January 2019
Gas tax revenues are expected to decline in future years as vehicles become more fuel efficient and more electric vehicles enter the market. An alternative to the gas tax—the distance-based user fee (DBUF)—has been proposed by national studies and experts, but concerns about data privacy, equity, and administrative costs have mostly limited its use to pilot projects in the United States. In recent studies, U of M researchers reviewed lessons from DBUF pilot projects and explored the possibility of testing a DBUF system through collaboration with shared-mobility providers.
Connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) are attracting growing attention from researchers, transportation agencies, and the public at large. This past semester, CAVs were also the focus of a U of M course that centered on how Scott County, Minnesota, could prepare for a future with CAVs. The course was offered by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs with support from the U of M’s Resilient Communities Project and CTS.
Researchers at the University’s HumanFIRST Laboratory are constantly working to better understand driver behavior—and to use that understanding to prevent injurious and fatal crashes. One of the key tools assisting them in this mission, the immersive driving simulator, recently got an update. On December 18, the lab held an open house to allow stakeholders and others interested in human factors research to view and test the newly overhauled simulator.
In real estate, location is everything. But in determining how useful a public transit system is, the location of bus and train stops isn’t the only factor—a line will have limited usefulness if it runs infrequently or doesn’t connect to other parts of the transit system. To better study this relationship, researchers from the U’s Global Transit Innovations program designed an app that compiles and maps data on transit service frequency. The app contains data for routes in 50 countries.