March–April Newsletter

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 

April 26, 2018

Check Out Our Redesigned Website

The U.S. DOT Volpe Center recently launched a redesign of our website to help you find the transportation information that you’re looking for more easily. Our fully redesigned home page, publications page, and site footer highlight new features and offer more content to choose from, getting you where you need to go faster.

From drones to blockchains to automated vehicle safety, explore transportation innovations, research, and technologies on our redesigned site.

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Behind the Numbers Webinar: Border Crossing and TransBorder Freight Data

Tuesday, May 15, 2018
1:30–2:30 p.m. (EDT)

Behind the Numbers is a Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) quarterly webinar series providing insight into the collection, analysis, dissemination, and usage of transportation statistics.

During this webinar, transportation specialist Steven Beningo of BTS will show how customers can use the interactive TransBorder Freight Data dashboards to visualize cross border freight movements. In addition, new query tools for both the Border Crossing and TransBorder Freight data sets will be shown.

Register now.

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The Seaway at 60: A Model of Binational Partnership

A ship transiting the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway crosses the international boundary 27 times. Here’s how a U.S.-Canadian partnership that began in the mid-1950s moves more than 200 million tons of freight each year through the Seaway. Watch video highlights and read the full story.


The Tool That Informs Amtrak Service Levels and Helps Keep Half of All Riders Moving

New financial performance reports are helping states manage their passenger rail services with greater precision, and giving agencies the information they need to make data-driven decisions. Read the full story.


Volpe Talks Transportation Solutions During Cambridge Science Festival

The U.S. DOT Volpe Center shared innovative solutions to transportation challenges with science fans of all ages as part of this year’s Cambridge Science Festival. The event featured a hands-on tour of Volpe’s simulators and transportation experts discussing current projects. Read the full story and hear from our experts.


Detecting Damage in Structural Components with New Infrared Technologies

Bridges and other structures can have subsurface damage that can’t be detected through visual inspections. New infrared technologies developed through U.S. DOT’s SBIR program are helping accurately detect and image hidden damage below the surface, reducing the cost and disruption associated with detailed condition assessments while providing more accurate information. Read the full story.


Understanding Traffic Systems with Innovative Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection

A new technology developed with the support of the U.S. DOT SBIR program and FHWA can provide urban planners, designers, and transportation agencies a better understanding of their traffic systems. Read the full story.

The following professional opportunity is available at Volpe:

  • Operations Research Analyst

Volpe Experts in the Field

Volpe staff engaged in the following noteworthy activities in March and April 2018:

  • Rail Innovation: Chris Murray troubleshot, tested, and repaired Army locomotives to help increase their operating rate. Volpe performs this work in support of the U.S. Army Rail Modernization Program.

  • Operator Impairment: Lori DeCoste, Felicity Shanahan, Michael Redington, Ed Conde, Jennifer Gissel, and Brian Baker presented and participated as industry experts at the 13th Annual FTA Drug and Alcohol Program National Conference. The conference helped transit employers develop and implement programs to detect and prevent drug use and alcohol misuse from safety-sensitive employees.

  • Vehicle Automation: Eli Machek and Scott Smith, PhD, participated in Coordination of Automated Road Transport Deployment for Europe meetings as part of the Transport Research Arena conference—a major European conference held every other year that focuses on connected and automated vehicles.

  • Transportation Scenario Planning: Jenna Overton participated in and documented an FHWA-sponsored scenario planning workshop. Volpe organizes workshops and develops summary reports on behalf of the FHWA Scenario Planning team.

  • National Airspace New Entrants: Larry Barr, PhD, met with NASA and other government and industry stakeholders to examine issues related to the growing demand for access to the national airspace system from new entrants, such as unmanned aircraft systems, while maintaining safe and efficient airspace operation.

  • Maritime Safety: Daniel Mannheim provided technical support and construction oversight onboard the National Park Service ferry Ranger III. Lifesaving upgrades on the Ranger III included the installation of a rescue boat and relocation of the life rafts.


    Railroad Safety

    Transportation Planning

    Vehicle-to-Vehicle Technology