How Effective Are Pedestrian Detection Systems in Cars?

U.S. DOT Volpe National Transportation Systems Center

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

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u s department of transportation volpe center

U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology 

August 8, 2017

How Effective Are Pedestrian Detection Systems in Cars?

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.

Pedestrian detection
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Risk Modeling for Small UAS in Controlled Airspace Around Airports

Thursday, September 7, 2017
12:00 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.

As part of the U.S. DOT Volpe Center’s ongoing Transportation Trajectories speaker series, Professor Emeritus from MIT Tom Sheridan, PhD, and Volpe aerospace engineer Jason Lu will discuss how the Volpe Center is working with the Federal Aviation Administration to develop a collision risk model for small unmanned aerial vehicles.

Learn more and register to attend.

Transforming Transportation Kicks Off With Deputy Transportation Secretary Rosen

Friday, September 15, 2017
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Join U.S. Deputy Transportation Secretary Jeffrey A. Rosen for the U.S. DOT Volpe Center’s newest thought leadership speaker series, The Ongoing Transformation of the Global Transportation System, which will explore challenges and opportunities affecting the advancement of transportation systems.

Learn more and register to attend. 

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Deputy Transportation Secretary Rosen

Transforming Transportation Speaker Series Kicks Off Sept. 15 with Deputy Secretary Rosen

U.S. Deputy Transportation Secretary Jeffrey A. Rosen will kick off the U.S. DOT Volpe Center’s newest thought leadership speaker series, The Ongoing Transformation of the Global Transportation System, which will explore challenges and opportunities affecting the advancement of transportation systems. Learn more and register to attend.

Car platooning

How an Automated Car Platoon Works

With emerging automated driving technology, self-driving cars may soon have the capability to form a platoon on a highway, which could improve travel time, increase lane capacity, and reduce congestion. A car platooning proof-of-concept was tested and evaluated at a U.S. Army facility in Maryland. Learn how platoons work and find out what the researchers discovered.

Kristin Lewis

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

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? These are just a few of the questions the Volpe-developed Freight and fuel Transportation Optimization Tool (FTOT) can help answer. Environmental biologist Dr. Kristin Lewis recently talked about how FTOT optimizes fuel logistics strategies. Read more and watch video highlights from her talk.

DoD aircraft

Volpe and the U.S. Department of Defense: An Essential National Partnership

For nearly five decades, the Volpe Center has provided essential support to critical missions across branches of the Department of Defense (DoD). Find out how DoD leverages Volpe's world-renowned, multimodal expertise.

Penn Station

Improving Service and Safety at Penn Station in New York City

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. Find out how Volpe was called in to help following both incidents.


The Volpe Center is DOT’s ‘Nerd Lab’—and Much More

Connected vehicles. Unmanned aircraft. Worldwide vessel tracking. Politico featured the Volpe Center’s multimodal expertise in its recent tour of federal government nerd labs. Find out why.

Volpe Experts in the Field

Volpe staff engaged in the following noteworthy activities in July:

  • Automated Vehicles: U.S. DOT Volpe Center staff participated in the 2017 Automated Vehicles Symposium, held July 11-13 in San Francisco, California. Earlier this year, staff members helped organize five breakout sessions.

    During the symposium, Eli Machek of Volpe and Kevin Dopart of the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office presented a poster session on Department of Transportation Research on Transit Automation and Low-Speed Automated Vehicles. Machek led part of the “Public Transit/Shared Mobility” breakout.

    Anita Kim presented a poster on Federal Highway Administration Automated Vehicle (AV) Policy Gaps Analysis and Strategic Planning.

    Dr. Scott Smith presented energy/emission results from our AV simulation modeling during the “Energy Usage and Emissions” breakout session. He presented our framework for AV Impact Assessment during the “Making Automation Work for Cities” breakout and presented a poster on the same topic.

  • Automated Vehicles: Luisa Paiewonsky participated on an automated vehicle panel at the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators Northeast Regional Conference, held July 10 in Portland, Maine.

  • Aviation Fuel: Dr. Kristin Lewis attended the Agricultural Technology Innovation Partnership (ATIP) Regional Forum on Hydrotreated Renewable Jet Fuel (HRJ) from plant oils, held July 11 in Wichita, Kansas. As research and technical advisor to the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI), Dr. Lewis presented an overview of the aviation industry’s interest in renewable jet fuel.

  • Unmanned Aircraft: Working with the U.S. Air Force at Hanscom Air Force Base and the State of Ohio Unmanned Aircraft Test Center, Pete Kennett supported airfield integration of the ground-based sense and avoid (GBSAA) mobile platform in Springfield, Ohio, July 17-21. The safety and effectiveness of Air Force Research Labs and Ohio testing of unmanned aircraft vehicle platforms at Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport in Ohio will be substantially enhanced with the addition of GBSAA. Volpe performs this work in Springfield, Ohio, in support of the U.S. Air Force unmanned aircraft operations.

Aviation – Human Factors

Infrastructure – Bridges

Transportation Planning

Vehicle-to-Vehicle Technology

Waterways – Intelligent Transportation Systems