Europe’s Intercity Bus Juggernaut Is Rolling Into the U.S.

It’s the business model: As Uber does not own its on-demand cars, Flixbus does not own its buses. Instead, they are operated by other bus companies Flixbus has franchised or absorbed—a Borg-like strategy has allowed this Munich-based start-up to utterly dominate its home market, with nearly 90 percent of the German long-haul bus business. It’s approaching monopoly status on many of the major routes and corridors where it runs.

Could dockless bike share disrupt Chicago?

The American dockless boom got rolling in Seattle this summer after the city's traditional bike-share system, Pronto, tanked due to low ridership, blamed on a relatively small number of poorly located stations, plus a local helmet law. Currently San Francisco's Spin and Beijing's Ofo as well as LimeBike, in San Mateo, California, each have more than 2,000 bikes in the city, with plans for expansion. (Mayor Rahm Emanuel's former senior adviser David Spielfogel is a board member with LimeBike, and former Chicago Department of Transportation commissioner Gabe Klein, who oversaw the 2013 Divvy launch, joined Spin's board earlier this month.) In comparison, Divvy currently has about 6,000 cycles and 580 stations.

Competition from Other States Prompts Action on California AV Regulations

After four years of trying, regulators were still trying to write rules for testing cars without anyone in the driver’s seat. Lawmakers and tech industry representatives worried that California was losing its grip on innovation in a sector primed for growth.
Now, after this year’s release of guidelines from the state Department of Motor Vehicles, the mood has changed. Californians should expect to see driverless cars tested on the state’s roads early next year.

6 Paths to the Automated Construction Site

The construction site hasn’t changed much over the years. Humans in hard hats still scurry across scaffolding, lay rebar, and pour concrete. While automation has transformed the world of manufacturing, construction remains relatively untouched by self-sufficient machines. That is about to change. Artificial intelligence, 3D printing, and robotics are poised to bring automation to building construction. Here we examine six technologies likely to be found on the construction site of tomorrow.

VTTI Smart Road expansion puts safety at forefront

VTTI's Smart Road, a section of an interstate highway, is where they can create hazardous conditions like rain, snow and fog, for their self-driving cars.
Their new facilities will expand the length of the Smart Road to include a Rural Track.
"Automated vehicles and robotic taxis are going to have to operate on all kinds of different roadways and in cities and in things like that," said Tom Dingus, VTTI Director.
They find this to be important since not every road traveled will be urban or suburban.

Driverless Car Lanes Among Options Studied for Foxconn Plant

As regional leaders prepare for challenges that will result from the massive Foxconn plant in southeastern Wisconsin, the possibility of driverless vehicles is being studied as one way to deal with traffic issues.
State highway planners are studying the possibility of including special lanes for driverless vehicles on Interstate 94, said Tim Sheehy, president of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.
There currently aren't highway lanes dedicated to autonomous vehicles, according to a U.S. Department of Transportation spokesman.

Northeast Maglev line could tunnel under Lansdowne, Baltimore Highlands

The Maryland Department of Transportation is in the first year of a three-year environmental impact study funded by the federal government to determine how each route would affect the region, Henley said.
Maryland Transit Administration spokesman Paul Shepard declined to set up an interview with those involved in the maglev study, saying in an email that “we are far too early on the process to discuss community impacts at this point.”
If the project receives a green light, Henley said Northeast Maglev could start construction as early as 2019 or 2020.

Tampa offers first demo of its connected vehicle technology project, launching with 1,600 cars in 2018

The project involves outfitting a fleet of 1,600 privately owned vehicles with technology that will communicate with roadways and other cars in order to receive various warnings and alerts about roadway conditions, speed limit changes, dangers and more.
The project also will connect 10 buses in the area to communicate with traffic signals, which will then prioritize the buses’ movements so they can stay on schedule. Ten streetcars will use the technology to detect when another connected vehicle is about to cross their tracks, in order reduce the chance of collisions.
An accompanying app for 500 pedestrian testers will be a part of the project, too, but was not on display today. This app will issue “walk” alerts at various intersections and will audibly signal if a bus or streetcar begins moving nearby.

Denver to Boulder in eight minutes? Colorado will get first test track for a Hyperloop-inspired transportation system

Arrivo, a Los Angeles startup, will partner with the Colorado Department of Transportation to build the half-mile track alongside the E-470 tollway near Denver International Airport, and open a research and development center in Commerce City. Arrivo is one of a new breed of high-tech companies, including the speedier and better-funded Virgin Hyperloop One, attempting to bypass road congestion with dedicated tracks for faster travel.

What will hyperloop travel look like? Try out a virtual reality ride from Carnegie Mellon

Realistically, commuters can expect to see functional hyperloops in about 10 years, said Ben Martin, the team's business lead.
"We didn't go to the moon in a year," he said. "The technical challenges that we have here are probably less than going to the moon, but it's mostly a private industry focus; so it's not like you have a big government bank and tens of billions of dollars pushing to make it happen."
The CMU team placed eighth in Musk's competition earlier this year. They plan to continue building models for future competitions and seeking sponsors to help with material costs.
Curious what life might be like with hyperloop access? Here's the virtual reality dramatization from CMU: