CDC to Study Scooter Accidents

These devices let users zip around town quickly, but they also expose people to more accidents. And now the scooter phenomenon has grown large enough that the Centers for Disease Control has sent special researchers to Austin, Texas to study it.

The researchers, working with the Austin Transportation Department and Austin Public Health, will examine data from a 60-day period, from Sept. 5 to Nov. 4, where the city documented 37 emergency calls and 68 injuries related to scooters. Interviews begin next week, according to the Austin American-Statesmen.

Ultimately, the city hopes the epidemiologists will spot patterns that will be used to determine new local rules around scooter use.

Move people around a city without mass transit? This city says they’re doing it

Those Via vans that have been zipping around the center of Arlington are going to be sticking around.

This city that has been long been known as the largest in the United States without mass transit, appears to have found something that they believe is at least a partial answer to traditional public transportation.

Last week, the City Council approved another one-year contract for Via, the on-demand rideshare transportation program, which has provided more than 85,000 rides since rolling out last December.

“We have hit on something that is tremendously successful that is getting the ridership we’ve all been hoping for — at a fraction of the costs of traditional transportation like buses or light rail,” said Mayor Jeff Williams at a Nov. 27 council meeting.

USDOT, NACTO release guidelines to redesign large vehicles for urban areas

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) recently released two reports, Optimizing Large Vehicles for Urban Environments, with one report focused on downsizing and the other on advanced driver assistance systems. Large vehicles include, but are not limited to, freight trucks, waste management vehicle and fire trucks.

The reports detail opportunities for the public sector, considering that public agencies buy a notable number of large vehicles. Some recommendations are to use smaller yet equally capable emergency response vehicles, retrofit existing fleet vehicles for better visibility and use advanced driver assistance systems that include cameras, radar and sensors.

All the places self-driving cars are being tested around the world

Americans’ enthusiasm for cars is now rivaled by their eagerness to automate them. Europeans are plugging away on new pilot projects, but the US has raced ahead with more self-driving pilots than any other country.

Sven Beiker, a former BMW engineer who now runs the consulting firm Silicon Valley Mobility, analyzed data on autonomous vehicle pilots around the world. There are 24 pilots in the US and 50 others from Europe to Australia, according to data from the Aspen Institute and Bloomberg Philanthropies. “We’ll see many more pilots next year and get from pilots to actual products and services,” said Beiker.

BlackBerry launches security credential management system for intelligent transportation, smart cities

The Security Credential Management Service (SCMS) is available with no service fees for public office and automakers with smart city and connected vehicle pilots. The effort is part of BlackBerry’s push into the Internet of things, transportation and smart cities.

According to Mark Wilson, BlackBerry CMO, the SCMS service will initially launch in Ottawa for an autonomous vehicle test track under the Invest Ottawa program. The system allows infrastructure like traffic lights to connect to vehicles as well as manage public keys to exchange information.

For BlackBerry, the SCMS service is part of a stack designed for automakers and companies and governments involved in smart infrastructure.

Report: autonomous vehicle technology to have profound impact on real estate

Those funny looking cars by Argo AI driving around the Strip District, along with other cars from autonomous vehicle companies, may have the greatest impact on the American real estate market since “the mass adoption of the car and the expansion of the federal highway system in the 1950s,”

That’s according to a new national report by CBRE called “Autonomous Vehicles: Driving Change for Real Estate,” which studies how the roll out of self-driving car usage will affect the American office market by 2030, expecting profound change, suggesting both renewed prospects for both suburbs that have often taken a hit amid a back-to-cities trends as well as for walkable areas most typically in cities to become more valuable.

UPenn Hosts ‘How To Stop Distracted Driving’ Event

Every day, nine people are killed by distracted driving. The University of Pennsylvania addressed how to stop the dangerous trend on Tuesday.

Research has shown young people are the worst culprits when it comes to using their phones while behind the wheel of a car.

At the event, experts were reviewing what kinds of advanced auto safety technologies could help save lives.

Everybody knows how dangerous texting and driving is but drivers are constantly on their phones and distracted driving is a leading cause of car crashes.

Hoping to find new solutions, Penn hosted a symposium aiming to harness science and innovation to combat distracted driving.

Big strategy: Innovation campus may finally launch development near Pittsburgh’s airport

While the site work takes place, the authority will be working on a strategy to attract companies and business to the campus, CEO Christina Cassotis said.

It also will be collaborating with local universities to help chart a course for the development, she said.

Carnegie Mellon University already is partnering with the authority to make Pittsburgh International “the smartest airport on the planet” through the use of apps, sensors and other technology.

“This is really a big vision for the airport in terms of bringing the manufacturing that will take advantage of the region’s destination as a leader in [artificial intelligence] and robotics,” Ms. Cassotis said.

LA Metro Signs Letter of Intent to Begin Construction Negotiations on Dodger Stadium Gondola Project

The Aerial Rapid Transit (ART) project is estimated to cost roughly $125 million and Metro says ARTT will provide the necessary funding for the mobility partnership and plans to obtain third party private financing for the construction of the ART system. ARTT says it is not seeking Metro funding for construction or operating costs for the proposed ART system between Union Station and Dodger Stadium.

The proposed ART project will transport Dodger fans and visitors from Downtown Los Angeles to the Dodger Stadium property in five minutes. By landing at or near Union Station, the ART system will connect people to the region’s transportation hub, where they can connect to Metro’s Red, Purple, and Gold lines (and the future Regional Connector), Metrolink, Amtrak, bus, shuttle, and pedestrian connections at Union Station.

Didi restructures to focus on safety and efficiency

Two new senior executive positions – Chief Safety Officer and Chief Security Officer – have also been created to see through both user safety and data security of Didi’s platforms, while teams such as emergency response, local government coordination, and external advisory teams are enlarged to spur efficiency and timely response.

Unlike the other super apps out in the market, Didi is laser-focused on transportation. It seeks to become the transportation app that can provide all possible forms of transport for the consumer.

The Beijing-based ride-hailing mammoth operates under a trident structure which consists of ride hailing, automobile, and smart transportation. All of these work seamlessly together for Didi to provide optimal transportation methods for the user, whether it be via ride-hailing, bike-sharing etc. Didi drivers, on the other hand, will have their needs taken care of on Didi’s automobile solutions platform.