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Can Your Car Be Hacked? – Feature

July 25, 2011

Not too long ago, securing a car meant popping the faceplate off the CD player, slapping a Club over the steering wheel, and locking the doors. As vehicles’ electronic systems evolve, however, automobiles are starting to require the same protection as laptop computers and e-commerce servers. Currently, there’s nothing to stop anyone with malicious intent and some ­computer-programming skills from taking command of your vehicle. After gaining access, a hacker could control everything from which song plays on the radio to whether the brakes work.
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Ford Proves the Blind Can Drive a Stick

July 25, 2011

Teaching the blind to drive is an increasingly realistic goal as cameras and sensors become sophisticated and cheap enough that they might one day substitute for sight. We’re already seen an autonomous Audi TT reach the summit of Pikes Peak, and a blind driver took a lap of Daytona International Speedway. He guided the car using tactile prompts that responded to visual data provided by in-car technology.
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Inrix connects with $37M venture round to drive global growth

July 25, 2011

Inrix has raised $37 million in venture capital to help the Kirkland-based traffic information tech company expand into fast-growing international markets such as China. The company, which launched in 2004, has partnerships with auto makers Ford, Toyota and Audi, as well partnerships working with Microsoft and government transportation agencies such as the Washington Department of Transportation.
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Port Authority starting ‘smart card’ fare system

July 25, 2011

The Port Authority’s conversion to a fare collection system using electronic smart cards will get its first big test starting next week. University of Pittsburgh faculty, staff and students will begin using the technology Aug. 1, tapping their university ID cards on a target on the new fareboxes that have been installed on buses and light-rail vehicles.
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Call for Presentations and Papers Third International Conference on Urban Transportation Systems

July 25, 2011

The Committee on Public Transportation of the Transportation & Development Institute (T&DI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) invites you to submit papers for presentation at the ASCE’s Third International Conference on Urban Transportation Systems to be held in November, 2012 in Paris, France.
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Automakers Moving Software Teams To Silicon Valley

July 25, 2011

It’s smart, then, that the often-slow-moving automakers are setting up satellite research and development centers in Silicon Valley. This week, Renault-Nissan joined GM, BMW and Volkswagen in opening an R&D office in northern California, considered the heart of U.S. technology innovation.
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Carpooling a click away with online ridesharing

July 25, 2011

In Seattle, two companies are using technology to connect drivers and riders. Both launched this year with on-demand ridesharing websites and smart-phone apps.
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Idaho company gets $750,000 for solar parking lot

July 25, 2011

Company founders Scott and Julie Brusaw plan to use the cash to create a prototype parking lot for testing. But their real dream is for a road system built of 12-foot-by-12-foot solar panels rather than traditional asphalt. Brusaw estimates the panels might cost three times more than asphalt but would produce electricity that could be sent back to the power grid, helping governments and private industry pay for them.
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Presentations Available: Sixth SHRP 2 Safety Research Symposium July 14–15, 2011

July 25, 2011

The Sixth Annual SHRP 2 Safety Research Symposium was held on July 14–15, 2011, in Washington, D.C. The agenda for the symposium is available as a PDF. The purpose of this symposium was to share progress on SHRP 2 safety projects and to serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas among researchers and practitioners from the private and public sectors.
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Local Motors Shifts Crowd-Sourcing Into High Gear

July 25, 2011

Local Motors bills itself as an open-source car company, which means it leverages the spirit of Web 2.0 to bring together transportation designers, engineers and industrial designers, and car enthusiasts to “co-create” a vehicle, which it then produces, in limited runs, at a local micro-factory…
It’s an accomplishment that won firm accolades from President Obama last month when he visited Carnegie Mellon University on a tour to promote the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, a program uniting industry, universities, and the federal government to jumpstart the manufacturing sector.
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IT industry curtails travel habit

July 21, 2011

BANGKOK – For the first time, the Information and Communications Technologies sector has been given an official mandate to start exploring ways to help save the environment by promoting cutbacks in the travel and transportation sector. The mandate, which could present significant problems especially for the economics of the traditional meetings and business travel sector, is contained in a report issued after the 6th International Telecommunications Union Symposium on ICTs, The Environment and Climate Change held in Accra, Ghana from 7 to 8 July, 2011.
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Ohio State Students Employ Supercomputer to Design 400-MPH Electric Car

July 21, 2011

A team of engineering students at The Ohio State University’s (OSU) Center for Automotive Research (CAR) recently began running aerodynamics simulations at the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC), one of the first steps in the long and careful process of designing, building and racing the fourth iteration of their record-breaking, alternative-fuel streamliner.fluctuations.
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Feds’ strength may be in providing data, not building apps

July 21, 2011

Federal agencies can often do more to improve public knowledge and safety by providing raw data to private sector mobile app developers than by trying to create the programs themselves, officials told an industry audience Tuesday.
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Wheels turning on bike-sharing proposal

July 21, 2011

The email announced that BikePGH is partnering with Carnegie Mellon University professor Robert Hampshire and a group of graduate students from CMU’s Heinz College to develop a business plan for a Pittsburgh bike-sharing system. “Meanwhile,” Bricker’s message continued, “we are already exploring different business models and potential funding streams.”
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Ford showcasing vehicle-to-vehicle communication for crash avoidance;

July 21, 2011

Several automakers offer collision avoidance systems (e.g., infrared-based) on their higher-end models; this is not V2V. A 2010 NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) analysis concluded that V2V systems potentially could address 79% of all vehicle target crashes, 81% of all light-vehicle target crashes, and 71% of all heavy-truck target crashes annually.
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2011 Smarter Planet Innovation Awards

July 21, 2011

IBM is seeking to partner with universities who desire to create and teach innovative curriculum that will empower and inspire the next generation of leaders with insights into how technology can help tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
Note: Nominations will open the week of May 16 and remain open until early September 2011. We will notify the award winners by email in October 2011.
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Safety system can avert low-speed crashes

July 21, 2011

The study by the Highway Loss Data Institute found that 2010 Volvo XC60s outfitted with a standard collision avoidance feature called City Safety are far less likely to be involved in low-speed, front-to-rear crashes than other midsize SUVs without the system. Insurance claims that pay for damage to vehicles hit by an at-fault driver were filed 27 percent less often for the XC60 than comparable vehicles, the study said. Bodily injury claims were 51 percent less frequent, it said… The system doesn’t involve a warning to the driver that a crash is imminent. Rather, City Safety automatically brakes to avoid a front-to-rear crash.
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300 taxis to accept Octopus Card payment

July 20, 2011

“As most of the public transportation modes are Octopus-enabled, many people would like us to extend the Octopus service to taxis,” said Sunny Cheung, chief executive officer of the OCL.
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Car apps: the future of the vehicle industry

July 20, 2011

Car companies are trying to get social, and 2011 could be the year of the car as a major platform for social and other types of apps.
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IEEE Announces Call for Papers for First IEEE International Electric Vehicle Conference (IEVC)

July 20, 2011

IEVC will provide an interactive forum for members of the rapidly growing electric mobility ecosystem to exchange ideas and discuss new trends in technology, engineering, standards and deployment aspects of the electric vehicle industry on a global scale.
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“Smart” Traffic Lights To Make Debut

July 20, 2011

The new “smart” traffic light system—which will be used in Midtown Manhattan—allows traffic engineers to conduct on-the-spot monitoring of traffic flow, quickly identify congestion choke points as they occur and remotely adjust traffic signal patterns to clear traffic jams, with the touch of a button.
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Reducing Pedestrian Delay at Traffic Signals

July 20, 2011

The New Zealand Transport Agency has released a report that explores methods of reducing pedestrian delay at signalized intersections.
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How We Travel: A Sustainable National Program for Travel Data

July 20, 2011

TRB Special Report 304: How We Travel: A Sustainable National Program for Travel Data assesses the current state of travel data at the federal, state, and local levels and defines an achievable and sustainable travel data system that could support public and private transportation decision making.
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Communicating Transportation Information During Emergency Situations to John and Jane Q. Public

July 20, 2011

The TRB Technical Activities Division’s Planning and Environment Group is holding its fifth annual competition to find top methods for communicating transportation concepts to non-professional audiences. Entries, which should focus on best practices in communicating transportation information to the public during emergency situations, are due by August 5, 2011.
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Greenhouse-gas inventory calculations ‘too simplistic’

July 20, 2011

Many US cities need to improve the way that they calculate their greenhouse-gas (GHG) inventories and their climate action plans, say researchers from the University of Texas and Carnegie Mellon University, US…
They also found three main sources of uncertainty and variability – weather impacts on building energy use; measurement and sample errors associated with on-road personal transportation;
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