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— Urban Transport

EU plan to phase out 'conventionally fueled' cars by 2050

By - April 11, 2011 1 Picture
The European Commission has released a white paper detailing ambitious plans to transform Europe's transport infrastructure by 2050. The roadmap for a Single European Transport Area includes forty initiatives for road, rail and air travel that aim to increase mobility, reduce reliance on oil imports, cut emissions by 60% and combat congestion by halving the use of "conventionally fueled" cars in urban transport by 2030 with a view to phasing them out in cities by 2050. Read More
— Urban Transport

Getting on the right track with the OU Choose Your Way concept

By - March 2, 2011 5 Pictures
Like many other regions of the world, Brazil has a transport congestion problem. Once seen as a city issue, traffic jams have spread to smaller and smaller towns. The designers of the OU concept propose a possible solution where existing roadways have rails installed and drivers of specially kitted-out vehicles can join road trains to flow through otherwise congested areas at a constant pace. The electric OU vehicle's wheels would operate in either an open configuration – for normal driving – or closed, for rail travel. Read More
— Automotive

Follow the leader: SARTRE road train technology successfully demonstrated

By - January 17, 2011 7 Pictures
Reading the morning paper while behind the wheel of your car might sound like surefire recipe for disaster, but in the not-too-distant future it might just become a safer and more economical option than actually doing the driving yourself. That's the theory behind SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) project – a synthesis of personal and public transport that will allow cars to be daisy-chained and automatically controlled by a lead vehicle in a process dubbed "platooning." The project has now made the leap from simulator to real roads in the first successful demonstration of the technology at the Volvo Proving Ground near Gothenburg, Sweden. Read More
— Urban Transport

'Superstreet' concept shows promise in real-world test

By - January 12, 2011 2 Pictures
No left turn. That is the simple concept behind the Superstreet traffic design which promises significantly faster travel times, plus a drastic reduction in auto-collisions and injuries. These superstreets are ground level streets – not raised freeways or highways – that allow for greater volume of thru-traffic by re-routing traffic from side streets that would normally be trying to get across the main road. While the idea has been around in urban transport modeling textbooks for over 20 years, researchers from the North Carolina State University have been the first to test the concept in the real world and the results are promising. Read More
— Automotive

Anti Sleep Pilot detects drowsy drivers

By - January 3, 2011 4 Pictures
According to a 2008 study by the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, about 20 percent of all road traffic accidents are caused by driver fatigue. Tired motorists are also eight times more likely than rested motorists to get in an accident, displaying driving abilities similar to those of someone who is intoxicated. The problem is, we often don’t know when we’ve reached that “too tired” state – a situation that the Anti Sleep Pilot was created to address. The Danish-designed device sits on your dashboard, monitoring you and your driving conditions, and lets you know when it’s time to pull over and take a ten-minute rest. Read More
— Good Thinking

IBM's annual list of five innovations set to change our lives in the next five years

By - December 28, 2010 6 Pictures
IBM has announced its fifth annual Next Five in Five – a list of five technologies that the company believes “have the potential to change the way people work, live and play over the next five years.” While there are no flying cars or robot servants on the list, there are holographic friends, air-powered batteries, personal environmental sensors, customized commutes and building-heating computers. Read More
— Automotive

SARTRE multi-vehicle road train project enters implementation phase

By - December 13, 2010 6 Pictures
The European SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) project, which is developing technology to automate slipstreaming of multiple vehicles on highways, is now a year into its three-year program. The first year has been spent ironing out the concept and investigating the requirements of a prototype system, as well as how people will react to using it. Now the program is set to enter the implementation phase, starting with the testing of a single lead and following vehicle. Read More
— Urban Transport

Mobile automated system detects traffic violations

By - November 2, 2010 3 Pictures
In July of 2008, the European Union launched ASSETT (Advanced Safety and Driver Support for Essential Road Transport), a program aimed at reducing accidents caused by traffic rule violations. It involves a consortium of 19 partner organizations in 12 countries, but it boils down to one thing thing for European drivers – the police will be handing out more tickets. In order to cover a larger number of vehicles, while making things easier for officers and more fair for motorists, VTT Technical Research Center of Finland is currently testing a mobile system that monitors traffic and notes when infractions occur. Read More
— Urban Transport

Could the go-go-gadget straddling bus be headed for the U.S.?

By - October 27, 2010 4 Pictures
The giant Straddling Bus we reported on earlier this year could be headed to the U.S. This week the inventor of the bus, Mr. Song Youzhou, announced that his Shenzhen-based company is aiming to form partnerships or licensing agreements with specialized manufacturers to build the vehicle for the American market. Designed as a way to reduce traffic snarls without the need for much in the way of new infrastructure, the “Elevated High-Speed Bus” straddles two lanes of traffic allowing cars to drive underneath. Read More
— Urban Transport

Self-regulating traffic lights would improve vehicle flow

By - September 16, 2010 1 Picture
If you’ve ever been frustrated by stop-and-go traffic, you might have thought that traffic lights just don’t “get” what’s going on around them... and you’d be right. Traffic lights are programmed based on typical traffic patterns for the time and location, but are unaware of what’s actually happening at any one place or time (this wouldn’t include pedestrians hitting walk light buttons, or stopped cars activating sensors embedded in the asphalt). Not only is stopping and waiting for red lights irritating, but it is also a huge source of wasted fuel and extra CO2 emissions. Now, however, researchers have come up with something that may greatly reduce drivers’ periods in the “red light zones” – a system that allows traffic lights to monitor traffic in real time, and coordinate their signals accordingly. Read More

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