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.


Announcing Urbanful

Part magazine, part marketplace, Urbanful is all about the people, organizations, and businesses making our communities great. Urbanful’s stories highlight all the great things happening in our cities and the innovations in design, technology, culture, and transportation that are changing how we live.

Urbanful loves spotlighting cool local businesses making fantastic products and they’re constantly searching for the most interesting and useful apparel, gear, gadgets, and services for city living. Along with highlighting the best stuff each week, every dollar you spend will go to support Transportation for America’s work.



Government to allow driverless cars on UK roads

UK Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has announced two new measures that give the green light for driverless cars to take to the country’s roads from January 2015. UK cities can now bid for a share of a £10m (US$16.9m) competition to host a driverless cars trial. The government is calling on cities to join together with businesses and research organisations to put forward proposals to become a test location. Up to three cities will be selected to host the trials from January next year and each project is expected to last between 18 and 36 months. Ministers have also launched a review to look at current road regulations to establish how the UK can remain at the forefront of driverless car technology and ensure there is an appropriate regime for testing driverless cars in the country. The review will look at include the need for vehicles to comply with construction and safety regulations, traffic laws and relevant aspects of the Highway Code, as well as licensing, liability, insurance and driverless regulations being put in place in other countries. Two areas of driverless technology will be covered in the review: cars with a qualified driver who can take over control of the driverless car; and fully autonomous vehicles (AVs) where there is no driver.

Read the full story at http://www.traffictechnologytoday.com/news.php?NewsID=61165.


Funding Opportunities from FHWA

The following is a list of funding opportunities posted by FHWA at fbo.gov:

Identification of Effective Next Generation Pavement Performance Measures and Asset Management Methodologies to Support MAP-21 Performance Management Requirements
A — Research & Development
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
Office of Acquisition Management          Solicitation (Modified)   Jul 22, 2014

Mobile Asphalt Technology Guidance Program (ATGP)
A — Research & Development
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
Office of Acquisition Management          Award   Jul 16, 2014

Advanced, Low-Cost Snowplow Visual Guidance System
A — Research & Development
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
Office of Acquisition Management          Solicitation (Modified)   Jul 16, 2014

Non Personal Services to Explore New Technologies to Collect Field Traffic Data at Large Intersections
R — Professional, administrative, and management support services
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
Office of Acquisition Management          Solicitation (Modified) / Total Small Business       Jul 15, 2014

Non-Personal Services to Explore New Technologies to Collect Field Traffic Data at Large Intersections.
A — Research & Development
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
Office of Acquisition Management          Combined Synopsis/Solicitation (Modified) / Total Small Business             Jul 15, 2014

Enhanced Prediction of Vehicle Fuel Economy and Other Vehicle Operating Costs
A — Research & Development
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
Office of Acquisition Management          Solicitation (Modified)   Jul 09, 2014

Design of Pavement Preservation Experiment for the LTPP Program
A — Research & Development
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
Office of Acquisition Management          Combined Synopsis/Solicitation (Modified)         Jul 08, 2014


Global Call for Transportation Research Ideas

The Transportation Research Board’s Standing Committee on International Cooperation is pleased to announce a call for global transportation research ideas. You are encouraged to submit research ideas that lend themselves to international cooperation and that are of priority and urgency to the global transportation community. Research needs are defined as transportation –related applied problems that could benefit from research studies to address existing knowledge gaps.

The goal of this initiative is to create an inventory of research needs that cross international borders, address shared transportation problems across international borders that can be addressed through cooperation and collaborations of transnational researchers, funders and institutions.

Making the international research inventory available to researchers and sponsors around the world who wish to pursue them increases the likelihood of having those needs addressed. Creating a portfolio of international research needs will add research capacity in the area of international collaborations in research.

In analyzing the submitted ideas, our Subcommittee  #2 on “solicitation of cooperative international research needs” will work closely with the Committee Co-Chairs (as the Committee’s research coordinators) to review, categorize, rate and rank needs and place the list on the TRB research needs statements (RNS) website. The Committee will develop full problem statements for top ranked research ideas and also strive to promote their advancement through existing sponsors, and in collaboration with the idea author(s).

We strongly urge you to submit your research ideas for the first round of solicitation that ends on December 1st, 2014.  Each submission should not exceed 300 words. Each research idea should describe in very brief and simple manner

  • Why the problem is of global importance; and
  • What benefits addressing the problem would yield to the international transportation community.

Please submit your ideas to:

Dr. George Giannopoulos (anagi@otenet.gr) & Dr. Sam Elrahman (sam.elrahman@dot.ny.gov)

Co-Chairs, Transportation Research Board, Standing Committee on International Cooperation.


CUTC Seeking Nominations for Student Awards

CUTC is now accepting nominations for the National Student Awards. The annual competition recognizes students for their outstanding accomplishments in the field of transportation research and education.

Submit nominations in six categories:

  • Milton Pikarsky Memorial Award for Ph.D. Dissertation in Science & Technology
  • C. V. Wootan Memorial Award for Ph.D. Dissertation in Policy & Planning
  • Milton Pikarsky Memorial Award for M.S. Thesis in Science & Technology
  • C. V. Wootan Memorial Award M.S. Thesis in Policy & Planning
  • Neville A. Parker Award for Non Thesis in Policy & Planning
  • Neville A. Parker Award for Non Thesis in Science & Technology

The CUTC Student Awards are open to students in all CUTC member schools that are in good standing. These are schools that have paid their CUTC annual membership dues for the current year. There is no limit to the number of nominations that may be submitted from an institution.

All nominations must be submitted online by September 30. Contact ARTBA’s Kashae Williams for more information or view awards eligibility at http://mycutc.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/CUTC_Student-awards.pdf.


Helsinki’s ambitious plan to make car ownership pointless in 10 years

Author: Adam Greenfield

The Finnish capital has announced plans to transform its existing public transport network into a comprehensive, point-to-point “mobility on demand” system by 2025 – one that, in theory, would be so good nobody would have any reason to own a car.

Helsinki aims to transcend conventional public transport by allowing people to purchase mobility in real time, straight from their smartphones. The hope is to furnish riders with an array of options so cheap, flexible and well-coordinated that it becomes competitive with private car ownership not merely on cost, but on convenience and ease of use.

Subscribers would specify an origin and a destination, and perhaps a few preferences. The app would then function as both journey planner and universal payment platform, knitting everything from driverless cars and nimble little buses to shared bikes and ferries into a single, supple mesh of mobility. Imagine the popular transit planner Citymapper fused to a cycle hire service and a taxi app such as Hailo or Uber, with only one payment required, and the whole thing run as a public utility, and you begin to understand the scale of ambition here.

That the city is serious about making good on these intentions is bolstered by the Helsinki Regional Transport Authority’s rollout last year of a strikingly innovative minibus service called Kutsuplus. Kutsuplus lets riders specify their own desired pick-up points and destinations via smartphone; these requests are aggregated, and the app calculates an optimal route that most closely satisfies all of them.

Read the full story at http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/jul/10/helsinki-shared-public-transport-plan-car-ownership-pointless.