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ITS Institute News Archives: 2007

University team places high at annual Intelligent Ground Vehicles Competition

The University of Minnesota's 2007 Intelligent Ground Vehicles Competition team with their entry, "AWESOM-O"

The University of Minnesota's 2007 Intelligent Ground Vehicles Competition team with their entry, "AWESOM-O"

A year’s worth of hard work paid off for a team of University students at the 15th annual Intelligent Ground Vehicles Competition in Rochester, Michigan. Mechanical engineering master’s students Eddie Arpin and Rich Hoglund, along with computer science doctoral student Seth Berrier, took second and fourth place in two of the June competition’s three categories with their robot vehicle, AWESOM-O.

Arpin and Hoglund became involved with the project when they were students of Institute director Max Donath, who told his class about the competition. The two contacted Berrier and began planning their robot in June 2006.

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Newspaper Cites U of M Expert

John Hourdos, director of the Minnesota Traffic Observatory (MTO), shared his insights into commuter behavior in a May 1 article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The article described how some drivers were surprised by the smooth flow of traffic on the first day of the Trunk Highway 36 detour through North St. Paul. The reconstruction closes the key metro roadway for five months. Hourdos, who is evaluating the full closure in a newly funded research project, explained that it takes several weeks for people to experiment with new routes and schedules before they settle into a new pattern. 


Institute researcher named Distinguished McKnight University Professor

Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos

Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos

Professor Nikolaos P. Papanikolopoulos of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) is one of the recipients of the 2007 Distinguished McKnight University Professorship. The purpose of the professorship, announced last month by the Office of the Provost and the Graduate School, is to recognize and reward the University’s most outstanding mid-career faculty. Recipients are honored with the title Distinguished McKnight University Professor, which they hold for as long as they remain at the University of Minnesota. The grant associated with the professorship consists of $100,000 to be expended over five years.

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Minnesota researchers join Cooperative Intersection Collision Avoidance Systems initiative

The Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute have been selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation to participate in the Cooperative Intersection Collision Avoidance Systems (CICAS) research initiative. ITS Institute director Max Donath and Intelligent Vehicles Laboratory director Craig Shankwitz recently announced the signing of a cooperative agreement outlining the roles of Mn/DOT, the ITS Institute’s Intelligent Vehicles Laboratory, and the HumanFIRST Program in supporting the innovative and ambitious safety research effort.

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Annual research conference to open with transportation finance session

Raising revenue to keep pace with Minnesota’s transportation needs is a pressing issue. Other states are struggling with this same challenge, and a myriad of revenue-raising options are being explored. Speakers will share these ideas and discuss what role they could play for Minnesota’s transportation finance structure at the opening session of the CTS Eighteenth Annual Transportation Research Conference.

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U of M testimony before MN Senate Transportation Committee

Minnesota Senate, Finance Transportation Budget and Policy Division Committee Hearing
January 30, 2007

Bob Johns, director of the Center for Transportation Studies, and Nic Ward, director of the HumanFirst Program, provide the latest information about the growing transportation needs in the state and new technology designed to reduce traffic fatalities. Plus, officials from the Minnesota Transportation Alliance lay out their solutions to improving Minnesota roads, highways and transit.