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Center for Transportation Studies

ITS Institute News Archives: 2003

Speaker to address traffic safety

Last year, nearly three million people were injured, and over 42,000 killed, in traffic-related crashes in the United States. Are we making progress in reducing the number of crash injuries that occur on our roads? And how do our results compare to those of other countries? Allan F. Williams, Ph.D., chief scientist at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, will address these questions and others at the Center for Transportation Studies’ winter luncheon, to be held February 18, 2004, at the Radisson Metrodome Hotel, Minneapolis. The luncheon is cosponsored by the ITS Institute.

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Integrated Multi-Sensor Navigation Systems

Presentation by Assistant Professor Demoz Gebre-Egziabher, Dept. of Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics

An engineer does not often describe an electro-mechanical system as “more than the sum of its parts.” But Assistant Professor Demoz Gebre-Egziabher of the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics sees the combination of two relatively well known guidance technologies forming a system which delivers better performance than either technology would be capable of by itself.

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New system helps capture the driving experience

For human factors researchers, one of the most significant challenges in working with human test subjects is obtaining reliable data about the subjects’ experience during the test. Post-test questionnaires and interviews are commonly used to obtain these data, but such tools are limited in that they require test subjects to remember and report their thoughts and reactions after the test is over.

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Assessing road user charges using GIS and GPS technologies

Hybrid electric vehicles are already entering the market, with fuel cell engines not far behind. These and other advances in vehicle engineering offer solutions to the problems associated with excessive fossil fuel consumption. But they create a new challenge for state transportation departments throughout the country: as fuel consumption decreases, the revenue stream from motor vehicle fuel taxes – the main source of funding for state and federal highways – will eventually dry up.

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Interactive simulations enhance ITS education, outreach

Would you like to experiment with traffic flow on the streets of Minneapolis? At the University of Minnesota’s ITS Laboratory, Senior Systems Engineer Chen-fu Liao is working on tools to give researchers, students, and eventually the public access to advanced computer-generated traffic simulation systems.

Traffic simulators are among the most important tools in ITS research because they enable researchers to study the effects of ITS technologies in the laboratory and optimize them prior to implementation. However, their use is often restricted to advanced researchers with access to special facilities.

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Martin named ‘Student of the Year’

Graduate research assistant Robert F.K. Martin has received the ITS Institute’s 2002 Outstanding Student of the Year Award. He was recommended for the award by Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos, professor of computer science and engineering.

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