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Center for Transportation Studies

ITS Institute News Archives: 2003

ITS Minnesota Fall Industry Forum: Speakers offer ideas to spur industry profitability

Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) have “not captured people’s imaginations,” said Richard Mudge, a panelist at ITS Minnesota’s Fall Industry Forum. Mn/DOT’s James Kranig, president of ITS Minnesota, gave the welcome and opening remarks at the October 30 event in Minneapolis. CTS is a founding member of the organization.

Mudge, vice president of the firm Delcan, made his comments in a session titled “Making ITS Profitable.” Although mainstreamed in TEA-21, ITS is still in an early stage “well short of deployment goals” and creating fewer than expected jobs. “Progress is glacial,” he said, and the industry’s early dreams of shared profits for everyone has turned into cynicism, with firms still searching for a successful business model and evidence of a market.

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Student association holds first meeting

Nearly 50 students, faculty, and professionals attended the inaugural meeting of the Interdisciplinary Transportation Student Organization (ITSO), which was held September 19 at the Humphrey Center. ITSO (pronounced “it-so”) was created by University of Minnesota students who are pursuing degrees in transportation-related fields, with support from CTS. The group’s main purpose is to connect with transportation professionals and learn about careers in transportation.

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Putting limits on the speed-versus-safety debate

A new study may help put limits on the debate about the role speed plays in car crashes.

Although it may seem obvious that driving slower is safer, there is a lack of consensus in the public and policy arena about the connection between the speed one chooses to drive and the risk of being involved in a crash. The issue is further muddied by several recent studies that suggest only a weak connection between driving speed and crash risk.

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Intersection Decision Support: reducing crashes at rural intersections

The cornfields and pine forests of rural Minnesota don’t come to mind when most people think of intelligent transportation systems research and development. But traffic fatalities don’t stop at the edge of the metropolis—in fact, rural accidents account for 70 percent of crash fatalities in Minnesota, where a vast web of highways and small collector roads knits together small cities and farm towns. At the ITS Institute, the intersection decision support (IDS) research initiative is bringing technology and expertise to bear on this important public safety issue.

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HumanFIRST Program Update

Nobuyuki Kuge (right) and HumanFIRST director Nic Ward in the VESTR simulator room

Nobuyuki Kuge (right) and HumanFIRST director Nic Ward in the VESTR simulator room

Visiting researchers often create a win-win situation by bringing unique skills and experience to a research program, then taking new knowledge back to the organizations they return to, says HumanFIRST director Nic Ward. HumanFIRST is a program of the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Institute at CTS.

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The Origins, Status, and Future of GPS

Presentation by Prof. Bradford Parkinson of Stanford University

In the current era of inexpensive, pocket-sized GPS receivers, when precision satellite guidance for everything from bombs to luxury cars has become ubiquitous, it is tempting to take the Global Positioning System for granted. But today’s GPS is the product of a long and complicated history—a history witnessed firsthand by Professor Bradford Parkinson of Stanford University. Parkinson, who led the team that developed the first generation GPS system in the early 1970s, highlighted the development process and possible future directions for the satellite navigation at an Advanced Transportation Technologies seminar Oct. 7, co-sponsored by the ITS Institute and the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics.

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