Archive | Transportation Technology

Peek into the Future

ITS Oregon, the local chapter of the Intelligent Transportation Society has a demonstration of Vehicle Infrastructure Integration (VII) coming up. Here’s the early info. Unfortunately, I have two conflicting meetings that day. It would be great if a member of the Portland Transport community could be there and send back a report.

What: High-tech Future Car Demonstration/Ride-along
When: Wednesday, July 18, 2007: 11:30 to 4:30 by invitation
Where: Portland Expo Center, Parking Lot LP1 (Adjacent to MAX station)
Who: Transportation decision-makers and other leaders from the Portland/Vancouver region

For more information, contact Jon Makler (maklerj@metro.dst.or.us, 503-797-1873)
For media inquiries, contact Jon Coney (coneyj@metro.dst.or.us, 503-797-1697)

Vehicle Infrastructure Integration (VII) is the next wave of advanced intelligent transportation systems (ITS) technology that has the ability to support improvements in the management and operations of our roadway system. VII is a movement toward equipping vehicles to communicate with each other and the roadway in real-time. To reduce traffic congestion, decrease emergency response time, decrease fuel consumption and increase roadway safety, VII supports interaction among traffic management, emergency response, traveler information and vehicle control systems.

On July 18th, the Intelligent Transportation Society of Oregon (ITS Oregon), is hosting a local demonstration of VII technology at the Portland Expo Center. Metro staffer Jon Makler is president of ITS Oregon, which is the organization that worked with Metro on the “Mobility the Smart Way” breakfast held at the Convention Center in October 2006. ITS Oregon would like to showcase local support for transportation technology by having media coverage of elected officials participating in the demonstration.

The demonstration itself involves a regular car that will be outfitted with various technologies that communicate with the driver as well as an intersection that will be set up in the demonstration area. Participants will be able to ride in (and possibly drive) the demonstration vehicle on a closed course. The article linked below (and attached) relates one reporter’s experience during the demonstration that was held recently in Detroit, Michigan.
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070521/COL12/705210345/1007/NEWS05

We are working with ODOT and other agencies to arrange television and print media coverage of the event.

Traveler Information

A while back, I wrote about the concept of TSM&O. Yesterday, I had a chance to sit in on a workshop visioning one of the next steps: Traveler Information – I even got to demo Transit Surfer.

The idea behind Traveler Information is to give people the information they need before or during their trip to help plan the trip, choose the mode, adapt to congestion, pick alternate routes, etc. All in the service of a more efficient trip and better user experience (and maybe even reduction in undesirable outcomes, like air pollution from idling vehicles stuck in traffic jams).

So here’s the question. What kind of Traveler Information would you like to see? How can we use and communicate information to transform travel behavior here in our region?

Electric Bikes Take Hold in China

Jerry passes along this article from IEEE Spectrum, apparently indicating that despite government attempts to ban them, electric bikes are thriving in China.

My favorite quote from the story describes the U.S. as being in a “bubble” of highways and long-distance travel…

image from IEEE Spectrum

Jerry passes along this article from IEEE Spectrum, apparently indicating that despite government attempts to ban them, electric bikes are thriving in China.

My favorite quote from the story describes the U.S. as being in a “bubble” of highways and long-distance travel:

That bubble has been unkind to electric-bike promoters like Benjamin. The big roads and vast distances that many Americans navigate are a hindrance—so much so that they have altered the way people perceive the bicycle. Electric-bike consultant Jamerson says that to most U.S. drivers, a bicyclist on the road is just a nuisance. And to most bicyclists and bike dealers, the bike is an exercise machine or a toy. Why would they want one with an electric motor?

Here’s to reversing the nuisance perception here in Portland as we cycle our way to Platinum. Could electric bikes help us get there?

Enhanced Hybrids in Austin

Jerry passes along the following:

On August 22, the City of Austin launched its “Plug-In Austin”
campaign, a community-wide push to promote mass production of plug-in hybrid vehicles that combine the gas-electric hybrid technology with a larger battery that can be recharged through a standard wall socket. Alliance Associate Austin Energy has donated $1 million to help purchase the first round of plug-ins. The vehicles could reduce annual gasoline consumption by up to 70 percent, and be more cost-effective than hybrid or conventional vehicles.
More information or to sign petition in support: http://www.pluginaustin.org