University of Minnesota Driven to Discover
U of MNUniversity of Minnesota
Center for Transportation Studies


GPS devices may not be all that accurate

StarTribune, July 27, 2013
Turns out the digital era hasn’t saved the directionally challenged. Despite high-tech GPS devices, we still get lost. Max Donath, director of the University of Minnesota’s Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute, has devised his own solution: “I carry four or five GPS apps on my phone. I switch from one to the other if one of them gives me grief.”

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Good Question: Why Do We Use Cloverleaf Interchanges On Roads?

WCCO 4 TV News, June 20, 1013

We’ve all seen the traffic camera shot of a tractor-trailer sprawled out on the highway after trying to take a cloverleaf curve. So, that had one viewer wondering: Why do we use cloverleaf interchanges on interstates? Heather Brown interviews Minnesota Traffic Observatory lab manager Stephen Zitzow for an explanation.

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New fuel cell prototype could power rural ITS applications

ruralintersectionIntelligent transportation systems (ITS) technologies can be used to enhance transportation safety and mobility, but the sensors and communications equipment needed for ITS applications typically require access to electricity. In rural areas, limited access to the power grid can make it challenging to implement ITS devices.

Current solutions for providing power to off-grid locations include battery packs or diesel generators, both of which require constant maintenance to recharge, refuel, or replace. Other alternatives include solar panels and wind turbines, but cost and performance concerns have limited their use.

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MnDOT honored for intersection safety efforts; U of M to evaluate proposed technology

Photo: MnDOT

Photo: MnDOT

Intersection crashes continue to represent a significant share of transportation fatalities and serious injuries throughout the country. To improve safety, many agencies have turned to intersection conflict warning systems (ICWS). These systems, which give motorists real-time warnings about cross traffic, save lives at intersections that might not otherwise warrant more traditional traffic-control devices or geometric improvements.

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Searching for common ground in the ITS privacy debate

The ITS privacy debate involves an interlaced web of participants with multiple interests.
(click to enlarge image)

Should your vehicle be able to gather, store, or transmit information about where it’s been—or where it’s going? On the surface, it seems like a simple question. However, it inevitably gives rise to many others: Who will see the data? How will it be used? Can it be given or sold to a third party? Under what circumstances? Clearly, there are no straightforward solutions or answers in the debate surrounding privacy issues in intelligent transportation systems (ITS).

Behavioral mapping: the path to a safer driving experience


New vehicles today are sophisticated driving machines—and they’re also becoming rich sources of information. Sensors collect data about everything from how fast you’re going to when the wipers kick in. At the same time, GPS navigation systems and the high-bandwidth infrastructure built for mobile devices are making it increasingly possible to track where vehicles are and gather vast amounts of data.

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