Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Digest: Friday August 24, 2012

The U.S Department of Transportation (DOT) has launched a year-long pilot program in Ann Arbor, MI for a new anti-crash traffic system. Nearly 3,000 cars, trucks, and buses will be connected with Wi-Fi technology which will enable the vehicles to communicate in real time. Vehicles will send electronic data messages to other equipped vehicles, which can alert drivers about upcoming traffic accidents, dangerous intersections or even when a vehicle is changing lanes in their blind spot. This cutting edge technology aims to improve driver safety and make for more efficient driving. Ford, General Motors, Honda and Nissan were among some of the companies that contributed resources and vehicles to the project. Read more at Metro Magazine.

This week, a life-size Charlie was roaming the streets of Boston. Promoting the MBTA’s CharlieCard, the mascot was raising awareness of the benefits of the smartcard system as well as informing riders of the new CharlieCard store in Downtown Crossing Station.  The Charlie character is based on the 1949 song ‘M.T.A’ that was used by a candidate in Boston’s mayoral election campaign that year. That year riders were charged an extra nickel to exit trains at above ground stops, so the ‘M.T.A’ song depicted Charlie riding the Boston subway system for life because he couldn’t afford the extra nickel. Charlie will be appearing at major landmarks this week on his promotional tour, such as the State House, Swan Boats and Fenway Park. Learn more at

London is looking to implement new security measures when it comes to their Underground and National Rail system. The Home Office, which oversees issues of terrorism and crime, is considering screening passengers and their belongings before boarding. This screening technology would detect explosives and weapons, as well as chemical materials. Research showed that riders are open to the screening process, however they do not want these check point to cause delays in their journey. The Home Office expects to make a decision on the new screening process and determine what technology they will use by next March. Read more at The Guardian.