News Article | May 5, 2017
PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department, operator of the 2017 Blue Cross Broad Street Run, has announced the following road closures and detours that will be in effect for the Sunday, May 7th race, which begins at 8:00 a.m.: Road Impacts: No parking will be permitted on Broad Street on Sunday, May 7, from Olney Avenue to the Navy Yard from 2:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. The race start area on Broad Street from Olney Avenue to Windrim Avenue will close to traffic at 4:00 a.m. and Broad Street from Windrim Avenue to Erie Avenue will close at 7:00 a.m. The remainder of the course along Broad Street will close to traffic at 7:45 a.m. SEPTA Mass Transit: Bus - The following bus routes will be detoured from 7:30 a.m. until event conclusion: 3, 4, 7, 9, 12, 15, 16, 17, 21, 23, 27, 29, 31, 32, 33, 37, 38, 39, 40, 42, 43, 44, 45, 48, 53, 54, 56, 60, 61, 64, 68, 75, 79, 124, 125, G, J, H-XH, and R. Trolley- Route 15 trolleys will be replaced by bus service. Subway- Race participants can ride SEPTA free of charge prior to 9:00 a.m. As a result, high demand on the Broad Street Line is expected prior to the start of the race. Twelve express Broad Street Line Trains will be added to the service schedule Sunday, May 7th, prior to the race with stops at Olney Transportation Center and Fern Rock Transportation Center. Regional Rail- Early morning service will be offered on the Glenside Combined Line. Morning train service from Glenside and Jenkintown will connect runners to the Broad Street Line at Fern Rock Transportation Center. Regional rail trains will run on their weekend schedule. They are typically comprised of five to seven cars each holding 600 to 850 passengers. The Broad Street Run is a ten mile running event along Broad Street, beginning at West Fisher Avenue and concluding within the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The event draws on average 40,000 runners and will be televised live in its entirety by NBC10.
News Article | May 23, 2017
Co-Optim, the first and only luxury shared office and coworking space, announces the July opening of its West Loop location. The West Loop is Co-Optim’s second location, exemplifying the increased demand for this brand’s luxury coworking and designer shared office space. Co-Optim West Loop will be located at 550 W. Washington; a Class A building also home to SC Johnson, CME Group, Raymond James, HDMS, and Segal Marco Advisors. The energy and explosive growth of the West Loop area is a perfect fit with the Co-Optim concept. Co-Optim West Loop joins top companies like McDonald’s, Uber, and Google in contributing to the West Loop vibrancy. Co-Optim West Loop’s 20,000 square foot location will offer individual Private Offices as well as Luxury Coworking memberships. Member benefits include all of the high-end amenities; designer board rooms, The Co-Bar, fitness center, business lounges, The Kids’ Zone, and The Meditation Room. Co-Optim West Loop members also enjoy privileges at Co-Optim Deer Park and, coming soon, Co-Optim Dallas and Co-Optim Santa Monica. “Co-Optim is opening a West Loop location which perfectly complements its Deer Park facility, allowing easy access from the Metra lines,” Jeff Newcom, Partner at Holly Duran Real Estate Partners, LLC said. “Whether clients are looking for a touchdown spot for office space coming from the suburbs, or a convenient West Loop office based on flexible terms, Co-Optim can satisfy both while offering upscale amenities in a Class A building.” The Co-Optim West Loop location is transit friendly – just steps from the Ogilvie Transportation Center, two blocks from Union Station, near the I-290 Interchange, and several CTA lines and Divvy stations. Co-Optim is now accepting members and pre-leasing Private Offices for their new West Loop location. For more information regarding office leasing and membership options, contact Alicia Hutzler at 847-957-1447 or via email at AliciaHutzler(at)Co-Optim.com. Additional information regarding the company, available offices, and how to become a member – can be found at Co-Optim.com/Chicago-West-Loop.
News Article | May 24, 2017
FRESNO, CA--(Marketwired - May 24, 2017) - CALSTART in partnership with the Fresno County Rural Transit Agency (FCRTA) and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) unveiled a model program providing solar powered electric vehicle charging stations in 13 rural incorporated cities in Fresno County. This is the largest deployment of solar powered electric vehicle charging stations in the San Joaquin Valley, and the first to link all the rural cities in one single county. FCRTA selected the CALSTART San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center to help them develop and implement the concept. Both the SJVAPCD and FCRTA provided funding for the actual purchase and deployment of the solar charging stations that include back-up energy storage for emergency services, if needed. The CALSTART San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center is funded, in part, by a grant from the California Energy Commission. The FCRTA funding was provided, in part, by Caltrans. "This project is a great model of what can be done via partnerships and cooperation to develop truly sustainable transportation. The California Energy Commission, thru its support of the CALSTART center, is very pleased to be part of this project that makes cars powered by the sun a reality in rural Fresno County," said Commissioner Janea Scott. An electric vehicle powered by the California electricity grid, on average, on a total cycle basis, emits about one third of the greenhouse gas emissions as a comparable size gasoline car. When an electric vehicle is recharged by solar panels, the total emissions level is effectively zero. The solar powered charging stations will provide no-cost charging for Valley EV drivers, helping to make electric cars more affordable for Fresno County residents. 12 of the 13 units are located in disadvantaged communities. The solar powered charging stations are manufactured by Envision Solar, a California-based company with facilities in San Diego, CA. "This is an important project that demonstrates that running cars powered by the sun is not a dream but an actual reality. CALSTART is very appreciative of the funding support provided by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, the California Energy Commission, Caltrans, and the Fresno County Rural Transportation Agency," said CALSTART President and CEO, John Boesel. "We view this as an important step in building the electric vehicle market in the San Joaquin Valley," said CALSTART's San Joaquin Valley Regional Director, Joseph Oldham. "We are very interested in replicating this project in the other counties in the valley," said Oldham. About CALSTART CALSTART and its more than 160 member companies are dedicated to growing the clean transportation technology with the goals of creating high quality jobs, making the air healthy, building a more secure energy future, and protecting the climate. With a grant from the California Energy Commission in mid-2015, CALSTART has been operating the San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center. In its first full year of operation, CALSTART developed and secured funding for more than $14 million in new San Joaquin Valley based clean transportation projects. The Center's office is located in Fresno, near the Chandler Executive Airport. For further information visit http://www.sjvcleantransportation.org/projects.html.
News Article | May 26, 2017
SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - May 26, 2017) - Envision Solar International, Inc. ( : EVSI) ("Envision Solar," or the "Company"), the leading renewably energized EV charging, outdoor media and energy security products company, announced that the Fresno County Rural Transit Agency (FCRTA), San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD), the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the California Energy Commission (CEC) and CALSTART unveiled a program providing the Company's EV ARC™ solar powered electric vehicle charging stations in 13 rural incorporated cities throughout Fresno County. This is the largest single deployment of solar powered electric vehicle charging stations in the County and the first to link all the rural cities in one single county. FCRTA selected Envision Solar's EV ARC™ product, which is the only rapidly deployable, transportable solar powered EV charger available while simultaneously being the only renewably energized EV charging solution which provides both EV charging and emergency power during a grid failure. State of California contract #1-15-61-16 was awarded to Envision Solar to supply EV ARC™ products to State of California Departments and other local governmental agencies or entities. Both the SJVAPCD and FCRTA provided funding for the purchase and deployment of the EV ARC™ products, which include back-up energy storage for emergency services. The CALSTART San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center is funded, in part, by a grant from the CEC. The FCRTA funding was provided, in part, by Caltrans. "This project is a great model of what can be done via partnerships and cooperation to develop truly sustainable transportation. The California Energy Commission, through its support of the CALSTART center, is very pleased to be part of this project that makes cars powered by the sun a reality in rural Fresno County," said Commissioner Janea Scott. An electric vehicle which is recharged by EV ARC™ products has a total emission level which is effectively zero. The EV ARC™ products will provide no-cost charging for San Joaquin Valley EV drivers, helping to make electric cars more affordable for Fresno County residents. 12 of the 13 units are located in disadvantaged communities. "This is an important project that demonstrates that running cars powered by the sun is not a dream but an actual reality. CALSTART is very appreciative of the funding support provided by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, the California Energy Commission, Caltrans and the Fresno County Rural Transportation Agency," said CALSTART President and CEO, John Boesel. "We view this as an important step in building the electric vehicle market in the San Joaquin Valley," said CALSTART's San Joaquin Valley Regional Director, Joseph Oldham. "We are very interested in replicating this project in the other counties in the valley," said Oldham. "Fresno County has shown great leadership in providing our EV ARC products to their constituency," said Desmond Wheatley, Envision Solar's CEO. "Free solar powered EV charging is a fantastic fit in this hard-working area of the State where pollution is high and incomes are low. We look forward to fulfilling many more deployments for Fresno County." Invented and manufactured in California, the EV ARC™ fits inside a parking space and generates enough clean, solar electricity to power up to 225 miles of EV driving in a day. The system's solar electrical generation is enhanced by EnvisionTrak™ which causes the array to follow the sun, generating up to 25% more electricity than a fixed array. The energy is stored in the EV ARC™ product's energy storage for charging day or night and to provide emergency power during a grid failure. Because the EV ARC™ product requires no trenching, foundations or installation work of any kind, it is deployed in minutes and can be moved to a new location with ease. EV ARC™ products are manufactured in the Company's San Diego facility by combat veterans, the disabled, minorities and other highly talented, mission driven team members. Envision Solar, www.envisionsolar.com, is a sustainable technology innovation company who's unique and patented products include the EV ARC™ and the Solar Tree® with EnvisionTrak™ patented solar tracking, SunCharge™ solar Electric Vehicle Charging, ARC™ technology energy storage and EnvisionMedia solar advertising displays. Based in San Diego the company produces Made in America products. Envision Solar is listed on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol [EVSI]. For more information, visit www.envisionsolar.com or call (866) 746-0514. This Press Release may contain forward-looking statements regarding future events or our expected future results that are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. All statements in this Report other than statements of historical facts are forward looking statements. Forward looking statements are generally accompanied by terms or phrases such as "estimate," "project," "predict," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "target," "plan," "intend," "seek," "goal," "will," "should," "may," or other words and similar expressions that convey the uncertainty of future events or results. Statements contemplating or making assumptions regarding actual or potential sales, market size and demand, prospective business contracts, customer orders, trends or operating results also constitute forward looking statements. Our actual results may differ substantially from those indicated in forward looking statements because our business is subject to significant economic, competitive, regulatory, business and industry risks which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control. Our operating results, financial condition and business performance may be adversely affected by a general decline in the economy, unavailability of capital or financing for our prospective customers to purchase products and services from us, competition, changes in regulations, a decline in the demand for solar energy, a lack of profitability, a decline in our stock price, and other risks. We may not have adequate capital, financing or cash flow to sustain our business or implement our business plans. Current results and trends are not necessarily indicative of future results that we may achieve.
News Article | May 26, 2017
« Mitsubishi Motors delivers 635 Outlander PHEVs to Ukranian police; largest PHEV fleet order yet for MMC | Main | Wärtsilä to install hybrid system on LNG-powered offshore supply vessel » The Fresno County Rural Transit Agency (FCRTA), San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD), the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the California Energy Commission (CEC) and CALSTART unveiled a program providing the Envision Solar EV ARC solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations in 13 rural incorporated cities throughout Fresno County. This is the largest single deployment of solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations in the County and the first to link all the rural cities in one single county. FCRTA selected Envision Solar’s EV ARC product, which is the only rapidly deployable, transportable solar powered EV charger available while simultaneously being the only renewably energized EV charging solution which provides both EV charging and emergency power during a grid failure. State of California contract #1-15-61-16 was awarded to Envision Solar to supply EV ARC products to State of California Departments and other local governmental agencies or entities. Both the SJVAPCD and FCRTA provided funding for the purchase and deployment of the EV ARC products, which include back-up energy storage for emergency services. The CALSTART San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center is funded, in part, by a grant from the CEC. The FCRTA funding was provided, in part, by Caltrans. The EV ARC products will provide no-cost charging for San Joaquin Valley EV drivers, helping to make electric cars more affordable for Fresno County residents. 12 of the 13 units are located in disadvantaged communities. The EV ARC fits inside a parking space and generates enough clean, solar electricity to power up to 225 miles of EV driving in a day. The system’s solar electrical generation is enhanced by EnvisionTrak which causes the array to follow the sun, generating up to 25% more electricity than a fixed array. The energy is stored in the EV ARC product’s energy storage for charging day or night and to provide emergency power during a grid failure. Because the EV ARC product requires no trenching, foundations or installation work of any kind, it is deployed in minutes and can be moved to a new location with ease.
News Article | May 11, 2017
MONTREAL & CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ivanhoé Cambridge and its partner Callahan Capital Properties announced today that they have closed on the acquisition of 125 South Wacker Drive in downtown Chicago, for approximately US$145 million. Arthur Lloyd, President, Office, North America, Ivanhoé Cambridge said: “125 South Wacker Drive is an excellent complement to our Chicago office portfolio composed of premier properties located in the West Loop, Central Loop and River North.” Tim Callahan, Chief Executive Officer of Callahan Capital Properties, noted: “We are very excited with the opportunity to leverage 125 South Wacker Drive’s premier location and physical attributes with our planned upgrades to the lobby, elevators and amenity spaces. With these enhancements, 125 South Wacker will become a truly modernized office environment for current and future tenants.” 125 South Wacker Drive is a 576,000-square foot, 31-story office tower ideally situated at the corner of South Wacker Drive and West Adams Street in Chicago’s West Loop submarket. The Property’s strategic Wacker Drive location is just one block from Union Station, less than three blocks from Ogilvie Transportation Center and only two blocks from a major CTA L stop. It enjoys immediate proximity to major highways and numerous CTA bus lines. The property offers a variety of tenant amenities, including a fitness center, conference center, quick serve restaurant and financial services. Originally constructed as a headquarters facility for Northern Trust, the Property benefits from above-standard construction quality. Ivanhoé Cambridge, a global real estate industry leader, invests in high-quality properties and real estate companies in select cities around the world. It does so prudently, with a long-term view to generate optimal, risk-adjusted returns. Founded in Quebec in 1953, Ivanhoé Cambridge has built a vertically integrated business across Canada. Internationally, the Company invests alongside key partners and major real estate funds that are leaders in their respective markets. Through subsidiaries and partnerships, Ivanhoé Cambridge holds interests in nearly 800 buildings, primarily in the residential, office, retail and logistics real estate sectors. Ivanhoé Cambridge held approximately C$56 billion in assets as at December 31, 2016. The Company is a real estate subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (cdpq.com), one of Canada's leading institutional fund managers. For more information: ivanhoecambridge.com. Callahan Capital Properties (“CCP”) is a real estate private equity firm focused exclusively on the acquisition and management of high-quality office properties in the central business districts of major U.S. gateway cities. Together with its strategic partner, Ivanhoé Cambridge, CCP’s office platform currently totals almost 16 million square feet, with properties located in New York, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Denver and Los Angeles. For more information: callahancp.com.
News Article | February 15, 2017
A researcher at The University of Texas at Arlington is working to determine the benefits of using recycled materials and geocells to improve Texas highways. Anand Puppala, a professor in the Civil Engineering Department, is using a two-year, $360,000 Texas Department of Transportation interagency contract to test the performance of recycled materials and geocells in a highway-widening project in Johnson County, Texas. This project will help TxDOT's Fort Worth District determine if the geocell concept can be used as an additional tool to provide an effective pavement structure for widening existing roadways. Puppala is conducting experiments using recycled asphalt pavement or RAP in conjunction with geocells to find out if it is an effective way to recycle valuable materials. Geocells are modular structures that are arranged similar to a honeycomb, filled with aggregate, then compacted to support a drivable surface. Sensors in the pavement will collect data from traffic loading and other factors from the site for two or more years. Puppala then will use that data to develop specifications for the design of future projects. "We are trying to learn if there is a benefit to using RAP and geocells at a four- to six-inch thickness versus using traditional materials," Puppala said. "If there is a slight slope, more traditional materials and a greater right-of-way will be required. This confined system uses recycled materials and does not require as much fill while holding the material in place, so there should be a significant cost savings." The research is just one example of how UTA contributes to sustainable urban communities, a theme of the university's Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact. "Maintaining the state's extensive and massive investment in its road infrastructure costs millions of dollars every year," UTA Dean of Engineering Peter Crouch said. "Dr. Puppala's extensive work with TxDOT gives him a unique perspective on the department's needs and the unique problems posed by Texas weather and soil conditions, and I'm confident that his input will lead to significantly better road quality in the future." "In addition to contributing to TxDOT's top priority of advancing traffic safety, the project has the potential to improve our ongoing efforts to extend the life of our assets," said Richard Williammee, lab engineer for TxDOT's Fort Worth District. "This would allow reallocation of limited maintenance funds toward congestion relief." This contract is just one of UTA's recent transportation-related projects, including: * The College of Engineering and the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs are the lead investigators on an NSF-funded University Transportation Center that could total up to $7.7 million over a five-year period. The Civil Engineering Department also is involved in two other UTCs that are expected to total more than $2.8 million in the first year. * Puppala's $770,909 TxDOT agreement to use unmanned aerial vehicles to inspect highways and railroads remotely and develop guidelines for how to safely complete the task. * Puppala and Xinbao Yu's $336,370 TxDOT contract to use geofoam for repairs to bridge approaches. * Yu and Puppala's $743,000 TxDOT grant to model geothermal de-icing of bridges. * Sahadat Hossain's $1 million TxDOT contract to explore the use of recycled plastic pins to shore up clay soils that support highway slopes. The University of Texas at Arlington is a Carnegie Research-1 "highest research activity" institution. With a projected global enrollment of close to 57,000, UTA is one of the largest institutions in the state of Texas. Guided by its Strategic Plan 2020 Bold Solutions|Global Impact, UTA fosters interdisciplinary research and education within four broad themes: health and the human condition, sustainable urban communities, global environmental impact, and data-driven discovery. UTA was recently cited by U.S. News & World Report as having the second lowest average student debt among U.S. universities. U.S. News & World Report ranks UTA fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as the top four-year college in Texas for veterans on Military Times' 2017 Best for Vets list.
News Article | February 16, 2017
BROOKLYN, New York -Self-driving cars could account for 21 million new vehicles sold every year by 2035. Over the next decade alone such vehicles -- and vehicles with assisted-driving technology --could deliver $1 trillion in societal and consumer benefits due to their improved safety. For autonomous vehicles to make good on that promise they will need onboard artificial intelligence (AI) technology able to link them to highly detailed maps that reflect every change in the status of lanes, hazards, obstacles, and speed-limits in real time. Researchers at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering are making this critical machine-to-machine handshake possible. Yi Fang, a research assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and a faculty member at NYU Abu Dhabi, and Edward K. Wong, an associate professor in the NYU Tandon Department of Computer Science and Engineering, are developing a deep learning system that will allow self-driving cars to navigate, maneuver, and respond to changing road conditions by mating data from onboard sensors to information on HERE HD Live Map, a cloud-based service for automated driving. The NYU Multimedia and Visual Computing Lab directed by Professor Fang will house the collaborative project. Fang and Wong recently received a gift fund from HERE, a global leader in mapping and location-based services owned by Audi, BMW, Daimler and Intel, with Tencent and NavInfo of China and GIC of Singapore also poised to become investors during 2017. NYU Tandon is one of HERE's first university research and development partners in HERE HD Live Map. High-definition (HD) maps meant for machine-to-machine communication must be accurate to within 10 to 20 centimeters. Self-driving vehicles need to continuously update, or register, their location on these maps with an equally high degree of accuracy, according to Fang, who said that the goal of the collaborative research is to enhance car-to-map precision to within 10 centimeters. "Essentially, we want to be able to precisely match what the car sees with what's in the cloud database. An incredibly precise ruler isn't of much use if your vision is blurry," he explained. "Our work involves employing computer vision techniques to refine the vehicle's ability to continually locate itself with respect to HERE's cloud-based service," said Wong. "That requires real-time images of the street and surrounding objects derived from cameras, LiDAR [a laser-based range-finding technology], and other on-board sensors." The researchers added that this precision is also important because automobiles connected to HERE's HD Live Map service will deliver data to the cloud on road conditions, traffic, weather, obstacles, speed limits, and other variables, allowing the service to upgrade nearly in real-time to reflect changing conditions. "3D computer vision and Deep Neural Network are the technologies driving the development of high- definition live maps for self-driving cars," said Xin Chen, HERE senior engineering manager and research scientist. "We're excited to kick off a long-term research collaboration with Professors Wong and Fang individually based upon their expertise in this domain as well as with NYU as a top institution for research and learning in the field." "The convergence of cybersecurity, big data, wireless technology, and artificial intelligence is already revolutionizing how people live and travel, and it holds the promise of safer transportation for billions across the globe," said NYU Dean of Engineering Katepalli R. Sreenivasan. "We gratefully acknowledge this research gift funding from HERE, which will advance the important work of Professors Wong and Fang and the students assisting them in this new frontier." The HERE mapping project joins a number of recent initiatives at NYU Tandon addressing safer and smarter transportation. The U.S. Department of Transportation selected a research consortium led by NYU Tandon Department of Civil and Urban Engineering researchers to become the first Tier 1 University Transportation Center (UTC) in New York City, dedicated to using data to make every mode of surface transportation - from walking through mass transit - more efficient and safe. Another venture - headed by a cybersecurity research team in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering - is developing the first free, open-source method for automakers to secure software updates. Uptane will protect vehicles from cyber criminals and cyber war while providing the auto industry with an inexpensive and quick way to install safety fixes. The NYU Tandon School of Engineering dates to 1854, the founding date for both the New York University School of Civil Engineering and Architecture and the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute (widely known as Brooklyn Poly). A January 2014 merger created a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences, rooted in a tradition of invention and entrepreneurship and dedicated to furthering technology in service to society. In addition to its main location in Brooklyn, NYU Tandon collaborates with other schools within NYU, the country's largest private research university, and is closely connected to engineering programs at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai. It operates Future Labs focused on start-up businesses in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn and an award-winning online graduate program. For more information, visit http://engineering. .
News Article | March 1, 2017
A new University Transportation Center (UTC) will combine experts from two disciplines traditionally not known for research collaboration—transportation and public health. The Center for Advancing Research in Transportation Emissions, Energy and Health (CAR-TEEH) will focus on the impact of transportation emissions on human health. The Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) leads the CAR-TEEH consortium consisting of four partner universities: Johns Hopkins University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Texas at El Paso, and the University of California, Riverside. CAR-TEEH is funded for a five-year period, at over $11 million. The head of TTI’s Environment and Air Quality Division, Joe Zietsman, will serve as Center Director, and lead CAR-TEEH. This one-of-a-kind center will perform cutting-edge research that brings together experts in the areas of transportation emissions and public health. “CAR-TEEH’s unique contribution is in advancing research that addresses emissions in the context of public health, by bringing together experts from two disciplines (transportation and public health) that have not traditionally worked together,” says Zietsman. “CAR-TEEH will not only serve transportation research, education, and technology transfer but also promote interdisciplinary collaboration and communication.” The CAR-TEEH consortium will focus on transportation emissions in a more comprehensive manner, mapping the holistic tailpipe-to-lungs spectrum, which includes the impact of transportation emissions on the environment and public health. “The new center led by Dr. Zietsman will provide cutting-edge leadership in the nascent area of transportation and public health,” says TTI Agency Director Gregory D. Winfree. “The consortium is well-equipped to establish a UTC of strategic importance, producing high-quality, impactful research, technology transfer, education, and workforce development.” A total of 32 UTCs were established with grant funding totaling over $300 million over the next five years to address “critical transportation challenges facing our nation.” The Texas A&M Transportation Institute develops solutions to the problems and challenges facing all modes of transportation. The Institute conducts over 700 research projects annually with over 200 sponsors at all levels of government and the private sector. In the laboratory and the classroom, TTI researchers help prepare students for transportation careers. Recognized as one of the premier higher education-affiliated transportation research agencies in the nation, TTI’s research and development program has resulted in significant breakthroughs across all facets of the transportation system. TTI research is widely known as an excellent value with a proven impact of saving lives, time and resources.
News Article | March 3, 2017
Cameras and lidars are playing key roles in the development of self-driving cars. Tesla Motors of Palo Alto, CA (USA), used a front-looking camera in the autopilot system it introduced in 2014, and the new version announced in October 2016 includes eight cameras mounted around the car. Experimental self-driving cars being tested by Google and others also sport roof lidars for three-dimensional mapping. The optical systems are part of a suite of sensors that work with an onboard computer to map the local environment and steer the vehicle through a dynamic environment that contains traffic signals, pedestrians, other cars, tractor trailers, and even wild animals. The ultimate goal is a robotic system that drives better than error-prone humans, but most observers think that's many years away. Further upgrades to fully autonomous cars are in our future but we aren't there yet, as shown tragically by the fatal full-speed crash of a Tesla into a tractor trailer making a turn across a divided highway in Florida in May 2016. "Neither the autopilot nor the driver noticed the white side of the tractor trailer against the brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied," Tesla wrote in a 30 June 2016 blog post. The car was headed east on a sunny afternoon, and the driver was not paying attention. The car's one forward-looking camera missed the color difference between the truck and the sky, perhaps because it was monochrome. The concept of self-driving cars has been gaining attention. General Motors says it will introduce "Super Cruise" technology in its Cadillac CT6 model in 2017. Uber is testing its own autonomous cars in Pittsburgh, PA (USA). In October, Uber's Otto subsidiary claimed the first commercial delivery by a self-driving truck, a modified Volvo 18-wheel tractor trailer. It drove more than 50,000 cans of beer on 120 miles of Colorado (USA) highway from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs, passing through Denver. But don't expect robocars to become routine yet. "Lots of progress has been made in the past few years, but we still have quite a long way to go before we can fully automate the driving function," says Raj Rajkumar, director of the Technologies for Safe and Efficient Transportation Center at Carnegie Mellon University (USA). He predicts gradual progress, with cars coming on the market in three years that can drive themselves in "geographically fenced regions" such as limited-access highways, where there are no pedestrians, bicycles, or other potential perils. In an article in the January 2017 issue of SPIE Professional Jeff Hecht, a science and technology writer, shows how cameras and lidars are playing key roles in the development of self-driving cars. Read the full article about autonomous vehicles in SPIE Professional.