News Article | December 14, 2016
Whether it's planes, trains or automobiles, the nation's transportation systems are growing rapidly and present a number of challenges related to safety as well as sustainability. Florida Atlantic University will receive $1.4 million per year from the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), for five years, for its Freight Mobility Research Institute, housed in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatics Engineering within FAU's College of Engineering and Computer Science. A combined match from the state and private sectors will bring the award to more than $10 million in total. Funds from this award will help to address critical issues affecting the planning, design, operation, and safety of the nation's intermodal freight transportation system, in order to improve freight mobility through information technology, freight network modeling and operations, intermodal logistics, as well as freight and supply chain sustainability. More than 200 proposals were submitted to the USDOT, and only 20 institutions were selected for funding and designation as a Tier 1 University Transportation Center. "Florida Atlantic University is at the forefront of pioneering transportation research and we are honored that our Freight Mobility Research Institute was selected by the United States Department of Transportation as a university transportation center," said FAU President John Kelly. "We extend our deepest gratitude to state representatives Lois Frankel and Ted Deutch for their commitment to the future of transportation in Florida and our nation, and for their unwavering support and vision, which helped us to secure this funding." The primary goal of the Freight Mobility Research Institute is to help strengthen the nation's economic competitiveness. FAU will lead a consortium of experts from leading universities across the nation who have expertise in freight transportation, network modeling, sustainability, and intelligent transportation systems. The institute will help to promote smart cities, improve multimodal connections, system integration and security, data modeling, and analytical tools to optimize freight movements that improve efficiency. The institute also will have a significant educational impact through integrated education and outreach components. "Efficient and safe freight movement is inextricably linked to the economic vitality of a local area, state, region and even beyond," said Evangelos I. Kaisar, Ph.D., director and principal investigator of the Freight Mobility Research Institute, an associate professor in FAU's Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatics Engineering, and director of the Multimodal Intelligent Transportation Systems Laboratory. "We are motivated to embrace innovative research projects, to train current and future transportation leaders and workforce, and to engage with industry to enhance collaboration between agencies." Members of the Freight Mobility Research Institute are FAU (lead); University of Florida; University of Minnesota (Minneapolis); Portland State University; Hampton University; University of Memphis, and Texas A&M University (College Station). In addition, FAU will receive $1.5 million in total for the next five years from the USDOT to co-direct the Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety, a National University Transportation Center housed at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. This is one of five national centers with the aim to reduce injuries and fatalities on the nation's roads by providing a new model for understanding and addressing traffic safety issues. "We are very excited to join forces with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and our partner universities to work collaboratively to address and improve road safety issues that impact millions of drivers throughout our country," said Eric Dumbaugh, Ph.D., associate director of the Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety, and an associate professor in FAU's School of Urban and Regional Planning within FAU's College for Design and Social Inquiry. Researchers from FAU's College for Design and Social Inquiry will work with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Duke University; the University of California, Berkeley; and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville on transportation research, planning, public health, data science and engineering programs related to the Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety. "The establishment of these new designated centers will help to foster novel ideas that will lead and influence the future of transportation safety in the United States through multidisciplinary research, education, collaboration, and technology transfer activities," said Daniel C. Flynn, Ph.D., FAU's vice president for research. About FAU's College of Engineering and Computer Science: Florida Atlantic University's College of Engineering and Computer Science is committed to providing accessible and responsive programs of education and research recognized nationally for their high quality. Course offerings are presented on-campus, off-campus, and through distance learning in bioengineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, geomatics engineering, mechanical engineering and ocean engineering. For more information about the college, please visit eng.fau.edu. Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU's world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of critical areas that form the basis of its strategic plan: Healthy aging, biotech, coastal and marine issues, neuroscience, regenerative medicine, informatics, lifespan and the environment. These areas provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU's existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit http://www. .
News Article | August 16, 2016
Could existing electric vehicles (EVs), despite their limited driving range, bring about a meaningful reduction in the greenhouse-gas emissions that are causing global climate change? Researchers at MIT have just completed the most comprehensive study yet to address this hotly debated question, and have reached a clear conclusion: Yes, they can. The study, which found that a wholesale replacement of conventional vehicles with electric ones is possible today and could play a significant role in meeting climate change mitigation goals, was published today in the journal Nature Energy by Jessika Trancik, the Atlantic Richfield Career Development Associate Professor in Energy Studies at MIT’s Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS), along with graduate student Zachary Needell, postdoc James McNerney, and recent graduate Michael Chang SM ’15. “Roughly 90 percent of the personal vehicles on the road daily could be replaced by a low-cost electric vehicle available on the market today, even if the cars can only charge overnight,” Trancik says, “which would more than meet near-term U.S. climate targets for personal vehicle travel.” Overall, when accounting for the emissions today from the power plants that provide the electricity, this would lead to an approximately 30 percent reduction in emissions from transportation. Deeper emissions cuts would be realized if power plants decarbonize over time. The team spent four years on the project, which included developing a way of integrating two huge datasets: one highly detailed set of second-by-second driving behavior based on GPS data, and another broader, more comprehensive set of national data based on travel surveys. Together, the two datasets encompass millions of trips made by drivers all around the country. The detailed GPS data was collected by state agencies in Texas, Georgia, and California, using special data loggers installed in cars to assess statewide driving patterns. The more comprehensive, but less detailed, nationwide data came from a national household transportation survey, which studied households across the country to learn about how and where people actually do their driving. The researchers needed to understand “the distances and timing of trips, the different driving behaviors, and the ambient weather conditions,” Needell says. By working out formulas to integrate the different sets of information and thereby track one-second-resolution drive cycles, the MIT researchers were able to demonstrate that the daily energy requirements of some 90 percent of personal cars on the road in the U.S. could be met by today’s EVs, with their current ranges, at an overall cost to their owners — including both purchase and operating costs — that would be no greater than that of conventional internal-combustion vehicles. The team looked at once-daily charging, at home or at work, in order to study the adoption potential given today’s charging infrastructure. What’s more, such a large-scale replacement would be sufficient to meet the nation’s stated near-term emissions-reduction targets for personal vehicles’ share of the transportation sector — a sector that accounts for about a third of the nation’s overall greenhouse gas emissions, with a majority of emissions from privately owned, light-duty vehicles. While EVs have many devotees, they also have a large number of critics, who cite range anxiety as a barrier to transportation electrification. “This is an issue where common sense can lead to strongly opposing views,” Trancik says. “Many seem to feel strongly that the potential is small, and the rest are convinced that is it large.” “Developing the concepts and mathematical models required for a testable, quantitative analysis is helpful in these situations, where so much is at stake,” she adds. Those who feel the potential is small cite the premium prices of many EVs available today, such as the highly rated but expensive Tesla models, and the still-limited distance that lower-cost EVs can drive on a single charge, compared to the range of a gasoline car on one tank of gas. The lack of available charging infrastructure in many places, and the much greater amount of time required to recharge a car compared to simply filling a gas tank have also been cited as drawbacks. But the team found that the vast majority of cars on the road consume no more energy in a day than the battery energy capacity in affordable EVs available today. These numbers represent a scenario in which people would do most of their recharging overnight at home, or during the day at work, so for such trips the lack of infrastructure was not really a concern. Vehicles such as the Ford Focus Electric or the Nissan Leaf — whose sticker prices are still higher than those of conventional cars, but whose overall lifetime costs end up being comparable because of lower maintenance and operating costs — would be adequate to meet the needs of the vast majority of U.S. drivers. The study cautions that for EV ownership to rise to high levels, the needs of drivers have to be met on all days. For days on which energy consumption is higher, such as for vacations, or days when an intensive need for heating or cooling would sharply curb the EV’s distance range, driving needs could be met by using a different car (in a two-car home), or by renting, or using a car-sharing service. The study highlights the important role that car sharing of internal combustion engine vehicles could play in driving electrification. Car sharing should be very convenient for this to work, Trancik says, and requires further business model innovation. Additionally, the days on which alternatives are needed should be known to drivers in advance —information that the team’s model “TripEnergy” is able to provide. Even as batteries improve, there will continue to be a small number of high-energy days that exceed the range provided by electric vehicles. For these days, other powertrain technologies will likely be needed. The study helps policy-makers to quantify the “returns” to improving batteries through investing in research, for example, and the gap that will need to be filled by other kinds of cars, such as those fueled by low-emissions biofuels or hydrogen, to reach very low emissions levels for the transportation sector. Another important finding from the study was that the potential for shifting to EVs is fairly uniform for different parts of the country. “The adoption potential of electric vehicles is remarkably similar across cities,” Trancik says, “from dense urban areas like New York, to sprawling cities like Houston. This goes against the view that electric vehicles — at least affordable ones, which have limited range — only really work in dense urban centers.” Jeremy J. Michalek, a professor of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University who was not involved in this study, says the MIT team’s integration of the GPS and national survey data is a new approach “highlighting the novel idea that regional differences in range requirements are minor for most vehicle-day trips but increase as we move into higher-range trips.” The study, he says, is both “interesting and useful.” The work was supported by the New England University Transportation Center at MIT, the MIT Leading Technology and Policy Initiative, the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, the Charles E. Reed Faculty Initiatives Fund, and the MIT Energy Initiative.
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 | December 8, 2016
The University of Texas at Arlington has won three national U.S. Department of Transportation grants that could be worth about $12 million in funding to UTA during the next five years and speaks to the University's growing expertise across several academic and research disciplines that intersect the nation's current and future transportation infrastructure. Researchers in the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs (CAPPA) and the Department of Civil Engineering are the principal investigators or co-principal investigators on the grants. UTA vied in a national competition for $300 million in DOT funding allocated to 32 University Transportation Centers across the country. UTA was one of only a few universities to land three projects. "The announcement of these awards signals a transformational achievement by CAPPA, by civil engineering, and by UTA as we focus on enabling the sustainable megacity that the Dallas/Fort Worth region will become in the next decade," said President Vistasp Karbhari. "It ensures that our talented faculty, researchers and students will be at the very center of progress and advancement, and will contribute significantly to quality of life in the years to come for North Texas and for the country." The first grant will establish the Center for Transportation Equity, Decisions and Dollars (C-TEDD) in North Texas, one of the 32 UTCs. The award will fund the center and transportation research, teaching and outreach on transportation-related projects and issues for the North Texas region and beyond. The C-TEDD grant is expected to total up to $7.7 million over a five year period. UTA's share in the first year is $1.4 million. Other partners in this Tier 1 University Transportation Center consortium with UTA are California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of South Florida. C-TEDD plans to assist transportation leaders and elected officials in making wiser, more informed choices about transportation through the information and data it provides. It will focus on preserving the existing transportation system, while aligning transportation decision-making and funding sources and mechanisms to achieve efficiency, equity and upward social mobility. Shima Hamidi, assistant professor of planning in CAPPA and principal investigator on the C-TEDD grant, said, "The center brings together nearly 50 top faculty in associated fields to collaboratively produce research that will address our transportation system needs in the smartest, most efficient and most equitable way possible," Hamidi said. "We want to improve the tools and technologies available for state and local governments so they can address infrastructure concerns efficiently." UTA also won U.S. DOT funding of another UTC as part of a Louisiana State University-led Transportation Consortium of South-Central States in the amount of a planned $12.5 million over five years. UTA Civil Engineering professors Stefan Romanoschi and Anand Puppala are UTA's representatives in that group. Romanoschi and Puppala could access up to $2.5 million in the first year of funding. This consortium aims to support all phases of research, technology transfer, workforce development and outreach activities of emerging technologies that can solve transportation challenges in the region. Its focus is on improving transportation infrastructure through research into innovative materials and new technology. Romanoschi is an expert in pavement engineering, pavement materials, pavement design and construction, pavement testing and management. Puppala's proficiency is in soil research, ground modification, using recycled waste materials, sustainability in geotechnical engineering, pavement geotechnics and site characterization. In addition, UTA's Stephen Mattingly, associate professor of civil engineering, is part of another similarly funded consortium led by Portland State University. Mattingly will draw upon a total award of $15.6 million that PSU will administer. His first-year funding is $310,000. His projects include developing institutional infrastructure, evaluating transit connections for opportunities and developing a non-motorized data archive and tools. Mattingly's expertise is in decision and risk analysis, transportation and public health, transportation planning, intelligent transportation systems, traffic engineering, public transit, bicycle and pedestrian behavior and safety, and transportation safety. The three awards speaks to all four key themes of the University's Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact, building sustainable urban communities, advancing health and the human condition, addressing the global environmental impact and utilizing data-driven discovery. In 2013, there were 45.3 million people living in poverty in the nation, an increase of more than 14 million since 2000. The number of people falling into this category who are over 65 will almost double in 30 years. Hamidi said UTA researchers look forward to collaborating with partner institutions to solve major transportation planning issues facing the nation. "The health and well-being of the DFW region, and others into the future, depends largely on its transportation networks and opportunities," said CAPPA Dean and co-Principal Investigator on the C-TEDD grant Nan Ellin. "As the U.S. DOT defines it, transportation includes all forms of mobility including walking and biking, so this Center and the work of the others will aim to render this entire mobility network more complete and efficient in order to enhance public health, environmental sustainability and access to upward mobility." About The University of Texas at Arlington The University of Texas at Arlington is a Carnegie Research-1 "highest research activity" institution of about 55,000 students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second-largest institution in The University of Texas System. 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' 2016 Best for Vets list. Visit http://www. to learn more, and find UTA rankings and recognition at http://www. . For more on the Strategic Plan, see Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact.
News Article | September 28, 2016
As I noted yesterday, CleanTechnica‘s upcoming Wrocław Cleantech Revolution Tour conference is packed with great EV experts, speakers, and troublemakers, but remember that this isn’t the only event CleanTechnica is participating in next month. The premier EV Transportation & Technology Summit, 6 time zones away, is taking place one week later in my home state of Florida, and I’ll be providing a new presentation and moderating two panels there. The event is packed with EV experts and detailed presentations on a variety of EV topics for the business sector, government sector, utility sector, and common consumers. Since I last wrote about the EV Summit, three new speakers have been confirmed, so below is a short intro on them followed by a slightly modified repost of my previous article about the tantalizing Florida event. Steven Polzin, Director of Mobility Policy Research at the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida, will give a presentation on “Policy and Planning for Innovative Transportation.” Dr. Polzin “carries out research in mobility analysis, public transportation, travel behavior, planning process development, and transportation decision-making; … [and] is on the editorial board of the Journal of Public Transportation and serves on several Transportation Research Board and APTA Committees.” Jason Gaschel, Electric Vehicle Program Manager for Florida Power & Light (FPL), will present on “The Economic Impact of EVs.” Via fleet assessments and educational campaigns, Gaschel promotes EVs through one of the nation’s largest utilities. “Prior to joining FPL, Jason developed alternative energy programs at Seminole State College of Florida that featured electric transportation. He is a former chairman of Clean Cities Central Florida and holds a master’s degree in technical education from the University of Central Florida.” David Thompson of Open EV Networks (the topic he’ll present on) has been focused on interoperability and operational freedom for decades. “He was a founding member of the BACnet Interest Group — North America and helped facilitate its merger with the BACnet Manufacturers’ Association to form BACnet International. In 2010 he founded The BACnet Group — Drupal as a non-profit Drupal Training Provider targeting BACnet-Drupal integrations. David is a Consultant for Function1, a software company specializing in enterprise technology. Founded in 2007, Function1 delivers its products, world-class services, customized solutions, and timely support across all sectors of industry.” Here’s another look at other topics and presenters who will be in Cocoa in less than one month: First of all, the conference actually kicks off this year with in-depth workshops. The first day is fully dedicated to an “EV and Battery Technology” workshop and an “EV Powertrain, V2G Technology, and EV Case Study” workshop. Each workshop is 2½ hours long. I’m curious what will be presented in these sessions and will be taking a lot of notes, but nothing can replace being present yourself, so hopefully some of you can make it. The next day, after the opening comments, I essentially kick off the show with a presentation on “EV R&D and the Future.” I will present an overview of the EV market, will share where I think it’s going in the near and long term, and will present findings from our extensive 2016 surveys of EV drivers. I’m followed by Scott Miller of EV charging giant ChargePoint, and I’m genuinely very curious to see what he says about “EV Charging at Scale.” I’m sure I will pick up several insights, and I’ll do my best to drill him with some tough questions in order to uncover more. 🙂 After lunch, Leslie Eudy of NREL will talk about a favorite topic of CleanTechnica readers: “Electric Transit Buses: Clean, Quiet, Efficient!” I think we can basically assume what this will tell us — electric buses are much better for drivers, nicer for passengers, a huge boost for public health, key to climate action, and cheaper over a lifetime ownership basis. This is definitely going to be a cheerleader session, but as you know, CleanTechnica loves being a cleantech cheerleader. I imagine I’ll also pick up several stats and charts to use for future pieces highlighting how obvious of a choice electric buses now are for cities across the world. (Any bets that BYD & Proterra will be mentioned in this session?) Regan Zane of Utah State University’s Center for Sustainable Electrified Transportation (SELECT) follows the buses to discuss a hot topic of ongoing debate — “Wireless EV Charging Systems.” Is wireless charging the future of EV charging? Will it remain a niche option forever? Will wireless charging also stimulate my brain cells and inspire better CleanTechnica articles? Are we really so lazy (or busy) that we can’t spend 2–3 seconds plugging in our cars when we get home? The final individual presentation of the day looks like a fascinating one. Omer Tatari of the Electric Vehicle Transportation Center (EVTC) will talk about “Driving the Decision, Life-Cycles of EV Transportation.” Hmm, sounds interesting … but wait, what does that mean? The summary is: “Return on investment is a primary concern in the deployment of EVs. Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) can impact this analysis through the consideration of economic, environmental, regional, and societal influences. LCAs are employed in many project and financial assessments and are applicable whether a passenger vehicle, a transit bus, or a delivery truck is being considered.” Doug summarized it even further for me: “In short, it’s a very sophisticated ROI.” It looks enticing to me. Panels are being incorporated into the conference this year, which I’m excited about since they can be so dynamic and can stimulate so much more discussion around complex topics. Also, I’m going to be moderating them, which will make them extra fun for me (and hopefully attendees). The first day ends with a panel on “Technology and Planning.” If you want to toss questions my way to throw at the panelists, feel free to do so in the comments below! The third day has another attractive lineup that fills out the policy side of the EV revolution. After opening comments, one of my favorite presenters last year, BMW i3 driver Peter King of Drive Electric Florida and Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA), will talk about “Stakeholders of Drive Electric Florida.” Based on his presentation last year, I can guarantee this one will be great. I’m looking forward to learning more about the initiative and seeing Peter present again. The next speaker will be an official from the US Department of Transportation and will present about “The FAST Act, Funding Future Transportation.” This is the money side of the equation that too many people don’t want to pay attention to. We should. Steven Polzin will then present on “Policy and Planning for Innovative Transportation,” which I’m particularly interested in, given that my master’s degree was in city and regional planning. As a Floridian (I apologize for that), the after-lunch presentation “Envisioning Florida’s Transportation Future” looks particularly interesting to me. Hopefully everyone isn’t falling asleep from lunch hitting their brains, but hey, that would be fitting for retiree-dominated and overly sunny Florida, wouldn’t it? For the sake of Tim Chapin of FSU, the presenter, let’s hope it’s a light enough lunch and people drink enough coffee to keep the eyelids open and soak up the useful information. Naturally, I’m expecting many of the points in Tim’s presentation could be applicable to other states and countries as well. Among all of these wonderful sessions, this is one of the presentations I’m most curious to see: Cornelius Willingham of Nissan wraps up the day’s individual presentations with “An OEM’s Perspective.” Hmm, I’m very curious what Nissan will share. GM’s presentation last year was an excellent one. I’m guessing I won’t hear a lot about this or this, though. The day concludes with a panel discussion on “Policy and the EV Future” which I will moderate. Watch out — I’m going to try to make this one super useful, utterly fascinating, and fun! (And if it isn’t, I’ll be sure to blame the panelists, of course.) Again, if you have suggestions for questions or prompts for this panel, I’d be happy to check them out in the comments below. Yes, this beast of an EV conference has 4 days. David Thompson of Open EV Networks will start the day talking about … “Open EV Charging Networks.” Then, Richard Raustad of EVTC will present on “Real World Workplace Charging” and Jason Gaschel of FPL will wrap up with a presentation on “The Economic Impact of EVs.” Given that this last one is a topic I recently covered in a long CleanTechnica article, I’m very curious to see the presentation and fill some gaps in my story. Go register for the 2016 EV Summit now. *By the way, EV Annex co-founder Matt Pressman will be in attendance on this day if you want to chat about aftermarket Tesla gear, what it’s like riding in the already historic Tesla Model 3, and Getting Ready for Model 3, which I imagine most of you will read. Buy a cool T-shirt or mug in the CleanTechnica store! Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech daily newsletter or weekly newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.
News Article | December 13, 2016
Industrial Television Services (ITS) announced that it implemented its TransitPort travel information system at Central New York Regional Transportation Authority (Centro) William F. Walsh Regional Transportation Center in Syracuse, NY. TransitPort screens show updated mass transit departure times and destinations for Amtrak trains, Greyhound/Trailways, Centro and other buses that serve passengers in Central New York. ITS designs, delivers, and supports easy-to-use digital signage solutions that transform the way clients do business. Click here to request information on ITS solutions. “The logistics of moving people is complex and our riders come from every travel segment. Our TransitPort screens show travelers their departure times and other information so they can plan ahead and stay on schedule,” said Mike FitzGibbons, Centro senior director of IT. “The addition of TransitPort information displays is a valuable travel service to our riders.” Centro has seven TransitPort screens mounted in the Amtrak lobby, the central information counter, the Greyhound/Trailways counter, food court and other areas. The networked ITS system also supports multiple LED displays at Centro’s bus departure doors that show departure times and destinations. “Many travelers are not familiar with our schedules and transportation options. They can look at the easily understood TransitPort displays and plan their trip,” FitzGibbons said. ITS’ TransitPort system is cloud based. This enables managers to continuously update their company’s travel schedule displays remotely from their mobile devices to keep customers informed and on time. “Amtrak, Greyhound/Trailways and other Centro travel contractors monitor weather conditions that impact their routes,” FitzGibbons said. “They can post travel times and arrival or departure changes even if they are not in our terminal. The TransitPort system was very easy to install and ITS has proven to be an excellent solution partner.” Centro operates mass transit in Onondaga, Oswego, Cayuga, and Oneida counties in New York. It operates four separate systems concentrated in the urban areas of the counties served. Each operates based on a hub-and-spoke route system with downtown transfer centers. “ITS understands the need for clearly legible ADA-compliant signage at government and municipal travel locations,” said Kent Toney, ITS president. “We customize our signage content for color, font size and other factors governmental projects require. Centro is a perfect example of how accurate travel information benefits travelers from all walks of life from experienced business people to families and students.” About ITS Industrial Television Services, Inc. (ITS), founded in 1960, designs, engineers, installs and supports complete, real-time digital signage systems and digital vision solutions for a breadth of business sectors, including transportation, travel and hospitality, manufacturing, automotive, trade associations and corporate headquarters . ITS enjoys an excellent reputation and builds on its 55 years’ of experience as a specialist in real-time data display and systems integration. The company’s professional team includes experienced hardware, software and network engineers, certified system architects, project managers, installation / support / repair / help desk technicians, sales and administrative staff who work together to achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction. ITS works directly with end-users and partners with manufacturers, suppliers, contractors, and other system integrators. ITS’ commitment is to provide you with the best products and services through ongoing R&D, intelligent design engineering, disciplined project execution and prompt, effective system support. About Central New York Regional Transportation Authority Established in 1972, the Central New York Regional Transportation Authority works with a mission to strengthen and improve transportation for the residents of the state of New York. Its subsidiary corporations include CNY Centro, Centro of Cayuga, Centro of Oswego, Centro of Oneida, Call-A-Bus Paratransit Services and Centro Parking and ITC. Centro works to be responsive to the transportation needs of the Central New York community by providing services, which are safe, convenient, reliable, and environmentally responsible with a goal of maximizing the taxpayers' return on investment.
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 | February 16, 2017
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. Explore further: The cybersecurity risk of self-driving cars
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 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.