Blog Archives

Engines lab receives $1.4 million to improve delivery vehicle energy efficiency

The University of Minnesota’s Thomas E. Murphy Engine Research Laboratory has received $1.4 million to research ways to boost the energy efficiency of cloud-connected delivery vehicles. The funding was awarded by the NEXTCAR Program of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy.

The U’s NEXTCAR project researchers are partnering with UPS and electric vehicle manufacturing company Workhorse to improve the energy efficiency of medium-duty delivery vehicles through real-time powertrain optimization using two-way vehicle-to-cloud connectivity.

Posted in Engines, Freight, Technology, Transportation research

Minnesota freight market profiled in new paper

Performance of the freight system in Minnesota profoundly affects economic competitiveness. But perspectives vary on what constitutes and contributes to an attractive, competitive freight environment. Differences among various interests—carriers, retailers, consumers, and government—give rise to a certain competitive tension underlying critical decision making and investment involving freight.

To make sense of it all, the Minnesota Freight Advisory Committee (MFAC) in June published Components of an Attractive Minnesota Freight Market (PDF). The white paper, which identifies key aspects of an attractive freight market in Minnesota, is the first in a planned MFAC series about freight transportation issues important to Minnesota’s economy.

Posted in Economics, Freight, Transportation research

New report highlights the state of freight in Minnesota

MFAC annual report coverThe Minnesota Freight Advisory Committee recently published its 2016 annual report on the state of freight in Minnesota.

The report examines the many ways that freight drives economic growth throughout Minnesota. Through stories and updates, it explores topics such as the network of freight modes, congestion impacts, trucking and technology advancements, next steps with the Minnesota Statewide Freight System Plan, and more.

Posted in Freight

U of M researchers join new Freight Mobility Research Institute

Trucks in highway trafficUniversity of Minnesota researchers at the Minnesota Traffic Observatory will work to improve the mobility of people and goods across the nation as part of the new Freight Mobility Research Institute, a Tier 1 University Transportation Center funded in 2016.

Led by Florida Atlantic University (FAU), the Institute will receive $1.4 million per year from the United States Department of Transportation for five years. A combined match from state and private-sector sources will bring the award to more than $10 million in total. In addition to FAU and the U of M, Institute members include the University of Florida, Portland State University, Hampton University, the University of Memphis, and Texas A&M University (College Station).

Posted in Economics, Freight, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), Technology, Traffic data, Transportation research

Mobility, labor, and competitiveness drive discussion at annual freight symposium

Image of multiple freight modesHow does the ability to move freight affect the economic health of a state, region, and even a city? How are the supply chains of businesses impacted by freight flow? And what challenges and opportunities does Minnesota face when it comes to leveraging and strengthening its freight modes?

The 2016 Freight and Logistics Symposium offered a thoughtful examination of those questions and explored other topics related to improved mobility in Minnesota, including congestion, regulation, labor shortages, and the value of all freight modes to the state’s economy.

Posted in Events, Freight

Humphrey School research links economic development and transportation planning

shutterstock_339289595.jpgA newly published article in the journal Community Development highlights work on transportation and economic competitiveness conducted by Humphrey School researchers.

Article authors Lee Munnich, senior fellow, and Frank Douma, director of the State and Local Policy Program, outline how their team worked with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), Minnesota Department of Administration, and University of Minnesota Extension to develop and implement a unique approach linking economic development and transportation planning. Their work has focused on getting manufacturers’ perspectives on transportation issues as part of regional transportation decision making.

Posted in Economics, Freight, Infrastructure, Planning, Transportation research

New study on truck driver screening, treatment of sleep apnea

truckers2Today, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released the results of its obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) survey, which highlights a number of issues related to truck driver screening and treatment of OSA. ATRI’s report includes data from more than 800 commercial drivers and is the first to quantify the costs and other impacts that truck drivers are experiencing as they address diagnosis and potential treatment regimen for OSA.

Earlier this month, a related article by University of Minnesota Morris researcher Stephen Burks was published in the journal Sleep. The article highlights findings from a project that examined the link between truck driver crash risk and untreated OSA. The project, sponsored by the Roadway Safety Institute, was the largest study of sleep apnea and crash risk among commercial motor vehicle drivers to date.

Posted in Freight, Safety, Transportation research
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