Distinguished Speaker Series – Eric Williams

February 15, 2018
Posted in Events

CMU Professor Mark Kamlet on automation’s future impact

February 15, 2018
Posted in News

Self-driving cars and many other kinds of artificial intelligence technology making their way into every professional field, many researchers and the public wonder about the impact these technological advancements will have on human jobs if machines can — or potentially could perform — so many of the skilled tasks that humans currently perform. Mark Kamlet, a Provost Emeritus and University Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon, is currently pursuing research on the future of automation and its impact on the economy and people’s lives, along with Seth Goldstein, an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the university.
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Penn drones navigate on their own, could save people from peril

February 14, 2018
Posted in News

In a University of Pennsylvania lab, engineers now have produced something else entirely: “swarms” of drones that can navigate on their own.

Picture a crew of firefighters outside a burning building, unable to tell whether any floors have collapsed. Or imagine a nuclear accident that is too dangerous for humans to examine up close. In the not-too-distant future, a group of these drones could handle the job instead, the Penn engineers say.

Such devices can work as a group to canvass a wide area, capturing images and other data that would help emergency responders plot the next step — from a safe distance — said team leader Vijay Kumar, who is also dean of Penn’s engineering school.

“The robots basically talk to each other,” he said. “They each know where they’re going. They can use high-level algorithms to distribute themselves in complex ways to solve tasks.”
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Quest to dominate self-driving cars is at the heart of Waymo v. Uber trial

February 7, 2018
Posted in News

Whoever wins this case, it’s clear that a dominant autonomous rideshare company will emerge in the coming years: it may be Waymo, Uber, or yet another company, like GM.

“While Waymo and Uber duke it out in court, ‘traditional’ players like GM, with their manufacturing and marketing muscle, could end up as the winners,” Raj Kumar, the co-director of the General Motors-Carnegie Mellon Vehicular Information Technology Collaborative Research Lab, emailed Ars.

“Waymo and Uber, for all their technological prowess, lack the underlying platform, and all their alliances with carmakers seem to have been pretty weak and toothless. They could have been just window dressing for carmakers to know what Waymo and Uber are capable of in the AV space.”
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Ridesharing may not reduce number of missed medical appointments, Penn study finds

February 7, 2018
Posted in News

The high number of low-income patients missing medical appointments because of unreliable transportation has led to partnerships between health care systems and ridesharing companies, such as Uber and Lyft, in an effort to ease travel and boost attendance. However, a new study from Penn Medicine researchers published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that offering a free Lyft ride to Medicaid patients for an upcoming medical appointment did not reduce the rate of missed appointments.

The study, which included nearly 800 West Philadelphians who were patients with Medicaid at one of two Penn Medicine primary care practices, found that the missed appointment rate for those offered a free Lyft ride and those not offered a ride was virtually the same: 36.5 percent vs. 36.7 percent.
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USDOT Offers Free Webinar on Accessible Transportation Technologies Research Initiative (ATTRI) Project

February 7, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

February 8, 2018

The USDOT will host a webinar discussing T-SET UTC researcher Dr. Steven Smith’s safe intersection crossing project. This was one of six projects awarded contracts by the USDOT for it’s ATTRI initiative to develop technology prototypes to improve mobility options, particularly for those with disabilities.

When Big Tech comes to town: Pittsburgh tries to repair Uber deal and apply lessons to Amazon bid

February 6, 2018
Posted in News

Peduto, along with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, asked the PUC to “address fairness in business regulation, and especially fairness toward one business — Uber.” The politicians said Uber “is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is poised to invest millions more. However, all this could be lost if we send the message that Pennsylvania is not a welcoming place for 21st century businesses.”

If that sounds familiar, it’s because it echos the sentiment that economic development officials around the country are applying to Amazon HQ2. It also sounds a lot like Seattle’s reaction when Amazon announced its intention establish another headquarters outside its hometown.

In exchange for his support, Peduto expected Uber to be a partner in building the transportation system of the future in Pittsburgh. The mayor wanted Uber to invest $25 million to, among other things, connect the Hazelwood test track with Carnegie Mellon University. Peduto believed the investment would help Pittsburgh win a $50 million federal grant known as the Smart City Challenge.
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SELF-DRIVING CARS USE CRAZY AMOUNTS OF POWER, AND IT’S BECOMING A PROBLEM

February 6, 2018
Posted in News

FOR LONGTIME RESIDENTS of Pittsburgh, seeing self-driving cars built by Uber, Argo AI, and others roam their streets is nothing new. The city’s history with robot cars goes back to the late 1980s, when students at Carnegie Mellon University caught the occasional glimpse of a strange vehicle lumbering across campus. The bright-blue Chevy panel van, chugging along at slower than a walking pace, may not have looked like much. But NavLab 1 was slowly—very slowly—pioneering the age of autonomous driving.

Why did the researchers at CMU’s Robotics Institute use the van instead of, say, a Prius? First, this was a decade before Toyota started making the hybrid. Second, the NavLab (that’s Navigational Laboratory) was one of the first autonomous vehicles to carry its computers with it. They needed space, and lots of it.
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Smart Mobility Connection Forum

February 3, 2018
Posted in Events

How Innovative Technology Can Improve Mobility: Featuring the Awardees of the Smart Mobility Challenge 

Alexandre Jacquillat, Bernardo R. Pires, and Sean Qian

Distinguished Speaker Series

February 3, 2018
Posted in Events

User-driven Service Order Adjustments for Efficiency in Collaborative Consumption of Transportation Supply

R. Jayakrishnan

Smart Mobility Connection: Video Analytics in Transportation

February 2, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

February 2, 2018

UTC researchers Bernardo Pires and Christoph Mertz (shown above) spoke about detecting road objects as part of the Smart Mobility Connection seminar series. Both researchers highlighted the rapidity with which computer vision and machine learning is changing, and the vital role that data plays.

UTC Faculty Meeting

February 2, 2018
Posted in Events

Hands off: our self-driving future

January 31, 2018
Posted in News

The self-driving cab will soon be a reality. GM announced that its autonomous taxi–Cruise AV–will be on roads in 2019. It’s the latest news from the burgeoning self-driving vehicle industry. This hour, we’ll find out how close we are to a driverless future and how autonomous vehicles will change where and how we live. We’ll also learn about the latest car trends, flashy 2018 models, and if electric cars are catching on. Marty’s guests are University of Pennsylvania urban planning professor ERICK GUERRA, and The Verges’ senior transportation reporter, ANDREW HAWKINS.
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Traffic21’s Chris Hendrickson mentioned in “Transportation Solutions”

January 31, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

January 30, 2018

Traffic21 director and UTC researcher Chris Hendrickson was recently featured in Pittsburgh Metroguide’s “Transportation Solutions: Making Pittsburgh More Mobile.  Said Hendrickson, regarding advanced infrastructure deployed by the Traffic21 spinoff Surtrac, “having a city and county be receptive to new technology has really made a difference around Pittsburgh and will make a difference in the future.”

National Safety Council Board Receives Rides in CMU’s Autonomous Cadillac

January 31, 2018
Posted in What's Happening

January 30, 2018

On January 30th, UTC’s Raj Rajkumar provided rides in CMU’s autonomous Cadillac to board members of the National Safety Council. The board members, pictured below, also received a tour of CMU’s College of Engineering to learn about how automation and AI can improve road safety.

WHY TESLA’S AUTOPILOT CAN’T SEE A STOPPED FIRETRUCK

January 31, 2018
Posted in News

Raj Rajkumar, who researches autonomous driving at Carnegie Mellon University, thinks those assumptions concern one of Tesla’s key sensors. “The radars they use are apparently meant for detecting moving objects (as typically used in adaptive cruise control systems), and seem to be not very good in detecting stationary objects,” he says.
That’s not nearly as crazy as it may seem. Radar knows the speed of any object it sees, and is also simple, cheap, robust, and easy to build into a front bumper. But it also detects lots of things a car rolling down the highway needn’t worry about, like overhead highway signs, loose hubcaps, or speed limit signs. So engineers make a choice, telling the car to ignore these things and keep its eyes on the other cars on the road: They program the system to focus on the stuff that’s moving.
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USDOT ATTRI Update Webinar 4 – Safe Intersection Crossing

January 24, 2018
Posted in Events

The USDOT will host a webinar to provide an update on one of its ATTRI projects. The webinar will allow interested stakeholders to learn about some of the progress being made by ATTRI, and more specifically, hear directly from Carnegie Mellon University about the successes and challenges of its safe intersection crossing project. 
 
This safe intersection crossing project is one of six contracts awarded by the USDOT to develop technology prototypes to improve mobility options for all travelers, particularly those with disabilities. This project intends to connect pedestrian travelers with disabilities to the traffic signal systems, and use this connectivity to develop assistive services for safe intersection crossing and increased dependent mobility.
 
ATTRI is a joint USDOT initiative co-led by the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO), and other Federal partners.
 
For people with disabilities, including older adults and injured veterans, inadequate mobility and transportation can be a barrier to obtaining employment, commuting to appointments, shopping for groceries, or attending social events that many take for granted. ATTRI leads efforts to research, develop, and implement transformative solutions, applications, and systems to help all people, particularly those with disabilities, effectively plan and execute their travel, addressing individual mobility needs. ATTRI leverages recent advances in vehicle, infrastructure, and pedestrian-based technologies, as well as accessible data, mobile computing, robotics, artificial intelligence, object detection, and navigation.
 
Sponsored by the USDOT ITS JPO, this webinar is free and open to the public.

Accessible Transportation Technologies Research Initiative (ATTRI) Update, Webinar 4 – Safe Intersection Crossing Project

January 23, 2018
Posted in News

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) will host a webinar to provide an update on one of the projects that is part of the Accessible Transportation Technologies Research Initiative (ATTRI): the safe intersection crossing project being developed by Carnegie Mellon University.
Participants will hear directly from Carnegie Mellon University about the successes and challenges of their safe intersection crossing initiative. These are one of six projects awarded contracts by USDOT this year to develop technology prototypes to improve mobility options for all travelers, particularly those with disabilities.
Date & Time:
Thursday, February 8, 2018
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET
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Sizing up the Midwest cities that made Amazon’s list of HQ2 finalists

January 23, 2018
Posted in News

Not only that, but much of the most exciting technology and innovation coming out around autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, and robotics is coming out of Carnegie Mellon University, if not the offices of the companies just mentioned. Not only does Pittsburgh have great talent at CMU, the University of Pittsburgh, and the other tech companies already in the ecosystem, but that talent is particularly specialized to ramp up Amazon’s core competencies in what appears to be its future from a technological perspective…
Columbus-based Drive Capital has raised over half a billion dollars to invest in companies there and around the broader Midwest. Ohio State University needs no introduction as a major university.
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ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IS GOING TO SUPERCHARGE SURVEILLANCE

January 23, 2018
Posted in News

Alex Hauptmann, a professor at Carnegie Mellon who specializes in this sort of computer analysis, says that although AI has propelled the field forward hugely in recent years, there are still fundamental challenges in getting computers to understand video. And the biggest of these is a challenge for cameras we don’t often think about anymore: resolution. Take, for example, a neural network that’s been trained to analyze human actions in a video. These work by breaking down the human body into segments — arms, legs, shoulders, heads, etc. — then watching how these stick figures change from one frame of video to the next. From this, the AI can tell you whether someone’s running, for example, or brushing their hair. “But this depends on the resolution of the video you have,” Hauptmann tells The Verge. “If I’m looking at the end of a parking lot with one camera, I’m lucky if I can tell if someone opened a car door. If you’re right in front of a [camera] and playing a guitar, it can track you down to the individual fingers.”
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Mobility21 – National Mobility Summit

January 23, 2018
Posted in Events

Smart Mobility Connection

January 23, 2018
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Smart Mobility Connection

January 23, 2018
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Smart Mobility Connection

January 23, 2018
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There are no upcoming events.

Smart Mobility Connection

January 23, 2018
Posted in Events