2017 Overview

Third Annual Summit of University Transportation Centers for Safety: Continuing the Tradition.

Carnegie Mellon University’s Technologies for Safe and Efficient Transportation (T-SET) University Transportation Center (UTC) hosted our third and final National UTC Safety Summit on Thursday, April 6, 2017 at the Holiday Inn Washington – Capitol. Following the Summit, CMU has handed the baton over to a newly awarded National UTC for Safety – the Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety housed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Carnegie Mellon will continue to be one of five national University Transportation Centers funded by the United States Department of Transportation, but our newly awarded center is under the theme of improving the mobility of people and goods. In continuing the tradition, we will host another National Summit in 2018 – this time on mobility.

At this year’s summit, we held three panels. The first panel, “Rebuilding our Infrastructure with Technology for Improved Safety,” was moderated by David Harkey, Director of the Highway Safety Research Centercat the University of North Carolina, and featured Una Connolly of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, Sue Chrysler with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, Art Guzzetti from the American Public Transportation Association, Brian Watson representing the American Traffic Safety Services Association, and Tom Weakley with the Independent Drivers Association Foundation. During this discussion, panelists covered ideas of incorporating new technologies to meet the goal of improved safety.

The second panel, “How Do We Safely Deploy Connected and Automated Vehicles,” was moderated by T-SET’s Stan Caldwell, and featured Mike Knodler, Director of the UMass Transportation Center, James Pol of the Federal Highway Administration, Ian Reagan with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and Vinn White of Deloitte’s Future of Mobility and Smart Cities. The panel featured a discussion on enabling and embracing new innovations while maintaining that safety is paramount. Panelists talked about distinctions in terms related to autonomy, expectations for connected infrastructure, dealing with human factors in automation, and liability.

Over lunch, various safety-themed University Transportation Centers gave brief presentations on their research and education efforts to improve transportation safety. Their presentations can be viewed under the National Safety Summits 2017 Presentations.

After lunch, we heard from the last panel, “Safety Issues for Rural Transportation,” moderated by Steve Albert, Executive Director of the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University. The panel featured Rosemarie Anderson of the Federal Highway Administration, Max Donath with the Roadway Safety Institute at the University of Minnesota, Peter Kissinger representing AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, and Darrin Roth from the American Trucking Association. Panelists, shown in the photo above from left to right, discussed key themes in rural transportation, including infrastructure, working with limited resources, improving communication and connectivity, and balancing the need for safety with other important needs.

The Summit closed with a networking reception and Research and Technology Showcase highlighting students and faculty work supported by UTC funding. Thanks to all who participated, continuing the National UTC Safety Summit as a critical forum to convene UTCs with government and industry partners, and ensuring that safety research continues to address real-world transportation needs.