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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


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.

How a Decades-Long Partnership Led to Safer Waterways around the World

Freight vessels on a waterway.

April 19, 2017

U.S. DOT Volpe Center Director Anne Aylward recently contributed an article to Seaway Compass, the newsletter of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. In this newsletter, Aylward discusses the decades-long partnership between the Seaway and Volpe that has made waterways around the world safer and more efficient for marine traffic.

A Look at the Proposals Set to Receive $1.9M in U.S. DOT SBIR Awards

Abstract image representing technology

March 29, 2017

Fourteen U.S. small businesses will receive up to $150,000 each through U.S. DOT’s SBIR program to conduct six months of Phase I concept development. Read on for a brief look at the winning proposals and the small businesses that submitted them.

Integrating Space Vehicle Operations into the National Airspace System

Image of earth as seen from space

March 28, 2017

Commercial space vehicle operators are becoming more common in the national airspace, and the number of orbital and sub-orbital passenger space flights is expected to increase significantly over the next decade. Volpe supports the FAA’s NextGen Space Vehicle Operations program to help reduce the impact of commercial space vehicles on air traffic, while also maintaining a high level of safety.