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Center for Transportation Studies

ITS Institute News Archives: 2005

Inside ITS article highlights Minnesota’s Toward Zero Deaths program

The central role of intelligent transportation systems technologies in Minnesota’s efforts to reduce traffic fatalities was highlighted in the November 1, 2005 issue of Inside ITS, a national ITS newsletter. The article, focused on the Toward Zero Deaths program’s ambitious goals, highlighted ITS as a component of the program’s multifaceted strategy for road safety improvement.

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Presentations at annual TRB meeting

University of Minnesota researchers and staff presented papers and presided over sessions at the annual Transportation Research Board (TRB) meeting in Washington, D.C., last month.

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‘U’ research on driving hits new gear

Teenagers, imagine driving a car that forces you to wear a seat belt, reports how fast you drove and won’t let you turn the ignition if you were drinking.

But it would be nice to have help gauging when it is safe to drive across a busy rural intersection, wouldn’t it? And how about driving to work in a car so small that two of them fit side by side in a single lane?

They’re all problems tackled by the University of Minnesota’s Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute, which has received a new $16 million, five-year federal grant. The new funding, which will be announced Monday, doubles the institute’s budget.

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Driver-assistive technologies for Bus Rapid Transit

bus driverResearchers at the University of Minnesota are developing new technologies to make Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) transportation networks a reality in congested urban areas like Minneapolis-St. Paul. A group led by Craig Shankwitz, head of the ITS Institute’s Intelligent Vehicles Program, has released a two-volume research report detailing its work on driver-assistive systems that enable buses to operate in narrow lanes and on bus-only road shoulders.

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A better cruise control

Technology is changing the way your cruise control works. By adding a radar range sensor and computer control, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) enables a car to automatically maintain a set distance from the vehicle ahead of it. Engineers hope that widespread adoption of ACC systems will eventually enable cars to cruise safely with minimal separation between them, resulting in higher road capacities without traffic disruptions.

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Technological assistance aims to reduce dangerous driving by teens

The tragedy of young, inexperienced drivers losing their lives behind the wheel resonates through families and communities every day. Despite making up less than five percent of licensed drivers, teens account for more than 13 percent of all passenger vehicle fatalities. But once kids leave the driveway, it seems there is little that can be done to regulate their behavior behind the wheel. Or is there?

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