supplement to an advance notice of proposed rulemaking issued in 2019 to help the agency assess costs and benefits of any future formal rulemaking for trucks using Level 4 and Level 5 automation — those that do not require a human driver behind the wheel. In addition to the notification requirement, the supplement, Safe Integration of Automated Driving Systems (ADS)-Equipped Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs), also considers requirements for remote assistants who monitor autonomous trucks, as well as potential new vehicle inspection and maintenance requirements." Link to Article

  • February 8, 2023 - This sleek sensor helps self-driving cars look less like self-driving cars - "The driverless vehicle of the near(ish) future will be a car loaded with sensors. Cameras, radar, and laser-based lidar will become as common to cars as chrome accents and elaborately designed headlights. But unlike those design features, the hardware of autonomy probably won’t look so good—bumping off from the corners like warts, poking out of the roof like a cartoon police siren, or even moving and winking like literal cartoon googly eyes... Luminar has a solution. In collaboration with Volvo, the automotive technology company has created a long-range lidar system that underpins autonomous driving while also sleekly integrating into the shape and silhouette of the car. Almost invisible, the device sits within the car’s roofline, providing an overhead view of the road ahead that can detect objects and hazards nearly 1,000 feet away. The device will come standard in the 2024 Volvo EX90, and could soon be blending into the roofs of other vehicles around the world." Link to Article

  • February 8, 2023 - Is AI Enough to Smooth Traffic in Famously Congested Areas? - "New traffic management tools, powered by by machine learning and artificial intelligence technology, are finding their way to the tunnels and bridges that serve New York City. A pilot project, led by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is an outgrowth of a proof-of-concept development originating in the Transit Tech Lab, which connects transportation and transit officials with technology providers to solve transportation challenges. The Port Authority is beginning a yearlong pilot with GridMatrix to use perception and machine learning software to improve operations on the Holland and Lincoln tunnels, as well as the George Washington Bridge... GridMatrix’s introduction to the Port Authority came via the Transit Tech Lab Sustainability Challenge, which in November 2022 announced six companies to develop proof-of-concept projects." Link to Article

  • February 8, 2023 - UPS, FedEx partner airline agrees to buy 20 pilotless cargo planes in $134M deal - "The feeder services company based in Dallas said in a statement that the new planes will \"aid in modernizing Ameriflight’s fleet and allow the offering of a high quality and differentiated product in a part of the industry seeing exponential growth.\"... Ameriflight says \"The Natilus fleet of carbon fiber, blended-wing-body designed cargo aircraft offer a 60% reduction to cost of operations and cuts carbon emissions by half... \"The Natilus Kona, which Ameriflight is eyeing, is a 3.8-ton payload short-haul feeder uncrewed aerial vehicle,\" it added. \"It will be used to support the company’s increased business opportunities, primarily for Ameriflight’s expedited supply chain services.\" ... Natilus co-founder and CEO Aleksey Matyushev also told the news website that it expects to begin Kona flight tests late next year and customer deliveries by 2026. " Link to Article

  • February 7, 2023 - Two companies race to deploy robotaxis in San Francisco. The city wants them to hit the brakes. - "San Francisco is trying to slow the expansion of robotaxis after repeated incidents in which cars without drivers stopped and idled in the middle of the street for no obvious reason, delaying bus riders and disrupting the work of firefighters. The city’s transportation officials sent letters this week to California regulators asking them to halt or scale back the expansion plans of two companies, Cruise and Waymo, which are competing head-to-head to be the first to offer 24-hour robotaxi service in the country’s best-known tech hub. The outcome will determine how quickly San Francisco and possibly other cities forge ahead with driverless technology that could remake the world’s cities and potentially save some of the 40,000 people killed each year in American traffic crashes." Link to Article

  • February 7, 2023 - Satellite billed as the ‘future GPS’ begins key tests - "L3Harris announced Jan. 26 it delivered the Navigation Technology Satellite-3 (NTS-3) to the U.S. Air Force and the spacecraft is now undergoing final tests in preparation for a planned launch in late 2023. NTS-3 is an experiment funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory that will broadcast positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) signals from geostationary Earth orbit. The goal is to demonstrate next-generation PNT technologies for the U.S. military and provide an alternative to GPS... AFRL and MITRE Corp. developed a reprogrammable software-defined receiver that will allow users to receive both legacy GPS and the new NTS-3 signals. Parsons Corp. is developing the ground system. Once in orbit, NTS-3 will operate independently of GPS. AFRL said the new signal technology and advanced waveforms will make it more difficult for adversaries to jam or spoof." Link to Article

  • February 7, 2023 - Pittsburgh-based investment vehicle for autonomous robotics, AI and Industry 4.0 startups launches - "A new Pittsburgh-based investment vehicle has launched from an established venture studio that\'s looking to land deals for startups that are using autonomous robotics, AI or other Industry 4.0-based operations. Carnegie Capital Partners LLC, which will be managed by the Carnegie Foundry — backed by U.S. Steel Corp. and Oshkosh Corp., will serve as a special purpose vehicle to allow interested parties to invest directly into Carnegie Foundry. The Foundry itself looks to more broadly aid the development and commercialization of industry-specific solutions being created at the Carnegie Mellon University-affiliated National Robotics Engineering Center in Lawrenceville... Carnegie Capital Partners is hoping to solicit collaboration with local investors who might be interested in helping to fund the next generation of advanced technologies. The investment vehicle is \"not subject to any overhead or carried interest\" and that all investor capital will go directly into Carnegie Foundry to join prior investments made by U.S. Steel and Oshkosh." Link to Article

  • February 7, 2023 - Orange Raises $2.5M to Tackle EV Charging at Apartment - "Orange installs EV chargers for the lowest possible cost while providing enough energy to satisfy daily driving needs using lower-powered 120-volt and 240-volt solutions. More stations can be installed on the same circuit making EV charging possible for the maximum number of residents at any property. The Orange Outlet lowers the costs of EV charging for the 39 million Americans living in apartment communities by upwards of 70% over traditional charging solutions and carries little to no maintenance cost due to its simplified design. Additionally, Orange Outlets leverage the proprietary software, OrangeNet, which allows property owners to manage outlets across multiple sites with ease and brings an average return on investment of 150%, something that no other company can claim." Link to Article

  • February 7, 2023 - Washington D.C.’s free bus bill becomes law as zero-fare transit systems take off - "Washington, D.C., has enacted a zero-fare bus bill into law, according to the D.C. Council. Mayor Muriel Bowser declined to officially approve the bill, which eliminates the $2 fare for all city buses, adds a dozen 24-hour bus lines starting in July and calls for a $10 million investment into other service improvements to the bus lines. But the council enacted the proposal without the mayor’s signature, making Washington the largest U.S. city to codify a fare-free transit system as the movement takes off nationwide. Kansas City, Missouri, previously the largest city with such a law, made its own transit system zero-fare in 2019, though that city doesn’t have a train system." Link to Article

  • February 6, 2023 - California explores allowing self-driving semitrucks despite stiff opposition: ‘You cannot program instinct into a computer’ - "As California regulators explore new rules to put self-driving semitrucks on the road, labor unions are rushing to the state Legislature to ask for a new law they say will protect their jobs — the start of a debate that could shape the future of the nation’s nearly $900 billion trucking industry... The rulemaking process takes a long time, and is mostly crafted by officials in Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration. Labor unions aren’t waiting around for that to happen. Instead, they’ve asked the state Legislature — where they have considerably more influence given their prolific campaign contributions — to intervene. On Monday, more than 100 of members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters joined Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, a Democrat from Winters, as she announced new legislation to require all self-driving semitrucks have a human driver present to oversee them. " Link to Article

  • February 6, 2023 - Analysis: E-bike subsidies are more cost-effective than EV subsidies - "The transition to electric personal mobility is here. Electric bikes, electric scooters, electric cars, electric cybertrucks – all are #trending, boding well for at least reducing CO2 and other pollution in the transportation sector. It is also good to see that the District, Maryland, and Virginia are investing in subsidies to help speed along the adoption of these vehicles, but in a world of constrained resources, DC’s proposed e-bike-only subsidy packs the most pollution-fighting power of the bunch. Introduced by Councilmember Brooke Pinto on January 12, the subsidy would provide 3,000 instant rebates worth either $400 or $1200, depending on household income, as well as an extra $500 for those purchasing cargo bikes, which tend to be more expensive." Link to Article

  • February 6, 2023 - Nuclear research center might help self-driving cars “see” the road - "Zenuity, a joint venture between Volvo Cars and Veoneer, announced that it is working with CERN to improve self-driving cars\' decision-making, thus enhancing safety. The challenge in developing these vehicles lies in interpreting the vast data generated during normal driving, such as identifying other vehicles and pedestrians. CERN, known for its Large Hadron Collider, generates vast amounts of data that requires quick decision-making, which it achieves through Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). " Link to Article

  • February 6, 2023 - Aurora Innovation appoints Dallas-based Ossa Fisher to serve as president - "Aurora Innovation Inc., a (Pittsburgh) Strip District-based autonomous vehicle company, has appointed a Dallas-based executive to serve as the firm\'s next president. Ossa Fisher is expected to join the company in February and will take on a role previously held by Aurora (NASDAQ: AUR) Co-Founder Chris Urmson, who will retain his CEO position. To take on the new role, Fisher will vacate her current post as the president and chief operating officer at Dallas-based K-8 e-learning platform Istation, a position she has held since 2019 after previously serving as the company\'s chief marketing officer. Other prior jobs Fisher has had include serving as a senior vice president of strategy and analytics at Match Group Inc., as well as a partner at managing consultant firm Bain & Co." Link to Article

  • February 6, 2023 - Cities are being cloned in the virtual world. Here’s what that means for the future - "With space in our cities at a premium, and a majority of the world’s population expected to live in urban areas within the next few decades, there’s less room for trial-and-error when it comes to urban planning – with decisions made today having critical impacts on the future. But what if there was a way to test and analyze different scenarios first, before ever breaking ground? That’s the thinking behind “digital twins” that are being made of cities all over the world, including Shanghai, New York, Singapore and Helsinki. Digital twins elevate traditional 3D city models to new possibilities, says Anders Logg, a professor of computational mathematics and director of the Digital Twin Cities Centre at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. Using real-time data and artificial intelligence, digital twins become virtual, living mirrors of their physical counterparts – providing opportunities to simulate everything from infrastructure and construction to traffic patterns and energy consumption." Link to Article

  • February 3, 2023 - Electric vehicles will have tough audience in LTL carriers - "The lack of a robust infrastructure and recharging time are the twin bogeymen, but more so for LTL carriers than for their truckload brethren. That’s because LTL carriers operate vehicles in both local pickup and delivery and in over-the-road services. This dual-use operation effectively keeps trucks utilized 20 hours out of a 24-hour cycle. Once LTL trucks age out five years, they are typically moved into local service only for the remainder of an approximately eight-to-10-year lifecycle. To calculate EV’s cost-effectiveness in the LTL world, Charlie Prickett, president and COO of LTL giant AAA Cooper Transportation, uses the ratio of charging time to operating time. Currently, EVs get about six to seven hours of charge time, which would produce the equivalent of about eight hours of operating time, or about 400 miles, according to Prickett. " Link to Article

  • February 3, 2023 - For automakers, the EV surge is everything everywhere all at once - "The surprise leadership shuffle on Thursday at Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T), renewed urgency at Renault (RENA.PA) and Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) to restructure their alliance and Elon Musk\'s declaration that Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) will be the world\'s No. 1 automaker by a wide margin have one thing in common: What once defined the global auto industry\'s center is no longer holding. The announcement that Akio Toyoda will step down as chief executive of the world\'s top-selling automaker on April 1 came just hours after Musk used a quarterly earnings call to declare that Tesla was now the auto industry\'s leader in profitability and manufacturing efficiency - the crown Toyota held for three decades." Link to Article

  • February 3, 2023 - FAA Approves Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight Flights in North Dakota - "The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) avionics company uAvionix received Federal Aviation Administration approval to conduct advanced beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) flights of small UAVs in North Dakota. The flights will be conducted at the Northern Plains Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Test Site (NPUASTS) in Grand Forks, one of seven FAA-run UAV test sites in the U.S., using the facility’s Vantis network, which is designed to support BVLOS test flights of unmanned aircraft. Vantis’ ground-based aviation infrastructure is designed to significantly lower the barrier of entry to BVLOS flights for users by providing robust command-and-control capabilities. Separately, uAvionix announced that the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) received FFA approval for BVLOS operations using its Skyline-managed command-and-control (C2) and detect-and-avoid technology at the tribe’s Emerging Aviation Technology Center UAS Test Range in southeastern Oklahoma... The FAA Beyond program, established in 2020, is a four-year initiative established to study the integration of drones into U.S. airspace." Link to Article

  • February 3, 2023 - Lyft’s New Emission Tracking Tool For Rideshare Business Travel - "Lyft Business is the app’s travel management solution that streamlines ground transportation for organizations. Business customers starting Wednesday can access rideshare greenhouse gas emissions data for their company on the platform. That information reflects the usage of Lyft Business solutions on the organizational level and can be broken down by several metrics. Specifically, the dashboard will feature the following: Total Emissions (MTCO2e): This includes the volume of carbon emissions emitted across all business rides under the company in a particular time frame, measured in metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. Emissions by Fuel Type: Business partners can filter for ride emission data by gas, hybrid, or electric vehicles (EVs). Emissions by Program: Business partners can also filter for emission by different company rideshare initiatives. This includes different office locations, departments or customer transportation programs. Downloadable Data: Data from the portal can be downloaded in CSV format for companies’ sustainability analyses or reporting." Link to Article

  • February 3, 2023 - Consumer Reports calls Ford’s automated driving tech much better than Tesla’s - "Tesla’s Autopilot, which at its core combines lane keeping assist with traffic aware cruise control to help guide a car down a highway, was once groundbreaking technology. But today more than half of new vehicles are available with similar advanced driver assistance systems, or ADAS. And in a recent ranking by Consumer Reports, which tested ADAS from 12 different carmakers, Tesla’s ranked seventh. The best such system, according to Consumer Reports, is Ford’s BlueCruise. In addition to Ford’s system, ADAS technology from General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Toyota, and Volkswagen all ranked higher than Tesla’s. These include systems offered by luxury brands like GM’s Cadillac, Toyota’s Lexus and VW’s Audi. The system offered by Hyundai, Kia and Genesis, three closely related South Korean car brands, received the lowest score in Consumer Reports’ testing. " Link to Article

  • February 1, 2023 - Mercedes-Benz level-three Drive Pilot approved in US - "The US state of Nevada has approved Mercedes-Benz’s level-three automated driving system for use on public roads under certain driving conditions. Named Drive Pilot, it will be equipped in Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Mercedes-Benz EQS cars produced for the US market from the 2024 model year, with the first examples featuring the technology slated for delivery in the second half of 2023. Mercedes-Benz heralded the decision as “the dawn of a new era”. The system is capable of taking control over driving at speeds of up to 40mph, guiding the vehicle in its lane, controlling vehicle speed and actively reacting to the distance of the vehicle in front. It can also acknowledge traffic and road signs and perform evasive manoeuvres independently. As the system complies with Nevada Chapter 482A for Autonomous Vehicles, Mercedes has become the first car maker to have a level-three system officially approved for use in the US." Link to Article

  • February 1, 2023 - Robotaxis have a passenger problem that no one thought of - "An issue with self-driving cars that apparently no one previously considered has come to light: dozing passengers. Officials in San Francisco, where Alphabet’s Waymo company and GM-backed Cruise are currently operating robotaxi services as part of ongoing trials, highlighted the problem in a recent letter to the regulator, Wired reported. Signed by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, and the Mayor’s Office on Disability, the letter to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) explained that in the last couple of months alone, there have been three incidents where Cruise staff were compelled to call 911 after a rider in one of its driverless vehicles failed to respond to their calls via the two-way voice link inside the vehicle. When police and firefighters arrived on the scene, they found nothing more than a dozing passenger enjoying — apparently rather too much — the comforts of a driverless ride. " Link to Article

  • February 1, 2023 - Firefighters smashed the window of a driverless Cruise taxi to stop it running over their hoses - "A Cruise autonomous vehicle drove toward fire hoses on the ground in the area of active firefighting on January 21, the city\'s transport officials said in a letter to regulators on Wednesday. \"Firefighters on the scene made efforts to prevent the Cruise AV from driving over their hoses and were not able to do so until they shattered a front window of the Cruise AV,\" the letter says. Only Cruise experts can disengage the AV from autonomous mode and immobilize the vehicle, according to a video posted on Cruise\'s official YouTube channel. It also says when its cars are in manual mode, they can be placed in park or neutral. A similar incident occurred in June 2022 when a self-driving Cruise car ran over a fire hose that was in use, the letter says. It also said that driving over a fire hose violates California\'s Vehicle Code and can \"seriously injure firefighters.\"" Link to Article

  • February 1, 2023 - Nikola brands hydrogen, begins filling Anheuser-Busch fuel cell order - "Nikola Corp. is sending 15 hydrogen-powered fuel cell trucks to California in the fourth quarter. It’s the first step in fulfilling Anheuser-Busch InBev’s long-standing order for up to 800 of the zero-emission vehicles. Separately, the startup electric truck maker also announced HYLA, a new brand, covering its hydrogen production, distribution and dispensing business. It plans 60 stations by 2026. HYLA combines the first two letters of hydrogen with the last two letters in Nikola. “Sometimes it’s best not to overthink things and keep it really simple,” Nikola Energy President Carey Mendes said at an event outside Nikola’s Phoenix headquarters on Wednesday. Nikola will take hydrogen fuel from five partnerships. That includes an Arizona production hub being built in phases. It is expected to eventually produce up to 150 metric tons of hydrogen per day. HYLA also will take hydrogen processed by Plug Power in multiple regions and from KeyState in Pennsylvania." Link to Article

  • February 1, 2023 - Study favors SMRs for use at future electric truck charging stations - "The use of small modular reactors would be an excellent, cost-effective way to recharge electric heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs), such as trucks, according to a recent study published in Applied Energy. The Idaho National Laboratory–funded study was conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan. The study was presented at the 2022 ANS Winter Meeting and Technology Expo in November by Michael Craig, an assistant professor in energy systems in the UMich School for Environment and Sustainability. Craig and his team ran computer simulation models of more than 200 hypothetical electric HDV charging stations that used either on-site distributed energy resources, such as SMRs, microreactors, solar, and batteries, or a centralized power system that required transmission lines tapping into the electric grid. The simulation analysis focused on minimizing the costs of HDV energy demands while optimizing energy investments. This was the first study to compare distributed versus centralized energy sources for HDV charging." Link to Article

  • January 31, 2023 - The UK’s first self-driving electric bus service has been unveiled at a business and technology park in Oxfordshire. - "The buses will be operated by First Bus, as part of a project to explore “the art of the possible”. The pilot project will analyse how passengers, drivers, other road users and pedestrians respond to autonomous buses, the company said. The project involves two all-electric fully autonomous vehicles on public roads. The self-driving minibus is already in operation, with a full-size single-decker to be added later this year for journeys between the park and Didcot Parkway railway station. The £4.3m project received a £3m grant from the government alongside commercial and private sector funding. The trial, which began on Monday (23 January), will start taking passengers in February. In addition to the vehicles being fitted with autonomous technology including cameras and sensors, the buses will have a safety driver who is able to take over at any point and take full manual control if needed." Link to Article

  • January 31, 2023 - California accounted for 40% of U.S. zero-emission vehicle sales in 2022 - "About 19% of all cars sold in California last year were zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), accounting for 40% of all ZEV sales including hybrid vehicles in the United States, data showed... About 12% cars sold in California in 2021 were ZEVs. A database collated by California\'s Energy Commission showed on Friday that about 346,000 ZEVs were sold in California in 2022, with Tesla Inc\'s (TSLA.O) Model 3 leading the sales charts, as about 95,000 of the electric vehicle was sold in the region. Austin, Texas-based Tesla\'s Model Y compact SUV came a close second, with about 94,000 cars being sold in the state. Californians bought about 51,000 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles last year and about 80,000 electric vehicle chargers were installed in the state in 2022. About 286,000 battery-electric vehicles with a range of 200 miles or more were sold in 2022." Link to Article

  • January 31, 2023 - China’s Futuristic City Is a Test of Its Planning Power - "About 60 miles south of the center of Beijing, a new city is being built as a showcase of high-tech ecologically friendly development. Its massive high-speed rail station and “city brain” data center have been heralded by Chinese state media as evidence of the speed and superiority of China’s growth model—not least because the city is a “signature initiative” of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Xiongan New Area is also a test for whether China can boost domestic innovation and climb into the ranks of advanced nations in the face of slowing economic growth and efforts by the United States and others to restrict its access to advanced technology. Xiongan offers a window into what Xi’s vision of state-led innovation looks like on the ground. Xi has called the city his “personal initiative” and a qiannian daji, or “thousand-year plan of national significance.” " Link to Article

  • January 31, 2023 - Tesla to build all-electric Semi truck in Nevada - "Automaker Tesla announced Tuesday it is investing $3.6 billion to build two new factories in Nevada, including a facility to mass produce its all-electric Class 8 Semi truck. “Semi is our fully electric combination truck, with 500 miles of range and energy consumption of less than 2 KWh per mile,” the company said on its website. “Thank you to the Tesla team, our supply chain partners and the local community that has made accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy possible at Gigafactory Nevada.” The other factory will produce batteries for the Tesla Cybertruck, as well as the Semi. Together, the plants will employ about 3,000 people. " Link to Article

  • January 31, 2023 - Smart street pilots aim to curb parking violations - "Chicago may be launching two smart streets pilots to boost traffic safety for pedestrians and cyclists, speed up public transportation and reduce loading zone violations. Last week, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot introduced to the City Council the Smart Streets Pilots Ordinance, which calls for using new technology and existing infrastructure to enforce parking violations—such as cars parked in bike lanes, bus-only lanes, crosswalks and at bus stops—and enable camera enforcement for parking in commercial loading zones, according to a Jan. 18 press statement. The Smart Streets Pilot will use cameras on city poles or on the front of city or transit authority vehicles to collect data on vehicles illegally parked in places that imperil pedestrians and cyclists who must maneuver around them. An automated parking enforcement system would photograph an offending vehicle and its registration plate as well as record the time, date and location of the covered offense." Link to Article

  • January 30, 2023 - METRO could take over Houston’s sputtering bike-share program - "The region\'s mass transit provider is considering whether to swoop in and rescue the nonprofit – with the possibility it could take over the bike-sharing operation and make it more of a viable commuting option instead of a largely recreational service... METRO CEO Tom Lambert said the bus service and light rail provider, with board approval, will invest up to $500,000 into the bike-sharing program during of a period of 6-9 months while exploring how their transportation offerings could complement each other and be tied together... Lambert said there are examples in other cities, such as Austin and Los Angeles, where public transit providers include bike-sharing as part of their services." Link to Article

  • January 30, 2023 - NARUC digs into commercial EV charging rates as federal government requires states to review offers - "Utilities need to structure commercial rates to support the electrification of heavy-duty vehicle fleets by encouraging charging during off-peak periods and enabling public stations to offer predictable prices, according to a report from the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. NARUC published the paper through its Regulatory Training Initiative. The authors are representatives from eMobility Advisors, CALSTART, the National Consumer Law Center and Natural Resources Defense Council... Demand charges associated with peak demand can help utilities recover their costs, but because DC fast charging stations are – at least for now – often used sporadically, they can leave charging station operators struggling to profit. " Link to Article

  • January 30, 2023 - New suppliers race to plug in to electric car market - "The global auto industry has committed $1.2 trillion to developing electric vehicles (EVs), providing a golden opportunity for new suppliers to grab contracts providing everything from battery packs to motors and inverters. Startups specialising in batteries and coatings to protect EV parts, and suppliers traditionally focused on niche motorsports or Formula One (F1) racing, have been chasing EV contracts. Carmakers design platforms to last a decade, so high-volume models can generate large revenues for years. The next generation of EVs is due to hit around 2025 and many carmakers have sought help plugging gaps in their expertise, providing a window of opportunity for new suppliers... Mass-market carmakers often prefer to develop EV components in-house and own the technology themselves. After years of pandemic-related parts shortages, they are wary of over-reliance on suppliers... But smaller companies say there are still opportunities, particularly with low-volume manufacturers that cannot afford huge EV investments, or luxury and high-performance carmakers seeking an edge." Link to Article

  • January 30, 2023 - Self-Driving Golf Cart Development: Why Is It In Demand? - "Golf carts are now used for more than just playing golf. They are currently the most popular mode of transportation for short distances and are more eco-friendly than any alternative. According to Allied Market Research, the global golf cart market will hit $1.79 billion by 2028, growing at a 3.9% CAGR between 2021 and 2028. Faced with the harsh reality that a future of fully autonomous cars is further away than promised, automakers and tech companies are pivoting to alternate uses for self-driving technology. Some turn to delivery robots, while others are helping deploy small, low-speed golf-cart-type machines for sites, farms or airports. For example, Honda is testing a new golf-cart-type model. That so-called “micromobility device” is part of Honda’s efforts to help people who can’t drive themselves, like the elderly or Generation Z. In their current state, Honda vehicles are more like golf carts or UTVs. But Honda believes these machines will have their place in the future urban environment." Link to Article

  • January 30, 2023 - Amogy Takes On Tesla Semi With Its No-Emissions Semi-Trailer - "The company states it had a 5 kW ammonia drone already flying in 2021, quickly followed by a 100 kW ammonia tractor in 2022. With the launch of the 900 kWh semi-trailer, they are now ready to bring their vision to the market. Now Amogy has upgraded its ammonia powertrain to 300 kW and unveiled it in what it claims is the \"world\'s first zero-emission ammonia-powered semi-truck\": a 2018 Freightliner Cascadia Class 8 truck fitted with a Ammonia fuel system under the cab and also stacked behind it, which seems to add little bulk to the standard truck. It fills up in eight minutes and carries about 900 kWh of \"total net electrical energy stored\", about the same amount of energy the Tesla Semi stores in its lithium batteries... A Tesla Semi truck with 900 KWh battery capacity can go up to 500 miles (800 km) on a single charge, and can take anywhere from an hour to 12 hours to recharge;" Link to Article

  • January 27, 2023 - Self-driving cars create new opportunities for terrorist attacks, says FBI Director Chris Wray - "Speaking on a panel on national security, Wray said the FBI views autonomous vehicles as both a possible tool to cause physical harm and a potentially valuable source of personal data that could become a target. \"When you talk about autonomous vehicles, it’s obviously something that we’re excited about, just like everybody,\" Wray said. \"But there are harms that we have to guard against that are more than just the obvious.\"... Wray said the expanding use of self-driving cars is an example of a new \"attack surface\" that terrorists will try to use to their advantage. He said Russia’s war against Ukraine is giving U.S. national security officials new examples of how cyberattacks are evolving and demonstrated how early surveillance activity can be a precursor to a cyberattack." Link to Article

  • January 27, 2023 - Automated vehicles to begin cruising Ohio roadways - "DriveOhio\'s Rural Automated Driving Systems project is getting ready for two deployments to gather data on the technology. The vehicles being deployed have been tested at the Transportation Research Center Inc.\'s proving grounds in East Liberty, Ohio. The testing was conducted on closed roadways and studied a full range of situations drivers encounter each day. According to the release, the DriveOhio project is funded in part by a $7.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation with the goal of demonstrating how connected and automated vehicles could improve safety for drivers in rural areas. The first deployment includes three passenger vehicles traveling on rural two-lane roads in Athens and Vinton counties. Testing will include different weather and operational conditions like limited visibility and work zones. A second deployment will feature two 53-foot tractor-trailers connected by technology that lets them travel closely together at highway speeds." Link to Article

  • January 27, 2023 - Micromobility could see growth in 2023, industry experts say - "The micromobility space confronted both opportunities and obstacles in 2022. While ridership grew, a number of shared micromobility providers faced economic challenges that shook up the industry. The coming year could see those issues escalate, even if micromobility proves to be the future of urban transportation, according to researchers and transportation professionals... In 2023, “we’re going to see a huge increase in micromobility ownership and usage, which includes subscriptions and shared [services],” said Wei Fan, director of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Center for Advanced Multimodal Mobility Solutions and Education. Fan credits the semiconductor shortage, rising energy prices and growing eco-consciousness as forces behind the shift. But cities must address accessibility and infrastructure concerns to ensure micromobility’s success, researchers and transportation professionals said. " Link to Article

  • January 27, 2023 - What to know about the cars of the future being built by tech, auto companies - "Drivers can expect more electric cars and autonomous features to hit the market in the next few years as car makers go high-tech and tech industry giants like Google and Amazon branch further into automotives. Those trends were on full display at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show with companies from Sony to BMW, and even the United States Postal Service, showing off electric vehicles and digital features the companies say improve safety and add entertainment value... Here is what to know about the advancements being made, as well as their potential drawbacks and obstacles they could be facing. The rise of the connected car... Data privacy concerns amplified ... Autonomous features seek to improve safety ... Entertainment features bringing color — and karaoke! — to cars" Link to Article

  • January 27, 2023 - Uber working with auto makers to design EVs customized for ride-sharing and delivery - "Uber Technologies Inc. is working with auto makers to design lower-cost electric vehicles tailored for its ride-hailing and delivery businesses, part of its effort to electrify its fleet. Speaking Thursday at an event hosted by The Wall Street Journal, Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi said the company is working with manufacturers on vehicles optimized for city use, ferrying passengers and deliveries. For ride-sharing, that includes cars with lower top speeds and with seating areas where passengers can face each other... For delivery vehicles, Mr. Khosrowshahi said the company is considering smaller vehicles with two or three wheels and trunk space. Such vehicles “can get through traffic easier and have a much smaller footprint, both in terms of environmental but also traffic footprint than, let’s say, a car to go deliver groceries,” he said." Link to Article

  • January 25, 2023 - Volvo invests in Toronto driverless vehicle startup Waabi - "Volvo AB’s venture capital arm has invested an undisclosed amount in Toronto autonomous-vehicle startup Waabi Innovation Inc... Prof. Urtasun, a University of Toronto professor renowned as one of the leading researchers in the field, was previously chief scientist at Uber Technologies Inc.’s self-driving division. She left with most of her 40-person team in early 2021 to start Waabi after U.S. autonomous-vehicle startup Aurora Innovation Inc. bought the unit. Both Uber and Aurora invested in Waabi, alongside U.S. and Canadian venture capitalists and AI luminaries including Geoffrey Hinton, when it raised US$83.5-million two years ago. Waabi has developed an AI-powered simulator that Prof. Urtasun says will more rapidly and safely teach autonomous-vehicle (AV) systems to operate vehicles better than humans. Her system is like a driving school for robots run by another robot, as the simulator recreates the driving experience and challenges an AV driver’s weaknesses with scenarios so it learns faster." Link to Article

  • January 25, 2023 - Shell Acquires US EV Charging Firm With Plugs at Kroger, Six Flags - "Shell Plc agreed to buy US electric-vehicle charging firm Volta Inc. as the fossil-fuel giant works to keep pace with the transition to low-carbon mobility. The $169 million takeover of Volta — which installs chargers with large video advertising screens at grocery stores, office buildings and elsewhere — is emblematic of an accelerating shift in focus for a company that has relied on a vast network of traditional filling stations to reach customers... The acquisition is part of Shell’s efforts to prepare for a world in which oil consumption ebbs as more industries electrify and people ditch combustion-engine cars. Volta has set up more than 3,000 charging points with partners including supermarket Kroger Co., the Oracle Arena in San Francisco and Six Flags Theme Parks Inc." Link to Article

  • January 25, 2023 - Race to zero: Can California’s power grid handle a 15-fold increase in electric cars? - "As California rapidly boosts sales of electric cars and trucks over the next decade, the answer to a critical question remains uncertain: Will there be enough electricity to power them? State officials claim that the 12.5 million electric vehicles expected on California’s roads in 2035 will not strain the grid. But their confidence that the state can avoid brownouts relies on a best-case — some say unrealistic — scenario: massive and rapid construction of offshore wind and solar farms, and drivers charging their cars in off-peak hours. Under a groundbreaking new state regulation, 35% of new 2026 car models sold in California must be zero-emissions, ramping up to 100% in 2035. Powering the vehicles means the state must triple the amount of electricity produced and deploy new solar and wind energy at almost five times the pace of the past decade. " Link to Article

  • January 25, 2023 - Kia Launching Self-Driving Electric SUV in 2023 - "Kia’s first car with Level 3 self-driving capability will be launched in 2023. The breakthrough was announced by the executive chair of parent company Hyundai Motor Group Euisun Chung at a meeting at the Namyang R&D Center in South Korea, and the model in question will be the new EV9 SUV. Level 3 is defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers as automated driving under certain conditions, although human drivers must be prepared to take control when required... But the EV9’s Level 3 functionality will probably be restricted to Kia’s home market of South Korea initially. Regulatory approval for Level 3 production cars has been limited to date, with only Mercedes and Honda gaining permission to sell vehicles with the tech. Mercedes launched the Level 3 Drive Pilot on S-Class and EQS models in Germany last year, while Honda received permission to offer a limited number of Level 3 Legends in Japan in 2021." Link to Article

  • January 25, 2023 - Some drivers ‘tune out’ on the road when using semi-autonomous vehicles, early study data suggests - "Early findings from a study that is looking into distracted driving in semi-automatic vehicles reveals that people aren\'t always fully paying attention. The study has participants drive a Tesla Model 3 on a stretch of Highway 401. Some are driving manually and others are in the semi-automated autopilot mode. In both instances, people are being measured on how focused they are. Francesco Biondi, a kinesiology professor at the University of Windsor and one of the researchers on the study, told Windsor Morning Monday that some of the preliminary results have been unsurprising. When using the automated system, he said, drivers tended to \"tune out\" on what he described as a boring stretch of the highway — from Windsor to Chatham." Link to Article

  • January 24, 2023 - China’s self-driving car push hits legal and cost roadblocks - "China\'s efforts to get more nearly autonomous vehicles on its roads have become bogged down by growing uncertainty over the technology\'s near-term profit potential in a challenging environment. The country has made significant strides in recent years under a national strategy that prioritizes autonomous-driving technology. A road map released in November 2020 calls for 20% of all new vehicles sold to have Level 4 capabilities -- letting them operate without a driver under certain conditions -- by 2030. But analysts are starting to doubt this target will be met, with some seeing the figure as low as 3%, as regulatory issues and profit worries have chilled investment and pushed startups to seek other ways to bring in revenue. Owen Chen at S&P Global Mobility, which predicts the share will reach only 7%, argues that China has not developed an adequate legal framework for Level 3 and higher technology, and that even if one is put in place, scaling up the business will take time. " Link to Article

  • January 24, 2023 - Contract awarded for next major phase of Mon-Fayette Expressway - "According to a news release, Pittsburgh-based Trumbull Corp. was awarded the nearly $214 million contract to build the first section, which lies mostly in Jefferson Hills but also reaches into West Mifflin and Clairton... The new toll road also will serve as a test bed for innovative transportation construction techniques that could use noise reduction walls to reduce pollution and produce electricity from traffic-generated road vibrations for road signs, among other things. 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... T • Testing which method works best for recharging electric vehicles as they drive over the road surface. " Link to Article

  • January 24, 2023 - The world’s largest electric ferry can take you and your closest 2000 friends across the ocean - "Incat Tasmania, an Australian manufacturer of high-speed craft (HSC) ferries, is ready to deliver the 148-meter (485.5 feet) Utility Ro-Pax ferry, which will be the world’s largest electric ferry. Designed by Revolution Design and built by Incat, the ferry is powered by two electric motors (5 – 9.6 MW) beneath the hull. The vessel can carry up to 2,100 passengers and 226 vehicles at up to 25 knots for a max range of 100 n.m. Buquebus, which operates several Incat vessels in South America, will use it to transport passengers between Argentina and Uraguay. The vessel was initially intended to be powered by LNG, but after having second thoughts, both Incat and Buquebus agreed it was best for the environment and its customers to go zero-emission electric... Although swapping for electric propulsion requires a significant redesign, Clifford says the company would replace 500 tons of equipment and fuel tanks with 400 tonnes of batteries to maintain its light weight." Link to Article

  • January 24, 2023 - The Cult of Bike Helmets - "Last year, health officials in Seattle decided to stop requiring bicyclists to wear helmets. Independent research found that nearly half of Seattle’s helmet tickets in recent years went to unhoused people, while Black and Native American cyclists in the city were four times and two times more likely, respectively, than white cyclists to be cited... Most crash data come from traffic-safety monitoring systems that happen to catch motor-vehicle-related bike injuries and fatalities. Medical records from bike-crash victims focus on diagnosis, treatment, and outcome, while typically leaving out details of the circumstances of the crash itself; they also fail to capture people who cycle without ever needing medical attention. Insurance claims and police reports catalog some bicycle crashes, but miss plenty: One study by San Francisco’s public health department found that 39 percent of bicyclists who required ambulance transport were not documented in police records. The United States can’t even accurately tally overall bike helmet use." Link to Article

  • January 24, 2023 - This ‘AutonoMap’ Shows The Many Places Autonomous Vehicles Are Serving The Public Today - "Above is “AutonoMap,” an attempt to map the growing number of places where mostly autonomous vehicles are out on roads and sidewalks carrying members of the public or cargo for them with no safety driver or other employee in the vehicle. Map markers in red indicate this state of full autonomy, other colors show public robotaxi service with an employee still in the vehicle, and some services planned to open up to the public in the future... There are two layers in the map, one for robotaxis and one for delivery robots. Only autonomous delivery robots — including class 4 trucks from Gatik — are in that layer. The Robotaxi layer includes some projects which are not yet live and some with safety drivers which are marked with blue and orange markers... Not shown are the many test projects which don’t serve the public. There are scores of these." Link to Article

  • January 23, 2023 - Low-clearance technologies help fleets avoid costly accidents - "GiraffeG4 Systems also collects that data but via sensor instead of crowdsourcing. The company offers its Sentinel product, a low-clearance collision avoidance system that leverages a sensor to help large trucks and RVs steer clear of low bridges. It provides warnings to drivers via mobile app in which the driver inputs the height of the vehicle and trailer ahead of embarking on a trip. The app interacts with the GPS system the driver is using to pre-measure heights based on the GPS’s information... E-SMART is another system designed for fleets with large trucks that takes things a step beyond in-cab alerts and actually slows a truck. Fleets that have integrated E-SMART have experienced a complete elimination of low-clearance bridge hits, according to its users." Link to Article

  • January 23, 2023 - EVs are expensive. These city commuters ditched cars altogether — for e-bikes - "That\'s why the City and County of Denver is giving out vouchers towards the purchase of an e-bike. \"We have a fairly car-dependent culture, so there\'s a fairly high rate of single occupancy vehicle trips,\" said Grace Troccolo Rink, executive director of the city\'s Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency. The program was launched last year on Earth Day. Denver residents could get $400 for an e-bike, or $1200 if they have a lower income. And that amount is right around the price of an entry-level e-bike, which is more expensive than most regular bikes. If they wanted an e-cargo bike, the kind really suited to replacing car trips, they got an additional $500. The vouchers were so popular, the city\'s funding for all of 2022 was quickly allocated... But the Denver program has the intended effect, according to preliminary survey results of voucher recipients." Link to Article

  • January 23, 2023 - How Bike New York is Helping Immigrants and Asylum Seekers - "Bike New York is a non-profit with an incredibly diverse mix of outreach programs to help get more people riding bikes. Free bike education throughout all five boroughs? Check. Organizing the annual Five Boro Bike Tour? Check. Educating cyclists about the ins and out of urban cycling? Check. This week the organization announced a new program in collaboration with Kryptonite and NYC’s Department of Transportation that is providing refurbished used bikes, new helmets and bike locks to asylum seekers and immigrants who have recently arrived in New York. The program is being facilitated by Bike New York’s Recycle-A-Bicycle program. The goal of the program is giving access to a car-free mode of transportation to those with limited means as they become established in their new home." Link to Article

  • January 23, 2023 - The zero-fare public transit movement is picking up momentum - "Washington, D.C., is on the verge of eliminating bus fares for city residents, joining other U.S. cities that are working to make metro bus and rail systems free to ride. Already, Boston, San Francisco and Denver are experimenting with zero fare. In late 2019, Kansas City, Missouri, became the first major U.S. city to approve a fare-free public transit system... But despite the zero-fare movement’s growing popularity, it has drawn political pushback in some areas where the policy doesn’t easily fit in with budgets or local laws. D.C.’s zero-fare bill was proposed in early 2020 about two weeks before the Covid-19 pandemic triggered a downward budget spiral for transit agencies nationwide. " Link to Article

  • January 23, 2023 - Ohio State researchers developing app for pedestrian safety - "After working with the City of Marysville and observing data from one of their smart intersections, these professors, including Professor Levent Guvenc, Ph.D. who teaches mechanical and aerospace engineering, noted pedestrians\' movements can be quick and unpredictable, and they are often hard to see. They asked themselves how could drivers be alerted to pedestrians without necessarily needing to see them first. That’s where their app development started. Most cellphones people use have GPS systems and Bluetooth capabilities allowing them to connect to each other. From those capabilities, Doctor Guvenc and his team at the Ohio State University’s College of Engineering created an app for pedestrians and drivers to keep everyone on the road safe. Drivers and pedestrians who download the app will be able to get alerts that tell drivers, for example, to slow down because there is a pedestrian they may not be able to see around their vehicle. " Link to Article

  • January 20, 2023 - Even electric self-driving cars may have a climate change problem - "The future energy required to run just the computers on a global fleet of autonomous vehicles could generate as much greenhouse gas emissions as all the data centers in the world today. That finding, announced by researchers from MIT on Friday, is based on a statistical model that calculated the energy outputs a fleet of 1 billion autonomous electric vehicles would generate if they ran one hour per day. The resulting number roughly translated to 0.3 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. For self-driving cars to drive autonomously, they require large amounts of computing power to run sophisticated algorithms and onboard camera systems to navigate traffic safely. While the findings are only projections, Soumya Sudhakar, a lead MIT researcher on the study, said the results should make self-driving car researchers and makers realize that “business-as-usual” is not enough, and computing efficiency should be at the forefront of their minds." Link to Article

  • January 20, 2023 - Smarter Railroad Tracks Are Boosting Train Safety And Efficiency - "Think “advanced rail technology” and bullet trains or magnetic-levitation systems might come to mind. But what about the steel rails freight and passenger trains run on? Advances in machine learning, big data collection and voice-recognition tools that have transformed manufacturing, cars, retail and social media are also being leveraged to make vital rail operations safer and much more efficient. Alstom, which makes passenger trains including Amtrak’s next-generation Acela units and rail signaling equipment, says it’s rolling out more advanced digital circuits and sensors in North America and other global markets that tap into the electrical current flowing through tracks to collect and share detailed information like a train’s location, detect warped wheels and monitor track conditions. The goal is to lower the risk of derailments, system failures and, ideally, operate freight lines more efficiently by allowing trains to run closer together." Link to Article

  • January 20, 2023 - The Good And Bad Of Bi-Directional Charging - "Auto OEMs are starting to offer bi-directional charging in EVs, allowing batteries to power homes during outages or wherever else it is needed, and to smooth out any hiccups in the grid. But this technology also can shorten the lifetime of batteries, and it can open the door to more cyberattacks... But experts say bidirectional technology could also cause harm from bad actors if certain security precautions aren’t taken, particularly with regards to the charger itself. “When you get to bi-directional, most states require IEEE 1547, and that comes with a lot of advanced functionality that’s required including reactive power support,” said Jay Johnson, principal member of technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories. “Non-unity power factor that can provide reactive power is generally great because you can do voltage stability on the distribution system. But on the flip side, if that is compromised, you can manipulate the device and inject or absorb reactive power.” " Link to Article

  • January 20, 2023 - DOT, DOE secretaries tout agency cooperation under decarbonization blueprint - "Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm stressed the importance of their agencies working together under a new national blueprint released Tuesday that aims to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector by 2050. Buttigieg said during the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday the Biden administration is focused on working with states to build out a national EV charging network and ensuring such infrastructure is added in rural areas, at multifamily dwellings and low-income communities. To accomplish this, the blueprint tries to meet people where they are: People tend to drive longer distances in rural areas, he said, stressing the potential gas savings, and they live in single-family housing, allowing them to charge at home. But to achieve those goals, the two agencies must work together." Link to Article

  • January 20, 2023 - EVgo announces ‘ReNew’ maintenance program to upgrade and replace hundreds of chargers - "EV charging network EVgo announced a new maintenance program today that will roll out upgrades, replacements, and even the retiring of hundreds of chargers across the US. The new “EVgo ReNew” program looks to improve the fast charging experience for its customers by “doubling down” on charger reliability. Since its founding thirteen years ago, EVgo ($EVGO) has become one of the United States’ more prominent public EV fast charging networks. It is currently touting 850 charging locations that serve over sixty metropolitan areas across more than thirty states... The charging network shared details of its EVgo ReNew program today, which will include an overhaul of hundreds of EV chargers throughout 2023. EVgo states that the goal of the new program is to not only enhance the quality of its chargers but to instill more confidence in its network for EV drivers." Link to Article

  • January 18, 2023 - Electric vehicles win truck, utility of the year awards - "Electric vehicles took two of three categories for the first time in this year’s North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year awards. Ford’s F-150 Lightning electric pickup won the truck category, while Kia’s EV6 battery-powered EV was named the top SUV. The Integra, a small sedan from Honda’s Acura performance brand, won car of the year. Six of the nine finalists were powered by batteries, and analysts say the more of the awards are likely to go to electric vehicles in the future as the industry spends billions to roll out multiple new EV models... The Lightning’s finalist competitors were the Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 off-road pickup and the Lordstown Motors Endurance electric commercial pickup. Utility vehicle finalists included the Cadillac Lyriq electric SUV and the Genesis GV60 electric SUV." Link to Article

  • January 18, 2023 - Air Force Aims to Get More eVTOL Platforms into Testing, Exercises in 2023 - "Known as AFWERX Agility Prime, the initiative is aimed at creating a new atmosphere of cooperation between government and industry and spurring innovation and development in the eVTOL space. At the cornerstone of this cooperation with industry is AFWERX AFVentures, which operates the Air Force’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology programs. After more than two years of important milestones, the program and its many partners are poised to take big leaps in 2023... Among eVTOL milestones reached in 2022, Joby Aviation scored a high-altitude mark of more than 11,000 feet and a speed of more than 200 mph... BETA Technologies reached a major milestone as well when two Air Force test pilots sat behind the controls of its ALIA aircraft in March 2022... The ALIA also set additional high marks in 2022, achieving a 255-mile range and a high-endurance flight time of 2 hours, 2 minutes." Link to Article

  • January 18, 2023 - Electric Vehicles Look Poised for Slower Sales Growth This Year - "Every year, BloombergNEF’s team of analysts pauses to reflect on what’s happened in our industry and make some predictions on what might be in store next... We expect EV adoption to continue to rise in 2023, but at a slightly slower pace than the last two years, which saw sales jump from 3.2 million in 2020 to more than 10 million in 2022. We expect 13.6 million plug-in passenger vehicle sales in total for this year, with around 75% of those being fully electric. China is set to dominate the EV sales charts again, with 8 million passenger EVs sold despite its phase-out of subsidies. The US is poised for a breakout year due to the combination of new EV manufacturing capacity and refreshed federal tax credits. With around 1.6 million plug-in vehicle sales in 2023, the US will still be well behind Europe on adoption, but the gap is starting to narrow... " Link to Article

  • January 18, 2023 - Self-driving cars could nearly double road congestion, says Government report - "Department for Transport (DfT) traffic projections for England and Wales show delays may rise by up to 85% from 2025 to 2060 in that scenario. The analysis is based on connected and autonomous vehicles making up half of the car fleet by 2047, and a “fast uptake” of electric vehicles. This would lead to more traffic by “increasing the mobility of the elderly and those who do not currently hold a driving licence”, according to the report. But the document, published last month, claims “the ability to work or relax while travelling in a self-driving car” means occupants will be “more amenable to sitting in traffic”. RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding told the PA news agency: “There are currently 5.9 million licence holders aged 70 or over in Britain, so we know the demand for mobility is there among those of a senior age." Link to Article

  • January 18, 2023 - Tesla Cuts Vehicle Prices in Bid to Boost Flagging Demand - "With its sales slowing and its stock price tumbling, Tesla Inc. slashed prices dramatically Jan. 13 on several versions of its electric vehicles, making some of its models eligible for a new federal tax credit that could help spur buyer interest. The company dropped prices nearly 20% in the United States on some versions of the Model Y SUV, its top seller. That cut will make more versions of the Model Y eligible for a $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit that will be available through March. Tesla also reduced the base price of the Model 3, its least expensive model, by about 6%. Far from pleasing investors, the sharp price cuts sent Tesla shares down nearly 3% in midday trading Jan. 13. Since the start of last year, the stock has plummeted more than 65%." Link to Article

  • January 17, 2023 - Philadelphia still 15 years out from fully modernized traffic system - "While Philadelphia has received millions of dollars over the last year in grants and capital funds to upgrade its intersection traffic control system — and has been working on integrating it with an intelligent transportation system for more than a decade — the city says it’s still at least 15 years out from completing the modernization project. On Friday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced that $14.5 million generated by the state’s Automated Speed Enforcement grant program would go to four projects — but only $1.5 million of that is going towards upgrading Philadelphia’s traffic control systems and integrating them with an intelligent transportation system. There are other funding sources, too, but despite the money being thrown at the effort to build out both a network and centralized control operation for the signals, progress has been slow. According to the city’s 2022 ASE grant application, only half of Philadelphia’s 3,000 traffic signals controllers have been upgraded with ability to connect to the city’s network." Link to Article

  • January 17, 2023 - Want Drivers to Stop at Crosswalks? Slow Them Down First - "Many motorists yield to pedestrians in crosswalks — but not when they’re driving at deadly speeds, according to a new study that shows the need to slow down car drivers with broader road design changes, and not just more signs and paint. As part of a recent experiment conducted during more than 1,200 crossing attempts at intersections across four states, transportation professionals at Kittleson & Associates found that 75 percent of U.S. motorists will yield to a walker in a “basic” crosswalk, which is what engineers call intersections marked with nothing more than two parallel lines of white paint. That was only true, though, when drivers were traveling at 20 miles per hour — a speed at which traffic rarely moves on auto-centric U.S. streets. Once motorists reached 30 miles per hour, just one in eight of them yielded to the walker in those same intersections. " Link to Article

  • January 17, 2023 - Mercedes Benz to become the first to offer Level 3 autonomous driving in the US - "The German automaker, Mercedes Benz, is set to become the first to offer Level 3 autonomous driving technology in the US with approvals for its Drive Pilot system in Nevada, followed by California. The announcement was made at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2023, showcasing a host of new technology. According to the German manufacturer, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Nevada has approved the application, and the required certification is expected to come through in the next two weeks. \"Mercedes-Benz will be the first OEM to have a Level 3 system to offer in the US – and is optimistic that California will follow soon,\" said a press release. Last May, Mercedes-Benz became the first OEM in the world to receive international certification for conditionally automated driving. The company has been selling vehicles with Level 3 self-driving systems in Germany." Link to Article

  • January 17, 2023 - FAA system outage causes thousands of flight delays and cancellations across the US - "The airline industry has slowly begun to resume service after a Federal Aviation Administration system outage caused thousands of flight delays and cancellations across the United States Wednesday. The FAA briefly halted all domestic flight departures across the United States Wednesday morning, lifting the ground stop around 9 a.m. ET after it restored a system that provides pilots with pre-flight safety notices. But airlines continued to delay or cancel flights because of ongoing congestion... The affected system, Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM), sends alerts to pilots to let them know of conditions that could affect the safety of their flights. It is separate from the air traffic control system that keeps planes a safe distance from each other, but it\'s another critical tool for air safety." Link to Article

  • January 17, 2023 - US official warns of risks posed by heavy electric vehicles - "The head of the National Transportation Safety Board expressed concern Wednesday about the safety risks that heavy electric vehicles pose if they collide with lighter vehicles. The official, Jennifer Homendy, raised the issue in a speech in Washington to the Transportation Research Board. She noted, by way of example, that an electric GMC Hummer weighs about 9,000 pounds (4,000 kilograms), with a battery pack that alone is 2,900 pounds (1,300 kilograms) — roughly the entire weight of a typical Honda Civic. “I’m concerned about the increased risk of severe injury and death for all road users from heavier curb weights and increasing size, power, and performance of vehicles on our roads, including electric vehicles,” Homendy said in remarks prepared for the group. The extra weight that EVs typically carry stems from the outsize mass of their batteries. To achieve 300 or more miles (480 or more kilometers) of range per charge from an EV, batteries have to weigh thousands of pounds." Link to Article

  • January 16, 2023 - Biden Administration Releases Net-Zero Transportation Toolkit - "The Biden Administration on Tuesday released a \"blueprint\" for reaching net-zero transportation emissions nationwide by 2050. The report is to be considered a \"toolkit\" for eliminating greenhouse gas production from the country\'s transportation, from cars and trucks to planes, trains and shipping, administration officials said. The plan suggests making it more convenient for communities to get around to grocery stores, workplaces, schools and entertainment venues to reduce the necessity of carbon-heavy transportation; increasing the energy efficiency of existing transportation options; and transitioning away from transportation powered by fossil fuels... It sets out several recommendations that will help build a net-zero economy by 2050, including transitioning all new vehicle sales to zero-emission models by the middle of the 2030s. More federal incentives for EV and battery research to reduce costs and roll out charging infrastructure are recommended, as are policies to ensure secure supply chains and trained workforces. " Link to Article

  • January 16, 2023 - Feds reviewing Musk tweet about disabling driver monitoring - "A tweet from Elon Musk indicating that Tesla might allow some owners who are testing a “Full Self-Driving” system to disable an alert that reminds them to keep their hands on the steering wheel has drawn attention from U.S. safety regulators. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it asked Tesla for more information about the tweet. Last week, the agency said the issue is now part of a broader investigation into at least 14 Teslas that have crashed into emergency vehicles while using the Autopilot driver assist system... Philip Koopman, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, argued that Tesla is contradicting itself in a way that could confuse drivers. \"They\'re trying to make customers happy by taking their hands off the wheel, even while the (owners) manual says ‘don’t do that.\' \" " Link to Article

  • January 16, 2023 - New EVs and Self-Driving Cars Among the Highlights at the Consumer Electronics Show - "One of the most significant introductions came from Stellantis: the company’s belated entry into the world of the electric pickup truck, following Ford with the F-150 Lightning and General Motors with the Silverado EV. The concept Ram 1500 Revolution, introduced by Ram CEO Mike Koval Jr., was a prototype, so there was no range, battery size, or acceleration figures, but RAM hopes to get it to 400 miles... A major trend was the revitalization of a seemingly stalled technology—the shift to self-driving cars. Luminar, a leader in the field, showed off new automotive models that will feature its LiDAR scanning technology to aid autonomous driving—the Volvo EX90, the Polestar 3, and a Chinese car from SAIC. Luminar CEO Austin Russell showed equipped Teslas repeatedly stopping to avoid hitting dummies on scooters. " Link to Article

  • January 16, 2023 - U.S. FAA proposes requiring 5G safeguards on planes by early 2024 - "The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said Monday it is proposing a requirement that passenger and cargo aircraft in the United States have 5G C-Band-tolerant radio altimeters or install approved filters by early 2024. Concerns that 5G service could interfere with airplane altimeters, which give data on a plane\'s height above the ground and are crucial for bad-weather landing, led to disruptions at some U.S. airports earlier this year. The proposed airworthiness directive, which would take effect in February 2024, is similar to one that took effect in December 2021, prohibiting passenger and cargo flight operations in the vicinity of 5G C-Band wireless transmitters unless the FAA specifically approved them. The FAA is also proposing a requirement that airlines revise airplane flight manuals to prohibit low-visibility landings after June 30 unless retrofits have been completed on that airplane." Link to Article

  • January 16, 2023 - Destination unknown? Pittsburgh’s autonomous vehicle industry seeks a new course after a disastrous season. - "“We’re definitely in a colder period now,” said John Dolan, a systems engineer and professor at the CMU Argo AI Center for Autonomous Vehicle Research. “A bit of an autonomous driving winter perhaps, as we’ve seen with some of these recent closures. I just don’t know how it’s going to go in the future.” Pittsburgh put itself on the autonomy map in 2007, when Carnegie Mellon University’s Tartan Racing team won the DARPA Urban Challenge, a 60-mile driverless race. Notable alumni of the CMU team include Urmson; Raj Rajkumar, director of Mobility21, a smart transportation initiative; Bryan Salesky, founder and CEO of Argo AI; and Dave Ferguson, co-founder and president of Nuro, another AV company. In 2008, General Motors revitalized an early 2000s partnership with CMU to advance driverless technology. The industry really started rolling a few years later. “In the middle 2010s, I was getting contacted on almost a weekly basis by reporters asking about what was going to make the difference,” said Dolan. “What were the gaps in autonomous driving technology? When were things going to be broadly deployed on roads?”" Link to Article

  • January 13, 2023 - Electric planes sound like a fantasy but they may be the future for short-haul in Australia - "The main obstacle for long-haul operators is weight. Two decades before the Wright brothers’ first flight in 1903, a two-man crew took the airship La France on the first round trip by an aerial vehicle.It carried a 435kg zinc-chlorine battery on its 8km journey – the equivalent of hauling around a grand piano. A modern battery this massive would still provide only a fraction of the power required for a commercial passenger aircraft with 150 or more seats. In January Carnegie Mellon University’s Prof Venkat Viswanathan wrote an article for Nature on the future of batteries in aviation which has become a call-to-arms for engineers in the industry. Viswanathan and his coauthors concluded that it was possible to make significant gains in battery chemistry for use in aviation by 2030 – but only if everything went right along the way. And even then, they would still not be capable of powering the largest passenger aircraft. " Link to Article

  • January 13, 2023 - What Happens to the Future of Electric Cars if Tesla Dies? - "Tesla revolutionized the way the world sees and drives EVs—but with its back against the wall and the financial situation looking more and more bleak by the tweet, we might very well soon find ourselves in a situation where the biggest name in the game has gone belly up. Let’s be clear: there’s a fairly low chance of that happening… but what if it does? To understand the impact Tesla’s disappearance would have on the future of EVs, it’s important to wrap our minds around how exactly we got here. “I give Elon Musk a lot of credit. He almost single-handedly made electric vehicles glamorous and sexy,” Ragunathan “Raj” Rajkumar, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and autonomous vehicle researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, told The Daily Beast. “People associated them with the person who was transforming the automotive industry and doing the right thing for the planet.”" Link to Article

  • January 13, 2023 - Driverless Car Caught on Video Turning Left into Bike Lane on Austin Streets - "Austin-area cyclist Robert Foster already knows to ride defensively. The rider told Fox 7 Austin that he already assumes every car is dangerous and gives them a wide berth. But even the best defensive riding tactics wouldn’t keep a cyclist safe in the scenario he said he’s witnessed several times: a driverless vehicle swerving into the bike lane when making a left hand turn... Cruise, the self-driving car company whose vehicles are shown in Foster’s videos, began testing driverless vehicle in Austin last year. Cruise claims the self-driving vehicles would not have entered the bike lane if a cyclist were present. The company released a statement to Fox 7 Austin that reads, “Safety is Cruise\'s top priority, not just for our passengers but for everyone we share the road with. Our technology is always improving and we’ll be reviewing our lane-mapping in that area.”" Link to Article

  • January 13, 2023 - Top Self-Driving Car Stories Of 2022 In Review – Big Ups, Big Downs - "As we enter 2023, these were the big stories in self-driving cars for 2022. You an also check out my summary of early 2022 for more details on that quarter, but these are the game-changers for this year. There’s no doubt this was a year of huge ups and downs. A year where some gave up and others doubled down. A year where the stock market and VC funding took a massive nosedive and companies mostly shrunk, but also a year of great technical progress. Usually I do this as a countdown to the biggest story, but I’ll spoil it right now and say the big story was the incredible contrast of the good and bad news. So I’m instead going to tell you the good, the bad and the not particularly ugly." Link to Article

  • January 13, 2023 - Hawaii autonomous race car team places third in driverless challenge - "The University of Hawai?i‘s autonomous race car team finished in third place at the Autonomous Challenge at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) on Jan. 7 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. UH AI Racing Tech is a collaboration between UH Maui College, UH M?noa’s College of Engineering, UC San Diego, Carnegie Mellon University and UC Berkeley. One team member described the race as a “rollercoaster” competition... Since UH AI Racing Tech was able to overcome its mechanical issue, according to race bylaws, organizers modified the schedule and bracket, and UH AI Racing Tech was able to race for third place against MIT–PITT–RW, which defeated KAIST in the quarterfinals... PoliMOVE out of Italy defended its Autonomous Challenge at CES title, winning the inaugural event in 2022." Link to Article

  • January 11, 2023 - You May Be Able to Buy a Self-Driving Car After All - "Mobileye, which was spun out of chip giant Intel last year through an initial public offering, has a comparable “eyes-on, hands-off” offering it calls SuperVision, in addition to the more basic assisted-driving technology that generates most of today’s profit. In an update at CES on Thursday, co-founder and CEO Amnon Shashua said SuperVision had a cumulative revenue pipeline of $3.5 billion through 2030, based on the production estimates of car makers that have included the technology in coming models. Mr. Shashua also gave a levelheaded account of how Mobileye would move into the more adventurous realm of extended “eyes-off” autonomy, at least on and between highways. By adding a second sensor suite and then testing the finished product in an eyes-on “shadow” mode, Mobileye expects to deliver in 2026 the kind of provably safe automated driving that would actually give consumers time back. " Link to Article

  • January 11, 2023 - Updating local regulations may ease EV charging rollout - "To simplify EV charging station implementation, Colonie reached out to the Capital District Transportation Committee, a metropolitan planning organization in upstate New York, for help determining how it may need to change its zoning regulations... According to a report prepared for Colonie by the Capital District Regional Planning Commission and others, there are some best practices that local governments can follow to support EV charger deployment: Adopt zoning language that explicitly defines EV charging requirements, such as EV charging levels, and does not unnecessarily restrict its installation. Establish building regulations that require the installation of EV chargers in new developments or require developers to pre-wire new buildings for EV chargers to reduce installation costs in the future. Create a consistent, low-cost permitting process for residential and commercial EV charger installations. Standardize EV parking signage throughout the community." Link to Article

  • January 11, 2023 - A ‘Bootcamp’ to Help Smaller Cities Win Infrastructure Grants - "Smaller-sized cities are often at a disadvantage competing for federal grants, lacking the staff, in-house knowhow and other resources that their larger peers can depend on when going after the money. But now, with billions of dollars of the grants available to local governments in the 2021 infrastructure law, the National League of Cities, with support of philanthropic backers, is trying to change that dynamic and give smaller cities a better shot at winning federal dollars. The group is running a series grant application “bootcamps” for 30 different infrastructure law programs. The new initiative, open to cities with fewer than 150,000 residents, kicked off late last year, with a second round about to get underway later this month... Each bootcamp is tied to a specific grant program in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act " Link to Article

  • January 11, 2023 - Traffic study by former head of NYC DOT reveals what he says is ultimate cause of congestion - "A new study by former DOT commissioner Lucius Riccio points the finger at ride-share companies. Last fall, the NYU Stern adjunct professor shot more than 90 videos documenting daytime traffic at random Midtown intersections and found TLC plates made up 36.3 of all vehicles on the road. \"They are three times more prevalent than taxis and by far the dominant vehicle in the streets, in Midtown, during the weekdays,\" Riccio said. He argues it was a big mistake allowing the city\'s 100,000 ride-share vehicles to flood the market with minimal fees compared to taxis a decade ago. He proposes for-hire vehicles should be targeted first under congestion pricing and for their drivers to pay a permit fee. \"They were not charged the same as the yellows. They were only charged $250 a year, whereas the medallions were up to $1 million apiece,\" Riccio said." Link to Article

  • January 11, 2023 - VA Tech Smart Work Zone Technology Improves Safety for Roadside Workers - "Previously deployed in Wise County and in the Northern Virginia area, the Smart Work Zone system includes wearable smart vests for construction workers that accurately transmits their GPS position and predicts potential hazards from passing motorists. A mobile base station then broadcasts work zone information to connected vehicles and uses smart cone devices to automatically define work zone boundaries. This extends the wireless communications link between workers and the base station when they are not in its line of sight. In partnership with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to improve safety of a construction site at an intersection in Albemarle County, VTTI researchers expanded the system by using the new sensor fusion technology. Using 4G/LTE, otherwise known as wireless data transmission-based technology, the expanded system detects speeding vehicles and triggers an air horn to alert roadside workers of vehicles traveling above the speed limit." Link to Article

  • January 10, 2023 - Amazon Finally Makes Its Drone-Delivery Dream Come True - "In 2013, Amazon Founder and now Executive Chairman Jeff Bezos raised eyebrows and a bit of doubt when he said the retail giant would be operating drones. Three years later, Bezos tweeted \"First-ever #AmazonPrimeAir customer delivery is in the books. 13 min—click to delivery.\" Amazon Prime Air, the company\'s drone service, said in July that it would begin operating in Lockeford, Calif., 40 miles southeast of Sacramento, and College Station, Texas, two hours northeast of Austin. And on Dec. 22 the drones took off. \"First deliveries from our new sites in Texas and California,\" David Carbon, vice president of Prime Air at Amazon, said on LinkedIn.. \"These are careful first steps that we will turn into giant leaps for our customers over the next number of years.\" An Amazon spokesperson said the company was starting in these two locations and will gradually expand deliveries to more customers. " Link to Article

  • January 10, 2023 - Stellantis to build U.S. firm Archer’s air taxi, up stake - "Carmaker Stellantis (STLA.MI) will help build Archer Aviation\'s (ACHR.N) electric aircraft and increase its stake in the U.S. company, the two firms said on Wednesday, driving Archer\'s shares up nearly 17%. Industrial firms and new startups are flocking to invest in air taxis, which can take off and land vertically to ferry travellers to airports or on short trips between cities, allowing them to beat traffic. The vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) Midnight aircraft, which can carry four passengers and a pilot with a range of 100 miles (161 kms), will be manufactured in Covington, Georgia, from 2024, with a production target of 2,300 aircraft annually, Archer and Stellantis said in a joint statement. It is designed for back-to-back short distance trips of around 20 miles, with a charging time of approximately 10 minutes in-between." Link to Article

  • January 10, 2023 - Amazon CEO confirms company is cutting over 18,000 jobs - "In November, a report alleged that Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) would lay off around 10,000 employees in a round of peak-season job cuts. Now, the figure is confirmed to be significantly higher. In an internal memo that was released publicly by Amazon Thursday morning, CEO Andy Jassy said that the number of employees affected by the layoffs will ultimately be over 18,000. Jassy added that several teams are being affected by the pullback but that the majority are in the firm’s Stores and People Experience and Technology (PXT) organizations. The cuts represent one of the largest rounds of layoffs in history. It’s also the largest head count reduction among tech companies that have recently trimmed their workforces." Link to Article

  • January 10, 2023 - AIR eVTOL Completes First Transition Flight - "Israel-based advanced air mobility (AAM) company AIR has announced that its AIR ONE electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) prototype has successfully completed its first full transition from hover to cruise flight. AIR reported that the aircraft was loaded to its maximum takeoff weight of 1100 kg (2425 pounds) for the flight and reached its “nominal” cruise speed. According to the company, it is now planning to move the majority of its operations to the U.S. for “further flight testing, development, and ongoing certification collaboration with the FAA.” “It is thrilling to have reached this moment in our journey as we strive to build the foundation to make personal air mobility a reality,” said AIR CEO and co-founder Rani Plaut. “AIR is incredibly proud to play a role in the global AAM movement, and we’re looking forward and upward to 2024 when adoption of privately-owned eVTOLs takes flight.”" Link to Article

  • January 10, 2023 - Chattanooga Adding 86 New Smart City Intersections Through $4.5 Million Federal Grant - "Seoul Robotics, the company powering smart 3D infrastructure solutions, on Wednesday announced it will expand its partnership with the Chattanooga Department of Innovation Delivery and Performance, and the Center of Urban Informatics and Progress (CUIP) at UTC, the smart city and urbanization research center, to deliver 86 new smart city intersections. Officials said it is the largest urban Internet of Things deployment of its kind in the country. The U.S. Department of Transportation will fund the $4.5 million endeavor \"to create a living laboratory that will provide researchers unparalleled mapping, tracking, and identification insights into the state of mobility in the city.\" Intersections will be installed throughout 2023 and 2024, and, once finalized, the city of Chattanooga will capture over 100 intersections total, covering the entire downtown area." Link to Article

  • January 9, 2023 - The Future of Electric Vehicle Transportation: Wireless Charging on Public Roads - "The project, which will power a public electric bus, will be carried out in the city of Balingen in two phases. In a first phase, a 400-meter long route will be deployed with two static charging stations. In the second phase, the electric track will be extended by another 600 meters. For this, Electreon will receive up to 3.2 million euros with the mission of deploying the dynamic and static wireless charging infrastructure. The project in Balingen is the result of a successful pilot project carried out by Electreon in the city of Karlsruhe in collaboration with EnBW, Germany\'s leading provider of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. In this pilot completed in Karlsruhe, an electrified highway was installed that fed a local public bus at rush hour at the EnBW training center." Link to Article

  • January 9, 2023 - ODOT unveils new Innovative Mobility Program - "Over the next few weeks, the Oregon Department of Transportation will be sending more than $87,000 to local communities for supplies like bike locks, helmets, and transit passes. The new Innovative Mobility Program offers micro-grants of $5,000 to nonprofits, transit districts, tribes, and businesses providing community service. Shelley Snow, communications coordinator at ODOT, said it\'s for communities that have been historically excluded. “We’re really focused on helping people that have traditionally not been served well by the transportation system,” she said. ODOT also hopes that the Innovative Mobility Program will help reduce transportation sector greenhouse gasses. The micro-grants are just the first stage in a much larger program that will continue to be developed by ODOT this year." Link to Article

  • January 9, 2023 - Volvo Cars takes full ownership of its driverless software subsidiary - "Volvo Cars has taken 100 per cent ownership of its autonomous driving (AD) software development subsidiary, Zenseact, as part of continued restructuring. Previously the company owned 86.5% in a joint venture with Ecarx, headquartered in China, and has paid $115m for the remaining stake. This values the subsidiary at $851m, a key marker in the value of AD software firms... The acquisition of the 13.5 per cent stake is a strategic step to owning more of the software powering key functionality going into future cars and supports Volvo Cars’ strategic direction to be a leader in new technology, backed by Chinese car maker Geely. The deal simplifies Zenseact ownership, making the AD software company a fully owned subsidiary that will operate as a standalone company and lead development of safety-, advanced driver assistance- and autonomous driving technologies for introduction first in Volvo and Polestar cars. " Link to Article

  • January 9, 2023 - Tesla owners’ fury at Christmas electric car chaos: - "Electric car drivers have called for more charging points to be installed across the UK after some Tesla owners were left queuing for three hours. Chaos engulfed the electric motoring network as demand appeared to outstrip supply in come areas. According to data from Zap Map there are currently 6712 rapid and ultra-rapid charging devices, across locations in the UK catering for the 420,000 plus cars... Tesla owners yesterday blasted car charging chaos across the UK during the Christmas holiday with dozens of electric vehicles forced to wait in three hour queues. Cars were logjammed up and down the country, with snaking queues spotted in Hertfordshire, Cumbria, Westmorland and Telford. The huge queues came as rail strikes forced millions into having to take to the roads to get home for the festive period. A further 12 million cars were also expected to be on the UK\'s road network today amid the ongoing industrial action. " Link to Article

  • January 9, 2023 - CES Round-Up Automakers, Tech Suppliers & Other Mobility - "CES expanded the mobility space for CES. Here is a round-up of exhibitors and speakers who have announced participation in CES. Stellantis will be the major automaker. Suppliers include lidar, chip and software. Bosch and Continental will participate in CES... Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares will be keynote speaker at CES 2023. The keynote address will feature the global unveiling of the Ram 1500 Revolution Battery Electric Vehicle Concept and the Peugeot Inception Concept. The presentation will chronicle Stellantis’ vision for making mobility clean, safe and affordable for all. The automotive sector will be bigger than ever at CES 2023, with nearly 300 exhibitors in a sold-out West Hall. The exhibits will cover over 25% more floor space than 2022, featuring the latest in self-driving tech, electric vehicles and personal mobility devices. In addition to Ram and Peugeot, Stellantis brands Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Free2move, a global mobility brand, will showcase the latest sustainable innovations." Link to Article

  • January 6, 2023 - Briefly: NTSB extends its existing Most Wanted List into 2023 - "The National Transportation Safety Board recently called for a renewed effort to implement safety recommendations on its Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements. The NTSB\'s current Most Wanted List, issued in 2021, consists of 10 areas where safety can be improved by implementing open NTSB recommendations. The current list, which serves to focus the agency\'s congressionally mandated advocacy efforts, has been extended through 2023. Five of the 10 areas on the Most Wanted List focus on road safety. The highway-related items on the NTSB\'s Most Wanted List include: - Implement a Comprehensive Strategy to Eliminate Speeding-Related Crashes - Protect Vulnerable Road Users through a Safe System Approach - Prevent Alcohol- and Other Drug-Impaired Driving - Require Collision-Avoidance and Connected-Vehicle Technologies on all Vehicles - Eliminate Distracted Driving" Link to Article

  • January 6, 2023 - New May Mobility Exec Wants to Scale Up Driverless Vehicles - "For more than a decade, Kathy Winter has been working to get autonomous vehicles on the road, first at auto supplier Delphi and then as general manager of Intel\'s autonomous transportation unit. Now the 30-year industry veteran has been named chief operating officer of May Mobility, a 5-year-old autonomous vehicle startup, with a mission to scale up service in more markets. The company is testing self-driving vehicles in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where it\'s headquartered, as well as Grand Rapids, Minnesota; and Arlington, Texas, all with human safety drivers. It also has run a pilot program in Hiroshima, Japan. The Associated Press recently interviewed Winter about the future of autonomous vehicles. The interview has been edited for length and clarity." Link to Article

  • January 6, 2023 - Transformational deals in trucking during 2022 - "Deal flow in the transportation and logistics space slowed notably in 2022 as the economy cooled. Investors have become more risk averse, minimizing exposure to companies with less-proven track records, as interest rates have soared and credit markets have tightened. Through November, transaction values in the industry totaled $52 billion across 380 deals compared with 600 deals for $181 billion in total during 2021, according to a report from global investment bank Houlihan Lokey (NYSE: HLI). Even with the slowdown, 2022 will come in ahead of full years 2018 and 2020 as many operators continue to use a sustained stretch of record earnings and cash flows to build out their transportation offerings through M&A. Trucking saw some transformational deals in 2022. Here’s a recap." Link to Article

  • January 6, 2023 - We asked 17 smart people to predict the future of transportation in 2023 - "Here at The Verge, we keep our unwavering eyes always on the future, which is why I thought it could be cool to reach out to a bunch of my favorite smart people in transportation to get their predictions for 2023... Raj Rajkumar, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University There will be an ongoing retrenchment of the AV industry. Expect more layoffs in the large AV companies and at least one more high-profile flameout like Argo AI. Emphasis will dramatically shift from full autonomy and robotaxis to ADAS++ and high automation features. I, for one, am very bullish on the viability and appeal of advanced autonomy (as opposed to full autonomy, which will still take time). Some existing partnerships between OEMs and high-profile AV startups will f(l)ail since the latter are unable to deliver. This will be particularly true for startups that only depend on cameras as their AV sensors. " Link to Article

  • January 6, 2023 - Pony.ai approved to deploy fully driverless L4 autonomous vehicles in Beijing; 10 robotaxis for testing - "Pony.ai, a global autonomous driving technology company, has been issued a fully driverless autonomous vehicle road test permit by the Beijing Intelligent Connected Vehicle Policy Pilot Zone. With this new permit, Pony.ai will deploy ten driverless robotaxis for testing in challenging urban traffic scenarios across a 20 square kilometer (7.7 square mile) area in the pilot zone in Yizhuang, Beijing. The autonomous vehicles will be tested without anyone in the vehicle; a safety officer will monitor the test vehicles remotely. As with the other regulatory approvals in Beijing over the last year, Pony.ai is in the first batch of only two AV companies. In addition to receiving the driverless permit in Beijing, Pony.ai is also currently testing fully driverless vehicles in Guangzhou, laying the groundwork for future driverless applications and commercial operations." Link to Article

  • January 4, 2023 - Texans are dying on state highways every day — especially in rural “dead zones” - "Among the tall pine trees of Davy Crockett National Forest sits a stretch of road David Robison calls “the dead zone.” There is no cellphone service for miles, and there are few signs of civilization on this remote section of highway. It lacks safety precautions like shoulders or guardrails that are ubiquitous on more urban highways. So when Robison receives a dispatch from the sheriff’s office about a car wreck in the dead zone, he hops in his ambulance and prepares for a challenge... Spotty cellphone coverage is just one obstacle Robison and other rural emergency service providers face when they respond to traffic accidents. And it’s one of the factors — along with high speeds and low seatbelt usage — that contribute to a stark disparity between rural and urban highway traffic fatalities. " Link to Article

  • January 4, 2023 - New Connecticut Laws to Take Effect on Jan. 1 - "The mileage-based fee on trucks using Connecticut highways was approved by state policymakers back in 2021 in an effort to generate ongoing revenue to support the Special Transportation Fund, which pays for the upkeep and improvement of roads and bridges. At the time, state fiscal analysts estimated the law would raise about $90 million a year through a per-mile tax on big rig trucks which will scale with the weight of the vehicle. The fee will range from 2.5 cents per mile for trucks weighing between 26,000 and 28,000 pounds to 17.5 cents per mile for trucks weighing more than 80,000 pounds. " Link to Article

  • January 4, 2023 - 119 deaths reported while using electric bikes and e-scooters, US National Transportation Safety Board finds - "At least 119 people died while riding electric scooters or e-bikes from 2017 through 2021, according to a study by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board released Tuesday... Multiple government agencies have jurisdiction over e-scooters and e-bikes, and the NTSB recommended they all gather data to create a more accurate picture of how many people are hurt or killed. The scooters and bikes have spread across the country, especially in large cities and college towns where they are widely used with little oversight... The agency found a lack of standardized, as well as a dearth of complete and reliable data on e-scooter and e-bike fatalities and injuries. The NTSB made multiple recommendations to NHTSA, the CPSC, the Federal Highway Administration on gathering data for e-bike and scooter trips and miles traveled. It also called for a specific e-bike product code to be added to a national injury tracking system." Link to Article

  • January 4, 2023 - Nearly hit by a car? New tool will let students report close calls. - "The idea — backed by federal safety funds — is to gather and share data on dangerous intersections with local government officials before tragedies occur. Howard researchers are examining neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River to help guide the development of the near-miss reporting tool for use citywide and beyond... Last year, young children were among those killed and seriously injured walking and riding bikes on District streets. Lowery and other safety advocates concluded the city’s youth needed a more effective tool to communicate the everyday dangers they face... The effort is backed by a $100,000 grant from the nonprofit National Safety Council, which is tapping funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Safe Routes Partnership, which works to increase safety for students headed to schools, is also part of the project." Link to Article

  • January 4, 2023 - Tampa Mapping Effort Expands City Access for Visually Impaired - "The partnership between the city and Lazarillo, the company that created this assistive technology navigation app, started through an effort to improve mobility. The app provides wayfinding for people who are blind or visually impaired to help them navigate both indoor and outdoor spaces. The company has partnered with other local governments, private partners, schools and hospitals to create a comprehensive tech solution for people who are blind or have low vision to navigate society independently. But according to René Espinoza, the company’s CEO, Tampa is the first city to integrate public buildings into the platform. The city has created maps of indoor and outdoor spaces, including the Old City Hall, the Tampa Municipal Office Building and Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park. Users can access these maps free through the Lazarillo app on their smartphone." Link to Article

  • January 3, 2023 - Hankook Tire Launches First iON Tires in the US, Especially Designed for EVs - "Global tire maker Hankook Tire has launched the company’s first tires in the U.S. that are specifically designed for electric vehicles. Available in 26 sizes and rim diameters of 18 to 22 inches, iON evo AS and iON evo AS SUV are built with Hankook’s EVolution technology, which focuses on tread wear, noise reduction, and the unique grip performance for EVs... The new tires have been designed to meet the demands of EVs in all seasons, with noise-proof technology, even tread wear and enhanced mileage, and increased grip and rigidity. Hankook’s optimized curing technology and advanced compound also reduces rolling resistance, which enhances battery life and extends mileage. The lack of an ICE powertrain in EVs means that road noise can account for 40% of cabin noise, while wind noise from high-speed driving can account for an additional 30%... Heavy lithium-ion battery packs can add 10-20% more weight and stress to EVs compared to their ICE-powered equivalents. T" Link to Article

  • January 3, 2023 - SEPTA, Lightsource bp Begin Operations at Elk Hill Solar 1 Farm in Pennsylvania - "A 25 MW solar project that is helping advance energy and sustainability priorities for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) has reached commercial operation. The project is one of two solar farms that SEPTA and Lightsource bp have partnered on, bringing their joint statewide operational solar assets to more than 42 MW – enough to meet about 20% of SEPTA’s electricity demand. “SEPTA is proud to be an industry leader in utilizing new technologies that are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing the quality of life for our customers and the communities we serve,” says Leslie S. Richards, SEPTA’s CEO and general manager... Elk Hill Solar 1, developed under a power purchase agreement between SEPTA and Lightsource bp, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 28,000 metric tons of CO2 annually, equivalent to offsetting the emissions of 6,160 fuel burning cars. The solar farm was developed, and is owned and operated by Lightsource bp." Link to Article

  • January 3, 2023 - Green Hydrogen Breakthrough Edges Clean Energy Closer to Reality - "Scientists managed to significantly boost the production of green hydrogen using sound waves in a clean energy breakthrough. The \"exciting\" study combined high-frequency sound waves with less expensive green hydrogen production techniques to get 14 times more output. The development could have important implications as the world tries to wean itself off fossil fuels and transition to cleaner energy sources, the research team, led by Amgad Rezk, a lecturer in the School of Engineering at RMIT University, Melbourne, said... The problem with carrying out electrolysis using an electrolyte solution with a neutral or near-neutral pH is that this usually results in hydrogen production levels that are much lower than with a very acidic or alkaline solution. In an attempt to address this challenge, Rezk and his colleagues designed a setup comprising a standard electrochemical cell—the apparatus used in electrolysis—incorporated with a device that emitted high-frequency sound waves." Link to Article

  • January 3, 2023 - Micromobility’s rocky 2022 recovery - "Micromobility’s growth in the U.S. started strong in 2022 before sputtering in the face of economic headwinds. With shared micromobility ridership almost doubling in 2021, recovering to near pre-pandemic levels, Bird, Lime, Lyft and other companies in the space grew their operations and expanded to new markets earlier this year. The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported that the number of shared scooter and bike services increased from 392 in 2021 to 406 in July. Some of these shared bike and scooter operators reversed course by the fall, however, exiting certain markets and laying off workers. Micromobility executives have blamed recession fears, inflation, a lack of venture capital funding, and tightening or inconsistent regulations for this year’s woes. Still, these service operators say they’re committed to offering these services for the long term as more people rely on shared bikes and scooters for daily transportation." Link to Article

  • January 3, 2023 - California’s New Fleet Tracking Laws Aim to Guard Driver Privacy - "Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law back in September amid a wider push for privacy protections. In general, it\'s okay to use an electronic tracking device only when the vehicle owner being tracked has consented. When it comes to fleets, the new law is intended to add further restrictions. First, the employer can\'t use a device unless it is during work hours. Second, it can only be used if “strictly necessary for the performance of the employee\'s duties.” Violate these rules, and your fleet will be hit with civil penalties. In addition, the law covers any potential for an employer to retaliate against any employees who push back against unlawful use of tracking devices, as the summary explains:" Link to Article

  • January 2, 2023 - Two New York men arrested for conspiring with Russians to hack JFK taxi system - "Two New York men were arrested for conspiring with Russian nationals to hack the taxi dispatch system at John F. Kennedy International Airport so they could manipulate the line and charge drivers for access to the front of the queue, federal prosecutors said Tuesday. Daniel Abayev and Peter Leyman, both 48, were taken into custody on Tuesday morning in Queens and charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, prosecutors from the Southern District of New York announced. Beginning in 2019, the two allegedly worked with hackers based in Russia to infiltrate JFK’s taxi dispatch system by bribing someone to install malware on computers connected to the system, stealing computer tablets and using Wi-Fi to break in, prosecutors alleged. " Link to Article

  • January 2, 2023 - AT&T Teams With Satellite Provider AST SpaceMobile as It Looks to Boost Coverage - " T-Mobile has partnered with SpaceX to boost its coverage through SpaceX\'s Starlink satellite network. Verizon has been talking about working with Amazon\'s Project Kuiper program. Now AT&T has announced a new satellite partner of its own. On Tuesday the carrier announced a new partnership with AST SpaceMobile, a satellite company, to use its low Earth orbit satellites to help bolster AT&T\'s terrestrial coverage. In a video about the partnership, Chris Sambar, AT&T\'s president of network, says that the wireless carrier has received \"conditional approval\" to use some of its wireless spectrum to connect cell phones to the satellites... Sambar does, however, hint at a possible consumer application as he describes how his mother-in-law\'s drive from rural Virginia to Richmond to \"see her kids and grandkids\" includes a road that currently struggles for coverage from \"any wireless carrier.\" That drive, he says, could potentially be covered by a \"space-based mobile solution.\" " Link to Article

  • January 2, 2023 - E-bike manufacturers and retailers told they must comply with safety standards - "The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sent a letter to thousands of e-mobility manufacturers, distributors and retailers on Monday, December 19, calling on them to ensure their products comply with established safety standards or face possible enforcement action. The CPSC is an independent federal regulatory agency responsible for \"protecting consumers from unreasonable risks of injury and death” from consumer products. The agency says that it received hundreds of reports from 39 out of the 50 U.S. States regarding fire and overheating incidents caused by electric micro-mobility products including e-bikes, e-scooters, e-unicycles and hoverboards. The CPSC reports at least 19 fatalities, including 5 deaths associated with e-scooters, 11 with hoverboards, and 3 with e-bikes as well as at least 22 injuries that resulted in emergency department visits... Products that do not meet the safety standards could be considered a hazard and the CPSC warns that should they encounter such products, it will \"seek corrective action as appropriate.\" " Link to Article

  • January 2, 2023 - Pilot Program Aims To Increase Transportation Equity - "A pilot program set in underserved and low-income communities in Stockton has begun placing electric cars and bikes in the city in an attempt to increase transportation equity, according to the San Joaquin Council of Governments. The Stockton Mobility Collective pilot program, which debuted in August, consists of e-bike sharing, car sharing services, and an app that connects people to affordable and sustainable transportation options in the county, according to the SJCOG. Additionally, the program includes a mobility incentive program where a monthly stipend is given to qualifying residents to pay for transit use as well as a workforce development part that will focus on creating jobs in shared mobility operations, according to the SJCOG." Link to Article

  • January 2, 2023 - U.S. Postal Service to transform delivery fleet with 66,000 electric vehicles by 2028 - "The U.S. Postal Service said Tuesday that it intends to purchase at least 66,000 electric delivery vehicles as part of a push to transform its delivery fleet. The electric vehicles would amount to more than half the 106,000 vehicles it plans to acquire for delivery between now and 2028. The new vehicles will start to replace its aging fleet of 220,000 vehicles, the Postal Service said in a press release. The Postal Service has faced public pressure from environmental campaigns to electrify its fleet. In April, environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the USPS for its failure to conduct an adequate environmental analysis before deciding to replace its vehicle fleet with more “fuel-guzzling combustion mail trucks,” according to a press release from the Sierra Club." Link to Article

  • December 30, 2022 - All-terrain wheelchairs arrive at U.S. parks: ‘This is life-changing’ - "Georgia is one of the latest states to provide the Land Rover of wheelchairs to outdoor enthusiasts with mobility issues. In 2017, Colorado Parks and Wildlife launched its Staunton State Park Track-Chair Program, which provides free adaptive equipment, though guests must pay the $10 entrance fee. Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources has placed off-road track chairs in nearly a dozen parks, including Muskegon State Park. In 2018, Lee reserved a chair at the park that boasts three miles of shoreline on Lake Michigan and Muskegon Lake. “It allowed me to have so much independence on the sand,” he said... The Minnesota-based company was founded by Tim and Donna Swenson, whose son, Jeff, was paralyzed in a car accident. The original design resembled a Frankenstein of sporting goods parts, with snow bike tracks and a busted boat seat. Today’s model could be an opening act at a monster truck rally." Link to Article

  • December 30, 2022 - How busy is the next rest stop? Md. company makes an app for that - "Highway signs make it easy for road-trippers to know when the next rest stop is coming up, but they can’t tell you how busy it is. A new app developed by a Maryland company can do that. Annapolis-based Trip Routing Technologies has developed the RestStopsAhead app, which alerts drivers to the average daily crowd size of rest stops located ahead on the route. Crowded rest stops can increase the chances of contracting an airborne virus, such as COVID-19 and RSV, the company said. The app also lists what amenities the upcoming rest stop has.. The app provides turn-by-turn directions to rest stops as well as final destinations. It also compares alternative routes to destinations." Link to Article

  • December 30, 2022 - Hong Kong Airport’s Robobus Offers Glimpse of Driverless Future - "Hong Kong International Airport says it’s ready to use driverless buses, confident it can shuttle passengers around the aerodrome from next year after extensive trials years in the making. By bolting on cameras, sensors and tracking devices, the Asian financial hub’s main airport has adapted and kitted out an electric bus from Chinese carmaker BYD Co. and been testing so-called Level 4 autonomous technology. The four-year effort, using other types of driverless vehicles without passengers, has racked up around 130,000 kilometers (81,000 miles) without an accident, according to the airport... A key part of the technology’s hardware is in a sizable, silver metal case next to where a driver would sit that contains the driverless unit and a back-up system that can independently scan the path ahead. If the main system fails, the back-up kicks in." Link to Article

  • December 30, 2022 - U.S. Delays Key Step for EV Subsidy Program After Foreign Pushback - "The Biden administration on Monday delayed proposing detailed rules for new tax incentives for electric vehicles, following strong pushback from European and Asian allies that the subsidy program discriminated against their companies. The Treasury Department said details on the battery-sourcing requirements that electric vehicles must meet to qualify for up to $7,500 in tax credit will be released in March, instead of by the end of this year as earlier planned. The department said, however, it will release “information on the anticipated direction” of the battery requirements before year-end to help manufacturers prepare to identify vehicles eligible for the tax credit. It didn’t specify what information would be made available then. " Link to Article

  • December 30, 2022 - University of Birmingham, hyperTunnel Collaborate to Change the Way Tunnels Are Built - "hyperTunnel, a British technology company innovating underground construction, and the University of Birmingham have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together to progress completely new methods of underground construction, enlargement, monitoring and repair. New automated construction methods being developed by hyperTunnel are designed to benefit the construction sector and society as a whole by reducing carbon footprint and building tunnels faster and at a lower cost vs. conventional methods. At the heart of the concept is the use of robots to 3D-print the shell of the underground structure, according to a digital twin. Using this method, the construction material is deployed directly into the ground. Initially focusing on autonomous tunneling technologies, imaging and digital simulations, the partnership between the two organizations is likely to include activities such as collaborative research, technology projects, joint publications, secondments, internships and education programs." Link to Article

  • December 28, 2022 - Bosch urges US to adopt stricter e-bike regulations that helped it dominate European market - "Compared to Europe’s strictly regulated electric bicycle market, the US has fewer restrictions on e-bikes. Bosch, one of the leading electric bicycle drive system manufacturers in Europe, hopes to see that change through the implementation of tighter safety regulations. The US market isn’t quite the wild west, but it’s much closer to that end of the spectrum than Europe’s tightly-regulated electric bike market. Compared to the weaker, throttle-less 15 mph (25 km/h) electric bicycles in Europe, the US is home to a wide range of e-bikes with everything from low power assist motors to high power motorcycle-like designs. Hundreds of large and small e-bike companies and e-bike drive system manufacturers compete for their own sliver of the growing pie that is the US e-bike market, whereas the European market is dominated by a few larger players." Link to Article

  • December 28, 2022 - New automated system to guide drivers across Bay Bridge starting next week - "Christmas will come early at the William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bay Bridge. That\'s because the Maryland Transportation Authority is set to deliver the last phase of its lane improvement project, according to transit officials. The gift of speedy transit across the bridge via the Automated Lane Closure System will arrive on Dec. 20, Maryland Transportation Authority officials announced on Tuesday. That is when drivers using the westbound lanes on US 50/301 approaching the Bay Bridge from the Eastern Shore will get to use the new gates, transit officials said. The project aims to accelerate the opening and closing of lanes on the bridge, according to transit officials. The system guides motorists across the bridge with horizontal swing gates, illuminated pavement markers, full-color dynamic message signs and overhead lane-use control signals that guide motorists when lanes are opening or closing, transit officials said. " Link to Article

  • December 28, 2022 - Tampa is expanding its pedestrian safety tech to the rest of the city - "The city of Tampa is expanding a program that aims to improve pedestrian safety along local roadways. Tampa\'s Leading Pedestrian Interval system gives pedestrians an extra three to seven seconds to walk across crosswalks before cars adjacent to them are given the green light to turn. Brandon Campbell, the city\'s smart mobility manager, says based on safety studies from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the system should result in a 10-20% reduction in pedestrian and car traffic crashes where the system is installed. He says this is just another way to make the roadways safer for foot traffic... He says the new system accomplishes three goals: It emphasizes that vehicles must yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk; it gives pedestrians more time to clearly demonstrate their intent to use the crosswalk and make themselves more visible; and it serves as a cue that the city prioritizes pedestrian safety and access." Link to Article

  • December 28, 2022 - Pay for your SEPTA ride with a tap of your phone, and take your friends along - "You can now use your cell phone to pay for your SEPTA ride — and for the rides of any friends you have with you. Called “SEPTA Key Tix,” the mobile payment option is now available to anyone who downloads the beta version of the transit authority’s Apple or Android app. The QR code fares currently work on all transit modes except for Regional Rail, which SEPTA says is coming sometime next year. To buy the passes, you also need to have a credit or debit card, plus an online SEPTA Key account (which is free to create on the app). Like a regular SEPTA Key tap, the $2 mobile passes include one free transfer within two hours. Unlike a Key card, however, the QR code lets you swipe through multiple people at once. Just enter the number of people going for a ride — up to five at once — and buy the pass." Link to Article

  • December 28, 2022 - Self-driving shuttles are coming to the Navy Yard to link commuters to SEPTA - "With congratulatory remarks, officials from the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. (PIDC), PennDot, and other agencies unveiled Pennsylvania’s first self-driving shuttle Thursday. It will begin testing early next year, and be fully deployed by spring to ferry passengers between the Navy Yard and the southernmost stop on SEPTA’s Broad Street Line, typically a 17-minute ride. The vehicle, which started as a Ford van chassis, has a 360-degree view of the road and GPS navigation accurate to within 1 centimeter, with radar and LIDAR — a light-based sensing and detection system — Pilipowskyj said... The automated shuttle project was developed and financed in cooperation with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), the city transportation department, Drexel University, and PennDot. A law signed in early November by Gov. Tom Wolf allows autonomous vehicles to operate on the state’s roads — eventually, with regulator approval, they can do so without human drivers as backups." Link to Article

  • December 27, 2022 - Cabs Without a Chatty — Or Any — Driver Are Expanding in China - "Across a sprawl of streets in southern Beijing, China’s answer to search engine giant Google is charting the path for driverless cars in the world’s biggest electric vehicle market. Baidu Inc.’s Apollo program, which allows customers to hail and ride a fully autonomous robotaxi, has racked up more than 1.4 million public journeys, and is expanding a network that already covers dozens of square miles across 10 key cities that also include Wuhan and Chongqing. By next year, the company wants to have the largest autonomous service area in the world — an ambitious target considering it needs to complete with General Motors Co.’s fast-expanding robotaxi unit Cruise and California-based Waymo. Baidu is also being challenged in China by competitors like WeRide and Pony.ai." Link to Article

  • December 27, 2022 - The wait is over! Chicago now now has a bike counter at Chicago/Wells in River North - "Finally! After years of waiting, and one super-disappointing false start (more on that in a bit), Chicago got its first bike counter yesterday. The device is located at in front of AMLI 808, an apartment building on the northwest corner of Chicago Avenue and Wells Street in River North, and was purchased and installed by the AMLI real estate company. These devices are great for counting exactly how many people are traveling by bike per day and per year on a given corridor. (This one also shows the date and temperature.) They offer an excellent rebuttal to people who oppose bike infrastructure upgrades with the argument, “Why should we do this? Nobody rides bikes here.” Wells Street, which currently has non-protected “door zone” bike lanes, is an ideal location because it’s probably the busiest on-street cycling route between the Loop and North Lakefront neighborhoods. " Link to Article

  • December 27, 2022 - This robot is on a mission to eliminate short car trips - "Many of the world’s robots got their start at Carnegie Mellon University, where people like Gabriel Goldman, a senior commercialization specialist, try to close the gap between vanguard engineering and actual revenue. Goldman says much of his time is spent convincing potential partners that “small, progressive gains towards a realistic solution” make more sense than expensive autonomous robots. “There’s a huge benefit to just augmenting what an operator can do,” he says. Still, Goldman doesn’t expect machines like Gita to be ubiquitous for another decade or so, simply because it still costs too much to make a truly killer version — one that can climb stairs, for example, or follow its owner through a whiteout blizzard. “It’s all those edge cases that are probably holding them back a little,” he explains. “For most consumer-grade robotics right now, the price point that actually makes it achievable from a market standpoint really limits the ability of what it can actually do.”" Link to Article

  • December 27, 2022 - U.S. farm agency to spend $600 million on rural clean energy projects - "The Biden administration has said funding clean energy projects in rural communities is key to increasing the nation\'s supply of renewable energy and for not leaving such areas behind as the United States tries to transition to a greener economy... USDA will distribute $285 million in grants and loans through its Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for 844 projects in 46 states that will aid farmers with projects like the purchase and installation of solar arrays and implementing more energy-efficient farm equipment... The agency is also opening applications for an additional $300 million in REAP funding, $250 million of which comes from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) which was passed by Congress in August and appropriated nearly $2 billion to REAP." Link to Article

  • December 27, 2022 - Big Tech Companies Join Linux in Effort to Kill Google Maps - "On Thursday, the nonprofit Linux Foundation announced its own open project that’s meant to collate new map projects through available datasets. And several other major companies have come out of the woodwork to support it in what seems like a bid to finally end Google’s domineering geolocation reign. Those companies include Meta, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, and none other than Dutch geolocation company TomTom. This Overture Maps Foundation is essentially an open source program for curating and collating map data across the globe from multiple different data sources. So in essence, the project promises it will use the massive amount of global data housed by these various companies and from outside to build up-to-date maps that developers can then use. Linux also promised this new project will essentially level the playing field for anybody looking to develop up-to-date geolocation services or maps without breaking the bank on expensive commercial data that may not even be accurate." Link to Article

  • December 26, 2022 - Indy Autonomous Challenge returns to CES 2023 to spotlight autonomous racing - "The Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC) returns to CES 2023 to push the boundaries of head-to-head autonomous racing and showcase the future of autonomous mobility... The following university teams are competing in the Autonomous Challenge @ CES 2023: AI Racing Tech – University of Hawai’i (Hawai’i), with the University of California, San Diego (California), Carnegie Mellon University (Pennsylvania), and University of California, Berkeley (California) Autonomous Tiger Racing – Auburn University (Alabama) Black & Gold Racing – Purdue University (Indiana) Cavalier Autonomous Racing – University of Virginia (Virginia) KAIST – Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (South Korea) MIT-PITT-RW – Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Massachusetts), University of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania), Rochester Institute of Technology (New York), University of Waterloo (Canada) PoliMOVE – Politecnico di Milano (Italy), University of Alabama (Alabama) TII EuroRacing – University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy), Technology Innovation Institute (United Arab Emirates) TUM Autonomous Motorsport – Technische Universität München (Germany) " Link to Article

  • December 26, 2022 - G.M. Unit’s Self-Driving Taxis Are Subject of U.S. Safety Investigation - "The agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said in a filing posted on its website that it had received reports that autonomous taxis operated by G.M.’s Cruise division had become immobilized on roadways, creating obstacles for other vehicles. The agency also said G.M. reported three incidents in which Cruise vehicles slowed suddenly and were hit from behind. The agency said its Office of Defects Investigation would try to determine the scope and severity of the two types of incidents. Regulators are increasingly scrutinizing autonomous and semiautonomous cars, and the claims automakers have made about them. The auto safety agency’s most high profile investigation in this area involves Tesla’s self-driving technology. Regulators are looking into at least 14 crashes involving Tesla cars driving on Autopilot that resulted in 19 deaths." Link to Article

  • December 26, 2022 - The U.S.’ Addiction to Road Salt is Out of Control. These Cities are Trying to Cut Back - "Officials are also trying to make it easier for road crews to cut back on salt. Minnesota is a leader here. Since 2016, the state has run a “smart salting” program to train public road crews and private maintenance workers to apply salt without wasting any, helping organizations cut their usage by between 30% and 70% per the state pollution control agency. Minnesota also has policies limiting the deployment of salt on residential streets, like Davenport is trialing. The state’s legislature is now considering a bill that would protect professional salt-appliers and homeowners from legal liability for accidents if they use too little—a factor advocates say has prevented people from using salt sparingly in the past." Link to Article

  • December 26, 2022 - Redesigned Amtrak trains on track for 2026 - "Amtrak Cascades’ classic evergreen and mocha colored trains are getting an upgrade with eight new trainsets and two new locomotives headed to the Pacific Northwest in 2026, Amtrak announced Thursday. Each train will seat more than 300 passengers and will come equipped with individual outlets, USB ports, onboard Wi-Fi and cushioned headrests. There will be a redesigned café car with food, beer, wine, spirits and self-serve options... The new trains are being manufactured at Siemens in California and are funded as a part of the federal Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act. The Amtrak Cascades trains will be the first delivered by Siemens, with equipment for routes in the eastern United States following... " Link to Article

  • December 26, 2022 - TSA spends $18.6 million on ‘non-binary screening systems’ set to roll out in January - "The new technology will roll out at airports in January, but individuals who feel their gender was incorrectly assumed now have the option to ask for a re-screening before submitting to a physical pat-down. TSA data shows the agency receives 26,542 screening complaints annually. 6% of those complaints are from members of the LGBTQ community. That number tracks roughly with census data from Gallup, which notes that 7% of people identify as LGBTQ. Speaking with WCAX channel 3 news, The TSA’s Executive Director for Travel Engagement Jose Bonilla said he is confident the new sharper imaging technology will reduce the number of pat-downs and the number of complaints from minority communities." Link to Article

  • December 23, 2022 - Pittsburgh robotics companies are trying to figure out who will keep the machines running - "Pittsburgh-based Aurora Innovation plans to start selling its autonomous trucking system in two years, but before the trucks hit the market, the company needs more workers to maintain the fleet. In 2020, it partnered with Pittsburgh Technical College near Robinson Township to create an associate degree in robotics and autonomous engineering technology. The 18-month program prepares technicians to perform routine maintenance, unexpected repairs and new upgrades. But only five students enrolled when classes launched this fall. Four more are signed up for the winter, but the school aims to have 25 begin each term. The shortfall reflects a broader struggle in the robotics industry to build a workforce beyond the engineers who design the machinery. While service technician jobs don’t require a four-year college degree, Pittsburgh Tech President and CEO Alicia Harvey-Smith cautioned it would take time to generate interest among prospective employees." Link to Article

  • December 23, 2022 - The Case for Guerrilla Crosswalks - "On Nov. 14, a crosswalk appeared at Seattle’s busy intersection of Olive Way and Harvard Avenue. The city’s department of transportation was not happy about it. This new crosswalk was unauthorized; a group of residents of the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood painted it themselves. Two days later, Seattle Department of Transportation workers were at the scene, power-washing the zebra stripes into oblivion... Such acts of unsanctioned “tactical urbanism” are of a kin to many other DIY street interventions, such as pop-up bike lanes. But they are not without risks. Affluent communities could have more residents willing to volunteer time and resources, for example, even though pedestrian deaths are concentrated in low-income neighborhoods. " Link to Article

  • December 23, 2022 - Four Ways To Build A Better Automated Enforcement Program - "In a recent survey, a team of academic researchers asked 1,500 U.S. adults what they thought about camera-based traffic policing as it exists in their neighborhoods today, and test-drove an alternative framework that they hoped that would earn more support for the controversial policy. Decades of evidence that technology like speed cameras reliably reduces car crashes on the corridors where they\'re sited — not to mention their potential to reduce dangerous encounters between BIPOC and human officers — but automated enforcement has become a flashpoint for legal and cultural battles across America. Today, roughly two-thirds of U.S. states don\'t allow speed cameras at all, while the one-third that does usually restricts the use of cameras to limited circumstances, such as near schools." Link to Article

  • December 23, 2022 - BMW integrates parking payment via infotainment system - "In BMW vehicles with BMW Operating System 7 and 8, a new service for convenient payment processing of parking fees is now available in Germany and Austria. Other European countries will follow. With the parking payments function, upon arrival in a parking zone, the vehicle automatically detects whether the service is available and displays the payment function if the parking zone is recorded by one of the connected providers. If billing is possible to the minute in the parking zone, the parking period is automatically terminated as soon as the customer leaves the parking lot. The function is also integrated into the My BMW app. In the “Services & Store” tab, customers can end and renew active bookings, view the parking history and manage their payment methods. After the start in Germany and Austria, the function will be rolled out in other European countries from 2023. BMW has opted for a gradual rollout of the function. " Link to Article

  • December 23, 2022 - Pedestrian runs in front of self-driving car in San Francisco: video - "The clip shows the view out of the front window and also a digital rendering of what the car is “seeing” and its intended path through the street. After passing through the intersection of Haight and Ashbury (coincidentally near a store with a sign that looks like it says AV, as in “Autonomous Vehicle,” but is actually a stylized AN for “Aviator Nation”), a man wearing a hoodie breaks away from a group of people on the sidewalk and quickly steps into the road. The video display of the vehicle’s operating system shows that it had already identified the people and watched him approach as it began to adjust its path to avoid him, but ultimately came to a complete stop." Link to Article

  • December 21, 2022 - Car Market Outlook: What To Expect In 2023 - "What will be more normal? Supply chain woes will ease a bit, and rising vehicle supply will mean less pressure on the prices of older used cars. New-vehicle markups and used-vehicle wholesale prices have both eased since their peaks this past spring... On the other hand, rising interest rates mean auto loans and leases are costlier, which may soon mean that buying a new car (where interest rates are lower) would be more cost-effective than a 2- to 3-year-old one... The whole car market is being reshaped, as are how cars are ordered and sold. Here are four stories we see on the horizon in 2023. Despite Challenges, EV Adoption Will Continue To Grow... Used Car Prices Will Fall in 2023, but Older Cars Will See the Biggest Declines... More Modern Retailing... New Models Will Move Markets And Change Perceptions " Link to Article

  • December 21, 2022 - Project aims to improve Appalachia electric vehicle infrastructure - "An $8 million National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) project plans to build an electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem in Appalachia. The project, Rural Reimagined, Building an EV Ecosystem for Appalachia, is a partnership between NETL, the West Virginia Clean Cities Program, the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium of WVU Energy Institute, and Tennessee Technological University. The project convened a team of 60 groups from five states to demonstrate electric vehicles in rural, Appalachian counties and to facilitate local workforce development training. Their efforts include more than 25 electric vehicles and more than 250 electric vehicle chargers. The partners recently launched an electric Ford E-Transit Van for the Fairmont-Marion County Transit Authority (FMCTA) in West Virginia." Link to Article

  • December 21, 2022 - Tampa launches mobility app aimed at simplifying transportation - "The City of Tampa is partnering with Moovit to launch a new app as part of a new initiative called Mobility as a Service. The city is currently searching for 200 volunteers to participate in phase one of the platform’s launch. Anyone interested should email the city’s mobility department at MAAS@TampaGov.net. The app would connect the city’s various forms of transportation like water taxis, scooters, and other modes into one booking and planning platform so residents could easily map out a trip without relying on a personal car... Eventually, the city hopes to create a comprehensive platform that would allow residents to book and pay for transportation in one place. They also hope it will help cut down on transportation costs for families." Link to Article

  • December 21, 2022 - Lyft drivers who use EVs will get a $150 bonus if they complete 50 trips a week - "Lyft, which has said it wants “100 percent” of the vehicles operating on its platform to be electric by 2030, is offering a new slate of incentives to drivers to get them to ditch their polluting, gas-powered vehicles for ones with zero tailpipe emissions. Starting today, Lyft drivers in California who use an EV are eligible to receive a bonus of $150 if they complete 50 trips in a week — which translates to an extra $3 per trip. Drivers will need to register their EVs on Lyft’s app before the end of 2023 in order to qualify for the bonus. And they can keep raking in $150 per week until they hit the bonus maximum of $8,100. Only drivers in California are eligible for the Lyft EV challenge, the company says. As the largest market for EVs in the country, California will serve as a test case for Lyft before it determines whether to expand the incentive to other states." Link to Article

  • December 21, 2022 - Trimble to acquire transportation management platform Transporeon for $1.9B - "Technology solutions provider Trimble Inc. has announced it will acquire German logistics company Transporeon, which uses a cloud-based TMS to connect carriers, logistics service providers and shippers. The all-cash deal unveiled Monday is valued at $1.98 billion and expected to close in the first half of 2023. Rob Painter, Trimble’s president and CEO, said digital software solutions are in high demand in the commercial transportation market and the acquisition of Transporeon represented a great opportunity... Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) is a Sunnyvale, California-based supply chain technology provider for trucking companies, freight brokerages and 3PLs. Its transportation division provides services such as enterprise, mobility, final-mile, mapping and maintenance solutions. Trimble is acquiring Transporeon from Hg, a private equity firm based in London." Link to Article

  • December 20, 2022 - Vision Zero reports 50% decrease in severe crashes on roads with speed displays - "A new memo released by Austin Transportation Department’s Vision Zero program on Thursday reported a 50% decline in severe crashes on roads with dynamic speed display devices (DSDDs). ATD has used the devices since 2016 as a means of reinforcing speed limits in mainly residential areas. Most crashes happening in Austin occur on state-owned roadways, like highways; however, Austin has identified high-injury roadway sections where a disproportionate number of crashes occur compared to other city-owned roads. In early 2022, the Vision Zero program installed 14 devices across five different locations that have previously recorded frequent, severe crashes, per the memo. Annualized crashes and severe crashes decreased by 50% in the first six months since their installation, the memo added. An additional 16 devices were installed in mid-November, with crash data to be evaluated over time. The DSDDs reflect a driver’s speed and “can provide messages to reinforce adherence to the posted speed limit,” per the release." Link to Article

  • December 20, 2022 - Almost Two-Thirds of Ford Dealers Will Sell EVs with No-Haggle Pricing - "In September, Ford gave its dealerships an ultimatum: Commit to selling electric cars or lose the right to sell them. About two-thirds, the company now says, have bought into the plan. Of Ford’s roughly 3,000 franchised dealers, 1,920 signed up for plans that require them to build new infrastructure to sell the cars. They’ve also agreed to sell EVs at fixed prices without negotiation. The commitment wasn’t free. It required dealers to spend significant money to build the infrastructure to sell and service electric vehicles (EVs). But those who didn’t sign on will lose the right to sell EVs for several years... Dealers in three states have sued the company, claiming the mandate violates franchise laws." Link to Article

  • December 20, 2022 - Tesla: Our ‘failure’ to make actual self-driving cars ‘is not fraud’ - "Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said numerous times since 2015 that Tesla cars would be entirely self-driving in two years, or less. But years after his self-imposed deadlines have blown by, it still hasn’t happened. Even when equipped with a $15,000 technology package that is literally called “Full Self Driving Capability,” a Tesla car can’t actually drive by itself. Now, lawyers for Tesla are arguing that while the company may have failed to live up to these lofty goals, that doesn’t mean it perpetuated a fraud, as alleged in a class-action lawsuit filed in September. “Mere failure to realize a long-term, aspirational goal is not fraud,” Tesla’s lawyers wrote in a November 28 court filing, asking that the suit be dismissed." Link to Article

  • December 20, 2022 - 25 years of autonomous vehicles: The challenge towards Level 5 - "The source of the many groundbreaking developments in autonomous vehicles (AVs) today came in the 1990s. Inspired by the futuristic image of self-driving cars of the sci-fi genre, the 90s witnessed several developments in autonomous driving: 1995: Carnegie Mellon University completed the first US coast-to-coast autonomous driving of 4,500 km. Over 98% of the journey was driven by the computer RALPH built into a minivan. 1996: Mercedes S Class managed to drive from Munich to Copenhagen through computed vision. 1997: One of the pillars of Autopilot technology, Adaptive cruise control (ACC), debuted on the Toyota Celsior. 1998: The US Congress requested an \"automated highway system\" demonstration. 1999: The first driverless vehicle, ParkShuttle, produced by Connexxion, rolled onto the roads. The final period of the 1990s saw the establishment of some critical tech companies in autonomous driving, such as Google in 1998 and Mobileye in 1999. " Link to Article

  • December 20, 2022 - What Will eVTOLs Look Like With Major Carmakers like Porsche and Toyota as Partners? - "The collaboration between carmakers and the budding eVTOL market today is significantly different; several auto giants are either spinning off their own eVTOL divisions while others are investing significant money into promising startups. Here are the major partnerships. Another dozen auto badges have released renderings or full-scale models of their electric aircraft of tomorrow. But tomorrow is here. These electric air taxis, with a range of 150 miles, could be a global market worth tens of billions of dollars by 2030, according to Deutsche Bank. Carmakers vary in their degree of involvement. Last year, Stellantis signed a long-term agreement with Archer Aviation to provide access to its engineering, supply chain, and manufacturing expertise. Porsche is working with Embraer’s Eve Air Mobility unit to deliver a working prototype by 2026. Toyota has invested $390 million into California-based Joby Aviation, one of the most promising startups in the fast-growing field. " Link to Article

  • December 19, 2022 - Tesla says it is adding radar in its cars next month amid self-driving suite concerns - "Tesla told the FCC that it plans to market a new radar starting next month. The move raises even more concerns about potentially needed updates to its hardware suite to achieve the promised self-driving capability. Since 2016, Tesla has claimed that all its vehicles produced going forward have “all the needed hardware” to become self-driving with future software updates. It turned out not to be true. Tesla already had to upgrade its onboard computer and cameras in earlier vehicles, and it has yet to achieve self-driving capability. Its Full Self-Driving (FSD) software is still in beta and doesn’t enable fully autonomous driving. The automaker not only had to upgrade its hardware in some cases, but it even removed some hardware. First, it was the front-facing radar and more recently the ultrasonic sensors." Link to Article

  • December 19, 2022 - AT&T drives forward with 2 connected car partnerships - "AT&T is very bullish on the future of connected cars. And today, the Dallas-based carrier said it’s working with BMW and Polaris on connected vehicle technologies. BMW is using “AT&T NumberSync for Connected Car” for owners of select vehicle models equipped with BMW Personal eSIM. AT&T’s technology syncs the BMW owner’s smartphone number with their car to use mobile data and make and receive hands-free calls on the go in the U.S. – even if their smartphone isn’t with them... AT&T also said today that it’s working with the off-road vehicle company Polaris, which manufactures ATVs, snowmobiles, and snow bikes for off-road use and the Indian Motorcycle and Slingshot Open-Air Roadster for on-road use. Polaris has chosen AT&T to connect select off-road 2023 models in North America through its RIDE COMMAND+ Plug-In Accessory device. " Link to Article

  • December 19, 2022 - Valencia uses lampposts to charge electric cars in bid to become carbon neutral - "It may be best know for its stunning architecture but the Spanish city of Valencia has a new ambition: to become carbon neutral by 2030. Street lights are used to recharge electric cars, with the initiative proving so successful that the initial 12 charging stations is being increased to more than 150. Motion detection cameras will soon mean these street lights turn on or increase their intensity when someone walks past, as a further energy saving measure... It\'s not just energy that\'s saved, either. “To make an estimate of the savings, just consider that installing a recharging point of this type costs about 2,500 euros, compared to the 50,000 euros required for the traditional charging points,” says project coordinator Ernesto Faubel." Link to Article

  • December 19, 2022 - Apple Car: everything we know so far - "Apple\'s tentatively-named Apple Car project has been the subject of more rumors than the Loch Ness Monster in recent years, and even as we move into 2023, concrete details surrounding the company\'s vehicular vision are few and far between. Reports of trade deals, industry partnerships and vehicle specs have swirled ever since mutterings of an Apple-produced car began several years ago, and the tech company – known for its penchant for keeping plans under wraps – has often been quick to dispel false information as quickly as it gains traction. We do know for certain that Apple is working on a semi-autonomous automotive project (codenamed Project Titan); the company itself said as much in 2021 and continues to hire for roles that seem specialised to automotive development. But many big questions still remain unanswered. " Link to Article

  • December 19, 2022 - EV charging infrastructure requires local government collaboration to get federal funding: report - "Last year’s bipartisan infrastructure law provided nearly $19 billion in grants and funds for EV charging, low- or no-emission transit buses, ferries and clean school buses. “Municipalities stand to benefit significantly from transportation electrification, but they must be prepared to leverage this funding,” said Chris Bast, director of EV infrastructure investments at the Electrification Coalition, in a press release. The report lays out a road map for city and county governments to follow, starting with an inventory of current policies that impact charging deployments, such as zoning, permitting, building codes, parking policies and incentives. The report also recommends developing an EV-focused policy agenda that takes advantage of federal initiatives. Policy actions can include executive orders, proclamations or resolutions mandating government action and establishing an EV vision for their community. Officials can also update existing ordinances and regulations to ensure that new buildings are equipped for EV charging or require the electrification of government and other widely used fleets such as ride-hailing services." Link to Article

  • December 16, 2022 - Scientists are partnering with Nissan, GM, and Toyota to break up those annoying ‘phantom’ traffic jams using A.I. and cruise control - "On first glance, the mid-November traffic on Nashville’s Interstate 24 looked like any other morning rush hour—too many cars packed onto a roadway at one time. But if you could access data inside every car, you’d notice that some weren’t speeding up and slowing down as aggressively as the rest... The 100 “influencer” vehicles on the interstate were part of a test by CIRCLES, a consortium of universities, government and automakers like Nissan, GM and Toyota aiming to pair existing cruise control technology with A.I. and auto data connections to reduce the instabilities in traffic flow, known as “phantom jams,” that cause all sorts of problems on the road... Once the Tennessee data is crunched over the coming months, Alexandre Bayen, the UC Berkeley professor of electrical engineering and computer science who is leading the effort, expects it to show that introducing even a small number of connected, A.I.-powered vehicles—less than 5% of the total—to the traffic flow will cut energy consumption by 10%." Link to Article

  • December 16, 2022 - Check it out: CMU’s Robotics Institute is getting robots to predict human actions - "Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute wants you to imagine a future filled with robots — not to replace humans, but to support them. One promising application of robot-human interaction is on the manufacturing floor. We’ve seen this play out most prominently in Pittsburgh from the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Institute, which recently scored Build Back Better Regional Challenge funding to create a “de-risking” center for small manufacturers that allows them to try out robotics solutions, among other programs. CMU researchers are thinking about the challenge, too. The first of many steps to get to collaborative work could include an industrial robot strong enough to lift engine blocks, and smart enough to predict its human partner’s actions. To get there, following three years of work this past October, the Robotics Institute demonstrated for Ford Motor Company technology that could enable robots to partner with humans during manufacturing." Link to Article

  • December 16, 2022 - Cruise Control and Brakes Fail, Trapping Driver in Car for 300 Miles - "According to Carscoops, Mr. Luo was driving his H6 from Changsha, in Hunan province, to Yichun, in Jiangxi, a roughly 120-mile trip. He had set his cruise control to 62 mph when he realized he couldn’t slow down. Once he realized the position he was in, Mr. Luo admits the terrifying situation got the best of him momentarily, and he began to weep. Once he composed himself, he called China’s highway patrol and informed them of his runaway vehicle. Once the police were on the case, they reached out to Haval engineers to see if they had a slick fix to the software problem. After multiple attempts, the designers were stumped, and Mr. Luo kept rolling. After trying everything they could think of to safely stop the car, the police eventually decided to clear a path and let the car run itself dry on fuel. " Link to Article

  • December 16, 2022 - Will Rise of Electric Trucks Bring Tire Design Changes? - "The advent of electric-powered commercial trucks has raised new design considerations for vehicle components beyond the propulsion system — including tires. Tire makers are examining potential reconfigurations for tires used on electric trucks to optimize performance, minimize wear and reduce the amount of time fleets spend reworking tried-and-true wear cycle metrics and replacement practices. Weight and torque are the two main factors that affect electric trucks’ tire performance and wear. Electric motors provide greater, instantaneous torque, which affects rolling resistance. The torque is also different with EVs’ regenerative braking compared with hydraulic braking. EV batteries add a significant amount of weight to the vehicle — up to 5,000 pounds, depending on battery type and range. Newer electric models are lighter than earlier ones, though." Link to Article

  • December 16, 2022 - BC joins growing number of colleges banning electric scooters on campus - "Boston College will ban electric scooters and other electric transportation devices, including hover boards and electric skateboards, from campus beginning December 22. According to a December 7th letter sent to the BC community from Vice President for Student Affairs Shawna Cooper Whitehead, Vice President for Human Resources David Trainor, and Executive Director of Public Safety William Evans, the decision was made to help ensure the safety of all members of the BC community... Specifically, the new policy prohibits the use, storage, and charging of electric scooters and similar electric transportation devices on all campus roadways, walking paths, parking lots, and green spaces, as well as all University buildings, residence halls, and facilities. In announcing the decision, BC joins a growing list of colleges and universities nationwide that are imposing campus-wide bans on electric scooters as a safety measure. In addition to e-scooter injuries, there have been several well-publicized incidences of deadly fires in apartment buildings that were caused by overheated e-scooter batteries." Link to Article

  • December 14, 2022 - ODOT planning for low-income tolling options in Portland metro area - "The Oregon Department of Transportation is working on a solution for those who are less able to pay for future tolls that are coming to the Portland area. ODOT\'s proposing toll discounts for drivers with a household income equal to or below 200% percent of the federal poverty level, or roughly $55,500 annual income for a family of four. “Our plan is to do an extensive amount of research and outreach before we bring tolling online, and we\'re looking at tolling at the end of 2024, so we still have a lot of time to make sure people understand how they can register for an account and what the process will be for payment. And there\'ll be many options they can pay with,” said Mandy Putney, the Director of Strategic Initiatives with ODOT’s Urban Mobility. " Link to Article

  • December 14, 2022 - GM Announces Massive Plan for EV Chargers In Rural Communities - "There\'s already been plenty of discussion around the infrastructure limitations and concerns regarding the adoption of electric vehicles. Can the grid handle all that energy drain? Are there enough chargers along my road trip route to get me where I want to go? If I don\'t live in a city with lots of charging options, how will I recharge? Well, that last issue is being addressed directly by a new plan from General Motors and Flo to install up to 40,000 new chargers in rural communities (and other areas underserved by charging infrastructure) across the U.S. and Canada. Called the Dealer Community Charging Program, General Motors has chosen Flo as its charger supplier. The program calls for GM dealerships to install up to 10 new Flo chargers in their community; nearly 90 percent of Americans live within 10 miles of a GM dealership, so the program should have a significant impact on the rural charging infrastructure gap. Nearly 1,000 GM dealerships have already enrolled in the program." Link to Article

  • December 14, 2022 - Squad solar electric city car is coming to the US for $6,250 - "The Squad solar electric city car is launching in the US, and it starts at $6,250. Is it just a golf cart or actually a new and useful product? Squad Mobility is a Dutch startup founded by Robert Hoevers and Chris Klok, two former employees of Lightyear, which is also working on a solar electric car – though a full-size one... The small two-seater vehicle is designed to be lightweight and efficient. With its small wheels, it doesn’t take much to move it around, resulting in the relatively small solar panel on top with up to 31 km (19.2 miles) of range on a sunny day. As for the powertrain, it consists of two 2 kW rear in-wheel motors powering four 1.6 kWh battery packs that are rapidly swappable. The electric city car can travel up to 100 km (62 miles) on a single charge with all four battery packs, and it can reach a top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph)." Link to Article

  • December 14, 2022 - US DOT Announces Largest Investment in Intercity Passenger Rail in 50 Years - "This is one of the largest investments in US passenger rail services in the last 50 years, and supports the modernisation and expansion of intercity and high-speed rail services across America. As well as accepting applications for projects to expand or establish new services, those that improve the safety, reliability and performance of intercity passenger rail services and project planning elements, such as environmental review and final design, are also eligible for funding. Applications will be accepted up to 7 March 2023. The grant programme, administered by the US Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), has funded the revitalisation of rail assets for many years. However, the passing of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law greatly expanded its scope." Link to Article

  • December 14, 2022 - Shailen Bhatt is appointed administrator of the FHWA - "The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has announced that Shailen Bhatt has been confirmed as the 21st Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Nominated by President Biden on July 21, 2022, Bhatt was confirmed by the US Senate on December 8, 2022. He is the first person of Indian descent to lead FHWA. “From his leadership of the Colorado and Delaware Departments of Transportation, to his work in the private sector, to his service at FHWA during the Obama Administration, Mr. Bhatt brings a wealth of transportation experience to USDOT,” says US transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg. “His leadership will be a tremendous asset as we continue to implement the largest investment in our nation’s roads, bridges and highways in a generation, and we are thrilled to have him on our team.” " Link to Article

  • December 13, 2022 - New V2X program will study how bidirectional EV charging can lower utility costs - "EV drivers are quickly learning their cars are good for more than just zero-emission driving. Electric vehicles utilize powerful, compact batteries that can charge and discharge quickly and efficiently. The ability to send energy back and forth from the vehicle to the grid (V2G) and vice versa is a significant benefit of owning an EV. If deployed properly, it can save utility customers money while protecting the US’s aging grid infrastructure. Companies like PG&E and Duke Energy are launching programs aimed at studying the best ways to utilize this technology. Duke Energy partnered with Ford F-150 Lightning owners in August to use the EV pickup’s powerful battery to supply energy during peak hours, lowering grid intensity and savings across the network. PG&E is initiating a program of its own to test bidirectional EV charging for homes, for businesses, and with local microgrids." Link to Article

  • December 13, 2022 - Metro Wants to Bring Back Train Automation - "Metro plan to return to automated train operation and automated doors next year if approved by the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission. Since the 2009 Red Line crash at Fort Totten killed nine people, Metro’s train operators have manually stopped and started trains. Metro said returning to automation would lead to an increase in safety, saying it would prevent red light overruns. Metro said safety concerns after the 2009 crash have all been addressed, including the faulty track circuit issue that led to the crash... Metro\'s train detection system failed in two ways, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. First, it showed the struck train was not stopped and on the tracks when it actually was. Second, the automatic system had the striking train move forward at full speed. By the time its operator saw the stopped train, it was too late for the emergency brakes to stop the train." Link to Article

  • December 13, 2022 - Uber launches driverless rides with AV company Motional - "Uber is getting back into driverless rides, this time with some outsourced help. On Wednesday, Uber announced that riders now have the option of choosing a self-driving car thanks to its partnership with autonomous vehicle company Motional. The service has launched in Las Vegas and will soon expand to Los Angeles and other major cities later on. On the Uber app, users can select UberX or Uber Comfort Electric to potentially match with one of Motional\'s all-electric IONIQ 5 robotaxis. Users will be prompted to opt-in before confirming the trip... Initially, vehicle operators will be in the car with passengers. But Uber\'s goal is to make the service completely driverless in 2023. Notably, this is exactly what Lyft has planned. Uber\'s rival is also partnered with Motional and launched driverless rides in Las Vegas at CES in 2018. They also plan to become fully driverless in 2023." Link to Article

  • December 13, 2022 - Notice a Change on I-76? PennDOT Says Crashes, Travel Time Are Down. This Is Why - "Drivers traveling the Schuylkill Expressway (Interstate 76) through Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, may notice their commute is getting better, and PennDOT claims for a lot of people, it should be. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation says it’s seeing a reduction in both the number of crashes and travel time after launching a pilot program to change speeds along I-76 from King of Prussia to the U.S. Route 1 Interchange in Philadelphia. The variable speed limit signs were installed along the 14-mile stretch of the Expressway in the spring of last year to help drivers get back and forth faster and safer. The electronic signs change the speed limit based on live conditions, like weather and congestion. The speed can vary between 35 mph and 55 mph on busy I-76 that serves around 130,000 drivers daily." Link to Article

  • December 13, 2022 - NYC kills ‘Internet Master Plan’ for universal, public web access - "Two and a half years after it was announced that New York City would spend $157 million to build municipal broadband infrastructure in poor neighborhoods, city officials have quietly canceled the plan, Gothamist has learned. The now-nixed broadband expansion was the second phase of the 2020 Internet Master Plan, a massive endeavor launched during the de Blasio administration that aimed to connect 1.2 million New Yorkers to free or low-cost, high-speed internet. The project had been on hold this year, after Mayor Eric Adams assumed office. After Gothamist received a tip the project had been canceled, officials from the city’s Office of Technology and Innovation (OTI) confirmed the decision on Nov. 29 — about a year after the de Blasio administration announced it had chosen a dozen businesses — including a handful owned or led by women or people of color — to spearhead the effort. " Link to Article

  • December 12, 2022 - TuSimple, Navistar scrap deal to develop self-driving trucks - "TuSimple Holdings Inc (TSP.O) and Navistar have ended a deal to co-develop self-driving trucks, the companies announced on Monday. In 2020, Illinois-based Navistar bought a minority stake in TuSimple and announced a deal to co-develop heavy-duty self-driving trucks by 2024, as the autonomous driving technology space boomed with investor attention. The trucks would have operated at Level 4 autonomy - where vehicles can operate without a driver under set conditions. TuSimple also received nearly 7,000 orders for the self-driving trucks from companies including DHL Supply Chain, Schneider (SNDR.N) and U.S. Xpress (USX.N). San Diego, California-based TuSimple, which in October said it plans to focus on initial commercialization of its trucks in 2023, did not specify reasons for ending the deal." Link to Article

  • December 12, 2022 - Parking lots are becoming as important as cars in climate change efforts - "It’s not just cars that will be going through energy transition in the years ahead. The parking lots where EVs recharge are a growing focus of construction efforts linked to climate change and carbon reduction. A law approved in France last month requires that parking lots with 80 or more spaces be covered by solar panels within the next five years. For the biggest parking lots, those with more than 400 spaces, three years has been granted to have at least half of the parking lot’s surface area covered by solar. Similar renewable energy design ideas are expected to gain more market share in the U.S. if not necessarily through a federal mandate... Target revamped one of its California stores with solar panel carports this spring. Home Depot is making efforts to have all of its stores use only renewable energy by 2030, while Walmart hopes to achieve this by 2040. " Link to Article

  • December 12, 2022 - Why GM’s happy to keep spending billions on self-driving while rivals like Ford abandon ship - "At a time when self-driving taxi services like Ford\'s Argo are calling it quits, GM\'s Cruise is in the autonomous vehicle business for the long haul, the automaker\'s president, Mark Reuss, told Insider. In fact, GM\'s self-driving outfit is now embarking on the commercialization phase of its robo-taxi service, after a successful nighttime pilot in San Francisco earlier this year. Cruise is looking to offer rides in Austin and Phoenix, with plans to expand to more cities next year. At the same time, Cruise continues to develop its purpose-built Origin autonomous vehicle, which executives have said opens more commercial opportunities for the business, like delivery, as well as shuttle-style ridesharing. Going commercial does not mean becoming profitable, however. Running Cruise costs GM about $2 billion a year. " Link to Article

  • December 12, 2022 - Pittsburgh startup says its tech will let electric vehicles go the distance without recharging - "Range anxiety remains one of the greatest obstacles to the broader adoption of electric vehicles, but local startup CorePower Magnetics is developing electrical components that could eliminate the problem. The two-and-a-half-year-old company makes lightweight motors, inductors and transformers that allow battery-powered vehicles to travel farther without recharging, according to president and CEO Sam Kernion. He said the technology promises to speed up the charging process, too... Based on a decade of research at Carnegie Mellon University, CorePower’s technology has attracted $7.5 million in investment, including a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, according to the startup. It is working with agricultural equipment maker John Deere and power management company Eaton Corporation to expand its production... At the site, CorePower will make the nanocrystalline alloy its founders created as graduate students at Carnegie Mellon. The material is a metal composed primarily of iron, nickel, and cobalt, and Kernion said it could eliminate the need to use costly rare earth elements in motor components." Link to Article

  • December 12, 2022 - In a post-COVID world, what’s the future of shared micromobility? - "In speaking with Andrew Savage, vice president and head of sustainability at Lime, a leading shared e-scooter and e-bike company invested in by Uber, I got a glimpse into where the company and the industry more broadly are headed. Two areas stood out to me: circularity and net lifecycle emissions; and continuing to prove value to cities in the race to net zero... In such an environment, I agree with Savage — micromobility will continue to thrive as cities push further on public transit, walking and giving individuals greater access to mobility options. \"Whether it’s cities like London, Paris, Chicago or Los Angeles that want to have a path towards decarbonization and are going to think hard about how micromobility can contribute to that effort, likewise, we’re going to think hard about how we can continue to achieve our decarbonization mission so the benefits we’re providing to cities only continue to increase.\" " Link to Article

  • December 9, 2022 - TIER And Omni Push For Inclusivity With Wheelchair-Compatible E-Scooters - "In France, TIER Mobility is piloting wheelchair-accessible electric scooters in partnership with Omni, a French startup that has developed an electric scooter attachment compatible with most wheelchairs. The way it works is incredibly simple and user friendly. The scooter attaches to the front of the wheelchair, and has the rider control it like they would a standard scooter. It simply makes use of a bracket that secures the wheelchair in place, and can easily be unlatched once the user reaches their destination. TIER and Omni’s partnership has given birth to an e-scooter rental program in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, with hopes of expanding all throughout the city. In total, there are more than 1.4 million wheelchair users in Paris, and rolling out a program that could help improve their mobility to this extent will surely go a long way in providing universal access to sustainable personal mobility. According to Omni, its technology is compatible with 95 percent of all the wheelchairs in the market." Link to Article

  • December 9, 2022 - This Bonkers Single-Seat Drone Lets You Hit the Skies Like the Jetsons - "Regulations for that class of aircraft mandate no flights near airports or crowded areas, but there’s also no need for a pilot’s license—which Patan and his engineers understand to be a terrifying thought for some. That’s why the team has striven to make the airborne transport as failsafe and foolproof as possible, while also including a mandatory instruction course in the Jetson One’s $92,000 price. The 190-pound aircraft has an aluminum frame with eight electric motors, which allow it to remain aloft for about 20 minutes with a software-limited top speed of 63 mph. Pilots, who can weigh a maximum of 210 pounds, control the craft via joystick and throttle. The flight computer is equipped with Lidar for terrain tracking. The auto-landing system, meanwhile, handles the trickiest part. Ternström asserts that the Jetson One will fly and land safely even if a motor dies or the throttle is cut. " Link to Article

  • December 9, 2022 - Future transport center to make UAM, autonomous vehicle transfer easy - "The Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport\'s Metropolitan Area Transportation Committee said on Sunday that it would promote establishing a transfer center that would connect future means of mobility such as urban air mobility (UAM), self-driving cars, and personal mobility (PM), as well as railways and buses. The committee will collect ideas publicly for pilot projects for a \"future transfer center\" (mobility-as-a-service station) for local governments starting Monday. The committee decided to build the transfer center to make it easy for people to use seamless transfers in line with the commercialization of future means of mobility such as UAM and autonomous cars. The finalists for the pilot project will be announced at the end of March next year. What local governments need to do is submit a basic plan including the scale of business in reflection of local conditions, types of connected mobility, transport facility layout plans, as well as financing plans." Link to Article

  • December 9, 2022 - US Forest Service announces new EV pilot program in Michigan - "The Forest Service Electric Vehicle Pilot Program testing and evaluation will occur on three Eastern Region national forests: the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania, the Huron-Manistee National Forest in Michigan, and the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire. While significant research has been conducted on the perceived user experience of electric vehicles on the consumer side, relatively little is known about the barriers to uptake of electric vehicles in a work or commercial setting. The current project will assess both objective and subjective impacts of electric vehicles as Forest Service personnel conduct their duties over a twelve-month period. Employees will utilize the vehicles during day-to-day field operations and fill out weekly surveys describing how the vehicles were used, weather conditions they were used in, road types such as gravel, snow, sand and mud, any maintenance issues, overall usefulness for the work being done, and employees’ perceptions. " Link to Article

  • December 9, 2022 - Uber, Aurora to expand self-driving truck ops in Texas to meet holiday rush - "Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N) and self-driving technology company Aurora Innovation Inc (AUR.O) will expand their driverless pilot program in Texas to meet increased delivery demand during the holidays. The program will be expanded to the recently launched 600-mile commercial lane between Fort Worth and El Paso in Texas to support customers of logistics business Uber Freight as it ships goods this holiday season, Aurora said on Friday. The companies launched their pilot program about a year ago to autonomously transport goods between Dallas and Houston. \"We\'re crafting Aurora Horizon to help carriers of all sizes alleviate some of the supply-chain pressures that typically accompany (holiday season),\" Aurora co-founder Sterling Anderson said. " Link to Article

  • December 7, 2022 - How Uber and Lyft are transforming U.S. cities - "Over the last decade, the meteoric rise of ridesourcing services like Uber and Lyft have transformed the urban landscape, affecting travel patterns, car ownership, and congestion, and more broadly, the economy, the environment, and equity. The ways in which Uber and Lyft are redefining mobility is the focus of a new policy brief series, ” Uber and Lyft in U.S. Cities: Findings and Recommendations from Carnegie Mellon University Research on Transportation Network Companies (TNCs).” The brief series, a compilation of studies conducted by Jeremy Michalek, the lead author, and other Carnegie Mellon Engineering researchers, delves into the implications and opportunities that TNCs present... On the plus side, the researchers found that TNCs have increased economic growth, employment, and wages for intermittent jobs in U.S. cities. “However, Uber and Lyft affect different kinds of cities differently, and that is important to understanding their impact,” explains Michalek." Link to Article

  • December 7, 2022 - Chinese Tesla rival Nio and giant Tencent partner to work on self-driving tech - "Chinese electric vehicle maker Nio and tech giant Tencent agreed to work together on areas including autonomous driving and high-definition mapping. Tencent — a gaming, social media and cloud computing titan — has signed a cooperation agreement with Nio, one of Tesla’s rivals in China, as the firms look to cash in on Beijing’s focus on so-called new energy cars. The partnership could allow Tencent to do this, while also giving Nio the technology backing of one of China’s biggest firms. Tencent is already a major investor in Nio, which is striving to differentiate itself from a sea of electric car start-ups. Nio and Tencent said on Monday they will work together on high-precision mapping systems for drivers. Nio will also be using Tencent’s cloud computing infrastructure for data storage and training for autonomous driving. Driverless cars require huge amounts of real-time data to be processed in order to train algorithms. " Link to Article

  • December 7, 2022 - Is it a bus or a taxi? For some small Japanese towns, the answer is both - "In towns like Arao, where populations are aging and shrinking, and are spread over wide areas, bus and train services are often scarce, but hiring a taxi can be expensive. The result is that many residents — especially senior citizens — end up needlessly stuck at home... The program’s vehicles — two electric Nissan Leaf cars, painted New-York-cab yellow — are essentially shared taxis, connected to an artificial-intelligence-based platform that manages bookings, calculates fares and navigates constantly shifting routes. Passengers can hail an OMOYAI ride by smartphone app or phone. They pay more than they would for the bus, but only about half the cost of a normal taxi. Arao Taxi and two other local cab companies charge the city a fixed daily fee to operate the service... The AI platform was designed by Mirai Share, a startup founded by computer science researchers at Future University Hakodate in Hokkaido." Link to Article

  • December 7, 2022 - Autonomous Trucking’s Highway To Broke - "Earlier this week, we documented the downward stock market trajectory of Embark Technology, a startup — backed by a host of big-name VCs — that has seen virtually all of its valuation evaporate since going public the past year. But we’d be remiss to create the impression that Embark is the only high-valuation startup to find obstacles on the road to implementing autonomous trucking. A lot of upstarts devising labor-saving ways to truck goods from point A to point B have found anything but an easy route to market. Using Crunchbase data, we identified at least six companies, in addition to Embark, that have raised venture capital for autonomous truck technology. Of those six, three have shut down and one has seen its valuation crumble. A couple more are still trucking ahead, having last raised financing in sunnier times for the space. Below, we look at the most prominent funding recipients, and where they are now:" Link to Article

  • 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