Verizon-Cisco collaboration advances autonomous vehicle tech

BASKING RIDGE, N.J.— Cisco and Verizon collaborated on a successful proof of concept demo in Las Vegas, showing that cellular and mobile edge compute (MEC) technology can enable autonomous driving solutions without the use of costly physical Roadside Units to extend radio signals.

The result paves a simpler and more efficient route to powering applications such as autonomous/unmanned last-mile delivery bots and robotaxis in cities like Las Vegas, where public MEC technologies exist. Additionally, cities and roadway operators could create safer roads with C-V2X applications including pedestrian protection, emergency and transit vehicle pre-emption, on and off-ramp protection (e.g., when a loaded truck needs autonomous guidance to merge or brake safely), and potentially others that involve vehicles approaching intersections with traffic signals.

Proof of concept

Autonomous features in connected vehicles have always relied on roadside radios to extend the signals vehicles use for low-latency communication with each other and surrounding connected infrastructure. The Cisco and Verizon test proved that Verizon’s LTE network and public 5G Edge with AWS Wavelength, together with Cisco Catalyst IR1101 routers in connected infrastructure, can meet the latency thresholds required for autonomous driving applications – replacing the costly roadside radios previously required to meet those needs.

By using LTE and edge compute to virtualize the role of the Roadside Units, C-V2X communications proved to be more streamlined – likely to result in improved efficiency and cost effectiveness for municipalities, infrastructure providers, and application developers working with autonomous vehicles. (C-V2X refers to a vehicle’s ability to communicate with other vehicles and connected infrastructure surrounding it.)

The result demonstrates that connected and autonomous vehicle applications can be deployed today using LTE networks, mobile edge compute, and in-vehicle interfaces deployed by OEMs. These capabilities could lead to safer, less congested roads with current connected and autonomous vehicles, with scalability for future applications hosted at the edge and using LTE and 5G connectivity.

Connected transportation – powered by cellular

Improving communication between vehicles and their surrounding infrastructure is essential for creating safer roadways and enabling the autonomous future of driving. Intersections must be securely connected and equipped with compute to allow applications at the edge to communicate and inform split-second decision making.

“This test is a huge milestone in proving that the future of connectivity for IoT applications can be powered by cellular,” said Krishna Iyer, Director of Systems Architecture, Verizon. “We’re marking the strength of mobile edge compute platforms for connected transportation innovation with much more streamlined architecture. Together with Cisco technologies, we’re setting the foundation potentially to realize a ubiquitous IoT in the connected and autonomous future of driving.”

“The future of autonomous vehicles cannot progress without reliable communication between vehicles and their surrounding environments,” said Mark Knellinger, Lead Transportation Solutions Architect, Cisco. “This is huge for roadway operators in that it relieves them of the massive expense of deploying and operating a dedicated V2X environment.”

— by Matt Conte, Verizon

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Mobile Boarding & Beyond: What Bus Companies Need to Focus on in 2021

CINCINNATI — Continued reopenings and successful vaccination campaigns will almost certainly lead to an increase in travel and tourism. While it may take some time to fully get back to pre-pandemic levels, bus and transit companies can benefit from this travel demand and bounce back from very difficult fiscal years.

From individuals taking short regional trips to visit family members they haven’t seen in a while, to tourists enjoying weekend trips, to college students heading home for a (hopefully) more normal holiday season later this year, there’s a lot of potential for bus companies to find customers in the coming months. And because the economy may take some time to recover, more cost-conscious consumers may prefer to take buses rather than more expensive options such as trains or planes. Still, bus companies need to provide a safe, pleasant experience for passengers in order to entice them back. 

What Bus Companies Must Focus on in 2021

Safely Increasing Capacity

As travel restrictions ease and customers become more comfortable being around other passengers, bus companies can start to increase the number of riders per trip. Still, safety measures like using masks and implementing enhanced cleaning practices will likely continue to be necessary for a while.

Bus companies should clearly state their health and safety practices so that customers can determine whether they’re comfortable getting on board. It would be a shame to lose customers who, for example, would take the bus if they knew there would be temperature checks and that they could open windows, but because that information isn’t publicized in advance, they choose to drive instead.

Increasing Payment & Boarding Efficiency 

That starts with reducing the need to line up at bus stations to purchase tickets. Many bus companies have already rolled out easy-to-use online payment systems, but if you haven’t yet, now could be a good time to do so. From there, passengers should easily be able to receive an e-ticket or some type of confirmation that can allow for fast boarding.

The less bus companies have to review paper tickets, the faster they can typically board the bus and avoid frustrating queues; when that happens in a location with multiple buses, sometimes customers don’t even know which line to get in.

Ideally, bus companies can even go beyond scanning e-tickets, which can still create logjams and require employees to physically get close to customers at a time that many still want to maintain social distance. Verification technologies like data-over-sound can allow for faster confirmations at a greater distance than when using QR codes providing the customer with an efficient & seamless mobile boarding solution. 

Improving Customer Experience 

In addition to providing a better experience regarding areas like cleanliness and boarding procedures, bus companies should also think about how they can elevate customer experience to win back those who might be considering other modes of transportation.

For example, providing more in-ride media options to compete with airplanes could be a benefit customers appreciate. Some bus companies also try to appeal to more of a luxury, business-class market, such as by offering more legroom than airplanes and food/beverages (which could be more practical post-pandemic).

Another approach to elevating customer experience and appeal to new customer segments could be to implement more sustainable practices. Some municipal bus operators use alternative clean energy sources, and commercial bus companies may increasingly have opportunities to upgrade to more environmentally friendly fleets in the coming years. Meanwhile, even small measures, like highlighting the environmental impact of using paperless tickets, could help provide a strong experience for customers.

What This Means for Your Mobility Company 

Implementing these types of measures can go a long way toward helping bus companies make up for the ridership drops experienced during the pandemic. Travel will likely see a strong surge, but to keep ridership up in the years to come, bus companies also need to think about how they can create these types of safe, sustainable, efficient experiences.

LISNR Co-Founder and BDPA Mission Partner Rodney Williams discusses data-over-sound technologies during a CES Smart City presentation.

In this new normal for mobility, contactless methods must operate at distances greater than what NFC or QR codes can provide. LISNR®, the most advanced ultrasonic platform, enables authentication across distances of centimeters to many meters. Plus, it’s secure, fast and easy-to-use for passengers.

LISNR®: The Most Advanced Ultrasonic Platform

Recently, BusUp, the #1 corporate bus commuter management platform in the E.U., integrated LISNR® to enable contactless mobile boarding pass authentication. As a result, the company aims to increase safety, efficiency and speed for its passengers through contactless ultrasonic technology. 

Learn More About Ultrasonic Technology by Calling LISNR® 

Want to see how your business can leverage data-over-sound technology to better serve customers in 2021? Get in touch with our team today. To learn more, give LISNR a call at 513-322-8400 or send them a message.

— Sources and photos: LISNR, #TeamLISNR, CTA, and bdpatoday


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Join the conversation April 22-24, 2021: SMART Cities Infrastructure Cybersecurity

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao to Deliver Keynote at CES 2020

Select here for exciting technical civilian careers across the Department of the Air Force!

Secretary Chao to discuss innovation and the safe integration of new technologies

ARLINGTON, VA — The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® announced U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao will deliver a keynote address at the upcoming CES® 2020, the world’s largest and most influential tech event. Secretary Chao is scheduled to speak on Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 11:30 AM in the Las Vegas Convention Center room N257 in Las Vegas, NV.

CES 2018Secretary Chao returns as a CES keynoter, following a keynote address during CES 2018. She will discuss the current state of innovation and recent DOT initiatives to support the safe integration of new technologies into our country’s transportation systems. The vehicle tech section at CES is larger than many stand-alone car shows, with more than 160 vehicle tech exhibitors – including 10 major automakers. CES 2020 will also showcase the latest in drones, self-driving vehicles, smart cities, resilience technologies and more.

Chao-DOL-DOT“As the highest-ranking U.S. transportation official, Secretary Chao is driving the Administration’s initiatives to safely advance the transportation industry through tech innovation,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “We welcome Secretary Chao back to the CES keynote stage and look forward to hearing the DOT’s latest initiatives that will provide a roadmap for the industry – in the U.S. and abroad – and help to further improve public safety.”

Secretary Chao served as U.S. Department of Labor Secretary from 2001 – 2009. She is the first Asian-American woman to be appointed to the President’s Cabinet in American history. Secretary Chao previously served as Deputy Secretary of Transportation; President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of America; and Director of the Peace Corps.

Secretary Chao joins other confirmed CES keynote speakers, including NBCUniversal’s Linda Yaccarino; Daimler’s Ola Källenius; Delta Air Lines’ Ed Bastian; Samsung’s Hyun-Suk Kim; and Quibi’s Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg.The CES Keynote Schedule will be updated regularly as additional keynote speakers are announced. More than 1,100 visionaries and thought leaders are expected to speak and share insights on premiere technologies at CES 2020. Visit the CES Featured Speakers page to see the latest.

Owned and produced by CTA, CES 2020, the global stage for innovation, will run Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas, Nevada and provide access to the most transformative tech across various marketplaces, such as 5G, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, smart home, smart cities, vehicles, digital health and more. Industry leaders and rising stars will come together to pioneer future innovation driving the ever-evolving tech industry. Visit CES.tech for all CES updates and register for CES 2020.

About CES
CES® is the largest, most influential tech event in the world – the proving ground for breakthrough technologies and global innovators. This is where the world’s biggest brands do business and meet new partners, and the sharpest innovators hit the stage. Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, CES features every aspect of the tech sector. Learn more at CES.tech and follow CES on social.

About Consumer Technology Association
As North America’s largest technology trade association, CTA® is the tech sector. Our members are the world’s leading innovators – from startups to global brands – helping support more than 18 million American jobs. CTA owns and produces CES® – the largest, most influential tech event in the world.

— Sources: CES.tech

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BDPA Huntsville | 06.12.20 | Black Tech Alabama

FAA Statement on Boeing 737 Max

FAA-logo

WASHINGTON—Federal Aviation Administration

The FAA is ordering the temporary grounding of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft (PDF) operated by U.S. airlines or in U.S. territory. The agency made this decision as a result of the data gathering process and new evidence collected at the site and analyzed today. This evidence, together with newly refined satellite data available to FAA this morning, led to this decision.

The grounding will remain in effect pending further investigation, including examination of information from the aircraft’s flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders. An FAA team is in Ethiopia assisting the NTSB as parties to the investigation of the Flight 302 accident. The agency will continue to investigate.

— Photo credit: Boeing

ALC ‘18 Transportation Braintrust promotes a stronger tech and multimodal workforce for U.S.

WASHINGTON //BDPA-DC// — The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) of 2018 featured a very dynamic session on transportation with significant technical and critical infrastructure overtones. This year’s panel discussion entitled, “Workforce Development and Emerging Technologies” was sponsored by Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland 7th District). The panel, shown below, included former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater as our moderator; MWAA CEO Jack Potter; Lyft senior public policy manager Rena Davis; WMATA director Nalini Mani; Purple Line Transit Partners CEO Fred Craig; HNTB Mid-Atlantic President Diana Mendes; and Telva McGruder, president of the General Motors African Ancestry Network (GMAAN) and director of facility engineering and manufacturing operations.

COMTO and CBCF ALC 2018

CBCF’s Transportation Braintrust was conceived over 20 years ago to provide a forum during the CBCF ALC for the top-level exchange of information and ideas between key leaders and experts in the transportation industry. This program has grown significantly under the guidance and sponsorship of Rep. Cummings and the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) leadership.

telva_mcgruder_GMAfter this session, Telva McGruder (left) told NNPA Newswire that General Motors (GM) is now at a point where they have African American Ancestry employees at higher levels in “effectively all of our business functions.”  GM’s new vision is a future with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion—BDPA and COMTO attendees realize GM cannot accomplish their vision without software and new applications.  Rena Davis, Lyft’s senior policy manager, reemphasized to bdpatoday that through Lyft Concierge, a web-based ride-dispatching platform, industry now has access to new tools that bring transportation services to new customers and underserved communities. Moreover, “Smart City” digital transformations and multimodal convergence of shared transportation opportunities will yield significant career opportunities for BDPA and COMTO members.

– Sources with GM and  bdpatoday photos: NNPA and BDPADC

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DOT Secretary Foxx Announces Smart City Challenge Finalists @ SXSW

AUSTIN, TX —Urban Land Institute (ULI) reports seven (7) cities—Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Denver, Colorado; Kansas City, Missouri; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Portland, Oregon; and San Francisco, California—have been named finalists for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Smart City Challenge by DOT.

The department has pledged up to $40 million (subject to future appropriations) to one city to help it define what it means to be a “smart city” and “become the first U.S. city to fully integrate innovative technologies—self-driving cars, connected vehicles, and smart sensors—into their transportation network.” Up to $10 million likely will be added by Industry partners.

DOTSecFoxx.jpgThe finalists were announced by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, joined by Barbara Bennett, president and chief operating officer of Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc., and Rick Clemmer, chief executive officer of NXP Semiconductors. Also present were mayors of five of the finalist cities—Steve Adler of Austin, Andrew Ginther of Columbus, Sly James of Kansas City, Bill Peduto of Pittsburgh, and Charlie Hales of Portland. The announcement was made at the C3 Connected Mobility Showcase being held at the South by Southwest conference (SXSW). Read more

photo credits: DOT/AP
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