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7 In 10 Insurers Unprepared For Potential Disruption Caused By Autonomous Vehicles: KPMG Survey

June 30, 2015 Comments off

7 In 10 Insurers Unprepared For Potential Disruption Caused By Autonomous Vehicles: KPMG Survey
Source: KPMG

Although the automotive and technology industries are moving swiftly to bring autonomous vehicles to market, the vast majority of insurers believe the potential impact is too distant in the future to begin preparing, according to the results of the Automobile Insurance in the Era of Autonomous Vehicles Survey conducted by KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory services firm.

In surveying senior U.S. insurance executives whose companies, in aggregate, account for almost $85 billion in personal and commercial auto premium, KPMG found skepticism about the potential transformation autonomous vehicles will bring in the near-term. Few carriers have taken action—not due to doubts about the possible ramifications, but rather because most believe the change will happen far into the future, if at all. In fact, 84 percent of executives don’t expect autonomous vehicles to have a significant impact on their business until 2025, while 42 percent expect a significant impact in six to 10 years. Nearly three quarters of insurers (74 percent) feel they are unprepared for autonomous vehicles today. In addition, more than half of respondents (55 percent) believe that regulators will impede the adoption of autonomous vehicles, which may help to explain why they anticipate a more distant effect on their business.

New Report Says U.S. Freight Rail Regulations Outdated, Recommends Modernization Efforts

June 17, 2015 Comments off

New Report Says U.S. Freight Rail Regulations Outdated, Recommends Modernization Efforts
Source: Transportation Research Board

While a 1980 reform law enabled the modernization and stabilization of the U.S. freight railroad industry, federal regulation has not kept pace with the industry’s transformation and should be replaced with a system better-suited for today’s freight rail system, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council’s Transportation Research Board. Current policies designed to protect rail shippers who lack transportation options from excessive rates are not working for shippers of most commodities, including grain. More appropriate, reliable, and usable procedures are needed to resolve these rate disputes without threatening the earnings railroads need to pay for their capital-intensive networks.

DHS OIG — TSA Can Improve Aviation Worker Vetting (Redacted)

June 9, 2015 Comments off

TSA Can Improve Aviation Worker Vetting (Redacted) (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General

Why We Did This
We conducted this review to identify enhancements to the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) vetting of workers with access to secure areas of commercial airports for links to terrorism, criminal history, and lawful status. We also assessed the accuracy and reliability of data TSA uses for vetting.

Why We Did This
We conducted this review to identify enhancements to the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) vetting of workers with access to secure areas of commercial airports for links to terrorism, criminal history, and lawful status. We also assessed the accuracy and reliability of data TSA uses for vetting.

New Report Finds Drivers Pay Less Than Half the Cost of Roads

June 8, 2015 Comments off

New Report Finds Drivers Pay Less Than Half the Cost of Roads
Source: Frontier Group and U.S. PIRG

As Congress struggles to renew the federal transportation law, a new report from CALPIRG Education Fund and the Frontier Group finds that drivers currently pay less than half the total cost of roads, and argues that while increasing gas taxes could fill the shortfall, it would leave other problems unaddressed.

The new report, “Who Pays for Roads? How the ‘Users Pays’ Myth Gets in the Way of Solutions to America’s Transportation Problems” exposes the widening gap between how Californians think we pay for transportation – through gas taxes and other fees – and how we actually do.

Database improvements for motor vehicle/bicycle crash analysis

June 7, 2015 Comments off

Database improvements for motor vehicle/bicycle crash analysis
Source: Injury Prevention

Background
Bicycling is healthy but needs to be safer for more to bike. Police crash templates are designed for reporting crashes between motor vehicles, but not between vehicles/bicycles. If written/drawn bicycle-crash-scene details exist, these are not entered into spreadsheets.

Objective
To assess which bicycle-crash-scene data might be added to spreadsheets for analysis.

Methods
Police crash templates from 50 states were analysed. Reports for 3350 motor vehicle/bicycle crashes (2011) were obtained for the New York City area and 300 cases selected (with drawings and on roads with sharrows, bike lanes, cycle tracks and no bike provisions). Crashes were redrawn and new bicycle-crash-scene details were coded and entered into the existing spreadsheet. The association between severity of injuries and bicycle-crash-scene codes was evaluated using multiple logistic regression.

Results
Police templates only consistently include pedal-cyclist and helmet. Bicycle-crash-scene coded variables for templates could include: 4 bicycle environments, 18 vehicle impact-points (opened-doors and mirrors), 4 bicycle impact-points, motor vehicle/bicycle crash patterns, in/out of the bicycle environment and bike/relevant motor vehicle categories. A test of including these variables suggested that, with bicyclists who had minor injuries as the control group, bicyclists on roads with bike lanes riding outside the lane had lower likelihood of severe injuries (OR, 0.40, 95% CI 0.16 to 0.98) compared with bicyclists riding on roads without bicycle facilities.

Conclusions
Police templates should include additional bicycle-crash-scene codes for entry into spreadsheets. Crash analysis, including with big data, could then be conducted on bicycle environments, motor vehicle potential impact points/doors/mirrors, bicycle potential impact points, motor vehicle characteristics, location and injury.

Open skies: Estimating travelers’ benefits from free trade in airline services

June 1, 2015 Comments off

Open skies: Estimating travelers’ benefits from free trade in airline services
Source: Brookings Institution

The United States has negotiated bilateral open skies agreements to deregulate airline competition on US international routes, but little is known about their effects on travelers’ welfare and the gains from the US negotiating agreements with more countries. We develop a model of international airline competition to estimate the effects of open skies agreements on fares and flight frequency. We find the agreements have generated at least $4 billion in annual gains to travelers and that travelers would gain an additional $4 billion if the US negotiated agreements with other countries that have a significant amount of international passenger traffic.

The Essential Federal Role in Highway Research and Innovation

May 31, 2015 Comments off

The Essential Federal Role in Highway Research and Innovation
Source: Transportation Research Board

TRB Special Report 317: The Essential Federal Role in Highway Research and Innovation summarizes conclusions and advice on the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) critical role in highway research, development, and technology (RD&T) that have been developed over the years by TRB’s Research and Technology Coordinating Committee (RTCC).

The RTCC is charged to monitor and review the FHWA’s research and technology activities; provide advice to FHWA on the setting of a research agenda and coordination of highway research with states, universities, and other partners; review strategies to accelerate the deployment and adoption of innovation; and identify areas where research may be needed.

The RTCC concludes that FHWA plays an essential role in exploratory, advanced research; addresses national priorities that other highway RD&T programs do not address; and facilitates adoption of innovations at the state and local level through technology transfer.

Along with its other responsibilities, the RTCC notes that FHWA will play a particularly important role with ensuring the standardization of safety alerts to motorists between infrastructure and vehicles as part of the national connected vehicle initiative as well as assisting transportation agencies in implementing the many innovations developed in the second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2).

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