Your Transport News #20

ATAP Road Transport update released

Transport Planning. ATAP M2 Road Transport provides specialist mode specific guidance on roads. The material will assist practitioners in the assessment and planning of roads, most specifically in appraising road initiatives.
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ATAP updates released for public consultation

Transport Planning. Four draft publications have been released for comment due 22 Jan 2021:
ATAP F0.1 Policy and Planning
ATAP F2 Problem Assessment
ATAP O8 Land Use Benefits of Transport Initiatives
ATAP T3 WEBs Guidance

Austroads Traffic Management Training

Traffic Management. Austroads has produced eight online learning units covering the fundamentals of traffic management (free access). The units cover 22 modules, each includes a video with in-session exercises. Some modules include additional tutorials. Links are provided to the relevant parts of the Guide to Traffic Management. For more information …

Infrastructure beyond COVID-19: A national study on the impacts of the pandemic on Australia

Infrastructure. A national study on the impacts of the pandemic on Australia assesses the causes and lasting consequences of COVID trends on infrastructure. The report will inform the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan to be released next year. Commissioned by Infrastructure Australia in collaboration with LEK Consulting, the report identifies major COVID-related trends and insights, and accounts for demand and supply impacts across infrastructure sectors and geographies. Download report

Pedestrian Resources to Help Talk the Walk

Three friends smiling despite the rain, as they cross a road in the Mission District of San Francisco, California.

Walking. Sidewalks are a much more complicated element of our transportation networks than they seem. Pedestrian facilities can range from sidewalks to ramps, to signals, to off-road hiking trails, and even infrastructure that connects to transit stops or shared bikes or scooter services. Over the past decade, state departments of transportation (DOTs) have worked in response to a federal U.S. DOT policy statement aimed at incorporating “safe and convenient walking and bicycle facilities into transportation projects.” Continuing an upward trend in roadway fatalities since 2007, pedestrians and bicyclists made up 18 percent of all fatalities on U.S. streets in 2016 and 2017 despite representing less than 4 percent of all trips. Between 2014 and 2016, over a quarter of pedestrians killed in crashes were struck at intersections. These statistics show room for improvement in safety design and planning, as well as the need for improved data and analysis tools. Read more…

Mobileye’s autonomous cars use cameras to navigate freeways in Munich

Future Vehicles & Technology. Mobileye, Intel’s autonomous driving division, published an hourlong video of its test vehicle navigating urban and highway driving in Munich, Germany. Mobileye says that it was able to drive autonomously within days of delivering the vehicle thanks to its technology that leverages crowdsourced data to map over 15 million km of roads daily. Some experts predict the pandemic will hasten adoption of autonomous transportation technologies. Despite needing disinfection, driverless cars can potentially minimise the risk of spreading disease because of the reduced human interaction. In partnership with Moovit, the mobility-as-a-service startup Mobileye acquired in May for $900 million, Mobileye aims to build full end-to-end ride-hailing experiences with its Luminar lidar-equipped vehicles using Moovit’s platform and apps. Read more …

See What to Expect from a Virtual TRB Annual Meeting

Conference. Are you curious about what a virtual TRB Annual Meeting might look like? Hear from TRB Executive Director Neil Pedersen, TRB Technical Activities Division Director Ann Brach, and TRB volunteer Sandra Larson of Stanley Consultants. From sessions to keynotes and everything in between, they give you the highlights of what’s coming throughout January 2021. The meeting’s exact dates are January 5-8, 11-15, 21-22, and 25-29. Watch video …

Mercedes pulsating with electric energy, 6 EVs to hit production in 2 years

Future Vehicles & Technology. Mercedes may be significantly behind the likes of Tesla when it comes to electrification of its products but there is just no shortage of intent to turn to battery power. The EQC was launched in India and in several global markets earlier this year and the German luxury car maker now plans to bring six more electric vehicles (EVs) to production line over the next two years.
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Guide for Quantitative Approaches to Systemic Safety Analysis

Safety. Traditional approaches to safety have focused on identifying high-crash locations and implementing projects to address predominant concerns at these locations. The systemic approach to safety is a method of safety management that typically involves lower unit cost safety improvements that are widely implemented based on high risk factors. The NCHRP Research Report 955: Guide for Quantitative Approaches to Systemic Safety Analysis provides guidance to transportation agencies on how to apply a systemic safety management approach for identifying safety improvement projects. Download report

Walmart expands self-driving program with fully driverless vehicles

Future Vehicles & Technology. Walmart announced that it will begin using fully driverless trucks in Arkansas in 2021 as it expands its autonomous vehicle pilot program with Gatik. For the first time, Gatik’s multi-temperature autonomous box trucks will move customer orders on a 2-mile route between a dark store and a neighbourhood market in Bentonville without the supervision of a safety driver, according to Tom Ward, Walmart senior vice president of customer products. Read more …

Going My Way? The Evolution of Shared Ride and Pooling Services

Mobility. Sharing rides is a longstanding tradition that predates even horse-and-buggy travel. Recent innovations, however, make sharing a ride easier, more convenient, and more efficient. Innovative mobility services premised on pooling — getting multiple riders into the same vehicle — can lower travel costs, mitigate congestion, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They also offer travellers more mobility choices between the traditional bookends of auto ownership and public transit. Read more …

General Motors Opens Dedicated 3D Printing Center

Future Vehicles & Technology. General Motors is currently developing a swath of new technologies, including tech that aims to revolutionise the automaker’s extensive production operations. To that end, GM has announced the grand opening of its new Additive Industrialization Center (AIC), a facility dedicated to “productionizing” 3D printing technology, located at the GM Tech Center in Warren, Michigan. 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a process by which an object is created by joining or solidifying material into a single piece, as opposed to traditional subtractive manufacturing techniques, such as a CNC machine, which whittles down a hunk of material into the shape desired. Read more …

To Save Lives, Let’s Cover Crashes Better

Road Safety. On a typical day, 100 Americans lose their lives in car crashes. That is like a commercial airplane falling out of the sky every other day. Yet crashes have not generated sustained outrage and society doesn’t treat them as a public health crisis. The way the media covers crashes is partly to blame for this muted response. Fortunately, simple changes to newsroom editorial practices could increase public support for road safety and help save lives. My evidence comes from two studies: one examined how journalists report and write about crashes, while the other examined if, and to what extent, coverage mattered — if it influenced the way people thought. Read more …

Commuter Benefits and Driving: Direct and Spillover Effects

Travel Behaviour. Commuter benefits are fringe benefits that firms give to workers to reduce the costs of commuting. The most common of these benefits — free parking — probably encourages employees to drive. In recent years, however, a growing number of governments, such as Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, have passed laws requiring employers of a certain size to offer their employees commuter benefits for alternative modes of transportation (e.g., subsidies for transit or vanpool expenses, or a company-funded bus). These laws primarily aim to address environmental concerns and traffic congestion problems that are especially severe in city centres. These benefits could increase use of these alternative modes, and thereby increase environmental sustainability and social equity. Read more …

A Regional Transit Coordinator for the SF Bay Area

Transit. The San Francisco Bay Area has more than two dozen different public transit operators. The region allocates nearly two-thirds of all transportation funding to public transit, yet fewer than 5% of all trips are made by transit. Having so many different transit systems makes it harder for riders to understand and use the services that are available to them. The Bay Area’s transit challenges are many: unreliable service; poor connections between modes and services; divergent maps, schedules and fares; uncoordinated capital investments that lead to both under-building and over-building; and fare policies that put transit out of reach for many. The consequence is that agencies are facing a fiscal cliff that will result in less service in the near term and create the very real possibility of ceasing to operate altogether. Transit should be coordinated at the regional scale because travel is fundamentally regional. Read more …

Russian tycoon aims to revolutionise auto making one micro-plant at a time

Future Vehicles & Technology. Russian-born entrepreneur Denis Sverdlov wants to revolutionise automaking, replacing Henry Ford’s century-old conveyor-belt assembly lines with tiny factories that cost far less. While most of the industry aims for big sales numbers that will keep huge plants busy, his Arrival Ltd., which will start producing electric buses and vans next year, is betting that doing just the opposite will help reduce production costs. Its micro-factories need about $50 million in investment, compared with $1 billion for conventional ones, and 10 of of them could make as many vehicles as a traditional outlet for half the capital expenditures and in a 10th of the space. Read more …

Nikola eyes deal in Arizona to produce hydrogen for its fuel cell vehicles

Future Vehicles & Technology. Nikola Corp is working on a contract to buy electricity at a lower price in Arizona for producing hydrogen to power its fuel cell vehicles. The electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicle company and Arizona Public Service will submit a joint proposal to the Arizona Corporation Commission for approval. Read more …

Lessons learned from automated vehicle trials in Australia

Future Vehicles & Technology. The National Transport Commission has today released a research report on the lessons learned from the last four years of automated vehicle trials in Australia. Since 2016, automated vehicle trials have taken place in every state and territory. Automated shuttle buses, cars and pods have all been tested on public roads, and thousands of Australians have had the chance to experience the technology for themselves. Read report …

EV startup unveiled 2 futuristic electric delivery vehicles

Future Vehicles & Technology. Electric-vehicle startup Canoo unveiled two delivery vans and announced that a third, larger version is in the works. The futuristic-looking MPDV1 and MPDV2 will offer up to 14 cubic metres of cargo room and get an EPA-estimated range of up to 350km. Read more …

Game-changing self-driving car tech

Future Vehicles & Technology. Australian scientists have made a big breakthrough in the race to develop driverless cars, taking the new tech to the streets of Sydney. The technology — called collective perception messaging — enables cars to “see” around obstacles and through buildings, giving them better knowledge of any impending risks to vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. Read more …

To boost emissions reductions from electric vehicles, know when to charge

Future Vehicles & Technology. Transport-related emissions are increasing globally. Currently, light-duty vehicles—namely passenger cars, such as sedans, SUVs, or minivans—contribute about 20 percent of the net greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. But studies have shown that switching out your conventional gas-guzzling car for a vehicle powered by electricity can make a significant dent in reducing these emissions. Read more …

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