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TechCrunch

A new study by AgeLab researchers finds that drivers may become inattentive when using partially automated driving systems, reports Rebecca Bellan for TechCrunch. Bellan writes that the goal of the study is to “advocate for driver attention management systems that can give drivers feedback in real time or adapt automation functionality to suit a driver’s level of attention.”

Associated Press

A new study by researchers from MIT and Tulane finds that the MBTA subway network faces the threat of flooding caused by rising sea levels over the new 50 years, reports the Associated Press. “A 100-year storm would completely inundate the Blue Line and large portions of the Red and Orange lines by 2030, researchers found. By 2070, a 100-year storm would flood nearly the entire network.”

The Boston Globe

A new study by researchers from MIT and Tulane University finds that rising seas have the potential to inundate the MBTA’s network and underscores the importance of fortifying the system’s infrastructure, reports Andrew Brinker for The Boston Globe. “Severe flooding is a grave challenge for the T,” explains graduate student Michael Martello.

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Aaron Pressman spotlights MIT startup Superpedestrian, a scooter rental service. “Superpedestrian’s scooters, packed with sensors, GPS, and a cellular connection, don’t need to be parked in a dock,” writes Pressman. “Instead, the company scatters them around cities in convenient locations.”

The Boston Globe

In an article for The Boston Globe, Joseph Coughlin, director of the MIT AgeLab, explores how to develop transportation strategies for elders. “When considering the possibilities for elder transportation, it’s important to keep in mind that the needs of seniors are diverse,” writes Coughlin. “One senior might find one innovation helpful but not another. The answer to such a variety of needs may be to think more broadly about what constitutes travel.”

Associated Press

An electric, autonomous boat developed by MIT researchers is being tested in the canals of Amsterdam as part of an effort to ease traffic, reports Aleksandar Furtula and Mike Corder for the AP. The Roboat project is aimed at developing “new ways of navigating the world’s waterways without a human hand at the wheel,” write Furtula and Corder. “The vessels are modular so they can be easily adapted for different purposes, carrying cargo or workers.”

United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brooks Hays writes that a new study by MIT researchers finds that people tend to follow a predictable travel pattern that remains consistent in countries around the world. The findings could help urban planners “better understand how populations interact with their surroundings, as well as assist city planners with zoning, infrastructure and other development decisions,” writes Hays.

Motherboard

Researchers from the MIT Senseable City Lab have uncovered a new travel pattern in human mobility that remains consistent across four continents, reports Beck Ferreira for Motherboard. “The notion that distance and frequency of visitation are related is in accordance with intuition,” the researchers explain. “What is surprising is that the relationship between these two quantities can be described by a simple and clean mathematical law.” 

The Boston Globe

Writing for The Boston Globe, senior lecturer Frederick Salvucci and research scientist James Aloisi underscore the importance of federal investment in infrastructure to help create a more equitable and sustainable transportation network in the future. “A federal infrastructure initiative that becomes more of the same won’t effectively respond to the urgent need to build back better, which means providing states and cities with the funding and programmatic support they need to provide the essential transportation services that make our economy work equitably,” they write.

Gizmodo

Gizmodo reporter Victoria Song writes that a new study by researchers from the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) finds that “not only do rideshares increase congestion, but they also made traffic jams longer, led to a significant decline in people taking public transit, and haven’t really impacted car ownership.”

E&T

A new study by researchers from the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) finds that ride-sharing services can lead to increased congestion, both in intensity and duration, reports E&T. “While mathematical models in prior studies showed that the potential benefit of on-demand shared mobility could be tremendous, our study suggests that translating this potential into actual gains is much more complicated in the real world,” says Prof. Jinhua Zhao.

New York Times

MIT researchers have developed an online interactive tool aimed at helping consumers quantify the costs of buying an electric or gas-powered vehicle. The tool demonstrates how electric vehicles may initially be more expensive, but are often cheaper in the long-run, reports Veronica Penny for The New York Times. Prof. Jessika Trancik notes that she hopes the tool will “help people learn about how those upfront costs are spread over the lifetime of the car.”

The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal reporter Paul Berger highlights Superpedestrian, an MIT startup and electric scooter company that secured $60 million in funding. Berger notes that Superpedestrian “spent more than four years designing a vehicle intelligence system that can diagnose and maintain itself.”

Popular Mechanics

MIT researchers have unveiled a new autonomous modular boat, called the Roboat II, which that uses lidar, GPS and other sensors to navigate its surroundings, reports Kyro Mitchell for Popular Mechanics. The Roboat II “can attach itself to other Roboat II’s to form one large vessel, which is then controlled by a main ‘leader’ boat.”

Financial Times

Writing for the Financial Times, Prof. Carlo Ratti and Anna König Jerlmyr, the mayor of Stockholm, explore how to reduce demand on urban infrastructure and make cities more efficient. “Covid-19 has proved that changing routines is possible, so we can decide how our cities function,” they write. “Flattening the curve has been a painful response to a crisis but, in cities, it can be used as a strategy to bring greater wellbeing to our everyday lives.”