To improve safety at highway projects across the state, researchers at the University of Minnesota (UMN) are working on a tagging and mapping system that can efficiently gather information about the layout of work zones, perform remote inspections, and disseminate warnings to drivers.
A study published by researchers at the University of Minnesota, Harvard Medical School and other institutions in October found 1,200 commercial truck drivers who participated in an employer sleep apnea screening and treatment program saved an average of $441 per month in health costs compared with drivers who were not treated. An earlier study of members of a health plan serving Union Pacific employees also found overall health savings among workers who were diagnosed with sleep apnea and got treatment.
A University of Minnesota professor is trying to re-engineer bike safety by developing a safer bike. “We’re trying to make a smart bicycle that protects itself,” said Professor Rajesh Rajamani from the U of M mechanical engineering department. The bike itself is an electric commuter bike that Professor Rajamani has equipped with sensors, microprocessors and low-density LIDAR lasers.
Sgt. Troy Christianson with the Minnesota State Patrol says you shouldn't use cruise control in the winter months, because even if you think roads aren't slippery, they can refreeze quickly. He warns when a driver's vehicle starts to slide, most react by hitting the brakes. Raj Rajamani, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Minnesota, says cruise control estimates vehicle speed based on the speed of all four wheels. "So, if there's a lot of slip going on, it won't know the speed correctly," he said.
New vehicles can come equipped with new technology aimed at making driving easier, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they'll make driving safer. Researchers at the University of Minnesota's HumanFirst Lab have been studying how certain new automated technology, like adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist, impact the decision making of drivers. According to HumanFIRST Lab director Nichole Morris, "The risk is, [the systems] can really lull us into feeling like they can do more than what they can ... You should be driving and using the system to support you.
A study published by researchers at the University of Minnesota, Harvard Medical School, and other institutions in October found 1,200 commercial truck drivers who participated in an employer sleep apnea screening and treatment program saved an average of $441 per month in health costs compared with drivers who were not treated. An earlier study of members of a health plan serving Union Pacific employees also found overall health savings among workers who were diagnosed with sleep apnea and got treatment.
Snow and ice are part of Minnesota winters; lakes are part of Minnesota summers. It’s becoming increasingly clear that these Minnesota staples are intricately linked—the future of one is dependent upon the way we deal with the other. When it snows, or even when it is expected to snow, the plows head out with our weapons against dangerous roads: salt and sand. Unfortunately, salt is causing harm in an unintended place—in lakes, streams, wetlands and groundwater....
A recent study has found that providing drivers with a sleep apnea treatment program could be good for your fleet’s bottom line. A joint study published in the medical journal SLEEP conducted by Precision Pulmonary Diagnostics, Harvard Medical School, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, and the University of Minnesota-Morris has demonstrated that employer-sponsored sleep apnea screening, diagnosis, and treatment yields significant health cost savings in employee health insurance claim costs.
A standardized and universal format for the storage and access of traffic signal data has not yet been developed. To remedy this data challenge, University of Minnesota researchers have compiled intersection control information from traffic signal control professionals throughout the state of Minnesota. John Hourdos, director of the Minnesota Traffic Observatory, provided details about the project.
In the past decade, distraction-related crashes have been sharply rising, and cellphones are a major culprit. But getting drivers to put their devices down isn’t easy, and experts worry penalties aren’t enough—attitudes about technology and safety need to change.... Nichole Morris, a research scholar at the Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota, says her team has studied the effects of forward-collision warning systems and in-vehicle messages that alert drivers if they get too close to the car in front of them.
With the goal of reducing bike-car collisions, University of Minnesota researchers have designed a bike that alerts drivers when their car gets close to bikers. Researchers in the Laboratory for Innovations in Sensing, Estimation and Control developed the bike alert system to protect bicyclists from vehicles that get too close to them. The researchers hope the technology will reduce accidents between vehicles and bikes on the road. This is especially important on the University campus, which sees heavy car and bicycle traffic year-round....
Requiring drivers to get treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) saved a trucking company a large amount in insurance costs for other health conditions, according to a new study said study authored by Steve Burks, a professor of economics and management at the University of Minnesota Morris. People with apnea repeatedly stop breathing and wake partially during the night, resulting in poor sleep that can worsen other medical conditions. Researchers noted that even though OSA has been linked with higher rates of serious preventable truck crashes, the U.S.
Eden Prairie is at the front of Minnesota’s charge to bring hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs) to the road, both at the city level and for individual consumers.... Will Northrop is a mechanical engineering professor and director of the Murphy Engine Research Lab at the University of Minnesota, where research has pivoted in recent years from a focus on combustion engines to encompass electric vehicle technology as well.
A new material developed to repair roads, which is derived from by-products of the mining, is having some favorable results and may soon be commercialized. Larry Zanko, a senior research program manager for the University of Minnesota Duluth Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI), said in a recent interview with the Tribune Press that researchers there began working with the Minnesota Department of Transportation about three years ago on this project, and have since been modifying the formulation.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota-Duluth want to hit the road running with a patented repair method that could change the way transportation departments fix potholes and other pavement failures. The method, which has been in field testing for years, uses taconite-based byproducts and microwave technology to repair broken pavements, said Larry Zanko, a senior research fellow with UMD’s Natural Resources Research Institute. Compared with traditional hot-mix asphalt patches, benefits include lower costs, less pollution and more durable fixes, he said.
BioSig is far from the only company to launch or expand recently to take advantage of Mayo’s growing presence. Rochester represents the newest and fastest-growing regional gathering of peer companies, a phenomenon known to economists as industry clusters.
Across Minnesota, cities large and small are scrambling to upgrade storm sewers, culverts, roadways and drainage ponds as they find themselves deluged by ever-more intense storms and flash flooding. With global temperatures on the rise, this decade is likely to be the wettest in Minnesota history, according to retired state climatologist and University professor Mark Seeley.
Assistant Professor and CTS Scholar Alireza Khani is asked about money-saving tips for drivers in this overview of driving-friendly U.S. cities.
More and more Americans are biking to work these days. According to a study by the Accessibility Observatory at the University of Minnesota, the number of Americans who commute to work on their bicycles is up 22 percent over the past nine years. “Though biking is used for less than one percent of commuting trips in the United States, biking infrastructure investments are much more cost-effective at providing access to jobs than infrastructure investments to support automobiles,” Andrew Owen, director of the Observatory, told the University of Minnesota.
The majority of the articles in the May–June 2019 issue of TR News highlight women and gender in transportation. Focusing on and improving transportation for women not only advances the interests of women but also leads to better health, safety, and economic outcomes for all travelers and their communities. [Developed by the TRB Standing Committee on Women’s Issues in Transportationy, led by Tara Goddard and CTS associate director Dawn Hood.]
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