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PennDOT official provides view of the future with autonomous vehicles

May 24, 2017 by · Comments Off on PennDOT official provides view of the future with autonomous vehicles
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Autonomous self-driving driverless vehicle with radar on the roadMany of us who have watched the development of autonomous vehicles see a variety of ways in which they will transform society. One of the most significant transformations will occur in the auto industry itself.

PennDOT Deputy Secretary Kurt Myers presented a glimpse into the future at PHIA’s latest policy breakfast this week. Myers projects that autonomous vehicles will change the way we utilize vehicles, from trucks to buses, as well as our own personal vehicles.

Once the technology spreads, cars will be seen less as status symbols, and more as commodities. Families are likely to own fewer vehicles as consumers will be able to arrange for their transportation needs on demand. In fact, Myers expects that autonomous vehicles will have multiple owners as ride-sharing becomes more of the norm.

He said the auto industry will be challenged to keep up with the new technology. Tech firms tend to produce products and services as rapidly as they are demanded. The auto industry will need to match that pace if it is to survive this tech revolution.

Myers assured the audience that autonomous vehicles will create business opportunities across the Commonwealth. Still, it may take at least a decade for the autonomous vehicle infrastructure to be fully in place.

 

News

PennDOT Lets $172 Million in April

May 4, 2017 by · Comments Off on PennDOT Lets $172 Million in April
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NEW_PENNDOTPennDOT let just over $172.6 million projects during the month of April according to numbers compiled by the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC).  With this letting, PennDOT has let just over $862 million in project lettings to date.  At this same point last year, PennDOT bid a total of $833 million in projects.  The official 2016 year-end total was $2.594 billion just shy of PennDOT’s $2.6 billion forecast. PennDOT anticipates a $2.4 billion letting program by year’s end.

As in year’s past, PHIA will continue to track contract lettings on a monthly basis.

To view the full April letting report and year comparisons, click the link below.

April Letting Report* (PDF)

 

*The report lists the total contracts awarded at each letting date, a comparison to the same period in the previous calendar year, and letting adjustments made since the previous month. PHIA staff will track PennDOT lettings throughout the year and provide monthly update.

 

News

PennDOT lets $294 million in February

March 7, 2017 by · Comments Off on PennDOT lets $294 million in February
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NEW_PENNDOTPennDOT let just over $294 million projects during the month of February according to numbers compiled by the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC).  With this letting, PennDOT has begun the new year (2017) with just over $376 in project lettings.  At this same point last year, PennDOT bid a total of $467.3 million in projects.  The official 2016 year-end total was $2.594 billion just shy of PennDOT’s $2.6 billion forecast. PennDOT anticipates a $2.4 billion letting program by year’s end.

As in year’s past, PHIA will continue to track contract lettings on a monthly basis.

To view the full February letting report and year comparisons, click the link below.

 

*The report lists the total contracts awarded at each letting date, a comparison to the same period in the previous calendar year, and letting adjustments made since the previous month. PHIA staff will track PennDOT lettings throughout the year and provide monthly update.

 

News

PennDOT bids to be a proving ground for autonomous vehicle technology

January 11, 2017 by · 1 Comment
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Autonomous self-driving driverless vehicle with radar on the roadLate last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation launched an effort to identify facilities that could serve as proving grounds for autonomous vehicle technology. PennDOT has responded to the solicitation, essentially saying, “Deal us in.”

Pennsylvania’s response includes the city of Pittsburgh, where a significant volume of autonomous vehicle testing already is underway in an urban setting, thanks mainly to the research and development efforts of Carnegie Mellon University. It also includes a closed track at Penn State University for low-speed testing and Pocono Raceway for higher-speed testing and multiple connected vehicles, also known as “platooning.”

“As we have said before in this forum, autonomous vehicles are much closer to a reality than many people are aware,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner. “The vast majority of traffic accidents are caused by human error, and while driverless vehicles may sound like a scary proposition at first, reducing or eliminating human errors will go a long way toward making highway travel safer. It’s exciting to have Pennsylvania in the middle of this technological advancement.”

 

Featured, News

Driverless technology advances in Pennsylvania

December 14, 2016 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Featured, News 

Autonomous self-driving driverless vehicle with radar on the roadWhile engineers and auto manufacturers continue to work on driverless technology, Pennsylvania is beginning work on the regulations that will guide this fledgling industry.

PennDOT assembled an Autonomous Vehicles Testing Policy Task Force to draft recommendations on the rules for driverless cars. The goal was to combine the state’s focus on innovation with the public’s need for safety.

Combining input from organizations including the Federal Highway Administration, AAA, Carnegie Mellon University, General Motors, Uber, the University of Pennsylvania, SAE and the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association, the task force produced a report containing the following recommendations:

  • Testers of Highly Automated Vehicles (HAVs) must submit testing proposals to PennDOT and enter contracts attesting that the vehicles meet all federal and state safety standards and meet the policies adopted by PennDOT.
  • PennDOT must be notified prior to any HAV being used without an operator in fully self-driving mode.
  • PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission may temporarily restrict HAVs from certain routes. Otherwise, HAVs may be tested on any road in the state. Municipalities can also ask PennDOT to temporarily restrict HAVs on local routes.
  • Platooning, or electronically joining two or more vehicles controlled by a lead vehicle, also was addressed. Platooning of HAVs will be limited to two commercial or three passenger vehicles. PennDOT can approve additional vehicles in platoons after seeing a safety demonstration.
  • The HAVs must be able to record data that can be used to investigate crashes involving the HAVs. PennDOT will have access to the data.
  • Testers must certify that cybersecurity protections are in place for the HAVs.
  • PennDOT will collect data on total HAV miles traveled, total hours of operation, and size of HAV fleets. PennDOT may also ask for other information such as counties where HAVs are being tested and percentage of testing done on limited access highways.

“The prospect of driverless cars on our highways is an exciting prospect, but one that should be approached with the utmost focus on safety,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “The report produced by this task force is a positive step toward reasonable regulation.”

 

News

PennDOT announces more projects funded by PA’s Multimodel Fund

October 19, 2016 by · Comments Off on PennDOT announces more projects funded by PA’s Multimodel Fund
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ACT89ABSTRACTLast week, Governor Tom Wolf and Department of Transportation Secretary Leslie Richards announced transportation projects all over the state that would be funded using money from the Multimodal Transportation Fund.

The list of projects include 37 highways, bridges, bikes and pedestrian paths; these improvements total $40 million. The projects are regionally diverse, and include more than $3 million for road improvements in Carlisle; $4.6 million to Philadelphia for roadway improvements, as well as the creation of bike and pedestrian paths near local elementary schools; and millions to the rest of the state.

The Multimodal Fund was created by Act 89, the comprehensive, multi-modal funding legislation of 2013. This bill created dedicated streams of funding for transportation improvements, an investment of $2.4 billion by the state. Funds are generated by the elimination of the flat gas tax, and uncapping the wholesale oil franchise tax.

“The multi-modal projects that will be funded this year are a testament to the necessity and success of Act 89,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “These improvements are critical to improving the safety and experience of Pennsylvanians, whether they travel by foot, bike, car, train or plane.”

 

News

PennDOT lets $283 million during September

October 4, 2016 by · Comments Off on PennDOT lets $283 million during September
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NEW_PENNDOTPennDOT let just over $283 million projects during the month of September according to numbers compiled by the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC).  With this letting, PennDOT has bid a total of $1.893 billion in 2016 to date. At this same point last year, PennDOT bid a total of $2.061 billion. The official 2015 year-end total was $2.594 billion just shy of PennDOT’s $2.6 billion forecast. PennDOT reported at the annual meeting of the APC that 2016 lettings are expected to be $2.4 billion.  At this rate, PennDOT would exceed its 2016 program forecast goal of $2.4 billion.

With the 2013 enactment of the transportation funding bill (Act 89) there is reason to see increased lettings. Act 89, which will implement a $2.3 billion comprehensive transportation funding plan over the next five years, will result in PennDOT exceeding the $2 billion construction lettings mark for years to come. Read more

News

PennDOT lets nearly $176 million in projects this month

August 30, 2016 by · Comments Off on PennDOT lets nearly $176 million in projects this month
Filed under: News 

NEW_PENNDOTPennDOT let $175.9 million projects during the month of August according to numbers compiled by the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC). With this letting, PennDOT has bid a total of $1.611 billion in 2016 to date. At this same point last year, PennDOT bid a total of $1.795 billion. The official 2015 year-end total was $2.594 billion just shy of PennDOT’s $2.6 billion forecast. PennDOT reported at the annual meeting of the APC that 2016 lettings are expected to be $2.4 billion.

With the 2013 enactment of the transportation funding bill (Act 89) there is reason to see increased lettings. Act 89, which will implement a $2.3 billion comprehensive transportation funding plan over the next five years, will result in PennDOT exceeding the $2 billion construction lettings mark for years to come.

As in year’s past, PHIA will continue to track contract lettings on a monthly basis.

To view the full August letting report and year comparisons, click the link below.

August Letting Report* (PDF)

*The report lists the total contracts awarded at each letting date, a comparison to the same period in the previous calendar year, and letting adjustments made since the previous month. PHIA staff will track PennDOT lettings throughout the year and provide monthly update.

 

Video

Transportation Funding Act Update (Act 89)

August 24, 2016 by · Comments Off on Transportation Funding Act Update (Act 89)
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News

PennDOT lets another $106 million during July

August 8, 2016 by · Comments Off on PennDOT lets another $106 million during July
Filed under: News 

NEW_PENNDOTPennDOT let over $106 million projects during the month of July according to numbers compiled by the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC). With this letting, PennDOT has bid a total of $1.435 billion in 2016 to date. At this same point last year, PennDOT bid a total of $1.712 billion. The official 2015 year-end total was $2.594 billion just shy of PennDOT’s $2.6 billion forecast. PennDOT reported at the annual meeting of the APC that 2016 lettings are expected to be $2.4 billion.

With the 2013 enactment of the transportation funding bill (Act 89) there is reason to see increased lettings. Act 89, which will implement a $2.3 billion comprehensive transportation funding plan over the next five years, will result in PennDOT exceeding the $2 billion construction lettings mark for years to come.

As in year’s past, PHIA will continue to track contract lettings on a monthly basis.

To view the full July letting report and year comparisons, click the link below.

July Letting Report* (PDF)

*The report lists the total contracts awarded at each letting date, a comparison to the same period in the previous calendar year, and letting adjustments made since the previous month. PHIA staff will track PennDOT lettings throughout the year and provide monthly update.

 

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