August 2019
First-of-its-kind research from the Accessibility Observatory at the University of Minnesota ranks the 50 largest (by population) metropolitan areas in the United States for connecting workers with jobs via bicycle. The new rankings are part of a national pooled-fund study that began in 2013 and focuses on accessibility.
On August 1, the hands-free bill passed this spring became law in the state of Minnesota. The new law allows drivers to use their cell phone to make calls, text, listen to music or podcasts, and get directions, but only by voice commands or single-touch activation without holding the phone. Nichole Morris, CTS Scholar and director of the HumanFIRST Laboratory, shares her thoughts on what it means to drive hands-free and how it can help reduce distracted driving.
Roughly one quarter of bumble bee species are in decline, including the endangered rusty-patched bumble bee. Roadsides offer a unique opportunity to increase habitat for declining species, which are important pollinators for both crops and natural systems. In a recent study, U of M researchers assessed the bumble bee community and habitat within Twin Cities roadsides and made recommendations for best management practices.
Many U of M faculty members are working on the leading edge of smart technology. One of them is Saif Benjaafar, a national authority on sharing economy business models and the smart technology that propels them. Benjaafar discusses his research and its implications.