Ride-hailing services such as Uber have changed how people move in urban areas. Several US transit agencies have begun to respond to this disruption by partnering with ride-hailing providers or subsidizing citizens’ use of them to cover the “last mile” of trips. It’s unclear, however, how access to ride-hailing services affects the demand for specific modes of public transit and what other factors—such as bad weather—are involved. Researchers in the U’s Information & Decision Sciences department recently explored these issues.
Most testing and demonstrations of automated vehicles (AV) have taken place in large urban areas, but communities of all kinds need to prepare for eventual AV deployment. Small urban and rural communities, in particular, could see benefits from early adoption, as many of their residents are unable to drive due to age or disability. A project by U of M researchers provides a framework for small cities and rural areas to create plans to test and demonstrate AVs.
To improve safety in work zones across Minnesota, U of M researchers are working on a tagging and mapping system that can efficiently gather information about the layout of work zones, perform remote inspections, and disseminate warnings to drivers. The goal of this Statewide Work Zone Information System is to serve as a real-time database of active work zones from the moment the first advanced warning sign is placed to the time crews pack up.
Self-driving cars, driverless cars, robo-cars—whatever you label them, the popularity of autonomous vehicles is on the rise. But how about taking the sensor technology that allows these machines to detect incoming objects and applying it to bicycles? That’s exactly what U of M mechanical engineering professor Rajesh Rajamani is doing, on a shoestring budget of $500 per bicycle.