TCI at CES

A four-legged car.
A four-passenger air taxi.
A self-cleaning litter box for your favorite four-pawed creature.

An athletic mouth guard that measures impacts an athlete takes over the course of a season.
A laptop that helps tweens learn coding.
Devices for the differently-abled, plus a challenge to reinvent the wheelchair.

It’s the Consumer Electronics Show, 2019!

The CES, which opened to the public in Las Vegas today, is not only enticingly full of fun and futuristic gadgets, but also heavy on displays and proposals for what’s ahead in the world of mobility. CES, according to one insider, has become as much about tomorrow’s automotive technology as it has about life-raft sized TVs and internet-connected litter boxes. So much so that a team of TrafficCast’s top officials are in attendance to see where TCI needs and products and mobility’s new products and ideas can intersect. TrafficCast CEO Al McGowen and Executive Vice President Nick Kiernan and other officers are using floor time to connect and idea-exchange with other mobility professionals throughout the week. (Meet Nick Kiernan – https://trafficcast.wordpress.com/2018/12/11/nick-of-time/)

Mobility highlights include an all-electric motorcycle, so close to production that it has a price tag – $29,799, and its maker, Harley-Davidson is accepting pre-orders. Concept cars and connected vehicles are also explored, as vehicle technology is a prominent feature of CES 2019, earning its moniker as one of USA Today’s best automotive shows.

Meet Kelly

Learning about geography is what Kelly Kittle likes about her job as Manager and Lead Operator at TrafficCast’s Middleton, Wisconsin office.
“It has given me a broader sense of location.” says the Sun Prairie, Wisconsin native. “I like that my job has increased my knowledge of places.”
Kelly is in her third year of curating traffic situations and events in various US cities, from accidents to constructions to developments resulting from natural disasters big and small.
Kelly’s sense of geography has not always been limited to Wisconsin, however. For the past 15 years, she has traveled across several Midwestern states to participate in square dancing conventions, a lively past time she enjoys with family members.

Fa La La La Fiesta

We wore colorful Christmas sweaters, we brought corny jokes. We traffic-talked, and spoke of holiday plans. Who else has an office party in two locations!?

Talking about the TraffiCcast holiday parties, first in Wilmington, Delaware, and a couple of merry and bright days later, in Middleton, Wisconsin.

Even though we stepped away from our maps for a few hours, rest assured that holiday road and highway coverage continues. As you contemplate your holiday journeys, tune in to where you get your traffic information, knowing we are watching the roads for you, so you know when and where to go.

Nick-el for your Thoughts

“There are so many things to learn! How are we all going to transport outselves in the future? How can we make interactive maps that are more useful? How can we stay in the forefront of providing data that helps direct-connected and autonomous vehicles?”

These are the questions that keep Nick Kiernan, Trafficcast Executive Vice President of Sales and Business Development thinking and going in the transportation and mobility field after some 20 years.

Kiernan spent his early career in media, starting at CBS Radio Network in New York. In previous decades, traffic reporting was largely done from helicopters. Kiernan thought there had to be a better way. Cameras were cheaper and less weather-dependent than helicopters, and the internet had to be involved in traffic reporting! Nick Kiernan came Trafficcast in 2005, and helped launch early commercialization. Nick works from Trafficcast’s Middleton offices, still with a hand in shaping the future of traffic data collecting and reporting.

When not connecting with clients and Trafficcast employees (Nick springs for an occasional office pizza party), he enjoys cycling with his wife, Susan, and spending time with his daughter Laura, a Carleton College student, and son Cole, a senior at Madison West High School.

#trafficcast #mobility #traffic #trafficdata #flow

The Road Back

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The devastating Woolsey Fire in Ventura County was declared contained on November 21, leaving in its wake 1600 homes and buildings destroyed and 3 people dead. Its fiery tumble across 97,000 acres closed various roadways during the time it raged. Today, 12 days after it ceased to burn, California Highway 23 remains closed from the Pacific Coast Highway (Route 1) to Mulholland Highway. Transportation officials give no word about the timing of its reopening.

It was 9 days ago that Butte County’s Camp Fire became controlled. County officials are opening makeshift classrooms on this Monday, attempting to keep teachers and classmates together as they plan new classroom spaces to replace the schools that were destroyed. The Camp Fire is reported responsible for some 88 civilian fatalities, 3 firefighters with injuries and more than 153,000 acres of forest, homes and city buildings burned. California Highway 70, running through the town of Big Bar, remains closed.

These closures are established presently on TrafficCast International traffic maps until the moment they are opened again, informing residents, responders and city officials about routes that remain impassable, and when roads become viable for traffic again, as is our commitment during all natural disasters.

#fire #CampFire #WoolseyFire #Californiahighways

Stuck in a Rut

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When love puts stars in your eyes, a besotted creature doesn’t pay attention to traffic. That’s how deer ‘rut’ season goes. Mating season and the quest for more secure habitats have deer on the move during this time of the year, and that means, Drivers, Beware!

While rut lasts from October to January, romantic deer encounters in many states peak in November. Here’s why this is the season for drivers to shift into high alert:

Deer rarely travel alone. Even if you spot only one deer, there’s a good chance many more are nearby.

Deer are more mobile around sunrise and sunset. The hours when humans are battling morning and evening rush hour traffic are the same times chances of hitting a deer are highest.

Here’s what to do:

Drive alertly through deer crossing areas.

If a deer is in your path, brake firmly and stay in your lane. Many crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid an animal and hit another vehicle.

Skip deer whistles and reflectors which have not been proven to reduce collisions, although they allow that one long honk from a car horn could be effective.

Reduce speed near wooded or green areas such as parks and golf courses and near streams and ponds.

Use bright lights when conveniet and safe, to scan the road ahead.

Opt for common-sense caution, like wearing a seat belt.

If you do hit a deer, Transportation and Natural Resources officials advise that motorists leave the animal in the road and call law enforcement, who will remove it. They caution to especially not approach a wounded animal. Drivers are urged to turn on their hazard lights and stay buckled in their vehicles, as they are more protected inside a car should a secondary crash occur.

#roadsafety #deerseason #huntingseason #deeronthemove #safedriving #deerinlove

Safe Teens

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So, what’s the magic formula to insure teenagers and their friends don’t get into a crash? The state of Oregon has one – a driver education program. Oregon statistics shows that teens age 15 – 20 without driver education are responsible for 91 percent of teen driver crashes.

Apart from enrolling in a drivers ed class, the factors teens can (ahem) steer away from to avoid being involved in an accident are the same as those for all drivers:

  • Alcohol and drug-impaired driving.
  • Inconsistent or no seat belt use.
  • Distracted and drowsy driving.
  • Speeding.
  • Having too many passengers in the car.

#teenagers #drivingsafety #saferoads #drivereducation #don’tdrinkanddrive