A Venn Diagram of the Murky Driverless Taxi Ecosystem

August 22, 2016 at 6:56 pm

Not a day passes without us seeing some major headline about global automakers and shared mobility providers working to revolutionize the mobility landscape. Last week Uber dominated the headlines when the company announced that its autonomous cars (souped up Volvo XC90 SUVs) will be available for its ride-hailing customers in Pittsburgh. And in this process, the company announced that it bought the truck automation company Otto, founded by a couple of former Google Car research engineers.  This was followed by Ford’s major announcement that it intends to deliver high-volume, fully autonomous vehicles for ride sharing in 2021. In addition, the company announced that it is investing in or collaborating with four startups on autonomous vehicle development and doubling its Silicon Valley team.

This torrid pace of acquisitions, expansions, and investments has created a confusing picture for the consumers about who owns what and who is doing what across the domain. I found this Business Insider graph (seen below), part of a big research report (cost $495) very useful in understanding the ecosystem that covers the auto OEMs, suppliers, startups, shared-mobility service providers, etc.  Though it doesn’t capture all the entities, particularly the start-ups, engaged in automated vehicle research/development, it makes a decent attempt to organize them into “bins.”

With heavy influx of venture capital money competing alongside deep pocketed organizations like Ford, GM, Tesla, Google, Uber etc, the race to build the unmanned taxis is now reaching breakneck pace. The traditional OEMs are on a buying spree or making deals with innovative start-ups, in and outside the Silicon Valley.   It is safe to say that pretty much all the automotive heavyweights in Detroit and Silicon Valley are vying for a slice of the lucrative yet untapped “autonomous shared-mobility” space. What I’d like to see someone take a stab at capturing/mapping all those entities involved (incl. those in finance, data warehousing, etc) and present that in an infographic. All I can comfortably say today is buckle up for the ride! It will be a while before this ecosystem stabilizes and be assured that there will be a steady stream of headline grabbing news is coming your way.

Publication Alert: Exploring the Opportunity for Mobility as a Service (Maas) in the UK

August 16, 2016 at 11:18 am

Just spotted this awesome report from Transport Systems Catapult in the United Kingdom that explores the opportunities offered by Mobility as a Service (MaaS) concept and highlights how transportation policy might support MaaS growth. For the uninformed, the Transport Systems Catapult is one of ten elite technology and innovation centres established and overseen by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.


New TRB Report “Shared Mobility and the Transformation of Public Transit” Looks at Shared Mobility in Seven Cities

August 8, 2016 at 11:24 am

A new TRB report, Shared Mobility and the Transformation of Public Transit examines the relationship of public transportation—including paratransit and demand responsive services—to shared modes, including bikesharing, carsharing, microtransit, and ridesourcing services. The research included participation by seven cities: Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC. The report’s conclusion sets out actions that departments, and other local and regional agencies—can take to promote useful cooperation between public and private mobility providers. It also suggests regulatory enhancements, institutional realignments, and forms of public-private engagement that would allow innovation to flourish while still providing mobility as safely, broadly, and equitably as possible (via FHWA)

New TRB report, Shared Mobility and the Transformation of Public Transit

Disruptions ahead for automotive industry?

January 25, 2016 at 10:11 am

The latest forecast from McKinsey Consulting on the disruptive trends unfolding in the automotive sector is very much along the lines of what I have been saying for quite a while.  It predictions comes packaged in a nice, easy to consume slick video presentation shown below.

Among the major disruptions, the ones I see having direct and tremendous social and roadsafety implications are ridesharing and vehicle automation, both aided by a confluence of technology and consumer aversion for driving/owning automobiles. Of course, the pace of disruption will be dictated by the Federal policies and that means our lawmakers must remain nimble and be willing to set aside their political ideologies to help the industry as it leaps forward.

Growth of vehicle automation. Source: McKinsey

Scenarios for growth of vehicle automation. Source: McKinsey

Check out the full report here

Hays Outside the Box Competition! Submit your best public transportation idea by Nov. 30; first prize = $10,000

November 16, 2015 at 3:38 pm


The leading public transportation ideas competition
January 9, 2016 | 5:00pm – 8:00pm | Arlington, VA

outside the box_final_V3Click here for competition submissions forms

Register for the Outside the Box Conference

Register for the 2016 Transportation Camp

The Hays Transportation Innovations Conference hosted by George Mason University School of Public Policy (and sponsors), seeks to support innovative and “outside the box” solutions to challenges in transportation.

In the world of transportation and transportation challenges, it is imperative that we foster the development and implementation of new ideas. Instead of offering the same old solutions–turning the proverbial wheel, but not moving forward– we challenge you to think creatively and offer “outside of the box” solutions to complicated transportation policy challenges. So how can you push that wheel forward? How can you effect change?

First prize: $10,000
Second prize: $5,000
Third prize: $2,500

We welcome all thoughtful, innovative and diverse ideas…so inspire us!

3 weeks until Submission deadline. Grand Prize is $10K!! Get proposals in by Nov. 30

Age restriction lifted. Conference Date is evening of Transportation Camp – Sat. Jan. 9th

Cameron_Rian_Hays_300Follow us on Twitter @GMUOutsideBoxtwitter
This competition, a memorial tribute, has been made possible through the generosity of the family of Cameron Rian Hays, an “outside the box” thinking 2011 Master’s graduate of the George Mason University School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs.

October 6, 2015 – Hays Outside the Box Competition opens
November 30, 2015 – Submissions Deadline (midnight)
December 15, 2015 – Top 3 Finalists Selected
January 9, 2016 – The Hays Outside the Box Conference

Job(s) Alert – Program Manager & Program Coordinator for Environment – American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) @ Washington, DC

June 7, 2015 at 10:33 pm

via YPTransportation.org

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is currently hiring a Program Manager for Environment & a Program Coordinator for Environment.

Program Coordinator for Environment – NATURE OF THE POSITION:

Reporting to the Program Director for Environment, the Program Coordinator for Environment supports a wide breadth of AASHTO’s environmental programs, projects, and special assignments related to the Center for Environmental Excellence (Center), the Standing Committee on Environment (SCOE), and the Resilient and Sustainable Transportation Systems (RSTS) Steering Committee and Technical Assistance Program.  This position is housed in the Policy and Management Division of AASHTO.

The incumbent coordinates the environmental research program, including maintaining the Transportation and Environmental Research Ideas database, soliciting research ideas for the database, facilitating the SCOE process for rating ideas, developing research statements, and submitting research statements to the appropriate research programs.  The incumbent also maintains the Center and SCOE websites including managing two website consultants. The incumbent ensures regular monitoring of the Center website usage, content updates, and periodic enhancements to the SCOE and Center websites.

Additionally, the incumbent serves as staff liaison to the SCOE Subcommittee on Community and Cultural Concerns. As the SCOE frequently develops comment letters on proposed federal actions related to transportation and the environment, the Program Coordinator assists in coordinating with the member state departments of transportation (state DOTs) to discuss proposed federal actions and electronically submits AASHTO’s comments on the actions.

Under the supervision of the Program Director, the incumbent is responsible for contract negotiation and management, and oversight in performing some of the aforementioned tasks. The incumbent regularly coordinates activities in the environment area of AASHTO through skillful and timely research, analysis, and utilization of a variety of technology and communication platforms. Such duties may include assisting in planning and implementing national conferences, training workshops, webcasts, webinars, and meetings with state DOTs and resource agencies; and receiving and answering inquiries from members and the public about environmental programs.  In addition, the incumbent performs a wide range of technical and administrative support tasks including but not limited to drafting correspondence, conducting surveys and tabulating results, coordinating meeting and teleconferences, filing expense reports, organizing committee mailings, processing invoice requests, and tracking billing against budgeting for accuracy.


Candidate must possess excellent written and oral communication, research, and analysis skills, and the ability to establish work program priorities and carry them out independently. Incumbent must be sensitive to the needs of multiple members and customers and have a general understanding of federal and state environmental policies, regulations, procedures and practices as they relate to transportation. Incumbent must be highly skilled in the use of computers, and proficient in word processing software packages with experience in graphics, spreadsheets, and the operation of conventional business equipment. It is desired that the incumbent be familiar with the fundamentals of project management and budgeting, including consultant selection and oversight, drafting requests for proposals, and negotiating and overseeing consultant scope of work and budgets.

A minimum of two to three years of previous transportation and/or environment program and policy support experience is required. A Bachelor of Arts or Science degree is required, preferably in an environment or transportation related field. Evidence of a higher degree of professional development, such as a postgraduate education, is desirable.


Applicants should submit a cover letter and resume to recruiter@aashto.org by Monday, June 15. Relocation costs are not reimbursable. For more information, visit http://web.transportation.org/employmentopps/Default.aspx?lid=4221.

AASHTO is also currently hiring a Program Manager for Environment.

Took this awesome pic of i-10 and i-45 right a...

Awesome pic of i-10 and i-45 right at the northern edge of downtown Houston. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Under the leadership of the Program Director for Environment, the Program Manager for Environment serves as the staff liaison to the AASHTO Resilient and Sustainable Transportation Systems (RSTS) Steering Committee and manages the RSTS Technical Assistance Program (TAP). The Program Manager also serves as the staff liaison to the Standing Committee on Environment’s (SCOE) Air Quality, Climate Change, and Energy Subcommittee (AQ Subcommittee) and the SCOE Natural Resources Subcommittee. Additionally, the Program Manager oversees and directs various activities under the Center for Environmental Excellence (the Center) by AASHTO. Duties are performed with input from the Program Director and oversight groups consisting of state transportation agency representatives.

As liaison to the above committees, the Program Manager’s primary duty is to ensure AASHTO members are cognizant of key technical, legislative and regulatory issues related to climate change, extreme weather, air quality, stormwater, wetlands, endangered species, and other related environmental topics. In addition the incumbent ensures AASHTO members’ awareness of the linkage between general environmental topics and transportation. The Program Manager monitors the legislative, regulatory and technical activities of appropriate Congressional committees, federal agencies and other public interest groups and associations, and provides this information to members to assist them in policy deliberation and development.

In managing the RSTS Technical Assistance Program, the Program Manager is responsible for the development of long-term program and project objectives and strategies; program and project planning and budgeting; contract preparation, negotiation and administration; marketing of RSTS services and products; coordination of activities, programs and projects with governmental agencies, trade associations and public interest groups.

As staff liaison to the SCOE Air Quality, Climate Change and Energy and the SCOE Natural Resources Subcommittees, the Program Manager provides management support to the subcommittees. In this capacity, the Program Manager attends meetings and provides policy and procedural advice; advises on meeting agendas; disseminates informational materials to committee members, provides other assistance as required; and serves as liaison between the subcommittees and SCOE.

As a task manager for the Center, the Program Manager supports the Program Director in developing the annual work plan; long-term environmental program objectives and strategies; environmental program and project planning and budgeting; contract preparation, negotiation and administration; marketing of the Center’s services and products; and coordination of activities, programs and projects with governmental agencies, trade associations and public interest groups. The Program Manager oversees the development of training materials, webinars, websites, workshops, and national conferences that provide AASHTO members opportunities to engage in critical environmental discussions.

The Program Manager represents and promotes AASHTO’s environmental goals and policy positions in meetings, task forces and workshops; prepares and delivers presentations; and performs other functions as needed.


A broad understanding of federal and state environmental policies, regulations, procedures and practices as they relate to transportation; and sound comprehension of the administrative, legislative and regulatory process at the federal and state levels is required.  The incumbent must have an understanding of state transportation responsibilities, planning and project delivery practices and policy issues. Project planning, budgeting and management skills, experience with contracts administration and financial reporting, and excellent written and oral communication skills are required. The incumbent must be able to travel approximately 30 days per year.

The successful candidate must have a minimum of four to six years of progressively responsible, professional experience in the transportation sector; with a focus on environmental issues or in the environmental field with a focus on transportation issues.  Prior experience in project management is desired.   A bachelor’s of arts or science degree is required, preferably in an environment or transportation related field.  Evidence of a higher degree of professional development, such as a postgraduate education, is desirable.


Applicants should submit a cover letter and resume to recruiter@aashto.org by Monday, June 15. Relocation costs are not reimbursable. For more information, visit http://web.transportation.org/employmentopps/Default.aspx?lid=4220.

AASHTO is an equal opportunity employer.


What if all trips in a city were carried out by a fleet of self-driving cars shared by users? 9 out of 10 conventional cars could become redundant

April 28, 2015 at 7:54 pm

What if all trips in a city were carried out by a fleet of self-driving cars shared by users? The latest report from OECD’s International Transportation Forum explores the potential outcomes of such a radical upgrade in an urban mobility system. The report concludes that up to 9 out of 10 conventional cars could become redundant under certain circumstances. Vast amounts of public space would be freed for other uses in such a scenario. Take a look:

If you get a chance, visit their website and even better plan a visit to attend the upcoming ITF conference in Leipzig, Germany.  I had the privilege to be a part of this event last year and came away with a lot of very important issues, esp. related to transportation policy, at a global level. It was one of the well-organized and best run events that I got to attend in all of my years as a transportation professional.


Job Alert: Program Officer (Studies and Special Programs) – Transportation Research Board (TRB) @ Washington, DC

April 26, 2015 at 2:11 pm

TRB is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council— a private, nonprofit institution that is the principal operating agency of the National Academies in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The National Research Council is jointly administered by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. TRB’s varied activities annually engage more than 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest by participating on TRB committees, panels, and task forces. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation.

The Program Officer is responsible for assisting with one or more of the organization’s projects with minimal oversight by Director or Senior Program Officer. Assembles committees and provides staff assistance to committees as they conduct their work. Responsible for ensuring projects stay on schedule and within budget.

Incumbent applies in-depth professional level knowledge to independently solve a full range of complex problems. The job’s primary focus is supporting studies or convening activities. The work is primarily intellectual or analytical in character, requiring advanced knowledge. Assignments are broadly defined and require judgment and creativity to complete. Incumbent is often responsible for oversight or management of other staff. Reports to Senior Program Officer or Director.


1. Manages projects of minimal or moderate complexity. In collaboration with supervisor, manages budget, supervises staff, and ensures program or project meets objectives.

2. Where applicable and with director/senior program officer oversight, recruits potential committee nominees and assembles appointment packages. Communicates and coordinates with the committee chair and members. Identifies and gathers research materials for the committee. Facilitates the flow of information among committee/panel members, consultants, staff, and other applicable parties

3. Conducts large and small workshops and/or meetings. Develops agendas, invites presenters and participants, oversees meeting logistics and multimedia presentations, and prepares written summaries.

4. Prepares background papers and technical summaries. Develops written products (e.g., reports, proceedings, white papers). Drafts and edits materials for publication. Synthesizes and edits research findings and technical data and determines the relevance of data for purposes of activity.

5. Supports committee members, forum members, workshop participants, etc. in all aspects of work. Assistance is provided in preparing the draft report, including writing sections of report based on committee input and review and editing the report for format, consistency, and grammar. Facilitates the response to review, responds to comments and concerns of editors, and prepares the final manuscript for publication.

6. Supports dissemination activities related to assigned programs or projects. Creates and maintains materials for web sites social media channels and other outreach to provide interest groups with information generated from and for activities.

7. Oversees project budget and schedule and authorizes expenditures. As required, collaborates with financial staff to ensure compliance.

8. Collaborates with experts and sponsors from federal, state, and local government agencies, foundations, schools, and other organizations. Represents the unit and committee within and outside the National Academies.

9. With Director or Senior Program Officer oversight, conducts background research on topics for new studies, programs, or activities.

For more information, visit http://chk.tbe.taleo.net/chk02/ats/careers/requisition.jsp?org=NAS&cws=1&rid=8047 and search for Job Number 150070-5.

Job Alert: Transportation Planner – Cambridge Systematics @Tallahassee, FL

April 24, 2015 at 5:20 pm

The Transportation Safety Planner – based in Tallahassee, Florida – will perform technical work under the general supervision of a Project Manager primarily on assignments which provide technical support and assistance to the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) Safe Mobility for Life program. This technical assistance includes performing duties as assigned by the program’s manager at the FDOT, assisting the Safe Mobility for Life Coalition, working with the coalition’s ten Emphasis Area (EA) teams as they work together to implement Florida’s Aging Road User Strategic Safety Plan.

Tasks include updating and maintaining EA action plans every quarter, providing support to the EA team leaders during quarterly team meetings, collecting and maintaining evaluation data to support the EA action plans, updating the Coalition’s Priority County Map, collecting and maintaining data to update the Coalition’s Outreach and Advocacy Map, and assisting in the development of transportation retirement planning educational materials. Other duties include assisting in maintaining the program’s website (www.FLsams.org), assisting in updating FDOT guidelines, procedures, and standards for incorporating roadway and pedestrian safety countermeasures to benefit an aging population, as well as administrative and other support tasks. Weekly in-person status meetings with the FDOT Safe Mobility for Life Program Manager and attendance at all Coalition meetings and working (as needed) on-site at the Florida Department of Transportation’s facilities is required.


Bachelors degree in Transportation Planning, Public Policy, or a related field. 2 years of related work experience. Strong interpersonal and writing skills, experience with data analysis, and spreadsheet/database management. Strong quantitative and interpretive abilities and problem solving skills with fluency in transportation safety data and planning methods.


Masters degree. Experience with data analysis software (e.g., Excel, SAS, SPSS, etc.), GIS, or other transportation impact software. Strong understanding of multidisciplinary safety countermeasures, transportation safety data and analysis, performance measurement and evaluation, and aging road user issues.

To apply:  http://www.camsys.com/HR/halogen.htm

Job Alert: Project Manager – Green Trucks China Project — Smart Freight Center @ Netherlands

April 1, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Smart Freight Centre (SFC) is looking for an energetic and efficient individual with initiative to manage the implementation of the Green Trucks China project, and be part of our global team to advance green freight and logistics worldwide.

The Green Trucks China project is the first project of SFC to catalyze the sector-wide adoption of proven technologies. SFC has selected China as the first market and will operate under the umbrella of the China Green Freight Initiative (CGFI) that is managed by the China Road Transport Association. SFC has selected a ”green tires package” consisting of high quality tires supplemented with tire maintenance and telematics as the first technology package, which could reduce 20 million tons of carbon dioxide from trucks in China annually.

The full job ad is available on www.smartfreightcentre.org