Munich Re America joins U-M research partnership on connected and automated vehicles

Munich Reinsurance America, Inc. has joined the University of Michigan’s Mobility Transformation Center (MTC) Affiliates Program—part of a major research partnership of industry, government, and academia that is laying the foundation for a commercially viable system of connected and automated vehicles. The Affiliates Program has 27 initial members from a wide range of industries.

Read the full story at http://www.greencarcongress.com/2015/03/20150327-munichre.html.

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New Ford S-MAX first worldwide to offer Intelligent Speed Limiter

Ford of Europe announced that the a new S-MAX will be the first Ford worldwide to offer Intelligent Speed Limiter, a new technology that scans traffic signs and adjusts the throttle to help drivers stay within legal speed limits and avoid fines.

Intelligent Speed Limiter for the first time combines the two current Ford technologies Adjustable Speed Limiter and Traffic Sign Recognition, which are both already available on models including Focus, all-new Mondeo, and Kuga SUV. Drivers can choose between speed limiting systems in the vehicle menu using the steering wheel controls, and activate them using the speed system controls.

Maximum speed for Intelligent Speed Limiter can be set and then raised or lowered in 5 km/h (5 mph) increments. Between 30-200 km/h (20-120 mph) the technology utilises speed limit information from the Traffic Sign Recognition system. In vehicles equipped with onboard navigation, Intelligent Speed Limiter also uses map data for improved accuracy.

Read the full story at http://www.greencarcongress.com/2015/03/20150324-smax.html.

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Better living through transit: Detroit firm seeks to improve public transportation throughout region

Author: MJ Galbraith

How do you convince a region to embrace public transit when it’s been neglecting it for decades? That’s what Freshwater Transit is hoping to do. The Detroit-based transit firm is looking to produce a series of seven videos that demonstrate just how easy, beneficial, and indispensable public transit is in other metropolitan regions across the country.

The educational series is called “15 Minutes or Better.” The theory goes that since metro Detroit has no idea what a high-functioning public transit system actually looks like, how are we ever going to make the decisions necessary to putting one in place? Freshwater will be traveling to seven cities to show how key concepts of public transit actually work. They’ll then examine how those concepts are being expressed in metro Detroit.

Read the full article at http://www.modeldmedia.com/devnews/15MinutesOrBetter.aspx.

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Data Mining Reveals When a Yellow Taxi Is Cheaper Than Uber

The crowdsourced cab service, Uber, is currently taking the world by storm. Commuters use the service’s smartphone app to order a car, a request that is forwarded to the nearest available driver who then makes the pick-up.

Uber itself determines the cost of the fare so no money changes hands in the cars. Uber determines its fares by the service it offers, by the time a journey takes and sometimes by the distance traveled. The price also increases when demand is higher. On New Year’s Eve in 2011, for example, fares were reportedly seven times the normal rates.

It’s fair to say that Uber has alienated the official taxi drivers in many cities around the world. The company has come up against numerous backlashes and regulatory issues. But it is nevertheless wildly popular.

So here’s an interesting question: is Uber cheaper than conventional taxis? Today, we get an answer thanks to the work of Cecilia Mascolo at the University of Cambridge in the U.K. and a few pals who have compared Uber’s prices with those of Yellow Taxis in New York City. They say the ability to compare prices in this way should help commuters choose the cheapest options and thereby help control costs for all cab users.

Read the full article at http://www.technologyreview.com/view/535886/data-mining-reveals-when-a-yellow-taxi-is-cheaper-than-uber.

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Making Strides: Last Mile to the Green Line

Read the 2014 Accessibility Survey at http://dcc-stpaul-mpls.org/sites/dcc-stpaul-mpls.org/files/images/MakingStrides2014AccessibilityReport.pdf.

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Study: Most Auto Execs Not Ready for Industry’s Coming Tech Changes

Author: Sarah Schmid

Results from the third annual EY (formerly known as Ernst & Young) survey of the automotive industry were released last week at the Geneva Motor Show, and, paradoxically, they’re both not surprising and a little alarming.

According to the Changing Lanes report, 88 percent of auto executives do not have the confidence to implement data and analytics initiatives; 88 percent feel unprepared to attract and retain talent, and 80 percent feel unprepared to respond to market volatility. Taken together, those are potentially serious problems for an industry that is being rapidly redefined by technological leaps and changes in consumer behavior.

As seen, for instance, in the new Ford experiment with electric bikes, car makers are painfully aware that Millennials are much less interested in owning cars than their predecessors, and therefore know they need to diversify their transportation offerings.

Read the full story at http://www.xconomy.com/detroit/2015/03/11/study-most-auto-execs-not-ready-for-industrys-coming-tech-changes.

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