6th Annual Smart Cities Technology International Symposium Focuses on Infrastructure

January 19, 2022
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January 19, 2022

Mobility21 UTC researcher and Community College of Allegheny County Professor of Advanced Technology Justin Starr participated in a panel discussion about the risks and security concerns where AI meets critical infrastructure at the 6th Annual Smart Cities Technology International Symposium.

Metro21 Executive Director Karen Lightman also hosted a panel at the symposium entitled “Smart Isn’t Smart Enough – Redefining the Smart City Through Co-Creative Partnership,” where the discussion focused on how the  pandemic has shone a bright light on the inequities that lie within our communities, particularly low-income communities and communities of color, and we must turn our focus to creating equitable and sustainable communities for all through co-creative partnerships between academia, government, non-profit and the private sectors.

UTC Students Attend Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting

January 14, 2022
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January 14, 2022

Students from 3 of the academic partners of Mobility21, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pennsylvania and The Ohio State University  attended the Transportation Research Board’s 101st Annual Conference in Washington, DC.  The conference offers an opportunity to learn about the latest developments in transportation research, policy, and innovative practices from across the world. Highlights of the event included remarks from keynote speaker, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg on the state of transportation policy in America, emerging challenges, poster presentations on a variety of topics including transportation demand modeling, automated vehicles, emerging technologies and lectern sessions on maintaining equity across transportation systems. The students also met for a networking dinner where they shared experiences working and learning about the field of transportation.

Best Presentation Award at Workshop on Doctoral Research in Transportation Analysis, Planning and Policy Goes to Mobility21 Diversity Fellow

January 12, 2022
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January 12, 2022

Mobility21 Diversity Fellow Allante’ Whitmore was selected for a Best Presentation Award for the Workshop on Doctoral Research in Transportation Analysis, Planning and Policy at the TRB Annual Meeting.

Transportation Demand Management Showcase at TRB Annual Meeting

January 12, 2022
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January 10 & 11, 2022

On January 10, Mobility21 Program Manager Lisa Kay Schweyer presided over the Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Showcase at the 2022 TRB Annual Meeting.  The poster session highlighted new TDM strategies, advanced modeling techniques, and innovative visions for the next generation of demand management, both from employer and worker perspectives.  Schweyer is a new member of the TRB TDM Committee and she also participated in the committee meeting held January 11.

CMU Block Center Highlights Work of Mobility21 UTC Researcher Sarah Fox

January 11, 2022
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January 11, 2022

Mobility21 UTC researcher Sarah Fox and her colleagues were recently spotlighted by CMU’s Block Center for Technology and Society for their work on Hospitality Workers in the Age of Automation.  Read the full blog post here.

Carnegie Mellon University Honored with the CUTC Technology Transfer Leadership Award at 2022 Winter Meeting

January 11, 2022
Posted in What's Happening

January 10, 2022

At the 2022 CUTC Winter Meeting and Awards Banquet tonight,  Carnegie Mellon University was awarded the Council of University Transportation Center‘s 2021 Technology Transfer Leadership Award for its efforts through its Mobility21 University Transportation Center.  Watch the acceptance video here.

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) launched the Traffic21 Institute in 2009 with the motto of “Research, Development and Deployment” to connect cutting edge research being done at the university with “real-world” transportation practitioners and challenges they faced.

With dramatic changes in the field of transportation driven by rapid advancements in information and communications technologies, CMU recognized that researchers doing work in transportation were housed in many departments of engineering including civil and environmental, electrical and computer, mechanical, systems, etc.  Furthermore, there were researchers from other disciplines including computer science, robotics, public policy, business, architecture and design, etc.  Therefore, CMU has kept this transportation research funding open to all faculty in the university.

The technology transfer program is designed to:

    1. Reach out to public and private transportation practitioners to identify real-world problems.
    2. Share those real world problems with researchers.
    3. When there is alignment, connect researcher with practitioner to jointly scope out a research project that can be pilot deployed in the field.
    4. Identify research funding.
    5. Support the research and pilot deployment.
    6. In successful deployments, support transfer of the technology or policy research for agency adoption or commercialization.
    7. Support faculty with their spin off companies.
    8. Continue to re-engage with deployment partners.

The program began in 2010 with seed funding from the Hillman Foundation, 12 researchers and 20 deployment partners.

Researchers are supported by CMU’s Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation and the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship.  In 2021 the Mobility21 UTC sponsored two Swartz Center Innovation Fellows who were working on spin off companies.

By and large, what attracts entrepreneurial professors and students to CMU is a liberating technology commercialization philosophy.  This underlying philosophy, dubbed “Five Percent, Go in Peace” serves as CMU’s technology transfer model and is the driving force behind Greenlighting Startups. Developed on the Carnegie Mellon campus, “Five Percent, Go in Peace” is a first-of-its-kind spinoff-model for academia that has, itself, become one of the university’s great inventions.

The goal of Five Percent, Go In Peace, was to create a transparent, expedient and easy to understand process that minimizes extensive negotiations,” said Carnegie Mellon Provost and Executive Vice President Mark S. Kamlet. “Through this unique model, we have simplified our approach to free entrepreneurs so they can do what they do best.”

There have been six spin off companies at CMU that were support by UTC research.

With support from the US DOT University Transportation Centers program, CMU and its Traffic21 Institute has grown its original 20 deployment partners into a formal Deployment Partner Consortium with over 180 active public, private and non-profit members.  An annual symposium is held to continually foster the collaboration among students and researchers along with their research deployment partners.

Deployment partners are invited to participate in a seminar series, the Smart Mobility Connection, held throughout the school year where research is highlighted and networking is enabled.   Partners are also subscribed to the Smart Transportation Dispatch which is a weekly email newsletter of transportation technology news from CMU and around the world.

CMU has demonstrated the scalability of this model within the university through the growth of the consortium and its reach into students and faculty across the campus.

Starting in 2015 CMU began applying this deployment partner model nationally with other UTCs.  Using the annual consortium symposium as a model, CMU sponsored the first National Safety Summit of University Transportation Centers in Pittsburgh, convening a national group of public and private transportation leaders to discuss real-world problems and inviting over a dozen other UTCs to highlight their research.  In the second year this event was moved to Washington, DC to further engage a national audience of partners and UTCs from across the nation.  CMU has hosted a total of six national summits under the themes of safety and mobility.

When the US DOT UTC program required UTCs to develop and implement formal technology transfer plans, CMU’s Technology Transfer Plan was recognized by US DOT as one of two model programs and shared with other UTCs.

Council of University Transportation Centers Awards Lifetime Achievement Award to Al Biehler

January 9, 2022
Posted in What's Happening

January 9, 2022

Former Carnegie Mellon University Traffic21 Institute Executive Director, Al Biehler was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Transportation Professional and Public Service by the Council of University Transportation Centers.

As his nomination states:

“Al has had a long and distinguished career of professional and public service. He served as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as well as having a lengthy career of service at the Pittsburgh region Port Authority of Allegheny County transit agency. He has been President of AASHTO and a member of the Executive Committees of both APTA and TRB.

Al served eight years a PennDOT Secretary and implemented a Smart Transportation program which streamlined and stabilized the Commonwealth’s transit program, accelerated PennDOT’s highway project delivery processes, and ensured that highway projects became assets for the surrounding community. He co-founded the State Smart Transportation Initiative and currently serves on the Executive Board.

After finishing his appointment as Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Transportation in 2011, Carnegie Mellon was fortunate to attract Al as a Distinguished Service Professor and [the first] Executive Director of the…Traffic21 Institute.”

View Mr. Biehler’s acceptance speech here.

Mobility21 UTC Honors “Student of the Year” Rick Grahn at 31st Annual Awards Ceremony

January 8, 2022
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January 8, 2022

Carnegie Mellon University student Rick Grahn was honored tonight as Mobility21 University Transportation Center’s “Student of the Year” at the Council of University Transportation Center’s annual awards event.

Annually, the United States Department of Transportation honors the most outstanding student from each participating University Transportation Center for his/her achievements and promise for future contributions to the transportation field. Students of the year are selected based on their accomplishments in such areas as technical merit and research, academic performance, professionalism, and leadership.

Carnegie Mellon University’s Traffic21 Institute houses Mobility21, the National University Transportation Center for Improving Mobility. Students from CMU, University of Pennsylvania, The Ohio State University, or Community College of Allegheny County were eligible for the Mobility21 UTC nomination.

Meet our winner:

Rick Grahn, the Mobility21 National University Transportation Center for Improving Mobility Student of the Year.

Rick Grahn

Rick Grahn is a research assistant working under Dr. Sean Qian and Dr. Chris Hendrickson in the Mobility Data Analytics Center. His research interests include shared modes and public transit, with a focus on how to best integrate new technologies to improve their efficiency, accessibility, and reliability in both urban and rural settings. Rick is looking forward to a career in research addressing sustainability and equity issues within the transportation system. He is also a registered professional engineer in California.

In 2021, Rick published a paper in Transportation Research Part C and a paper in ASCE: Journal of Infrastructure Systems.

Educating, recruiting and training new workers is critical to managing our country’s infrastructure safely and efficiently.  Mobility21 strives to help develop a transportation workforce capable of designing and maintaining the complex transportation systems of tomorrow. Help us congratulate our 2022 UTC Student of the Year!

To learn more about the University Transportation Centers’ Student of the Year awards please click here.

Research Recap: Smart Glasses for Improving Mobility of Low Vision People (Phase Two)

January 7, 2022
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January 7, 2022

Today, Mobility21 UTC released its latest “Research Recap” for Yang Cai’s project “Smart Glasses for Improving Mobility of Low Vision People (Phase Two). Recaps are one-page overviews of the UTC funded research that describe the research project’s purpose, approach, key findings, conclusions, contact information for the research team and a link to the final research report.

TVS Motor Company Appoints Venkat Viswanathan as Technical Advisor

January 5, 2022
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January 5, 2022

Mobility21 UTC researcher and Carnegie Mellon University Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Venkat Viswanathan was recently appointed as Technical Advisor for electric mobility by TVS Motor Company.  Prof. Viswanathan is also a technical advisor and Scientific Advisory Board Member at QuantumScape, a company developing next-generation solid-state lithium-metal batteries for use in electric vehicles.

 

Mobility21 Research Project “Safe Intersection Crossing for Pedestrians with Disabilities” by Steve Smith Highlighted in TRB E-Newsletter

January 4, 2022
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January 4, 2022

Mobility21 UTC researcher Steve Smith’s UTC project, “Safe Intersection Crossing for Pedestrians with Disabilities was highlighted in this week’s Transportation Research Board’s newsletter in the Research Roundup section.  Read the newsletter here.

Latest Consequential Podcast on Transit of the Future Features UTC Researchers

December 28, 2021
Posted in What's Happening

December 28, 2021

Public transportation is one of the most critical aspects of our infrastructure, but it is also one of the most imperiled and underfunded. This episode looks at how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan’s historic investment in public transit and other targeted policymaking can build the transportation systems of the future, with guests and UTC researchers Stan Caldwell and Corey Harper, as well as Eric Goldwyn, and Anthony Foxx.

Consequential is a Heinz College of Carnegie Mellon University podcast that looks at the human side of technological change and develops meaningful plans of action for policymakers, technologists and everyday people to build the kind of future that reduces inequality, improves quality of life and considers humanity. In its third season, Consequential will examine how AI and machine learning will impact research practices and data collection, as well as the development and dissemination of knowledge. Topics will include combatting disinformation, the ethics of crowdsourced research, and representation in open source software development. Hosted by Lauren Prastien and Eugene Leventhal.

New Policy Report on “How COVID-19 Affects Major Trends and Forces Shaping The Future of Transportation”

December 21, 2021
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December 21, 2021

Stan Caldwell applied his UTC research on emerging transportation technology policy in support of a year-long advisory round-table exploring  “How COVID-19 Affects Major Trends and Forces Shaping The Future of Transportation” for Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary Yassmin Gramian.  CMU Heinz College Master of Public Policy and Management student Erick Shiring served as research assistant throughout the project to PennDOT Senior Policy Advisor and report lead Roger Cohen.  Mobility21 UTC research Professor Megan Ryerson from the University of Pennsylvania also served on this round-table advisory group and applied her UTC research.

Research & Policy Papers – Traffic21 – A transportation research institute of Carnegie Mellon University – Carnegie Mellon University (cmu.edu)

National Academies Releases New Report on Improving Safety of ‘Duck Boats’

December 21, 2021
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December 20, 2021

The National Academies released a new report on improving safety of ‘Duck Boats’ used for commercial passenger service, called Options for Improving the Safety of DUKW Type Amphibious Vessels.   The review of the report was overseen by Traffic21 Director and Mobility21 researcher, Chris Hendrickson, and Craig Philip of Vanderbilt University.

Traffic21 Director Presents Keynote to Chinese Overseas Transportation Association (COTA)

December 17, 2021
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December 17, 2021

Chris Hendrickson,  Director of the Traffic21 Institute and researcher in the Mobility21 UTC, presented a keynote talk on “Recent ASCE Journal of Transportation Engineering Editorials” for the Chinese Overseas Transportation Association (COTA) during the opening ceremony of the 21st COTA International Conference of Transportation Professionals.  Watch the his keynote presentation here.

Emerging Transportation Technology Trends Shared with High School Students and Teachers

December 16, 2021
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December 16, 2021

Stan Caldwell, Mobility21 UTC Executive Director & researcher, presented a session on his emerging transportation technology policy research to high school students and faculty from suburban and rural school districts throughout western Pennsylvania.  The event titled Automotive Technician Scholarship Contest & Student / Instructor Transportation Update was sponsored by Bob Koch from Mobility21 UTC academic partner, Community College of Allegheny County and held at their West Hills Campus Automotive Technology Center.  There were 62 attendees, 39 of which competed for scholarships.

Metro21 Executive Director Karen Lightman Redefines the “Smart” in Smart City

December 15, 2021
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December 15, 2021

Metro21 Executive Director Karen Lightman‘s recent blog for Pittsburgh Region defines smart cities of the past, and provides a thoughtful path forward for more connected, equitable and sustainable cities of the future.

Read the full blog here.

Honda Visits CMU and Learns about UTC Research

December 13, 2021
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December 13, 2021

A group from Honda R&D America visited CMU and met with various UTC researchers including Sean Qian, Stan Caldwell, Nik Martelaro and Mobility21 Director Raj Rajkumar.

Research Recap: Development of a Safe, Profitable, and Fair Robotaxi Deployment Strategy

December 10, 2021
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December 10, 2021

Today, Mobility21 UTC released its latest “Research Recap” for Ding Zhao’s project “Development of a Safe, Profitable, and Fair Robotaxi Deployment Strategy. The recaps are one-page overviews of the UTC funded research that describe the research project’s purpose, approach, key findings, conclusions, contact information for the research team and a link to the final research report.

Mobility21 Presents at Transportation Engineering & Safety Conference

December 9, 2021
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December 9, 2021

Mobility21 presented the Transportation Engineering and Safety Conference session “Welcome to the Smart Cities – Managing AI in Transportation.”  This conference session provided a preview of several topics included in the executive education session, including an overview of technology and AI impacts in transportation today, AI and predictive analytics and how to make a better decision with transportation data, and equitably applying AI for safe and efficient transportation.  Lisa Kay Schweyer, Program Manager for Mobility21 moderated the session.  The other CMU speakers included UTC researchers:  Sean Qian on AI and Predictive Analytics:  How to Make Better Decisions with Transportation Data, Allanté Whitmore on Equitably Applying AI for Safe and Efficient Transportation, and Stan Caldwell on the Technology and AI Impacts in Transportation Today.

Heinz College Masters Students Present Capstone

December 9, 2021
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December 9, 2021

CMU Heinz College Masters of Information Systems Management Capstone students Shiyi Liu,  Yanwen Peng. Jiaoying Mu, Kehan Li,  Yilin Hua and Zhenyuan He made a final presentation of their capstone project developing an automated truck departure user interface.  The client was Klara Oberhollenzer, Manager of Development Autonomous Truck Mission Control Product & Partnerships at Daimler Truck North America and the course advisor was Stan Caldwell, Executive Director, Mobility21 UTC.

UTC Researchers Attend ITS America Annual Meeting in Charlotte

December 8, 2021
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December 8, 2021

UTC researchers attended the ITS America annual meeting in Charlotte this week.  CMU Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. Candidate and Swartz Center Innovation Fellow Matt Guttenberg presented his research with Professor Venkat Viswanathan on their INCEPTS software, which optimizes EV charging and is poised for commercialization.  Mobility21 Executive Director Stan Caldwell presented annual accomplishments of the Emerging Technologies Standing Committee to the ITSA Board, presented his UTC research in an executive session titled “Equity, Climate, Safety and Infrastructure for Automated and Autonomous Mobility Deployments” and participated in the quarterly meeting of the Smart Belt Coalition.   Watch Stan’s panel here.

Mobility21 Highlights the Work of Professor Steve Smith in U.S. DOT Video

December 6, 2021
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December 6, 2021

Mobility21 UTC recently highlighted projects completed by UTC researcher Steve Smith for a U.S. Department of Transportation Forum on Artificial Intelligence in Transportation video.  The video focuses on key projects funded by Mobility21 UTC that Professor Smith implemented the use of artificial intelligence to solve real-world transportation problems.  Watch the 5 minute video here.

Smart Mobility Connection Featuring Sarah Fox

December 3, 2021
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December 3, 2021

Today’s Smart Mobility Connection session featured Mobility21 UTC Researcher Sarah Fox.   She discussed her project, “Centering Operators’ Perspectives in Designing the Future of Transit Work.” 

Professor Lee Branstetter Presents His Work at the Heinz Informal Lunch Seminar

December 2, 2021
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December 2, 2021

Mobility21 UTC researcher Lee Branstetter, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College, presented his ongoing workClosing the Opportunity Gap Among Marginalized Students: Using Human-Computer Teaming For Motivational Mentoring and Content Tutoring” at the Heinz Informal Lunch Seminar (HILS).