The Future of Freight, NASA on Transformative Aeronautics, and Self-Driving Cars

Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

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Volpe The National Transportation Systems Center

U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Research and Technology

November 30, 2015


A National Plan for the Future of Freight


Goods move from point A to point B, safely and on schedule, through a vast network of almost seven million miles of roads, rails, waterways, and pipelines linked by thousands of airports, seaports, and other freight-handling facilities. Significant effort goes into making this system work. But there are major challenges ahead.

freight train
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Google self-driving car

“Realizing Self-Driving Vehicles”

Tuesday, December 1, 2015, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Chris Urmson, PhD, Director of Google’s Self-Driving Car Program

Eventually, self-driving vehicles will reshape the way we live in, and move through, our communities and cities. During this talk, Director of Google's Self-Driving Car Program Chris Urmson will share some fun stories and lessons, along with Google’s vision for how these vehicles will become a reality.

This is the final event in Volpe's newest thought leadership series, Beyond Traffic 2045: Reimagining Transportation

Register now. 


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John Cavolowsky


NASA's Vision for Transformative Aeronautics

Within a single lifetime, the distance that humans could fly grew exponentially—from a few hundred feet with the Wright Flyer to nearly 240,000 miles with Apollo 11. Today, we are again on the cusp of many exciting challenges in transformative aeronautics, according to NASA Director of Airspace Operations and Safety John Cavolowsky, who recently spoke at Volpe...more

Luisa Paiewonsky

Volpe Technical Center Director Nets Award for Exceptional Leadership in Transportation

Luisa Paiewonsky, director of Volpe’s Center for Infrastructure Systems and Technology, was recently honored with the Leadership in Infrastructure Revitalization Award from a Boston-based nonprofit organization...more

Volpe Day graphic

"Unconference" Debuts at Volpe Day 2015

Each year, Volpe staff come together for Volpe Day, an opportunity to learn more about each other’s work, share ideas, and get to know colleagues. This year, Volpe debuted a new format: an “unconference"...more

Jobs at Volpe

Jobs at Volpe

The following professional opportunities are currently available at Volpe:

  • Center Director, Air Traffic Systems and Operations
  • Computer Scientist
  • Program Analyst

In addition, 18 Pathways internship positions—for analysts, engineers, and more—will be posted this week on our student opportunities page. Open dates: December 1-10, 2015.

Volpe Staff at Local and National Events

Volpe staff were featured at key speaking engagements in November, including the following:

  • Dr. Stephen Popkin participated in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s drowsy driving summit, Asleep at the Wheel: A Nation of Drowsy Drivers, held November 4-5 in Washington, D.C. Dr. Popkin served as a panelist and spoke about how to measure and identify drowsy driving. He also oversaw a panel session on public and corporate policy pertaining to drowsy driving.

  • Jane Lappin presented results of the 2015 Automated Vehicle Symposium breakout session at the 9th University Transportation Center Spotlight Conference: Connected and Automated Vehicles, held November 4-5 in Washington, D.C. The conference focused on the emergence of connected and automated vehicle technology across all modes of transportation.

  • Marco DaSilva attended the 2015 National Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety Training Conference, held November 1-4 in Arlington, Texas. DaSilva presented Volpe’s highway-rail grade crossing research, which supports the Federal Railroad Administration. 

  • Christopher Roof attended the Tufts Community Assessment of Freeway Exposure and Health Research Group Noise Summit on November 6. Roof discussed Volpe’s transportation-related noise capabilities and experiences, and discussed potential collaboration opportunities.

  • Dr. Joyce Ranney, Cassandra Cantu, and Dr. Michael Zuschlag discussed two methods for determining implementation success to understand program outcomes at the American Evaluation Association’s annual conference, Evaluation 2015: Exemplary Evaluations in a Multicultural World, held November 9-14 in Chicago, Illinois. The conference drew together evaluation practitioners, academics, and students in a collaborative and thought-provoking atmosphere in the field of program evaluation.


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