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Trafficcast International administrators attended two important technology and mobility conferences in different regions recently. The ITS America 28th Annual meeting was held in Washington DC in early June and explored topics such as how Intellifent Mobility can make our communities safer and smarter for pedestrians, cyclists, drivers, and vehicles, and how to work safety and efficiency into the goal of delivering goods and services.

In Detroit, TU (Telematics Update) Automotive Detroit brought together leaders from automotive, mobility and technology industries exploring topics such as monetizing vehicle connectivity and what carsharing and scootersharing looks like in other markets across the globe.

Radios, Cars and Influencers

While many at the National Association of Broadcasters participants last week were focused on topics such as Esports; presentations like Beyond the Briefing Room: Tales from the White House Beat, and on new offerings like the just-introduced Influencer Series: Sports and Entertainment, TrafficCast executive Nick Kiernan was at the Las Vegas conference to see about In-Vehicle Experience, or as we’ve known it for decades – car radio.

Throw some television into the equation as well; industry experts are examining how to offer relevant car radio and video experiences into a future which includes autonomous vehicles. Surround sound? Screens on the back of front car seats? What kind of new content?

TrafficCast supplies nationwide up-to-the-minute traffic information, much of which is disseminated through automobile radios.

The National Association of Broadcasters conference is the world’s largest and most comprehensive convention encompassing the convergence of media, entertainment and technology. With more than 90,000 attendees from 160 countries and 1,600+ exhibitors, NAB Show is the ultimate marketplace for solutions that transcend traditional broadcasting and fuel the digital storytelling economy.

The Wheels of the Bus Go Round and Round

 

“Hey, Bus Driver!” is what Madison passengers WON’T be saying on the new shuttle bus scheduled to begin operating in Madison, Wisconsin’s downtown. That’s because the 15-passenger people-hauler will be automated, electric and driverless.

There will be a driver on the shuttle’s initial runs actually, to watch out for safety, observe how the vehicle is functioning and reacting in traffic, and to answer passenger’s questions. The forthcoming venture is planned as a demonstration – a analysis project, that is, whose mission is not only to carry passengers but to be a test buggy, studied by researchers who aim to make autonomous vehicles part of the country’s transportation system. The United States Department of Transportation, chose Madison, Wisconsin (headquarters of TrafficCast International!) as one of only 10 cities to examine automated shuttles in real-time traffic. The one-to-two-year project will be guided by members of the University of Wisconsin, Madison’s Traffic operations and Safety (TOPS) Laboratory.

The idea for a long-term study picked up steam last April when a 15-passenger shuttle bus made by the French company Navya carried a total of 750 passengers on test rides around the UW campus over a two-day period.

For a route, city officials have targeted a near East-side revival corridor, burgeoning with newly-built high rise apartment buildings, and chic taverns and eateries. Initial plans have the driverless shuttle traveling an 8-block course from the State Capitol to a new music venue and back.

Passengers will ride at no charge during the driverless bus’s test phase. Researchers will be grading how the vehicle reacts to stimuli like bicycles and sudden situations, and how seamlessly, or not, it negotiates traffic while reaching a top speed of only 28 miles per hour. Engineers say trips may be suspended during icy weather.

City officials see many plusses from the use of automated vehicles, from easing traffic congestion and pollution, to diminishing the scramble for limited downtown parking spaces, to offering late night transport.

Project managers are accepting bids presently from shuttle companies, and hope to have the project launched, and driverless trolley cars on city streets, by fall, 2019.

Fa La La La Fiesta

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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.