September Technology Updates

  • Author: Kevin Chambers
  • Date: September 22, 2020

? = COVID-19 related

? COVID-19 & Transit

Covid-19: Real-time crowd-density app being developed for public transit users by Tom Stone, Traffic Technology International. One of many such apps likely to appear in the months to come.

Rural California Transit Agency Reinvents Itself During COVID by Carl Smith, Governing. "Carl Sedoryk, CEO of Monterey-Salinas Transit, explains how his agency went from moving not just people, but also food and medical services, while providing Internet service for families as the pandemic upended bus service."

COVID-19 is forcing public transport to flex by Sarah Wray, CitiesToday. Directions include multi-modality, on-demand services, and flexible tickers.

United Safety Introduces New Product to Deliver Active Air Purification Technology to Mass Transit. The system uses a combination of air UV light and Photohydroionization technology to remove bacteria, mold, and viruses from the air.

Enrollment in TriMet’s low-income fare program goes virtual in response to COVID-19. The new, temporary service lets riders living on a low-income qualify via video chat or by filling out an application online and receiving a reduce fare card by mail.

TNCs/Ride Sourcing Companies

What If Technology Belonged to the People? by Edward Ongweso Jr, Vice. Wherein the idea of a public Uber is broached.

Uber CEO on the fight in California: ‘We can’t go out and hire 50,000 people overnight’ by Andrew J. Hawkins, the Verge.

Uber and Lyft Consider Franchise-Like Model in California by Kate Conger, New York Times. "Under pressure to classify their freelance drivers as employees, the ride-hailing companies are discussing another option."

Uber’s delivery business is now larger than ride-hailing but it's still losing nine-figures every quarter by Kirsten Korosec and Alex Wilhelm, TechCrunch. "Uber’s delivery business — better known as Uber Eats — is now bigger than its original and core ride-hailing division, based on adjusted net revenue."


Why Los Angeles Might Make Transit Free by Laura Bliss, Bloomberg. An interesting exploration for an agency that just implemented a next-generation e-fare system.

Best practices in national transportation ticketing schemes in Europe by Giles Bailey, Mass Transit. "Cities and countries throughout Europe are working to develop ticketing schemes that provide public transit access for modes beyond single urban areas to include entire regions or countries."

Valencia first city in Spain to begin phasing out cash payments for transit, looking to a MaaS future by Tom Stone, Traffic Technology Today.

Autonomous Vehicles

Backup driver in fatal Arizona Uber autonomous crash charged by Jacques Billeaud and Tom Krisher, AP. "The National Transportation Safety Board concluded [the driver's] failure to monitor the road as she watched the television show 'The Voice' on her phone was the main cause of the crash." And yet...

Uber Expands Self-Driving Safety Report After NTSB Slams Culture by Keith Laing, Bloomberg. "Uber Technologies Inc. vowed to make public more safety information regarding its self-driving cars after the National Transportation Safety Board placed partial blame for a fatal 2018 crash on the company’s policies."

Autonomous vehicles should benefit those with disabilities, but progress remains slow by Kyle Wiggers, VentureBeat. "Driverless car technology promises to remove barriers to personal transportation, but few self-driving operators have made headway on solutions for customers with mobility, vision, and hearing impairments, including seniors and those with chronic health conditions."

A Move for Driverless Mass Transit Hits Speed Bumps by David Zipper, Wired. "Pilot projects for autonomous shuttles abound. But technical limitations and hostility from labor unions may thwart large deployments."

Vehicle Electrification

Uber pledges to shift to ‘100 percent’ electric vehicles by 2030 by Andrew J. Hawkins, the Verge. "The company won’t pay drivers to make the switch, but rather make driving an EV more lucrative by adding an extra fee"

Over 500 zero-emission buses to be added to Hamburg fleet by Sam Mehmet, Intelligent Transport. "The tender is said to be the largest to date for electric buses in Germany."

Mobility as a Service and New Mobility

The Problem With ‘Mobility as a Service’ by David Zipper, Bloomberg. "Startups, transit agencies and policymakers are eager for “MaaS” apps that let travelers choose multiple modes — and give up private cars. But revenue has been elusive."

Towards the Promise of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) in the U.S., 2020 by the Shared-Use Mobility Center. "SUMC’s new policy paper, Towards the Promise of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) in the U.S., provides a guidepost for us to get there, with MaaS topology, principles, case examples—and inspiration."

Shared Mobility and the Transformation of Public Transit by Sharon Feigon and Colin Murphy. A new report by the TRB Transit Cooperative Research Program.

Why Intelligent, Data-Sharing Networks Will Rule Public Transportation by Vinod Bijlani, CDO Trends. A focus on data sharing for incident management and MaaS.

Why AI-Based MaaS Is Poised To Be The Future Of Transportation by Shailesh Manjrekar, Forbes. Where MaaS and AV vehicles come together.

MaaS grows as multimodal journeys now possible across 13 transit agencies in two states by Tom Stone, Traffic Technology Today. "Moovit has announced a partnership with NEORide, EZfare, and Masabi, to enable Ohio and Kentucky riders to seamlessly and safely purchase and validate EZfare transit tickets, all within the Moovit app, to facilitate a frictionless public transit journey with 13 local transit agencies."

Technology in Transit Operations

Minutes Matter: A Bus Transit Service Reliability Guidebook by Alan Danaher, et al. A comprehensive review of service reliability that includes but does not overemphasize technology.


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