Archive for the 'Transportation Engineering' Category

TRID: Leveraging Search Results with Reference Management Tools

TRB will conduct a webinar on October 8, 2013 from 2:00 p.m.- 3:30 p.m. ET that will demonstrate the use of desktop and online reference management tools. Participants must register in advance of the webinar, there are no professional credits associated with this webinar, and there is no fee to registerRegister at http://www.trb.org/Research/Blurbs/169269.aspx

The licensed and free management tools that will be covered are EndNote, EndNote Web, RefWorks, and Zotero.

TRID, released in 2011, is the world’s largest and most comprehensive bibliographic resource on transportation research information. TRID is an integrated database that combines the records from TRB’s Transportation Research Information Services (TRIS) Database and the OECD’s Joint Transport Research Centre’s International Transport Research Documentation (ITRD) Database. TRID provides access to more than one million records of transportation research worldwide, with more than 90,000 links to free or fee-based full text.

The first 60 minutes of the webinar will feature information from the presenter and the final 30 minutes is reserved for audience questions.

Webinar Presenters:

  • Bill McLeod, Transportation Research Board
  • Ken Winters, Virginia Department of Transportation

Moderated by: Lisa Berardi Marflak, Transportation Research Board

Learning Objectives:

  • To learn how to export references from TRID to an EndNote library or database; an EndNote Web account; a RefWorks database; and to a Zotero Library
  • To understand the labor and time-saving benefits of using reference management tools to write papers, chapters, and technical documentation

To ensure that you receive notices about upcoming webinars, please subscribe to the TRB Transportation Research E-Newsletter.

Registration information:  
There is no fee to register for this webinar. After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.  See link above to register.

Registration questions? Contact Reggie Gillum at RGillum@nas.edu.

Advertisements

Stair Climbing Wheelchair

Japanese Researchers Develop Robotic Wheelchair That Can Climb Stairs.

Popular Science (10/17, Boyle) reports, “Wheels are the most efficient way to get around, but they can’t take you everywhere.” A “new robotic wheelchair designed in Japan can go almost anywhere, however–it can swivel its axles up and down to climb up stairs, onto curbs or over obstacles.” Popular Science explains, “All the user has to do is move a joystick to point it in the desired direction, and the robo-chair figures out what to do. Sensors on its feet detect the distance to nearby obstacles and determine their size. The chair will stabilize itself in the best position to hoist one of its front wheels, like a rider straddling a horse.”

Reposted from the 10/17/12 ASEE First Bell.

Unmanned Vehicle Autonomy

Addressing the Limits to Unmanned Vehicle Autonomy Through Human-Computer Collaboration

Speaker: Andrew Clare

Science, Technology, and Society Program
Spring 2012 Colloquium Series
Date: Thursday April 12, 2012
Time: 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Location: Rodman Room
Thornton Hall
University of Virginia

In the future, teams of networked Unmanned Vehicles (UVs) will be utilized for military operations, border patrol, atmospheric research, forest firefighting, search and rescue, and cargo delivery among other uses. Recent advances in UV autonomy along with the development of optimization algorithms for dynamic scheduling of tasks for multiple UVs have enabled this future vision. The impending use of teams of humans and UVs in American airspace raises new ethical and legal issues. One key concern is that the uncertainty and time constraints inherent to command and control situations can cause poor performance by these automated systems. Thus, researchers at the MIT Humans and Automation Laboratory (http://halab.mit.edu) are developing mixed-initiative scheduling systems, where a human guides a computer algorithm in a collaborative process to solve the scheduling problem for the team of UVs. Examples from simulation-based experiments, indoor flight tests, and outdoor flight tests will show how such a human-computer collaborative system can best handle a realistic scenario with unknown variables, possibly inaccurate information, and dynamic environments. On-going research on this topic from Humans and Automation Lab will be described, including investigations into modeling both qualitative and quantitative aspects of how humans work with scheduling algorithms and teams of UVs. Finally, the impact of these research efforts on the relevant ethical and legal issues will considered.

Andrew Clare is a Ph.D. Candidate in the MIT Humans and Automation Laboratory in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He received his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering with Information Technology from MIT in 2008 and his M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT in 2010. He has held research internship positions with the U.S. Army Research Laboratories, General Electric Aviation, Aurora Flight Sciences, and the National Aerospace Laboratory in Amsterdam. He was the recipient of a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG) in 2008.

For more information on the STS colloquium series see:
http://www.sts.virginia.edu/stshome/tiki-index.php?page=Colloquium+series

Back Seat Big Brother?

Nissan, EPFL Researchers Developing Technology That Would Allow Cars To Anticipate Drivers’ Next Moves.

AFP (9/29) reports, “Nissan and a Swiss university are developing cars that scan the driver’s thoughts and prepares the vehicle for the next move.”

Popular Science (9/29, Boyle) reports, “Using environmental and biometric indicators, cars will prepare themselves for an upcoming task the driver already has in mind, maybe slowing down to ready for a turn, or changing lanes in anticipation of a highway exit.” Popular Science reports, “It will use sensors embedded in the car, as well as brain activity and eye movement patterns, to anticipate what’s about to happen.” Swiss researchers said “their new system also uses statistical analysis to predict a driver’s intentions. It would conceivably work faster, so the car would know you’re thinking ‘turn left’ before you actually start actively thinking it.”

Reposted from the 9/29/11 ASEE First Bell

Car “Platooning”

New Scientist (1/18, Graham-Rowe) reported on a road test of an automatic driving system in Sweden that showed “that a single car could join a platoon, be ‘enslaved’ by a lead truck” and become part of a convoy “and then exit safely.” As a result, “discussions are now under way to carry out tests on public roads in Spain next year.” The system, known as “platooning,” was tested by Volvo, “one of the partners of the Safe Road Trains for the Environment (SARTRE) Project” coordinated by the Cambridge engineering firm Ricardo UK, which has “€6.4 million of European Commission money” for it. The system would theoretically let “drivers read a book, surf the net or possibly even have a snooze while behind the wheel.” The SARTRE project aims to operate “platoons on public highways without having to change the infrastructure.”

Reposted from the 1/19/11 ASEE First Bell

Automotive X-Prize Winner

Automotive X-Prize Names Winning Vehicles.

The Washington Post (9/17, Shin) reports, “A team lead by Charlottesville developer Oliver Kuttner has won an international competition sponsored by Progressive Auto Insurance and the US Department of Energy to build a car that can go 100 miles on a gallon of gasoline.” By achieving 102.5 miles per gallon with its Very Light Car, Kuttner’s Edison2 “was awarded the largest chunk of the $10 million purse offered by the X Prize Foundation, which created the competition.” The vehicle achieved the increased efficiency by “using lightweight materials, aerodynamic design and a combustion engine. It beat out vehicles that relied on batteries, which are heavier — and thus create more drag — more expensive, and dependent on electricity generated by greenhouse gas-emitting power plants.”

Reuters (9/17) quotes X PRIZE Foundation Chairman and CEO Peter Diamandis as saying, “We’re living in a day and time where literally anything is possible. … A man or woman can go out and build a spaceship or a 100 mile per gallon car. This is only the beginning.”

The Los Angeles Times (9/17, Hsu) reports Edison2 received $5 million for taking first place in the mainstream class. Meanwhile, the tandem class was won by Switzerland’s X-Tracer team and its “battery-powered E-Tracer #79,” which “can run up to the equivalent of 205.3 miles per gallon and has two extra stabilizing wheels that emerge at low speeds.” X-Tracer was awarded $2.5 million. Similarly, “Li-ion Motors Corp. of North Carolina won $2.5 million in the alternative side-by-side class with its Wave II electric vehicle,” which achieved “the equivalent of 187 miles per gallon.” The Times notes, “The three winners now qualify for a Department of Energy program that will help prepare the vehicles for commercialization in the United States.”

Focusing on Edison2 and its Very Light Car No. 98, the AP (9/17) reports that, according to Kuttner, “a team of around 100 people – including many racing veterans – developed the car. They opted for a one-cylinder, ethanol-capable engine instead of an electric car because batteries add weight and gas is readily available. But the team said its innovations in aerodynamics and the use of lightweight materials could apply to any kind of vehicle.” A racecar driver himself, Kuttner said “We’ve been working on these types of solutions, really, all our lives. … In racing, fuel is a precious resource. One less pit stop is the difference between winning and losing.”

“The X Prize is only the beginning,” Kuttner is quoted as saying in the Wired (9/16, Squatriglia) “Autopia” blog. “We need to demonstrate that low-mass cars can be safe and meet FMVSS safety standards. We need to show how our Light Car principles can dramatically improve efficiency for electric, hybrid, diesel and natural gas systems. And we need to create cars to fit the wide needs of consumers: SUV’s, family sedans, sports and utility models – all light, aerodynamic, safe and incredibly efficient.”

NPR (9/17) reports that, according to David Champion of Consumer Reports, “car engineers still need to iron out kinks with braking, emergency handling and acceleration.” Scalability is also an important consideration, experts said. But while these vehicles are still “very much in their development stages,” Champion said the competition “really showed the passion and the drive and the ingenuity of these engineers to produce these cars that were extremely fuel efficient.” X Prize Foundation CEO Peter Diamandis said, “This is a prize to show the public that you can have a car that is beautiful, affordable, fast, safe and, ‘Oh by the way – it can get over 100 mpg or the gas equivalent.’ And why would you want anything else?” The Wall Street Journal (9/17) website carries a slideshow of the winning vehicles, and ultra-efficient cars in general.

Reposted from the 9/17/10 ASEE First Bell.

Self-Healing Concrete

Reposted from the 9/2/10 ASEE First Bell:

Bacteria Could Be Key To Self-Healing Concrete.

New Scientist (9/2, McAlpine) reports, “Concrete could soon be healing its own hairline fractures” through the incorporation of bacteria. And whereas water exacerbates the damage of cracks in regular concrete, in this new design it would be part of the healing process, serving to activate the bacteria. Researchers at Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands, found “some strains of Bacillus” that could thrive in the high pH environment of concrete and remain dormant for long periods of time. “To keep the spores from activating in the wet concrete mix, and to keep them and their calcium lactate food from affecting the quality of the concrete, [the researchers] first set both into ceramic pellets 2 to 4 millimetres wide and then added them to the concrete.” The pellets crack when the concrete does, and when activated the bacteria “combine the calcium with oxygen and carbon dioxide to form calcite.”


RSS Feed

December 2017
S M T W T F S
« Sep    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31