Researcher launches open source accessibility toolbox

DOTs and planning agencies interested in measuring access to destinations have a growing number of packages and data sources to choose from. Folks not looking to reinvent the wheel are turning to shiny products like Citilabs’ Sugar Access, Conveyal, and Remix. But those with tighter budgets and a little more technical expertise can build on existing platforms like OpenTripPlanner, UrbanAccess, and now the Accessibility Toolbox for R and ArcGIS, featured recently in Transport Findings.

Sidewalk evaluation app Project Sidewalk launches in Seattle

Project Sidewalk, newly launched in Seattle, is crowdsourcing the evaluation of sidewalks and ramps with the intent to help DOTs locate and prioritize needed repairs and improvements, educate the public, and collect data to train AI. Poorly planned sidewalks and ramps, those in disrepair or with other impediments can dramatically reduce the mobility of people with disabilities and decrease walking accessibility. The gathered data could eventually be incorporated into interactive routing software such as Access Map, which is aimed primarily at helping sidewalk users maximize their mobility.

Smartphone app promises crowdsourced road roughness index and fuel efficient routing

The ability of smartphones to collect reams of data is significantly expanding crowdsourcing opportunities. An accelerometer is used by smartphones to change screen orientation or count footfalls, among other uses. But it is also capable of recording very small movements 100 times per second. A new app developed by researchers associated with the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub is harnessing this flood of data to measure road roughness in a way that could have far-reaching effects.

Was 2018 the year of peak ICE?

With slowing growth in light-duty automotive markets overall, and an increasing share of electric vehicles within that market, last year may have been the high point for internal combustion engines. Such is the conclusion drawn by Financial Times, based on interviews with and reports from a variety of automotive industry experts.

An app that rewards commuters for their travel choices

Many navigation apps use real-time traffic data to help people find the fastest route to work. A new app called incenTrip emulates the same model but with a twist—it incentivizes commuters to take greener, more eco-conscious trips by providing users with a variety of travel options and modes to a destination, each of which is assigned points depending on the distance traveled and the fuel consumed. The greener the trip, the more points are awarded, and users can redeem points for rewards.

An app that rewards commuters for their travel choices

Many navigation apps use real-time traffic data to help people find the fastest route to work. A new app called incenTrip emulates the same model but with a twist—it incentivizes commuters to take greener, more eco-conscious trips by providing users with a variety of travel options and modes to a destination, each of which is assigned points depending on the distance traveled and the fuel consumed. The greener the trip, the more points are awarded, and users can redeem points for rewards.

When will everyone have a Connected Autonomous Vehicle?

Although many car makers and future thinkers imagine the rapid adoption of connected and autonomous vehicles, a recent study, conducted at the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis, suggests that buyers may not be so eager to own one. Significant barriers to adoption included the price point of the vehicles, distrust of the technology in general, and a fear of losing control over operation of the car.

Smart intersection technology may improve safety for all road users

The promise of smart intersection technology goes beyond increased operational efficiency and encompasses its potential to improve safety for all road users, including those using the crosswalk. But it does not fulfill this promise if it is only used to reduce congestion and travel times for autos. Smart intersections depend on smart policy to realize the full range of benefits they offer.

New technology helps bicyclists at traffic signals

A new enhancement to a bicycle detection and counting device solves a problem and improves safety for bicyclists at intersections. The new addition to the Iteris Smartcycle technology allows bicyclists waiting at a red light to be sure they have been detected, that the light will change, and that the green light will be sufficiently long for them to finish crossing the intersection.

Tapping into TNC data

With the rise of transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft, and growing concerns about their effects on traffic and curb usage, transportation agencies and local governments are eager for data. Data from TNCs, however, are heavily guarded. Many governments are trying to negotiate agreements with these companies and working on laws that require data sharing. Others, however, are getting more creative.