Welcome to the SMART blog! It’s a dynamic counterpart to SMART’s website, posting-up-to-the-minute sustainable transportation news, events, jobs, and other opportunities from the U.S. and around the world. It also links to innovations, new research, policy updates, related newsletters, inspiring initiatives, and videos that come our way. You can contribute too! Please send relevant information to Kim Seelye. The blog will benefit and grow from your involvement. SMART is a project of University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. MANY THANKS to the FIA Foundation for their generous support of the development of SMART’s blog in the interests of advancing New Mobility implementation. Many thanks also to Ford Motor Company for supporting the development of this blog through its generous ongoing support of SMART.


Ford Initiates Open Innovation Approach to Finding Innovative Mobility Solutions; Launches Innovate Mobility Challenge Series

From : @FordOnline

COLOGNE, Germany – Ford today announced the launch of its Innovate Mobility Challenge Series, inviting the developer and ‘maker’ communities to come together to find innovative mobility solutions in eight different locations around the world.

The worldwide challenges will kick off on July 15 in Lisbon, Portugal, Los Angeles, United States, and Mumbai, India, before moving on to Delhi and the Chennai region in India, Shanghai, China, Johannesburg, South Africa, and a countrywide challenge in Argentina.

“Reaching out to local stakeholders lets Ford more effectively address the diverse mobility challenges around the world,” said Paul Mascarenas, Ford’s chief technical officer and vice president, Research and Innovation. “Launching our Innovate Mobility Challenge Series in eight different regions will bring global and local players together in the pursuit of one goal, which is a smarter and more efficient transportation network for the future.”

Ford’s OpenXC program is a non-production, open-source, software and hardware platform designed to encourage top developers to experiment with Do-It-Yourself projects using real-time vehicle data. Developers can use OpenXC data like any other data source in a smartphone, tablet or web app. The Innovate Mobility Challenge Series encourages developers to integrate this real-time vehicle information into apps that relate to sustainability and mobility issues, whether by incorporating the data into existing apps or creating new apps from scratch.


Faster Cars, Hotter Tech, Fewer Drivers

Author: Alex Marshall

Since the Model-T, Americans have brought cars not only onto their streets, but also into their lives and their homes. Government has been handmaiden to this marriage, building millions of miles of roads, requiring vast seas of parking as a condition of development, and setting up traffic systems like stoplights and left-turn lanes that indicate paved thoroughfares are principally for drivers.

Like all relationships, the one Americans have with their cars evolves. In recent years, it would seem the nation’s long-term romance with the auto is beginning to wane. Stats from a recent U.S. PIRG report say Americans are driving less per capita, particularly young people, who are also getting licensed at a later age. Young people view cars more like refrigerators. That is, like an appliance. They want one, and for it to work reliably, but it’s less a projection of who they are.

Or maybe not. To get a sense of where the car and its potential owner are these days, I stopped in at the New York International Auto Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Manhattan’s West Side. There, hundreds of cars from dozens of top carmakers were displayed under gleaming lights.

The show — the first I had ever attended — was an interesting mix of old and new school. In retro fashion, pretty ladies in tight dresses stood demurely in front of cars, offering the classic combo of hot woman and hot car. Yet behind this classic facade, there clearly was a ferocious evolution and competition going on under the hood of these cars and in their accessory systems.

Read the full article at http://www.governing.com/columns/eco-engines/gov-faster-cars-hotter-tech-fewer-drivers.html.


Not One Person Has Died on an NYC Bike-Share Bike

Author: Will Oremus

One year ago, New York City launched a bike-share program, and pundits predicted a safety nightmare.

“The most important danger in the city is not the yellow cabs, it is the bicyclists,” raved the Wall Street Journal’s Dorothy Rabinowitz in a segment titled “Death by Bicycle.” The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart offered a similarly blunt assessment: “A lot of people are going to die.” The bike-share program did give him an idea for a business, though: “Jon Stewart’s Street Brain Material Removal Service.” A Rutgers professor got more specific. In a New York Post story headlined, “Citi Bike ‘Heading’ for a Fall,” he predicted that cyclist fatalities could triple in the program’s first year, from 20 to 60.

It has now been a full year since the first foolhardy tourists began menacing the city’s streets in those fat blue Citi Bike bikes. Riders have taken more than 8.75 million trips so far, Citi Bike reports, travelling some 14.7 million miles in all. Want to guess how many have died?


Read the full article at http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/05/30/


Apply Now – 2015 Code for America Fellowship

Apply at http://www.codeforamerica.org/geeks/fellowship-apply.


Hyundai and Kia make greenest cars, according to Union of Concerned Scientists

Author: Tracy Samilton

Hyundai and Kia made the greenest cars last year, according to an annual ranking by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

The sister Korean companies stole the crown from Honda, which had been No. 1 since 1998.

Researcher Dave Cooke says Hyundai and Kia’s strategy of using smaller, turbo-charged engines is paying off, “and they also added two hybrid electric versions of some of their most popular vehicles, the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima.”

The ranking looks at average fuel economy and emissions of the top eight automakers in the U.S.

Read the full article at http://michiganradio.org/post/hyundai-and-kia-make-greenest-cars-according-union-concerned-scientists.


Two open professorships in Mobility and Urban Studies

ENSPAC – the department of Environmental, Social and Spatial Change, Roskilde University, Denmark, invites applicants for two open professorships in Mobility and Urban Studies, including interest for qualifications in Urban Planning and in Designing Human Technologies. Look for the announcement here: http://www.ruc.dk/en/job/vip. Dead-line 12 August 2014.