U of M hosts autonomous bus demo on Washington Avenue Bridge

autonomousbusdemo2018-0764-300ppi-3008x2008On Monday, April 30, an innovative demonstration of a self-driving EZ10 All Electric Autonomous Bus offered free rides to students, staff, faculty, and the public across the Washington Avenue Bridge.

More than 450 people took a three-minute ride across the bridge during the demo, which was organized by the U of M’s Parking & Transportation Services, CTS, the Humphrey School’s State and Local Policy Program, the University Office of Sustainability, and First Transit, Inc.

Posted in Connected and autonomous vehicles, Events, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), Intelligent vehicles, Technology

Hands-on activities introduce kids to transportation at Tech Fest

On February 24, CTS partnered with MnDOT to bring transportation-related activities to Tech Fest, an annual event held at The Works Museum in Bloomington, Minnesota.

The event, geared toward kids ages four and up, is designed to inspire interest in engineering and technology. It features hands-on activities and demos from the museum and its partners.

Posted in Education, Events

Is accessibility to parks equitable in the Twin Cities?

Given the many benefits of parks, there’s growing interest in whether these green spaces are distributed equitably in urban areas. When researchers study park accessibility, they typically assume that people will use active modes of transportation (biking and walking) to reach their destinations. Few studies have considered automobile and transit accessibility.

A new analysis from the U of M helps fill this gap. It applies a comprehensive measure of park accessibility to determine the differences across space and population groups for Minneapolis and Saint Paul neighborhoods. Kristin Carlson and Jacqueline Nowak conducted the assessment last year as part of their graduate coursework for Professor Jason Cao of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Posted in Accessibility (access to destinations), Equity, Transportation research, Urban transportation

New videos demonstrate the impacts of transportation research

At our Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony today, we launched an ongoing series of videos about the impacts of research. The series will take a high-level look at recent studies, focusing on the benefits and impacts to users. The short videos feature interviews with the people who implement research—such as MnDOT and Metro Transit staff—to improve Minnesota’s transportation systems.

Posted in Bicycling, Events, Public transit, Transportation research

Symposium explores freight’s role in the on-demand revolution

E-commerce is booming as consumers increasingly shop online for convenience, price, and availability. New trends and emerging technologies are driving consumer expectations for shortened, lower-cost, more flexible delivery options. But what do those expectations mean for the freight industry? What challenges does the industry face in meeting the demands of the new on-demand economy?

Participants at the annual Freight and Logistics Symposium in December focused on finding answers to these questions as they explored freight’s integral role in the on-demand revolution.

Posted in Events, Freight

Urban outfitting: Imagining cities for a changing world

hhh_urbanWith as many as three billion more people expected to live in cities by 2050, there’s renewed interest in a topic often taken for granted: infrastructure. Many are wondering if there are options better than vast highways, elaborate power grids, and complex underground water systems. And cities are already trying localized, “distributed” systems such as community solar power, rain gardens, bike sharing, and urban farms. But what should such systems look like? How should they work? And how should we measure their impact—on efficiency and cost? What about their impact on people’s health and happiness?

Researchers from across the globe are asking such questions as part of a massive four-year effort to rethink urban infrastructure. Knit together in the sprawling Sustainable Healthy Cities network, they are attempting to provide the analyses needed to understand the effects of decisions cities have already made as well as envision what cities might do in the future.

The network, supported by a $12 million grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation, is anchored at the University of Minnesota. CTS Scholar Yingling Fan, an associate professor in urban and regional planning at the Humphrey School, is a co-principal investigator.

Posted in Infrastructure, Land use, Planning, Transportation research, Urban transportation
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