Rubén M.Cenzano

Chartered Civil Engineer specialised in Transportation

Ingeniero de Caminos especialista en Transporte

emergency vehicle priority project won ITS Australia’s National Industry Awards @ITS_AUSTRALIA

Posted On Thursday, 26 November 2015

Queensland Transport and Main Roads, Australia, were presented with the Hall of Fame award in ITS Australia’s National Industry Awards in the local government category for their work on the emergency vehicle priority (EVP) project. 

An intuitive intelligent transport system, the EVP technology is able to automatically interrupt normal traffic signal operations without human intervention, to provide a green light for emergency response vehicles to pass through - enhancing the safety of front-line officers and the community.

Reducing emergency vehicle travel times by up to 20%, EVP will further aid the existing transport infrastructure and emergency response times, effectively saving more lives without increasing frontline officers or vehicle numbers.

Australia preparing for an automated future

Posted On Tuesday, 24 November 2015

WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff has been awarded a pivotal consulting study for the association of Australasian road transport and traffic agencies, Austroads, to identify and assess key issues road operators will face with the introduction of automated vehicles (AV) to Australia’s roads.

The companies believe that AVs will operate on the country’s roads in the next five to twenty years. WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff section executive, Scot Coleman, said, “It’s not a matter of if, but when, we will see the introduction of highly automated vehicles on Australian roads.”

He went on to say that governments, road agencies and private road operators throughout the world will need to be ready to deal with the significant operational, social and economic ramifications of automated vehicles.

According to Austroads’ ‎program director for Cooperative and Automated Systems, Stuart Ballingall, the project will draw on international and local expertise. He said the study intends to review both international and local literature and initiatives and seek the input of local and international stakeholders regarding the emerging requirements for AVs to operate on public and private road networks, in urban and rural environments.

“The outcomes from this project will provide guidance to road agencies, private road operators and other stakeholders on what changes may be required to the way our road networks are managed,” he said. “We’re aiming for a best-practice, consistent approach that supports and optimises the outcomes from the introduction and use of AVs.”

TED Talks: how a driverless car sees the road

Posted On Thursday, 19 November 2015

Statistically, the least reliable part of the car is ... the driver. Chris Urmson heads up Google's driverless car program, one of several efforts to remove humans from the driver's seat. He talks about where his program is right now, and shares fascinating footage that shows how the car sees the road and makes autonomous decisions about what to do next.

New York’s MTA tests new safety technology on buses

Posted On Tuesday, 17 November 2015

As part of the MTA’s ongoing commitment to improving safety across all agencies and in coordination with New York City’s Vision Zero plan, MTA New York City Transit has begun to test new technologies aimed at improving safety for drivers, bus customers and pedestrians. The 60-day tests of pedestrian turn warning and collision avoidance systems will determine if a full pilot of one or both systems can proceed in 2016.

NYC Transit’s Department of Buses is testing two systems on six buses: a pedestrian turn warning system that issues an external audio warning when the bus is making a right or a left turn, and a smart sensor based technology designed to prevent forward and side collisions by alerting the bus operator with visual and auditory warnings.

A pedestrian turn warning system by Clever Devices has been installed on four buses. The system is triggered when the bus makes a turn, activating an external warning to nearby pedestrians or cyclists that the bus is turning. External speakers are installed in an area that does not block the bus operator’s view, and the speaker volume takes into consideration the ambient sound level in the vicinity of the bus.

The second test involves a collision avoidance system that is installed within view of the bus operator at the front of the bus. Multiple smart vision sensors manufactured by Mobileye are integrated with a driver interface manufactured by Rosco Vision Systems, to create the Mobileye Shield+ system. This system is installed in and around the bus to help detect the presence of vehicles and pedestrians in the front of the bus and pedestrians on both sides of the bus. The collision avoidance system alerts the bus operator prior to a potential collision without the need for bus operator input and continually measures distance and relative speeds of the bus and surrounding objects to evaluate the risk of a collision. When danger is imminent, visual and audible alerts warn the bus operator to make necessary corrections in sufficient time to avoid a collision.

“These initiatives are an integral part of our commitment to continually improve our safety performance,” said Darryl Irick, senior vice president, NYC Transit Department of Buses and president of MTA Bus. “Our safety efforts so far have reduced the number of collisions per million miles by as much as 46% since 1988. But we are always aiming to do better, and we look forward to taking this commercially-available technology and seeing how we can put it to practical use on a larger scale under New York City operating conditions.”

Independent tests reveal floating car data is ‘as accurate as road sensors’ @INRIX

Posted On Thursday, 12 November 2015

An independent quality test by the German State of Bavaria’s Centre for Traffic Management (ZVM) has found that floating car data (FCD) from INRIX is ‘just as good’ as the information from road sensors. The results indicate that the traffic authority can provide enhanced traffic information to citizens without the expense and time-consuming process of maintaining and installing additional road sensors.

The traffic consultancy reported that the data from INRIX can reliably fill in the gaps in coverage between installed road sensors. This means that ZVM will be able to accurately report back on the traffic situation on secondary roads in Bavaria using FCD alone.

driverless cars to save 10 million lives per decade

Posted On Tuesday, 10 November 2015

If driverless cars deliver on their promise to eliminate the vast majority of fatal traffic accidents, the technology will rank among the most transformative public-health initiatives in human history. But how many lives, realistically, will be saved?

This is not merely theoretical. There’s already some precedent for change of this magnitude in the realms of car culture and automotive safety. In 1970, about 60,000 people died in traffic accidents in the United States. A dramatic shift toward safety—including required seat belts and ubiquitous airbags—helped vastly improve a person’s chance of surviving the American roadways in the decades that followed. By 2013, 32,719 people died in traffic crashes, a historic low.

Researchers estimate that driverless cars could, by mid-century, reduce traffic fatalities by up to 90 percent. Which means that, using the number of fatalities in 2013 as a baseline, self-driving cars could save 29,447 lives a year. In the United States alone, that's nearly 300,000 fatalities prevented over the course of a decade, and 1.5 million lives saved in a half-century. For context: Anti-smoking efforts saved 8 million lives in the United States over a 50-year period.

The life-saving estimates for driverless cars are on par with the efficacy of modern vaccines, which save 42,000 lives for each U.S. birth cohort, according to the Centres for Disease Control.

Globally, there are about 1.2 million traffic fatalities annually, according to the World Health Organization. Which means driverless cars are poised to save 10 million lives per decade—and 50 million lives around the world in half a century.

overcoming the challenges facing emerging bike share schemes

Posted On Thursday, 5 November 2015

Despite a slow beginning, bike share has become one of the fastest growing trends in urban transport over the past ten years. Indeed, from 2004 to 2014, the number of cities with bike share systems increased from a mere 11 to 855. With nine cities already operating bike share systems, Turkey is showing substantial interest in moving forward with this rising mode of sustainable transport. However, the cities that have already implemented public bike share systems across the country are facing unique challenges that threaten their sustainability.

  1. There is often widespread vandalism of the bikes docked in stations.
  2. Residents want to be able to pay with a combination of credit cards and “smart cards” used for other modes of public transport. However, these two forms of payments are not integrated, leading to problems for users.
  3. Dedicated bike lanes often end abruptly and fail to connect with other bike lanes, making cycling in the city less safe.
  4. Neither the bike share system nor the bike lanes were designed with other modes of transport in mind and are therefore not sufficiently integrated with public transport.
 Where the proposed solutions to these problems are as follows:
  1. Foster programs for a stronger cycling culture
  2. Create a connected, comprehensive cycling network
  3. Integrate public transport and non-motorized modes

7 steps businesses can take to improve the mobility of their employees

Posted On Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Strong incentives for sustainable transport modes make people far more likely to change their travel habits.

For example, businesses can utilize bike racks and changing rooms (for cyclists), subsidies for those using public transportation, flexible office building entry and exit times, and buses for employees as benefits. However, to ensure that these policy changes are effective and meet the needs of employees, businesses need a strategy for developing a corporate mobility plan “Step by Step”:
  1. Prepare: for developing the plan by identifying the needs of the organization, win the support of the board, map stakeholders, establish the plan’s steering committee and appoint a coordinator.
  2. Define the Scope: of the plan by forging its vision, objectives and limits according to the company’s context and needs.
  3. Communicate: the plan’s vision, which is essential for engaging employees and encouraging a change in culture.
  4. Diagnose: the current transport conditions, the policies and costs, and the travel pattern of current employees.
  5. Elaborate: on the available budget and the strategies that will be used; this is the launch moment of the plan.
  6. Implement and Promote: the strategies of the plan, and spread and reward good results.
  7. Monitor and Review: all progress accomplished by the plan, tracking success benchmarks.

permeable pavement of up to 600 litres/minute/m2

This new concrete, from Lafarge Tarmac, could potentially be a very useful tool in combating urban flash flooding from sudden, heavy storms. 

In its promotional materials, the company uses the example of the 2007 floods that devastated England, costing the economy some £3.2bn. Of the 57,000 homes affected by the floods, two-thirds were damaged not by rivers that overflowed but by storm-water run-off.

There are some caveats to the technology, which works the way it does because there are empty spaces between particles that allow water to flow through. Topmix concrete, which is applied over a base layer of gravel that further filters water, is less able to handle heavy vehicle loads and intense traffic than conventional paving materials.

Also its ability to absorb water can be compromised by dirt and other particulate waste, such as sawdust or silt. Damage from freezing water is a potential concern with permeable pavement, although Lafarge Tarmac says its product has “excellent freeze-thaw resistance.”

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