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Improving Service and Safety at Penn Station in New York City

Penn Station entrance

July 21, 2017

Penn Station is one of the busiest passenger transportation facilities in the U.S., serving more than 600,000 commuter rail and Amtrak passengers each day. In late March and early April, Penn Station suffered two train derailments within a week of each other. Following both derailments, U.S. DOT’s Volpe Center supported the Federal Railroad Administration by sending mechanical engineer Brian Marquis to take measurements at both sites and conduct a track and equipment data analysis.

Exploring Future Energy Scenarios with the Freight/Fuel Transportation Optimization Tool

Volpe environmental biologist Dr. Kristin Lewis

July 19, 2017

What’s the best way for raw fuel material to get to a refinery? Road, rail, water, pipeline? What emissions are associated with moving raw material and fuel? Environmental biologist Kristin Lewis recently talked about how a Volpe-developed tool can help optimize fuel logistics strategies.

How Effective Are Pedestrian Detection Systems in Cars?

A car approaches a mother and son crossing a road at a crosswalk.

July 13, 2017

As pedestrian detection technology becomes integrated into the cars we drive, we must ask: How effective are these systems in preventing pedestrian crashes and injuries? How do we measure safety? A team of advanced vehicle experts at U.S. DOT’s Volpe Center conducted a study to find out.

The Cambridge Science Festival Comes to U.S. DOT’s Volpe Center

A child points out various elements of the city he created using paper boxes and markers.

June 22, 2017

Science lovers of all ages gathered recently at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Volpe Center to attend transportation events as part of the Cambridge Science Festival, an annual 10-day event that engages an estimated 50,000 people with science, technology, engineering, and math. Find out what our participants did with blocks, simulators, and transportation planning.

WTS International Honors Rachael Barolsky Sack with a “First of its Kind” Award

Rachael

June 21, 2017

WTS International recently honored U.S. DOT Volpe Center’s Small Business Innovation Research program manager for her exceptional leadership and commitment with its “Chapter President of the Year” award—the first honor of its kind granted by the association. Find out what made her stand out.

Analyzing Online Media Reporting of Rail Suicide and Trespass Incidents

Several reporters hold their microphones outstretched, interviewing a man wearing a suit.

June 20, 2017

Responsible media reporting on rail suicide and trespass incidents can inform the public and help those in need. However, media reporting of such events can also lead to copycat incidents. A new report illuminates common reporting practices that could increase suicide contagion on the rail system. Read the study’s key findings and recommendations.

How Traditional Aviation Testing Can Inform Unmanned Aerial Technologies

An airplane and a drone in flight.

June 6, 2017

In his award-winning paper, U.S. DOT Volpe Center engineer Seamus McGovern applied traditional flight testing techniques and principles for aircraft designs to fixed-wing and rotary-style drone designs.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Chao’s Volpe Center Homecoming

From a behind a podium on stage, Secretary Chao addresses a full auditorium of Volpe staff.

May 8, 2017

Continuing her long history with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Volpe Center, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao returned to learn how Volpe provides innovative multimodal expertise for partners at U.S. DOT, other government agencies, and the private sector. Secretary Chao first visited Volpe as Deputy Secretary of Transportation in 1990 when the center was renamed for John A. Volpe, the former Massachusetts governor and second Transportation Secretary.

Experts Reveal Safety Impact of Following Distances between Heavy Trucks in Automated Platoons

A parked fleet of heavy trucks

April 27, 2017

Grouping heavy trucks in the same lane with short following distances—known as platooning—can increase road capacity, improve safety, and save fuel. A team of advanced vehicle technology experts at Volpe conducted a first-of-its-kind study of truck following behavior using naturalistic driving data.

Measuring Traffic Performance through Innovative Low-Cost Solutions

April 24, 2017

Capturing travel data on commercial motor vehicles (CMV) is an essential component of improving and maintaining roadway safety. Through U.S. DOT’s Small Business Innovation Research program, one small business is addressing the limitations of current CMV data collection technologies with a new low-cost, low-maintenance device that eliminates the need for drivers to stop for inspections or pull over at weigh stations.

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