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Center for Transportation Studies

ITS Institute News Archives: 2008

A New Approach to Rural Intersection Safety

The October 2008 issue of UTC Spotlight, the monthly newsletter for the University Transportation Center programs, highlights the Institute’s research aimed at improving rural intersection safety.

Read the full story in the October 2008 UTC Spotlight

Transportation Institute on the Move

Researchers at ITS Institute are out to improve all kinds of transportation.

Read the full story from UMNews

Motorcycles and alcohol: Research examines a dangerous combination

Deputy Secretary of Transportation Thomas Barrett (seated) discusses motorcycle safety with researchers Craig Shankwitz and Janet Creaser.

Deputy Secretary of Transportation Thomas Barrett (seated) discusses motorcycle safety with researchers Craig Shankwitz and Janet Creaser.

This summer, with gas prices at an all-time high and warm weather beckoning riders to hit the road, motorcycles and scooters are more popular than ever. But statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that while motorcycles account for only three percent of motor vehicle registrations, they make up 11 percent of total motor vehicle fatalities.

Researchers from the HumanFIRST Program and the Intelligent Vehicles Laboratory recently collaborated to study the effects of alcohol on motorcyclists, taking advantage of the programs’ access to unique research facilities and expertise in monitoring driver performance.

Deputy Secretary of Transportation Thomas Barrett, during a recent visit to the University of Minnesota, had the opportunity to take a close look at the specially equipped motorcycle at the heart of the project. On hand to brief Barrett were principal investigator Janet Creaser of the HumanFIRST Program and Intelligent Vehicles Lab director Craig Shankwitz.

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Good Question: Can Tire Pressure Solve Oil Crisis?

Do we need more air in our tires or less hot air from politicians? … “It’ll have some effect,” said Dr. Craig Shankwitz, mechanical engineer with the Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota.

Read the full story from WCCO

Federal visitors experience new technologies first hand

The ITS Institute welcomed visitors from the federal government’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) and a delegation of Congressional staffers gathering information on transportation issues in May and June. Both groups of visitors had the opportunity to tour the Institute’s research facilities and see first-hand how new technologies are being developed and deployed to improve the nation’s transportation system.

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U.S. DOT Names Univ. of Minnesota National Info Hub on Rural Road Safety

Story featured on KMSP-TV Fox 9 News, June 30, 2008 (no longer available online).