Transportation Research Board 2011

Transportation Research Board 2011

By Chrissy Mancini Nichols

Jan 7, 2011

This post first appeared at

Did You Know? German researchers test-drove the world’s first automatic vehicle.

Germany’s Technische Universität Braunschweig has developed a research vehicle that can drive automatically along a given route, in everyday city traffic, at speeds up to 50 mph. “Leonie,” a Volkswagen Passat station wagon, operates via satellite positioning. It can calculate its position in traffic, accelerate and brake – all without a human driver. 

Watch Leonie “drive” through the streets of Braunschweig.

Later this month, the National Research Council will feature automatic vehicles and other transportation innovations at the 90th annual meeting of its Transportation Research Board (TRB). This year's spotlight theme is "Transportation, Livability, and Economic Development in a Changing World." Some 10,000 attendees – policymakers, administrators, practitioners, researchers, journalists, and representatives of government, industry, and academia – will have the choice of more than 4,000 transportation-related presentations. 

Some of TRB’s seminar topics also have been highlighted in Talking Transit – Bus rapid transit, congestion pricing, freight, plug-in vehicles and electric busses, complete streets and bike lanes, and international innovations to cite just a few. Sessions that piqued our interest include:

   Innovations in Bus Rapid Transit Operations

   Managed Lanes—The Next Generation: Regional Networks, Public–Private Partnerships, and Variable Pricing of Existing Freeway Lanes: 

   Urbanism: Complete Streets, Transit, and Land Use Redefined

   Livability: Implementation Lessons from a Multimodal Transportation Planning Perspective

   Automated Driving: Real-World Feasibility and Benefits

   High-Speed Rail: Learning from the International Community

   Critical Roles of Multimodal Transportation in Major Activity Center Circulation and Urban Development

   Innovations in Intermodal Transfer Facilities

   Public Transport Innovations

   Intelligent Transportation Systems: Annual U.S. State-of-the-Industry Review

   Operation PRT: All Issues Related to Personal Rapid Transit

   Innovative Bicycle Infrastructure: Is It Working?

   Development Impacts of Transit Investments and Disinvestments

   Promises and Perils of Parking Pricing: Latest Evidence from the Field

TRB’s "Transportation, Livability, and Economic Development in a Changing World" will take place in Washington, D.C., from Jan. 23-27. For more information, review a complete list of sessions. 

TRB is one of five major divisions of the National Research Council.  The Research Council is the principal operating agency of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.  Learn more about the National Research Council. 

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Train Tracker arrives

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