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Mashable

Researchers at MIT have developed an autonomous vehicle with “mini sensors to allow it to see the world and also with an artificially intelligent computer brain that can allow it to drive,” explains postdoctoral associate Alexander Amini in an interview with Mashable. “Our autonomous vehicles are able to learn directly from humans how to drive a car so they can be deployed and interact in brand new environments that they’ve never seen before,” Amini notes.

 

The Guardian

Postdoctoral fellow Timur Abbiasov speaks with Guardian reporter Henry Grabar about his research examining the relationship in neighborhoods between local errands and the geography of amenities. Abbiasov and his colleagues found that “the more commerce, parks and services in a neighborhood, the more people travelled locally, whether in the country’s most walkable cities or its least.”

The New York Times

Prof. Steven Barrett speaks with New York Times reporter Paige McClanahan about the pressing need to make air travel more sustainable and his research exploring the impact of contrails on the planet’s temperature. “Eliminating contrails is quite a big lever on mitigating the climate impact of aviation,” said Barrett.

Associated Press

Sampriti Bhattacharyya PhD ’17, co-founder and CEO of electric hydrofoil startup Navier, speaks with AP reporter Matt O’Brien about the future of the company. “Our goal is to be the longest range-electric boat at cruising speed,” says Bhattacharyya.

Forbes

Writing for Forbes, Joseph Coughlin, director of the MIT AgeLab, highlights the safety concerns associated with shrinking airlines seats. “Tightening seating is argued to be a threat to a speedy emergency evacuation and even the cause of dangerous health conditions such as blood clots,” writes Coughlin.

Forbes

Forbes reporter Ed Garsten spotlights Sampriti Bhattacharyya PhD ’17, founder of Navier, and her work in developing the N30, the first commercially available electric hydrofoiling boat in the United States. Bhattacharyya, a former aerospace engineer, “turned to waterborne transportation during her doctorate work at MIT where she worked on underwater drones and had a key realization,” writes Garsten.

Wired

Wired reporter Matt Simon spotlights a study by researchers from MIT and other institutions that finds smartphones in cars could be used to track the structural integrity of bridges. The findings “could pave the way (sorry) for a future in which thousands of phones going back and forth across a bridge could collectively measure the span’s health, alerting inspectors to problems before they’re visible to the human eye,” writes Simon.

Bloomberg

Researchers from MIT and the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions have been developing an electric autonomous trash boat, reports Sarah Holder for Bloomberg. The boats “could reduce noise, pollution, and congestion, thus improving the quality of Amsterdam’s historic cityscape.”

Forbes

Prof. Hari Balakrishnan speaks with Forbes contributor Stuart Anderson about his decision to leave India to pursue a PhD in computer science in the U.S., his love for teaching students as a professor at MIT and his work co-founding Cambridge Mobile Telematics, a software company that utilizes technology to make roads safer. “Immigration and immigrants make the United States stronger,” said Balakrishnan. “Immigration is the biggest strength that we have. We need to be able to attract and retain talent, no matter where people come from.”

Banker & Tradesman

Lecturer Malia Lazu writes for Banker & Tradesman about how the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority needs to reestablish its relationship with the state and its citizens. “Making a major investment in transportation should not be seen as social service and a waste of tax dollars, but as economy building,” writes Lazu.

Automotive News

Research scientist Bryan Reimer and his colleagues have been collecting data from vehicles with driver-assist technology for the last seven years, writes Pete Bigelow for Automotive News. “We desperately need to understand the denominators, the frequency of events and the behaviors underlying them to understand the benefits and limitations of automated and assisted driving,” says Reimer. “We need to understand which aspects are working well and which ones need refining.”

The Boston Globe

Prof. Karilyn Crockett speaks with Boston Globe reporter Miles Howard about how transportation planning in the Greater Boston area needs to be centered around improving connectivity. “As Boston’s population grows, our public transportation infrastructure continues to crumble, and our transit planning can’t just be about new cars on one line and new tracks on another,” says Crockett. “It has to be a discussion about the system and the economic impacts of that system on Black and brown communities that are struggling to get to doctors’ appointments, to schools, to jobs that don’t allow working from home.”

Wired

A study by MIT AgeLab research scientist Bryan Reimer found that drivers using autopilot were “more likely to look away from the road once the system was on,” reports Aarian Marshall for Wired. “With automation comes an inherent new level of complexities. There are lots of risks and lots of rewards,” says Reimer.

Financial Times

Financial Times reporter William D. Cohan profiles Robert Joseph Scaringe SM ’07, PhD ’09 and his personal and professional career in developing Rivian, an electric vehicle technology company dedicated to building vehicles that change the way we consume fossil fuels. “Scaringe has been pining to run his own car company since he was a 17-year-old growing up on the Atlantic coast of Florida, just south of Cape Canaveral. ‘If you were to go in my bedroom as a kid, you’d find [car] hoods under the bed and windshields in the closet,’ he says.”

Financial Times

Writing for the Financial Times, Prof. Carlo Ratti explores how coordination between ride-hailing services can benefit cities by reducing traffic and carbon emissions. “Imagine a world in which, instead of wavering between Uber, Lyft or a regular taxi, we could open a single app that figures out which service is closest and most affordable,” writes Ratti.